Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm back! It's been 6 months since I've updated on Anastasia. I was going to do it on our new adoption blog, but I know this blog is on a blogroll for Russian adoptions, so I wanted to do an update here.
So, how is Princess Anastasia?
She is really good. She is forming a healthy attachment to us step by step. Our attachment issues are very minor compared to some, however difficult they may be it puts a lot of pressure on the parents, being scared to death we are going to do something wrong.
I can give you one simple illistration that displays her attachment to us.
About 6 weeks ago she said she had a bad dream, she said in the dream I was dying and she was yelling "NO, Nooo" (sounds like she is attached to me right)
Then she says "But, (insert her friend's name here)'s Mom was there and she asked if I wanted to be part of their family. Then she says " I said, I don't know, it depends if she is really dead or not"

Other adoptive parents would understand my illistartion better than others. She certainly has an attachment to me, however is her mind totally at rest that I am her forever Mommy and she can relax in that, mmm, no not exactly.
She is still mentally doing "Mommy shopping" This is out of her control. It is up to us to do what we need to do to strengthen her attachment and make it healthier. No more sleepovers at friends' houses, it encourages the "mommy shopping" She knows this is not a punishment, but rather a chance for her and Mommy to have more time together and not apart.
Her "rages" have gotten much fewer and farther between, The last one was a doozy, lasted 2 days, she was determined to take control of something, not sure what, but something. As a matter of fact she told me, "I am not going down" Really? Yep, she will never live that one down, everyone heard it, her brothers included, she will be teased about that forever, her brothers will make sure of it!!
When people ask for my honest take on attachment, I tell them the truth. Most do not want to know the truth, they just want the "we are doing great" answer.And really all people don't need the truth, most people are not adopting children. While the last year has been great, it has also been the hardest year of parenting I have yet to experience. Many times I feel like a failure, like I have fallen on my face, like really God? It is not easy to raise a child that has a history that you were not there for.
I say all this to say, we love Anastasia and she loves us. It is not easy, worth, YES!!
She is doing great in school! Her reading has progressed at great speed, and she almost never does the pretending to not know how to do it trick anymore.
She seems to have a learning disorder that effects her math skills and spatial skills. We are not looking for a diagnosis yet, right now we are managing it with extra tutoring by us, and keeping in close communication with her teachers as to what she is struggling with.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finish what I started

Gosh, people, sorry. Having the kids out of school and my hubby gone, I just totally let this ball drop. Where has the time gone.
Well, great news first,hubby got home 2 weeks before expected. He worked really hard to be able to do that. We were able to go to Ohio to a big family reunion type party. We have also had valuable time together as famiily. He leaves for SOS school tomorrow, but should be able to come home on the weekends!!
Anastasia finished the school year and passed to 2nd grade! She only had to take the math part of the standardized testing, and she passed! Her problems learning seem to be self created, meaning she will do something perfectly one day, then the next claim to have no idea. It can be very hard to know when she is faking, and has made teaching her stressful. I'm just being honest people. But she really is smart. I also must point out that these episodes get farther and farther away. I thought she would just realized that faking or being lazy only makes it take longer and causes me to not know what she knows, which results in more work. I let her learn the hard way when it came to swim lessons this year, I told her before we went in, that she had to show them that she could swim or they would put her in the baby class.The girl can swim, she can float, etc... She got in the water with the instructor got her signature smirk on her face (this is how we know something is about to go downhill) and she didn't do a single thing for the instructor. So she was put in the baby class. I told her next year I will not pay for her to do swim lessons if she is not going to try.
On a brighter note. She did a play they put on at the base here. The Missoula Children't Theater comes every year to most bases and puts on a play with the kids. Try outs are Monday and the show is Friday. She had to go by herself while Mom and Dad sat on the side. The whole family went to support her, and she really tried. She was trying to get over her shyness because she really wanted to do the play. They let all the kids who try out be in the play. She had to go to practice by herself, and the day of the play they had dress rehearsal all day. She was a seagull, in Treasure Island. She did awesome! I was so proud of her. They had to walk along the stage and sing and flap their wings. I think it really helped her self confidence. We took her out for icecream after to celebrate.
She learned to pedal a 3 wheel bike. She's been begging for one, so we went ahead. At first she was excited, then just like with the other bike I bought her she decided it was too hard and did not want to try at all. I stood out in the 97 degree heat, telling her over and over again, You will not give up, you are not getting off this bike, you can do this, God gave you legs use them,you can do this and you will do this etc... She was not happy with me, there were tears, there was whining, etc... But by golly she learned how to pedal that bike. And let me tell you, the look on her face when she took those first 2 or 3 pedals was priceless!!! The neighbors may have been watching me through the windows, but I don't care. That is the kind of mothering my daughter needs, she will give up on herself before she even begins, and I won't allow it, she is better than that. To celebrate I put her on my lap on the bike and took her for a ride, the bike is the 360 by Razor, if you turn the handles sharp is swirls around, the back 2 wheels are castors. We were a couple pounds over the recommended weight and I almost threw up after we whirled arouns so many times, but man did we have fun!
Lastly, I know everone always wants to know how her legs are doing, is she walking normal, etc... Her walking is not normal, but it could be close to it. Does that make sense? She is 8, she is child, she does not care right now, she does not like the PT and the stretching. It is harder for her to accept than children who have these therapies from the time they are born. She progressed a lot at the begining of the summer, then regressed, and that is where we are at now. But we plug along. We will not let her give up, and we are trying to teach her the importance of it all. As she is able to do more and more, I think she is starting to realize. I really thingk it will come with time. I think her improvement is more exciting to us than it is to her, but maybe that is normal at this age.
She is one fun loving girl, as anyone who has met her knows. And I think she has really enjoyed her summer. She has a friend from down the street that she plays with often. She can even walk down to the girls house without crossing the street, so she has been allowed to do that. She does not want to go back to Russia. And she tells me about 50 times a day that she loves me.
IF anyone ever reads this blog and wants more information on adopting from Russia, hosting, CP, adjustment of an older adopted parent, etc... Just email me privately. This is the last post I will like this. I feel like it's a picking apart, like I'm evaluating my own child. I think this will help prospective parents know what they might expect, but I think we have reached a stopping point for these types of posts.
I will post some summer pics soon.
And sometime this week, I will have our newest blog started, www.1moremakes6.com
That's right, Anastasia is getting a sister, she is over the moon excited. And so are we. She is 2. We cannot disclose her country. She was born premature, and they think she may have mild CP like Anastasia. Can't believe I have forgot the labor pains of paperwork already. The rewards are def work the work. Adopting Anastasia was a privelage from God and we feel blessed to have another child entrusted to us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1 Year Ago Today

A Russian judge declared us Anastasia's parents effective immediately! We were the last known adoptive parents to have our 10 days waived in St. Petersburg, I never felt like we wouldn't have the 10 days waived even though everyone said this judge never waives it, etc... God is good, that was a financial blessing and a physical blessing, we were tired, and getting around Russia with no stroller and a child who couldn't walk on her own very far at all was not fun.
In some ways it seems like yesterday in others it seems like forever ago.
We will not celebrate until the 22nd, this is our "Gotcha Day" know in the adoption world as the day you got the child. Plus I just like that date better!! See my kids birthdays are 2-22-01, 2-20-04, and 2-2-02. I don't believe in luck so I don't have a "lucky number per se" but the number two sure does seem like my blessed number doesn't it. And we picked Anastasia up from the orphanage forever on the 22nd!!
I promise promise promise I've got the one year updates coming soon. I think you will be surprised how far she has come in 1 year. We had no idea what to expect and really had no expectations, we had never done this before!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lots of 1 year updates

Hi Everyone!!
Sorry Wendy didn't mean to make you worry. The next couple weeks I will be doing posts to kind of calaborate our experiences this past year. Anastasia is doing great all around. I will try to be as honest as I can be in these upcoming posts, well, I will be totally honest, I will bare as much as I can (not like that!!)

Generally we are doing good. We are almost to the 4 month mark on the deployment, so 2 more to go, whoohoo!! This has not been easy, and it's not something I could do as often or for as long as some women do it. When I say I couldn't I mean, we wouldn't, it's not for our family. This deployment and any other deployments in our future are a service to our country, we are beyond grateful for the reliable job he has. BUT we would never put ourselves in the position to do this for an entire year at a time, or continually over and over again. I admire and pray for those who do, and you should too. I don't mind the extra work, the extra yardwork, doing all the household duties myself, etc...The toll it takes on the kids is the worst. Cooper still has anxiety at times, he is doing better with it, unfortunately I think this is something he will struggle with. Cody still will not talk on the phone or skype with his Daddy, makes him cry. Anastasia and Cooper both love talking to him. I finally got their Daddy Pillows made that I wanted to make before he even left. They love them, I will post later, even Cody does, I was afraid he wouldn't want his, but he loves it!
The hardest part is that sometimes my children do not get the best of me. They are in school all day so I'm able to get most of my chores done then, and after school and evening time are all for them. But come the weekend, I can have a lack of patience. It can be hard having 3 children's attentions only be directed at you ALL THE TIME. Just being honest. But at the same time, I love my time with them on the weekends, they are all so much fun and have the best sense of humor.

Gary has to leave about 3 weeks after he gets back to go to a training school. I cried when he first told me, overreacted really, something I do often. He will only be 3 hours away and the school is 5 weeks long, we will be able to see him on weekends. I just hope Cooper takes it well. It is an honor to be chosen to go to this school in person, most people do it on the computer, it is better for your military career for you to go in person. We decided since we will be able to see each other on weekends, he absolutely should go.

PCSing, PCS stands for permanent change of station, not sure why, there's nothing permanent about it. The list of locations that we could PCS to came out last month, we were not thrilled with the job or location choices. We may be here for another school, MAYBE. My best friend will be PSCing in Sept. I'm not a happy camper to be without her, that's me pouting, and come September I will be pouting even more.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Checking In

OK, so I'm delayed getting the other blog started up. Thanks for those who emailed me or left me a comment, I appreciate it. A blog with no commenters is kind of like just talking to yourself! You don't have to have a blog to leave a comment either.

Wendy, thanks for all your comments, I always appreciate them, you are not to bold, you remind me of myself.

To the person who comments in Japanese or Chinese, I have no idea what you are saying, or if you are spam? Sorry! If they are true comments, thank you!

Betsy, thank lady, I love you, and your family!

Josie, thanks for leaving a comment, it's very sweet of you, I'm thankful for facebook and the ability to keep in touch with friends like you.

In Anastasia News,

She got glasses. Again, if you have followed you remember when we hosted her she got glasses, well she was not happy, and the orphanage told her she didn't need them and took them. She is far sighted, has astigmatism, mostly in her right eye. Already I see a difference, and her handwriting has improved, it never sat on the line, it does now!She looks super cute in them, and she has accepted the fact that she needs them, I'll post a picture soon.

I forgot to post about her CRCT practice test scores. The CRCT is the state mandated test here in GA. Not a big fan of it, but it did give us an idea of where she is at, and her testing skills. I am happy to report that she averaged a 50% on all 3 tests! And with the fact that her reading skills are way behind and her other difficulties she has with focusing, I think that is great! Her teacher agrees. I attend a meeting today to determine if she'll have to take the real CRCT, she has to do the Math part, but she may qualify due to her language to not have to take the language and reading. I don't see any reason to have her do it, it will only discourage her. The week she took the practice tests her brain was moosh, I couldn't get anything out of her the entire week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I think this blog is coming to an end, as far as frequent posts, Anastasia officially became ours 9 months ago today.
I said last year I was going to start a family blog, to make up for not scrapbooking, then have it made into a book, well, that lasted all of 2 months. But I am going to try again, and try a little harder this time.
So, what to name it, any suggestions?
Not really sure how many people still follow this blog since I don't get very many comments, thanks a lot people!!
But if you want an invite to the new blog, I should have it up and running this weekend, just leave me a comment with your email, or email me privately, and I'll send you an invite, it will be private. My email is not private! Here it is
So most of anything about Anastasia will be on the family blog, anything that happens occasionally with her, milestones, etc... I will still post to the adoption blog, if I think it will help people reading it for that purpose.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More Bday Pics

Ahh, I forgot blogger posts pictures backward of the way you uploaded them as far as the order goes. All well. Here are a couple more