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???