Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Sunday, February 04, 2018

One year ago

A year ago, we were traveling home from Bulgaria. A lot has changed in our lives in the past year. Adding three new children to our family has kept me plenty busy. It's been a while since I updated my blog. Here we go.

We had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. The most challenging part of December was that Tyler went TDY for work for one week and that Sarah was admitted to an inpatient unit for suicidal ideation. Sarah was there for 10 days, which meant that she missed her first Christmas home with us. It just didn't feel as jolly without her home with us.

Tyler is taking another Chinese language class twice a week, to keep up his Chinese skills. He is working with the young men (ages 12-13) at church. In the evenings, he works hard to prepare for his upcoming PHD program in Math.

I have been steadily losing weight since last May. I have now lost 64 pounds and I am thrilled with this success. It is the most weight that I have ever lost. I am eating high protein and low carb, which seems to be the only thing that works for me. I have already purchased some clothes that are one size smaller and that feels amazing, too.

Anna turned 16 as we brought in the new year. She is eager to drive AND date now! We had a sweet sixteen-themed party, which included an ice cream bar with 16 different types of candy. We surely do love our girl.

Michael began taking boxing lessons. The boxing instructor said that he shows promise and he would like to see him come in more often for training. Michael has wanted to box for a long time, so this is like a dream come true. Michael had his first surgery ever - to cauterize a large blood vessel in his nose that has been causing nosebleeds for some time. Michael's English is getting better. He seems to have a talent with language.

Sarah is back in the inpatient unit for the second time. She has been there for over 3 weeks now. She was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. We always knew that adopting a child with RAD was a possibility, but now it is our reality. Your prayers are appreciated. Because Sarah has been at the hospital with only English-speaking staff and children, her English has greatly improved, which is nice.

John is adjusting better to our family and now prefers being here to Bulgaria. He is quite an introvert and is nervous to speak English outside our family. John is the hardest-working child we have in our family. If he is given a task or a chore, you can bet that it will be done very well and that it will take him a long time to complete. He is slow and steady! John is making progress with behavioral therapy once a week. He is working on understanding trauma from his past.

Keith is doing well in school. He loves to pass the sacrament each week. He enjoys going to scouts. He is the sunshine in our family, always smiling and brightening our day. He loves his special needs dance class that he attends with Iryna.

Iryna has been suspended from school twice in the last month. Her suspensions are due to Sarah being in the hospital. Iryna doesn't handle change well and her mind just doesn't comprehend why Sarah is gone or what suicide is. She has meltdowns almost daily and it is challenging to help her calm down. She looks forward to her special needs dance class each week. It is a bright spot in her life. 

Calvin turned 11 last month. He is now an eleven-year-old scout. Calvin loves to learn new things. He loves mind games. For his birthday, he received 3 different rubik cubes! He enjoys playing monopoly with Anna.

Silas just started occupational therapy again. He had OT previously a few years ago, but his 8 year old wellness appointment with his PCM showed that he needed to begin it again. Silas is thrilled to be able to attend scouts. His infectious enthusiasm endears him to many people around him.

Barkley and Maggie (our dogs) are still around. Barkley gets the lovin' of his life with our older boys, Michael and John. He sleeps with one of them every night. Maggie is still a turkey, but she can be sweet - when she wants to be.

We are less than six months away from moving away from the DC area. It's strange to think that we will have been here for 4 years by the time we leave. God has blessed us in so many ways, that we cannot count them all.


JEH said...

I have been praying for you....I knew you must have been busy with 3 new ones. Praying for Sarah....I had a RAD child and it was hardest thing of my life. Will keep your family in prayers.

JEH said...

I have been praying for you....I knew you must have been busy with 3 new ones. Praying for Sarah....I had a RAD child and it was hardest thing of my life. Will keep your family in prayers.

Cheryl Jankowskica said...

Wow! You have been busy
Thanks for the update! I love catching up on the family. I hope Sarah is just having some adjustment type issues and her inpatient care will help. Prayers for all.❤

Sylvia said...

It's good to hear the update - I have been thinking about you, my friend! May you be blessed with strength and comfort as you continue being a wonderful Mom to these amazing spirits! :)