Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One Year

It has been busy around here the last couple of months. I went back to work so not a lot of time for blogging. But this post is our "home one year" post so I wanted to share how far the kids have grown and learned in a year. It has gone by fast and sometimes we think we haven't taught them enough but after looking at the before and after photos we can't get over just how far they have come.
Joshy - Still not potty trained but working on it. He really could care less unfortunately but that is how Josh is. He would rather be playing army with the boys or jumping on the trampoline, swinging, listen to music, playing the keyboard, watching sponge bob or wipeout, chewing on ANYTHING or eating! You get it. He really has no time for trying to learn to go potty!!! UGH!!! The boy has no fear and LOVES causing trouble for his teachers at school. Josh and Artem are in the same class room and Josh is BY FAR the instigator!! Artem follows Josh's lead in whatever he is up to. Not always a good thing either! He is healthy and had all his dental work done so he has a bunch of silver(stainless steel)in his mouth! The kids say he should be on a James Bond movie. But the most important thing is he is Happy! When he first saw Inna come through the door the two were inseparable! They remembered each other and it was obvious. They were in the same group at the baby house and I knew they played together all the time there but wasn't sure if they would remember. We were happy to see that they did and how well they play together today.

Dani - Dani is the boss of all the kids......so she thinks! hahaha! She eats very slow unless she LOVES the food, which is far and few between. She starts school this fall and that should be interesting. She absolutly LOVES Charley!!! I brought her and some of the other kids up to grandpas and after a day of being there I asked her if she wanted to call home and talk to the other kids. She did and talked with them and then Charley got on the phone. She started to talk to him and then started crying and telling him how much she missed him and if he missed her. Very sweet to see the bond between them. All we hear everyday is Charley this and Charley that, Charley, Charley, Charley! She is a very messy little girl and HATES keeping her room clean! In fact her favorite thing to do is change cloths 20 times a day and make a mess out of her room. She shares her room with Jerlin and Inna who are not all that happy with her fashion changes! More surgery for Dani is scheduled once we get home from South America. She wants her chin fixed up only because Charley pointed out to her that the doctors can and should fix it! I swear, if Charley told her she were 15 and was going into the 10th grade in the fall, she would believe it!! Now if we could just get Charles to start telling her some legitimate things we would be set!

Artem - What can I say about our Artem, the boy who I wasn't sure of. I LOVE him so much but honestly he is a stubborn one. He is almost potty trained and is very smart. He is just the little boy who HAS to have things HIS way in his OWN time! Frustrating! He is teaching ALL of us patience! He is very healthy which we are thankful for. He loves school and is a good boy there when he is away from Joshy!!! LOL!! He loves to dangle things and playing with Denis. He doesnt like to play army with the boys but has learned to love getting wet on the trampoline. He HATES brushing his teeth and drinking unless he comes in from a hot day of playing, then he comes in and drinks about four glasses of water. But he only drinks when he wants to drink and we are trying new and different ways of letting him know he needs to drink throughout the day. He is picky with food mostly because of the texture. But once we get it to where he will eat it look out! The boy will eat and eat and eat! He uses signs correctly unlike his brother Mr. Josh! I often wonder where Artem would be if we had not brought him home. How he would have survived. Josh is the one who if he is hungry will take Artems food and Artem just lets him. I would have thought it would have been the other way around when first meeting them. Artem is very laid back and knows he is home with his family. And for that I am SO SO happy!

Denis - The boy who started us even thinking of adopting a child with Down syndrome. I remember the day when I first saw his sweet face and talking with Ken about bringing him home. Then another family committed to him and I felt a hole in my heart. Then when he became available again I knew he was meant to be our son. If it were not for Denis, Josh and Artem would not be here. He has come so far in 1 year and I can NOT even think of where he would be today if he had not come home with us. Doctor after doctor have told us that we literally saved this little boys life. When you hear something like that it tends to go in one ear and out the other, at least for me it did. Then when I look at photos of him last year I think that maybe we really did save his life?! When we first met Denis he could not even hold his head up. He was always congested and I remember the caretakers telling us he hardly ever has a dirty diaper. It took us time when visiting him to get him to focus on us and things around him and that did not always work. I remember on a few visits how scared I was that he would never make it home. Today Denis LOVES to laugh in his crib around 10:30pm every night. This has been known to go on until the wee hours of the morning!! He is the happiest little boy I have ever met. Denis loves life! When we first started teaching Josh and Artem signs we never thought of showing Denis. Then one day when we were making supper Denis was signing "hungry"! After his first bowl of food he then signed "more"! Okay, the boy is a genius what else can I say!?!?!!!

Our lives have changed raising these kids and we wouldn't have it any other way. To be able to give them the love of a family and see the bond between all the kids is a feeling I cannot explain. How lucky are we???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


How does one explain the emotions of leaving an orphan behind after returning home with your new son or daughter? It SUCKS! Their faces remain embedded in your thoughts constantly! You think about them, wonder what they are doing, what will become of them. Why you couldn't bring just one more home, or maybe even two. And if you did bring one or two home, what about the third or fourth. How do these children live out the rest of their lives? It goes on and on like that for me. I think to myself, what could I do once I get home that could change things for these kids, these motherless and fatherless kids. Kids who have nothing. Kids who are mentally or physically impaired. Once the kids leave the baby house, they live a life with no hope of a family to love them. These orphans live life that some of you cannot even imagine. I have seen it, other families have seen it.
When you live with these faces and questions running through your mind it almost becomes a mission for you to find a answer of how I, you, could help.
I am happy to say that I have found a answer. It is NOT the only answer but a GREAT start to my mission of finding a way to help the helpless.
Project TLC.
Project TLC is helping the children left behind. The children no one "picked". They have partnered with His Kids Too, an experienced, Christian charity recognized in the USA and Ukraine. When you donate to TLC it will be administered by His Kids Too! and are deductible as allowed by law. They occasionally work in concert with other Christian aid groups working in Crimea and are not officially connected to any other aid group or ministry.
It's easy. You can go here or here to learn more and GIVE! It doesn't have to be a lot, or it could be, but PLEASE give something! It is such a great cause.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh What A Day!

At 2:00pm June 10 standing in a real court room with a real judge and real judges chairs we became the parents of Inna Jean Fritz. This was the first time that the room we had court in was a real live court room. It had very old benches and chairs and stands. It was really cool! The judge sat in the middle on the tallest chair and two jurors sat on each side of her in the same exact but shorter chairs. The court lasted about 1 hour and then 1/2 later we stood as the judge reentered the room with her decision. After the judge was done reading her decision, she put her papers in a pile and started talking to us. She said how happy she was that Inna had a family and how wonderful we were for taking Inna and helping her. She said that she wished there were more people in the world like us. Then she started to cry along with the two jurors and she said she loved us. WOW! The hardest but also best part for me to hear was when the director was talking. First what she said, that broke my heart, was how she tried to convince the SDA and our facilitator for us not to come visit Inna. When the SDA called the director to make sure that this was where Inna was transferred to, the director told the SDA that we will not want this child that she has to much wrong with her. That we should not even come see her because it will be a wasted trip. The child is not a child to be adopted. It was then explained to the director that we already met the child last year and that we wanted to come. After she heard that she welcomed us to come. But the BEST part came when the director said this in court........When they arrived and were sitting in the room waiting for Inna to come in, I thought why are they here if they have met the child already and know what she is like. Why would they come for such a child. Then Inna walked in, Nance fell to her knees to grab and hug and kiss Inna. Nance pulled out a photo album of their family and Inna remembered the family as she saw the book of family photos from last year. I could not believe she would remember and I had tears in my eyes at the love I saw Inna get. I just could not understand it but it did not matter that I could not understand it because I knew right then that Inna's family had found her.
Her heart had been changed! She saw that we didn't look at Inna as a child with a HOST of problems but only as our daughter! Inna cannot write so she was in the court room to be asked if she wanted us as her mama and papa. Da was her answer. They asked her how old she was and when was her birthday but that was pretty much all. Inna started getting squirrely which I don't blame her, it was getting long for us too! After court we went and had a celebratory drink with our facilitator and went over a few things that will happen on our trip back after the waiting period. The three of us came home on June 11 and Ken and Roc will return on June 19/20 to bring our girl home.
Once Ken and Roc get home from Ukraine, Ken and I will travel to Chicago to get our visas for Colombia. You have to get visas when adopting from Colombia and you have to get them in person now!!!! Ugh!!!!!! We are hoping to leave around the 11th of July to go get our kids from South America.
And now, FINALLY, after 1 year of not being able to post our daughters photo, here she is.......


Inna in 2010

Inna 2011

About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.