Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Breaking Down Some Walls

Whew! I'm exhausted!!! I guess staying up to see Eclipse at 12:10 am will do that for you! It was great by the way!!! :)

Today we got up (took a few min to wake Davids, I felt so bad and if the other kids didn't know what this morning entailed and were looking forward to it so much I may have let him sleep and sleep!) and then shortly after headed out to go to our Wednesday morning summer dollar movie. This is the one Olivia has been waiting for... her second chance to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

A while back when this was coming out I had told Olivia that if she read the book (all 350+ pages) I would take her to see the movie. She read it, loved it, and is now on the third one in the series!

Our theater gives free refills on popcorn and pop - hello, this should be required everywhere!!! - and the kids loved all the food!

Afterwards, we met up with two families who are good friends for a few hours of fun and picnic time at a local park...

Davids had a great time playing soccer...

All the kids loved climbing around near an outdoor concert place with these cool cliff like walls and rocks to climb on! I would love to bring the kids here to get some family photos done! The light and scenery were great!

Here's Liam doing a pirate song and dance "on stage!"

Davids really got along well with my friend's 13? year old son! And although he's two years YOUNGER, he's a good head taller than Davids! They had a blast though and hopefully will get to spend more time together before we leave for Florida July 15th.

After the park we went to get Davids' hair cut. I was hoping to "de-mullet" him and cut the back short, but he would have none of it. Oh, he wanted his hair cut... but just the sides! Sorry, I'm all about expression, but I just could NOT let him cut the sides and leave the top and back long, couldn't do it. So I had to finally tell him after trying to show him pics to make sure he understood what we were talking about, either cut all the back, or let's just go. He wasn't very happy with me, which began a little bit of a meltdown in this area. :)

Remember, we were both tired, are both tired, from being up late last night. I'm sure that played a part. But I think too that he's been here a couple days now, it's more real, he's missing the "known", etc. Maybe anyone who's adopted older kids can help me out here, but I'm guessing this is pretty typical? Especially someone who's from an orphanage?

Tonight at dinner he came in with a sour expression, again, about the food I had prepared. I've already explained to him repeatedly that I won't make him eat something and will fix him something else, if he doesn't like what we're having; I've done this a couple times now even; but he has to TRY what we're having. He's also found many things he DOES like after trying them such as corn dogs, grapes, cheeseburgers, etc. So tonight, again with the look and words of not liking, etc. I stopped him to re-explain that I just want him to try it, but that it would be nice if he wouldn't automatically act the way he was. Especially as my four year old is IDOLIZING him and doing whatever he does or doesn't do. He refused to even look at me, tried to walk around me twice to which I simply asked him to wait and just listen. I was not mad, but was simply trying to explain. He then balled his hands into fists. I asked him to go upstairs to calm down and said I'd come talk to him in a minute.

I wondered how things went so quickly downhill but he wasn't outright mad, I think he was just really frustrated. I went up a little later and he was basically hiding under the bed. I wondered what in the world could have made him so upset over something so insignificant. I patiently waited and asked him to come out. He finally did and the dialog between us was hard. He was crying and I was trying to tell him I was not mad but that I had just wanted him to listen. He kept saying he was listening, his ears were open. But I was explaining that here, when we are listening, we stay in front of the person we're speaking to and look at them. If we walk away from them or make fists it is not nice. He was just so frustrated at trying to translate what he wanted to say with being as tired as I know he is. And as frustrated as he was, he was calm, not aggressive, not angry, just... well frustrated with himself and the situation and not understanding.

A couple times he said he was not perfect and didn't know things. I assured him I did not expect him to be perfect, but that I was simply explaining how we do things here since I know it is probably different. He said that he had been to one family of a friend of his and that "they rules not so strong." I tried to explain that every family has different rules and expectations and that it's just a lot to get used to. I think too he is a bit frustrated with the boys ALWAYS wanting to be with him, always touching things he is doing and building and working on, touching him, etc. He's just not used to it and it's so much to take in in a couple of days.

I have to say though that although it was a frustrating evening, I think he saw that no matter how he acts I'm not going to yell at him or hit him or do anything of that nature, I'm so wondering still at why the hiding under the bed, my heart just broke. I was simply calm and trying to explain things. I'm hoping that once he's had a good night's sleep and he sees that this doesn't impact my view of him tomorrow that those walls will continue to come crashing down and that he can see that every family has ups and downs. I know it's a huge learning process that he is just beginning. I only wish I had more experience in the teen dept! :)

I still think he's a great great boy and pray that his family is listening and praying and will come forward SOON!!!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Zoo Time

Today we used our zoo membership and headed up to the zoo. We met up with good friends of mine and their two littles and had a great time!

We happened to hit the seal/seal lion area right when the trainers were feeding them, and they put a small show on at the same time. It was awesome!

I think Davids enjoyed the zoo, as much as a fifteen year old can. :) But he had fun hamming it up with the kids...

Squeezing into the wagon and letting Liam pull him...

We got tickets for the dolphin show and I LOVED, as did Braeden, seeing Davids' reaction to this...


I was glad to have caught that on camera! And later during the show he caught me taking pics and gave me his peace sign! :)

He also was great at giving Liam a ride when Braeden wanted to sit in the stroller for a while.

Of course then Braeden couldn't be outdone...

Davids offered Olivia a ride too, but she declined! :) After getting home we ate dinner and hung out. Soon the kids (the little kids) will go to bed and then Davids and I's night is just beginning.
I somehow managed to get tickets for Eclipse tonight. I tried a while ago but they were sold out and somehow I managed to get two the other day at the last minute. I think they may have added a theater, but no matter how, I got the tickets!!! :) My neighbor across the street offered to babysit and I heartily accepted seeing as the littles won't even know she's there, they'll be sleeping their little hearts out! :) She's coming at 10 and I figured we could get a dessert or something and then catch the movie at midnight. I am going to be so tired! I already am! :) But it'll be worth it! Can't wait!!!
Monday, June 28, 2010

Wet and Wild

We had another really good day today... and getting even more comfortable with one another which is great!

After a morning of playing together well, we had a friend and her two littles over for lunch and play time. It was very fun! My friend hasn't been over to see the house before so I was able to show her around and the kids all played really well.

We then went to the eye doctor for Davids. We are to take him to have both his eyes and teeth checked while he's here. A friend at work told her daughter, who works at our area's best optometrist, and before I even knew anything about it, she had gone before their board and approved to give him a free exam and glasses if he were to need them.

The people there were wonderful today! They even came out and gave all of the kids free tshirts! The back is cute, and especially fitting as Braeden sings the song that it was taken from! It says "Jeepers Creepers take care of your Peepers!" So cute! I think I'm actually going to send all four back with Davids. Two will fit him and I'm sure the other two can be community property for others there.

The doctor said he had great eyes and could even be a pilot if he chose, his sight was so good. He asked Davids during the exam what he thought of America and Davids gave him a huge grin and a big thumbs up! So cute!

Following his exam, I took the kids to our local splash park. (Not thinking of course that after getting his eyes dilated they would be extra sensitive to light! :( )

He tried the water a bit, and then layed out a while to rest his eyes. NO complaining or negativity AT ALL. Such a trooper! And Braeden and Liam later kept him company!!!

Braeden met up with a friend of his for a while (unplanned!). She goes to our church and also was in class with him not this past year but the one prior. He loves her so much, he used to say all the time he was going to marry her! :) He was shy when he first saw her today, but got over that quickly!

And Davids loved the water when he was in it!!! (He's such a skinny, tiny thing! The suit he has on is a 10-12!)

Liam and Davids sharing some grapes...

Liam's teeth were chattering (the water was a bit cold) even with his towel around him, so Davids took his off and put his towel around Liam's, so sweet!

Later I got out my bucket of legos I had brought home from my classroom for the summer. Most of them are Harry Potter legos and since he's read all of the books, Davids loves Harry Potter. They played legos for hours today and he and Olivia built this...

After dinner we walked down the road to the park and played a bit. Davids was great at pushing Braeden on the swings, and sat so quiet as we watched a fisherman at the river for a bit, it was a great ending to a very good day!

Poor Liam has just been knocked out by the end of the day lately... have NO idea WHY!? LOL Last night he and I were laying on my bed and he was trying to convince me to go up to his room and play with him, and just CRASHED. Tonight as the kids were playing Mario Kart, OUT! :) Olivia was thrilled to be able to take this picture!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unplanned Fun

Today has been another fun day. Church went well. I had Davids go in Olivia's class with her since the kids his age had church at the other service and so that he would hopefully feel more comfortable. When I asked him how it was, he yawned! :) LOL Oh well! Olivia told me he was singing and dancing with the music. :)

On the way home I saw that people were setting up chairs to watch a parade and remembered that the festival's end parade was going to start soon. I always have our chairs in the back, so we pulled over and set them up. We were dressed for church, and church is cold inside, the only downfall! :) Davids said in Latvia it is not this hot! We did have to wait a while...

They got umbrellas out to shade themselves...

Liam snuggled up on the chair with Davids...

And took a five minute snooze...

When it started, there was a whole procession of firetrucks and ambulances and they were LOUD! Davids was NOT liking it at all, but then he saw Liam didn't either, took his hands off his own ears, and placed them over Liam's. So Braeden put his hands over Davids'. :)

Once the candy started coming, it was no holds barred... they were off!

Up above, there was a perfect circle rainbow around the sun, hard to see here, but it was so cool...

There were a few water trucks where they were squirting the spectators... Davids was ALL about it!

The only downfall, to me anyway, was that they were given a huge bucket FULL of candy that is now in our cabinet... it will last us until at LEAST Christmas! Crazy!

To Keep in Mind

I had someone email me about keeping in mind and being careful about the fact that SOME of these kiddos COULD be playing us in order to "get a family." I do get that and do think that that is always worth keeping in mind when anyone of us goes out to adopt an older child. Even a young child can have some pretty serious behaviors as I found out quickly with a 23 month old foster child who swore like a sailor and had almost every RAD symptom/sign/behavior for her age possible. It IS possible that once he were permanently home in a family his "true" self would come out, so do please keep that in mind.

However I don't think it's like that with Davids. I could be completely utterly wrong, and I pray that I'm not. Do I think it's going to be all rainbows and puppies, no. I would think that anyone going into an adoption no matter what they age, etc knows there will be adjustments, knows there could be testing of the waters, etc. But I just don't see any signs of aggression in the slightest and we were warned that orphanages are typically rampant with that because they're kids on their own a lot. Today he thought it was "stupid" that I wouldn't allow him to ride a bike without a helmet. There are three helmets and unfortunately the other kids got them first. And we were told repeatedly that we could NOT let them ride anything without one... for liability, etc so I can't help it. And he thought it was stupid and said so, twice. Is that so out of range for a "normal" kid? I don't think so, but who knows. Just know that I am seeing what I am seeing and that if he's acting it's worthy of an Academy Award! :)

Numbers 22-24

Here are three more necklaces being sold to raise funds for our adoption. (you can click them to enlarge) If you'd like to see others please look at past posts starting with the word "Numbers" in the post column on the right, ones sold will be marked in red.

*** If you'd like one, please email me FIRST before donating!!! I will sell to the first one who asks and mark the ones SOLD as soon as I retrieve the email. Let me know which number necklace you are interested in... I will respond to your email letting you know if the necklace is sold or if you can go ahead with your donation and order! :)

*** anglsamngulb (at) hotmail (dot) com - with no spaces

*SOLD* Number TWENTY TWO... grey marble like disc beads with black ribbon

Number TWENTY THREE... tiger eye black grey brown beads with wide grey ribbon

*SOLD* Number TWENTY FOUR... translucent black beads with wide black ribbon

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Part of a Family

I thought this needed it's own separate post. As silly as this may seem, this really struck me as saying volumes about what Davids understands.

Last night I showed Davids where his toothbrush and deodorant were and the shelf I had put them on in the bathroom. I had given him a toothbrush in a travel holder for him to take back when he has to leave. He glanced down and saw that on the sink is our toothbrush "carrel." It has four spots, but since I have Olivia keep her toothbrush up high (just so Liam doesn't get it and use it, little stinker he is!), there is an empty spot in the carrel.

Davids took his toothbrush out of his travel container and placed it right in with our toothbrushes. He gets it. He IS part of us... at least while he's here. I was choked up watching him do that and am now just in thinking about it! His white and blue brush looks great alongside ours!

That leads me to a very important part of this post... Will you PLEASE help me in advocating for this incredibly sweet young man!? He NEEDS a forever family. We just can't be that family, but at the same time as it breaks my heart, I know that that's right, that we AREN'T his forever family. But I also know God called us to bring Davids here. I KNOW He did and I KNOW that that was for a reason! He is using us and I'm asking you to see how He could use you... please help us pray for and advocate for Davids!

Davids is 15. In Latvia at age 16, kids are NOT ADOPTABLE! That is not acceptable to me! He needs a family! And Latvia also takes three trips to adopt. Even if I wanted to move heaven and earth, I just can't do that as a single, working, parent. I wish I could. The child DOES get to come home with you after the first trip, which is great, but there are still two more short trips to complete the adoption.

He deserves a family to love him and call him theirs. He is such a sweet caring wonderful young man! I know we've only known him a short time. I know that he could be in a "honeymoon", BUT I'm a foster parent. I've had kids in and out, I teach kids with special needs, I have seen RAD up close. I have seen NO signs or red flags AT ALL in any way shape or form about this young man!!! NONE!

I can't talk to him about adoption. I can't even mention the word around him. That's ok. What I can do is get the word out. I can pray. We live in IL, but will be traveling to FL July 15 and staying until Aug 1. There are a mighty bunch of states between here and there that we'll be driving through! I would love to get together with anyone who MAY be interested. I would be meeting you as a friend, and you would be doing surveillance without him even knowing! IF there is anyone potentially interested, I will then pass that info on to New Horizons and they will help that person/couple from there.

Please help me help him!

Post this on your blogs, post this on Facebook, email any who may be interested and direct them to my blog and / or to me! Let's bring him HOME to a forever family!

Feel free to email me!!!
anglsamngulb at hotmail (dot) com

The Rest of Our Day

We had an amazing day today! After my earlier post we headed out to the local festival. Davids started on some of the kiddie rides and loved them!

But he moved on to the bigger rides quickly and loved those too!

Grandma and Grandpa texted that it was cotton candy day soon (yeah right) and to treat all to cotton candy, on them. So we did and he loved that! :)

The little boys and I rode the carousel while Olivia and Davids went on the huge ferris wheel.

Then all but Liam took a turn at the slide...

On the way back to the car...

On the way into McDonalds...

I asked for a picture menu at McDonalds (took them almost ten minutes to find one!) and he first wanted the ice cream! But then settled on a cheeseburger and fries and loved it! We had ice cream later!

At home later we started to get PJs on and read a Bible story. One of the goals of hosting is to share Christ with the kids. Most do not know God, so they suggest using a children's Bible and just going through the stories that way.

After they changed, I came upstairs and he was folding his clothes to put them into his bag. I said, like I did last night too, put them in the hamper I'll wash them. And he said, "After only one day?" My heart about broke! I don't know why that got to me so much, but it did. I shook my head YES. I will wash them. I've already showed him a small dresser that is full of the clothes others have donated and told him that they are his. Today he wore an outfit he came with, doesn't bother me at all, but I do want him to understand that we do have these things for him and they are his. When we were at a store earlier, I wanted to get him another pair of PJs, we looked at pajamas and figured out ones he liked (Iron Man) and a size, and then he started putting them back on the rack. I said, no, they are for you, we will buy them. He was so cute! I have heard how some of the kids just get too overwhelmed at stores as they haven't been to one, and how some get the "greedies", I saw none of this with him. He was very interested in everything and wanted to look at everything, especially the toys, but he did not even ask to buy anything and left when it was time to move on.

Anyway, we were talking about our nighttime Bible story! So, we began with creation. I asked him first if he knew the Bible and he said yes, but I still wasn't sure. We read the story and then I asked each what their favorite thing God had made was, finishing with Davids. He said bird but was trying to think of what specific one it was in English so I pulled out my laptop and google translate (love that!). He typed the bird name in Latvian and it came up... dove. He said he liked that one because of Noah's ark and how it was sent out!!!

BUT, that then started a time of using translate and he really enjoyed that. I typed Do you like cake? as I was going to make one later, and he said yes. Then he took it and typed... Do you like, I? Meaning... Do you like me!? I said most emphatically YES we love you! and he typed Truth? and then Really? and had this adorable grin! It was so sweet!

He is having a hard time right now going to sleep, but I was prepared for that. He stayed up watching some tv and cracked me up that he was watching the Hulk... on the Spanish channel!!! Seriously! :) They even showed a McDonalds commercial, in Spanish and he was excited to see that and said that that was where we had gone earlier! :) I can still hear him upstairs moving around on the bed. Poor thing, it is pretty hot up there!? Maybe tomorrow I'll let him sleep in the basement??? He said it's much cooler in Latvia. :)

Tomorrow is church and I think I'm going to have him go with Olivia to her class so he's more comfortable, especially since he doesn't know the language or Bible REAL well and is a bit small, I think it would be easier for him, we'll see.... :) Off to bed.. hopefully... :)

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you