Monday, July 9, 2012

Change in Plans

How many sayings can you think of that talk about change of plans?
More than likely, too many.
One thing I have learned for sure in this journey is expect the unexpected and be aware that plans may change at the drop of a hat.
I had understood that this Wednesday we would be breaking out Gavyn and Veronika!!!
I marked it on my calendar, I went out and bought a LARGE bag of diapers and wipes, I had been thinking of sleeping arrangements and how we would work out baths since neither of them are sitting up yet. I went out and bought some baby food and spoons. I was ready!! :)
Today, I was told that we will pick them up on Monday the 16th. I had not been expecting that!
Not only did that leave me with a huge bag of diapers that I had hoped would have been halfway used up, but it also left me with the added expense of visiting the orphanage for that many more days. ($60 per day to visit once a day for about an hour each child) So that just added $300 that I was not expecting. Not only that but there is NO WAY I can carry two children, luggage, a stroller, carseat, AND a huge bag of diapers. Heck the bag was so big it was almost as heavy as the babies.
So I will donate the diapers to the orphanage and then need to go out and buy a smaller bag of diapers.
I understand the reasoning behind waiting. I do. I don't like it, but I do understand it.
The purpose of waiting is that Veronika and Gavyn will be able to continue their normal routine every day until they leave the orphanage. Their bodies are use to a certain schedule. They have only been exposed to the germs of their orphanage.
If you have ever put your child into daycare, or if you remember when they first started school, I am sure you remember how sick they were that first year. While Veronika and Gavyn have been around children their whole life so far, it has been the SAME children, the SAME everything. When we take them out of the orphanage they will suddenly be exposed to TONS of germs they have never been exposed to before. By going from the orphanage, then to the train, then to the Embassy, then to the Medical appointment, we will reduce the risk of them being sick during the medical. Because the LAST thing we want is for them to be sick at the medical and then for us to get held up  and not be able to fly out!
So that is how it will be. The orphanage (Gavyn's) REALLY needs diapers anyway, so this will be a God Send for them. (They actually had some diapers hanging to dry outside today - and I am not talking about the kind that are washable... no, I am talking regular disposable diapers!!)
Earlier someone asked if we had all we needed to be fully funded, well, until I found out the news today, I could have said yes. In light of needing to pay for almost another whole week of visits to the orphanage, then the answer is no. We are now short $300.
Praying that no more monkeys throw any wrenches!

Gavyn is doing better, his breathing is still thick and you can hear the congestion in his chest but it is getting better! Of that I am SO thankful. When we first started visiting him his feet were in horrible condition! He had scales all over his feet and they were a horrible yellow/green color. I started rubbing (with a little pressure but not enough to make him uncomfortable at all) his feet with a baby wipe at every single visit. Then I would put baby lotion on his feet. I can happily report that they are 90% better then they were! So happy about this. He still loves to fall asleep in my arms. It is the sweetest thing, I will hold him close and just stroke the side of his face and he will give me the most content smile in the world (not his yahh!! mom is tickling me smile, but just an ahhhh this is the life, kind of smile). Then he will snuggle in and just start closing his eyes. I am so happy to be able to cuddle with him like this.

Veronika is either teething a lot right now or she is needing something from me to hold on to. When we first started visiting she happily went to the nannies and I would be able to take the toys that we brought back with me so they did not get mixed up with the other toys and get lost. The last two days, she has screamed and cried when we try to put the toys away so she can go to her nannies, so I have just let her keep them with her. I can hear her cry after I  leave every day now.
Guess what!!! Tomorrow is her birthday!!! She turns ONE tomorrow!! Sadly, it will be in an orphanage, but I do have a few little things planned. I asked where I can get a party hat and was told they do not have a store like that, so I have gotten a bit of paper and some markers and I am making her a hat myself. We will see if she will wear it long enough for me to get a picture of her wearing it.
She has never eaten solid foods with a spoon, only a bottle, so tomorrow I will take in a spoon and a jar of baby food and let her have her first bite of food from a spoon! I am hoping that she likes it :)
Once we get home, we will start working with Veronika and Gavyn and teaching them how to eat solid foods. Then in September on Gavyn's birthday, we will have a double birthday party for both of them so they can both enjoy their cake.

And now for the pictures :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

No Food

Sometimes you are faced with a choice. Stay in where its lonely but comfortable and starve because you have run out of food. Or become brave and go outside and walk to the store at 8pm so you have something to eat.

Hard choice... would hate to be outside after dark in a foreign country all by myself. On the other hand, its only a couple blocks away and I am a pretty fast walker.

My tummy won and I managed to walk to the store and back in about 30mins.

Actually, I went outside the other day too. The day after my last post I thought I would ask our driver to take me to the store. But while I was in visiting with Veronika he left for a little bit and returned just as I was about to take her back to her groupa. I thought maybe he had gone to get some gas or something like that until I got into the car and he announced his grandma was in the back seat. I thought it was very sweet that he would pick her up and take her someone and I didnt want to ask to stop at the store with his grandma in the car and waiting to be taken where she needed to go, but I knew I needed to go get something. The big grocery store is a bit of a walk and I have only walked there once and that was with Mark who has an amazing sense of direction. Me? I am directionally challenged. But I did know how to get to a nice park with lots of benches and to McDonalds. So I decided to go get something from McDonalds and eat it at the park while reading my book.

I managed to find a nice bench in near the shade and sat down to enjoy my book all the while, eyeing the bench near me that was fully in the shade but was currently taken. After about half a thing of fries and two chapters the lady left the bench and I bolted walked over to enjoy reading within the sun in my eyes. I ended up reading about five chapters before I got up and walked back to the apartment.

One thing I have always disliked is the quiet. My grandpa was 100% Sicilian, quiet just goes against the grain. I love noise. To get to sleep every night I turn on the tablet and play some nature sounds (rain and rolling thunder). It is hard to be here throughout the day and not talk. For those who know me very well, I am quiet around people I do not know very well, but once I get comfortable I tend to talk alot.

But not much longer, then I will be picking up Veronika and Gavyn from their orphanages and not much longer after that heading Home!!!

Mark is amazing, hes back home trying so hard. Keep in mind that until we were married in 2008 he had never had kids before. He gets along great with our 13 (14 in July) and 15 year old, but I know he was a bit nervous about going back home without me. Our 15 year old has been having quite the hard time since her dad walked out on the kids while we were going and she was sure that Mark being home would make everything better. While it is helped and they are so happy Mark is back, I have been told that it won't be better until I get home. That just pulls so much at my heart. To know that my kids back home need me and I am not there. *hugs* Not much longer and I will be home guys!!

The orphanage visits have been yielding a LOT less pictures and videos lately. It is just really hard to take them with it just being me. But I am making the most of the time and loving on Veronika and Gavyn and giving them all the loving I can and they are just soaking it up.

Yesterday and today I went to see Gavyn first. This is working out MUCH better. Once I have him, I can spend about 45mins -1 hour with him and then go see Veronika. Her orphanage is not as strict about naptime and do not mind if I bring her back after 12. (they both have nap at 12), so I have been been able to be with her until about 12:15 or 12:30. Another thing I am finding helpful is I have been requesting upright strollers. This is helping Gavyn to not spit up as much in addition to giving me a chance to talk and play with them. I love to cuddle with them, but I also like to be able to play with them. He seems to enjoy making music, he doesn't really respond to music when it plays, but he loves to bang on the tablet when it is in piano mode and make his own music. Gavyn's feet are really dry so the last few days I have been putting baby lotion all over his feet, he seems to enjoy it. I also took his jacket off. He was already in long sleeves and it is about 72F today so while long sleeves were fine, it seemed a bit much to also have on a thick jacket (plus he has a little heat rash all on his neck so I didnt want that to get worse). I think they got tired of hearing me complain about his cough and I had our facilitator tell them I would buy any meds he needs if they would just help him get better. They ended up writing down 3 different meds he needs. We went to about 5 different pharmacies, we found the first two meds but was told that the last med was no where in our city so tomorrow we will have to ask the doctor if there is a different one that he can take. The visit with Veronika was wonderful, we listed to some music together, we cuddled, I rocked her and sang to her while she was in the baby sling, and of course we had a wonderful time with patty-cake (tried this with Gavyn again today and he opened his hands for it!!! Before now hes been stiff not knowing what to do and had his hands in little fists, but now he was able to clap his hands together with my help and he thought it was so funny) Veronika is so silly, her HANDS are ticklish. I cleaned her hands with a baby wipe and she thought it was the funniest thing in the world. One thing that is obvious with both of them is that they are not use to a lot of stimulation. Poor sweethearts are going to have to get use to having a lot of things going on once we get back home. We certainly will be working hard on a LOT of PT to try to make up for lost time, in addition to tummy time, which neither of the are overly fond of. But they will also get tons of love and cuddles to make up for it all.

(for those who are wondering... the top three pictures are Gavyn, the bottom three are Veronika)