Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Friday, May 29, 2009

K-mart sightings

I dropped Jerome off today at his playgroup and headed off with Richnigthder to do some errands. I am looking for several rather particular Rubbermaid containers and having nearly exhausted all my options, I thought I would pay K-mart a visit.

I spotted this fellow as I was driving into the parking lot. Even at K-mart this dude stood out. He was wearing red sweatpants, hiking boots, a superman t-shirt and a beige trench coat all completed with a CIA baseball hat. To add to his stellar undercover attire, he held an very antiquated walkie-talkie and tended to follow other somewhat less odd patrons to their cars. I think he really labored under the delusion that he was an operative for the CIA. I snapped the pic on my phone through my very dirty windshield as I thought it would be rude to merely drive right up to the fellow and snap his picture. It was a typical k-mart experience complete with the obligatory sightings of moo-moos, house slippers and hair rollers. Oh, and I did not find my elusive Rubbermaid continues.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the coveted Certificates of Citizenship!!!!!

The boys arrived in this country on April 30th and today in the mail we received the most coveted of documents. They entered on an IR-3 visa that granted them immediate citzenship upon touching U.S. soil. Today we received the official documents certifying their citizenship as citizens of The United States of America.

Tomorrow, I promise to post pictures of a lot of first. I just have no time these days. Who would have thunk it, that 4 kids can mean a lot of work. SHEESH.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

no whining...or however that is creole

Since so many people have asked, I thought I would share it with everyone. A gal who adopted from the same creche as our boys were in, just moved to Haiti to be the houseparents for 20 or so children in the Haitian Children's Home. I asked her via Facebook how to say " please don't whine" and she responded. I must tell everyone she is my new best friend and she saved me from wearing ear-plugs most of the day.

So here it plenyen sooplay. Phoenetically it is, pa play eh, sooplay. I have this odd feeling that this phrase will be uttered in many homes with Haitian children. It ranks right up there with 'pa touche' and Sispan sa, in our house right now.

Hope this helps!

Nothing is ever as it seems

I had always anticipated that I would have challenges with Jerome adapting to a homelife and having a family. NOT! He is a happy-go-lucky, pleasant little guy and seems to really enjoy being in a family; to include the good, fun things, and the plain old arguing and drudgery. He has been a little whiney, but since I learned how to say 'don't whine' in Creole, he has had a marked decrease in whineyness....however that is spelled. He smiles all the time, is rarely in trouble, and has learned to stay with us in stores and is making great advancements in realizing social boundaries and appropriate social interactions. He loves going to his functional language playgroup and is the social butterfly of the group.

Richnightder is my quiet, intro-spective, sensitive one. He seems to still be mourning the loss of all he has ever known and struggles to express it to us. He is compliant 90% of the time and enjoys helping out greatly, but when he is corrected for doing something naughty, watch out. He flat out refuses to apologize for his misdeeds and we have had to take his bike away for 27 hours until he apologized for knocking Madison off of her bike. The next day he did the same thing, and it took him 2 hours to apologize. Yesterday, he was naughty and refused to look at me, so in a stroke of brilliance (at least I think so) I picked up the phone and pretended to call Teacher Jean. He flipped out and screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOO." He changed his tune immediately and apologized and looked me straight in the eye and followed it up with a hug. He is exceedingly bright and loves to learn. He desperately wants people to praise him and seeks it out most of the time. All in all, the settling in is going as expected and Rich is working thru some issues and will continue to for some time.

We took a short walk yesterday and as he held my hand, he started to talk about Camesuze, his birthmother. He was spelling her name and metioning that he had walked (mache) with her. His language acquisition is amazing and he continued to tell me that he does not miss her and he is not sad. He does however miss his birthfather, but is not sad about that either. I keep thinking about how foreign EVERYTHING is to these kids and how scary it would be to get scooped up by strangers professing love and be taken far, far away to where nothing makes sense. I realize, especially for Rich, that our love for him and trust must be earned. ALthough we love him, I know he must only think of us as kindly people who feed, bathe, and care for him. Hopefully in time, he will come to love us as much as we love him. Until then, we continue to try and live as normal a life as possible all the time realizing, we have two little boys who are struggling to grasp even the littlest nuances of life here in the states and within our home.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Chow Chow, Chowder just passed away

So yesterday our 12 year old Chow Chow, Chowder had surgery to remove what turned out to be a 9 pound splenic tumor. He seemed to recover well and his blood work looked great this morning, but about an hour after I visited him this afternoon, he passed away. I saw him at 5 o'clock and he slowly got up to greet me and tried mournfully to howl as I left him. I really, truly believe he waited to see me one last time before he passed away. I had no idea it would be the last time I saw him. My heart is incredibly sad that he died and I miss him.

The boys went to the pediatrician today and he was very pleased with how well they look and behave. We are still waiting for bloodwork to come back and we need to provide stool samples, which is a major gross yuck!, but all in all, they look good. We will begin vaccinations in about month as he doesn;t want to traumatize them anymore since yesterday they had blood draws. Even my teeny tiny Jerome, is on the growth chart for a six year old. Rich is in the 50th percentile for height and weight. ROCK ON! He also feels that since they had Mantoux TB tests that were within acceptable ranges, that he does not want to treat for TB. ROCK ON!! Jerome has a fairly good sized umbilial hernia and he wants to see what happens with increased nutrition and muscle mass before he deems surgery necessary. He sees an opthamologist next week for his crossed-eyes and we do anticipate surgery for that.

In the food department, we have now consumed 5 mangoes today, 1 honeydew, about 12 bananas, and 5 mandarin oranges. They love fruit. Oh, and speaking of fruit juices, their teeth also look pretty darn good too. Who can complain if they are eating good food? But at the store today, they ran for the candy aisle and threw in a huge bag of M&M's and three muskateers. Thank God they have good taste in candy.

some homecoming pictures and other odds and ends

The boys have been in the United States for exactly 1 week and we have had a lot of firsts. RIchnightder has ridden two of our horses and LOVES it. Jerome has warmed up to at least the cat and it can now occupy the same room that he is in without hysterics. Rich loves ice cream and Jerome can leave it. Both had blood draws yesterday for a gob of tests and today they go to the pediatrician for their full physicals.

Yesterday, Rich was teasing Jerome and telling him "gros piki" which translates to 'big shot' and Jerome would and did scream friggin bloody murder. Rich knew Jerome hated needles and teased him mercilessly. Jerome screamed so much he has lost his voice today and his eyes are still bloodshot. Rich watched they stick the needle in and suck the blood out of his tiny arm without a flinch.

After that fun event, we stopped at the store to get new bikes for each of them. Hot wheels just didn't cut it anymore. They smiled ear to ear and even knew they were to wear helmets. How they knew that is beyond me. They cried last night when they had to come in for bed because they were having so much fun on their new rides. They are already buggin me to go out now and ride, but it is drizzly and foggy and just plain chilly and damp. Translation....I don't want to go out yet!

Because our family functions best on chaos, our 12 year old Chow Chow came home from the kennel last Monday looking puny. On Wednesday we took him to the vet and they ended up doing surgery yesterday morning and removing a 9 pound tumor in his spleen. We don't know yet it if is malignant or benign, but at least the dog is feeling better and we have bought him some pain free time with us. The tumor was so large they took pictures and emailed them to me. Anyone want to see???

Here are some pictures of our pick-up trip. Remember we did not get anywhere but the transition house and airport. So here they are including a few from our 2 nights in Miami and the bike shopping trip yesterday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

more fun than a poke in the eyeball with a stick

Thomas got sick this afternoon with a fever, body aches sore throat and headache. I decided to take him to the doctor and quickly realized Jerome wasn't feeling well. So off to the doctor's office we went......alll friggin' 6 of us. Both boys have a viral infection and will probably feel crappy for a few days. When Marc and I came out of the exam room, Madison who had been waiting in the waiting room, was looking sickly and is now sick like Thomas and Jerome. AHHHH, I just wonder when Richnightder will come down with it too? Both of the little boys go to the doctor on Thursday for their first big check up so maybe they will just think tonights little trip to the office was a warm up lesson.

And just to prove that we have qualifed medical professionals in North Dakota, the on-call pediatrician felt it necessary to point out to us that Jerome has crossed eyes. No way, we also hadn't noticed he was black! Thankfully the doctor was astute and noted these things. Whew!

so here we are, the 6 of us

My best friend in the universe, Barney, has just given me 30 minutes of free time to post about the boys. The boys are adjusting remarkably well and fight amongst themselves as typical siblings do. Food is not an issue at all and they are picky about what they eat. They love cantaloupe and most fruit, but dislike onions and pickles. They also love chocolate, but don't like chocolate chip cookies.

Right now R is teasing the hell out of Jerome by switching the channel and Jerome is so frustrated that he is blowing the horns that Tifanni sent the kids. They are the loudest things you can imagine and teh kids adore them. Last night the boys were going to bed and slowly began to silently cry. Marc and I held them and rocked them and they sobbed these body shuddering cries as if in anguish and then fell asleep in our arms. They slept 9 hours thankfully and have been napping, but not in their beds, but on the floor.

Jerome wants desperatly to please and Richnightder is the one testing the boundaries and limits. He is sensitive and yet extremely smart. He has been doing school work on his own and loves to read in both French and English. He also loves to look at blogs and pics of the other kids already at home.

BOth kids have doctor appointments this week. That should make them crabby. Jerome has a chest cold which he has graciously shared with Thomas and me. I have piles of laundry to do, but I have 4 kids now fighting to help me. R helped Marc feed the horses today, but Jerome won't going anywhere near the barn. He is terrified of the cats and horses and the dogs are on there way home from the kennel right now. That should be something for Jerome to deal with.

Barney is singing that obnoxious song which signals the end of my peace, so I must fly now. Hopefully later today I can load the pics and put them on the blog. They are so cute that I want everyone to see them.