Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quick update

The Count

7 throw ups
6 poopy diapers
3 boxes of tissue
4 baby baths (not Asher)
1 pair of pants peed on
3 shirts snotted ( I change when they get soaked thru)
2 bedding changes
1 play pen thrown up on and washed
1 throw rug thrown up on and washed
4 loads of laundry
4 bottles dumped out
1 changing cover messed
1 dining room floor covered in puke
1 temp over 100 degrees
1 temp over 102 degrees
1 temp over 103 degrees
1 happy Bohdan who wants to be held
2 miserable bios who want to be held
1 snotty Yuri who does not want his nose wiped
2 sick parents
1 exhausted Momma
1 dead bird

and this was only today...

Ok "this was not in the brochure" (movie?). I was expecting tough but this is exponentially harder.

Cute things the kids have done lately:
I've started the play pen thing for him. I placed it in the middle so he couldn't reach the walls. He threw out all of his toys and shimmied the play pen back and forth until he reached the wall. He then proceeded to empty the card holder hanging there and then hung from it. I watched it all happen, I was amazed at his persistence.

Loves to be held. He will put out his hand for you to pick him up whether you are near him or not. If you call him he will crawl across the room to you.

He is a neat freak but I haven't figured out how his brain works. He took my basket of pens and emptied it onto my bed. I came in during the process. When I came back in to check on the status, the basket was back in its place except it was empty and I couldn't see the pens. I found them under Josh's pillow. ?

I noticed he was waking up from his nap today and I watched him. He has a mirror in his crib and was laying on his tummy. He raised his head slowly up and turned to the side. Noticing himself in the mirror is grinned and turned away. Then he looked back. That handsome guy was still there and Caius smiled and laughed at him. This went on a bit. Too cute!

I will update you all about my Yuri thoughts later. I've been trying to nail down what one thing will send him into a tizzy faster than anything and I've concluded that is having a poopy diaper changed. Nothing will calm him, not music, not a bottle... I can't imagine why this bothers him so badly.


  1. I wonder if there was a type of some abuse while he was being changed in the orphanage. Just a thought. I hope you are all well on your way to a full recovery. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. Autumn, I am enjoying following your journey to these little boys and I hope you continue with updates. In terms of Yuri, some thoughts- He has been in a crib, untouched and unstimulated his entire life. I know you know this but sometimes, if you have not done this before, if you are coping with 6 sick people, if you have a child like Bohdan who adapts so much more easily, you can lose sight of how difficult all the stimulation can be for some children. If you can think of Yuri as in sensory overload, like you or I might feel in a disco with lights and music on full blast, it may help you manage your reactions to his freak outs.

    It is far too early to really figure out what is going on with Yuri. Some of this may disappear fairly quickly as he adapts to the changes in his world. Some of it may be him. Sensory integration issues may be present, he may have some form of autism, he may have a seizure disorder with behavioural manifestations. All of this will take much time to sort out.

    Another possibility that occurs to me is that of abuse. Whether deliberate or through rough handling. It is possible he has experienced very negative things when changed, washed, touched. Children in institutional care are very vulnerable to abuse. I certainly know of very young children who have experienced sexual abuse in an institutional setting.

    For now, kind, firm but gentle touch, finding as much of a comfort zone as possible for him. By that I mean anything you find that upsets him that can be avoided, avoid. If you find he is comforted by certain things, even if it is isolation, try and give him some of that. There will be lots of time to introduce new things. It sounds very much like he is in sensory overload for whatever reason.

    Bohdan's adaptation seems very different. From the life of isolation he wants constant contact. For Yuri, it seems like it is all too much. They will each find their way in their own time. It is so early yet, you are tired, everyone is sick, there are two other small boys who need you, getting everyone through the day is a remarkable achievement. These first weeks and months are tough. It sounds like you are doing great. Hang in there.


  3. The aversion to having a #2 diaper changed is fairly common in children who have been institutionalized.

    In an orphanage setting, there are usually diaper allotments -- i.e. 2 diapers per child, per day. And in cases where there aren't limits on the number of diapers a child can use, the children still end up sitting in a dirty diaper due to the small number of caretakers.

    These two situations lead to severe diaper rash, skin infections and fungal infections. These infections/diaper rash can be chronic. This makes each diaper change excruciating, particularly when cleaning the bum. What's worse, many cheap brands of wipes sting when they come in contact with diaper rash/open skin.

    Yuri came to associate pain with diaper changes, particularly #2 diaper changes since wiping up is more "invasive", so to speak.
    It's basic psychology: he has been conditioned to cry during #2 diaper changes because he's expecting it to be painful.
    You need to counter-condition him -- he needs to associate diaper changes with something positive, whether it's a special toy, a food treat given immediately after, play/tickling during/immediately after the diaper change -- that sort of thing.

    It will take time, as the very first steps of counter-conditioning must be done by Yuri; he must realize that diaper changes are not painful. You basically go from...
    * diaper changes = negative (pain), to
    * diaper changes = neutral (they don't equate to pain), to
    * diaper changes = positive (something good, no pain).

    That middle neutral phase is up to Yuri, and it'll just take time. Just keep it as up-beat and as "light" as possible and be sure to offer some sort of reward after -- something he enjoys.

    Hopefully, in time, that will help make things a bit easier for your precious little guy. ;-)

  4. Oh, you poor mommy. Hang in there. This too shall pass. I am praying for you!

  5. I wish you lived in my neck of the woods so that I could come and help! But your lack of snow and the fact that you are outside in less than 17 layers assures me that you are nowhere near my frozen Midwest tundra!

    (Perhaps door stops at the foot of the playpen?)

  6. That's quite the rundown of numbers for the day. Are your four boys at least sleeping through the night? Do you get at least 4 maybe even 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep? I really hope and pray you have some help who can just help keep the basic household chores, grocery shopping, mundane stuff going so you can bond with the boys more. If I lived closer, I'd jump in. If you think of a way we can help from afar, please let us know. In the meantime, sending more prayers. And I am SO impressed with how you managed to see positive moments from each of your sons today and take the time to reflect and share them. That must do wonders when Satan wants to bring you down. Yay you for seeing the good, even in the ugly (and poopy and pukey :)

  7. Oh my. AND a dead bird????

    Prayers continue!


  8. Bless your heart! And God give you extra patience, and quickness in getting to feeling better!!

  9. iam wondering do you think haveing his diaper changed reflects some type of abuse when he was in the orphanage??we know what loveing mama he has now but what about before??

  10. Get well soon!
    May God renew your strength from day to day, He knows, cling to Him.
    Praying for all of you.

  11. I wish I could come over and help with the clean-up and make you a hot cuppa so you can sit down and put your legs up. That is a lot of work in one day.

    Will pray, esp. for Yuri, and for our Lord to give you wisdom, showing you what exactly is wrong so to solve this problem of throwing up.

  12. It is very hard to turn those statistics at the top into a cute and uplifting post, but you did it! Hang in there and God bless your Herculean efforts.

  13. Oh Autumn. Stay encouraged. This too shall pass. My suspicion is that it's the change and Yuri is taking the transition hard. But I also suspect that there may be something going on inside of him. Poor sweetbaby. Our prayers are with you. Ivanna is the more difficult child here in adjusting to. Just so much more institutional behaviors that can really wear on you. I have to remind myself that God knew all of that from before our adoption journey - and if HE thought I could handle it ... well - I guess I can, despite my feelings about the whole thing. ;)

    Hang in there.

  14. Oh Autumn. I wish I could come over and help. I only have 2 and if they were both sick or me I would be on the phone to my mom so fast your head would spin. I will be praying for you. Sick little ones are hard. FOUR sick little ones is unthinkable. Just don't turn into Kate G. OK? I think I recall an episode where all hers were sick. :)

    If Yuri reacted this way to all physical interaction at the orphanage I can just imagine how over him they were and how subsequently gentle there probably were NOT during diaper changes, etc. I can only imagine.


  15. I just have to say that you absolutely AMAZE me. I am a lurker from Adeye's site and have been following your blog for a couple of weeks. It is the first thing I do when I get to work in the morning. You are such a great writer, I feel like I know you, Josh and the boys. My heart leaps with excitement at all of your triumphs and my eyes are weary at reading your last post. As a working mother of 3, I thought I had MY hands full. I cannot fathom what your days must be like....sheer exhaustion and complete elation, all at the same time. Keep up the awesome work...and keep the pics coming! My eyes water when I see those adorable smiles. You are truly an inspiration!!

  16. Oh dear, what a day!!! I think the transition would have been difficult enough without everyone being sick on top of it - I'm so sorry you are dealing with both things at once. This too shall pass, just keep reminding yourself of that! I'm happy to hear that you are stopping to appreciate the cute moments amidst the chaos.

  17. Oh. My. ......Sigh.

    You need help. Human help. God's mercy help. Wisdom help. Lysol and windows open. A nap. I just don't know. I really just can't imagine.

    I am continuing to pray.

    Bohdan crawls across the room? THAT is awesome!

    Caius is a sweetie pie. : )

    Yuri's determination is going to be a huge help to him once he gets things figured out.

    Asher thinks Josh uses the pens, that they go under his pillow because they are his? Or maybe just because it was a great place to put them.

  18. Maybe Yuri ha experienced something uncomfortable during diaperchanges earlier? It could be cold hands, cold wipes, wipes with alcohol or soap that stings? Or maybe taking the diaper off, makes him feel vulnerable, this sometimes happens with newborns. But ofcourse I don't know how he acts when the diaper is just wet.

  19. Autumn, LIKE YOU HAVE TIME TO LOOK AT A BLOG....but I thought I'd send along a link of encouragement

    They have 12 kiddos in their family and she has some links in this post to their "not so good days." I especially liked the part where all 12 of them got a stomach bug and her husband handed over a cash reward to the first child who made it to the bathroom. I thought of you. :)

  20. This too shall end - I know not soon enough! Praying for light at the end of the tunnel. I really wish I could do something more!

  21. Hi! You've thought about therapy (psych) for the boys? I've been following along and that is what I keep thinking. I met Karyn Purvis and David Cross (authors of Connected Child and I'm glad to see you've read it) and spent time with them working with adopted children. If you want to run anything by me, visit my blog and leave a comment and we can connect from there. I'm sure you have lots of help but I thought I'd offer anyways.

  22. I think you're doing an amazing job with the boys. I can't imagine the energy you must possess to raise four little boys. I am praying for you and your family. Take care!