Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SO Many Firsts!

Oh my so when it rains it pours!

Our computer went down....actually two of them and so I have continued clicking the camera and recording our life changes but unable to share them all!  We are BACK!

Both Cephas and Lucia continue to grow and learn and make strides.  We still haven't been able to address the medical issues except to schedule appointments with the specialsts but it won't be until August.  I know.  That's a LONG way out.  But when the nurse coordinator began listing off all that we need to do and all of the doctors they need to see it was apparent that getting all of those doctor appointments within a short span of time would require scheduling out a bit further when they weren't all filled up already.  So with knowing that, it has allowed us to plan a bit better for our June and July and just breathe here at home. 

They are both doing so welll.  We are checking off accomplishments and they are feeling so good about themselves!!  We finally have down put in simple puzzle pieces.  It's not a matter of smarts but about what was missing those years long ago.  Not having the hand eye coordination developed....not being able to focus on and manipulate objects.....visual planning, problem solving.... all of it.  And the more they do it the better they are getting at it!
And look at who is showing off here!!  Lucia is showing lots of drive and super motivated to push herself to do things.  She is eating more and being strengthened and one day I looked over to see that she had grabbed on to the edge of the special red chair I got for her and pulled herself up to this position!  She looked at everyone with a beaming grin and we all clapped.  She can stay up for a short time but she is doing it ALL on her own. 

Cephas is slowly building up his ability to stay focused on a task and so he is building Lego's now. 

After lunch I place Lucia in her bed to rest her back and the girls go in and read to her and show her pictures and name them in English.  It makes them feel helpful (and it truly is) and I am able to get some cleaning up in the kitchen done! 

Cephas is really taking to the swing.  Again another thing he is no longer afraid of.  He now asks for it and I see its becoming a relaxer for him.  He likes to just swing and look around at the flowers and the trees.  I LOVE seeing him content and peaceful!  Here he is with my dear friend's son who came to visit us.  This little one just turned three if it can help give you a gauge as to Cephas' size.
Another really cool thing is Lucia not only got her very first popsicle but she was able to feed herself!!  Can we hear a big celebratory YAY?!  Again, she is using her hands and arms much more than she could before.  Look at that pure delight.
He had these stacked correctly in no time!!  And today he made great strides in remembering his colors in English....catching up to Lucia on that. 
Look who got her very own FIRST brand new doll!!  I had no idea how exciting this was going to be for her.  Sometimes she will call for me to go get her doll to be with her.  I love it!!
Don't they just look so amazing?  The restful peace that has washed over them has done something to ME!  They absolutely invigorate me and yes I am more passionate about adoption than ever before.  Oh how I pray others will go adopt the older ones and those who have been sentenced to lives in beds with out medical care or education or families. 
Here he was practicing going in and out of an inflatable tent.  Simple pleasures of peek a boo.
Oh and remember that terrified face at bath's all fun now!!


Oh the trampoline is simply delightful!
On our way for Cephas FIRST EVER restaurant experience!!!  I decided we would only take half of us for the first time so I could focus on him.  Holden chose Village Inn.
Appropriate right?  All American burger and fries!  And he was all smiles the whole way through!
Love multiplies.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


What a glorious day!  Filled with SO MUCH FUN!  Another day to discover!
We were getting ready for Maxim and Grace's ball game and Maxim thought it would be nice to give Cephas his Dodgers hat.  Suits him well I think.
Liam fed Lucia breakfast and had some bonding time.
Took some time after a nice bath to get some fresh photos on the porch.
Randy stayed home with two and I took the rest of the kids to the game - even Cephas.  Generally we cocoon for atleast two weeks but he was overcoming much quickly and I knew we could head back to the van if need be.  He really did so well again!!
The Red Sox convening to discuss their game plan against the Rangers.

After all, the Ranger had just recruited Miss Polina Skaggs recently from Russia and this one knows how to score!!
But today there would be a new hitter to shake up the Rangers with - introducing Cephalynky! He is small but MIGHTY!!! And wouldn't you know it?  He made a HOME RUN!!  WOO HOO!
  By the looks of things this game is going WELL!
And then Maxim steps up for a solid  hit.  Looks like the VICTORY was had by all!!
And with a cheerleader THIS cute, how could we lose? 
Now it was time to go home and celebrate!
Special thanks to Holden and Liam for capturing the days events on camera!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doctors and Friday Night Fun

Our hands were full, too full to take photos but yesterday we went to the doctor for the first time.  We needed to establish their primary care provider to receive referrals to go to Children's.  I really like the primary for them.  She was very compassionate too.  I feel good about this.

She hadn't seen such severe cases personally so she wasn't able to give too much feedback but she was moved and I saw her eyes well with a bit of surprise when she saw Cephas' back and Lucia's too.  She wants us to get to a pulmonologist quickly for Lucia and said she would do what she could to get us to St. Louis very soon. 

Lucia weighs 57 pounds and Cephas 50 pounds.  It is a blessing they are able to eat and not needing IV like many other children who come home. 

And so darn it, I missed getting the photo of their first drive through greasy hamburger experience.  Thank God for bag a burgers at Braums!  LOL

Cephas is enjoying his van rides now and looks around closely.  He is settling in with an ease and our communication is mainly through affection.  I've got great eye contact going with them and they giggle when we don't understand.  They think I make some great funny faces.

Randy went out for some much needed boy time with Holden and Liam.  They went to get some frozen yogurt and to see Iron Man.  We settled in for Toy Story 2 here and then we had a girl time later on.
Lucia got her first facial and mask.  Layers of dead skin came off and she felt fresh! 
Rainan thought I needed to get in a picture too.
Rainan nabbed this great shot of Lucia after her pamperings.  I just look at this beauty and cannot imagine she had gotten used to having her beautiful face spit at.  Oh the things she has shared breaks me.  She is experienced amazing grace, amazing life in the land of the living.  Oh yes, my sweet baby girl.  You are precious and amazing and MINE!!
Cephas kept himself busy while we did crazy girl things.  He rolled and unrolled the rug about 50 times.  He wants to fold everything.
I pushed them to stay up a little later.  They are used to sleeping more.  They were all smiles at bedtime and no meltdowns again! Yay! 

After getting everyone to sleep, this little angel needed some special one on one mommy time.
A little nail polish, story reading, grape eating and snuggling in bed seemed to bring just the perfect refreshment to us both.

God is good.  I am blessed beyond measure.  Every achey moment is so worth it. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meeting Music, Animals, and the Dentist

Oh I am trying to catch photos of as much as I can but sometimes I have to be busy doing and the photos don't happen.

Yesterday I decided to get out the box of instruments and see how it would go.  I introduced them to their hands and they both remember how to say hand in English now.  We talked about clapping hands and rhythm and they loved it.  So simple I know. 

We took turns having everyone play an instrument and Lucia was HOT on the maracas and bells! :)  Rainan and Grace put on a little dance for everyone and ended up music time with forming a circle and playing hot potato.  I got one of those that can get wet and is really light so no one got hurt....well Cephas did pelt me fairly good in the eye-  that boy has an ARM!

BUT shortly after our round of hot potato something pretty miraculous happened.......

Remember my boy so terrified of animals and how they would eat him????

As he got braver with Hazel the dog, he decided it was okay to try petting Louise the kitty. 

With this confidence building Cephas got filled with all kinds of lovey feelings and wanted to hug everyone.  And I had to laugh as he reached for Jubilee.   She was totally fine but since she tends to be our whiney and particular one, I found this to tickle my funny bone.  It was good for her.
Grace rushed in to get her hug.  She wasn't going to miss it.
He has lots of opportunities for loves, you can see!

I hated to ruin all of his fun, but the afternoon brought with it, their first trip to the dentist.  Both of them did pretty well.  Cephas began trembling and shaking in terror at the x ray machine so just did a happy visit and he then allowed them to look inside.  NOT GOOD.   Half of his teeth are still baby teeth at 15 1/2 years old.  At first I thought that was good, but the dentist tends to think there is a high chance of that meaning he doesn't have adult teeth below and since we couldn't get an x ray we don't know. 
And Lucia did well too!  Nervous but brave!  She has all of her adult teeth but many are rotted and no chance at an x ray either.  They think we need to wait until going to Children's Hospital to have everything done under anesthesia.
We were so proud of them!!  We built big trust with them.  When Cephas got scared, he turned and called for Mama Tina.  For those trauma mama's out there you know how BIG this is!! We hugged and kissed and he settled down quickly.

On the drive home, Cephas said, "I love you Mama.  Thank you Mama and Papa."  We weren't sure what he was saying thank you for but we think he was feeling good to have had a good experience at the doctors and to have so many encouraging him. 

No big meltdowns at all today!! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Small Steps Are Big Leaps Sometimes

Gosh the progress is coming so fast that I can hardly keep track of it all! 

Lucia is feeding herself with solids.  If we can put the food on a fork she wants to hold it and put it to her own mouth.  YAY!  She has such sweet manners using please and thank you Mommy.  Cephas is a fine diner too.  He is branching out and trying new things if only a small bite.  Other things he is sure of he wants to eat a LOT of.  We are slowly working him towards eating a small portion of what he doesn't like so he can get what he wants next.  So far it is working nicely.

We had more outside time today.  We discovered the SANDBOX!  It was risky I know but it was so good.   He loved filling his bucket with sand using the shovel and dumping it out over and over.
He called "Mama Tina!" over and over.  As I walked to him from the porch I realized he was throwing sand OUT of the box and all over the grass.  He was so proud to show me what he could make the sand do.  Then he "petted" Jubilee's head with his sandy shovel....she wasn't very thankful though.  Then one more throw and sand got into Rainan's hair.  He was so excited to see what this sand could do he didn't understand why she was upset.  He didn't know that sand in an eye would hurt.  Rainan forgave him quickly and I motioned and said "in" the best I could to keep the sand IN the box.  He settled back into his shovel and bucket routine nicely. 
While enjoying the front yard, Lucia and Cephas were also entertained by twinkle toes Rainan running and jumping in the pool and to watching the garbage truck pick up the trash and the mail lady deliver the mail.  Those are big things!
After a walk around the block (during which time Cephas kept his eye out for every possible animal that might come eat him) we cleaned up and came inside for a long nap in the afternoon.  Perhaps the exciting days and long travels were finally catching up to them.
After dinner we had our first bath.  Yes, I mean that.  He is used to being sprayed down or sponged down but this was the first time he was put in a tub of water for a real bath time.  Can you tell how he felt about it?  He was scared and you can tell from the photo just how tiny he is when you look at my hand next to him.  He wasn't going to have ANY of us trying to distract him with toys.  But he was forgiving and I think we will make progress each time.

He did love his new pajamas though!    We also tried something new with Lucia.  She can't sit up and is so stiff and has her tail bone sticky out sharply just making it so very uncomfortable for her to sit in the tub in any sort of relaxing way.  So, we tried something creative and I got in wearing my clothes and Randy laid her on top of me and she was able to relax more.  She still doesn't really love bath time but she is tolerant and laughs as we try to handle her.  She has an incredible sense of humor and laughs even at herself.  We are still trying to figure out the bath situation.....
We went to bed without any meltdowns and we had a nice little prayer time together.  They went to bed tired and happy.  That's success!