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.