Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Big Boy Bed

Ever since JJ climbed (and then fell) out of his crib we have been worried about him getting out again. Jerret’s idea to stop his ability to get out was to turn the crib around so that the low side (where we would typically reach in to grab him or lay him down) was facing the wall, and the higher side was facing out. This is all fine and dandy for Daddy who is 6’2” and has go-go-gadget arms. I, on the other hand, was having a heck of a time reaching down into the crib and had to ask him to stand up so that I could lift him out in the mornings.

The other day I was staring at him as he lay in his crib and I realized that he is a big boy! We didn’t need the stinking crib anymore, it was time for the big boy bed. So we converted his crib into the toddler bed, bought a rail to help prevent any falls, and tried it out. The big boy bed was a hit! JJ slept through the entire night and never once tried to get out of bed. Then Jerret had golf night. For some reason, when Daddy wasn’t there, JJ didn’t want to sleep in his bed. I didn’t have the energy to argue with him and I grabbed his blankets and laid them out on the floor. Surprisingly, it worked. JJ had no issue whatsoever with sleeping on the floor and we both feel asleep together until Daddy returned (and then we took some pictures).

Last weekend was a small carnival that I took JJ too. It was a cold, windy day, but here are some JJ pics before we left the house. A friend called to invite us over for a bit, and another friend was already there with her 4 kids, so I packed up JJ and off we went. Our friend has a 6 month old daughter who has hearing loss and has since been fitted with hearing aids. Of course, leave it to JJ to walk right up to that pretty baby and pull her hearing aid out of her ear. I don’t think he did it out of curiosity either, I think he just was being a bully and he wanted it for himself. He pulls this same stunt when he sees children with pacifiers in their mouth. He (who never used a pacifier in his life) will walk up and snatch the paci’s right out of the mouths or hands of whoever has them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

School Days

JJ started school last week. We had a few rough mornings (ok, they were all rough). Jerret took him on the very first day and JJ was not getting it. He cried and ran to the door and wanted out. I called the school at 1:00 when the kids were supposed to be napping (12:00 to 3:00 is naptime) and the teacher said he was playing quietly on his cot. When Jerret went to pick him up at the end of the day they were all playing outside and JJ didn't want to go home! We thought we would both try and drop him off the next day and again, he cried. Jerret snuck out the door while I stayed for 1/2 hour and played with the kids. Well - I played with everyone else's kids and JJ sat on my lap with his arms around my neck, crying "Mama!" The 3rd day I was determined to make it fast and as soon as we walked in the room JJ started crying again. He kept saying "Shoes, Mama, Shoes!" and pointed at my feet. (He thought that if I would take my shoes off I would stay).

On Thursday and Friday he went back to Aunt Bea's house and it was so nice just to be able to drop him off and walk away. It was also comforting to know that he would take a nap and eat lunch, as he only slept 30 minutes for each day at the school and only ate "some" lunch. I would love to be able to show you pictures of his first day of school, but we being the awesome parents we are, forgot to take them! So here are a few pictures from his first days "after" school.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Adoption Soap Box

After watching a recent 60 Minutes episode, Jerret and I were reminded of the strife occurring daily in the lives of so many innocent children - children who dream of a better life, and pray each night that God sends a family to love and care for them. As many of you know, my long-time blog readers, finding JJ was the very best thing that has ever happened to our family. And given the opportunity or resources, we would certainly welcome the opportunity to adopt another child who needs a home. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many families out there who want to adopt, but are unable to do so because of their personal finances or something as silly as age [some parents are deemed to “old” to adopt, and others too young, as in the case of Chinese adoption which requires both parents to be age 30 or older].

Why must it be so difficult to match families with children who need a home and a family? Why must it be so hard for these children who have nothing ? Many of these kids have no personal possessions whatsoever. The only thing JJ left his orphanage with was his wet diaper that he had probably been sitting in all day (they took the fresh one I had brought with me and added it to their own stash). He didn’t even get back the blanket we sent over to him a month before we went to pick him up. Personal possessions aside, all these kids really want is L-O-V-E. All they need is you.

As desperate as the situation is over there, imagine being an older child and knowing that with each day that passes, your chances of finding a forever family also fades a little more. Imagine seeing children around you being adopted and moved to be with their new families as you kneel in prayer each night that your turn is next. Imagine for a second that you never had a mother or father to love and care for you and not having an explanation as to why.

A Canadian man named John Wright and his wife Julie have recently travelled to Kyrgyzstan where they will live for the next 6 months with their two teen-age daughters, caring for and providing basic needs to the orphans in Kyrgyzstan – specifically in Tokmok, where JJ lived. Please take a minute and view John’s webpage to see the good work they are doing. His blog link has been on my home page for a while now. John is a living example of someone who is willing to take action and trust that God will provide. He and his family have already done what so many of us need to do – to stop worrying about material possessions and focus on the two things that are most important – love and family.

In the long-run, does it really matter if you drive a BMW? Will spending $40,000 on an in-ground pool help make you a better person? Would spending $30,000 on a new Harley really provide you more joy than giving a child a whole new life? I am not trying to knock anyone here or cast stones, as I myself live in a glass house, but it does give you something to think about .

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nighttime Issues

JJ has recently discovered the wonders of Thomas the Train and is slowly but surely turning his discovery into a full-blown obsession. We just went to lay him down for the night and he threw a raging fit - pointing at the TV and crying "Choo Choo! Choo Choo!" We explained that Thomas went to sleep for the night, and JJ cried "Noooooooooooo!" We finally had to leave him crying in his crib and put the 5-minute rule into effect. Well - I gave him 5 minutes. Jerret said that JJ knew what he was doing and was playing us, and refused to go in and comfort him. He said he would let him cry for an hour (we all know that would never happen, and this is really funny because this is totally opposite of how we normally operate). I, on the other hand, didn't want to let him cry. Adopted children already have so many attachment issues and while many parents would just let their kids cry themselves to sleep, it is not always recommended with adopted kids.

I watched the clock closely and after 5 minutes I went into JJ's room and he once again asked for the Choo-Choo. I picked him up and said that it was time for everyone to sleep, the Choo-Choo and JJ, and he just laid his head on my shoulder and went to sleep. It's so hard to know the right things to do. But I am glad I went in there and didn't just let him continue crying until he fell asleep or made himself sick.
JJ will be starting school on Monday. He really needs it and we are very excited. He has not been playing well with other children and didn't want anything at all to do with my niece Jayden, who is only 1 month older than JJ. My sister watched him the other day and JJ cried whenever Jayden came near.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's Official!

We officially have a US citizen on our hands now. Monday was our court date to finalize the adoption of JJ here in the US. The judge was great and JJ actually did pretty good (although he didn't appreciate the pictures being taken). Notice the small gavel in his hand - a gift from the judge. I'm so glad that part is over. One less thing for us to have to worry about. I can sleep better at night knowing I don't have to worry about Kyrgyz immigration officials peeking in my windows at night to check on their native son. He's ours now!