Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Motivation for Moms

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Thursday, August 6, 2009
Whew! It's not easy using someone else's computer, especially when most of the tabs are in Russian! Good thing Mark is such a computer whiz, cause without him I couldn't have done any of this!

Okay! Here goes!! It takes like 10 min. to upload 5 pictures on this computer (seriously) and I'm soooooo tired that I only took the time to upload these 10, but these'll certainly get you started!!

We walked into the orphanage and it was so eery, after seeing so many pictures on Google Earth, the Life4Orphans (or is it Life2Orphans??) website, and other families' pictures; it was now OUR turn to be here!!! We met Anatole the director and as expected, he was very nice. I've only heard wonderful things about this man!!! We talked about our family, and the opportunities that the boys had (as disabled children) and the opportunities that Sergei would have as a part of our family and in the area that we lived. He was very attentive and glad to hear everything that we said. Unfortunately, I forgot the family photo album at the apartment so I have to show him tomorrow!! UGH!

Anyway, eventually, they brought little Sergei ("Seriozha") in. He was one scared, NERVOUS, little boy. He was actually physically shaking and making this grunting noise (almost like a growl). Here he is as his caregiver carries him in (check out her expression!):

Poor little thing was so overwhelmed at all of the people and all of the attention!!

Mark got to hold him first!!! (That's okay - I had the camera!!)

He was very nervous, as I said, and I was kind of surprised at how "closed in" he was. I was sad because he never smiled, and just seemed so... institutionalized. Mark and I both fell in love with him instantly however, but I was slightly disappointed, thinking that at age 5, he'd lost SO much time and how far he had to catch up to where he might have been. But he was precious, and that's all that counted. Catch up or no, we loved him and would be there for him for forever. No matter what.

This little picture is really sweet. Mark bought this little "Baby Mozart" toy for him. You push the big button and it lights up and plays classical music. He really was interested in it, but with all of the stuff going on, he was pretty overstimulated. Still, after awhile, he was standing on the ground and the toy was on the chair. Someone pushed the button, and he "discovered" it! He got his eyes WAY close to the flashing lights and just stared. And stared. It was adorable! I noticed at that time that he had pretty good attention span and could focus fairly well. (Considering.) This was a great toy that Mark bought.

Soon afterward, it was time for his lunch and nap and we had to go. We went out to eat with Masha, our facilitator, and had some weird food that was great! (And I hate "foreign" food, or anything "weird".) I had some sort of pork thing, and potatoes with "garlic", but it was mostly cheese. Anyway, we did some paperwork stuff, she dropped us off at our apt. and I posted a thingy on here and checked my friends' blogs to catch up. At 4, we went back to the orphanage.

This is who greeted us:

A completely different little boy!! I took him from the caregiver at his room and accidentally tickled his thigh. He let out squeals of laughter, surprising me to the point where I almost dropped him!! I tickled him again, and more squeals!! Who was this happy, friendly little boy?? Where was the NERVOUS, grunting, shaking little boy we saw at lunchtime??

We had a WONDERFUL visit!!! We walked all around outside, then got a stroller. We carried him, he walked, we sat and played with the music toy. LOTS of laughing and giggling and squealing and wiggling with joy!!

Here he is with his Papa, just enjoying the company and the nice weather. He and his Papa are quite tight already!!

For a little while, he got VERY wild and just was so hyper he didn't know what to do with himself!! He does this little "trembling" thing that I want to get checked out when we get home, and he stiffens up when he gets excited. Definitely not a "low toner"!! He may be tiny, but he's strong! (He's got an older brother back home in the States that's like that, too!) There were times when I wondered if he has very mild CP, with the way he tremors and stiffens. If he does, it won't be a problem. But he was a wild man for awhile, laughing and just having the time of his life, with people all to himself to love on him. :o)

This is just kind of a funny one. Mark was walking with him, holding him by the hands (he needs hand-held assist to walk), and he wanted to see the camera so he walked over to me so fast I didn't have time to get a picture - and I got this close up! LOL

Did I mention that he was a different kid on our second visit??

I have a series of this picture and the following one. He and Mark were cuddling together on the stoop and just really enjoying each other (Mark is SO IN LOVE). Mark was cuddling him and I got this darling picture. Sergei was calmed down by this time (he got rid of a lot of his energy!!) and enjoying some quiet time with Papa.

This is Mark's favorite shot. He and Serozha were just visiting together nicely when Mark started tweaking his nose. They ended up with this silly little game where they touched noses together and just held them there. Serozha loved this and kept doing it over and over (and even with me when I finally got a chance to put the camera down and hold him!!). It was so sweet and something that really meant a lot to Mark - they made a connection. :o)

So far, so good, everyone.


Jane Smith said...

He is adorable!! What a difference in just an afternoon! His little spirit probably knows you are his new mama and papa and that's why he reacted that way! Bless his heart!! It won't easy leaving him!!! Love ya!

Meredith said...

I have only a minute but OH MY WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOY!! And wonderful posts... haven't finished the airport one yet but SO GLAD you all are doing well! My email is mkp1982@hotmail.com if you need to contact me for any reason, and you can go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reecesrainbow/ and put in your username and password if you want to use the 'online' viewing of RR. I will post for you later on if no one else has yet. Been a crazy day here so far and I'm on my own for 2 days (Mike's at a conference). Have a wonderful trip!!!

soontobemomof9 said...

What a happy post to read! He is a doll! And he did look very cute nose to nose! So happy for you!!!!!

Kelly said...

OMG, Missy, he is so cute, so tiny...my little man, was called Serozya in his bb house, as well, I got goose bumps when you wrote that name. He is adorable, you and Mark look happy and you continue to crack me up w/ your commentary, yucky food and all. Garlic is wierd? you all need to come here and visit us and let my hubbie cook some weird food for you all your adorable boys!! LOL!!!

Amy L said...

OMG Missy! He is absolutely the most precious little guy!!! I love all of your pictures especially the one where he and Mark are touching noses.:) He is just too cute for words! I am so HAPPY for all of you but especially for "Simon" because he has waited so long for a family. Bless his little heart!

June Berger said...

Oh how wonderful! I'm so glad the bonding has started so quickly! He's a beautiful little boy!

Christy said...

He is so cute!!!! I am so happy that you are there with him now! Yay! Simon is going home soon!!!!

1blueapple said...

Hey Missy, so glad you are finally with him! he looks so adorable.
the things you mentioned about the stiffening and shaking could just be a sensory thing and not cp. My son never had low tone and they were always so surprised at his tone they first though cp and then they said, no his tone is just normal. He also did the stiffening thing and such and it was determined by therapist to be just from sensory needs. We do a lot of jumping, brushing, etc. which I am sure you already know about! Your little guy probably has not had enough sensory input and just doesnt know how to process it when he is stimulated!
I can hardly wait to meet him one day!
Judy from florida

Missy said...

Hi, Judy! I think you are right. We saw very little of the shaking today (but a little of the "stiffening"). He does crave the sensory stuff. He loves to touch things and put his mouth on things, and explore things, but you can tell he doesn't get to much, as he seems uncertain. He doesn't like to hold anything either, and throws stuff soon after receiving it (and he doesn't usually reach for things - you have to give them to him). I know a little bit about sensory integration, but not much. I'll have to study up!

Carmen said...

I'm so glad you guys are finally there and getting this time with little Simon. The pictures are GREAT!!! I LOVE the nose-to-nose picture! Will be praying that everything continues to go well for you guys. Can't wait for you to have him HOME!!!

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

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My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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