Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Rita

Shortly after school started Rita's class was asked to bring in a baby picture of themselves. The youngest photo we had of Rita she was probably 5 yrs old. The teacher made copies of all of the baby photos and then the kids had to guess who the babies where. Rita was sad when she came home because "Mom everybody know Rita...Rita big girl" (her English is so much better now). So I emailed the adoption agency to see if the Armenian facilitator could try to come up with some baby pictures. I didn't hear anything until one day a few snapshots showed up in our mail box. I knew that my scanner wasn't good enough to be able to zoom in and still keep the clarity, so I took the snapshots to a photo restoration guy. I just got the pictures back today. Rita was absolutely thrilled!!!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am most excited for Rita. She can't believe all of the presents under the tree. Today she even got a gift from our baby sitter and then from her best friend at school (Anna is still her orphanage best friend/sister). Megan gave Rita the cutest shirt that says "I'm the Best Friend". Rita may drive us bonkers from time to time but we love her dearly. I wish I could be in her little head when she comes down those stairs on Christmas morning. I always remember the excitement that I felt on Christmas morning......just imagine being 7 years old and celebrating your very first Christmas with your new family. Rita's favorite tree on display at our library the "Bling Bling" tree.

Rita was so proud of her gingerbread house.

Rita and Natalie making paperchains to decorate the tree in the 1910 school house at Sauder Village.
Merry Christmas Everyone.... May God Bless You and Your Family!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Last Man Standing

Paul is the only one in the family who wasn't touched by the stomach flu (well, not yet). We celebrated his 2 year "Gotcha Day" with frosted brownies...yum, yum. Yes...I'm a little late with Halloween pictures but I still had to share my cute kids.
Audrey was an absolute wreck, with the flu and a broken collar bone she could still give mom a smile though.

Rita loved decorating the tree. Remember it's her first Christmas with our family. Things were going great until the tree fell over while she was putting an ornament on. I save you from all of the horrible details.
Natalie had a great 8th birthday. Wasn't she just my little baby?

Good grief...it has been almost 2 months since my last post. What can I say, I am quickly becoming the world's worst blogger. It's not that life hasn't been interesting around here I just haven't taken the time to sit down and post. Enough things happened this last week itself has been enough to write a book. Monday morning Andrew woke up saying that it felt like somebody had kicked him in the stomach. About 15 minutes later he was barfing all over the place (he has yet to master graceful barfing :o( The babysitter had called this same morning saying that her kids had been puking all weekend, so I still went to work to see my first patient and then quickly headed back home after they got somebody to replace me. The rest of the day was fairly peaceful. Ted had to go into work early, even though he's pretty sure he'll be laid-off in the near future. Not 15 minutes after he left I hear Audrey screaming. Here, Rita was trying to give her a piggy-back ride. Audrey must have slipped off of Rita's little arm side and they both went crashing to the floor. Audrey couldn't move her left arm at all (yes...she's left handed). So, we left Andrew passed out on the couch and headed to Coldwater's hospital. I dropped of Natalie, Rita and Paul at our friend's house. By the time we got to the hospital Audrey was all smiles and moving her left arm up and down and all around (I had given her Tylenol before we left the house). I could tell the doctor thought I was crazy!! Four x-rays later though he confirmed a broken clavicle...collar bone. So we headed back home not realizing the real storm was still coming. Within the next 12 hours EVERYONE except Paul had come down with the stomach flu. So 6 out of the 7 of us we're down...I have never seen so much barf in all of my life!!! Poor Audrey couldn't take any pain medicine because of the stomach bug so we had to have her Tylenol3 made into suppositories.....need I say more. Try to put a suppository into to squirming 4 yr. old while trying not to barf because your sick too!!! NOT FUN!! The best thing about this bug is that it didn't last for long. Everyone was back to work and school by Wed. Then I get home from work last night and I ask Ted "Don't you think it's chilly in here?" He looks at the thermostat and it says 63. YES...the furnace was dead. Oh common!!! So, I called my mom and got her extra space heaters. Paul and Audrey slept with me and the other kids slept together upstairs so we didn't freeze to death last night. Thankfully, Ted has a brother who is an electrician and he helped Ted diagnose the problem so Ted should be able to fix it today. I'm almost afraid to see what today brings...oh, I forgot I had a flat tire during all of this too.

Okay enough depressing news..on to some good news. Last week we celebrated our 2 year anniversary with Paul. My brother and his family also celebrated their 1 year anniversary with their daughter, Rachel, from China too. Natalie turned 8 also. She had friends over after school last Friday and then had the grandparents over on Saturday. All in all she had a great birthday. This week she is the 'star student' so today Ted, Paul, Audrey and myself will go eat lunch with her. Rita is so excited that we'll be at school....she promises to wave at us!! Rita is still amazing us with all of her abilities. She has mastered tying her shoes and zipping her coat..she'll show anyone who will watch. She got glasses this week and is most definitely the cutest kid in glasses I have ever seen. She had went to the opthamologist two weeks ago. He felt that her muscles were still too tight, not bad enough to do surgery again. These glasses are just supposed to 'relax' her muscles. She is learning to read and is just as proud of herself as we are.

During all of this I have started back at my favorite hobby....reading!! (maybe that's why I haven't had time to blog). The last 3 books that I have read have all been fantastic.. "The Things I Want My Daughters to Know" by Elizabeth Noble... "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven" by Fannie Flagg (anything by Fannie Flagg is sweet and funny)..."The Last Promise" by Richard Paul Evans (I love anything that takes place in Italy) I'm always looking for a good book....so any suggestions are welcome.

You know, I'm sure many other great things have happened around here since October but I need to run. Even after a crazy week like this, I still thank God everyday for my beautiful family. I am so blessed and I don't want to ever forget.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gorgeous Quilt fund raiser

http://moyeradoptionraffles.blogspot.com/ My friend Cynthia is still trying to raise money the adoption of their 5 year old son from China. Her son has a limb difference too.....so their family has a special place in my heart. You've got to check this quilt out!!

Renee's Visit and the 2nd Grade Field Trip

We celebrated Aunt Renee's 29th birthday while she was out."Can you believe I used to change this kid's diaper??"
Aunt Renee took the little kids to the park......she's the best!!!!!

Inspecting fuzzy seeds during our nature walk with our guide Nicole.
Natalie's class.....what beautiful fall day!!

I'm so glad that Natalie begged me to be a chaperon for her field trip. We went to a nature center around Dayton. We had the most perfect weather that day. I had 10 kids in my group, we all agreed that we got the BEST guide. Nicole took us through the woods and got the kids really excited about our nature walk. After chaperoning Andrew's first grade trip to the zoo I vowed that I would NEVER again chaperon.....but I have changed my mind. I really need to remember to appreciate this time in my kids' lives where they think I am the greatest person ever.

Good news......our St. Anthony house is under contract. YEAH!!!! I really do miss our old house but am not going to miss making double mortgage payments. We are happy with the price that we are getting for the house especially with the way the housing market is. We're just a few thousand dollars below what we hoped to get but $25,000 over our rock-bottom price. We should close within the month. Thankfully the couple is pre-approved with a local bank so we're hoping that this process should go smoothly. Now we just need to finish moving all of our junk.

Andrew's last football game was today. We lost so we're out of the tournament. Andrew had been all pumped up to go the "pee wee super bowl" where the last two teams get to play under the lights on a Saturday night. That would have been really cool, but I'm sure Andrew has a long football career ahead of him so we'll seem him under the lights someday. Andrew had a great season. He really got into "crushing" his opponents.

Aunt Renee came for a visit last week from Arizona. It's always fun having her around and sad when she leaves. Why does Arizona have to be so far away???

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Celebrating 100 Years!!!

Don't the girls and I look fabulous with our vintage hats?? We belong to Ft. Recovery's Church of the Nazarene. The Nazarene church, as a whole, celebrated it's 100th anniversary this weekend all over the entire world. Our local church was also celebrating it's 80th anniversary. We were encouraged to wear vintage clothing. Life has been too crazy to even begin to try to find vintage clothes for 7 people, so instead I bought a lot of hats from eBay for $20. Oh by the way, I am NOT 5 months pregnant. The way Audrey's leg is stuck to me and Rita's little arm is resting up against me I do look like I have a bun in the oven!! NO buns here!!!

I added my absolute favorite Steven Curtis Chapman song to my playlist. I hope you all enjoy it. Of course I like the beat but the words are what I love the most. "So sink or swim I'm diving in!!" This is how I want to live my life until the very end. I want to always do what God calls me to do with an enthusiastic attitude. Sure some days between work and five kids and the constant reminder that there are children all over the world that need loving families I really feel like I'm "sinking." But, thankfully, most days "I'm lost in the flow" knowing that God has blessed me with these 5 amazing kids, a terrific husband, a modest home (that would be considered a mansion by most of the worlds standards) and even, a great job. When I think of the kids who don't have homes I like to read through other blogs and read stories of families similar to ours, where innocent children have made their way 'home'. "But we will never know the awesome power of the grace of God until we let ourselves get swept away into this holy flood........."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My little stud muffin

Most of you who know me know that I hate sports!!!! But I LOVE watching Andrew play football. This is his first year of pee wee football and it is his 'thing' without a doubt. He has played baseball for two years and is usually lifeless on the field. But football is another story. He is really getting into this tackling stuff. I guess I better change my music, I don't think Andrew would appreciated "Dancing Queen" playing while he is at the top of the blog. I'm thinking "We are the Champions" by Queen. I'm open to other suggestions of music to go along with this post.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Here's a blog to those of you who think Ted and I are "special people"....this family knocked my socks off: http://findinghiddentreasures.blogspot.com/ Also....I almost fell off of my chair today when I was going through Reece's Other Angel's website (this is the site that we first learned about Rita) and saw two of Rita's friends listed "Hallie" and "Garret"......go check them out, they are both adorable: http://www.reecesrainbow.com/otherangels.htm , then click on 'girl or by angels.' If anyone has an extra 26K laying around let me know and we'll start the paperwork for one of them today!!! I'm so glad that Armenia has lowered their fees for the special needs kids. If you remember Rita's adoption was 35K (and worth every penny).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Soccer Queens

Okay I couldn't resist adding "Dancing Queen" to my blog, but the song fits for these girls. They are having the 'time of their lives.' Natalie and Rita had their first soccer games this week. Natalie is a natural athlete, like her aunt Sandy (we all know that she sure didn't get it from me!!) Rita's age group is hilarious to watch. I was surprised how much she got into chasing the ball down. I think there are 9 or 10 kids on the team. Only one kid knows what the heck is going on and the rest are day dreaming, crying or kicking the ball in any direction...not necessarily the right direction.
Soccer Queen #1
Soccer Queen #2
I can't forget the little ones. They both started preschool this week. Audrey is 4 and will be going 4 half day with the intentions of going to kindergarten next year. Paul is 3 and will be going 2 half days knowing that he'll have another year of preschool. Paul is very speech delayed, so thankfully he qualified for county services in junction with the preschool. It is obvious that he is a smart boy but basically only mom can understand him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


So Ted finally got down and dirty with Verizon and those of you who know Ted, knows that it takes alot to get him fired up. He called and insisted that somebody do something about our lack of internet. He explained that he had spent hours on the phone with people from India who got him no where. Apparently there is a secret group of tech support people in Canada that most people don't know about. His call was transferred to Canada and some lady pushed a few buttons on her end, told Ted to push a few buttons on his end and POOF......we now have internet again. Modem #3 never did show up, which doesn't matter now since, there is obviously nothing wrong with modem #1 or #2.

Anyways here's a few pictures to hold you over until I have time to sit down a type a little bit more.

Rita's beloved Anna.........Hello was great!!!!

But......Good-bye was not so great!!Thankfully, we had lots of fun in between "Hello" and "Good-Bye."
Anna's family spoiled all of us with lots of gifts.Rita and Anna fell right into their old friendship. I wished we lived closer to Anna and her family. Introducing our newest family member......Mulan (notice Rita's new hair cute....she wanted it cut because it was too hot for her...it is so much easier to take care of at this length...plus I think Rita looks pretty darn cute).
Mulan is "loved" just a little bit too much around here. This picture reminds me of a scene from Of Mice and Men........."George, the rabbits are so soft, I just want to pet them and love them."

The first day of school. Rita was so excited and is still totally loving school.
I can't forget Andrew's 10th birthday. I swear I was just pregnant with this kid....honestly, where does the time go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things that make you go hmmmm?

Who remembers that song from the early 90's....."things that make you go hmmm"? We are nearing the 3 week mark of being in our new house and we still don't have internet. Yes..I'm addicted to the internet. I love following other adoption blogs and keeping up with the yahoo groups that I belong to (all adoption related too). When we moved we decided to do a bundle with Verizon...phone, dish TV and internet. Well the phones and TV's all work great but we having major problems with the internet. The biggest problem is that all technical calls go to India...ughhhh. Yesterday, as I was sitting on my front step in small town Ohio, a Verizon service truck went past our house with an advertisement for high speed internet on his door. I thought.....hmmmm...."If this guy driving past my house is advertising Verizon internet, then why do have to call all of the way to India to get any help. The friendly people from India now think that our 2nd modem is also bad, so we are now waiting for modem #3. I promise I will post pictures the minute I am on the computer at home.

Enough complaining. The kids went back to school yesterday....yip, yip, yipee!!!!! I just have to share a defining moment in my life. You all know those moments...the ones that get you right in the heart (sometimes good and sometimes bad). Yesterday was Rita's first day of school. She was so excited. She had went to the open house last week to meet her new teacher. Thankfully she has the same teacher that Natalie had last year, Mrs. Eilerman. Rita was pretty hyper that night. I had sent an email to Mrs. E telling her that I was very happy that Rita was going to have her but I also felt like I should give her a heads-up on some of Rita's behaviors. My best advice to Mrs. E. was to not cut her any slack and when she gets out of line to look her right in the eye and say "Rita you NEED to listen." Last, I told Mrs. E that she would enjoy watching Rita grow over this school year. I look back at the last 3 months with her and can't believe how far she has come in such a short time.

Well, Andrew, Natalie and Rita all woke up excited for school. Everyone was ready plenty early so of course I wanted to get those first day of school pictures. Rita was so happy and then had a sad moment. She was missing her friends from Armenia. I took her aside and told her that I knew that G-mama (her favorite caretaker) would be so proud of her today. She agreed "Yes, G-mama would be so happy for Rita to go to school." We loaded up in the van. I had told her the night before that mom would just drop her off at the sidewalk at school and Natalie would take her to her classroom. I didn't want to take her inside to avoid any separation issues. She hopped out of the van with a "good-bye mom......how many hours until mama picks Rita up?" She always wants to know how many hours when I leave her anywhere, anytime. Audrey, Paul and I drove away, off to enjoy our peaceful day. I thought about Rita all day long wondering how her day was going. Every time the phone rang, I ran to it thinking that it was the school and Rita was having a crisis of some sort. Nope.....I went back to the school just before they let out. I decided to park the car and walk up to the courtyard area. One of the aides was already out waiting for the kids, she said that it looked like Rita was having a good day any of the times that she had saw her. Natalie had been asked to pick Rita up at her room (their rooms are right beside of each other). Both girls came out together but as soon as Rita saw me she started running full speed. She was squealing in total delight "mama, mama, mama, I love you, I love school." Everyone was staring but hey, who cares. I bent down and scooped her up with a HUGE lump in my throat and my heart about to burst. It is an amazing feeling for me to know that this little person from such humble beginnings loves me so much. It is really hard for me to put in words this joyful moment. Once we were done hugging she said "Mom, Rita good girl." Natalie had caught up with us by then and she said "yes, Mrs. E. said to tell mom that Rita was good and had a good day." When we got home she had to get her "home" folder out right away and she told me that she HAD to take it back to school tomorrow (to me this meant that she had been paying attention to the teacher's instructions). There was a note from Mrs. E saying what a great day Rita had. She said that Rita seemed a little confused when she was instructing the entire class but once she told her what to do individually she seemed to understand what Mrs. E. was saying. I can't wait to share pictures from her first day of school...plus our visit with her best friend from the orphanage. I still need to share pictures from Andrew's 10th birthday too. This whole moving thing has thrown me for a loop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"I LOVE bible school!!"......quote from Rita

First of all, I have to send out a HUGE thanks to my internet friend Cynthia for spicing up my blog. Cynthia and her husband are just waiting to bring home their cute, cute son Nathan home from China. Much like us they are doing their 3rd adoption over a fairly short period of time. They also have big hearts for special needs kiddos. Nathan has a limb difference.....did I mention that he is cute!! I had been telling Cynthia that he was the second cutest boy from China ( 2nd only to Paul) but I finally realized there is most definitely a tie in cuteness between Paul and Nathan. Anyways, Cynthia is doing online raffles to fund raise for Nathan's adoption. I've been there....done that....with adoption fundraising and don't envy her one bit!!! Since I am for the most part done selling lia sophia jewelry I offered to donate some of my extra jewelry for her raffles. In return she spiced up my very boring blog.....isn't just awesome. To read more about their family and what Cynthia is doing for fundraising run right over to her blog.....http://www.underthemistymountain.blogspot.com/ (p.s. check back at a later date to check out the jewlery, she has other cool stuff listed right now). Even if Rita is our last child, I know that I will continue to support other adoptive families in anyway possible. Just this morning I read a great "editor's letter" from Parents magazine. The editor herself has a daughter adopted from China. Here's a blurb from her letter "According to a national poll nearly 81.5 million people have considered adoption and 63% of all Americans think positively about it. Yet very few families actually do it. Some are afraid they won't love "someone else's child." Others feel that it's unpredictable.........Some parents worry that adoption is expensive (yes, it can be, but it costs less than a new car-and almost 8 million of those were bought in '07)..........So if your dealing with fertility issues, or if you plan on having another child, or if you're the type that of parent who gets choked up about all the injustice in the world (that would be me!!!!), then I'd urge you to take another look at the adoption option. Just believe in the transformative power of your love. I promise, it's enough." Sally Lee Editor-in-chief. All right, I'll get off of my adoption soap box (for now anyways ;o) Last week was our church's vacation bible school. Once again, Rita had a blast. Here she is opening the VBS closing program with an Armenian prayer. She was so excited to be behind the microphone and so proud of her Armenian prayer. I had asked her what it means in English and she said "I don't know....mmmm.....no sick, be happy" Sounds like a good prayer to me!!
Audrey and Paul's class did a demonstration with water and food coloring on how Jesus can forgive us of our sins.
Paul was just thrilled to be able to go this VBS (remember early in the summer the girls went to one that he was too young for). He went to VBS in underwear every night and never had an accident!!! YEAH!!!!!
What can you say about Natalie.....love just oozes from her at all times.
Andrew invited his friend Trey to the VBS closing program. Then Trey was roped into helping with Andrew's class skit. He was a good sport about the whole thing.

What's new with the Homan's???? Paint, paint and more paint. I'll be so glad to done painting the new house. I think we're shooting for moving in next weekend. Then I go back to work the following week 2 days and Rita has her eye surgery scheduled for the same week. So we'll be just a little busy. I cleaned every body's teeth on Saturday. We found that Rita has a mouth full of cavities but thankfully Dr. Ben just recommended filling 2 of them. The other ones are fairly small and we'll just keep an eye on them. Today she had the fillings done. She did fantastic!!! She had to have shots in 2 different areas of the mouth. I thought for sure she would scream and carry on but she just squirmed a little during the injections. She hated the taste of everything but loved that Dr. Ben made her "brown ouch tooth white." She also hated that numb feeling on her lip and made everybody in the office touch her lip to see if anyone else thought it felt as fat as she thought it did. I even stopped in the other doctor's room to see one of my regular hygiene patients and Rita made her feel her upper lip. Too funny. Okay, now that you're done reading my blog it's time to head over to Cynthia's!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our trip to Children's

The beautiful "little arm." We believe that Rita did receive very negative comments (from an evil adult) while she was still in the orphanage. She likes for me to reassure her that I love her "little arm"...I do and I kiss it and act very silly acting like I'm talking to arm dramatically saying "I love you little arm!!! These are pictures that we received when we were considering Rita's file. Now that Rita is home you would never she her two little fingers that have nails without nail polish. Also when Rita is counting to Ten she can still count to five on this hand. One is her wrist bone, two is her 'thumb-nubbin' and then her 3 fingers 3-4-5. Just yesterday we learned that Rita could move her wrist (she can't move her fingers but she does use them all of the time for 'hooks'. One of Andrew's friends met Rita for the first time and said to Andrew "Hey dude, can your sister move that little hand." Rita smiled real big and started moving her wrist....it kind of looked liked she was 'flapping' her little hand. It was so cute and we all made a big fuss over her and she just beamed!!!

Today was a big day for Rita. She saw 2 doctors, 2 residents, 8-10 nurses/radio-techs, had 5 X-rays, an ultra-sound and had her eyes dilated....all in just under 3 hours. We were so busy running around Children's that we didn't even have time to go the bathroom until Rita HAD to go pee half of the way through the ultra-sound at the request of the radiologist tech. We loved her orthopedic doctor, Dr. Albert. When we told him that Rita was from Armenia he thought for a minute and then shared a story. He said "About 20 years ago when I was doing my residency in Philadelphia I took a helicopter with other orthopedic doctors to Washington D.C. We worked on many Armenians who had been in a terrible earthquake who needed major orthopedic help. The patients I saw were in very rough conditions...it was quite tragic. But I'll never forget this one older women who was so cold and I gave her my gloves. She was so grateful for my small gift that she gave me a tomato out of her bag." I told him that sounded like a true Armenian bearing tomatoes. It reminded me of Rita's friend on our flight from Yerevan to London who packed his own tomatoes and cucumbers because the airplane food was so bad. Rita was thrilled when he shared his food because she was also grossed out by the airplane food. I told Dr. Albert that Rita was from Gyumri, right where the earthquake happened 20 years ago. I told him that all over the city you can still see the devastation of the earthquake to this very day. After this conversation I knew that Dr. Albert was "our kind of guy." Anyways I'm not sure if he gave me a final diagnoses or not. He used lots of big words...I think I only caught about half of them. She has her chest muscle so I think that rules out Polland syndrome (what I suspected but I didn't ask). What I did catch was "radial club hand, with missing thumb and finger, fused shoulder something or other and webbed armpit...all of this with minor scoliosis. I told him that Rita was still very concerned that he was going to cut her arm off and sew a new one on ( a fear that developed from well meaning but nosey adults in Armenia) now that she is in America. He told her right to her face that he was NOT going to cut her arm off and she was very happy!!!! At this point his main concern is the scoliosis. He said that she is not a candidate for any limb lengthening procedures. He thought the pain in her lower left ribs was coming from the bones being deformed in that area and just irritating the surrounding tissues. He said that when she is older and she so chooses she may want to consider a type of "slip on prosthesis." But she would still have limited success with that because of having no shoulder rotation. He was also concerned about her bladder and kidneys stating that the limbs and kidneys for during the same time in utero. That many kids with deformed limbs have missing or deformed kidneys. He said that if she hasn't had any problems by now she was probably okay but it would still be a good idea to know what those organs looked like. The radiology tech confirmed two kidneys but could say much else. It did seems like she had a hard time getting a view of the left kidney but she said that was because of Rita's deformities. On a side note Rita told the tech "Hey you, knock it off..you make me pee"...when she was trying to get a view of Rita's bladder. I remember having ultra sounds when I was pregnant thinking for sure that I would pee right on that table because they had to push so hard!! Dr. Albert didn't have the results of the ultra-sound today so he will be in touch. He said that if everything was okay with the ultra-sound that he would just want to see her again in 6 months to monitor the scoliosis. When I looked at her x-rays I thought her spine looked bad but what do I know???

Then we were off to see Dr. Bloom. We literally ran through the halls to make our scheduled appointment time. Our family optometrist was 99% sure that Rita would need eye surgery. Once again Rita passed her vision exam with flying colors. Her English is so amazing that the nurse could use numbers verses just four weeks ago Dr. Dickman had to use the E's (E's arm's pointing this way or that way okay now that way or this way). She then had to have her eyes dilated which stinks for an adult so I can only imagine how annoying it is for a kid. The doctor came in and then put more dilating drops in so that poor girl was still dilated when she went to bed at 10:00 tonight!! Dr. Bloom confirmed that surgery was the only option for her strabismis. Because so many have asked us why not glasses or patches or vision therapy I asked the doctor if Rita would have been treated at a younger age could we have avoided surgery. He explained that even if he would have seen her as a baby her strabismis is such that surgery is her only option. He said that his part of the surgery would only take 15 minutes and that is was out patient. He said the main thing to keep in mind is that because of her age she is at higher risk for the first surgery not "taking" and her needing a second surgery. So his surgery office is supposed to call and schedule the surgery tomorrow. I have to admit Rita was quite a trooper today. I was very proud of her.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Armenian friends

Rita and baby A (who just turned two..isn't she so cute!!!)

Beautiful girls with beautifully pierced ears. My crew with baby A. Baby A was so sweet and funny and way too busy to hold still for a photo.

This week we were finally able to meet one of my internet friends in person. I feel like I have tons of cyber-friends but only met a small fraction of them in real life. Baby A's mom is the lady who took all of those great pictures of Rita from about a year and a half ago. Baby A's mom fell in love with Rita during a chance meeting at the orphanage when she was meeting her daughter for the first time. She was determined to find Rita a home and had even considered trying to adopt Rita herself. She was absolutely thrilled when she learned about us working towards Rita's adoption. We've been in contact ever since and were both glad that we could finally meet in person. Baby A and her mom are US citizens but they live in Germany and were visiting family in Columbus this week. It was fun to share Armenian adoption stories. We both agreed that we love Armenia just like we LOVE our Armenian princesses.
Well our St. Anthony road house is officially on the market. I still can't believe that we are leaving our beautiful home but I do realize that "home is where the heart is" and we'll make our new house feel like home in no time. http://www.maryniekamp.com/index.php?page=charming-country-home-2 Anyone who has been at our house in the last 3 years will laugh at these pictures, knowing that our house hasn't been this clean in years!!!!! Tonight we got permission to go into our new home. The closing will probably in less than two weeks but since it's vacant the seller gave us the go ahead to start our painting. I had told her that I would be going back to work soon. That we would love to get into the house ASAP to get as much done before we add the craziness of me being back at work. We scrapped the wallpaper off in the kitchen and Andrew's room. The kids were actually helpful with the wallpaper removal. They were all dying to help paint....which scared Ted and I...but we thought they couldn't real hurt much. So we turned them loose with some primer on that dreaded paneling. You would have thought they had all died and went to heaven. Thankfully Paul, Audrey and Rita will be going to the babysitter once we put the real color on the walls. We've got 5 gallons of primer and wall after wall of paneling so we should have enough to keep us busy before making the final decision on our colors.
We just picked Andrew up from church camp. Once again he had a blast. His greatest accomplishments were learning to cup stack, learning the proper technique of 'towel flicking' and being the #1 arm wrestler in his cabin. I asked him if he learned anything about God or Jesus and he said "Yes moooooom" Natalie can't wait until she can go next year.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ft. Recovery.....here we come!!!

Just a quick note to say that we have signed a contract for the house we were looking at. The house is nice.....but just not as nice as our current home. But the convenience of the location will be so great!!! The kids are so excited to be moving into town. All Ted and I can think of is all of the work involved with moving. I am including a link to pictures of the home. Of course the seller's website just shows the good pictures. On the website you won't see the paneling, paneling and more mismatched paneling. http://creativehomebuyingsolutions.com/ft__recovery.htm Needless to say we'll be doing A LOT of painting in the near future.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who knew potty training could be so exhausting

I took this picture just a few days ago. I had Paul go to the potty just one more time before going to bed. I was doing dishes and lost track of time and realized that I forgot about Paul. Rita came into the kitchen and said "Mama, Paul sleepy toilet." My poor little baby fell asleep on the potty. I am glad to say that we are closing in on this potty training thing.
This is for all of Rita's fans. Rita has friends in Armenia, Germany, England and even the USA who check our blog often waiting for the next "Rita Photo." There is no denying that Rita is a gorgeous little girl.
Christmas in July???
This is what happens to Paul when he plays with his big sisters......he ends up wearing a CareBear dress.

I can't believe it is July 2nd already!!! We're still figuring out what to do with moving or changing school districts. We have made an offer on a house in Ft. Recovery which would be perfect for us size wise but it's just not as nice as our home now. It has 5 bedrooms and a HUGE garage. Both Natalie and Andrew already have their rooms picked out. They are both thrilled about the possibility of having their own rooms. Now we just have to get either Ted or the seller to compromise on $7000. I'll let you know who wins. Audrey had a busy day yesterday. She cut her own hair Monday night so we went to the salon to have it 'fixed'...she actually looks pretty cute with bangs, but don't tell her that. Then all three girls got their ears pierced at Wal-Mart. The gal at Wal-Mart was working on her own and was quite frazzled. She told me she couldn't handle any crying today. I promised that they would be good. Rita went first, holding my hand for dear life. She barely flinched and squealed with delight when she looked in the mirror to see her pretty pink heart earrings. Natalie almost backed out but did just fine. She's our fainter, she looked a little pale but never got week in the knees. Audrey was last and did great with the first earring but put up just a little fight over the second. She didn't cry but I firmly held her head and said we were going to finish what we started. She lit up just as bright as Rita did when she saw herself in the mirror. Audrey had woke up with a strange rash yesterday but I didn't think much about it. She took a nap in the late afternoon (after the piercing) which is unusual for her. When she woke up she was covered in hives/rash and was scratching all over. I put her in the tub and she cried "mom my whole body itches." We headed to doctors care and she got a big shot in the butt!! I swear a scrawny as what her butt is and as big as the needle was the nurse had to be hitting the bone. Poor Audrey hollered in pain while the needle was in but she recovered quickly. She woke up this morning much happier and with very little rash left. As soon as I can get all three girls together I will post a picture of their beautiful ears.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chenzhou cuties

Yesterday Audrey had her 6 month ENT appointment. Like I was telling my aunt...some people go to the dentist every 6 months to have the crud scrapped off of their teeth...well Audrey goes to the ENT to have the crud scrapped out of her ears. I am always amazed by the wax that comes out of that girls ears....yuck. On our way to the doctor we stopped in to see Paul's girlfriend. Jayde was adopted from the same orphanage as Paul was, Chenzhou. Even though they we never at Chenzhou at the same time they still seem to have a special little bond. Jayde had told me "Me and Paul were born in China".....I said what about Audrey, she looked at Audrey, like....hunh...who cares??? I told her that I tell everyone that "Audrey was born at the top of China (northern) and Paul was born at the bottom of China (southern)"...she said "Well, I was born at the bottom of China with Paul." Jayde and Paul were nice enough to let Audrey in on one of the photos.
For those who didn't see the photo of Paul and Jayde when they were on the front of the Standard here's the link again.....boy, they've both changed alot in the last year and a half.http://www.dailystandard.com/archive/story_single.php?rec_id=2273

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now what?????

Rita went to her first parade and LOVED it!!! At the beginning she was shy about getting the candy but by the end of the parade she was shouting at the people walking in the parade "Throw me candy!!"
The girls totally enjoyed VBS (Paul was too young and Andrew was too cool for VBS this year).
"Girls, you're supposed to be singing, not primping."
Short stuff knew all of her moves (Audrey is still so tiny, she is a year older than the kids that she is standing next to).
Paul was less than thrilled with the VBS closing program. Every night when the girls were getting ready for VBS he would say "My bible school too, my bible school too." Sorry sweetie, you'll have to wait until next year.

Before you read about our latest drama.....you have to check out these three blogs. At this point in my life I can't imagine adopting again....so I will continue to live vicariously through some amazing families. It is so obvious that these families have chosen to put God's will first in their life and they are the ones being blessed: http://smilesandtrials.blogspot.com/ (family in the Ukraine now adopting their 11th child) , my cyber friend, Carla, who is waiting to head back to Vietnam for #9 http://eightisenoughfornow.blogspot.com/ and my other cyber friend who is waiting for #8 http://www.ourjourneytojade.com/web/do/site/home?ID=199650 ( this family adopted Paul's best friend from Chenzhou almost 2 years ago..miss Jocelyn).

We just found out this week that Rita was denied open enrollment at Ft. Recovery. We are absolutely devastated and did NOT anticipate this at all. Now Ted and I have so many decisions to make. Please pray for us as we decided if we should reapply and try to convince the superintendent that she is not as big as financial risk as what he thinks (this was his reason for choosing to deny her enrollment). Should we start house hunting in FR? We've been thinking about this for a year but we love our home so much....just wish we didn't live out in the middle of nowhere. Do we send Rita to Celina for a year, let her catch up there and then reapply to FR? The superintendent is fully aware that next year we'll have the other 4 kids at FR but Rita is denied. Audrey and Paul are only enrolled in the preschool which doesn't mean that they are enrolled in the school system yet......are we going to have to worry about Paul being denied enrollment in the future because of his special needs?? Everyone is between a rock and a hard place....we are NOT being discriminated against because we DON'T live in the district so we have no rights until the child is enrolled. Once the child is enrolled they receive the same care that a FR resident would.....but the superintendent has the right to DENY the initial enrollment. Ted and I have decided to step back for a few days, catch our breath and see where God leads us. As Pastor Kelly said when I shared the situation during Wed. night prayer meeting he said "Ted and Alison did not travel all of the way around the world to bring Rita home only to have her separated from her brothers and sisters at school." For my friends that live out of state and don't know what I am talking about....we live fairly far out in the country. We live in one school district but actually are much closer to another school district. We sent Andrew and Natalie to Celina our home SD until Andrew finished 2nd grade. They had a long bus ride, we had to have someone at the house when the did get off of the bus, plus Andrew's behavior needs weren't being met the way we had hoped. So last year we chose to open enroll to FR district...it's closer, our babysitter of 10 years lives in the same district so the kids have a short bus ride to and from her house, my mom lives right in FR and she helped us out with alot of school activities...plus Ted and I are both FR graduates. When we enrolled we knew full and well that enrollment was based by student and not by family so we knew that there was the slight chance that our younger kids could be denied.....but we didn't really expect this to happen. So just pray for us and I'll keep everyone up to date on what we decide this summer.