Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Days!

Seven Months ago I posted about our frustrations in waiting and the sad stats in orphanages accross Russia.

Three Months ago I posted pictures from our first trip.

Two Months ago on November 30th I wrote the post "Officially Ours".

One Month ago I wrote the post "There's No Place Like Home".

A common question we hear now is, "would you do it again?" Yes - we love our new son, of course. Will we do this again? Doubtful. While we would love t0 think that someday we would go back and bring home another beautiful child, the finnacial and emotional drain is more than we could bare.

So...while on this blog you will never again read about the excitement of our journey with two children under 3 accross the world, that is not why we started this. The reason for titling this post "Happy Days" is because I swore that when we got Brady home I would not take our children and our time together for granted. I LOVE being a mom but somedays it is honestly not on my top list things to do to play dolls or roll matchbox cars accross the floor repeatedly. Amongst the large midst of junk emails I opened today, I found one that brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of that overwhelming feeling I had throughout the adoption process: a reminder to love and hold these children of ours. The email below was said to be written by a police officer whose daughter is dying of brain cancer.

*Just for this morning, I am going to step over the
laundry, and pick you up and take you to the
park to play.

*Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in
the sink, and let you teach me how to put that
puzzle of yours together.

*Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the
telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with
you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

*Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not
even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine
for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one
if he comes by.

*Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about
what you are going to be when you grow up, or
second guess every decision I have made where
you are concerned.

*Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me
bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying
to fix them.

*Just for this afternoon, I will take us to
McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so
you can have both toys.

*Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms
and tell you a story about how you were born
and how much I love you.

*Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the
tub and not get angry.

*Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late
while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

*Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you
for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

*Just for this evening when I run my finger
through your hair as you pray, I will simply be
grateful that GOD has given me the greatest gift
ever given.

*I will think about the mothers and fathers who
are searching for their missing children, the
mothers and fathers who are visiting their
children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and
mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms
watching their children suffer senselessly, and
screaming inside that they can't handle it

*And when I kiss you good night I will hold you
a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will
thank GOD for you, and ask Him for nothing,
except one more day.............

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sleepdeprivation and other updates!

Brady had two doctors appointments this week. One with his regular pediatrician and another with a dermatologist about his rash. Ryan ventured out with both kids and I am happy to report is still alive. While with the pediatrician Allie had to "go potty" (she really has to go only when the attention is on her brother). The Dr. told Ryan to go ahead and take her and he would stay with Brady. Well , apparently that did not go so well and our pediatrician had a little refresher course on the importance of forming attachments - Brady screamed his little head off, refusing to let the doc anywhere near him. Poor thing!

So - the stats are he gained a whole 5 ounces...better than nothin, right?!? The Dr. wants us to continue feeding him Pediasure and seperate, more fatty meals as he's still not close to being on the charts. Both he and the dermatologist feel his rashes are from an extreme case of eczema. I've been questioning it because it's SO bad - he still wakes up scratching like crazy and breaks out after eating. His body looks like it's covered in chicken pox. today to fill more prescriptions. Brady is continuing to wake numerous times throughout the night - typically 9 - 12 times a night - once or twice an hour. It has made for some long days.

We had Brady's first professional pics taken last weekend - they turned out very cute and both kids did really well - will post them when I have them back. I also completed a photobook through shutterfly called "Bringing Home Brady: From Russia with Love" (if interested you can see it at Just copy and paste this click on "View Photo Book" and then "Slideshow").

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Were once again reminded how fortunate we are to be here. Sitting here in our cozy northern MN home with temps at the moment of -22 (yep...that's 22 BELOW 0) I ran accross an article on the "big chill" going through Russia:

Russians are bracing for temperatures of as low as minus 55 degrees Celsius (minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit) in Siberia as Russia's emergencies ministry warns on Wednesday of its impending dangers in the coming weeks. Government agencies were placed on high alert, reports AFP. The ministry ordered local administration officials to prepare for the extreme chill expected to last until Jan. 21. The ministry warned that the unusually cold weather could kill, cause frost-bite, conk heaters and cut electricity to homes, disrupt transport, increase the rate of car accidents and even destroy buildings across Siberia.

A side reason for posting this is I know a few of our readers are waiting to go over anytime - better pack the long undies!! We keep thinking of the large homeless population we wittnessed in our region and pray somehow they (and others) find warmth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Scratchin Our Heads...

So - the results of any parasites in Brady's system is negative. A good thing but now were faced wondering what is going on. He has actually LOST a pound since we took him from the orphanage...not good for a 19 pound 18 month old! He is eating a ton plus we have him back on a small amount of formula a day and Pediasure in addittion to whole milk. His allergy rash is worse then we've ever seen it. Our pediatrician is pretty concerned and got us into a dermatologist in record time next week. We will also be meeting with him next week. He seems happy but continues to get up a lot at night and seems pretty bothered by his rash (scratching exposed rashes till it bleeds!!). Poor thing! We have tried tracking the foods, eliminating milk products, etc. and can't figure it out...either can the doctors. Hopefully we will have some answers next week.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Princess!

Allison celebrated her third birthday yesterday with a beautiful princess party. Her grandma and grandpa came as did five friends for a party filled with nail painting, dress up and finger sandwiches. Thanks to my friend Jody she had a beautiful princess dress to celebrate in. Brady was a little overwhelmed with all the "girly" events (he really is ALL boy) but did well. Coming home just before Christmas and birthdays, I wonder if he thinks life here is all about presents.

We are finally starting to feel like we are settling in, Brady seems happy here and to be adjusting well. His sleeping is starting to improve (only waking up 2-3 times instead of 8-9 each night) although one of us still has to sleep in his room at night. He had another pediatrician appt. last week which we were happy to discover that all blood tests proved negative for HIV, hepatitis A, B, C, syphylis, etc. (we had most of these tests in Russia but it was nice to get confirmation in the states). Unfortunately not one ounce was gained despite the fact that he has gone back on formula, pediasure and whole milk. He has actually lost a pound since leaving the orphanage so this is a concern of ours and our pediatrician. They are looking into parasites that may be keeping him from gaining weight.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More Exciting News!

Today Ryan was offered (and accepted) a position with a local police department! We are very excited, the position is part time during the school year, full time during the summer months...the ideal schedule for our family as he will be home most days with the kids and working part time nights and weekends. So many people have commented about how things have fallen into place for us recently especially despite a couple of difficult years in our recent past. We couldn't agree more.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back to work...

Yesterday I started back to work. Leaving both kids was difficult - especially with Brady clinging to my every move as I tried to get ready. Allie cried that she wanted me to stay home. They did great with Ryan though and I am so thankful he is able to stay home with them for a while. Routine and structure are good although I hate thinking about all that I am missing while I am away. When Allie was small she was in daycare 40 plus hours a week - it killed me to pick her up and hear that she had been walking, talking, etc. I am sure I will feel the same way with Brady eventually also but am thankful that for now he is home with Ryan and that I am no longer in class two - three nights a week after a long day. Ryan is preparing for upcoming job interviews now that we are home (he had to turn down a few because we were in Russia). It is likely that with his new line of work he will be working evening and weekend hours, which we are actually happy with so as to avoid the whole daycare scene...or at keep the hours in daycare to a minimum.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy, Happy New Year!!

We had an extremely low key new years eve - I didn't even make it until 10pm while my wonderful hubbie stayed awake with a sick child till 1am and I got up with him again at 5am....kind of the way it has gone the past few nights. We had some friends over in the afternoon to go sledding and then stayed in.

We are so ready for 2008...bring it on! Looking back at 2007, we are ready for a new year. For us 2007 really helped us to grow and create a stronger family but we are ready for a fresh start to a new year. 2007 included of course the long road to our adoption, Ryan's lay off and job search, my completion of graduate coursework, Ryan's law enforcement training away from home, the death of my grandmother and of course two trips to Russia. It was also the year we brought home our son, Allie caught her first fish, the sell of our old home and our first summer in our new home. We are looking forward to 2008 - with resolutions to spend more time with family and friends (gone are the days I have resolved to lose 10 pounds or stay organized...Russia put things in a different perspective). Happy New Year to all of you and thanks for all of your comments and support in 2007!