Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers
Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Friday, December 27, 2013

One Month Home

Wow, it's amazing to think that Easton has been home 1 month.  It seems like he's been here forever and such a short time all at the same time.  It's been an incredible journey and every day is another adventure.  First I'll give an update on all the excitement we've had these past few weeks! Then I know you want to know how Easton is adjusting!

First we spent our first weekend putting up our Christmas tree and Easton loves it. At first he wanted to knock the ornaments off but after correcting him several times he stopped that. Now he just wants the lights turned on all the time and if we start to leave the house he wants to make sure the tree is turned off.  He loves it.
hanging the first ornament

Then we went on a mini family vacation to Gatlinburg and had a blast. We spent time swimming, looking at lights, and of course eating good. We went with my parents and they enjoyed their time with their new (and first) grandson. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
He looooves water

We worried a little about his ability to adjust and "go with the flow" so soon, but he had no problems.  He's attaching well and seems to feel safe as long as we are around.  No issues interrupting schedule or where we are.  We can tell when he starts feeling stressed in new places (like Dr.'s offices) and it just didn't happen here. What a blessing. This little guy is so special, and so perfect for our family. God always knows what He's doing.

Then came Christmas.  We knew he wouldn't completely understand what was going on but we planned to celebrate like he would.  He did so well, and even though he doesn't understand presents or play with toys he enjoyed the time playing with us and opening presents (once he figured out how). Here are a few photos from our Christmas festivities and a few of him playing with some of his favorite gifts!!

his face says it all

I see sports in this boys future!

Starting early so he can be like Daddy!

Update on Easton
Easton is learning so much every day! He's growing like crazy (probably because he eats so much).

At 1 month home he's gained 9.5 lbs.  And it is so easy to see. His legs have almost doubled in size, his face is filling out, and you can't see his ribs anymore.

He's signing "more" "please" "eat" and "again" but uses "more" for almost everything he wants so we aren't sure he completely understands what he's saying.

He can blow kisses, give hugs & kisses, wave bye, dance when prompted, pat his belly and say "ho ho ho", and give the best high 5's around!

He loves to be turned upside down, be chased, be tickled, and rough house as much as possible.

His favorite things to do is throw the ball and any of the above mentioned plus run as far and fast as possible.

Favorite foods: yogurt and mashed potatoes (not together of course)
    He still has aversions to anything crunchy but will eat almost anything he can mash in his palate or just swallow.

He is not fond of our dog but tolerates her.

He loves to be active and keeps us on the go all the time!!!
He laughs more than anyone I've ever met in my life but has tendency's to get mad when he doesn't get what he wants (we are working on this).

He will mimic almost any sound we make, even though it doesn't sound the same when it comes out of his mouth, he's trying.

We are working on potty training, it's slow, but he's trying!!

Parenthood is such a joy and we are so blessed to be the parents of this incredible child. I'll leave you with a few more pics of all the fun we have!

four generations

he loves the lawnmower

still unsure about walking on grass

First haircut

running wild

He has learned to pass and catch this ball all on his own

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We're Home

We've now been home for 12 days and the progress Easton is making is remarkable. I'm sure I'll forget everything but I wanted to post just a few of things he's learned and an update on his health.

Last monday we went to his developmental pediatrician and Easton weighed in at 28.4 lbs, that's 4.5 lbs gained in less than 2 weeks. It's so easy to see too. He's face is filling out, those legs aren't quite as fragile and he's gaining strength.  The pediatrician appointment was basically to get established and make referrals to specialists. At the end of our appointment the following specialists were scheduled:

Orthopedics (due to his ankles and feet not looking like they should)
Audiology (just to test hearing)
Opthamology (just to test vision due to some squinting he does)
Urology (another post another time)
Genetics (to rule out any syndromes that might be causing his delays)

We will also be seeing the International Adoption clinic on the 18th which we are excited about. Our ST, OT, and PT referrals will come from here.

Since Eastons been home he's feeding himself almost all of the time.  Sometimes when we try to feed him he grabs the spoon from our hands and insists to do it himself!

He has learned where his spoons are at and often goes to the kitchen, pulls one out, and brings it to me! He's catching on quickly and loooves to eat. In fact he wants to eat 24/7. We are trying to work out an eating schedule. 

His rocking is minimal and the hand stems still happen if he's not focused on something. He loves to watch basketball in person and laughs hysterically during the whole game.
He's sleeping well through the night after working out some midnight waking up the first few days home.

He goes with the flow so well, loves when we get out his jacket because he knows we are going somewhere.  He's learning to like his carseat. It usually only bothers him when he wants to lay down and sleep.

He's started signing and can sign "more" "please" "again" and "eat".  He uses "eat" and "more" appropriately and will use "please" and "again" when cued to do so. 

We are trying to use the potty as often as possible but he soaks diapers several times a day. He urinates a lot and sweats a lot too. Mostly at night. There are times when he sweats so bad at night we think he's peed everywhere. 

He's so curious. Loves to figure things out. Loves being tickled, chased, and turned upside down. His laughter brings so much joy to our lives. He loses his breath he laughs so hard sometimes! 

He's beginning to make the "ba" and "ma" sounds quite often and will mimic us saying ho ho ho and "yayayay"

His eye contact is incredible and is ability to understand what we are saying is amazing. He has picked up what we are telling him so quickly.

Of course with all the good comes some bad. The good outweighs the bad, but it's still there.
I'm guessing he never learned to brush his teeth because it's a battle every day.  He also has a habit of pulling hair and hitting when he gets over excited.

He was obviously used to doing whatever to get his way because he can throw quite the tantrum.  He will pull his own hair and bite his fingers when he gets really mad. He's learning quickly that it's not working with us and they are getting fewer. 

As we speak he's running down the hall laughing which means he wants to be chased, so I'm cutting this one short. Here are a few pictures since we've been home!!

Putting on the first ornament

4 generations

sucking yogurt out of a pouch

I've never seen anyone so excited about cleaning

Gotchya Trip

I know this post is looong overdue, and for that I apologize! I've been busy running after this sweet little Bulgarian boy that now resides in my house!!

 I will say that this process has been long and hard. But nothing compares to the trials we faced on our pickup trip. All of those who went before us could have never given enough advice to prepare us for what would take place on our trip. Praise the Lord He hears prayers and we had so many people praying for us and Easton that we saw the hand of the Lord all over our son and we are now at home where all 3 of us belong!

 I'm going to try to do a quick recap and then do another post about Easton's progress since we've been home!

 Fortunately our flights were smooth and we didn't miss any. We arrived in Bulgaria as scheduled but had to wait for 2 other families to land that were also with our agency during the week. So glad we got to meet these families. Such precious people and nice to have other people to talk to that completely understood where we were at and what it felt like!

We went to our apartment which was incredible (and had a tub which is quite the commodity in BG)!! We went to bed way to early because we woke up at about 10:00 p.m. ready for the next day. It was a long night needless to say. The next day we left early with another family in tow behind us. We stopped in the city their daughter was in (Plovdiv) and got to walk around and grab some late breakfast while they went to the orphanage to pick up their daughter. Once they got her and got back on the road to Sofia, we were on our way to Stara Zagora to pick up Easton.

 We were so excited for this moment. Two years we had waited for this moment! We felt nerves and excitement all at once. Aparently the excitement took over that morning because I had forgotten my camera at our apartment. I had my phone so we got a few pictures in the car on the way back to Sofia but that was it! Don't worry I've taken plenty since then so I can make up for it!!

We walked into the orphanage, up those many many flights of stairs, and talked with the same social workers we had talked to 6 months earlier. It seemed like we had just left. We gave them Eastons clothes and waited. We heard those little foot steps coming down the hall and it was like we were meeting him for the first time all over again. He seemed just as little, and his clothes barely fit him. He was holding the bear we had left! We walked out into the hall and we are pretty sure he didn't remember us. Dustin knelt down to pick him up and he let him, but it didn't last long. He walked over to the wall almost to hide but Dustin knelt down and Easton grabbed his hand. Soon enough we were out the doors, breaking our boy free and we didn't look back!!

The car ride home was fun! He loved all of the cars and it was so late in the day we saw the lights of the city, which he also loved. He peed on dustin just like old times!! He rode like a champ and didn't get car sick to our amazement. We got back to our apartment and he ate rice and vegetables like a pro, even feeding himself for a few of the bites (which they said he couldn't do due to a coordination problem). We thought things couldn't have went better, we were on our way to being a family!!

We were flat wrong!

The next day, Easton woke up early. The whole day he laid around refusing to eat or drink anything. He wouldn't let us touch him and wanted to be left alone. We were devastated. We were heartbroken and didn't understand such a quick change in demeanor for our little guy. We knew he might shut down but this was way worse than we anticipated. We were worried for his health and wondered if he would make it through the week with us if this was how he was going to be. After all we had taken everything away from him, we were strangers, and he didn't appreciate us for it.

 The amount of prayers we had come in from all around was the most incredible thing. Dustin and I spent most of the day crying and praying and crying some more. We felt defeated. Its hard to work so long for something then feel so rejected. We had not prepared ourselves for this battle, mentally, spiritually, or physically.

Later that evening due to stress, he vomited twice. At that point we knew we needed to call for help. Our agency came to the rescue with a ton of medicine and an enema to stop the vomiting. Easton however did not appreciate it! There was some sedative in the medicine and after administering some hydrating liquids through a syringe we put him to bed. Dustin and I sat in the living room thinking to ourselves "what have we done".

 The Lord is merciful and heard our prayers. While it wasn't easy, the next day Easton would take pudding from a syringe. He lived on that for 2 days. Finally we could mix yogurt in with pudding and sneak it in. He was very smart because he would watch what went in the syringe and if it wasn't the pudding he would down right refuse it. We survived a few days like this.
 We took him to the medical appointment on Thursday and he weighed in at 24 lbs and 38 inches tall. The pediatrician recommended some baby food for toddlers and we went to get it. Easton began to take that through syringe. Eventually after persistence by the time we left he was eating from a spoon again. Still pureed foods only, but nonetheless he was eating!

As the week progressed we started seeing the little boy we remembered from our first trip. He loved a bath and we took 2 a day sometimes just to keep him occupied. He loved throwing a ball and boy does he have an arm. Knocking things over and being turned upside down kept him laughing...he's all boy!!
That week was one of the hardest times we've ever had to endure, but today we can say it was all worth it. We praise God for it because He was glorified.
While in country we were even put in contact with some incredible missionary families who took such good care of us! Cooking us a home cooked meal and even taking us to church to worship with our son for the first time! That also was an incredible experience!

 I'm going to add a couple of pictures here just to give you an idea of what our week was like. We spent a lot of time in the apartment due to cold weather at the end of our trip. The same cold weather that created a 31 hour travel time back home. Maybe Ill do another post on that sometime, but lets just say Easton travels better than Dustin or I either one do!!

Love this sweet face
eating like a little birdie
lovin bath time
finally drinking
this face had just filled up on KFC mashed potatoes!
learning to sit close and accept love!

This boy is learning what it's like to be in a family. Every day he accepts more love and trusts us more.  We praise God for bringing this child into our family. He fits perfectly and makes our lives more enjoyable than we could have ever imagined.