Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Friday, November 28, 2008

first video posting

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was a great time for us to reflect on all the blessings we have been given in this last year - Wesley, a new home, health, happiness.
I sent the pictures and letter to Wesley's birthmother through our searcher Gene. He is going tomorrow, so we will probably have answers this week!! It took me a while to complete the letter, but I am confident with the final product. I'll update as soon as we find out something!
If you notice that I have not been posting as many pictures of Wesley, there is a reason...Wesley will hardly sit still to have his picture taken!! Most of the pictures I take are blurry because Wesley moves at between the time I press the button and when the camera actually takes the picture. I don't even use the red-eye reduction, so I have no idea how to take faster pictures.
I have posted our first video as well. I took it on the way to our Thanksgiving with my Mom's side of the family. Wesley is showing his mastery of various animal sounds. His favorite sound to make is the lion's roar. I was shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner at the grocery, and Wes was growling at other shoppers!!

This could have been our Christmas card picture if I had been able to keep my eyes open!!

what a handsome man

sitting in his carseat (check out the static cling in his hair from rubbing it on the carseat)

check out the face he makes when he says "meow" - so funny!

Monday, November 24, 2008

thoughts from an adoptive mom

Now lately I haven't posted much about some of the deeper things that I think about and struggle with on a daily basis. As you can tell by my title, it about Wesley's adoption...Damon and I have started a birth family search for Wes. Everything good to go (sent money, sent pictures) except that I have not written a letter to the family. I know this is not something that is required, but it is something I want to do. The trouble is - how do you do it? I know how to write and type (obviously), but how do you express so much emotion in a short letter? How do I tell his birth family that we love and care for him as though he has been with us since birth and that we are doing the best to give him a happy and healthy life? I will probably never meet his birth mother in person, but this letter (and pictures we are sending) are something she will have to think of him for the rest of her life.
Maybe I am putting too much thought and pressure into this is just that I can imagine the guilt she must feel about giving her child up for adoption and assuming that no one would adopt him due to the seriousness of his medical condition. Now at this point we do not know for sure why Wesley was available for adoption, but we have been told that it was because of his medical needs. If that is true, it seems wrong that we are able to raise him because we have more money and good medical insurance. No matter the reason, she has to wonder where he is, what he looks like, is he happy, has he been adopted, is he healthy, will he get the needed surgery, etc., and I want to convey to her that he is being well taken care of.
One thing that I don't think is talked about much regarding adoption is the fact that someone experiences pain and guilt so another can experience joy, with the child experiencing both emotions. I don't claim to understand why the process has to work like that, and I will probably never find out in my time on earth. It's just something I think about...
Now I don't want anyone to think that I am guilt-ridden because I adopted a little boy from Ukraine because I am not. I feel a pang of guilt now and then for his birth mother and all she is missing, but there is not a chance that I would ever give him back to her or anyone else!!! I believe that Wesley was meant to be mine and Damon's son from the beginning of time. I don't understand why things happen like they do, but I am glad they have happened like this for us.
Sorry for the rambling post, it's just a few thoughts I wanted to get off my chest. Thanks for reading!!!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving background

Isn't this the most adorable background?? I am in the Thanksgiving spirit, so I thought the blog should reflect that. I went to the grocery this morning to buy groceries for Thursday. Talk about the WRONG time to go!! Not only is everyone shopping for Thanksgiving, but the Ohio State-Michigan game is today at noon. So everyone was decked out in their OSU gear. One guy did have on a Michigan hat, and some people "boo-ed" him. I felt bad for the guy, but he just laughed it off. Maybe that is the difference between men and women...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

not much to write about

I don't really have much to post about, but I thought I would just say hello. The Bengals game was chilly on Sunday, but at least it didn't snow!! The game against the Eagles ended in a tie, so at least it's not a loss!! They are tied with the Steelers right now, so I'm hoping for a win!

It's been snowing here in Ohio. Driving home from work I had trouble seeing the road. I don't know that I am ready for winter just yet - I feel like I didn't get to enjoy the summer because we spent it in Ukraine! I have usually started my Christmas shopping by this point in the year, and I have only purchased three gifts (two of the gifts are for Wesley).
I took Wesley to my Mom's book club yesterday. They followed our adoption journey through this blog and my Mom, and I was excited for them to meet Wes in person as I know they have seen tons of pictures and heard lots of stories. I know that Wesley had a good time - he likes flirting with ladies :) He was pretty well behaved, but he did end up trying to climb the wall (literally)!

Wes is his Bengal pajamas for the game tonight
(he was actually in bed before it started)

Damon and I at the game (as you can see, I do not just post nice photos of myself!! I am happy to report that I have gotten my hair cut since this picture)

the Eagles #58 Trent Cole played football in high school with my brother, so I enjoy watching him play

Do you think Katie is spoiled or what?

I think Wesley is tired of me taking his picture...

I finally found a television show that Wes is interested in. It is called "Super Why" and is a cartoon about books. I think it is too advanced for him, but he only watches for a few minutes.

I've been trying to teach Wesley to smile when I take his picture. The smile is more of a grimace, but we're working on it. (He was trying to smile on command in the top picture as well)
34 days until Christmas
As an animal lover (especially dogs), I ask you to pray for our friends Juan, Mandy, Marisa and Mateo who recently lost their pug Walter. Walter was a wonderful dog, and he will be greatly missed!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

weather now not so wonderful

Happy 33rd Birthday, Damon!!!
Less than one week ago it was sunny and beautiful, now the days are cloudy, dreary, and cold! Damon and I are going to the Bengals game on Sunday and the forecast says a high temperature of 32 degrees!! WHAT?? Why didn't I go to the game two Sundays ago and let my Dad go with Damon to this Sunday's game?? I already told Damon that I wouldn't let him drop me off at the gate, so I am going to have to walk probably a mile with the "boot" on my foot. I'm not complaining as it is my choice, but it's going to be a long walk.
I met with the cardiologist and the pulmonary doctor (a pulmonologist?) on Monday. The cardiologist did an EKG and said that it was normal and he saw no cause for concern. In Ukraine we were told that Wesley had a heart murmur, but no US doctor could hear anything, so we weren't too concerned. The pulmonologist didn't see anything abnormal in his x-rays or hear anything abnormal, but they want to do a scope sometime under anaesthesia. Obviously they don't want to put him under just for that, so it will likely be when he has his "man surgery" in January.
On Tuesday a new g-tube was put in. The doctors will go down one more size, then we will get the "button." The button only sticks up from the skin a small amount and doesn't have to have a huge tube sticking out of his stomach all the time.

Wesley got his first professional haircut (and maybe his last) on Thursday afternoon. I have been trimming his hair since we got him in August (he had a mullet!), but I figured it was time to let someone who knew how to cut hair trim it up. I took him to a place called "Cookie Cutters" that specializes in children's haircuts. There were three women working and only one little girl getting her haircut, but for some reason (unknown to me), it took at least 20 minutes for Wesley to start getting his haircut. (The subsequent haircut took about 7 minutes total) The place had a huge slide which of course he wanted to go down at least 30 times. I swore my back was going to give out before he got his hair cut because I had to life him each time to a height around my shoulders. I just realized that is why my neck has been hurting today - I assumed that I slept on it funny last night!! Ok, so back to my story...the little girl in front of us is finished up and we are called to a small car to sit. I buckle him in and the hairstylist starts to put a cape on him. Wesley throws a fit!!! He starts screaming and crying and hitting his head (which he does sometimes when he gets upset, maybe its an orphanage thing?). He calmed down once I got his hands out and she started cutting his hair.
Like I said it was over in no time and we go to the counter to pay. She asked if I had a Dorothy Lane Market card (a fancy grocery store in the same shopping center), and I said that I do. Apparently having a grocery card saved me $1.50 off the cut, but can you guess how much I still had to pay? Let me remind you that she didn't even wash or dry or use clippers on his hair and it took seven minutes...the total was $12.45!!! My haircuts cost $15.00 and that includes a wash and style!! I realize that is crazy-cheap for me so it might not be a good comparison, but isn't that an outrageous price for a 21 month-old's haircut?? She was being paid $2.00 per minute which equates to $119.57 per hour!! I know attorneys who hardly make more an hour than that!!

When I told Damon how much it cost, he said "you're never taking him back there again, he can go to Mike's Barbershop and get his hair cut for less than $3.00." Now many of you don't know what Mike's Barbershop is, but in the town where we grew up, this used to be the barbershop to go to. If it tells you anything about the barbers in the shop, one of the men who used to cut hair there was at least 80 years old and on oxygen!! I have to laugh even thinking about Wesley going there, but it would be a lot cheaper...or I could just go back to cutting it. We'll decide when he needs it cut again, but I will not take him to get his hair cut at Mike's!!!
As you can see though, the haircut turned out pretty well

The Christmas presents are out in every store now!! Wes doesn't "get" Christmas yet, so we just show him the toys and let him play with them in the store. You can see that he is quite taken with the talking Elmo. I have a Tickle Me Elmo from back in the day, but the weird giggling just scares him. I just cannot bring myself to spend $50 on a red animal-thing that tells my son he loves him and then blows kisses. Just a little too strange for me...

We did purchase a sock monkey for him though!! I think sock monkeys are so stinkin' cute, so I had to get him one. That and when I showed it to him at Target he slobbered all over it as he gave him a kiss.

Here are just a few cute pictures of Wes from our everyday lives.

He was singing and dancing while standing in Damon's shoes.

When he sits in his car seat, Wes pulls his pants up to his knees every time. Haven't figured out why yet...

dinner at Steak N Shake

not exactly Mr. Sunshine in the mornings as I got him up earlier than he wanted to get up to go to a doctor's appointment

Saturday, November 1, 2008

still wonderful weather in Ohio

The weather here in Ohio is still so wonderful. Today the temperature was over 70 degrees and sunny all day! Wesley and I went to the park before running errands, and of course I brought my camera :) I was hoping to get a good picture for adoption announcements, and the best I got was the second picture down. I don't know if it is what I am looking for...such a big decision (not that big though), and I'm having trouble making it.
Working from home is going well so far. I usually work during Wesley's nap, a few evenings, and Sunday afternoons. I go to work three days a week, and I look forward to doing that. I always thought I would want to stay home full-time, but now I think that part-time out of the house is good for me. I enjoy the people I work with, and I also enjoy what I do. My mom watches Wesley two days and Damon watches him one day. I don't have to worry about him at all, so I am able to focus on work. I look forward to going home at the end of the day, but I do enjoy it while I am there. I think if I disliked my job I might feel differently about staying home, but it is a personal choice that works for now.
Wesley goes to the pediatrician tomorrow for the first time. We didn't select one before leaving for Ukraine, and we've put off finding one after getting home. I figure that he probably needs a flu shot, so we're going to get one and just to have a general check-up. Each of the other doctors that we take Wesley to is very specialized, so the pediatrician is more for general health.
On Monday Wesley goes to a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. The heart and lungs are the last two things to check before the doctors determine that esophageal atresia is Wesley's only health concern. We look forward to either ruling those out or determining a course of action to deal with heart and lung issues. Preliminary findings indicate that Wesley does not have heart or lung problems, but the doctors will determine that for sure. After these appointments, we won't have too many until the surgery - YAHOO!!
We had an appointment with a speech therapist last week. When we first came home, it was determined that Wes was only at 9 months developmentally in the speech department. Personally I thought he was further along than that, but I figured we should have him checked out. As I suspected, the therapist said that he was right on track with his age. I was a little surprised that he has caught up to his age so quickly - I mean, we've only been home 7 weeks!!! He is picking up words right and left, but his favorite word by far is "Katie." Katie is our Boston Terrier who avoids Wesley because he is so rough with her. She is 8 years old and prefers not to have a 20 month-old falling on her or squeezing her (aka giving her a hug). He seems to think though that any animal is Katie, so we're working on that.
I hope everyone got out and voted yesterday. I actually didn't have to wait at all and I went after work at 5:00p! Damon went earlier in the day and the wait was over an hour unless you voted out in the open instead of in a booth. I won't lie - the person I voted for did not win, but I am hopeful that Barack Obama can turn things around financially in the United States. I took Wesley with me to vote and the whole drive to the polling place, I explained to him how important it is to vote in every election. I told him about how people died to give us that freedom, how it is the only way to change things for the better, etc, etc, and he just stared at me from the backseat. I guess maybe he'll understand when he grows up!
I hope everyone has a good week! And if you are having good weather still - get out and enjoy it while it lasts!! Christmas will be here before we know it...49 days!! Is that an excuse to go shopping? I think it might be :)

the tongue out means he is having fun (or being mischievous)
my mom got Wesley this shirt and when he wears it, he constantly points at the dog and says "Katie"
crying because I told him not to touch the trash can
Wesley was a horse for Halloween - thank you so much for the costume, Dianne!!!

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