Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another tooth lost, Henry's hair cut and doctor visit

It's been a busy week. We had our 3 month post placement visit with out social worker! I started our re-adoption paperwork for Henry. Igor lost his 5th tooth on Tuesday at school! Henry had his hair cut on Wednesday. This time he only cried the first half of the hair cut. I think Henry will be more comfortable and I will have barber shop protocol down by the next visit. Henry's hair is sooo straight. Someone asked if Henry was from Iraq!

We have great news- Henry has moved from the 33rd percentile in weight to the 42nd percentile in weight! The doctors are very pleased with his weight gain. This is amazing since Henry still has major tummy issues. He has been treated for worms and giardia multiple times. We did three giardia tests this month and they all came back negative. We are going to start probiotics again. The doctor wants Henry to take them for 30 days straight to see if it will help. We've had Henry on and off probiotics since January.

Henry will have allergy testing completed next week to determine if he has any food allergies. His tummy troubles and his skin pigmentation issues could be food related. The doctor will call the infectious disease specialist at the hospital to see what he recommends. She wants next steps in case Henry doesn't have food allergies.

I need to post Igor's recent drawings from art school. He has been drawing houses with colored pencils.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waiting for a clear word

When we went to Ethiopia something began to stir inside me. The smells, the people, the poverty, the children, the love and kindness settled deep in my soul. Coming home with a 23 month old and going through a serious adjustment period with Igor didn't allow me to think about Ethiopia or what I had seen.

Over the last few weeks I have been prompted to think about Ethiopia and Africa. I cannot help it, it is everywhere I turn. I turned on NPR one day to hear them talking about fistula which is most common in Africa. My husband gets a call from a friend saying they are starting an orphanage in the Sudan. I read a missionary's blog (who runs an orphanage) begging Christians to wake up and care about the estimated 143 million orphans in the world. I hear the song, "Orphans of God" and I wonder if there are no orphans of God WHY are there so many children that need families and homes?? I could go on but you can see what's going on inside of me. I am burdened but I do not know what to do with that burden yet....

Rob suggested (out of the blue) two weeks ago that we take a mission trip to Sudan. I said, "Are you crazy? They kicked out Aid workers, I don't think George Clooney would go to the Sudan right now. What about our boys? It's too dangerous. We cannot go." So, I went online and saw that George Clooney is in Chad. Hmmm.... What if we are suppose to go back to Africa? What if we are suppose to go to the Sudan? I need to open my heart to the possibilities...

I think about Igor and what his life would be like if he hadn't become part of our family.
In Russia, those who are not adopted leave the orphanage between the ages of 15 and 18:
  • 50% of the girls become prostitutes
  • 40% of the children become addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • 40% percent commit crimes
  • 10% percent commit suicide
I look at my beautiful boy and think- How many more Igor's are out there? How can we help? What does God want to do with us, our lives? Surely if I have this stirring in my heart He has a plan.
For now, I wait for his word.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The things people say...

When we adopted Igor strangers commented on how much Igor looked like Rob. We would smile saying thank you... we were an "undercover" adoptive family. We could choose, on our terms, if and when we would share Igor was adopted.

We knew when we adopted Henry people would comment but I wasn't sure what they'd say. Here are a few of the things people have said to us in the last 2 months:

  • Girl Scouts- They ask if Henry is adopted. Yes. Since he is adopted does he feel like your kid? Honestly, we cannot remember Rob's reply... but I know it was kind and gentle. It also affirmed that Henry felt like our son.

  • Middle school boy (I do not know this boy) we saw on a walk- Are you baby sitting today? No. Is he adopted? (looking at Henry in the stroller) Yes. Oh, I'm not trying to be a racist but he is darker than you. I wanted to say, "Oh, you think so?" but I kindly said yes, he is a different color, as I walked on... the boy continued to say I'm not a racist or anything but he is darker than you....
  • African American Cashier at the grocery store- What's his daddy? Ah, Shirrr, Ah what's the name? (I think she was trying to say Sri Lanka) He's Ethiopian. Ah hunnnnh, that's it, you can tell by the hair. You know where he's from the women have to cover their hair, they have beautiful hair but you cannot see it. What do you put in his hair? Luster's Pink Classic Light Oil Moisturizer. You put it in so it doesn't get too dry? Yes. It's near India, right? (asking if Ethiopia is near India??) Not exactly... Do you have any other kids? Yes. How come you don't bring them in? My other son is in school right now. I pay and walk out feeling as though I have just left an episode of the Twilight zone.
  • Middle school girl walking by our house (I don't know this girl)- My mom wanted to know if you adopted. Yes. Oh, my friends adopted from Africa and the girls are 4 and 6. They have to learn English all over again because they didn't speak it (this is not a typo, that's what she said.) You can tell you mom she can come down anytime to meet Henry. Okay, I will. What's your name? Candy

As Henry's English continues to expand he will soon understand these conversations. Rob and I will have to find the right balance between answering questions and guarding Henry's heart, feelings and privacy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another tooth lost, outside time, what did you say and mulch

Tuesday night Igor lost another tooth! This is the fourth tooth Igor has lost. A bottom tooth is so wiggly it could fall out any day.
Our weather has been great! Henry and I have been spending hours outside.

We've been home since January and now Henry understands every thing I say. He has added the following to his vocabulary:
EEEE is Igor
Buu is School Bus
uch at tha is Look at that
oooh is shoe
mmm is yes
aldone is all done

Saturday morning Igor was VERY excited. We had a dump truck full of mulch delivered. Igor shoveled out the mulch from the back of the dump truck, he played in the mulch and helped spread it! He was a great helper. Once Henry was up from his nap he "helped" too!
Rob is home today so we'll try to finish spreading the mulch this afternoon

Monday, March 16, 2009


We received the court recorded adoption paperwork for Igor. He has been officially adopted in the USA! Next week we start the paperwork for Henry's re-adoption in the USA. The adoption paperwork never seems to end.

Last week our weather went from snow to 84 degrees! Henry loves to go outside no matter the weather. My adoption pal Jori meet Henry in Ethiopia. She told me he loved to play with water. Last week I introduced Henry to a water table. He LOVES it. He has his own ideas on what to add to the water.

Igor and I made chalk. It turned out better than I anticipated. Igor had so much fun picking the colors and mixing up the Plaster of Paris. We tried using a paper towel roll for a mold but it makes a very thick piece of chalk! So, we used the plastic in the Melissa and Doug chalk- it's the perfect mold! Here's the start of Igor's drawing with the home made chalk.

Yesterday we met the Carpenters! They were on vacation. We were able to meet up with 2 other AWAA adoptive families, the Schmidts and the Coens, for lunch. A good time was had by all. It's always great to FINALLY meet families you only know through a Yahoo group or via a blog.

It has rained for 5 days! Yesterday the boys had to get out of the house. They had a great time playing in the giant puddle!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Skin fungus or dry skin?

When we first met Henry we noticed a small area on his check (the size of a finger print) that was much lighter than the rest of his skin. We were told that he had a skin fungus. When we took Henry to the pediatrician in the U.S. she said it was dry skin not a fungus. We have been moisturizing Henry's checks day and night for weeks but the finger print has spread to both cheeks, from his eye to his jaw line.

Yesterday I took Henry to the dermatologist. The dermatologist said it's not a fungus or dry skin. She thinks Henry has a food sensitivity which is causing inflammation. The inflammation is causing the skin the lighten up. She gave us a prescription cream to see if it will help.

We have introduced a large number of new foods to Henry so I have no idea what food could be causing this. It has to be a food that the Transitional home was feeding him as well since it started in Ethiopia.

If your Ethiopian child has a food sensitivity, I would love to know what it is! We suspect milk might be the cause since we have increased Henry's dairy intake but that's just a gut reaction, it could be anything.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Attachment & Sleeping

Many have asked, have you had attachment/bonding issues issues with Henry?

Adoption.com describes "Bonding"- is "falling in love" with your child and your child with you.

Rob and I have definitely bonded with Henry. I believe that Henry has bonded with us.

Adoption.com describes "Secure Attachment" - Child rests comfortably in mother's arms and makes good eye contact with child. Eye contact between mother and child is reciprocal and both of them feel at one. When mother leaves the child and separation occurs, the child feels distress. When mother returns, the child is delighted to see the mother and the mother is delighted to see the child. The child will quickly settle into mother's arms and refuel. The child will be ready for a nap or will be ready to venture into the world until he tires and is ready to refuel again. This process will be repeated thousands of times until object constancy is attained.

Henry and I are approaching a "Secure Attachment". Henry and I have great eye contact but we still practice eye contact by doing silly things such as rubbing noses, peek-a-boo or exchanging Cheerios mouth to mouth. When I leave Henry with Rob or Henry THINKS I am about to leave he sobs, stomps his feet, he will run to get his shoes. When I return Henry waves, smiles, giggles and/or runs to me. When he is scared, tired or confused he seeks me out, he will demand to be held. All these things point to us building a secure attachment. However, they must be done over and over again, repeated thousands of times in order for a secure attachment to be formed.

Rob and Henry's attachment is in the beginning stages. Only in the last week has Henry chosen to go to Rob over me. When Henry is upset or distressed and needs comfort he will occasionally allow Rob to comfort him. This morning was the first time that Henry cuddled with Rob in the bed. Normally Henry comes to my side of the bed and wants to be right next to my body. This morning Henry laid right next to Rob and gave him a kiss. It was such a sweet moment.

Overall, I am thrilled with Henry's attachment to us and us to him. At the Transitional Home Rob and I were very concerned about how Henry would attach to us. I will ask Rob to write a post describing our first meeting with Henry and Henry's initial rejection of us.

Henry has been waking up around 2 or 3 AM but no longer cries! He talks to himself or sings and then falls back to sleep! Since DST he has been getting up around 5:30AM! We are so pleased that Henry is finally on a consistent sleeping schedule.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Giardia update and Let it snow...

Praise, praise- Henry's test results came back negative for giardia! Woo-hoo.... His tummy is now adjusting to being parasite free.

It snowed in the south again. Igor enjoyed another snow day!

My sister was here when it snowed. Henry is finally getting comfortable around dogs!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Tooth Fairy, Spring & Chalk

Instead of going to art class Igor and I met the tooth fairy.
Igor has often wondered about the tooth fairy- how big is she? is she a she? does she have wings? How does she sneak into the house without anyone noticing?

Our local college had a dental health awareness event for children so Igor and I went. Igor was very nervous when he saw the tooth fairy. After decorating a huge tooth and making a wand he decided the tooth fairy was approachable. I was able to snap a quick picture. Did you know that the tooth fairy has a magic tooth brush instead of a magic wand?

Normally, I'm always with Henry so it was this was a special mommy and Igor time.
We've had some very mild weather lately. My flowers are in bloom! Spring should be in the south soon. Except they are predicting snow again? We'll see....

It's been so warm Igor has taken his drawing outside. In the spring we go through boxes and boxes of chalk.

Has anyone made made chalk? I'd love to know how hard it is to make and what your children think of the home made chalk. Are you able to make bright vibrant colors? We love Melissa & Doug Chalk because the colors are so bright but it's expensive.