Monday, November 7, 2011

Over a year home

We've been meaning to update the blog since Gotcha Day, September 23rd. 

We have been keeping busy.  Jen has been diligent homeschooling the kids.  We did not have intentions of doing school with Andrew this year.  He still seems to be a little behind in his language and we thought it might be too much.  However, Andrew had other plans for himself.  He wants to do whatever his siblings do, not to mention, he is self motivated.  So, Jen quickly threw together a few things. 

So far, Andrew has learned all his shapes (even ones his older siblings didn't know), he recognizes numbers up to 10 and can count to 39 with a little help, plus he begged to learn how to write his own name.  Now he knows the names of the letters in his name too, plus "c" for Cora, "r" for Rachel, "t" for Tobin and "h" for Haley.  Andrew knows his colors too and loves to color. 

His favorite part of the day is "Jesus Time".  The first half hour to hour of every school day is started with some quiet time to pray and read and draw with Jesus.  Jen prays a small prayer to start and then everyone spends time with Jesus either by reading the Bible (the girls who can read) or by drawing pictures (the boys).  When everyone is done with that they all take a turn praying.  Andrew asks most nights if we'll have "Jesus Time" when we wake up.  He loves to pray.  All he knows of prayer now is "thanky for...." and then he fills it in with just about anything.  Most of the time it's "thanky for church, for daddy work, for van, for house..."  Every now and again it's "thanky for Tobin bleed" after Tobin gets hurt.  I guess he knows better than the rest of us how to be thankful in all things.

One of the things we've realized over the past year is just how much we've missed with him.  It's mostly the little things in training that we don't think of.  Like how its not appropriate to write on cars with rocks (No really. Its a good thing Aaron works in auto restoration.).  Of course we also see it in his understanding about who Jesus is. 

Although it was encouraging this past week ; Jen told Andrew to go sit on his bed when he was misbehaving during school.  She was going to deal with him as soon as she could get the others started on their work.  She heard talking in his room and had the other kids keep quiet so she could listen.  Jen heard him talking to Jesus and saying Amen.  He then yelled out, "Mommy, I'm all done."  His attitude had changed.
Andrew does not remember much prior to being with us.  He thinks we were there in Bulgaria with him in the orphanage.  He really does not remember much from there other than what he sees in pictures.  We ask questions, but haven't gotten much out of him.  The most he's remembered is "going downstairs with a small mug with black in it with the Doctor".  He remembered this one night while we were eating soup and there happened to be a coffee mug on the table at the same time.  So, as you can see we haven't gotten much out of him.

Andrew has had one minor cold for a short couple of days since being home.  We have had no issues with his hydrocephalus.  He is a healthy boy.  He is growing in height, but not weight.  He eats well and loves fruits and vegetables the most.  His favorite foods are tomatoes and apples.  We do not eat fast food very often, but he doesn't like it when we do.  Although he does love candy, cookies and soda.

Andrew was potty trained when he came home and has stayed that way.  For several months he wore diapers at night, but once the box ran out, he wanted to be a big boy like Tobin.  He wet at night quite a bit in the beginning and we would not make a big deal of it and just wash the sheets a lot.  We woke him up every night, but he'd still wet.  Then he seemed to stay dry for quite some time and we thought we were in the clear.  It wasn't too long and he was wetting again. We know he's only 5 and that boys do tend to wet at this age, so we don't make a big deal of it and still wake him once before we go to bed.  Plus he never seemed that bothered by it. However, we do believe there may be some connection to his emotional state.  We have noticed that he wets the most when he seems to have several days in a row with a little bit of attitude or when there has been several changes in our schedule.  Over the last month he has started to get upset about it and tells us he is sad when his bed is not made because the sheets are in the wash.

Andrew is occasionally scared people will get him.  We let him know we are his mommy and daddy and will take care of him and keep him safe.  One night Jen told him that if somebody tried to come and get him that daddy would fight him.  He seemed very content with that answer.  If he says somebody might get him we ask him what will happen and he says, "Daddy fight them."  He still doesn't like to be in bed without Tobin in the room, so when Tobin comes out to tell us something or go potty, Andrew comes out of the room as well if he's awake. 


  1. Jen/Aaron,

    I have begun to find a recurring theme in our children. That is that at night as the caregivers are putting the kids to bed, they say something like "Go to bed or the bad man will get you (or eat you)." Both my daughter and the Parks Family's daughter Kaitlyn have now told us the same story... we pieced it together after my daughter spilled it in August (17 months home in August at 7 years old), I suggested they ask kaitlyn about it just last month and it turned out once she began talking about it that she told them that they told her the bad man would eat her if she got up at night. Elina spilled it one night when she was very upset to go to bed when her brother was not home.... total meltdown and then confession of why she didn't want to go to bed. Maybe it is like how my parents used to tell me to not go out in the dark or the boogey man would get me... but at least I felt safe in my home and with my parents. Maybe it is a cultural thing for Bulgaria... but I thought I would share so that you might get to the bottom of the bed wetting and fear. We started Karate, now Elina feels empowered and is not fearful at night and sleeps much better! Oh, and I started her on melatonin (natural supplement)... it calms her and gets her sleepy much more quickly and she has stopped getting up at night and checking me... I ended up figuring out that I was exhausted because in the middle of the night she would come in my room and chek that I was in my bed by touching my arm... sometimes she woke me... but I have a feeling she startled me several times a night that I went back to sleep. Hope this helps... once you master nighttime you are the king/queen of the world!!!!

    Hugs to you guys,


    Just a thought...