Friday, 18 November 2016

Finding my tribe and loving them hard.

For those of you who are new to my story I would like to take a minute and introduce you to some people that I've talked about on the blog before. Now I want to do a special post dedicated to them.

Heather and the Keno family

The Keno Clan! (Heather and Wyatt on the far left)

I "met" Heather online over two years ago in an adoption group. She was a single woman from BC adopting a boy with down syndrome from Bulgaria. We had a lot in common so we became friends on facebook.  She brought her son Wyatt home Feb 2015 and she has become an amazing mom and advocate for Wyatt. Today (Nov 18th) is actually the day she legally became his mother!

The thing about Heather is, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Her parents, John and Mary Ellen, are just as wonderful as she is. They have three adopted sons with Down syndrome and they're not done yet! They are going back to Bulgaria for another teenage boy with down syndrome!

Are they crazy, you ask?

Yes probably, but only in the best way possible! They understand the joy and struggle of raising kids with special needs and when God said "I have another son for you" they said Okay let's do this!

They are people I greatly admire and I got to meet them this summer. What a pleasure that was!

Jalena and Emmy

I also met Jalena online not too long after I met Heather. Another single woman from AB who was adopting a girl with down syndrome! Awesome! Another person I have a lot in common with!

Jalena brought her daughter Emmy home Dec 2015. Her Emmy is a little bit older than Myles and is sooooo cute!  We got to spend time with them last summer too.

That's just too much cuteness for one girl!
The thing about adoption is, you take one child home and you leave so many behind. It's probably one of the hardest parts of adoption. It's partly why I went back for Myles. 

Jalena felt like there was another child out there she could call her own and we've seen God open doors since the spring.  I can't give too much away but her progress towards her new child could only be happening like it is with God being in control!

If you've just read the posts about Myles and Silas you know what a difference adoption makes. Many generous people gave donations to make Myles and Silas' homecomings possible. If you were one of them I hope you find great satisfaction in knowing you made a difference. I'd like you to consider supporting these two families in their efforts to bring children into families.

Your support means so much to me and I know Jalena, John and Mary Ellen will appreciate everything they receive!

John and Mary Ellen have a facebook page. Be sure to "like" it so you can get updates on their progress. I can't wait to see which boy God has for them! 

Keno Family Adoption

And Jalena has a blog

Thank you for investing in the future of a child!

Introducing Myles Ivan

Clearly this blog has taken a back seat role as I adjust to being a mom of two boys! I'm sure you all understand so I won't even apologize. I've had more important things to do the last 82 days. :)

On August 29th (82 days ago!) I wrapped my arms around my tiny, fragile little baby and walked him out of that orphanage forever.  My 12 lb almost two year old, with every rib showing, spine sticking out his back, had the best giggles in the hotel that night. He knew mama had come for him!
Is that you Mama?
It is!

As happy as can be in the hotel

Silas was back in Canada having fun with Grandpa and Grandma

The very next day we were on an airplane to fly home. Myles did quite well on the flights. He did cry on the descent on the second flight because his ears hurt. International travel is so exhausting! And were we ever glad to get home. Going through customs in Toronto sucked so bad. Myles was still crying. I couldn't hear the customs agent he was so loud. I handed him to my sister so I could figure out what I needed to answer. And then we couldn't find the stroller. And then a drug sniffing dog figured we had drugs. Turns out dogs don't know the difference between baby food and drugs and I had to open the diaper bag. Myles was screaming still so that was super fun. Eventually we somehow made it to our last flight. It's a bit of a blur now but I'm sure glad Sara was with me!
Sleeping on the plane

And then we made it to Winnipeg! Silas and most of the family was there to greet us at the airport.
The next day I loaded both my boys into the van and drove back home. I think it took 7 hrs but it went pretty smoothly considering it was Myles' first long car trip and my first time driving with both boys on my own.

The next day Myles and I woke up around 4am thanks to good ol' jetlag. I fed him breakfast and took him back into bed with me and that's when it hit me.

I have a BABY!! A freaking BABY!!! An honest to goodness teeny tiny BABY!!

hahahaha He was just days from his second birthday but he looked and acted like a 3 mth old. I think it also hit me at that moment the fact that the adoption was done and the stress of the last 16 mths was over! Such a relief!

So what can I tell you about Myles? He's taught me that I can take almost everything I learned from Silas and throw it out the window. He is shy, easily overwhelmed, hates swinging but loves bouncing, he can go from content to screaming in 5 seconds, he doesn't like strangers. He has strong opinions. He's pretty much the opposite from my outgoing, adventure seeking five year old! And that's totally okay.

He is slowly adjusting to life here. He's definitely attached to me big time! He loves his mama and prefers me over anyone. There was a lot of crying from him the first few weeks home but that has lessened though he still cries way more than Silas ever did. lol It helps that he has the best giggle ever.

He has turned 2 yrs old and gained three pounds and grown several teeth since coming home. We're working on eating from a spoon vs from a bottle, and sitting up. He can now tolerate sitting up in the Bumbo chair!

We've had several doctor visits. His heart isn't perfect and he'll need to see the cardiologist regularly for the rest of his life. Next month we see the feeding clinic and hopefully get some tips on how to get him to hate spoons less. ;)



He's started all the therapies and he hates most of that. It's hard to know where to draw the line between pushing him to work and comforting his crying. We'll get there eventually but it sure makes me appreciate how much Silas' curiosity drove him to want to learn how to crawl/walk/run. Myles would rather be cuddled thank you very much! And I love my Myles snuggles! <3

Silas has adjusted wonderfully to having a little brother. I've even caught him trying to comfort Myles when he's crying. That part has gone better than I thought it would! They still don't play together because neither of them really knows how to play with someone else but I think that will come with time. Myles will get more interesting when he starts to crawl.

Silas has started school in Sept and I think it's going well. Some days he gives them a run for their money but staff and students seem to like him so I'm happy. He gets and gives the most high fives out of anyone in the school I'm sure!

So that's what we've been up to these days! Having two boys is twice the work and twice the fun and 100% worth it!

Here's a picture dump!

I think this was taken within the first few days back home.

Proud grandparents

So you're the kid everyone keeps talking about.

My beautiful Sister Sara!

Silas would like a motorized "anything" for Christmas!
He loves machines!

Good mornin' bro!

They're so cute!

The day it wasn't freezing and Silas started
to doubt my parenting skills in the dressing department.

Silas got to dress up twice for school because mommy
got the party date wrong.

Handsome Clark Kent

My Supermen

So much mischief and energy in one little boy.
Hanging out in little brother's bed.
First day of school! Sept 7th

A tired looking boy waiting for the bus.

Teething Ugh!

These pictures were taken tonight. I wanted to get a matching pj picture but Silas was so tired he fell asleep before Myles was in his pjs! Poor boy has been fighting a cold all week.

That's just a fraction of the pictures on my cell phone! lol

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen.....we have a gotcha day!

On August 29th this cutie pie will be taken through the gates of the orphanage and he will join his forever family!

The plane tickets are booked and everything is ready for him to come home. I even have a stash of donated breast milk for him in the deep freezer. I have enough diapers to last six months at least!  I have a dresser full of clothing and more clothes in the basement.  I've had to start avoiding the baby clothing aisle in the stores because we have more than enough. It's going to be bittersweet packing up his outgrown clothing. I'm already feeling sad about that. lol

So Silas and I have less than 4 weeks together as a family of two. That's just incredible to think about.

Last week we went camping with my family. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Silas loved the water and the beach and he slept fairly well in the tent except for one 5:30 morning wake up.

Goofing around with Auntie Sara

Nap time with mommy on the beach

Sandcastles with grandpa
On August 10th he gets his cast off! I can't wait to see what his reaction to going to the pool will be like.

We went back to the beach yesterday and we might go one more time this week because I have cousins camping up there.

Next week we're going to go to a different lake and spend a night in a yurt! Should be fun.

Then the trip to Regina to get the cast off.  We'll stop at a splash park on our way back again.

As you can see I'm trying to fill our days with lots of fun stuff so the time passes quickly but also gives me some quality time with Silas before he has to share his momma. 

25 days until Myles leaves the orphanage and 34 days until Silas starts school! 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I have a blog?

I guess a month and a half between blogs isn't terribly unusual for me but boy has a lot happened in that amount of time!

Silas and I took in an air show in Winnipeg at the beginning of June. I enjoyed it and Silas finally noticed the planes near the end of the show. lol

We had a pool party for Silas' 5th birthday. Veggie Tale theme! Lots of fun and almost all his friends from daycare were able to come.

I'm still pretty proud of my cake!

Two days after the pool party and the night before his actual party he broke his arm! I was at the library taking a test and got here about 30 seconds after the babysitter called.

We ended up going to Regina to get it casted properly which involved an overnight stay in the hospital (our first together!) and being put under in the OR the next morning. I was very thankful mom had decided to come with us.

The timing of this was a little stressful because the day after he got the cast in Regina we were supposed to fly to Vancouver Island.....from Winnipeg.

So as soon as we were discharged (and I fought to be discharged earlier than they were planning) we were on the road driving from Regina to Winnipeg. We got to my brother's house in time for a good nights sleep and then the next morning we hopped on a plane and off we went!

The reason for going to Vancouver Island was to finally meet Heather and the rest of the Keno family! And our friend Jalena also flew in from Edmonton. It was a wonderful 5 days of being with people who really get adoption and raising kids with special needs. Our time together was such a blessing and I loved it all.

Silas rocked the beach and ocean with his cast. We'll have to go back next year and show Myles the ocean! We also visited a petting zoo and a dairy farm. Silas was much more interested in the "big toys" than the animals.

Silas meets the ocean. Love at first sight!

Emmy and Jalena

Silas and Wyatt

Heather and Wyatt

Silas....pretending to be gentle with Emmy.

While we were there on July 4th over in Bulgaria a judge made me legally Myles' mom! Yay! So we're on the homestretch now. I'm just waiting to hear when I can go pick him up. Every waiting stage of adoption is hard but somehow this part seems the hardest. You're so close but not quite there. *sigh* Every day is a day closer I keep telling myself.

Here's a video I made from pictures taken on trip one. Have your Kleenex ready!

And then on the 6th we flew back to Winnipeg. We made friends with our pilot! He also has a 5 yr old son with Down syndrome. When we boarded the plane he made sure we got to see the cockpit. Pretty cool!

On the 7th, before we left the city, we picked up Silas' bike that has been adapted just for him so he can learn how to ride. And he's learned so quickly! Once he gets steering down there'll be no stopping him.

Last week we went to a splash park in Dauphin after Silas' hearing test. He loved it! It was nice for him to be able to play in the water without worrying too much about his cast getting wet. This week we have to go to Regina to see the surgeon about Silas' arm and I'm hoping to stop at another splash park on our way there.

On the weekend I finally found the hardware for Myles' crib and got it put together. At bedtime I was telling Silas all about how baby Myles was going to come sleep in this new crib. Silas kept looking towards the doorway and around the room trying to figure out where this kid was going to come from. lol It'll be interesting to see what he thinks of this "new daycare kid" that just never goes home!

We were feeling a little stir crazy yesterday so we took a spontaneous trip to the lake for the late afternoon and evening. It was so nice and warm and calm. For a while we had the beach to ourselves. Silas had no fear of the water and wanted to walk in up to his neck. He also LOVED the boats tied to the dock. I had to tear him away from there when it was time to leave. I'll have to make sure he gets a boat ride this summer for sure.

So that's what we've been up to for the last month and a half. Just keeping busy and enjoying our time as a family of two until Myles comes home and we become a family of three! 
Three blessed mommies with three awesome kids!