Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

My Family

My name is Jill and I am thirty-something years old. I was born in OK and come from a big, musical family. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My faith makes me who I am. I am talented, highly emotional, and a great cook. I enjoy writing this blog and playing Settlers of Catan with my family and friends. I someday hope to have the opportunity to sing on the stage with an orchestra. I am a loyal friend and am always trying to help other people. I am learning to love myself. I'm a warrior.

My husband, Tyler, also in his 30s. He was born in OK and comes from a big family, too. He's also LDS. We were sealed in the OKC Temple in 2001. Tyler is the most intelligent man that I know. He is also kind, generous, and always knows what to do. He's an engineer. Tyler loves to surf and would prefer to live by the beach for the rest of his life. Tyler is a rule follower and strives to do that which is right. He is an amazing husband and father. 

Anna is my only homegrown baby, my firstborn in the wilderness. Anna is clever, emotional, and helpful. She likes pokemon, wii, and winning contests. Anna is talented in music and in school. She takes piano lessons and reads books. She enjoys playing games with us and is very bright. She has the blue eyes that I always wanted and is almost a mirror image of her Grammy - Tyler's mom. She is a snugglebug and is growing up entirely too fast. 

Keith is my secondborn in the wilderness. He was born in Artemov'sk, Ukraine. We adopted him in 2008. I call him "The boy who lived," because he would have died if we had not adopted him. SN children are sent to institutions in Ukraine at the age of 4. They are not spoon fed there and when we adopted Keith, he could not feed himself. So we literally saved him! We committed to adopting him before he turned 4 years and then adopted him at age 4 1/2. He has changed immensely over the years we have had him. Keith was cribbound from birth due to his having hypotonic cerebral palsy. His CP is fairly mild, mainly affecting his bowels - the intestines, like all his muscles, have low tone so they don't move his food along very well. Hence, he is on miralax and we talk about Keith's bathroom habits on here a lot. Keith's main SN are that he is severely mentally delayed. He is mentally delayed,  but still making good progress. This is because he was cribbound at the orphanage. Whereas he has made huge progress, he will likely remain with us always. He is the most tender little guy you will ever know. Keith is obsessed (this is an understatement) with all things airplanes and helicopters. He is a joy. 

Iryna is my thirdborn in the wilderness. She was born in Donets'k, Ukraine. We adopted Iryna the same time as Keith, in 2008. They are 5 weeks apart in age, so we call them twins. Iryna has FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her mother drank vodka throughout the pregnancy. Iryna struggles greatly due to FAS. It affects her ability to control impulses and she has a destructive nature. Iryna is very empathetic and wants so much to please you and to succeed. She enjoys learning and especially playing on the computer. She is also mentally delayed, but improving each year. Iryna is my refiner's fire - I know that raising her will make me a better mama, but I struggle daily with her. I think I need her as much as she needs me. She is my good helper.

Calvin is my fourthborn in the wilderness. He was born in Vyksa, Russia. We adopted him in 2012. Calvin has four heart conditions: double inlet left ventricle, pulmonary hypertension, L-shaped aorta, and mitral stenosis. His heart is also backwards. Calvin is the oldest child we have adopted. He was 5 when we brought him home. Adopting Calvin was different than the twins or Silas, as he knew why we were at the orphanage and he understood that if we liked him, that we would adopt him. That seems like an incredible amount of pressure for such a small boy! Like our other adopted children, we knew Calvin was meant for our family. Calvin is very smart. He came home from Russia and picked up English very quickly. He is learning to read and has a sound mind. He had two heart surgeries for the 3 part Fontan procedure in Moscow, Russia. He had the third surgery in 2013. The next step for him is a heart and liver transplant, sometime in the next 15 years. Calvin is very affectionate. He wants to be near his family. He is an emotional boy and very social. He is my snuggleboy.

Silas is the my fifthborn in the wilderness. He is my youngest (so far) and was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. We adopted him in 2012. Silas was born with a heart condition: Tetralogy of Fallot. He had corrective surgery in 2012. Silas was a very shy boy in Russia, but has completely blossomed since he has been home. I have never met a more energetic boy than Silas. He is all over the place! He loves to snuggle up with me and his jean blanket. He loves to play with big trucks and cars. He would eat nonstop if I would let him. He will eat breakfast and ask for a snack ten minutes later (not joking, this is a daily occurrence!) and he is a good eater. He will eat most anything I offer him. Silas is my little mover and shaker. And he's just plain adorable!

More kids? Yes, please! We are currently in the process to adopt two more children from Eastern Europe. Stay tuned for more details!


faye fuimaono said...

I love your family! :) you guys are AWESOME!!!!

Leah said...

I really love your blog and love how important family if to you! If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to touch base with you about an interesting idea I think you'd like. Feel free to shoot me an email sometime and we can talk!