Tuesday, November 8, 2011

As your dreams unfold before your eyes....

You can't help but to smile, as your heart and life fill with sunshine, as you watch everything that you have ever dreamed of come to life right before your eye, in your own home.  All I ever wanted in life was to be a Mom, and I have been so blessed to have the chance.  After I became a Mom, it wasn't enough to have just one child, I wanted and needed more.  Not just for me, but for them to have each other. 

Last night K and I were going through old photos of the baby house where she lived for 5 + yrs of her life.  The director is the only person who she has ever shown any rememberance or reconginition of from her old life as an orphan.  Last night, she had NO idea who the woman was, she hasn't seen her in person in 12 months 5 weeks.  I'm not sure if I'm sad for her, or happy that her old life hasn't left terrible scars that give her nightmares - really it just is what it is.

Also last night I finally filled her frame that I bought her with photos.  When we were setting up her bedroom before we left for her country I purchased a frame that holds 8 photos to hang in her room.  I had intended to send, through email, a bunch of photos from in country to my sister and have her print them out and fill the frame so that it would be complete when we got home.  Well, that didn't happnen.  And now I'm glad that it didn't because there are much better photos in there now then there could have been if we had kept to our oringinal plan.  I did include a photo of her with her groupa on gotcha day in the frame.  She was not able to name anyone or locate anyone other then her sister and herself.  When I asked her if she used to live there she said "Yes :)".  When I asked her if she liked it there, she said "Yes :)"  When I asked her if she wants to be there or home, she said "No".  I said "No, what?  No home or no groupa?"  She said "NO.  I go with Emily."

Okay, so my Momma heart hurt for about 2 seconds that she didn't say that she wanted to be with me, BUT tears filled my eyes and my heart is overflowing that she knows that she belongs with her sister, and that she wants to be with her.  A HUGE motivator for our timing when we decided that it was time to adopt was so that Emily would grow up with a sibiling, a friend.  These girls are SO happy to have each other, and I am SO happy to have been able to give them the gift of each other.

There is NOTHING like having a sister!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Six Months Home

Just 6 months ago, right now I was slowly climbing out of a limousine in my driveway, and walking into my home.  It was a very sur real experience, and one of the most memorable.  We were returning home after being on the other side of the world for over 6 weeks.  We walked out of our home a nervous, excited family of 3, and returned an exhausted, ecstatic family of 4 (and in no small way thanks to all of you!!!!!) :)

How quickly time flys by, how many moments we miss as we try to make it through each day.  SO very much has changed in this household since I started writing this blog 18 months ago, much of that since our return from Easter Europe with our new daughter.  I know that I've been terrible at updating since we got home.  Adjustment for all of us was different then I expected.  I do respond to emails though if anyone has any questions or wants to connect.

I thought in this post that I would first give you what everyone has been waiting for, a photo update.  Make sure to scroll down though and read through all of the great things that we have been doing, learning, and creating since I went MIA from the Internet.

Our last visit at the Orphanage

1/2 hour after breaking free, running and playing in the city :)

Our new family of 4 in front of the city zoo gates
Meeting her baby cousin (born the day that we first meet K)

At home without a hat or winter coat.  And with puddle boots full of water :)

Discovering the joys and love of a Grandad

Hanging out with Daddy

At the Confederation Bridge, PEI

Playing at the most awesome park I've EVER seen, in PEI

Sisters, forever

Ready for the pool

Standing on the ocean floor, Bay of Fundy NS

What's childhood if you never get to be a princess of Burger King ?

At the Sutton Fair

First time on a pony

With a butterfly on her leg at the Butterfly Conservatory (she didn't like this at all!!!)

Finding a new look

First time I gave her an ice cream of her own

Petting a sting ray at the Toronto Zoo, K's first Thanksgiving

Riding a pony at her cousin's birthday party

Loven the farm :)
Helping Aunti move into her new home

Ready for the Library Halloween Party

Ready to go Trick or Treating
Our little Miss K has come so far since we arrived home.  She is settling into family life so well.  She has attended countless family dinners, birthdays, holidays, celebrations, etc already.  She can easily name most of her cousins from photos when she just looks blankly at photos of children from her groupa and I have to tell her who they are.  She is completely toilet trained, again (as they put her in diapers when she entered the children's house).  She no longer must eat with a bib on, although we are working on not wearing so much of our meal on our face and not wiping our hands on our clothes (but who doesn't have to work on that with busy little ones).  She always tries to use her fork and spoon when eating now.  She understands at least 95% of what we are saying to her.  I understand at least 90% of what she is saying to me.  She had started out in a booster seat, but was quickly moved to a car seat when she couldn't stop herself from twisting herself all the way around to look out all of the windows while we were driving, but is now graduated back to a booster seat.  She no longer fake cries, or tests the rules at bed time.  She no longer gets out of bed and wanders around during the night.  She has stopped trying to eat my make up, and knows to stay out of that draw.  She knows where her draw is in the bathroom, and applies her own make up when the mood strikes.  She is now able to walk with us in the grocery store and doesn't have to ride in the cart, and is almost at the point where she doesn't have to hold my hand the entire time.  And so much more, but I just can't think of it right now.  She is doing amazing :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!  To all of you who played a part in helping us to bring our beautiful girl home.  With out you our lives would have a huge hole in it where she belonged, and she would still be sitting in a diaper in the special needs room at the children's house (provided that they didn't transfer her when they transferred Josiah..., oh too much to think about!!!) either waiting for permission from the other little girl in the groupa to play with something, or running around in a wild crazed way with the rest of the kids.  I know that so many of you love our daughter, think about her often, and have held her close to your hearts and held her in your prayers.  I hate that I have not been able to update here on a regular basis, and that many of you have been left to wonder and hope.  That was never my intention.  The reality of bringing this sweet girl home and into our lives was very different then I thought it would be, and our lives have just continued to grow in busyness since then.  Not an excuse, just honestly about who we are and where we are in our lives right now.  K has also had the experience of becoming a big sister to a baby recently, as we are now fostering a 3 month old baby with microcephaly.  Never a dull moment here, and apparently this Momma never plans on sleeping again.... ;)

I do hope to post again soon.  And it is my full intention to have all of our thank you cards/bookmarks etc our to everyone by early December at the latest.  Thank you for all of your patience and understanding.  Much love and many blessings to all of you ooxooxooxooxoo  :) 

Beamish Family Sept. 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smallest Post Ever

One year ago today we emailed RR to let them know that we had found our daughter waiting for us on their web site, and that it was our full intention to go and get her, and bring her home.

Wow, a whole year!!!  Funny how the time goes so fast and so slow at the same time. 

I am SO sorry that I haven't updated here is such a very long time.  I spent hours and hours while we were in region fighting with the internet trying to get updates for everyone to read.  My husband finally helped me put it all into perspective, and I stopped crying, yelling, and shaking the computer, while sitting outside in the dark at all hours of the night.  I had fully intended to get things updated when we returned to the capital city, but the 4 + weeks away from home and a new 6 yr old daughter took more of a toll on my energy and time then I had anticipated.

Since we have been home things have been good, bad, wonderful, and defiantly overwhelming for all of us.  About a week after we got home (which went by WAY too fast) my parents left for their month long European excursion that they had been planning for a very long time.  Great for them, not as good for us.  With them gone, that left Mike to run the company, and me home alone most of the time with the girls. 

I will defiantly write many more updates soon, and add photos, but for the moment I will say....
  • I love our new little girl SO very much
  • I believe that our little girl loves all of us too
  • For the most part K's integration into our family has been pretty seamless.  There was a whole where she belonged, and now she's in it
  • Adding a mobile 6 yr old is more difficult then adding a non mobile 6 yr old
  • Bringing a 6 yr old into your family is MUCH more difficult then a baby
  • This is much more difficult then I ever expected it to be, but I can't always put my finger on exactly what it is that I find difficult
  • I spend much more time then I ever expected second and triple guessing what the right thing is to do, in terms of EVERYTHING.  I have never had so little faith in my parenting abilities.
  • a 2 yr old can be an awesome teacher to their cousins, and will actually HOLD hands when you ask them too
  • We are very much looking forward to our summer
  • I hate that we had to leave so many children behind
  • the internet holds such great resources and support, but it's too bad that you have to be able to get on line to access it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

List of winners

Okay, I have FINALLY been able to complete all of the draws for our final fundraiser!!!!  If you are a winner of ANYTHING, please email me at sara_beamish@hotmail.com, so that I can keep track of your email address and make arrangments to get your prize to you.  Please bear with me a little longer, as I get the list together with email addresses for the free pendents from Sarah's Treasure Box.

A huge congrats to the one and only Mrs. Renee Tam for winning the iPad !!!!!!!

Okay, so here is the recap of winners.

Daily Draw - Set of 4 custom bookmarks

March 16th - Renee Tam
March 17th - Luba Bowden
March 18th - Renee Tam
March 19th - Sarah White
March 20th - Cammy Lockwood
March 21st - Susan Sunderlin
March 22nd - Katherine Parker
March 23rd - Theresa Smith
March 24th - Alicia Fanz
March 25th - Nicole Arigo
March 26th -  Chris Rengent

Goals Reached - $25 gift card

$500 - Renee Tam - Donated money back to fund :)
$1000 - Cammy Lockwood
$2000 - Susan Sunderlin
$4000 - Melissa Moos - Donated money back to fund :)
$8000 - Stefanie Senkiw
$16000 - Eric Hanchett

End of Weeks - $10 gift card

March 21st - Cammy Lockwood
March 26th - Luba Bowden

Most Shared - $30 gift card

Renee Tam

Large Draw Prizes

iPad - Renee Tam

Turbo Jam Video - Melissa Moos

Shaun T's Fit Kids Club Video - Margert Green

Tutu Dress - Steven Schlesinger

Darling Royal Doulton Figurine - Brian Jones

Blankie Boo - Susan Blatt

Mary Kay Tote - Chris LaMar

Mary Kay Clutch - Nicole Butcher

Scentsy Buddy - Theresa Smith

Congratulations to all of the winners!!!!! 

We really want to thank everyone so much for every penny of support that we have received, every prayer that has been thought or spoken for us, every good though and good wish that people have spared for us.  With out each and every one of you, we would not be sitting here in Easter Europe, bonding with and loving on this amazing little girl, who has been missing from our lives for so long.  And who know how much longer she would have stayed sitting here waiting for a family of her own, under estimated and under loved.  You have all been a part of our miracle, of putting our family together.  The words just don't seem enough, and the prizes are just material things to add interest, fun and encouragment.  Please know that for every donation, and each comment, note, email, yahoo post, phone call, in person converstaion, etc we have thanked you, and sent you love and blessings. 

Since here the internet has not been as cooperative as I hoped it would be, and K has been slightly more wild then I though she would be.  Please know that if it takes me another 2 years or longer, I will respond to all of you, and that each of you hold a special place in my heart.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Our sick girl - April 7, 2011

This morning’s visit went well. We played in the little area outside of her groupa’s main living space, where they get ready to go outside. We found some little ride on toys that the girls had fun on, even though they are both WAY too big for them. K did get a little silly a few times and opened the door to yell something at her group and then slammed the door in a little ones face. Well, that only happened once, she did go for the door a few more times, but we were faster after the first incident.

During our break this afternoon Em & I accompanied Mike on his afternoon trip to the store. We decided to go looking to see if there was anything new or more in the next village down the highway, as he has already found a nice little market down that direction. We didn’t end up finding very much, and stopped as we crossed over into a different region (oblast). There was a gas station there, so we went in, to see what supplies we could get there. I was super excited to score some Nestea Iced Tea, which certainly is NOT what it would be at home, but it’s better then nothing, and it is NOT pop. We also found a Barbie Repunzle movie in an East European language…although we are not sure if it is the right one for our girl or not. We put it on for Em when we got back to our room, and it offered English as a language option!!! YEA!!! We know that we will not be able to play it on our player when we get home, but we are hoping that when we get back to the capital city that we may be able to find an external player for the computer, and a few more children’s DVDs.

K was sounding a little congested last week when we meet her, and it has been slowly progressing over the week. Now her nose has been running constantly, and she has been sneezing off and on. The good news about all of this is that she is excellent about blowing her nose on command, and has become very good at coming to us and asking to have it wiped. The bad news is that this afternoon, it turned into a fever.

We visited this afternoon in the music room again. Don’t get me wrong. I know we are lucky, and I am VERY grateful to have such a large, bright, enclosed, private place to visit with her. But man, does it ever get HOT in there! The girls are always flush and a little damp, if not out right sweating by the time we are finished in there. So when K came in a hugged me, I though she felt warm, but wasn’t sure as my hug was quick as she rushed over to see Daddy. But then Mike thought that she felt warm too.

She ripped through the bag and found the snacks as usually. As she was standing leaning on me drinking her juice I could feel that she was really starting to burn up. We weren’t sure if we should take her back to her room or not. Considering that they had just brought her down, and completely changed her since this morning’s visit, we figured that they must already know, and not be all that concerned, so we continued with our visit.

We painted the girls nails. K has obviously had this done before, as she sat very still and straight and displayed her fingers for me. She colored and ran around. But as she started to run towards things that she is not supposed to, such as the piano, she didn’t seem to have as much enthusiasm as she normally does. When we told her “No”, she would stop, kind of turn, and half smile. I picked her up and we twirl danced back into the middle of the room, away from all of the “no” items. When I put her down she asked to be picked back up. She snuggled her little hot head into my shoulder and neck, and we danced most of the rest of the visit away. For a while I had her lying in my arms across my chest like a baby, and we just stared at each other while I sang what ever song was playing on the radio and we danced. She fought off sleep the entire time. I loved having her calm and happy in my arms. Feeling like I was able to help her feel better and happy. I think she really enjoyed it too. I was so happy to see that she was more then happy to keep such intense eye contact for so long.

I have no idea what they normally do for fevers, but I know that it’s not the same as what I would do. We sure hope that she is feeling better tomorrow!!!!

Playing in the groupa`s mud room

Happy girls, but her eyes look heavy....

Daddy snuggles

He got a smile out of her!!!! :)

Mummy snuggles for a little girl not feeling so great :(

The Therapy Room - April 6, 2011

Each time that we arrive at the orphanage we are supposed to attempt to check in with the director, and if she isn’t here, then we are to check in with the on duty nurse (whose office is directly across the hall from the directors). Often there is no one in either office, and we stand and wait for someone to come along and say “Dobre den. K?”, and then they will take us to where ever we will visit this time, and then they go and let the groups know that we are there, and someone will bring K to us.

Today we actually got to see the director, and she is the one who took us up to the music room. The director also brought K back to us, with all of her outdoor clothing. So, we bundled her up and we headed outside for our visit. We all had fun playing. Their playgroup equipment is in pretty poor shape. I wish we could do something to fix it up for them, but I wonder if that would be worth it or not when they have so many other needs, and this facility is scheduled to close…..

As it got closer to the time to take her back in for lunch, we started to walk around to the front of the building. We saw that her groupa was all outside, so we played a little more, as we can’t take her back until they are all inside. We went over to the gazebo, and the children came up to the garden swing. The caregivers loaded all of the children on to the swing and were swinging them there. K kept yelling something at them, and a few of them would yell back to her. She was very silly and lovey, showing off her Momma to her group. She would crawl into the gazebo, and then leap out into my arms and burry her head into my neck looking for tons of silly kisses and snuggles, and then she would do it again, and again….

When it was time to go in, we walked in with the groupa. One of the caregivers attempted to talk with me. She asked me how we were liking Ukraine, where we were from, and how we were liking K. She said “How you are liking K? Like? Love?” She completely hit something, because I started to cry and couldn’t answer right away. I thumped my hand over my heart a few times, and managed to say “Love, love, love”. She smiled at me, and seemed very relived and happy to hear that.

As I was about to go, the caregiver got my attention again and said “You buy Pampers. Thank you, THANK you. Thank you. Pampers, big problem.” I smiled at her and said your welcome, in their language, and then told her that we will bring more.

During our orphanage break, we walked around the grounds where we are staying. We feed the swans, and visited each of the gazebos at Em’s request. Such a beautiful place this is, and such a perfect time of year to be here. I love watching all of the trees and flowers burst open and grow.

When we arrived this afternoon, there was a new lady in the nurse’s office. She took us up to the hall in front of K’s room, and had us wait. Then she came out with K, and led us all downstairs. So strange, and we had NO idea where we were going. She took us to an area that we had never been to before, and then, we were in the therapy room. It was GREAT! It was so nice to be somewhere different, with different activities to do. In a room that is meant for running, jumping, and a little silliness. It was also good to see that K had obviously been in here before, and she was eager to show off her skills. Climbing the wooden ladder, walking the balance beam, throwing the balls, putting on boxing gloves….oh my. We had tons of fun in the therapy room. I hope that we get to play in there again one day. The change of scenery and variety of activities was GREATLY appreciated.

Snack time outside

Tiny broken swings, BUT she loved them!

In our new surroundings

Trying to direct K away from the 1 thing in the whole room that she wasn`t to play with......

Painting - back by popular demand!

Inside to toady - April 5, 2011

This morning we brought the water color painting books with us. WOW! Did they ever go over well. I picked them up at the dollar store for a buck each and a pack of paint brushes for the same. I wish I had of brought 10 more books like this. Both of the girls loved it. I can’t believe how long they sat there quietly painting away.

I can’t believe how much K loves to color and paint. I am so excited to get her home and start her on the curriculum programs that I have for her. Em wasn’t all that interested in much of it, but all of it seems to be exactly what K likes to do, and hopefully I will get a good response from her with it.

For this afternoon’s visit K was all fancy. Dressed in the super pretty pink outfit she was wearing when we first meet her, and her hair done up to the extreme.

We took play dough with us for this visit. We had been debating if it was a good idea of not, as we were both sure that K would eat it, or at least try to. But Em has been bugging to take it, she LOVES it, and so we did. We were utterly impressed that K did not once even pretend to put it in her mouth. She did hold it and squeeze it once, and she played with the animals that Mike made it into. I could see that she wasn’t much interested in having it smush through her fingers….possible sensory issue. She was disappointed that we didn’t bring the painting back, so we will need to remember that…

Her black eyes and bump on her head are getting better. I can’t wait for them to be fully healed.

Both girls LOVED the paint with water books

K got right into it, and soaked through many pages :)

All fancy after her nap.  Eyes healing well....

Outside, finally!!!! Monday, April 4, 2011

Only Em & I went up to the orphanage for this morning’s visit. Mike went into town with our facilitator. She is returning to the capital city today, and he is getting us some supplies to hopefully last us until she returns. She has left her travel kettle with us, so we will be able to make tea, coffee, and instant oatmeal in our room.

Our visit was a little nuts, and I won‘t send one of us there with both girls again. They colored and ran around like the silly, crazy little girls they are. But it is hard to give the attention to both with such strong jealousy. Also Em doesn’t understand why we can’t just pick up and go to the bathroom whenever, and other things like that. We made it through though, and all is well. I wonder what K really thinks about all of this. Is she really happy to be coming and spending all of her time with us, or does she miss being with her groupa, and whatever it is that they are doing? She is always excited when she comes into the room and sees that we are here, again. But is that because she likes the snacks that we provide, or does she get that we are so much more then that? I guess only time will tell.

Before our facilitator left, we had her ask if we would be able to K outside for some of our visits. As it has been about 5 days now, and she has not been out once since she has meet us. So when they brought her too us for the afternoon visit, I returned with her to the room, with a peace offering of diapers that Mike had picked up in town, and asked if we could take her outside. The caregiver swept her away and got her ready, and returned her dressed for the winter. We must look so foolish to them with how underdressed they must think we are. But we got to take her outside!!!

Oh, how nice to be out in the fresh air. New place to be, new things to do. We sat in the nice gazebo and had snack, and colored for a while. Then we played on the garden swing. We blew bubbles. We got to see how unsteady K is on the uneven lawn; she fell more then a few times. And we wandered around, trying to not interfere with the groupas who were outside. I am assuming that the take the swings down for the winter, as everything is metal, but regardless of where they are, they were not on the equipment. The girls went on the seesaw for a while, and then climbed the stair to what was once a slide, and jumped into my arms. They found it to be much fun, but I eventually had to stop them. So we went back to the gazebo and colored some more. The book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? has replaced the photo album as K’s favourite item in the back pack. It’s great!!! She tries to say the colors and the animals, and we all have fun making the animal sounds.

Looking at her photo album

Hard at work coloring - something they told us she could not do....

Finally OUTSIDE!!!!

Playing on the swing

Running free - good to be outside after being in for so many days

Daddy snuggles :)

Got your glasses ;)

In one of the play houses.  K got a sliver :(

This quickly became one of their favorite activities

Around the orphanage`s main building