--An Orphan No More--


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today I am thankful....

...for these five amazing blessings! :o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I love naps!

I personally RARELY get one, but nap time just might be my favorite time of day.... You know that feeling...when the moon and stars and the entire universe align and BOTH 2-year-olds nap at the same time. Ahhh.....bliss! Of course, I generally spend this time doing laundry, straightening up, etc. Not exactly "down" time, but fabulous nonetheless.

Here is a pic from nap time today. Is there anything on Earth sweeter than this? I think not...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our poor neglected blog....and some updates for you!

Well, I get the "Crappy Blogger" award. I had the best of intentions. I had planned to blog every day, or at least every other day, once we returned home. Well.....I am WAY too busy these days.

Here is a little glimpse into what is going on in our world....

1. Eric has a new job. He LOVES it and it is going very very well. (He manages a natural stone company - granite, marble, etc).
2. Eric's new job isn't in St. Louis. It is in Nashville, TN...aka NashVegas! :o)
3. Eric is already working there.
4. For now, I am a pseudo-single-parent to five kids ages 8 and under. Yeah, fun stuff!
5. We try to make it to Nashville as often as we can for a few days here and there.
6. I still work full time nights as a charge nurse on an adolescent psych unit in St. Louis. (My mom watches the kids on those nights...no worries).
7. We are MOVING to Nashville in December, right before Christmas.
8. We have a new house there.
9. We need to sell/lease our house in St. Louis. (UGH doesn't begin to describe it.)
10. I need to find a job in Nashville...something part time would be good. And something I love is strongly preferred. :o)
11. We are adjusting to a new family member - that is going very well!
12. Everlyn has some doctor's appts to go to in the next few weeks (ped cardiology etc) so stay tuned for that update.
13. I am usually done or almost done with Christmas shopping by now. Nope...NOT even close this year.
14. I am sick. I am always sick. I have been sick since a week before we left for Ukraine. I can't seem to totally "kill the funk." 4 rounds of antibiotics isn't doing the trick. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. :o(
15. I need to get the kids enrolled in school in TN. They are SO excited to start at their new school and meet new friends. (And I am excited FOR them). I think a fresh start and "change of scenery" is going to be great for the entire family.
16. I have to pack up our entire house. Let me just tell you...five kids accumulate a LOT of stuff. We are de-cluttering some things, but man oh man, we have way more "stuff" than should be legal....
17. I need to get Christmas pictures done. We plan to send out a dual Christmas card / adoption announcement this year. :o)
18. And even with all of this to keep me busy....I have started thinking about Everlyn's 3rd birthday party. Even though she is going to be 3, she has never had a birthday party. She has never had a birthday cake, she has never blown out candles, she has never had birthday presents...or balloons. I wonder if anyone has ever sang Happy Birthday to her...or even acknowledged her special day? Well, she is going to have a party in January, and I am trying to decide what exactly we will do to celebrate her "first" birthday with us!

I will try to be a better blogger, but forgive me for the next month or so as I try to "survive" the madness that is my life right now. But....life is good!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homecoming Pictures!!!

Well....here they are. A few pics of our homecoming will follow this brief blog post! :o) All along, I had planned this big elaborate homecoming post, but honestly....I don't have time to give great detail. LOL! I will say it was a LONG day (that started off terribly), but Everlyn was an angel on the flights and in the end, WE MADE IT HOME...and that my friends is all that matters!

We are adjusting to life as a family of seven. So many changes for us (with more to come) but Everlyn is adjusting VERY well and the other kids love having her around. Life is hectic...and laundry is never-ending! LOL

OK - here are some pics:

Home at last!

Happy to be done with planes!

Meeting her siblings and cousins for the first time!

Emersen was so excited to meet her new "baby sister" that she cried...which in turn made Mommy cry!

Mommy with her 5 kiddos. Daddy is absent from these pics because he had to go out of town for work at the last minute. :o(

This is one tired girl after a 30 hour day with just a couple of naps....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Welcome to my new normal....BUSY! :o) We were busy before but I think busy is just our "normal".... Surprisingly I am not super stressed out (yet)...although my house does look like a bomb went off...and it does bother me. But I am trying to embrace the mess... LOL!

We got home around 630pm last night. I will save the "homecoming" blog post for a time when I have more pics to share. My awesome friend Hillary took some for me and I am waiting to get them from her....

Here is a sneak peek from my sister though. Me with my 5 kiddos! :o)

I took Everlyn to see our pediatrician at 9am this morning. Dr. Carney was very impressed with her immunization records and said she looked GREAT! He heard no heart murmur (she reportedly had a patent foramen ovale at one point but it has "resolved") and said she was 75% for height and almost 50% for weight on the Down syndrome growth chart! YAY! She would have been the 5% and 3% respectively on the "typical" growth chart. He did order some labwork to check her thyroid since she is actually on Synthroid for hypothyroidism (although no one mentioned this to me until our medical exam for the Embassy appt - lovely.) He also ordered a CBC, lead level, HIV, RPR, etc etc etc. She was such a trooper despite having FOUR tubes of blood taken! We did not do a karyotype at this time but will in the near future...this is a chromosome test to determine if she does indeed have mosaic Down syndrome (as opposed to "traditional" Trisomy 21). Our pediatrician is thinking she does indeed have mDs just by his examination of her but who knows... And honestly, it does not matter one bit to us!

Here she is leaving the pediatrician's office. Two shots and four tubes of blood won't keep this happy girl from smiling!

We had a busy day on our first day home. My sister and her 3 kids are here. We ventured to the mall. Oh wow - poor little pumpkin isn't too sure about the mall. I think she gets a wee bit overstimulated at times. And who can blame her....the 4 stark white walls of an orphanage are vastly different that a busy shopping mall!

Here is Elliston and Everlyn cruising around in their stroller. Elliston loves his new sister but doesn't love strollers... LOL!

Here is a shirt I found on the clearance rack at Gap! YAY!

I am sure tomorrow is another busy day so I am going to head to bed. Detailed homecoming post will follow in the next few days I am sure.... :o)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We're HOME!!!!!!!!

I am beyond exhausted, but we did it...we made it back HOME!!!!! Yay!

Everlyn has her first pediatrician appt in the morning (bright and early...ugh!). I will have a LOT of blog about tomorrow. But tonight, I need SLEEP...in my own bed! :o)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 30 - WE ARE OUTTA HERE!!!!!

I should really be sleeping....or packing. But, nope. I am online.

I cannot believe this amazing, incredible, scary, awesome, frustrating, unbelievable, seemingly-never-ending journey is ALMOST over. At 645am Ukraine time, we will be on a plane headed home...where our journey as a family of 7 will finally begin!

This adoption journey has taught us so much.

People comment on how blessed Everlyn is to have a family...truth is, we are the ones who have been blessed.

People say we "saved" her....I truly believe this precious little girl has saved us.

We cannot wait to get home and introduce her to her sister and brothers who have wanted her...prayed for her...and loved her, when all we had was a photograph. Now...she is real. She is their sister....forever.

God is so good!