Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Can you tell that Olive and her sister have a special bond?
Every day at some point, Olive and Evelyn will spend time cuddling and rolling around on the floor.

Evelyn likes to treat Olive as if she is her baby, and is a very good ‘mama’ to her... and luckily Olive tolerates it pretty well.

Olive is at 21.1 lbs now! That’s 6 weeks since we were in the hospital at 16lbs. and 5lbs of weight!
You can just see that she’s getting so much bigger, and stronger..

Olive will start all of her therapies in the next couple weeks as soon as insurance comes through, and will have a hearing test again with an ENT to determine if she really has the suspected hearing loss her first test suggests.

We’re all doing pretty well over here - and I’ll have some more pictures to put up soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not real happy...

We just got news that Karl is getting pushed out of his current position in to a second shift position.
When we have two of the kids starting preschool this fall - we will have hardly any time as a whole family.
I feel it's unfair and that one of the other employees with no young children should have been moved, not him.
It'll be completely unacceptable when all three kids are in school full time....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The house is so dry that as the kids 'hide' under their blanket, I can hear all the shocks their giving each other... lol

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So here's the scoop on Olive's hearing evaluation.
The test suggests that she has fluid built up and mild to moderate hearing loss because of it.
We're going to a peds ENT to verify the suspicion, and he thinks that tubes will be in our future.
She tested again around 10 months for her last physical therapy evaluation... and we are most likely going to start doing some home services this spring.
Hopefully we'll get her in to an adaptive classroom for preschool this fall for at least a year.
And in other good news - you can't see her ribs when she lays down anymore!
And she's moved up to size 12 pants already!

Monday, March 22, 2010


I take a little bit different of an approach when it comes to discipleship with my children.
One way that I'm different than most parents is that I don't force them to pray at certain times, or certain ways, or even force them to participate in prayer if they don't want to...
I want my kids to have an authentic faith of their choosing, not just do things because that's what they were taught to do.
Having said that, Ethan has been praying on his own, and asking us to pray with him with out any prompting.
I have to say it's an amazing feeling to know that your child is acknowledging and reaching out to his creator on his own accord, in his own way, on his own time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Great news!

We've been home for five weeks today!
And I'm STILL catching up and trying to get in to a routine!
The real question is.... will I ever?

I got some great news yesterday though.
The Same & Ellie Fund received a $5,000 donation the weekend we shared with our church!
That's exactly the amount of our grant!
God is good!

Two weeks gone by already?

It’s much harder to get online than I anticipated.
We have a very busy house right now.
I do think that it will get significantly less busy and chaotic as we all settle in to our new routines, officially catch up on everything, and have all of the initial evaluations and paperwork for Olive done.
Maybe I’m delusional - but that’s what I’m hoping for!

As you can see from above, Olive really enjoys her splashing time! It’s a tight squeeze to get three toddlers in a bath - but they all seem to really enjoy it! Olive’s goal is to get as much water out of the tub as possible. lol. But she REALLY hates having her hair washed and rinsed.... she’ll get use to it sooner or later though ;)

Olive has had 5 evaluations since she left the hospital a couple weeks ago - and everyone seems to agree she is functioning roughly around the age of a 9-10 month old. She has what’s called an even profile, meaning that she’s functioning around the same level in all areas of development. She is gaining skills very quickly though - and I think with in a month - she will be functioning around 12/13 months... because right now she’s gaining about 2 weeks for every 1 weeks times. Praise God! She has also gained right around 5 lbs since she left the hospital too! She is about 21 lbs now! We were very excited about that.

Karl and I were asked to speak in front of our church last Sunday about our adoption and the fundraiser we were doing for FOP’s Sam & Ellie Fund.
We hesitantly said yes, because I am NOT comfortable with speaking in front of an audience... but Karl agreed to talk for me, which took a load off of my shoulders.

Until he became very sick the day before!
I had about 3 hours to prepare to speak - which was definitely not enough time to mentally prepare anything for me! We tried to call around to see if anyone else could take over for us, because he was too sick, and I was just plain too nervous - but apparently God wanted me up there. Because we couldn’t reach anyone.

So, I ended up speaking at all three services, and I was so nervous that each and every one came out completely different.

During the Saturday night service (which is a little more laid back) we tried to bring the kids up with us, and it ended up being quite comical (or disastrous, however you want to look at it). Olive kept signing for the pastor to pick her up, and Evelyn (who was on my lap) kept saying “I want down”, and Ethan refused to leave his seat in the pews. Then once we were up there... started yelling “dad...DAAAD. Dad. DAaaaad...” and on and on... which stressed me out, and I totally fumbled everything I wanted to say.
The Sunday services weren’t half as bad, but I still kept leaving parts out due to being nervous and feeling pressed for time....
But apparently it wasn’t as awful as I imagined it to be, because we did get a lot of encouragement after every service, and God must have used us in some way - because donations were coming in for our flower fundraiser!
Someone even pledged $5,000! How amazing!
God is good!

This next week we have her hearing test, and her last PT evaluation for the public schools. We have ped appointments for the other two buggars, and we’re going to be applying for Olive’s social security number. We’re volunteering for our church’s flower fundraiser again this weekend, and I’m hoping to put my house back together (as we rearranged this past week) too. Looks like it’s going be another busy one!

Oh, and we got an EXCELLENT deal on a used car, so we have two cars now, Olive has been put on medicaid, and her parasite tests for her yucky diapers came back ok :) God is good!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She's growing!

Olive has gained almost 3.5 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks!
We have been told she's anywhere from 9 to 10.5 months in her development since she's been home from the hospital.
She's gained a whole 6 weeks development in about 4 weeks! Yay!
Everyone seems to think that she is going to keep progressing quickly.
We've had PT, OT, Speech & Feeding Evaluations and have our hearing test to do next.
We'll also possibly have another PT evaluation at a different place too.
Now we're just waiting for insurance to come through!
We're requesting home services from the school system too, despite her age.

Oh, and she also got her certificate of citizenship yesterday!

And I made our new networking card:

Friday, March 12, 2010


We had our caricatures done on a whim the other day...
We went to the mall to play at the play place, and there was a craft fair.
We thought it'd be a fun way to celebrate our new family of 5.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A glimpse...

So, let's share a glimpse in to my day right now...
Evelyn is walking around with my bra on over her pajamas (she put it on!),
Ethan is laying down on my lap going, "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy...",
and Olive is waving to me from the floor, while she grinds her teeth with no pants on and double diapered because she's been pooping through EVERYTHING!
While I figure out scheduling for her appointments and all the things that need to be done...
Love it!

And Karl says, "...well at least the day is normal." haha

Thursday, March 4, 2010

1 month from Gotcha Day!

I can’t believe that it has been 1 month since we brought our little princess home to our apartment in Europe!
Oh my, does time fly!

Olive had her first of many therapy evaluations.
We are so blessed to live only 20 minutes away from an excellent children’s hospital who has wonderful out patient therapy service - and they even valet your car for free!
Olive tolerated the evaluation MUCH better than I had thought she would.
We were suggested to do joint compressions every 2 hours, to encourage her to rise up to her knees as often as we can while correcting her wide gate, and just try to keep her mobile.
They are going to try hip huggers, and a some sort of sensory vest next time.
We have her PT,OT, & Speech evals at the local public school provided service, Ken-O-Sha this coming monday and we have her OT & Speech/Feeding evals the following monday.
We sold our second vehicle to help finance her adoption a while ago, and so it’s definitely tough getting to all of the appointments with one car - I’m so thankful that my dad has been helping out a lot! And also very thankful that we have WONDERFUL friends that have been brining us meals every other day since we’ve been home from the hospital.
It’s such a HUGE blessing to not have to worry about what’s for dinner after such a long day.
I am sure that soon it will just feel routine to take care of all three kiddos, keep up with the house, have dinner on the table, and keep up with all the paperwork and appointments... but it’s quite tiring for right now.
Adding a second car is definitely going to help.

Olive has been having a lot of yucky diapers and some reflux issues with her thickened pediasure - does anyone have any suggestions? It was just fine to start - but it’s just started to be a problem this week...
I will hopefully get some direction from speech and feeding next week - but was hoping to figure something out before then..

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week!
I sure had a blessed day when I came home to a clean house from hubby!
God is good!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Settling Down a bit...

Things are starting to get more in to a routine around here - but there doesn’t ever seem to be enough time to really get caught up fully!
Olive had her follow up appointment from the hospitalization the other day, and the Doc said that she is just fine - and just needs to gain some weight.
She gained the 2lbs that she lost while in the hospital, and is back at 18lbs. He said she needs to hit about the 25lb mark before we can stop worrying about her gaining more weight.
We have her PT Evaluation this Thursday at DeVos Children’s Out Patient Center. They said that they would submit it to our insurance and hope for the best. So, we’re really hoping they’ll cover it.
Unfortunately our insurance is changing in April to a high-deductible plan, so we’re seeing other ways to insure her - to make sure that she is able to get all the best services that she needs.

She is definitely starting to show preference for us, and wanting to enjoy her siblings.
She is starting to seem much more comfortable and happy with her new routine.
She really enjoys cuddling and always wants to be held and entertained... which is a good thing.

She’s definitely going to be stubborn. She already shows signs of being stubborn at the therapy sessions she’s already had, and when I try and encourage her to crawl, sit up straight, or bear weight on her legs. She is just like her mama and doesn’t want to do things just because she’s told ;)

We love her, and I am so thankful to God that he brought her in to our family.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sleep and Clean is hard...

So, I'm convinced that I will never really catch up on the house.
We've been home for about two weeks now - and it still looks as messy as it ever did!
I swear, for every mess cleaned up, two are made.
Today, I shamelessly employed Ethan's help cleaning in the kitchen in return for puppy show.
In this case, I am pro child-labor! (kidding.)

Sleep is also very hard to come by.
With Karl to my right snoring away, and Olive to my left grinding away... it's hard to actually get in to a good sleep pattern.
I am *this close* to getting some ear plugs.