Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is this thing on?

Hello, hello (squelch)! Is anybody still out there? Wow, time flies, huh! I thought I would take a little break and enjoy having all the kids home finally. A few days turned into a few weeks and then...well, it looks like we took a few months off! I'm still not convinced that anyone is interested in our daily family life and the break sure was nice, so let's see where this takes us. I may write from time to time and I won't be so long next time. One day, we'll stop for sure. Perhaps when we make this a book or a movie, hee-hee!

The Easter lineup!

The first few weeks around here were strange when Lizzie came home. We didn't know what to do with ourselves, having (what seemed like forever) pinning over her uncertainty and the government of Ukraine's idiosyncrasies. No longer would we have to save $ for another adoption, no longer would we worry about her away from us, no longer would we have to do mountains of paperwork and documents! Seems like we we were Scott-free, right? Well, little did I know that one more child in the house would equate to double, even triple the parental workload. Things have settled now, but those couple of months required everyone to be patient while the new family dynamics worked themselves out.

So here's what everyone has been up to...

Jessica - Now 22, Jess moved back home last year and has been working part time and going to school part time. She has made remarkable progress and is a pleasure to have around. She leads a small group and is a vital member of our church's adoption support ministry. She has found her calling and wants to be a social worker and help people when they need home studies completed for adoption. She will be transferring to CSU this winter to work on her bachelor degree in Social Work.

Jordan - Now 17, Jordan completed her Junior year here at Skyline in Longmont. She completed another grueling year of honors and AP classes with a 4.0 + GPA again! Honestly, I don't know how they grade Honors and AP classes, but she has over a 4.0. So proud of her! She went with us to Ukraine on our adoption trip to bring home Lizzie and she learned a lot! After our family vacation in July, Jordan will journey with our church's mission trip to Madeira, Mexico for two weeks. She starts her Senior year in August and will be using her newly acquired driver's license to take her brother and sisters to school for us.

Elizabeth - Still 15, Lizzie has been welcomed into the family fold and she has found her rightful place among us. Lizzie was supposed to be the first one home three years ago, but she had no documentation and was not available for adoption for those three long years. Veterans of this blog know the story and realize just what a blessing God's hand in this was! Having an outstanding English language acquisition already, Lizzie wasted no time jumping right into American teenager life. Having her home last year rapidly developed her language skills! Despite only having three months of school left, she quickly adapted and scored very well in high school. Lizzie will be a sophomore next year. She and Rimma both made the Varsity and Competition Cheerleader squad. Not bad for a new American! Lizzie continues to have many firsts. I have to continually remind myself that our "first child" is still new to home.

Nadia - Now 15, Nadia continues to grow and is now taller than me. She had an excellent school year with a B average. In fact, she had no final grade lower than a B with mostly A's! Nadia is doing quite well and I'm very proud of her, she has come a long way. Still known as the bossiest person in the house, she has made great strides in that area, but it has come at the expense of a lot of parenting. It's exhausting sometimes. Nadia's strong passion is for volleyball, something that pleases Heidi tremendously! She has played well on Rec leagues during her middle school years and is now trying out for high school volleyball. She goes to two weight-lifting gym sessions at Skyline HS just for volleyball players and she attends two open-gym practice sessions a week at Skyline. She's extremely strong and it is all I can do anymore to wrestle her to the ground. She's gonna be our sports superstar! Nadia will be a Freshman next year.

Rimma - Still 14, Rimma had an great school year. Despite having a couple of challenges at school, she finished the academic year strong and at one point, made the A honor roll. She finished on the B honor roll for the year. Rimma's problem that gets her into trouble is "self-perfection". She would spend hours doing homework and rewriting everything so it was pristine. This caused her to constantly be a little behind and all worked up over grades. I finally had to order her to lighten up after a little academic integrity issue at school. Mom says she spends too much time in front of the mirror, also. We are struggling to teach inner beauty vs. vanity! Like Lizzie, she too made the Varsity and Competition Cheerleader squad. Due to her athleticism, she is also a "flier". Don't worry, I had to ask, too. A flier is the one they toss through the air and that person is usually spinning or tumbling. When she announced to me that she was selected to be a flier, I jokingly asked to see her pilots license as I took mine out of my wallet. Rimma will be a Freshman as well next year.

Julia - Now 14, Julia is still our little "monkey". Of all our kids, I worry about Julia the most. Her gentle nature, trusting behavior and lack of focus can get her into and in the future. She has these "Julia-isms" that can be adorable and/or drive you nuts. She is very smart and intelligent and can fool you sometimes. Julia is experiencing the same growth spurt that Nadia went through upon coming home. I tell Heidi all the time that she is growing in all the wrong places. She did very well this year and is moving on to 8th grade. She's super excited to be at the top-of-the-heap in middle school! Her grades were mostly A's & B's with a few C's. Great progress for a sweet girl that everyone had given up on at the orphanage. Julia's passion is animals. She loves small dogs and is always bugging me to get one. I constantly remind her of the fiasco the last one was and she reminds me that he was big. Most every Saturday morning, you will find Julia riding horses at the Welzig's ranch in Mead, CO. She is part of a horse ministry and she is a talented rider. She has a rodeo she will perform in this Saturday!

Kole - Now 12, Kole just celebrated another birthday, his third since being home. Always a pleaser and willing to do whatever you ask, he has lately been forgetting his tasks. Call it typical kid stuff or "on summer vacation", I've had to remind him on several occasions the past month to get things done. I hope this isn't a trend for things to come. Kole and I attended a father-son purity class this past quarter. This has helped him learn how to treat girls and respect women as he moves into puberty. Kole also did very well in school with mostly A's & B's, making the honor roll, too. He will move into 7th grade next year. Kole's passion is those darn video games, something I ration accordingly. He participated in Rec league volleyball this past Spring and he has tried several sports, including basketball. Not having a top choice, Kole is still trying to figure out which sport he likes and does best. Soccer went away quickly and although he was very good at it, he confessed that he didn't like it very much. Time will tell where he will fit in. I've told him more than once that video games aren't a sport.

Well, that's all for now. I hope that by reading this post you will see that we aren't the "perfect" family and it is hard work to raise a family, especially one this size. Each child presents their unique challenges. Some days I pull my hair out. Most days, I can't wait to get home to them. Hearing "Daddy" being yelled when I enter makes it all worthwhile! So...I'll be sure to post sooner next time than I did this time. Perhaps I'll tell ya about our vacation plans in July to the Bahamas. Talk to ya then...

~ Felix ~

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.