Monday, February 28, 2011

Ok, Ok, I'm sorry

My gorgeous Caius James

Asher Max laying with his teddy bear in the back yard

Yuri playing on his fire truck.

Bohdan, the resident ham.

Yuri blowing kisses.

Aren't they cute!

My little Bohdan, who if you ask him was made to be held ALL the time!

Yuri crawling on Bohdan. Bohdan didn't seem to mind THIS time.

This is when his chin was so chapped.

Thank you all for being so patient. I'm sorry I haven't posted but things are a bit crazy. Everyone is finally feeling better. Thank you Jesus!

Josh and I think Yuri is allergic to Dairy and Soy. If we keep those out of his bottles he doesn't throw up. Yippee!! Which means we have gone a few days with no projectile vomiting! Now if I just keep him from stealing Bohdan's bottle.

Yuri is doing a lot better. He is learning what he is allowed to do and not do. He isn't hitting the others anymore even though he loves to lay on Bohdan, lol. He is learning and that is exciting. He is very mobile and slides on his back all over the house. Him and I have bonded more and he actually wraps his arms around me and hangs on. I can't tell you how good that feels, I almost cried today cuz he was holding on so tight and giggling. He still has manic episodes but they are getting fewer and fewer. We aren't out of the woods by any means but I actually feel as though we are going forward instead of backwards.

Bohdan is gaining a little weight, I can see it in his face. We are working with him on sitting up and he is very VERY curious. He crawls right up into anyone's business to see what is going on. He is too cute! Right now he thinks he can't get off the rug onto the hard floor so his curiosity is contained, for now.

Ok that was yesterday, last night Yuri threw up, he just head butted Bohdan in the face and today he is a different child. He acts as though he hasn't bonded to me at all. He is super fussy and destructive today. I just don't know.

This is a great post about life after adoption. You know what they say is true, we project personalities onto the pictures we see on adoption websites. We dream for months about how a child will be and will act, when in all actuality we know NOTHING about the child. I knew this but I thought at the least the diagnosis would be close. Oh silly silly me. I think that might be one of the more frustrating things. Not being able to get answers about Yuri's issues. I wish I knew how to deal with him. I wish I understood what he was going through so I could help but I am just as lost as he is.

When I go out with all four by myself people stare (of course) and comment on my beautiful boys and then some will say to me how wonderful and patient I am. I just laugh.

Ok to set the record straight: I am not wonderful, I am struggling with patience, I love my children but am finding it hard to like them all (ok Yuri) all the time. I don't like this person I have become. I don't like feeling helpless and hopeless. I don't like feeling like I'm not a good mom to all of my children. I hate this depressed and frustrated me. My poor hubby inevitably gets the brunt of this deal. I am so short with him. Poor guy.

I am praying, I am trying, I have reached out for help but all the help takes time, all the doctors take time. Please pray we can get into the right doctor that can help Yuri and fast!

BTW, we had the ridiculous idea to try to go to church this Sunday. We are obviously gluttons for punishment. It could have been much worse but I was very happy when it was over. I do miss going to church. :o(


  1. Oh Autumn, I wish I lived closer to you, I'd love to help you out. I hope someone is there to give you a break when you need it. I have a little inkling of how you feel, I have a step-son that I am not bonded to at all and it is so very hard. Of course "steps" bring a whole other set of issues as well! All this to say, hang in there, I think for you and for Yuri it's just going to be a matter of time. Patience is definitely not my strong suit either but we all do the best we can (((HUGS)))

  2. Almost forgot - love love love the pictures, I've been missing those faces!!!

  3. Autumn, dear girl, cut yourself some slack. ;-) You've undertaken something very large and difficult and at the same time, beautiful and quite wonderful. I suspect it's going to be both good and bad, wonderful and terrible, light and dark, like what's inside of each and every one of us. You don't have to be perfect. Embrace all of the things that make you *you*. Any young woman with four little children is going to struggle with patience, and if she says she doesn't, well, then, don't believe her for an instant. Sainthood is not a prerequisite for being an excellent mom. Being wonderful all the time is seriously over-rated, and frankly, a little boring. Just be your authentic self, in all your struggles and the hard stuff and in all of the small victories and precious good things we have each day. I think your kids will appreciate the real you more than you know. Those boys are very fortunate to have you!

  4. Autumn~
    First I want to say thank you for bringing our homestudy back with you and then taking the time and money to mail it to us!

    Second, Yuri looks so much better in these new pictures than in the past ones you have posted. It's incredible to see his little smile. I know the days must be long and hard but have faith, you are making forward progress :)


  5. How I wished I lived close so I could come provide some respite! But then my friend whom I'm providing respite for would be mad at me; haha! Thank you for the update. So glad you've had a few good days, but we'll keep praying for you as you live through the rough ones! (And that's too funny about church. The day will come, though!)

  6. Keeping all of you in our prayers! Glad everyone is feeling better; hoping you get some answers soon for Yuri. Thanks for updating!

  7. Praying for you! You are a great mom! Say that to yourself over and over and believe it. Everything takes time and you are doing the best that you can. These boys love and need you so much I am sure that it can be very hard at times. Maybe there is one thing that can recharge you and you can try to do it each day when your husband is home-bath, exercise, etc. Sickness makes everything 100x harder! Keep your chin up! You are doing fabulous!

  8. I wish I had some words of wisdom to share. But, I do have prayers for you...and your sweet children. I love seeing the pictures, they are all so precious. Keep the faith, and I will continue to pray as you work through things.

  9. Just an observation...Yuri's expression is changing...he looks more relaxed...there was a strain and tension in his face that seems to be fading in these most recent photos. I'm reading a book right now about feelings, and how we Christians so often avoid them, stuff them, or think we are not supposed to have them (the negative ones, anyway). It is enlightening stuff! All that to say that in my opinion you are doing a wonderful job, and are entitled to let yourself feel all those negative feelings just as much as the positive ones! God made you human, after all, and you are walking through some HUGE changes in your life. OF COURSE you are going to be sifting through all kinds of feelings. You are acting in accordance with what you know is loving and right, but feelings are another matter. I think the more you let yourself process the whole spectrum of what you are feeling, the sooner you will arrive at a healthy, peaceful balance. It gives a fresh meaning to God's statement in Psalms that he "desires truth in our inmost being". Thank you for sharing your journey.

  10. I am not sure where to start. Your post was loaded with ..... so much!

    Love, LOVE, love, the pictures. They are precious as always. Sweet and beautiful faces, healthy faces. Bohdan's face does look like it is getting rounder. Gosh, they are CUTE kids!

    What a relief that the sickness has finally abated! That was just really over the top. Praying for many healthy days in your house.

    Yuri: Does there seem to be a pattern that he is having really rough days on the days he is vomiting? Those days are in sync with each other? Which makes me wonder what the trigger was for the very bad day after having some really good days. I would like to suggest a gluten free diet also, and possibly egg and peanut free. That boy has got to feel horrible to vomit like that and to act out like that. He is expressing it in the only way he can. I DO think you are making great progress with him. His day(s) of bonding and holding on to you was soooo sweet and indicative of what is possible for him. That isn't just an "I wish", but I really think it is possible and probable once things really get figured out for him. Reading that he such a great day, and of his behavior toward you is so encouraging! I am praying for wisdom for you in all of that, and also praying for a radical healing for little Yuri. God is able. As someone outside the picture looking in, you are making great progress. GREAT progress!!!! I wish you could come sit in my chair and see things from this end, and catch your breath before you dive back into it all.

    Autumn. I can't think that it is possible that you feel any other way than what you feel. What you have undertaken is a huge feat. Huge! It is a romantic thought, an idealistic one, to think of rescuing precious children from the hell of what was, and so easy to see their faces and imagine what they will be like, who they are. The reality CAN be much different as life unfolds. But the reality IS also that you HAVE rescued these boys from the hell that was, and they DO now have a hope that they NEVER would have had before. 4 boys all so close in age, and some REAL special needs is ....... just too much for my brain. All I can say is there is a light ahead. I read the link you gave. Someone does need to be speaking the reality of what you are dealing with. And it helps us direct our prayers to hear of the gut level facts. Glossing over things does not help anyone. There is hope ahead for Yuri, your biggest challenge. There is hope for the meshing of your home and family. I can't tell you how I wish I could help out, I really do.

    Please keep up the effort to go to church. I am hoping the more you do it the easier it will be. It is so vital to you to be refreshed there.

    Is there anyway you can see my e address as someone who posts here? I am in the Phoenix valley if that is anywhere close to you. I am serious about wanting to be able to help in any way.

    Storming heaven for you all.

  11. Lovely to see photos of the boys, and to hear that you are all over the flu/colds that have been hitting all of you.

    I don't have a special needs or an adopted child, so I really don't know what I am talking about, but to me it is just common sense that it will not all be rainbows and unicorns, and that it is probably much harder than you expected. I also imagine that bonding with a little snugglebug like Bhodan (he's got the most beautiful blue eyes, by the way) is a lot easier than a tough little nut like Yuri.

    I think anyone in your position would be short on patience, frustrated and depressed at times. But take heart in the fact that it WILL get better. Yuri has given you a glimpse into the kind of child he can be. It is interesting that he reverted to his old behaviour along with throwing up again. He probably is not very comfortable physically a lot of the time. I hope that he gets a medical diagnosis as soon as possible so he can feel better, and in turn, he can start bonding with you and his brothers a little better.

    Please keep us posted on how things are going!

  12. {{{{Autumn}}}} I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time. You ARE a good Mom though, you know that. If you weren't a good Mom, you wouldn't care what's the matter with Yuri. If you weren't a good Mom, it wouldn't bother you that he is suffering. You ARE a good Mom. I wish we lived closer, we could get together for a cup of tea/coffee... I'm praying for you!! If you need to chat, email me and I'll give you my phone number, or send me yours (gotta love free long distance) and tell me when a good time to call is. Love ya girlie!!

  13. You don't know me but I follow your blog. I am going to pray incessantly for you. I can't imagine how tough it is for you. Your family has taken a step of faith for our Lord to care for His children and He will bless you! Satan is trying to have his time with you...stay strong and know that I (and many) are praying for you when you feel you just are too weak or tired.
    Mary Arnold
    Durham ,NC

  14. ((((Hugs)))) I think that your feelings are very common and normal, considering the circumstances. And I can only imagine how difficult your days must be. Is there anyone you can get to help out so that you can have some time for yourself? Sometimes it helps to have time to re-charge. Meanwhile, I hope that professional help will be along soon!

  15. You are doing so well Autumn!! Four boys under the age of 5!! I take my hat of to you! Yuri is testing boundries, little kids are so clever!! Just stay firm and you will see that in time he will realize that you are the boss.
    Well done Autumn, I really admire you!!!!

  16. I think you are doing GREAT!!! I have adopted but only one and I can only imagine what you are going through. It sounds like you said, things will just take time and patience...praying for you and your boys! Thanks for sharing the good and the bad!

  17. Women who give birth have postpartum depression and individuals whom adopt can have post adoption depression. It happened to me after each of our adoptions, especially have my first. My 19 month old, walking, babbling and wanted nothing to do with me. My second child we adopted was 3 years old and he is an extremely loving child from day one, but once we got home dealing with my first child who was now 8 and and 3 year old was difficult considering the 3 year old was more like 2.

    Things will get better. You have only been home for a short time.

  18. Bohdan is so precious! I love eveery single picture I see of him. Autumn, You are doing an amazing job and yes you ARE wonderful! I will be praying and praying.When you are ready for a visit from Cale and I, let me know :)


  19. Oh Autumn, thank you being so honest. I can only imagine. I babysat a little girl one year and really struggled with not liking her. She was a foster child and had issues and how can a horrible person not love an innocent child who has had a rough start in life? I felt terrible. She was just very difficult to deal with.
    I KNOW the Lord knew what would be in store. This has not taken him by surprise. He is ahead of you already. He knows the joy that awaits you on the other side. It will be like waking up slowly...not all of a sudden. One day Yuri and you will be golden. God's love will make sure of that. His love is big enough. We will be praying!!!!!

  20. I am going to sit down and pray for your family and especially for the new boys to bond quickly and for things to go forward! Praying in Germany!

  21. Hi. I've been following your blog (through Adeye's) since you traveled. We got home with our daughter from China in Aug.
    Hang in there, it is tough and it's hard when you feel alone (none of your nearby friends have gone through it, etc). It is not the same as having a baby. They are strangers to you (and you to them) at first, just keep be patient and loving to them and the love/like will come. You are still in the "newlywed" phase besides the SN issues you are dealing with. Please don't be so hard on yourself- you are a wonderful person and are going through a lot right now!
    I will say an extra prayer for you today!:)

  22. HI,
    my name is Anne and I am a supporter and follower of RR and I have a 5 year old with DS. Joshua used to throw up and we stopped giving him dairy and also took him to a pediatric GI doctor and he had reflux. He put him on prevacaid and he is fine now.. just a thought.. your boys are precious and you definately have your hands full... DO NOT doubt yourself as a mother, you are not superwoman and take it one day at a time. ask for help if possible, and don't be so critical of yourself.. I love Joshua to pieces but there are some days I want to rip my hair out.. and your children are still fresh from an orphanage, so just take it one day at a time and remember there are a lot of us out here in the special needs community!

    Take care,

    Anne Ross

  23. Congratulations, you have just realized the depravity of your sinfulness. It took adoption for me to truly see my sinfulness and my desperate need for complete dependence on God. He alone makes me compassionate. Through Him alone, I can be patient. With His strength alone, I can keep loving my difficult children.
    Shock of shocks, I am not the good person I thought I was. (See Romans 3-- none are good, no not one).
    God is doing a great work in you and I am excited for you. I know very well how hard it is. Count it all joy when you face various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces ENDURANCE. And let endurace hav its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete LACKING NOTHING! Praise God!
    The work He has begun in you, He will be faithful to complete it. :)

  24. Sometimes it's one step forward and two steps backwards! You'll get there. Obedience is not easy. Adoption has definately shown me that love is mostly verbs and has little to do with feelings. The feelings come and go sometimes but it's what we do when we don't "feel" it that counts. Hang in there. I'm sure you are a great Mama.

    And just an observation but it sounds like when Yuri throws up he also shows more aggressive and unattached behaviour. Hmmmm.... maybe there is a connection?

  25. Prayers for you! I can't imagine. What a full plate you have. I hope you can find the answers you need with sweet Yuri. Surely, time will tell more about what his needs are - and you can find someone that can help him reach his full potential! God bless you!

  26. Someone made a very wise comment on your previous entry about how easy it is to get caught up "in the romance of the rescue" and that's so so true. Yes, there is so much romance, excitement, adventure and triumph in concurring Mt. Doom and coming home finally as a forever family. But the journey and the struggles don't end there, a new chapter just begins. Praying for you as the new day to day challenges set it. The laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking and cleaning and all the other things required to make a household run are still there. But bonding and attaching with your new sons and maintaining the bond with your birth sons so they don't feel left out- that's hard. And add in sickness, vomiting, specialists appointments with so much to take in and ponder and advocate for- and you have a full plate. But you are doing it!!! And you are making a home for your family. Everyone is learning to be a family together. Please, please don't feel bad about not updating us. I know you probably feel a sense of responsibility to those who offered financial support to help bring your sons home, but remember, you and your family come first. If you have time to quickly post pictures- that's great. If you have time to throw in a paragraph or two- even better. But if you find yourself with an extra 20 minutes, maybe simply sit down and watch a sitcom or read a devotional or just sit and be. I'm so glad you have bloggy friends who have been in your shoes and who can offer advice and support and wisdom. But please don't feel bad about not updating your blog. Maybe Robin, or another friend or family member could guest post a little here and there to ease your burden. But you are doing FANTASTIC! I have a fraction of what you are experiencing on my plate, and I know that I was insanely whiny and selfish and childish when my husband came home on Tuesday night. It's normal. But hang in there, you are doing. You and Josh will get through all this and by this time next month, you'll have even more figured out and into a better routine.

  27. I finally read the link you shared- thank you. So wise. It's so hard to ask for help when you've "put yourself in this position". I'm not an adoptive mom, but a foster mom with a special needs birth child. When my daughter is in the hospital or has a specialists appointment, I often feel guilty asking for help with my foster child because "if I can't take care of them, why should I have brought them into my home in the first place?!" I fear others will think. Well, is that a good enough reason to not give a precious little one a home because maybe a few times a month I might be in a jam? No, God asked us to look after the widows and orphans, and we should take this commandment seriously. And he also told us not to cast the first stone. I pray you continue to ask for all the support and help necessary as you continue to carry out the work He has laid it on your heart to do. You are loving these boys with all you have- even if it's an action not necessarily a warm fuzzy feeling. And two months ago they had never even been held more than 45 minutes at a time. I'm guessing 6 months ago, they had never really even been held! I know the victories can seem small and are hard to see- but they are THERE! I only have one child right and I feel I struggle with patience immensely. It gets to all of us. It's hard waiting to get into the specialist that you are hoping and praying can provide the answers you so desperately seek, and God KNEW you could handle it when He asked you to be Yuri's mommy. I'm not saying that should make it any easier, it's still going to be difficult and trying but it is not hopeless, and you are not helpless. And way to go for making it to church- Satan didn't win that round on Sunday morning :)

  28. If precious Yuri is having reactions to food think about exactly what he is eating. Start keeping an exact journal of what he is eating, not just "chips" but the brand of chips and his reaction to them to see if you can pinpoint any patterns. My understanding is that dairy products are hidden in many foods, a food journal will help you and the doctors figure out this puzzle. You haven't mentioned but did Yuri have this problem when he was in the orphanage? Is he set up to get further testing to discover the causes of his troubles?

    When my son was younger a certain antibiotic made him super hyperactive, even though it was not listed as one of the side effects. When he was off it he was back to his usual self and then when he tried the antibiotic again the super hyperactivity was back. Point being that kids do react in ways that you may not expect to what they are eating or in contact with.

  29. I'll be praying too - For your boys, especially Yuri, but also for you. Praying that you will be carried through these challenges. You are doing an amazing job. And your boys look gorgeous!

  30. I keep debating whether or not to post, as I never have and you don't know me! This morning, I decided just to go for it. I have been praying for your family for some time. I really appreciate your blogging- it has been incredible to watch these two boys become part of a family.
    Years ago, in a homeschooling instructor's guide, the mentioned giving yourself grace due to a six-week "fog" as you adjust to the new year. I have found that to be so true in other areas as well, especially the addition of a child through either birth or adoption. For me, I also needed to grieve the loss of ease that we had previously been used to. Sometimes I still wonder where it went! However, I am so grateful for what God has has brought us through and for where we are today.
    Give yourself time and grace. God has such a good plan in store! (Jer. 29:11)

    Again, thank you for sharing your story.


  31. Hi. My name is Chantal and I have been following your blog since December. I´ve just discovered RR and the stories really touched me.

    I am praying for you and that you will get the support that you need. Does the fostering and adopting agencies in your states have any resources or support system in place for parents? I would love to be living near you to be able to help you.

    This past Wednesday I finally went to the information meetings for adopting and fostering in my province. After reading my blog, I was quite overblown by the SUPPORT my government (Alberta, Canada)gives to adoptive and foster parents. Their attitude is the Parents, WILL need help and respite in order to properly parents their new children. Not too sure why I'm writing this but I was humbled in the help and support that is there and it gave me hope to adopt and foster shortly.

    Please know that you are and Yuri are in my prayers.

  32. Your honesty is incredible. You know, even after I gave birth to my boys I went through a pd of not knowing if I liked them. I was tired. I was trying to make them happy and they would just cry. I was tired (oh wait, I said that). It takes time to get to know and love sometimes. It's okay and we are not bad people.

  33. Autumn - Thanks for posting the link.. came back to read it - I'm now a follower of only 1 mom. Loved her honesty and yours too! Continuing to pray for you! Wishing we lived closer to each other! Praying for you!