Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beautiful fall days

 We have had some absolutely wonderful 60 degree days back home in the City! Now that the sewer/alley/water/street construction is OVER!!! (YEAH!!!!) we can eat dinner on the deck! :o)
Mercy likes to pace, so she's inspecting the area until her dinner is ready! She's a "eat and run" girl!! :o)

Still waiting!! She eats independently so she gets her own bowl and sits. But there's no table here! Not yet! This folds over into a table/bench!

 Moses is in the play house! (from the 90s) He wants to eat at the play table!
We also have a nice big plastic picnic table.

What a big boy! He waits so nice! In fact all of the boys are so sweet and patient with us as we hustle to bring out the food!

Jacob does not like his dinner interrupted. We are still feeding him. He doesn't have the hand coordination yet.
BUT!!! NEWS FLASH!! Jacob took TWO steps walking on his own today!

Pauly has a special bowl with a handle on the side. We encourage him to hold it as he eats. With his autism he sometimes forgets he's eating and gets distracted by "tapping" his teeth with his spoon.

Julius our show off, eats circles around everyone! LOL! He likes lots of foods and things like pumpkin muffins. The others are quite finicky and may only eat some foods only if they are mixed in with things like potatoes or soup. Not Julius, he is a food connoisseur!  He'd also love it if we took pictures of him only!! Silly boy!

Julius is bugging Noah here! Noah, always the love bug reacts in his typical fun Noah way! He is such a doll!

 Noah is done eating so he crawled over to the playhouse. He's not walking on his own yet. But he does walk along the walls, furniture, etc. He just won't let go.

As the sun began to set the temps dropped. The boys didn't mind as much as Mercy. We all went back inside. It's such a blessing and a gift from God to have a nice place to eat outside! The Squirrels cleaned up for us! ;o)

God is Good!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

19 years old

While we were up north at the lake Samson had a birthday!
His gifts were given at home early before we left.
He turned 19!
He is getting the wagon to fill it with sticks from the yard.
The fire pit is behind him.

Samson has chores now. He used to help everyone. Now he has his own jobs. Of course he still likes to help! He tilts his head to "see". His visual field is where he tilts his head. That makes things like picking up sticks harder for him.

This year we'll try glasses again. He hates glasses and adjust them constantly. Eventually refusing to wear them. I'm hoping his new prescription works. He's verbal with few words that can help the eye Dr. He likes to sign but forgets, and forgets how to do some. When he remembers he signs so sloppy I get after him. He thinks it's pretty funny!

Although he looks happy on vacation............he isn't really happy to be at the lake. He's glad we are done there. He prefers to be home.
But we will be 8 miles away on 19 acres next year, I hope he likes it.
So far he's refused to get out of the van to explore it.
Hopefully he'll like it next summer.
He has fought depression off and on and we've tried medication. We haven't found a med that helps. But fish oil and coconut oil do.

When we adopted Samson 16 years ago. We drove home from TX with him and then we left home for the lake! He hated going outside at the lake but eventually came out to sit and pout at the picnic table with his back to us. Now on occasion he sits at the picnic table facing us. And he likes being outside when it's warm.
But he tells MA and SP every day that we are going home! And they throw a fit and squabble with him and each other about it. MA says no we are not going home, SP says she doesn't care she's going home, and Samson says we are all going home. We tell him not to say that..........it only lasts maybe 1/2 a day! OY!

Samson had a serious heart condition that required surgery but was not repairable. We worried about how many years we'd have him. We "worried" a lot since our daughter Joy had died. His heart condition actually improved! Now it is back to its original level of concern, but new oral meds can be tried. We no longer "worry" now. God has shown us that enjoying him is much more fun than "worry".

Here is the biggest birthday gift he got! A whole new makeover for his bed and wall! He loves it!
He had a Vikings football theme before. He's very hard on his linens, and of course things just aren't made to last anymore. :o(  This comforter does not like the washing machine.....sigh.

The white spots on the wall are where he picked stickers. He doesn't usually pick stickers, but they were worn and curling and he "fixed" them! I need to touch up with paint! A few years back he had a MN Wild Hockey Team logo on his wall that he bumped into as he "made his bed" or got on and off. Each time he tried to fix it, eventually it fell off! He was actually relieved! LOL!! It was curling on the edges!
Samson is still in Homeschool until he turns 22.

We are so proud of his accomplishments! He is a gift from God!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The HUGE miracle in the little body :o)

When we got to northern MN, Mosie was terrified.
So we put him in this little grocery cart to help him feel safe.
He was not impressed.
He hated the trailer, the bunk house, he wanted to get back in the van and go home.
We LOVE him to much to let him limit himself this way.
My cup over flows with this boy every single day!
What a blessing he is to us all!

Nature did not impress him.
He likes physical guy stuff. Cars, wrestling, standing on furniture!
He couldn't see a reason to be here.

Kitty helps him appreciate little flowers.
He LOVES his older brothers and sisters.
Just don't call him the baby.
Size does not define the man  boy!

Once he became braver we tried the stroller.
He's o.k. with strollers, but prefers walking.
We always start the boys playing tetherball in the stroller.
We didn't have to even explain it to Mosie- he figured it out!
It's a ball- balls are guy things!!
He's LOVING this!

                                                                   Get it Mosie!!

                                           YES!! He did it!! Mosie-Mosie-Mosie!!! Woo-Hoo!!

                                                           He really likes tetherball!

                                                                       And he hits it!!

                                           You have to taste the ball to really get the game!

                                                           YES!! Every time he hits it!

                             Ooops! " hey! Isaiah is there a reason you think I'll wear this tacky hat?"

                                      Now to become one with the ball before throwing it back!

                                       WOW! Look at the strength in those arms!! Go Mosie!!

            He got so excited, his fears were forgotten and he wanted to run with the bears!!! 
                                 Now he wants to play like everyone else- standing!!

But darn it! This ground is not flat! And these shoes still feel too new. He's going to have to slow down!! :o)
Slowing down is not Mosie's style!

                                                       He'll have to think about this.

                                                               Still thinking. :o)
                                              Goodness he's so darn cute isn't he??

                                      O.K. he's ready! This is do-able! Where's the ball!! :o)

And there he goes!! Don't mind the extra long shoe laces we had on these shoes. He doesn't have a problem with them if they stay tied! Darn shoe laces.

                                       Hmm, it's slower playing this way on un-level ground.

                                                      C'mon ball Mosie's over here!! :o)

                                               There!! That's much better! Thanks Sis!!

                                                       Ready? Cuz I'm going to throw it!!

                                                     Good catch Sis!! Now back to me!!

                     But now he's thinking where can he run to? Isn't any of this ground even?

                                                      Silly boy doesn't give up that easy!

                                              Until he starts losing his.........................


                                But nope! I fooled you didn't I!! I don't fall anymore!! I'm BIG!!

                                                             I'm 9 now, I'm Mosie!! I can do it!

When Tom picked up tiny little 7 year old Moses to leave Pleven, the staff said "He's a bad boy, he doesn't eat." We realized quickly that Mosie had his own agenda. And we were very blessed to be the ones to help him realize all that he has dreamed of doing. It wasn't that he didn't want to eat or do as they asked. He doesn't like to be talked down to. He's smart! He likes choices. He had ideas. He hears the beat of a different drum.

He doesn't appreciate how cute he is! Guys are just guys, they don't look "cute" they do guy stuff! He likes to push me away if I try to love him up more than he thinks I should!LOL!! He figures things out so quickly and amazes us with what he just seems to just "know". He wants to "talk" now, but not just talk- he wants to have a roaring booming voice! He wants authority! He's humiliated when I pick him up off a foot stool after telling him 20x he's going to hit his head if he keeps standing on top of it! He thinks he's too big to be picked up, that we should not be physically able to lift a boy so HUGE on the inside! That we should have to ask him nicely and maybe then he'll stop these daring feats! LOL! or he'd LOVE it if we wrestled him off!

He gets stronger every day. He takes running leaps at Tom's back as Tom sits on the floor next to Noah. He pulls back on Tom's neck with both arms and can just about pull Tom backwards!
He only does this with Tom because getting Daddy's attention is a reward only an orphan boy could understand!

He's over joyed when Tom shows everyone how strong he is when he "walks" up the front of Tom!
God is Good!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh my sweet Pauly

These were taken at bed time. Pauly has such a hard time sleeping. Even with medication. His little bed here is next to me. And he loves it, but sleep does not come easily.
Pauly has Autism, and he worries about everything. Change upsets him. He thrives on knowing what's next! Knowing makes him smile! 
When Tom picked him up with Julius 3 years ago, Pauly attacked Julius with finger nails and hair pulling. That was pretty daring! Julius was the stronger/quicker/older boy by 5 months. But Pauly won because Julius was not prepared! And that is so not like Pauly. He's such a gentle soul. And he has never hurt anyone again.

He throws his pillow and blankies and messes up his sleeping bag until all that is left is his foam pad.
He moans and groans and grunts and licks his lips till he falls asleep around 10 or 11 p.m. Long after the other boys. And then he's up around 3 a.m. fussing again. Six a.m. comes quick, we get up and he's asleep, we have to wake him. He'd sleep all morning if we let him. But he "naps" at noon. Most times just playing in his bed.

 He makes sounds like "mamma- babba" but only when he feels like it. So if he starts we encourage him!! Here Lysa gives him the ball. He's really not interested. But he likes the thought! :o)

                                                 So he holds it because he's being polite.

                                                  And he begins to wonder.....................

How long does he have to hold it??
The older kids tell him to throw it but Pauly is not a "thrower"

So he lets the ball fall off his lap.
He doesn't want anyone to notice.
He prefers not to have eye contact.
He is our only Bulgarian young man with beautiful blue eyes!
He looks like any American boy!
He's such a beautiful boy, and his Down Syndrome just adds to how handsome he is! :o)

 Now Isaiah (my photographer) tries to see if a wagon ride will prompt Pauly to become  a little animated? :o)

                                                          Weeeeeeeell, not quite! :o)

                                                                          But a little bit!!

 I still can't get enough of him! He's so huggable and squishable! He just LOVES to be LOVED!! He gives great hugs and sloppy kisses!
 Life is just way to serious for him. We try to make it fun and bring him out of his little world.
So we hold him to pull him into ours.
And it's hard. Hard for him to relax. Hard for him to let go.

Until we whisper to him how much we LOVE him!! And he laughs and laughs. And he relaxes, and his JOY is contagious!
That's how he tells us that he LOVES us! Laughter! He will just start laughing and we are quite surprised by it but quickly encourage him with hugs and kisses. Then we share in his laughter with him!
We LOVE this boy to pieces!!

When Tom had gone to visit Pauly first visit in Bulgaria, about the 3rd day/visit Pauly started to laugh! The staff at the orphanage were shocked and all felt it was the Holy Spirit because in 3 1/2 years he had shown no emotion! But He knew.........he just knew............that Tom was his new Daddy and he laughed throughout the entire visit! One of the orphanage staff could not resist hugging him as he laughed!
Our Dear Sweet boy!

I mentioned before, we think his heart surgery was such a shock to him......being alone..........and add to that the "orphanage autism" he saw.
His Autism has not resolved itself in any way, as his brothers has. The other 4 boys have relaxed and developed new more social behaviors.

This is picture is a good  sweet example of how Pauly's heart really is............LOVING. He's holding hands with Noah here. Noah is a toucher too. So he understands Pauly wanting to hold hands.

If Pauly holds hands with Moses or Jacob they push his hand away. I encourage them to hold Pauly's hand, because it takes Pauly a good 15 minutes before he reaches over to hold their hand. But Moses and Jacob just say no.

Julius and Pauly are very close since coming home together, so Julius will hold hands with Pauly. He LOVES Pauly Dearly, but he can be mean to him too. We all cry when Pauly is hurt, because he's such a gentle soul. Noah, Moses and Jacob would never think of being mean to Pauly. For the most part Mercy ignores him. So Pauly can be braver around them than he is with new people.
Oddly enough he sometimes goes directly to new people and then lets out all his anguish by huffing and puffing, but he won't leave them! So I get him and he feels he's been rescued! Silly boy!

God has truly blessed us with Pauly! Three years have flown by so fast! I was lost without him! He has saved me from spending way too much time thinking about myself. It's much more fun to think about Pauly! God knew I needed a little boy like Pauly in my life!
Thank You God!! I don't deserve Your Gifts!