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, January 31, 2011

We have a referral!!

Our family coordinator called- we were referred an adorable 18 month old girl.  She's soooo little!!  She has the sweetest smile and she looks cuddly.  We cannot wait to meet her, hold her, kiss her chubby cheeks!
We can't show you pictures until a successful court date so for now imagine Henry's body type with a cute girly face. 
So what's next?
  • our agency to obtain/prepare our documents for court
  • The Ethiopian court to accept our paperwork
  • get a court date
  • fly to Ethiopia to meet our daughter and go to court
  • Fly home
  • Our agency to submit paperwork to the US Embassy
  • US Embassy to perform an investigation and release a VISA
  • Fly back to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter.
We don't have a time table yet. It could be weeks before our documents are submitted to court.

There are a lot of things to pray for- finances, paperwork, the boys and our daughter's adjustment and so much more.

We are very excited to see our daughter's face!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Two days before Christmas I broke a molar.  This started what I call -Tooth-mania!  Thank goodness this week was the curtain call for Tooth-mania- 4 appointments, one crown, and two restorations later teeth number 29, 30 and 31 have all been repaired.  My trips to the dentist were over!!  I wanted to have a party... but Tooth-mania in our household was not over. 
On Friday Igor got off the school bus, rode his bike home and ran up the stairs to the house.  I heard screams and crying.  I ran into the kitchen.  Rob informed me Igor had fallen on the stairs.  Rob was getting ice and paper towels for the bleeding.  I looked in Igor's mouth to see if he'd need stitches but noticed something much more concerning- his front tooth- his adult tooth- was missing.  I asked Rob to go outside to find the tooth.  I wasn't sure who to call first- the doctor for stitches or the dentist.  I called the dentist.  (did you know that the dentist can stitch up lips?  They do!)  After answering all the dentist's questions and finding the tooth it was decided that we should come in the office.  Her practice is closed on Friday so she had to open the office and her husband (also a dentist) came in to assist.  Igor's tooth has been glued back on and we'll know within 30 days if the tooth will survive.  Igor can only chew foods with his molars for the next 30 days and he cannot participate in any activity that might result in him falling or getting hit in the head/face for the next 2 weeks. After observing our son in action for the last 24 hours, I'm pretty sure 90% of what Igor does when not sitting could lead to a fall. ugh..  If the tooth doesn't survive, Igor will need a root canal and crown- ouch!  So Tooth-mania continues at least for another month.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shoes for Kombolcha!

We have about 175 children at the Kombolcha care-point in Ethiopia who need new shoes. We have teamed up Samantha is an eleven year old with a HUGE HEART for orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia.
Samantha is selling adorable necklace to raise money for shoes. Check them out - at $5 each they make wonderful Valentine's Day or Birthday presents!!

you may purchase the necklaces on her blog:
All the funds raised will be used to buy shoes which are desperately needed!!

We have children who need sponsors.  Besides proper fitting shoes, these children need sponsors.  Many of the children at Grace Baptist Church are single or double orphans. They may live with a relative who can provide shelter but not food or clothing because of extreme poverty. There is also food shortages in parts of Ethiopia. Kombolocha is located North East of Addis Ababa. According to the Famine Early Warning, Kombolcha is dealing with moderate to high food insecurities.

My friend Karen was with us in Kombolcha in December 2009, and she wrote this about these precious children and our experience:

These children were gaunt and thin. Tattered and stained clothing that covered skin stretched across bone. Eating grass when they thought we weren't looking. Some had lice, some had sores that weren't healing. All of them were hungry. All of them were longing for the reassuring, loving and protective arms of a mommy or daddy.

Every one of us went to bed that night with the question on our lips and hearts ... why? These innocent children, through no fault of their own, are left to fend for themselves. Hungry, scared, sick ... and alone, with no one in the world to love them, to soothe their fears, to stroke their forehead when they are sick and feverish, to kiss them goodnight. Why? It's so unfair.

We can make a difference in these children's lives. $34 per month ensures that a desperately poor and hungry child will have a meal every day, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship. If you would like to sponsor a child or receive more information, please email me- mblueberry .madamblueberry@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today, 1/11/11 is our wedding anniversary!  We planned a night out, the baby sitter was lined up weeks ago, dinner at a "fine dining" restaurant that did not include the slogan -Eat Mor Chikin- was planned. A movie was also in play. 
However, we had an ice storm and we postponed our date.  We enjoyed a romantic dinner for four at our kitchen table.  It's an anniversary to remember. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Orphanage Dust

Do you see that?  It's orphanage dust, it's blowing through our house again.  Every time I think it's gone for good it comes back and I am unprepared.  This time it's a small dusting but it still caught me by surprise.  It's  more manageable than previous times but I desperately want it to be gone forever.  The supplements have made a huge difference but some triggers to the past are so strong.... it's really hard to put it all into words....

Tonight Igor was so angry he pulled his pillow and blanket off his bed and crawled under his bed to sleep.  This broke my heart.  To most parents this makes no sense, they think Igor is being defiant.   But I flash back to 2005, I remember the first few months Igor was home.  He would not sleep in a bed.  He would only sleep on the floor.  There was was something about sleeping in a bed that scared him. For months he would fall asleep with me next to him on the floor in his room. Before Rob and I went to bed Rob would pick Igor up and put him in his bed.  In the morning we would peek in on Igor and he would be back on the floor asleep.  We finally decided to let Igor sleep on the floor until he was ready to sleep in the bed.

When I see Igor as an eight year old boy crawling under his bed for safety- I see the frightened 3 1/2 year old boy we brought home from Russia and I want to scream- DO NOT GO BACK THERE!  You are safe with us.  But I don't because Igor cannot really hear me and I don't think he remembers much about his first year with us.  Igor's mind has gone some where else.  He is scared and confused, his body tense with anger.... he is looking for his safe place under the bed. I let him go there for a while.  Then I pull him out and put him in our bed.  He is growling at me, refusing to use words.  His body language tells me he does not want to be in my room, in my bed, his force shields are up but I wait it out.  A few minutes later he gets closer to me.  Soon our legs are touching and then Igor puts my arm around him.  Igor is relaxed now.  He drifts off to sleep.  I get out of bed and he calls out "mom...".  He wants me to come back but he can not or will not say the words.  I sit with him until I hear the deep, slow breaths of sleep.

The selfish, ugly side of me is so tired of orphanage dust.  I think - you have been home with us for FIVE YEARS!  TRUST US!  I'm tired of not knowing what will trigger Igor to go back to his fight or flight ways.  I am tired of my son not trusting me in every situation.  I am tired of Igor thinking he MUST protect himself because we might not.
I am plain old  t i r e d.

I pick up the book Rob bought me for Christmas- Bringing up Boys.  It has nothing to do with orphanages or orphans.  I read this:
Chronic neglect of boy and girls during the first two years of life is devastating psychologically and neurologically.  The brain is a dynamic and interactive organ that requires stimulation from the outside world.  When children are ignored, mistreated, or shuffled form one caregiver to another, terrible losses occur in thinking capacity.  The more severe the abuse the greater the damage is done. 

It was as if God had put that paragraph in the book just for me.  While this was not new information it was a great reminder of what has happened to my son before we brought him home.  I am reminded, when Igor was 1, 2 and 3 years old, his brain was being wired for survival.  He was building up walls, no, something so much stronger... he was building a force shield to protect himself physically and emotionally.  For the last five years we have been earning Igor's trust.  We have been trying to develop new neuro-path ways in Igor's brain to help him better react to hunger, fear, frustration, anger, etc... but it's been a long road.

After reading the paragraph in the book, I am not so tired.  I know that Igor has come so far from the the 3 1/2 year old boy we brought home.  We will continue moving forward together.

I know that I am being refined as a mom by God's own hand. But some days the refining process is a little overwhelming and I'm tired again.  Then I am reminded that we are refining Igor, helping him rewire his brain and I realize he must be tired too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One year ago today

One year ago today Rob and I filled out the application for adoption #3!  Our Agency could call any day now with our daughter's referral.  We cannot wait to meet you little one.