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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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Okay, for those of you expecting big news, sorry! But for those of you who know Erik and know how important each little thing is that he does, read on!!

Lately, Erik has been making HUGE strides. I give the credit to the gingko biloba that he gets everyday, now. Those of you who know him, know that for the first full year he was here, he really didn't progress too much. He DID start walking, and started feeding himself, but other than that, not too much. VERY small things. Well, lately, it's almost daily that he does something new!

Today, I was sitting in the computer room, and I heard a bunch of sloshing. Sure enough, he had found my big 44 oz. diet coke in the styrofoam cup in the kitchen that Mark had brought me, and instead of drinking from it, he actually brought it to me and signed, "please drink"!! But get this-- I then told him to go get his cup from the kitchen, and sort of gestured so, and he DID!!! He brought me the cup!! Now, I don't normally let him drink soft drinks, but I HAD to reward this behavior, so I filled his cup (that had about 1" of water already in it) and added another inch or so of diet coke to it (yuck!!). He took it, finished it and brought it back for more!

This is a big deal because 1) he brought me my big cup (without spilling or dropping it) rather than just helping himself and 2) he actually went back to the kitchen to get his sippy cup to bring it to me!

Like I said, if you don't know us, you might be expecting a lot, but if you do know us, you know why I'm so pleased! :o)

P.S. He handed his empty cup back to me again, and I told him no. I gave the cup to Nikolai to fill with water, which he did, then Erik came back AGAIN with the cup filled with water so I could pour more coke into it! He's THINKING!!! :oD
Friday, August 26, 2011
Yesterday, Mark took Erik to Arnold Palmer Children's in Orlando for a swallowing test. The test itself was no big deal, but he was not allowed to eat after midnight before it. They had to arrive at 9, but the test was at 10, but they didn't get in until 11...

Now, poor little Erik had to go 18 hours without food. If you know him, you'll know that Erik lives to eat. The boy will eat anything!! I hardly EVER give him junk food because he simply is happy eating anything, so I give him healthy stuff (am I lucky, or what?!). He just simply EATS. He is still tiny, 33 pounds at 7 years old, but he IS growing, that is sure!! It's like his tiny little body simply can't get enough in its rush to get him to grow and fill in whatever "nutritional holes" there still are inside. He lives to eat.

So 18 hours without food for him, is a lifetime. Mark told me that the closer time got to his test (the longer the time without food), the harder of a time he had. He said he simply "shut down". He said he kind of sat slumped in his chair, eyes half closed, head tilted to one side, and he had a look of hopelessness, the same kind of look that we saw in the orphanage. A look of having given up hope. It was like he was remembering how he felt when he lived in constant hunger in the orphanage, and the loneliness and hopelessness he must have felt. The hunger apparently triggered this. Is that not the saddest thing you've heard??

Once the test got started though, he apparently snapped out of it and the barium they gave him to swallow got guzzled down with great enthusiasm (much to the delight of the SLP's, I'm sure!!!) though no doubt it tasted horrible!!

It surprised me though, to think that deep in the recesses of his brain, he still remembers the orphanage and the hunger and the feelings that he had. It breaks my heart to think that he suffered in ANY way. :'o(

Of course, as soon as they were done, Mark took him to an Italian restaurant (Italian's his favorite) and he INHALED a MASSIVE plate of spaghetti. :o) Good as new!!

Next week he has another procedure, sedated this time, but it starts at 6:30am so he won't have to go NEARLY as long without food.

My poor little pumpkin. Behind that silly, happy enthusiasm for everything life has to offer, lies a tiny little boy in an orphanage who lived a miserable existence, struggling to survive each day. Let's hope we can keep that little boy hidden away until he no longer re-emerges.

Say a prayer today for all of the millions of little boys and girls still wasting away in orphanages, hungry and hopeless, who will never have a huge bowl of spaghetti ready to take away the nagging, hungry feeling, that never ends.

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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

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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