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!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Neurotransmitters and Orphanage dust

In November we will celebrate 5 years home with Igor.  I cannot believe we have been a family for almost 5 years!!  Our son is smart and creative, we love him so much. However, we have faced many challenges with him.  Igor came to us as a 3 1/2 year old boy with many hurts and a laundry list of delays and emotional issues.  I would like to say that loving him "solved" all his problems but it has not.  Igor has worked very hard to learn emotions and social cues, to speak, to have fine motor control, etc... but some of what he endured in the orphanage has deeply wounded Igor.  It's as though he has a wound that will not completely heal.  Just when we think the anger, the rage, the orphanage dust has left... it quietly seeps back into our house and we must deal with it yet again.  Igor has often said that whatever is inside of him will never go away.  Some friends have suggested that we must accept Igor as he is but that never "feels" right.  So, I am always looking for ways to help Igor deal with his past and the emotions he is not sure what to do with.

We recently had Igor tested by Neurogistics.  They have done work with Karen Purvis (author of the The Connected Child).  I read this article and thought there may be hope for Igor.  I found this company through another adoptive parent.  I recently found their children's website-
After speaking with Rob we decided to have Igor tested.  We received an e-mail with the test results and Igor's levels were off the charts.  When Rob saw them all he could do is say, "wow".   I felt as though I was armed with a huge dust pan and a broom- I was ready to sweep out the orphanage dust forever.  Rob was, less optimistic.  After talking with Igor's therapist and consulting a psychiatrist in standard medicine, we were given the green light to move forward with the supplements recommended by Neurogistics. 
We were told that we could see a change in Igor within 6-8 weeks.  We are on day 3 and Igor is a different child.  Well, he's still Igor but without the edge.  The things that pushed him over the edge last week, and the week before and the week before that were not a big deal today.  Yes, we are in the beginning stages of the supplements and at any moment things could change but two days of a child without anxiety and anger has been delightful.  Rob, who wasn't very optimistic about the supplements is much more optimistic now that he has witnessed Igor without the edge.  I am filled with hope.  I will keep you posted on his progress.

Look who is riding a bike

Henry has only been interested in riding a scooter until July.  That is when he decided he wanted to learn how to ride a tricycle.  Henry rode the tricycle for a month then moved on to a bike.  He is no longer interested in the trike or a scooter.  Everyday he says the same thing to me- "ride my bike?"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our family through the eyes of Igor

Igor created "baseball" cards for our family.  Using index cards, he drew pictures and listed a few facts about each family member.  When he presented them to me I was struck by what we looked like and what he wrote.  I laughed out loud when I read Henry's card. 

His Mom and Dad live in another city.
Likes Michigan Sports.
He preaches at church.


 She helps me clean my room and drives the car for me. 
She likes candy.
She likes to plant things. 
We play together.

Igor as a super hero

  (I was sure this was Henry until I flipped the card over)

  I like to play with my dad.
  I like to ride my bike.
  I like to play outside.
  I like movies.


  He's the youngest in our family.
He likes to play.
He wants to wake up everyone in the middle of the night.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday night fun

We had Saturday night all planned out- I made pizza for dinner (the boys favorite) and then we were off the ride the new trolley in town.  There was an article in the paper about the proposed trolley route and there would free rides through downtown on Saturday night.  Except I got the nights mixed up.  
We didn't find out about the mix up in the days until we pulled in the parking lot, we were alone.  I walked to the store to pick up a paper to see if I had the wrong pick up spot.  Nope, we were at the trolley pick up spot... the trolley rides were FRIDAY not Saturday night - ugh.  
I walked back to the car to break the news to the boys.  I started to tell Igor when I saw a trolley driving by.  The boys rushed out of the car as the trolley stopped at the pick up stop listed in the paper.  I thought I was dreaming. The driver said the free rides were the night before but we could take a look inside.  The boys checked out the trolley, the driver could see how excited they were.  The driver said he would take us for a ride.  Really?  He said sure why not.  He was in town for a wedding.  He had a 3 hour break until he picked up the bridal party.
Henry wasn't quite sure if he liked the trolley while it was moving but Igor LOVED riding through town in it.  The driver was awesome, he even rang the bell for the boys.  Igor was in heaven.  As the driver approached the drop off point we said a ladder fire truck parked by our car. Our boys were delighted.  In Igor's word, "totally awesome".  We thanked the driver then walked over the the ladder truck only to see a pumper fire truck pulling in the parking lot. That was icing on the cake.
When I realized that I had mixed up nights I thought the night was going to be such a disappointment.  Instead, it was totally awesome.  
It reminded me that God's plans may look slightly different than what we prepare and plan for but His ways are so much sweeter.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One man's view of our family

During the summer we often spend hours at the community pool.  The boys love it because they always have someone to play with and we like it because it is free!  Okay our tax dollars pay for the pool so it's not really free but we love that we do not have to join a pool.  The patrons at the pool are a diverse group of people- we've met people from Ireland, South Africa, Italy, South America, Spain, Poland, etc.  I especially like that there are people of every color under the rainbow at the pool. 
Saturday we took the boys to the pool.  When we arrived Rob and Igor went to the deep end to swim.  Henry wanted to go to the big pool to swim down for dive sticks.  His version - tossing the dive stick in the shallow end then sticking his hands and face under water and pulling up the stick.  Not exactly swimming but a great start! As Henry dropped in a dive stick a little girl (about 5 yrs old) approached us and wanted to touch the stick.  I asked her watch it as it sunk to the bottom of the pool to see the little bubbles come up.  When it was at the bottom I said she could pick it up.  When she picked it up she smiled.  She thought it was a very cool toy.  All of the sudden a man started yelling at her, telling her to put the toy down.  I said it was alright she could share with Henry.  The man said, "sharing is all good but she isn't going to play with that toy.".  He called the girl (his niece) over to him.  The man started using foul language while reprimanding another child.  I didn't feel comfortable so I decided to take Henry to the middle of the pool to play.
A few minutes later Rob swam over to the shallow end.  Henry and I walked over to him.  The man who spoke to me earlier said to his niece, "They are teaching that boy to be white."
Okay, deep breath, breathing, breathing....  I wish I could say I prayed but I didn't.  I was too busy forcing the mama bear inside me to stay inside.  I held my breath, I did not respond, I tried to breathe, this man was talking about us... our son.. and not in the 'Oh your son is adorable" way I am use to.
I wanted to say- really ??? what are you teaching him by being passive aggressive?? ah, but I bit my tongue.

The man was right behind Rob (seriously- they could have touched one another) so he knew we could hear him.  Rob said very calmly that he would like to talk to him.  The man said, "I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to my niece."  Rob said very calmly, "We happen to be the only white family here with a black child so I would like to talk to you about what was just said."  The man said, "You can't be disrespecting me like that, you only get one chance to make an impression."  Rob replied very calmly, "I'm sorry if you think I'm attacking you.  All I would like to do is dialog with you."  The man continue to go off on Rob.  I came over saying to the man, "He just wants to talk to you about what you just said."  The man said, "Now look, you've got your woman involved now."  At this point Rob and I knew there was no chance to talk to this man.   It's such a shame because Rob really wanted to hear what the man's issues were.  The man and the children left after the incident.  Thankfully we were able to talk to our neighbors and another friend who happened to be at the pool to witness the incident.  We were also thankful that Igor was off playing with another kid and Henry had no idea what this man was talking about. 

For the last few days Rob and I have talked about what happened at the pool.  I have wondered what has life thrown at the man that he was so full of anger?  Clearly the man did not approve of Henry being a part of our family but seriously- why would he say something in front of Henry... I know, I know, he didn't think about Henry, this man only wanted to share his views but passive aggressively so HE did not have to be held accountable for his words.

We thought we were prepared for any situation as it related to Henry but the pool incident caught us off guard.  A place where we have always felt welcomed didn't  feel the same.  Rob took the boys to the pool this afternoon and they had a great time.  So we prepare ourselves for the next time we meet someone who has a negative opinion of our family make-up.  However we know that we have been called to be Henry's parents and our family is a beautiful sight in our eyes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Car talk

Igor holds many things close to the vest.   Some days he freely gives information but most days getting him to talk is like prying open a clam with your fingernails.  I've noticed that being in the car allows for a little more information to be shared.
Today Igor and I were driving to his eye appointment and some how we started talking about work.  I asked him how he would feel if I went back to work.  All he said was -NO.
me- why not?  You are in school all day.
Igor- I like for you to be at home.

me- I use to work.
Igor- Remember when I was 3 and 4 years old and you went to work?
Me- Yes.

Igor- I didn't like it.
me- But daddy stayed home with you.
Igor- I know.  But I wanted to be with you all the time.
me- oh.
 Igor is 8 years old, this is the first time he has ever expressed his desire for me to stay home with him.  I guess I should never under estimate my work as a stay at home mom.  I think we should ride in the car more often.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The finances of adoption

We started our adoption journey for our daughter in January 2010.  We had used American World Adoption for our previous adoptions and we decided to use them again.  We were delighted when we received the phone call from AWAA saying we were accepted into Ethiopia program to adopt our daughter.

When we moved forward with this adoption we had close to the estimated amount of $18,00-24,000 it would cost to adopt our daughter. In March, we received news that Ethiopia changed their policies on adoption.  Ethiopia now requires a family to travel to Ethiopia twice in order to complete the adoption.  That meant an increase in our total adoption costs,  it will now be somewhere around $32,000.00gulp....  When we heard the news we stopped and asked ourselves should we continue to move forward or was this a sign to stop.  After several days of discussion and prayer we felt God's prompting to move forward with our adoption.  We have cut back on many expenses and eliminated others in order to save as much money as possible each month.  We need an additional $6,000 to bring our daughter home. 

In June, we applied for financial assistance with LifeSong for Orphans.  In July, we received the call saying we were approved!  Anyone who wants to be a part of our adoption journey is encouraged to:
  1. Pray for our family as we wait to be matched with our daughter.
  2. Pray for our daughter in Ethiopia, that she may be well loved and cared for until she is in our arms!
  3. Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay for the remaining $6,000 to bring our daughter home?
Lifesong has graciously set up a fundraising account to help bring our daughter home.  If you would like to be a part of our adoption journey, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and September 20th to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on our daughter's behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received.

You may donate two ways:

By check- Please make checks payable to: Lifesong.  In the memo section indicate our last name and #1417 Adoption. (*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use.) Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
Att: #1417 Adoption
PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St.
Gridley, IL 61744

You may also donate via Pay Pal on Lifesong's donate page - click here..  In the purpose section please state our last name and #1417 Adoption.

We thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances – it will be an investment with an eternal return! We’ll give you an update with a picture of our daughter and details as we receive them.