Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is a good day!

It’s Wednesday and I haven’t written this week. It’s a hard task to get done sometimes, but I love to write. Finding the time with three very needy kids is the hard part. Our schedule is very tight on Sunday night through Friday afternoon. I always look forward to the weekends, not so much as it is time off from work, but rather it is two days & nights that I can throw the schedule out the window. Well, OK, I like the time off, too! I let the kids stay up with me on Friday & Saturday nights. We cap off the day’s events with a family DVD or game time. These are the only two nights that the “big TV” gets used with the family.

Heidi’s sister, Sally, came to spend the weekend with us this past weekend. She flew in Thursday night and left Monday morning. The kids enjoyed meeting a new family member and Sally enjoyed the bonding time she spent with them. The Hibner sisters, Heidi & Sally, put on a good show at the pool doing flips and dives off the spring board on Sunday. Sally took them to DQ for ice cream treats that evening, too.

Heidi’s brother, Max, sent the kids four games in the mail. We received the package yesterday. All evening long while I cooked dinner, they kept asking if they could open the big box. I wanted them to wait until Heidi got home so that she could enjoy the scene. I must have told them ‘no’ about twenty times. Sometimes they listen, other times they just want their way. Firm and steady is the way with these three.

Heidi's cousin, Terri, sent the kids some more clothes last week. Of course, they love them! Kolya has a new favorite shirt and it is worn often. We have to make him take it off to wash it. Wearing a clean set of clothes everyday is still a new concept for them as is for most orphans. They only changed clothes and had a shower once a week at the Dietski Dom.

Thank you Sally, Max and Terri for the visits, clothes and games. It is really appreciated by us and the kids. Keeping kids in new clothes is not an easy task as many of you know. Your gifts are a big help!

And now, the latest on the kids.

The OT report for Julia came back this week. She does indeed exhibit strong Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). All of these things are correctable and can be overcome by her, it will just take time and we are determined to help see her through to the end with love and support. Our medical provider has signed her up for some PT and OT appointments in the next couple of weeks. The PT will probably not be needed after an initial assessment, but we will definitely go forward with the OT. We want to do anything and everything our little girl needs to be successful. We also completed a CT scan due to some head trauma from physical abuse that has come to light. Julia will follow up with a pediatric neurologist.

This past Monday we had our first child study at Julia’s school. There were many helpful teachers and counselors present for our appointment, all of them work in the school and see Julia on a regular basis. In attendance were the principal, the school counselor, the ESL teacher, Julia’s homeroom teacher, a speech therapist, an OT therapist, and some district representatives. Everyone there was willing to do whatever it takes to help Julia. While she still has a long way to go and we do not feel that a traditional 5th grade class is appropriate for her, Julia has made terrific strides. Her teacher report that suddenly, two weeks ago, Julia started becoming more active, more engaged, and started participating in group activities. We have noticed these things at home, too. She is starting to us her English words more instead of grunting. We all formulated a plan for Julia and we were all in agreement to emphasize and celebrate her successes. That is, promote and encourage more of the things that she is good at. The teachers feel that her confidence level is on the upswing and that this has enabled her to open up more. When she tires or if her confidence in a task is diminished, she gives up and regresses. The same thing happens at home and she usually melts before bedtime. Julia continues to be the sweet girl we all know her to be and I love our play time after dinner. She loves the “Papa-sandwich” and wrestles like a pro. This girl is strong and she is learning to control herself rather than being out of control as she was in the past.

Kolya continues to shine. He is making great marks in school and is learning English rapidly. He is a little comedian, too. He cracks me up. He also has a memory as sharp as a tack! I made a little comment yesterday morning when he found my missing Oakley lens. He reminded me later that evening that “I saved you $40 dollars”! I think he wants a reward or something. I reminded him of our “guys’ day out” on Saturday. I took him to get his first American haircut at the barbershop on Main Street. All of my barber buddies loved him. He got to stand with the barber when it was my turn and assist. Just a little off the top, Kolya. I survived! We then went to the store to buy him a new coat and later we went to a sports recycle shop and purchased him a skateboard. He was ecstatic! He loves his new skateboard and showed me many tricks on it. He said he used a skateboard at the Dietski Dom and that is where he learned. We ended the day with lunch at a little cafĂ©. His sisters were off at a birthday party, so Kolya got a lot of Mom, Dad, and Aunt Sally time afterwards. While outside, reclining on his skateboard, he told his Aunt Sally, “This is a good day!”

Nadia started soccer practice this week. She has to run a lot in the first two weeks to improve her conditioning. She really needs this outlet because she has nothing to do after school but annoy and pester her siblings. There’s a little bit more harmony in the house these days because we have been channeling activities in two different directions; one for her and another for the younger two. After Monday’s practice, Nadia could barely walk straight and was very sore. I snickered a few times and she told me that it wasn’t funny. I insisted that it was and she didn’t get mad. Nadia loves to snuggle with me when we watch a movie as a family. She still likes to hold my arm when we go places and I keep reminding myself that she will be too cool one day to do that with me. I hope she never grows out of it.

Rimma and Zina continue to be ever-present in my thought, my prayers. The orphanage director is requesting some insurmountable conditions to their summer stay with us. I’m not too happy with him at the present moment and it is not over the summer trip, really. It is all over his inaction over the registration of Zina. (Our Frontier Horizon contact tells us that he said that he is anti-adoption and that the children are better off in the orphanage system.) FH insists that all is not over with the summer trip and they are going to make a third counter-offer. But, I know, that it really is over and R & Z will most probably not be coming to stay with us, their family. Heidi or I will make a trip to Ukraine to see them again after the summer is over if this is the case.

On a brighter note, our registration contact says that she and the orphanage lawyer are working on Zina’s eventual registration. Signs are pointing to this happening soon. If so, we will go them both sometime in 2010.

So Kolya was right! “This is a good day!”

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.