Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Adoption Story!

We adopted our son Andrew from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in January 2008, and our lives have never been the same since. Our little Andrew was nine months when he was placed into our arms, and at 12 lbs, he had a ton of health issues that we conquered one at a time. Today he is a healthy, happy little boy. I can't believe how far he has come in a short period of time. I am so thankful that God has put this little boy in our lives. I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Visits with a few friends!

As busy as we were this summer, I was sure to take some to time to get together with some of my friends. A few weeks ago me and the girls went for two days to visit my friend Ginger and her family in Columbus. We had a great time! We went to Easton to shop (Alisha loved that). We also took some time to go to the pool (we all enjoyed that)! Then Megan, Andrew, and I visited with my friend Kim and her son Matthew at their house last week. The boys had so much fun running around in the backyard. I wander when they will both realize that they are from the same country, and that they will always have a common bond. I love that they have each other!

Now the girls are back in school again and I can't believe it is just Andrew and I around the house all day! I'm sad, but I love having some kind of schedule. I'm still hoping to have some summer fun on Labor Day weekend. I keep telling Andrew, that he will get to have his first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with us, so I am looking forward to the changes in seasons. I'm sure that I will change my opion on that once January hits, and we see nothing but snow!

Our fun day shopping at Easton in Columbus with Ginger and her girls!
Fun day at Kim and Matthew's house!

Andrew loves having his own car to drive!

Megan couldn't believe how lite Matthew was. He weighs about the same as Andrew and he is a year older!

Kim and I with our Kyrgyz boys!

Megan and the boys!

The boys were not to happy that we made them share the slide for a picture!

Some good old water fun!

The boys having fun in the sprinkler!

Andrew has been doing so good with his signs. He knows over 10 of them now, and of course his favorites are eat, more, and please! Here is a video of him doing some of them. He has also been saying some words! He loves to say Hi, Ma Ma, and his newest words just this week is Bye Bye, and Da Da! He is jibber jabbering all the time now, and I haven't heard that since we have brought him home in January. It is like music to my ears! I hope we are over this hurdle of talking that he has had, and there are many more new words to come. I think the things that the speach therapist has taught me to do with Andrew has been helping!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Officially a US Citizen!

We had our readoption hearing yesterday, and it is official, that Andrew is a US Citizen. Andrew came home on an IR4 visa which means we didn't make two trips, and we didn't meet him until he was already ours when we went over to Kyrgyzstan to pick him up. Therefore, that made him a US resident, and we had to do the readoption to make him a US citizen. We were running into some issues with him only being a US Resident, because he would be denied any medical help through programs through the state. Andrew needs a few surgeries and we needed to make sure that we have any medical help we can get. The judge for the proceedings was wonderful, and I was so glad that both my other children were there to witness this wonderful event in their brother's life. At the end of the proceeding, the judge asked us to take pictures, and the last one he wanted us to squeeze our faces together. I kept getting closer and closer to the judge, but he kept saying we were not all close enough. It didn't seem right to be that scruntched by the judge but it was his idea, and what a great picture. The day was something that we will never forget, and I can't wait to tell Andrew all about it one day!

More Zoo Fun!

We got a zoo pass which is good until next July. We will get to take Andrew many more times to get use to the animals. This time we all got to go as a family this last Sunday. Andrew is still scared if the animals come to close to the glass, so we kept our distance. However, last week Andrew went to touch my friends dog at her house, all on his own. He has never come close to touching an animal on his own free will. Keep it up Andrew! We didn't get to stay at the zoo as long as we wanted because we got rained out, and by the time we got back to our vehicle we were soaked, but as I told my girls we never remember the perfect days as a family, so it will make for a good discussion later on. I'm just thankful for any day we all get to spend together as a family. Alisha is growing up and soon she will be gone even more. She is doing post secondary this next year, which is taking college courses at a University and getting credit towards high school and college at the same time. She is hoping by the time she graduates from high school, she will have two full time years of college done. I'm so proud of her for all her achievements, but I know I will miss her, as college I'm sure will be taking up more of her time.

Andrew loved to be able to walk with us. He is so little to be walking but yet such a big boy! I'm sad that he is already growing up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hawking Hills Getaway!

We decided this summer to take mini trips instead of taking a week vacation. We felt it would be easier on Andrew to not drive so far, and we all seem to like one another much more after leaving for just a few days, instead of a week. We took the girls a few weeks ago to Hawking Hills, and I encourage anyone who lives in Ohio to take a trip there. There is six or more park to see. There is caves, cliffs, waterfalls, and so much of God's beauty everywhere. The girls were impressed, and it isn't to often that they are impressed by a park. There is also endless cabins you can rent out there. We had a great two bedroom cabin, with a hot tub, and a pool within walking distance. It was so peaceful to just get away from the craziness for awhile. Andrew did great with the 3 hour drive each way, and he seemed to enjoy all the hiking. Of course he got to ride on the back of all of us. I added a ton of pictures from this trip because I want everyone to see the beauty!

Cain says this video reminds him of a scary movie, and your waiting for someone to jump out and scare you. I just think it is a cute video of big sister Alisha having fun making Andrew laugh while we were hiking.

Are we all done Daddy? I had so much fun!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Zoo Fun!

I finally got a chance to take Andrew to the zoo for the first time. Me and my friend Mary took the kids and we had a great time. Andrew has been scared of animals since we have been home, so I think taking him to the zoo as often as I can, can only help. Andrew will absolutely scream if a dog or a cat is around him. He isn't even comfortable with our own cats yet. Hopefully he will overcome this fear soon!

Me and Andrew looking at the Swans!

Megan, Elaina, and Emily!

Me and my girl!

Me and my guy!

Andrew and Megan looking at the Tiger!

Me and my good friend Mary!

Andrew always runs to the door when I tell him Daddy is home! He always greets Cain with a big hug and lots of kisses! He is our little love bug!

Andrew was trying to find a new way to get over the gate! He is to smart for his own good!

What? Andrew, is pushing Megan? What are we feeding this kid?

Also check out Andrew's new hair cut. He had a lot of hair!

Medical Update

We have finally gotten some answers about Andrew's medical issues after being home seven months with him. Andrew has been doing great with all of his development except for speech. In fact, in some areas of his development, he is advanced. However, the speech has been a concern for awhile now. He has been at a six month level since he has come home, and now we just needed to get some answers on why. We finally had a hearing test completed after the third try just a few weeks ago, and it came back that there was some problems, so we then needed a full screening done on his hearing. We finally got that done, and it came back that he has fluid in his ears, and he is going to need tubes. In fact, they think the fluid has always been there. Just this week I finally was able to get in, into the ENT, and they want to schedule tubes to drain the fluid in the near future. Andrew also has swelling in his tonsils, and in the lining inside his ear. The Dr. gave me some medication to help with the swelling, and we are hoping that, that will do the trick. All of these things could be contributing to Andrew not learning to talk. Basically when I'm talking at a normal voice, the audiologist said he is hearing me whisper. We also have started with a program called Help Me Grow, which comes to our home once a month to evaluate Andrew's development, and because his speech is behind, we qualified for a program called MRDD, and we are getting help with speech therapy. In the mean time the speech therapist wants me to continue teaching Andrew signs, and we work trying to get him to say sounds as much as possible. Andrew is doing great at communicating with signs, and he is using around 10 of them now, and he has started saying a real word recently. He loves to say hi, when he has a phone to play with. We were just so relieved to get some answers with Andrew, and once the tubes are in I'm sure he will hear a world he never new existed!!!!!