just incredibly busy!! Sorry for not updating sooner. We have been home for five days now and it has been a whirlwind.
Vitaly was giggling and just about jumping out of his car seat when we pulled into our driveway. The OC (original crew :) were telling him and Alina that we're home now. He was one of the first ones out and kept looking at the house, then back at us. After being ushered inside, the NA (new additions :) were given tours and shown to their rooms. Tolly was so excited that he just had to grab a broom and start pitching in his share! We now know what job to assign him. AND he likes it, SCORE! It's hard to keep Tolly out of the kitchen. He's always looking for something to eat or drink. They had such a strict eating/drinking schedule at the orphanage. Since he's been with us, we pretty much gave him a drink whenever he asked. We learned after a few days that that probably wasn't the best policy since there was a rash of potty accidents. Oops!
Alina was only slightly less excited about arriving at her new home. She wasn't feeling well and pretty much quietly took everything in. She has started eating more, but it's still just a little each feeding. We're hoping to get referred to an occupational therapist or feeding clinic to find out how to teach her to chew.
We believe that she is starting to feel more at home now. She has found "her" spot on the couch and knows which toys she likes the best so far. (the rocking chair and big legos)
There has been a lot of firsts in the past few days.
1) first time at our house,
2) the first time on a trampoline (Tolly looked at me like "what do I do now?" after being put on the big black circle with the net around. Little sister Trudy was in there with a soccer ball. He may have thought that it was some kind of closed cage match or something for all I know. Mad Max anyone?),
3) first time swimming in a pool (they both screamed at going in out of fear. Tom, Ethan and I eased them into it and they ended up loving the pool!),
4) Alina's first time in a grocery store (yes I count it) An elderly man in a wheelchair came up to Alina and starting talking to her and touched her hand. He said that his daughter has special needs and spoke very kindly to Alina. Warmed my heart! Also, five minutes later an employee came up and starting talking to her. With a lull in the conversation (cause Alina doesn't talk yet and doesn't give eye contact) I mentioned that this was her first time in a grocery store. The lady asked "why" and I said because she's only been in the country for a few days. Our conversation turned to adoption and the nice lady shared with me that she wants to adopt a little girl from America. It was a nice God meeting.
5) Tolly eats pizza, hot dogs, corn on the cob we think for the first time. Still loves everything he can put in his mouth. He will scavenge the table and eat food left if not cleared off in time or he's not removed from the dining room. The boy has a hollow leg.
6) first time at an urgent care clinic for Tolly. Had to get his hand re-wrapped after swimming. Not one of his favorite firsts.
How many pictures do we have of these "firsts" moments, none. No, we didn't lose the camera again. Well, not really. It was lost somewhere in the unpacking of the van. Only now, it's found and we will start up again with the fotografs. :)
The OC have been wonderful in accepting their new siblings. Completely a God thing! We've tried to address their questions about Alina's habits and they have been satisfied with our answers. And very loving toward her! I didn't realize how small Alina and Tolly were until they stood next to Trudy (2) and Holly (4). Alina is the same height as Trudy and 5 pounds lighter (25 lbs) and Tolly is only up to Holly's shoulders. Wow!! Ethan has embraced having a younger brother and finally a roommate! Although his room had to undergo some serious childproofing when we got home. Ethan says that Tolly is his alarm clock, mom likes that. :) Holly and Sophie (7) like to have turns "watching" their new sister and are being really big helpers. Phoebe (12) and Lee (10) have smothered the NA with hugs, kisses, and encouragements! We are truly blessed parents.
Alina has joined the Princess Parade and Tolly has just run in to the family like his spot was saved for him!
Okay, that all said, let me say this......Our adoption journey has been wonderful!! We definately know that God put us on this path and that these two little people were meant to be in our family. Forever.
That doesn't mean that our journey is over. Oh no, it's just begun. While there have been many wonderful moments, there have also been difficult moments, hard moments. With everyone of those hard moments, we learn a little more about our new children, about parenting and about relying on God. He never said following Him was going to be easy. But then again, everything that is easy is not always good and everything that is good is not always easy. More on all of that another time....
We came home to find mold in our basement. Covering our furniture and some of the cloth toys. Tom has spent the last several days emptying the basement (furniture and stuff to the dump) and de-fungalizing and sanitizing. So the children have not been allowed down there since we got home. That means that everyone was allocated to the first floor or their bedrooms. After a few days, 8 kids in the same four rooms can be a little overwhelming. Little. I said little, right. So today I got the dynamic idea to take the Littles (all of them and our Lee who is 10) to the playground and then a walk by the bay. The artificial blonde chemicals I used must have come back to haunt me. What was I thinking. It was like 158 degrees outside. No one had fun at the playground, except Alina because she was swinging. So we decide to go for our walk. Tolly has a meltdown because he's now enrolled in the obedience school of Mommy says, several of the Littles and a Middle were complaining about the heat. And I only had a double stroller. Mind you, I had 6 kids ages 10, 7, 5, 4, 4, and 2. The younger four didn't want to walk. At all. Determined that we're going to go for a walk, I put Alina and Trudy in the stoller and head off.
Needless to say that 20 minutes later, we're heading for the van to go home and most of everybody is crying. Oh, and I forgot to close the van doors during our walk. Uh huh, not a good idea. While in the van, the crying 2 yr old proceeds to ask the 4 yr old (Holly) why she's crying. Maybe she thought if they were crying for the same reason that they could form a union.
It was naptime when we got home.