Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Open Wide!

Yesterday was the first of many upcoming dental and medical visits. Going to the doctor, dentist, and ophthalmologist are welcomed by most orphans that I have met. They value the importance and understand that it is in their best interests that we are doing this. Our kids are no exception. Even Zina asked us if we would be taking care of her health needs once she gets adopted.

Starting everything off was Nadia. She was scheduled first for the dentist so that the other two would get an idea of what they would be going through next week. We took the whole family and made an evening of it. Nadia was scheduled for an hour's worth of checkups, X-rays, and cleaning. However, her teeth were in such great shape, she was done in 30 minutes! The dentist was astounded, he has seen our other host orphans and what dental challenges may be present in them. Nadia's teeth are straight, clean & white, and without cavities at all! Her gums are in good shape too. Praise God for this bit of good news! At a glance, Julia and Kolya's teeth seem to be in good condition, too. Whether this is good hygiene habits or dental cleanings performed by our children's wonderful former Spanish host families, we don't know. We and the children are eternally grateful in either case! I didn't see any filings for former cavities and I didn't ask the dentist if he saw evidence of prior work, but we will take it, a clean bill of dental health! One down, two to go!

The dentist let the other two come in and see their sister doing well in the chair. He joked that Julia seemed more interested in Nadia's teeth than Nadia was! She did have a lot of questions and watched all that she could in the few minutes they were allowed. It was good to see Dr. Kelson, Linda and Nicole again. Even the "Old Hand", Dr. McCarty, came out to see me, as he usually does when I'm there. We are both old Air Force dogs, so we have a bit in common. It feels like family there and they have been following our blog via Linda's updates. I saw tears in your eyes, Linda, I did! Thanks guys for all the care you give us!

Since we had some time left in Nadia's appointment, I brought up the fact that I needed some dental attention. I was going to wait until my cleaning in February, but it has been bothering me lately. I felt as if I broke a tooth or a filing while in Ukraine. There was a piece of bone in something one night at a restaurant and I felt it then. Sure enough, a quick examination by Nicole and Dr. Kelson revealed a broken tooth and some missing filing. I've had this tooth extensively repaired in the past, always dodging the inevitable expensive work that was needed. This time I accepted the fact that the whole tooth will need a crown, an expensive one at that, just shy of a thousand bucks! Insurance will pay half, so it's not too bad. I will have it done next week.

English is coming along at an outstanding rate. My favorite times of day are homework help, wrestle-mania, and bedtime story reading. Little Kolya is his class favorite and he is learning English the quickest, he is a little sponge. Julia needs the most help and will be a challenge, but she speaks the most Spanish and prefers it to the other languages. Problem is, Heidi's Spanish is limited and mine is almost non-existent. Nadia loves her New Comers class and is doing quite well. All three have been placed in grades, but are being allowed to be comfortable and proceed at their own pace. Nadia will be in the New Comers class for another year to year-and-a-half. She is in 6th grade, Julia is in 5th and Kole is in 4th. Everyday they all ride the bus to and from school and arrive home with smiles on their faces. We have received great reports from all three teachers thus far.

I used to wonder why all the adoptive parents either slowed down or stopped blogging all together once they arrived home. After all, I was entitled to know what was happening on the home front, too! I had been a faithful follower, perhaps not ever commenting, but a faithful follower none the less! I gotta know! That's my family too, albeit my electronic blog family (lol). Believe me, I feel your pain! I want to tell you everything about everything. But, our three take up lots of our time. We hear, "Mom" and "Pop" more times a day than you blink your eyes! And it's fun, too! It's what we wanted, it's what we prayed for, it's our gift from the Father. But OH MY GOSH...can I have a minute KIDS! Needless to say, we are hurriedly establishing boundaries, rules and relationships.

So how about a compromise? I'll post once a week, more if time allows or something big happens, and I'll see you here on Monday or Tuesday? That way, you can find out what we did, if anything, for the past week and the weekend. Once things get rolling for Rimma and Zina we will ramp up the adoption process again and of course, we will tell you all about it. For those of you who have told me that we should write a book, put me in touch with a good co-writer and editor! We need to finish the basement for Rimma and Zina and perhaps one more boy to round things off. I gotta pay for it somehow, any one got a pen??!!

~ Felix ~


Leslie said...

LOL! Those of us who have been there understand the time demands of a new family. We'll still be checking in for updates; just enjoy this bonding time with them.

Matt and Aimee Garrett said...

Hi Felix,
Everyone is always telling Matt to write a book too, maybe you write one together called "Ranting & Raving:A husband and fathers guide to surviving Ukrainian adoption and the life that follows"
It would be mix of comedy, devotional, and practical tips. And of course there would be a whole chapter devoted to snuggles and cuddles!
Great news on the dental check up!

Amy said...

Great news on the dentist - well... not so much for Felix!

Can you explain what the New Comers class is????


Rolan, Eileen, Josh and Ransom said...

I do know a writer who has published and specializes in writing about other people's experiences. I have a feeling there may be several adoption stories in that book!


Heidi and Felix said...


The New Comers class is a program in the St. Vrain school district (ours) that specializes in students from a foriegn country with little to no English skills, for middle school students only. Only one middle school is assigned this role. It's kinda like an ESL or ELL program, but more conversationally focused. They kids rarely change classes...only for gym and choir. They have had students from Mexico, China, Korea, Russia, and now Ukraine. The Volf's girl Ashley will attend this program when she arrives. The student gets funded by the district for a year and after that the student goes to regular Middle School. It's the best choice for Nadia.

Hmmnn, perhaps the Colorado contingent of the families Stoesz's, Rogé's, Volf's, Garretts, Barrett's, Christopherson's and Hoffman's could all get together and make one big book! (Sorry if I missed anybody in CO). We could use the proceeds to bring home more children or to knock out walls to fit more in our homes! We could hire that super-duper writer and English teacher, Leslie from "Kristina's Story". Man I love her prose! We already have a professional editor, Debbie Hoffman! Now all we need is a publisher! Heck, we might be a broadway play one day, or at least a made-for-tv movie!


Heidi and Felix said...

BTW...wrestle-mania is not a TV program. I get pounced upon about 10 minutes after I get in the door from work every night. The kids call it "Papa sandwich", the Rogé version of Pile-on-the-Pig! I really enjoy it and I spend quality time with them by getting my butt kicked...by all three at once!


Twyla, John, Duncan, Mari, and Misha said...

Felix and Heidi -

Thank you for keeping us updated! Yes, I include Heidi, because behind every great man blogging is his loyal wife, shopping for food, cooking dinner, and doing laundry for the masses!

Great news from the dentist for the little people - sorry Felix, it sounds like you have finally biten the bullet/bone!

We hadn't heard about the New Comers Class - great idea!

Your family is never far from our thoughts - even when we get bogged down and don't call!

Hugs to all,
The Barretts

Matt and Aimee Garrett said...

I'm in on the "book deal", if you can tolerate my name being attached along side yours. Matt

Anonymous said...

Your seen straight through me Felix. It was all I could do to fight the tears back and just hug them tight. They were cautious of the grandma lady at the dental office! I did ask Dr. Kelson what contributed to the no cavities. He said orphanage children don't usually have all the candy and pop, sugar stuff that other kids have. Keeps them cavity free. Hopefully that will be the case for all. Grandma at the Dental office, love Linda

Kevin & Pam said...

That is great about the dentist. We too were blessed when we went to the dentist, only one small cavity. Thanks for the update! I too enjoy hearing how everyone is doing.

bdnp3827 said...

How many Becky and Nadia's do you think are in Ukraine????

By the way.... it is MONDAY! (Read your blog.... I am waiting for something new!)

Anonymous said...

Wish our dentist visits were as smooth. Welp, we're still tuned in. Can't wait to get back in touch!

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.