Thursday, February 5, 2015

Richard Here: A Few Days Later

I wanted to take a few minutes to post a brief update about the boys and their status since they arrived home. 
Gabe - After a few days of strongly disliking Valerie for the grief he has caused her, he has started to open up quite a bit. The first two days he was here he barely ate and had a hard time staying awake. After letting him rest up fully, he is starting to get back to his normal self. He is eating very well and is communicating effectively in Bulgarian. He's started to crawl around the house, exploring his new dominion and he enjoys watching Bulgarian children's songs on Youtube. He has bonded especially well with Joshua and Maren, with Joshua being his official "cuddle buddy". Aside from the normal anxiety leading up to the doctor visit today, he did very well at the doctor. He is going to have several referrals including the CP clinic, GI, Neuro and Vision. The biggest variable in his status right now is his vision - aside from nystagmus we think his vision is actually very poor - and we will not be surprised if he is found to be legally blind. He seems to be able to track objects, but beyond a few inches from him, he does not appear to be able to see well at all. We'll know more once we see specialists, but we're optimistic about his ability to progress within his realm of ability.

Eli - Eli is excited about learning English and he has been practicing by copying English words into a notebook, just like his brothers and sisters have. He is feeling the pressure of the transition and among the three boys has the most difficulty dealing with his internal feelings and emotions - he had a difficult episode Tuesday but Valerie helped him work through it and it was a positive sign that he's beginning to understand that he has parents who are here for him. He tests boundaries and sometimes has difficulty listening to instructions (but to be honest, his obvious hearing impairment probably doesn't help with anything involving "listening"). He likes to play with the other kids and loves listening to music (very loudly).

Jesse - First of all, Jesse is convinced that Valerie and I need to have another baby. Unfortunately, Valerie doesn't know the vocabulary to explain her complete lack of a uterus and the impact that has on our ability to procreate. But moving on... boy this kids loves to..... clean! That's right... women talk, men go to caves, but this guy cleans! When he's stressed or feeling anxious he has to clean something, ANYTHING! So far he's cleaned the boy's entire room (twice), Valerie's school closet, Valerie's desk, the entryway (imagine all those shoes lined up neatly by size) and tonight I cam home and he had organized... the trash cans on the back porch - all in a neat line in a pattern of trash and recycling cans. Jesse is also working on his English (and his was better than Eli's to start) and he's starting to pick up simple phrases. One other thing about Jesse is that he's been through a lot from a medical/surgical standpoint. His medical records are still being translated, but from what we've been told so far, his surgical record shows that he's one tough guy, but probably has some significant anxiety attached to medical events. So it was no surprise today when he sobbed through getting blood drawn as part of his physical.

That's it for now. So far, things are going "as well as to be expected" and we've seen no major surprises. The boys are integrating well into the family and we are optimistic for the future. As always, thank you for your love, support and friendship

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Richard Here: Day Nine - The Late-Night Drive Home

After spending the day cleaning up the house I left for the airport around 9pm amid snow showers and light rain. Their flight was already in the air so I knew nothing was likely to go wrong at that point. They arrived a few minutes late and we greeted them with smiles and hugs.
After waiting a while four our bags (and did we mention there were a lot of them?) we headed for the van!
Once we loaded up, the boys were too excited to sleep much on the way home.

We finally arrived home around 3:00 AM Sunday morning. The kids got up and said hi while we prepped the boys for bed and then we all slept for a few hours.