Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Surgery Complete

Hi...I just wanted to post that Alexis' surgery is complete for now. It did not come out as well as we had hoped. Her hip is in very bad shape and cannot be repaired without a hip replacement. This is not possible as long as she is growing. The doctor related it to the fast pace at which children outgrow shoes and clothes. He said children would need many replacements at the rate they grow. When she is around age seventeen they will do a hip replacement surgery. For now, they repositioned her hip, cut her femoral bone in half and turned her leg so it is pointing straight ahead rather than out to the side. They opted to use pins and plates to stabilize the bone. We go back in four months and they will determine when to remove the hardware. The best news is her legs are now straight and she will not need special shoes. This is quite a blessing as she has always hated wearing one huge thick soled shoe. Alexis felt everyone was looking at her foot with the "big" shoe. So, now she can go into any shoe store and buy shoes like everyone else. Whether or not she will have a limp, we cannot tell at this point. Please pray for our darling and we appreciate all your support. Many blessings and have a great Thanksgiving for God is so good to us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hi...Here's an update.

I have so much to tell you. School has started as of the first of September as I stated in my last post. The children are still doing very well. Another bonus is that Annie and Alexis continue to improve in their reading skills. Now the big news...Alexis and I with Casey coming along to help are flying out to Los Angeles. Alexis will have hip surgery and leg surgery. We were really hoping for a similar process, however, she does need her hip re-tilted into a normal position and her leg needs to be turned and hardware used to stabilize it. In about six months or so, the doc, will remove the hardware and then we just worry about getting the therapy she needs. The best news is she will immediately be even and normal after the surgery is done on this coming Tuesday. Please, keep are darling little girl in your prayers!!! I will keep you posted on her progress. Many blessings and much love...Trish

Saturday, September 4, 2010

August Events

August has been quite a busy month and actually I'm glad it's over!!!! Casey had his deviated nasal septum repaired two weeks ago. He is doing very well, but it was rough going for a while there. He had hoped to use it as an excuse to miss the first week of school. Well, much to his disappointment, the doctor said he would not have to miss any time at his desk;-). We started on schedule the first of September.

Katie had an appointment with the pediatric opthamologist and he said we have to patch her lazy eye for two hours every day. When it is time to remove the patch she jiggles around everywhere squawking because she says her eyebrows might get pulled out....LOL!!! She really dislikes it, but I am always careful to put it above her eyebrow. The doctor did not increase her glasses as he said it was her lazy eye that is causing the vision difficulty.

Annie, Mary, and John are doing well and have some trauma drama issues over having to start school!!! They sit at their desks and whisper about going outside to play. The big kids get mad because I let them go and the big kids can't:-(. If they fall behind it will be horrible to try and catch up. But, all in all, the little kids are doing well.

Karissa, Katie, and Lexi are excited. We have been asked to go to the Mennonites sewing meeting this month and the girls will get a new dress made for them. It's just amazing at the talent these sweet ladies have!!! The best part is that they will get to help with the quilt making and they LOVE doing that. We haven't been out to their community during the summer. But, they really love going out there and playing with their children. The community has a church and school building with the large acreage surrounding the main buildings. It's actually great fun and wholesome fellowship for us.

Christian started football and is playing well. He earned his place on the team as tight end and loves it!!!! Karissa has registered for soccer, but, we haven't been called by her new coach yet. I expect she will start practice next week sometime. Also, I have registered the kids for Catechism. Mary will be in the kindergarten class, Annie in the first grade class, Katie and Alexis in the First Holy Communion class, and the twins in the fourth grade class. So now there goes Wednesday night.

Throw in ball practice for Karissa and Christian three night per week and ball games on the weekend....we're booked!!! Oh yes, and Little Trisha has made the drill team dance team and so she has to be driven all the way across the city and dropped out by Dad (Duane) and then I have to pick her up at eight o'clock am. Then jump into school and dance at four o'clock in the afternoon for Lil' Trish....man I need some of that spilled oil!!!!

Okay....I have a couple of really exciting things to tell you about Alexis!!! First, we have an appointment to take Alexis for her prescreening for her leg surgery. we will now be able to know when it can be done. I am so excited and she is, too. It means a normal leg and wonderful self image change for her. We were talking about it the other day and she said "Mommy, you make me well. My leg does not have to be ugly and little does it?"

I told her that it would be as good as the other leg and she threw her arms around my neck and said "I so glad you my for real Mommy. You be so smart and pretty, too. And I be listening in church and know who is Jesus and His sweet Mom named Mary. I also know what everything means in church. I learning good English and like to speak this with you!!!" I was so happy and touched. I asked her a few questions about the Mass and she sure does know what's going on.

So when it was time for Catechism registration I put her in the first communion class with Katie. I told her that it was important that she catch on to reading so she could memorize the prayers and work on her papers in this class. She was so excited that she said she would work harder at the sounds. For about two days it was all she thought about...vowel sounds and consonant sounds. Plus she listened carefully about some of the important vowel rules;-).

Low and behold!!!! She had a breakthrough and has begun to read like crazy. I am amazed with her determination and persistent nature every day. Nothing is weak about that girl. I adore her so and am so very very thankful to God for allowing me to be her mother. Plus she is such a sweet big sister!!! Always trying to help her little sisters and brothers. So protective of them. It feels like Lexi has always been a member of our family

Also, I have been attempting to control her weight so she doesn't let it get out of hand. I guess one day she had a spike in her appetite and she snuck into the pantry to snack on cereal. She almost jumped through the ceiling when I opened the door and her mouth was stuffed full of cereal. I said "Alexis Victoria....did you just go into the pantry at the orphanage and eat what you wanted?" she told me "Oh no, Mommy, they don't have a food pantry!" I said "Okay, well did you eat food from the cabinets?" she said "They did not have food in the cabinets either".

Oh so sad!!! She said an ugly pick-up truck (one of few) brings food each morning and it is only enough for each day. Of course, everyone in Russia buys only a day or two worth of food...so this seems likely. But, I felt bad about asking her that and I said she had better pick out what food she wanted and go sit down to eat!!!! The next day I took her out to eat at China Star Buffet for the "all you can eat" lunch.

It was so funny when we walked in and she saw all those rows of food and said "We can have all this to eat???" I told her that she should eat all that she wants and refill her plate as many times as she wants. Wow....did they lose money on Lexi's lunch. I don't think her Daddy could eat that much. We went home and she was patting her belly and saying "I so stuffed....oiy!!!" Now, how cute is that???

Well that about it for now...oh yes, and Annie has also had a reading breakthrough and began to read as well. I have been teaching them as classmates in the same reading class. It worked...they've got it now. It's just a matter of practice and exposure to reading to let them fly!!! I will try and get a few pictures post next week. Until then...many blessings!!!! Trisha and Crew

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're Still Here;-)

I have been very busy since Alexis came home. For some reason, I felt that adding one more child to our family would not make a difference. Well....it does!!! We are, however, adjusting very well. Lexi is such a happy little girl and loves having a family. We feel very blessed to have her and enjoy each one of our children so very much. This summer has been lots of fun for the kids thus far. At the end of May and first week of June we went to Branson, Missouri and they had a blast. We also stopped by to see Duane's mother. She is doing very well and was so happy to see the children. It was very sweet!!! Here are a few pictures of our trip;-).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tonsils Out

The time has finally come when Lexi has had her tonsils out. They were horrible and really needed to be taken out. Yesterday the first thing the kids asked when we came home was "Did you bring her tonsils home for us to see?"....LOL!!! Well, we did. They all marveled about how big and yucky they were...haha. Guess they get some extra credit points in science this week!!! She is doing so very well. Although, she had lots of nausea yesterday, her surgery was a success. Last night she slept with me and poor Dad had to take the couch;-). Around 4:00am she woke up whining and in pain. So I gave her more anti-emetic with pain medication. We woke around 9:30 this morning and she is now playing gameboy...I mean...gamegirl.

Also, she will receive her beautiful new shoes on May 11TH. How exciting that she will actually be able to walk without limping and her back can straighten out. Now we have to make a very serious decision regarding her surgery. They gave us two options at Shriners. One was to kill the growth plate in the longer leg and allow the other leg to catch up or go through multiple surgeries to lengthen the short leg. We will have medical counseling in September when we take her to the doctors in Albuquerque. BTW....she still would rather speak Russian over English...LOL!!!

The other children in our precious family are doing very well and working hard to complete this school year. We are planning and continuing to save as much as we can to go on a family vacation. We leave in about three weeks from now and so the count down begins!!! Duane will have the opportunity to visit with his mom for a few days. Which is excellent as she is really beginning to feel her age.

Christian and Karissa are thrilled as tomorrow they will take their first communion!!! I will most definitely post pics of them. There is suppose to be a professional photographer there and so we should also have some nice pictures of them. I think they are both very ready to continue their religious lives in a deep and meaningful way. I am amazed at how much they have changed and matured over this year of school.

Also, the other children have shown great strides in their academics. John can now do various puzzles he could not do at this time last year. He is also beginning to color with more than scribble and Mary has done so well in kindergarten. Little Annie has started reading and Katie is going to enter at her grade appropriate level in the Fall.

I suppose that's about it for my update and we hope for many blessings in your life as well!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shriner's Appointment

Finally, we went to our Shriner's Outreach Clinic in Hobbs, New Mexico. John-John and Alexis were seen by their wonderful doctors. I just love these people. What a blessing they are for so many children and their families. Apparently, standing in a soft crib mattress for twenty seven months is not good for a growing child's feet and legs....LOL!!! John-John has to have braces to try and keep his ankles from turning out so much as he grows. He will be fitted for them next Tuesday back in Hobbs.

Alexis has a much more complex situation with her leg length difference. The doctor said we have two options for surgery. Either we can do multiple surgeries to lengthen the shorter leg or we can do a procedure where they kill the growth plate in the longer leg. This means that this leg would stop growing and it can not be reversed. The shorter leg would continue to grow until it reached the length of the longer leg. Then they would kill the growth plate in the other leg.

I will need to make a trip in September to Albuquerque to the outreach clinic there for counseling on which procedure we will likely have the most success with. In the meantime, she will be fitted with a shoe lift to equalize her stance and steady her gait. The orthopedic doctor comes from Albuquerque to Hobbs and so he will not only see John-John but, will see Alexis as well for this shoe lift. In September we will schedule Alexis' surgery which will take place in Los Angeles, California.

Everyone else is doing well in the family. The kids have had a mild cold with sniffles and coughing. Otherwise, they have been very healthy. They are working hard to finish up their books for a nice long summer break. I just appreciate being with them every day. Really, I had no idea how much I missed when I was not home schooling them. All the strides they make give me such personal pride and satisfaction. Oh yes....Katie had an eye exam this morning and has to have a stronger prism in her lenses. Doc says no surgery now, however, as she gets older if her strabismus worsens we may want to consider an operative repair. Guess that wraps up things for now. I will post again soon. Many blessings!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is in the air;-)

Our Blessing "The Bus"!!!! Used, but in great condition;-).
We can all go places in one car...AMEN!!!
Front view of our newest blessing;-).

Here is a picture of Alexis before her dental repairs.
After Bonding and teeth whitening!!! No more cavities;-)

Yes...Spring is in the air. The children are all working very hard to finish their books and other school work. They are looking forward to a summer filled with free time and lots of play with Mama outside. It has been a while since my last post so I will get everyone up to speed. Today and yesterday the children are doing homework to make sure their lessons are at week 24 on Monday. We have already met our Mass obligations. So, they have all day today for home work projects. We had Mass last night since it was the first Saturday of the month. We go on Sunday morning on the other weekends in the month.

Alexis is still not speaking English. I probably spoil her more than I did Katie Aunna since I mainly speak basic communicable Russian with her. With Katie Aunna I did not speak much Russian. But, now I know a lot more this time around. It seems every time I return to Russia I get more and more communicative. Also, I must give credit to the Rosetta Stone home school program, as I have improved with this class. I think one of the coolest things, beside teaching my children, is how much I have learned by being teacher!!!

I guess you have noticed what a wonderful difference in Alexis' teeth. I am delighted to say she has had her cavities repaired and new front teeth. Also, we did enamel bonding to her front four permanent teeth. She is very proud of those new teeth and smiles like a movie star. Further, on March 20Th we will go to Hobbs to the Shriner Clinic and make plans to repair her leg length difference. We have been told by the IA doctor that we are looking at multiple surgeries. I plan on giving her the summer off and then in Fall we will do our first surgery....waaaaa. But, all for the best;-) in the long run!!!

The children, Duane, and I are very excited!!! We are planning to take a family vacation. Duane's business offers an incentive trip every other year. The last time we went in 2008 it was to Switzerland. Quite a wonderful trip. However, this time we have opted to cash out and take the children to meet their only living grandparent. Duane's mother is getting up there in years and her health status has changed. Although, she still lives in the same house she had raised all of her babies in, she is now in her 80's and her health is not getting better as time goes by.

So, we are planning to take "the bus" to Kansas to visit his mother and introduce her to her two newest grandchildren, Katie Aunna and Alexis. She has never met them and she is just so excited. However, she has forbid us to have any more children...LOL!!! She doesn't realize we are well satisfied with this portion of our life. It use to cost $1million to raise a child...I think if they updated that in today's poor economy it's at least 1.5million...urg!!!! Anyway...back to some more of the good news;-).

Then, in June our niece on Duane's side, is planning a big Catholic wedding!!! OH HOW WONDERFUL!!! So, as soon as we return from our family vacation, we will have this occasion to attend. All of his family from several different states will be there. Naturally, we are very excited to have this time with certain family we have not seen in many years. The name Mary is a family name that started with Duane's family. It will be exciting to get all the family of "Marys" together for a picture. There is; Mary (deceased), Little Mary, Littlest Mary, Tiny Mary, and our Tiniest Mary in the family. Isn't that funny?!?!?! Five generations of Mary with the last four generations living.

Another blessing from God....Praise our wonderful and generous God for His great mercy and love for us all. He has seen fit to answer our prayers for a second vehicle. We found a very nice 10 passenger van for such a good price. It is definitely a huge blessing from God. Fortunately, we had enough money on our stock to cash out and buy it outright...another blessing. I have included a picture of our family bus above. We call it "The Bus"...haha.

Well I guess that just about catches us up to date. Of course, we will make posts after Alexis' Shriner appointment, during our family vacation, and at the upcoming wedding. We hope to go to Branson after visiting Duane's mother. Making this time one big road trip. It will be Katie Aunna and Lexi's first family vacation. Hopefully, we will be able to go on this vacation at the end of May. However, I will update in April after we take Alexis to her Shriner appointment. Many blessings!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What's Happening Around Here

I am so sorry it has taken me since Christmas to post!!!! I had a hard drive crash on my computer and just got it back last week. It was not much fun to be without it. But, I'm back. Now...the good news...Alexis is doing great!!! She is not learning English as quickly as Katie Aunna did. However, I know a lot more Russian than when we adopted Katie. Alexis and I have basic communication in Russian, and what I can't say or she can't say, we find ways to figure it out with each other. She is such a happy child and a very good girl. When she looks into my eyes it is so deeply!!! I am not sure if a child could possibly love their mother more than this child. I think adoration is more descriptive. I feel the same about her....she is adorable.

Several exciting things have happened. When we adopted the twins from Ukraine we did not christen them Roman Catholic. Duane said he felt our family was not complete and maybe we should wait and see if we adopted again soon. Time went by and we kept adopting each year. When Alexis came home we knew the time had come to baptise all of our children. It was a thrilling Sunday and so touching that they were all baptised together!!! It took me two hours to get the girls dressed and fix their hair;-). Aren't they all beautiful...boys and girls?!?!?!?!

Last week Mary had an appointment with the opthamologist. I had noticed a very slight inward turn of her left eye when she got tired. So, I was lucky enough to get in quickly with the pediatric opthamologist. He is from Albuquerque and only comes here once a month. Diagnosis....Mary now wears glasses. She is so cute in them and she is doing amazing with taking care of them. I thought for sure she would break them on day one. Nope...she is doing great...knock on wood...haha!!!! Today Mary said "Mommy, my glasses are tired"....LOL!!! I took them off for a little while and she came to ask for them later.

Also, let's talk about the weather while we're at it;-). We have had an amazing snow fall!!! Not only, is the moisture welcome, it was so beautiful. The children and I went out to the frontyard to build "Jack Frost"....as they named him. It was so funny, I told them he looked so good that they should expect him at their bedroom window that night. At bedtime, the girls (except Mary) made sure their bedroom curtains were closed tight. When I tucked Mary Beth into bed she said "Mommy leave my curtains open cause I'm not scared to see him at my window"....LOL....that's our little Mary Beth;-).

Finally, we are praying for God to continue to help us recover from the adoption expense we have endured. Many who know us personally were aware of the sad news about our grant. The organization reneged on a promised large grant. This left us scrambling at Christmas time to find funds to bring Alexis home and put a few things under the tree for the kids. Mainly they received new clothes...which they loved. These are the sweetest little kids!!!

Everyone agreed that we should have a very small Christmas and we would expect Alexis to be the big gift from our great God. Let me say that God has been so good to our family by providing ways to obtain the funds needed to bring our daughter home. I want to give a huge thanks to those who have helped us during this recovery period. You know who you are and God knows how big your hearts are. I pray for blessings in abundance in your life. Words can not possibly describe how grateful we are to those of you who have helped us financially, emotionally, and spiritually. You are special for having a hand in doing God's Will. Many blessings and much love!!!