Thursday, February 4, 2010

She's here with us!

Today was a LOOOONNNNGGGGG day!
We had the ceremony, and did a ton of running around and waiting in different offices to get the paperwork done.
We were 'this close' to not being able to bring her home with us tonight - but thank God I pushed a little, and our facilitator let us bring her home!
She had A GREAT start and did very well.
She seemed like she was making herself right at home.
But this evening as things wound down, and we tried to get her ready for bed - the teeth grinding started.
It's obviously related to anxiety, and hopefully it won't be a major continuing issue.
We tried laying with her to put her down, but she wasn't having it.
We learned tonight that she need to fall asleep by herself.
We will slowly try and adjust her to accepting more snuggles during bed time.
But didn't want to push it her first night.

There is A TON to catch up on.
Things have just been so busy, and I make a mental note to be sure to blog about this or that - and then forget!
I need to start writing it down.

So here are some things that come to mind:

There is a very nice restaurant behind the orphanage. It's a diamond in the rough. Jasmina can point you to it from her office window. It's literally up some steps, turn left, go down a few steps, and there it is. It doesn't even look like a restaurant. But it is, and it's so reasonably priced, and has wonderful wait staff and food.

Also, if you wanted to stay in the apartment we're in - which is very nice now that they figured out what was going on with the crazy electricity - let me know. I can give you the personal contact information instead of the agency contact information you'll find on line. It will save you 35% because you won't have to pay the booking fee. It's a GREAT location. We absolutely love it. And I would say it's worth the few extra bucks/night to be in this spot. You're about a 2 mile, easy walk to the orphanage, and if you don't want to walk - there are two taxi hubs with in a few blocks, and it's only about 210 dinar for the ride (about 3 bucks).

As far as sleeping arrangements and driving with your new little one - forget about what you're use to. Plan on bringing a play-yard if you don't want them sleeping in bed with you, or in an adult bed. Personally we're having Olive sleep in bed with us if she'll tolerate it, for bonding. Mind you she's developmentally like an infant...
As far as the car rides - it's not against the law to not wear your seat belt, and if you're riding in a taxi with a kid, they don't have car seats - and that's just the way it is. We have rode in the car quite a few times with Olive now with out any child restraints - it feels very weird (and is probably not safe at all) but that's just how it's done.

We got the tour of the orphanage yesterday. It broke my heart. There are some nurses who REALLY love the children, and don't do the job for the money (if there even is any to be made). They are wonderful, and you can see it in the children's faces. But there are also some not so loving nurses, and you can most definitely see that in the children as well. There is SO much to say, and so many emotions. But, it's so hard to get it out in words.
I guess I saw what you'd expect to see from an orphanage with very little funding, not a lot of outside aid, in a country that doesn't accept children with special needs, and who allow the children to be in their cribs for the the first few years of their lives for 20+ hours a day...
It is survival of the fittest, and if you learn to crawl, eat, and walk early - or have a nurse take you under her wing - you'll do FAIR at best. If not - you'll spend the next several years in a crib 90% of the time with little or no stimulation.

Bottom line - I feel the church needs to step up and take some responsibility for the situation.
I'm not saying that EVERYONE is called to adopt.
But, how many times do you as a church stop and pray over them? or advocate for them? or give monetary aid? or send missionaries to help? or send gifts for the children? or do ANYTHING really?
It's not right that forgiveness is mentioned approximately 50 times in the bible - and preachers spend weeks and weeks of every year preaching on it.
And strangers, widows, and orphans are mentioned 60 something times, and you're lucky to have a sermon dedicated to them once a year. It's awful.
It seems to me that God thinks they are pretty important to mention them THAT many times, and they're not mentioned lightly - but as a church we just don't seem to get it.
It's not right...

Alright - so off my soap box now.

Back to Olive.
She has been such a trooper. She is going to fit right in with our family.

She is so incredibly tiny - much smaller than we thought!
You can literally see every bone in her chest and every vertebrae in her back.
She is SO skinny, it's kind of scary.
Any advice on fattening her up the right was, fast!?
She is in 9 months clothing right now at 3 years 7 months.
She is incredibly long, and insanely skinny. She could probably wear 24 month clothing for the length to fit her right - but they would be humongous on her.
The shoes we brought for her were size 5, and they are most certainly WAY too big. I am guessing a 3 or 3.5.
The hat and gloves we brought for her were a 12-24 months, and those are definitely way too big too. I'm again guessing probably 9-12 months.

Our process right now is that she is officially ours as of today!
We have to get her Passport on Monday (which her social worker should bring to Belgrade from Ruma) and we are hoping to get her medical exam that day too.
If not, it will be Tuesday (meaning we would probably leave Wednesday)
If we're able to do that, we will call our Embassy worker, and schedule our appointment for Tuesday. He said he would try to get us the Visa the same day. If he's able to we MIGHT be able to leave Tuesday. (praying!)
If not, then it would be Wednesday again.

Our kids are sick at home - and it makes me so homesick!
Evelyn has her first ear infections ever, and to top it off she has a double ear infection with an upper respiratory infection.
And Ethan has an ear ache in one of his ears, and a low grade fever.
They're on anti-biotics for the first time, and Ethan is having a little reaction to it.
Oh, how it kills me to not be there with them right now!
I am ITCHING to get back to them.

When we skyped with the kids, they seemed to receive Olive well.
Evelyn kept calling her 'my my baaabbbyyyyy' - that's a good sign!
Hopefully she feels the same when we get home!
And Ethan totally recognized her and seemed very excited to finally see her with us!
Olive was more concerned with pressing the buttons on the computer, but I think she will love them too.

Olive is stunned at being in a car!

The mittens we bought her are HUGE! lol. She was very interested in watching out the window. She didn't act excited, but more concerned. But, today (two days after) she giggled the whole time she was in the car.
This is Olive's favorite past time in mommy's lap. She likes to pull my hair out of my ponytails.. and in general just make a huge knot of my hair.



Shelley said...

Congratulations!!! I was thinking about you this morning and hoping that you'd be updating with good news.


WE are so happy for you all!! We can't wait to see Olive with her siblings at home getting fattened up..

Enjoy the rest of your stay.
We sure do understand how hard it is to be away from your other children and even harder when they are sick. We sure have been there before.
We pray your journey goes quickly now and you get home to your other children..

Bless you ~~

Jennifer Decker said...

YEAH!!! Im so excited for you. I hope Olive sleeps well tonight! Cant wait to hear more.

Katie said...

Congrats!!! Advice to fatten her up quick... add a tablespoon of oil to each of her feedings(I prefer flax seed oil or olive oil, flax oil has omega 3 in it). Oil normally has about 120-150 calories in a tablespoon. My daughter can not tollerate large volumes of feedings so we add 2 Tbsp of flax oil to each of her feedings and that doubles her calorie intake each day. Good luck!

And patiently waiting... said...

Congratulations!!! God is good! So happy and excited to see Olive with you! Time will go fast now! :)

Jen said...

Have been checking in on the blog over the past couple of days....soooo excited to see the dream finally becoming a reality. Praise God! My nephew had sensory issues and wouldn't eat except mush. They did the flax oil thing, avocados, their nutritionist was big on YoBaby Yogurt. Continued prayers for you guys.