Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers
Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We're Moving!

Not as in moving houses....

But as in We're moving blogs!
I'm not able to maintain this site from my phone anymore so we've created a blog where that's possible instead.
I hope you'll join us here at The PERKS of Love

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back to school

We are now 2 weeks into school.
Easton started at a different elementary school this year because our district decided to change up the special education department. I truly believe though, its going to be a great fit.
There is a bathroom in the classroom which has helped with our potty training efforts. In fact the last few days Easton has come home accident free after wearing underwear all day! We are well on our way my friends.
Educationally he seems to be retaining things well. Going slow and a lot of repetition has made the difference. One letter and one number per week and hes really catching on.

We've had a few glitches with Easton testing his limits in the classroom. What I love is that the staff is so open and calls me frequently for ideas on redirection.
I'm so hopeful for this new setting!

We are making progress in speech as well. Easton attempts to verbalize so much more than he used to. Just this week hes started working on 2 word phrases like 'ball please'  'my turn' 'go car' 'more bubbles ' etc.
In fact this morning I was fixing my hair and knocked over a bottle, without any prompting Easton said 'uh oh'. I could have just squealed! He is getting it! These aren't just words anymore, there is meaning attached and he understands. Sure its taking longer than most children, but I honestly couldn't be more proud!
Here's my crazy school and bus loving kiddo on his first day of 1st grade!
 And 1 more for good measure because I love his sweet smile

Friday, August 7, 2015

Someone call the tooth fairy!!

We've had lots of set backs and giant obstacles placed in our path the past few weeks so I haven't felt much like bloging. Our adoption, eastons behavior, and even school has caused some major grief in our household, but today we had something worth celebrating!
Easton lost a tooth. Now this is the 4th one, but the first I was able to pull and keep. All the others fell out and went mia.
The permanent tooth is starting to grow in already but hes so cute with a snaggle tooth!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What it means to be included

Earlier in the summer on a short vacation, we discovered eastons fascination with going under water and his lack of fear for pools, creeks, lakes, you name it!
As a parent that is so scary when your child hasn't the slightest clue how to swim!
Immediately after getting home we set Easton up with swimming lessons. We called the local swim coach who felt confident her daughter could teach Easton. He's not always the easiest kid to teach ha ha but as long as she was willing we were thankful!

Over the past few weeks, we've been going twice a week. After the first lesson he started learning to kick his feet. Now he asks to go swimming by signing water and saying kick kick kick!
Each week he progressed and we saw him learn how to maneuver his body in water whichwas quite tthe task in the beginning.
We still leave a small life jacket on him because he has difficulty keeping his head above water, but as long as he's wearing it, he doggy paddles his little heart out!

Its the sweetest thing to see others invest their time in your child and to see such a positive outcome. Today was his last lesson and I never expected the end of it to have such an impact on me.
You see as we were saying our goodbyes the swim coach said to me, you should let him be on the swim team next year, we'd love to have him! I was so taken back because Easton has never participated in an organized sport due to his amazing ability to lose all focus and become quite the distraction!
She didn't care though, she saw a child, my child, who loved water and they wanted to see him involved. I asked what it entailed and for his age they allow the instructors to be in the water with him, he can use a flotation device, and they set up little meets where he would get ribbons.
Ribbons or not my child was being included! I never realized how desperate I am for that at times. I called my husband and tears just came out of nowhere because I want so badly for Easton to not see his differences or especially be treated differently because of his needs. Most of the time we keep him separate from children and activities because he hasn't learned appropriate interaction with other children. Its hard to hold your kid back like that. We are constantly on gaurd When other kids are around because Easton only knows how to stare, push, or chase! Its hard seeing children try to talk to him when he can't respond so he resorts back to his hands and squealing. Kids don't understand that and I dont always feel like explaining things to be honest.

I am so appreciative of someone who can look past all of his differences and see a child with all of the potential we know he has.
I'm so thankful that he's being included, not because they feel sorry for him, but because water really is his thing, and they see it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Social Media Strike!!

Our family has decided to go on a social media strike!!!  We've deactivated our facebook accounts and truly are looking forward to having more quality time with eachother and those closest to us. With that being said, we love so much being able to share about Easton's growth and development and also keeping everyone informed of our current adoption status.

We definitely plan to be much more present on this blog, hopefully atleast weekly!

A quick adoption update...

Our homestudy was uploaded to Ind*a on June 17th and it's typically been taking families 8 weeks for approval from the adoption authority there. So we are expecting to hear by middle of August.

In the mean time we are waiting on our agency to send us a file to review that our family can potentially (fingers crossed) match with. 

Short but sweet!
Here's to reconnecting with reality and building quality relationships!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hurry Up & Wait!!

I probably could have done a million blogs with this title at this point in our life!! But in everything we do it seems to ring true.  I'm actually getting a little bit better at this waiting thing (not really I've just got  more distractions in life!)

I wanted to give everyone an update on our family, life, and our adoption process.

First our adoption process....We've taken a major step forward and now we wait (hence the title)!
Our homestudy has been uploaded to Ind*a and we will wait the next 8 weeks or so for the adoption authority to approve us for adoption from there.  In the mean time we will hopefully begin reviewing files if there are any children waiting that our family can match with! This is the part we are obviously most excited and anxious about! Keep us in your prayers, that we would have wisdom, patience, and make smart decisions!

Our family is doing well. Easton has graduated kindergarten and will be in 1st grade next year. Developmentally he is not on target to be a kindgarten graduate but due to his age, we didn't have much choice.  We had a wonderful IEP meeting with his teachers and staff at school and have set some great goals for him next year.  We have an awesome neighbor/cousin who is working with him over the summer to start gaining an understanding of the skills we hope he gains by the end of the school year. Skills like recognizing the first half of the alphabet and being able to verbalize it, recognizing and verbalizing numbers 1-10, writing his name independently, and understanding number sets with numbers 1-5. This may not seem like much for an 8 year old to some people, but I constantly have to remind myself we are essentially trying to teach a 2 year old all of these things.  It's just where he is at developmentally and he lacks some serious motivation, which is the toughest part of all. 

Easton has also started swimming lessons and he loves the water more than ever.  He gets to go to the pool at least twice a week now so he's all for it.  He's learned to kick his legs pretty well! The hardest part is keeping him from going under water. He does it intentionally because he loves it underwater so much. This is the scary part and the very reason we got swim lessons, he doesn't understand the dangers of water. We don't want him to fear water but we want him to be able to save himself if he gets in a scary situation.

We plan to go on vacation to the beach again this year with my parents and we can't wait.  When you've got a child whose favorite things are riding in the car and the water, a trip to the beach is a must!!!

Developmentally Easton is growing.  He's running, kicking a ball, jumping like a crazy kid, learning to swim.  His speech is picking up, he's learned the K and G sound and is saying words like cracker, and go very clearly! We are working on words with 2 syllables that have different sounds, for example MonKey.  This is proving to be very hard for him, right now it sounds like muhkuh haha. His apraxia is our biggest obstacle at this point. He has such a desire to talk, I truly believe it, but he just can't make the sounds he wants to, and it frustrates him. It didn't use to, but now that he understands communication and the benefits of it, he wants to talk more and more but it is such a struggle.

Fine motor skills are improving as he's learning to isolate his fingers. We are beginning to work on writing skills, grip, and his ability to trace.It's a slow go...but we'll get there!

His receptive speech continues to grow on a daily basis and there are still days I forget he doesn't communicate verbally because he's so good at letting us know what he wants!

We see more personality come out as he develops a streak of meanness (like all boys do) and stubborness. He expresses his dislike with things more and more and trust me when he doesn't want to do something, it's veeeery obvious.
We truly can't wait for Easton to have a sibling. I think it will be the best thing for him developmentally!

As we are getting farther into our process I will definitely be updating more so be on the look out (for real this time)!!

Until then!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Easton Turns 8

Our sweet boy is growing up.  On March 12th Easton turned 8!  It was a pretty low key day as Easton went to school and had some cupcakes and a birthday crown that he quite frankly didn't want to take off.

On Saturday we took Easton to what I can only imagine he thinks is the greatest place on Earth!!  We went to a trampoline park with family.  Have I told you how much he loves to jump?

We didn't do a party and gifts, because Easton really doesn't comprehend the concept yet. What he does comprehend is family and fun so that's exactly what we did!  Instead of gifts we decided to let anyone who wanted to, pitch in on a huge swing set complete with slides, sand box, picnic table, fort, and monkey bars to put outside for Easton to enjoy for years to come! We can't wait for all of this aweful weather to stop so we can get it set up!

Every time I look at him, it amazes me how much he's grown in not even a year and a half.  Easton is communicating more and more and learning what it means to love and be loved.  He loves life more than I could have ever imagined. His favorite things are riding in a car, the tractor, the cows, jumping, swiming, and riding the bus.  He loves to be on the go, and keeps life busy.  We love this kid more and more every day. He's so perfect in our family and I can't wait to celebrate many many more birthdays.  After all I've never met anyone so worth celebrating!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Its Been A Whirlwind

Can I just say, life with Easton is SUPER busy and my ability to blog has practically gone out the door!

Our lives have been a complete whirlwind the past few months.  This last year has brought so many new and exciting changes to our family that honestly, it's been hard to keep up with myself, let alone this blog. But it truly is my goal to do better since things (fingers crossed) seem to be settling down!

Let me start by saying our final fundraiser was a great success, raising nearly $3,800 when it was all said and done.  Our winner, donated the back the grand prize which increased our earnings by a substantial amount, and we are incredibly thankful!

A lot of people have been asking about the progress of our adoption.  Well, here it is, we are still very much in the middle of it, but some of these life changes, have caused some delays. Our homestudy should be updated in the next week or two and we will submit to the adoption authority in Ind*a and wait for a match.  We are truly hoping to be matched by spring time. But with the 12 inches of snow that have us locked in our house right now, spring time feels a few years away!!!

This past year has brought us so many things that are shaping our family.  Easton started school, we sold our house, we moved to my family's farm, we started going to a new church, we started our second adoption, and we've started new therapies for Easton. All of these things have been such a blessing for us.  When Easton came home, we had no idea he'd love the farm as much as he does.  We planned eventually to move out here to help my dad with his Cheese business, but after seeing how much Easton took to the outdoors, animals, and helping around the farm, we knew our move needed to come sooner.  Plus it made since for us (and Dave Ramsey) if we wanted to start on track to being debt free.  So last year we listed our house for sale. It took many months but eventually it sold and we moved a mobile home onto the farm.  We eliminated our mortgage payment so that we could buy a trailer and start paying off the loan we took out for Easton's adoption faster.  Our goal is to be debt free in 5 years and we are trying really hard to get there!! 
Easton loves riding the bus to school so moving farther out, just gave him longer on the bus, which he was super excited about!
His new therapists, well lets just say we are sooo thankful for each of them.  Our ST is doing WOOONDERS with this kid.  We sat down the other day to make a list of all the words he uses on a regular basis and it blew my mind when we got to 25.  He may not say them correctly but he signs most of them and uses the same sounds consistently so we know exactly what he's saying.  He does however say words like, Bye, Bus, Hi, Backpack, Book, Bubbles, Bath, PeePee, Balloon, Ball, Cow, Tractor, Car, Choo Choo, PaPa, and Go correctly.  (can you tell we've been working on words that start with B??)
It's amazing to watch this kid grow and learn. His mind is working in ways it never has before. He's a problem solver, he knows exactly what he wants, and he's very stubborn (as always).  He signs approximately 15 words and is communicating more and more when he needs to go potty.  We are getting ready to start PT along with Behavioral therapy so they can co treat and our OT has starting co treating with our ST during 1 session a week.  We are truly blessed with therapists who "get" Easton, and sees his potential and doesn't let his lack of motivation stop them from getting his best out of him!

Our family is finally settling in our new little home and we love it here. Easton especially loves seeing the cows out his bedroom window!  We truly can't wait to add another little blessing to our family.
The move caused us to have to wait to complete our homestudy, but now that we are here, as soon as the snow clears out and our caseworker can make it here, we will complete it and send it off.  We are really excited to get the ball rolling again.  We've been able to save and raise about $10,000 so far.  which means we only have about $17,000 to go :). It really seems like a lot but we are hoping to apply for some grants and put anything extra we have from farmers markets toward it to save from taking out a loan (remember we are trying to eliminate debt...not create more). We are also getting ready to do our 3rd post adoption report of the 4 required to send back to Bulgaria. Thankful to almost be done with those!!

Easton is growing like crazy...still...I don't think he'll ever stop. And Folks...he's officially on the growth chart for his age!!  E will be 8 next month and I think an average 8 year old is 50'' tall and 55 lbs.  Easton is 50 lbs (that's 27 gained in a little over a year) and 46'' tall (which puts him at the bottom, but still on the scale).
He amazes us every day!
We still have our difficulties like refusing to chew still and not being potty trained, but they seem so minor compared to our struggles when he first came home.
Life truly is beautiful and we are trying to enjoy every minute of it.
Here are some pictures of Easton recently for your viewing pleasure!!

He is full of so much joy, it's hard to contain it!!

He got better at opening presents this year

A boy can't be on a farm without some boots and bibs!

The view out of our back door this morning!