Just when we thought that our plate was full in life, God dished us up some dessert!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Have I told you lately....

...that I LOVE him?
Oh my, I love that little Stas! Yes, of course, I love all of my children. I was making a video yesterday for a fundraiser for a Ukrainian based organization called Chalice of Mercy. I was digging more deeply into our adoption pictures and videos archives to piece them into the song When love takes you in. Of course, the words to the song can make me cry pretty easily anyway, but putting my Stas and all of the faces left behind into the video....oh. That's tough.

But, in this process, what I got to see was how much he has changed in a 1/2 of a year.

Just this morning, as I was putting my shoes on, I signed "shoe" and he signed it back to me. Sometimes when you ask him to sign a word he gives you all of the ones he knows--okay--there are only a couple, but he just started and he's picking them up. He signs food/eat, more, shoes, wind (there's a necessary one! Snow or cold will have to be our next!), and good-night (he blows kisses). He is all of a sudden, looking me in the eyes, really locking eyes to see what I am teaching him when I sign something. That is just the beginning. But to think that he lived in a crib, likely heard nothing/little for a VERY long time prior to his pe tubes, so didn't know any language and then some people (not just any people---his family) brought him to a foreign land and spoke the same language that all the grown-ups in Charlie Brown's world spoke. That's a lot for a little boy.

Stasi wakes up happy and quiet. He sits in his crib with very little sounds. His whole body wriggles with glee when I retrieve him. He puckers for a kiss and smiles and bounces the whole way down the stairs. He breaks from my arms to get to the floor to see what he can disrupt. Really, his goal, to find something that makes noise....usually. He works his way to the kitchen where his immediate task is to see which cabinet I forgot to lock. Charges for it. I charge sometimes more quickly. If that musters up no rewards, he works his way to find out which other drawers or cabinets don't have duct tape. The silverware drawer is almost always available. Then he scans the 8 inch perimeter of the counters to see if anything of interest is in reach...aaaah. He is a busy boy. He does it all with joy. How do you get mad at that? Who needs all those casserole dishes anyway? I do worry about him pulling something hot off the counter or stove. Must always be on guard.

Have I told you lately how much I LOVE him? I can't get enough of him! Really! He is precious to us.

Ricky likes him a lot more and I think even loves him. He looks after him. This is sort of sad, but, Ricky probably has the most authority over Stas. Yes. When Dan really wants Stas to stop doing something, he has been known to sick Ricky on him. Ricky will approach him, saying "Dots, NO" and Stas backs off. This fear goes back to Ricky's lack of kindness (jealousy) for the first few months after him coming home. There is much less of that.

Stas is eating well with finger-feeding and when he rejects the finger food I usually mush it up, add applesauce and feed it to him with a spoon. He drinks Vanilla Instant Carnation Breakfast mixed in milk in a regular old Tupperware sippy-cup. He holds it himself, but I'm really not supposed to let him because I need to do this little maneuver to help him retract his tongue. He does retract it when i do it, but it's just easier when you are busy to hand it to him. He takes iron drops three times a day for a significant iron deficiency.

He's running all over the place, very little crawling anymore. He loves when he knows/thinks he is getting in the car or going outside. There is no stopping him. He loves school and therapies, but has been sick too darn many times :-(

He leaves his glasses on sometimes. I forget to put on them on sometimes.

He's playful and just plain old cute!!! Have I told you lately that I love him? Oh, I do. We all do!

Let's see if I can find some pictures after all this rambling.......

My little postmen.

This is what family is all about!

Our Stas-proof Christmas tree.....Do you know how easy that was to take down? My kids were NOT happy. I told them they will always remember this Christmas because of it!!!

I think I'll defer to Ricky for the gift opening...I think that is wise.

Ignore the mess behind Ricky....his Christmas sweater.

Family pictures are IMPOSSIBLE!!!


It was an UnderArmour Christmas for the big boys.

Pretty Lizzy

Yay, a sweater.......


Outta my way Dots!

My turn

"Grapes" in sign language.

Loves twinkling his fingers on this keyboard...and the piano

Slam dunk for Stas

You see the trouble here??


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful, family Christmas. No doubt your "double fun" is keeping your busy! Keep Smiling!

  2. So precious! Your family is so beautiful! Happy New Year!

  3. First off, how precious is your family. I love every picture, every one. Stas and Ricky are just a hoot. Oh and by the way, love your paisley background!!

    Love wins,
    Renee Tam

  4. Hi Gretchen,

    I really enjoyed this post. You have a beautiful family. Ricky & Stas are adorable together. Thank you for sharing all of Stas's accomplishments that have happened over the past months. I hae been concerned about Julia's lack of eye contact, but now I know there is a chance for improvement. I think she needs glasses too. That should help.
    Happy New Year,

  5. Ok... I asked this yesterday on Michelle's blog, and looking at your boys (both Stas & Ricky are just too cute for words!), have you looked back and compared pics from when you brought him home and now? The difference is amazing to me... God is good!! You have a beautiful family!!

  6. Your family is beautiful.:o)
    I think I was lucky, my son Samson's tongue had little muscle and he drooled a lot at 3 yrs. old. We did normal OT, PT and Speech but did nothing with his tongue and now at 15 it is strong! Now he only has an occasional dribble when he's very interested in something.

  7. What a fun post! Now can I come over and squeeze your adorable boys???

  8. I really enjoyed this 'catch up ' post about Stas. He really has come a long way and yes, it has been 6 months already hasn't it! Hope he stays well enough to enjoy school and therapy in the coming weeks! Our doc finally gave me refills on Nadia's amoxycillin so if she starts another sinus infection (she's had 2 now), I don't have to take her in--GOLDEN!!!

  9. Hi,

    I really liked this post too :) And of course all the pictures are great! All of the kids are so cute, that one of Lizzy is VERY nice ;)

    She's such a cutie.

    The little boys sure did look serious in their concentration with the mailbox toy :) :)

    Hope you are finally ALL well!

  10. Hey Gretchen! I saw your comment about the pylori stuff. Anyhow, looked for your email addy, and can't find it. Email me if you can about some helps. The ped isn't treating the rest of the kidlets because he isn't concerned. *sigh* he was the one that didn't initially test for it to begin with until I pleaded and then said yes - but wondered why? Well, my suspicions were right, and now I am concerned about the rest of everyone. Even though I love our ped alot - everyone makes mistakes.
    Any help????