“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

James 1:27

Our cell phone number in Ukraine is: +38 097 828 9477. We are 8 hours ahead of Texas time. We can receive text but cannot send them. You can also reach us by email at joniredding@hotmail.com.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our First Few Days

I have a few minutes to blog while Jody and Alex are outside watering the yard.  Our 1st night home went great. We got home from the airport late and let the kids look around the house.  I gave them some Melatonin also. Everybody showered and then we had everyone get in bed.  I asked Tanya if she thought Alex should sleep in the room with her and she didn't want him to.  So, we took him to his bed with the boys.  He started to pout and fuss a little - which is how the fits usually start but he did lay down.  Jody started reading a book and although he didn't pay any attention he fell asleep within minutes.  The next night I gave him Melatonin again but he did have a little fit - 15 minutes or so. He was yelling and kicking and we told him to stop about 20 times.  Finally he just turned over to pout and he fell asleep.   The days are hard because I have so much to do with preparing meals, laundry, and cleaning and I have to be watching Alex every second.  He will go outside by himself or play with something dangerous.  He only looks at or plays with something for about a minute and then he is on to the next thing.  It's so exhausting, but I know he is just curious. He has been happy most of the time but he has had several fits when we have told him no.  Once he wanted to go outside and I wouldn't let him and another time he wanted to turn the water hose on and Jody wouldn't let him. Both times, he cried and and looked at us very angry.  Then he pouts and walks off fussing at us in Russian.  When we call his name, he just walks faster.  This is something that we are realizing is a form of manipulation.  It's very common in children who have been in an orphanage.  They have learned to survive with manipulation.  I can tell that Tanya usually gives him what he wants when he pouts or cries.  Yesterday when he had one of his tantrums, I went and got him and made him sit next to me on the couch.  I told him that while he was crying, he had to sit there.  In a couple of minutes, he stopped.  I asked him if he was happy now and he smiled at me so I let him get up.  I think he understood "happy".  This morning, Cole was pouting and whining so I made him do the same thing.  Alex watched the whole time so I hope that he is also learning through watching us parent the other kids.  As long as we are swimming, everything is great!  No behavior issues at all and he can't run off.  I cannot believe how great they both have done swimming.  Tanya already knew how to swim.  The kids were all diving off the rock so she tried it.  She did it perfectly!  At first Alex would barely get in on the steps.   He wore arm floaties and one of those blowup basketball goals the first day.  It was so goofy looking!  By the end of the day he was jumping off the side of the pool into the water.  Then yesterday, he jumped off the rock waterfall that is about 3 feet high.  He was doing so good and he loved it!  I bought him a much cooler tube and I told Liz to hide the basketball goal.  I was really impressed also because he did start to pay attention to the other kids a little.  He usually doesn't really notice or interact with other kids.  They were all running and jumping in together so he got out and joined them.  It was cute because it took him forever to swim to the side and get out to do it each time but my friend's little boy Jack would tell everyone "OK, let's wait for Alex" and then we he finally got there, they would count to three and run and jump in.  Tanya has had fun playing with a billion different kids.  It has been a little tough for Ellie sometimes because everyone is dying for Tanya's attention.  Cole can barely think of anything but Tanya.  He wants to be by her all the time.  She is so sweet to him.  He was putting on his shoes and he wanted her to tie them but she didn't know how.  Jacob taught her in a minute!  It's just so sad that nobody has ever taken the time to teach her something so simple.  She and Ellie are having a blast.  Last night, I was watching the slideshow from the airport and I looked at them in the kitchen and they were passing each other and they stopped and gave each other huge hugs!  So sweet!  I showed them the slideshow and we all cried.  I just love it!  Thanks Nicole, you did such an amazing job with it!  I'm glad it's the weekend and Jody's home.  We haven't decided what we will do yet.  Alex is already asking for swimming.  It's so hot that's pretty much all we can do, so I guess what we are deciding is where we will swim.  Granny and Grandaddy are coming home today.  They can hardly wait to meet the kids.  AnnMarie and the kids are coming tomorrow.  I'm thinking that we REALLY need a pool.  With 6 kids, it's hard to go to someone's house to swim.  Plus, I have to take so much stuff with me - towels, sunblock, floats, goggles, toys, ect.  We have been so faithful doing Dave Ramsey for the last 4 or 5 years - getting out of debt and staying out of debt.  (We had only our house debt before the adoption but we did have to use a credit card for $11,000 for flights)  I am thinking that after we pay that off, it might be worth it to break our debt free cycle for a swimming pool for next summer :) Probably not a good idea, but it sure is tempting.  Here are a couple of pictures from swimming.  The goofy one with the basketball goal is on Liz's camera so I will post it later:

Here are the boys.  We eventually had 4 families there swimming and there were 20 kids!

My precious daugthers!

Alex finally jumped in without the tube, but only when Tanya did it with him.

1 comment:

  1. Love the update!! Sorry - I have not been able to call but have been thinking about you guys every day. So happy for y'all and praying that the Lord will just knit all of your hearts together and give you lots of grace during this transition time. Can't wait to see y'all!