A Dozen Good Eggs

Friday, April 30, 2010

no less than 4 times

in the last couple of days I have caught Ethan telling me the truth when a perfectly good lie would have done. I know this sounds crazy but this is Ethan. He once even told me Maia wet his pants! he lies most of the time and generally when telling the truth would have worked out better. Even things that dont mean trouble, he would lie. so no less than 4 times in the last few days he has told me the truth about several things, even things that DO mean you get in trouble. of course trouble was much lessened by telling the truth. I guess maybe MAYBE something I am doing is getting through. Maybe he is tired of going to his room. maybe he is tired of getting time out when NOTHING would have happened if he told the truth. I dont know what happened but I am glad he is FINALLY learning.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


just in case you dont read ourgirlsbyheart.blogspot.com .....Our dossier has arrived, been translated, AND BEEN SUBMITTED!!!

YAY! WE HAVE SUBMISSION!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ecstatic here! We should hear travel dates in about two weeks.

We are coming for you girls!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


our dossier has been delivered! yay! so close now!

Ben has another casting today.

Ben also cried all night. He seems to cry more at night when I have to spend the next day driving!

Sophie has her own bed back now in the big girls bedroom which means our bedroom is suddenly SO BIG!

cant wait to get all the toys out of the boys room and downstairs!

also cant wait to get the computer and furniture out of codys room, he cant wait either to have his room back. poor guy has had to deal with it for more than a year.

the new carpeting is SO PLUSH and soft! its soooo nice after walking on a concrete floor for a year.

I bought the bunk beds yesterday they will be delivered Friday. we planned out the bedroom where to put them. meanwhile Ben was on Chrystas bed and peed. never did figure out what happened there. but he was very apologetic and sad that he did that. Her bed is high and I think he couldnt get down. The dogs are banned from the basement now and we are trying to learn to keep the basement door closed ALL THE TIME except when you are walking through it.

We will unfortunately have to miss our ecfe class today because of Bens casting. Next week the kids have dentist so we wont be able to go to ECFE then either.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ok new project

Anyone want to help?

I read about a family who brings blankets to their hospital where the children are treated for cancer. The blankets are given to the children to keep. it becomes something special in their lives and something special for the parents as well sometimes if the child does not live. So seeing as how I like to make things. and seeing as how I like to share and help I have decided to start a HOMEMADE blanket drive. I will deliver the blankets to the children. There is a coworker of my husband who has a child battling neuroblastoma AND leukemia. She is why I am doing this. This is for you Mary. You asked for your birthday for people to think about what they could do to fight cancer. I cant kill the cells and I cant find the medicines that can, but I CAN make the children more comfortable while they fight!

So who's in? Anyone want to make a blanket or two? Fleece or knit or crochet. sewn or quilted! whatever you can do! send me your blankets! and I am going to make a permanent home for my sewing machine so I can sew sew sew!!! Any size would do, small enough for a lap blanket, big enough for a young adult, whatever you can do! So what should I call this project? My kids all have a special blanket I made them, they call them Lovey. so I think we should call it Project Lovey! Lovey Blankets, here we come!

note to MOM

mom, the page for the girls is ourgirlsbyheart.blogspot.com

the page for Sophie and Bens medical stuff is arthroadventure.blogspot.com

Friday, April 23, 2010

Life with Sophie

sophie says mama are you kwanky? when she doesnt like what I say. maybe its because I said no. or because I told her she needed to eat when she wanted to play. I told her not to hit her brother and made her take a dreaded time out because of it. but when I give her a cookie? then she says you bewiful mama! you so bewiful!

last night I was putting her to bed and she was all thankful. sometimes she is in a snit about going to bed other times she is grateful for anything and everything. so she was thanking chrysta "tanks cwista" "tank you mama" then "tank you my wovewy mama" so I taught her to say "Id like to thank the acadamy" which came out more like I wike to tank da aramee.

Sometimes when she has gone about a week without a nap and had a big day she is overtired and whiny and gets down right ticked off about things. but she doesnt have the strength or power to change anything or physically fight back. It was one of those nights and I put her on the toilet to take care of that and told her I would find her pjs and come right back all the while ignoring her wails of protest. she started yelling NO PJ! NO PJ! no TANKS! NO TANKS PJ! that one sent me over the edge. I cracked up. no tanks. then I picked her up off the toilet and got her ready for bed and she kept saying all indignantly "PUT ME DOWN!" I grabbed her up and started kissing her face and said "Im so glad you are so little I can just pick you up and love you when you act like this" that ticked her off completely. "PUT ME DOWN! PUT ME DOWN!" I did what needed doing(AFOs and splints) and then I said ok I will put you down. and I did. in her bed. well that wasnt what she wanted of course. I knew that. but it was bedtime nonetheless. so she kept yelling PUT ME DOWN! ON DA FLOW! ON DA FLOW! I kissed her and told her goodnight and left the room. I chuckled to myself all the way upstairs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Have you ever considered adoption?

did you know that just because a child doesn't thrive in one home they CAN still do well if they find a family that wants them and needs them and will be there for them no matter what. Consider the following. If you always wanted to parent here is your chance! if your kids are grown and you are a seasoned parent who just wishes they could raise some more kids, here is your chance! If you have a heart for those who need help, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE! (for the record these are NOT my children, I am only advocating to find a home for children who need one)

Three years ago, a family adopted a boy and his older sister. Immediately they felt that attachment was not going well for them or the children but they thought it would come in time if they just kept trying. Three months ago, they contacted me about disrupting but decided against it until they were 110% certain it was the right decision for the children. A few days ago they came to the realization that no matter how much they wanted to be, they are not the right family for their Russian born son and daughter. Here is what they wrote about them.

"Our son is 10 years old and in 4th grade. We are in process of obtaining an IEP from the school district, but up until now, the district has been very unsupportive of his needs. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, RAD and Anxiety disorders. He has a low verbal reasoning IQ (~73) and low average IQ (88-100) in other areas. He is socially immature. He has impaired judgment and does not seem to understand the cause and effect of his actions. We feel that he would thrive in a family that could take the time to teach him. His actions are causing stress on the rest of our family, and we do not feel that we are able to meet his needs. On the bright side, our son is always happy, never violent, or mean spirited. He does not hold grudges. He is compliant, and does chores without complaining, and likes to participate in family activities. He enjoys soccer, gymnastics, video games, roller skating, bicycling. He has a very curious personality and asks lots of questions. He grew up in orphanages and spent almost no time with any family members.

Our daughter is 12 and in 6th Grade. She is emotionally detached from us, particularly her mom. She was taken from her family's home, due to neglect, when she was just a little girl 5 years old. She goes in and out of happiness related to her family. She can seem like she is happy one minute and the next, she acts like she hates us. She seems to need a family who can devote a lot of time to showing her unconditional love. Having our two biological children in the house is difficult for her. She perceives them as always receiving more than she is getting (both material objects and love). It puts a strain on the interpersonal family relationships. We feel that the healthiest thing for her would be to be adopted along with her brother. She is an amazing artist! Some of her work looks almost professional. She does well in school (when she is self motivated), she has a large social circle and gets along with everyone. She is in Girl Scouts, Softball, soccer, cheerleading, takes piano. She would like to take art classes too. She likes to help with cooking. She enjoys music and likes to dance. Both kids love pets. "

If your heart has been stirred after reading this, please let me know. If you know of anyone who would be interested in adopting these two children please share this info with them. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

one precious baby girl

is fighting for her life. Please take a moment to think of her. She is struggling to stay alive and her family is struggling to understand. http://allarepreciousinhissight.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 19, 2010

funny funny Maia

kids were not talking, cd of kids songs is over, there is silence for a moment...

me: LISTEN! its my favorite song!

Maia: What is it?

me: quiet

Maia whispering: what song is it?

me: Its quiet.

maia: I cant hear it.

me: its quiet.

Maia: why can't I hear it?

me: it's quiet!

Maia: but I dont hear it.......

I am cracking up. this could go on for days...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a new adventure

tomorrow we make laundry soap~! I spent 4 dollars on the supplies since I have already a big box of borax in the cabinet that I bought once for a project and never knew what to do with. those 4 dollars will make several GALLONS of laundry detergent. I have never tried this before but I am excited to try!

I went to the local small town hardware store for Fels-Naptha soap. they didnt have it. refused to even LOOK if they could order it. just said they never heard of it so nope wouldnt even bother. yeah THATS customer service. I went to the grocery store and found everything I needed there, INCLUDING the FelsNaptha soap.

cant wait to try it.

just another day in pair of dice

well my feeble attempts at learning Russian have me able to ask do you understand english? and answer no. lol that was the point my computer decided to kick out the cd and claim it was flawed. I think the computer is flawed and just doesnt want to work right now. so I guess thats all I will learn for the moment. Kids are all outside. Sophie is on one of the little bikes and scooting herself across the driveway. the others are running jumping climbing digging and generally acting like half humans half chimps. Cody and Chrysta are at their gun safety crescendo. they get to actually shoot a gun. I imagine I will be hearing from them soon saying come pick us up.

Mocha is tied because the kids across the street were out and she runs over there barking. PTerra went to bed because its puppy nap time. she has been out since 620 this morning. I used to call her fatty mcfats alot but now I call her fatty potato I dont know why. She isnt that fat, ole was fatter but she has a puppy belly.

I am hoping to get a little sewing in today along with some basement cleaning/clearing so we can lay the new carpet. because of a miscommunication we ended up spending more on carpet than we needed AND now will spend more on laying it than quoted because the pad isnt backing the carpet its seperate. which also means we have to completely clear a room before they can lay the carpet. easier said than done! queen sized hidabed couch and giant entertainment center. the rest is easily moved junk. except the train table. that is HUGE AND HEAVY. my brother in law made it for his kid and he grew out of it and they gave it to us. Maia and Ethan played with it for years and now Ben and Sophie can. but its heavy and huge. My back is not so great this week so I have no idea how I am going to get all that crap out of the way.

I went to the thrift store and found Cody a black shirt for his choir concert. now to find him some pants. Ben starts casting next week so I hope to go earlly enough to have some time to shop a bit before his appointment. The girls need shoes and a new dress for Jen's wedding. Ben needs something decent to wear to the wedding with a cast on his leg. and pants for Cody. still hoping to find three backpacks at a decent price for the girls.

I have been worrying about the girls and their adjustment and their attitudes and thier behavior and their personalities. It isnt that we saw anything troubling when we were there, its just that I cant possibly know about their behavior attitudes until we are there. Their personalities we already know. they are funny fun happy girls. I hope they stay that way. I guess its my job to worry. but adoption is a roll of the dice and you never know what you are going to get. We certainly never expected Ethan to cry for weeks when we came home. We didnt expect Ben and Sophie to jump in so quickly to family life and love and embrace it. We will roll those dice and take our chances.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Russian Adoption

In light of recent events I wanted to write about my little Russian, Ethan. We went to Russia and were showed information about a little boy in Astrakhan. We were given permission to go there and meet him. So we flew out and were greeted by Olga our interpreter in Astrakhan. Olga was an incredibly beautiful woman who spoke English extremely well. She told the other couple traveling with us that there might be a problem with the child they were to see. But that our boy was fine. she did call him "your little boy" which of course made my Mama's heart swoon. We got settled at the Korvet hotel. This is not your gold standard hotel. but it was nice and it was clean and the staff was nice enough to let us email from their front desk computer. This was before Wifi.

The next day we went to meet our baby. We drove through stop and go traffic with Vlad our driver. I never did figure out the meaning of signs and stop lights as people and cars just sort of drive where they choose when they choose and stop and go so as not to run into each other. and lane lines were mere suggestions. We drove into the compound of the orphanage. It was rundown and old looking. But this was the "new building" they had just moved from the "old building" which we later saw and it was in much worse shape. the play equipment was rundown and paint peeling and fading but as we entered the building we had to wait for a bunch of little people bundled head to toe heading out to play in the snow. They brought us to the music room and we waited for them to bring us the baby. He wasnt a baby but to us he was. I remember Olga saying something Petunin. well it turned out Petunin was his last name. we still recall fondly every day going there for little Petunin. in came this little one year old and they put him down and he took one look at us and started SCREAMING! the care attendant smiled and tried to comfort him a little but left him there screaming after her. he stood at the door screaming and stomping his little feet. this was not the angelic meeting we had in mind.

I was at first at a loss as to what to do. Eric said why dont you go pick him up. So I did and that was it. I picked him up and held him in my arms and he was MINE! I dont remember when I let Eric hold him. I wanted to hold him all the time. we visited every day soemtimes twice a day but he never screamed like that again. We took the screaming as a good sign, he didnt know us! we were strangers! of course he wouldnt want to be left with us! We snuggled him and he fell asleep on my chest. OHMY! heart. head. tears. MY baby.

Fast forward to court time. Ethan had been sick and was in the hospital. we enquired if we should send medicines for him or what we could do. We never did find out WHY he was in the hospital. Eric was there alone as I had just given birth to Maia and she was still in the hospital at home. The judge had told us that we didnt both have to be there if I gave him power of attorney. At his court date they said no, thats worng, wife must be here too. I was at home. communication was hit or miss. I knew very little what was going on. I was holding down the fort with the other kids and our new baby Maia. My parents were there helping out. Eric came home without Ethan. It broke our hearts but we werent giving up on him. When Eric finally patched together a trip home I was NEVER in my entire life SO HAPPY to see him! New mom hormones Im sure contributed but I was so worried about him the entire time he was gone. I could handle home alone just fine but just couldnt stand him being gone and not knowing when I would see him again.

When he was home we were able to push our agency to get us a new court date when we could both attend. The orphanage director, a very kind and caring lady, who truly did care about the children, went to court with us to go to bat in our defense. She basically told them look, this kid is sickly, no one else is gonna want him! The dad is a doctor,what could be better? send him home with them. the judge we had was a different judge than Eric had seen. after a very tense hour of waiting for a decision it was decided that we should be the parents of Ethan Sergey Enberg. I was so tired and jet lagged and nervous in court and the judge said Papa looks happy! Mama think, just one more kid to look after! I laughed and told them Mama was very happy too.

Fast forward to now. Ethan is nearly 8 years old. He is a very smart boy. We have been recently informed he is at the top of his class in school. He loves to play outside, especially in water. He loves to swim, climb, jump, do anything active. He has his moments when he is difficult, but all kids do and I often have to remind myself of that. Dear Russia, Know that this child of yours is loved. he is wanted every single day. He is a HUGE part of our hearts and lives and family. He is not our adopted child, he is our child. No one in the family sees him as adopted or different, only as child, sibling, cousin, grandchild. He is happy, healthy, and safe. We love him. He loves us. What else is there?

Monday, April 12, 2010


I don't go to McDonalds any more. why? because I have a child with orthopedic problems. McDonalds doesnt care that their high chairs won't work for kids with ortho problems. The first time it happened my eyes were opened to how life would be a battle for this child. so I went to bat for her. I spoke with management who gave me the smile(you know the one, yeah I will look into it, smile smile have a nice day, now get lost smile.)

I contacted the corporate McDonalds. emailed them. Spoke with them on the phone. Oh yes we will look into that. Has anything changed? No.

We went after a long hiatus to McDonalds in another area. Same problem. I couldnt even get management to LOOK at me to try and talk to them about it. I noticed a sign on the way out about calling with complaints or comments. I called immediately and..... GOT AN ANSWERING MACHINE! I left a message with my home phone my name my cell phone my issue. I have not heard ONE WORD from them.

The fix is so simple. a couple of cheap booster seats in each store. problem solved. but no. nothing. If my business is not important then I will go elsewhere. I will spend my eating out dollars somewhere else. Somewhere that will acommodate us. If I put my daughter on a regular chair she is at risk of falling off and getting hurt. if I hold her in my lap then I cant eat. Either way its a loss for McDonalds. but they must have enough customers, they dont want our business.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Recently a family that adopted a child from Russia and when things didnt go well they popped him on a plane to Russia. this really enrages me. They vowed to keep him safe! they not only put that child in danger they put all American adoptions in Russia in danger. I dont care what that kid did, at 7 years old it is still their job to keep him safe. If that means turning him over to social services so be it but putting him on a flight to Russia ALONE is not cool at all. I know our experience with Russian adoption was rough. but we hung tough. we took our vow to parent seriously. I still have to tell my little Russian every day that it is my job to keep him safe. how can this child ever trust again? the people who swore to keep him safe sent him to the lions den. And how did this child at 7 years old get on a plane alone and make appropriate transfers? how did he get through security in other airports? I would be very alarmed by a 7 year old traveling alone.

This child was taken away from everything he has ever known, taken to a new country, with new smells, new food, new language that he doesnt speak or understand, new expectations of him. Imagine if someone took you and plopped you down in a Russian family, how long do you think it would take you to adjust? 6 months? a year? years? ever? I imagine life would get easier for you as you learned the langauge. but would you ever completely assimilate? everything and everyone you ever knew is gone. thats a wound thats gonna take some time to heal. Maybe you will try to be bad so they will send you back to where you know how life works. Maybe you will lie cheat steal be aggressive.

Adopted kids go through all those same emotions and questions. You cant expect a newly adopted child to be all hearts and flowers. you have to expect the bad with the good. they are struggling. its a HUGE life change for them. When you give birth you spend 9 months with another life getting to know each other. with adoption you spend at most a few weeks with each other and then they come into your home and life. You cant expect the relationship to feel as if you have given birth. it takes time to build a bond and attachment. when you bring your adopted child home you are virtually strangers! If your husband brought home his brother whome you had never met and said he is moving in! love him! you would struggle, it would take time, but probably with a bit of work, at some point you would come to love him. its the same with an adopted child. it all takes time.

I think that parents are grossly undereducated to adopt. We went into Ethans adoption completely blind. we didnt know the half of what we were getting into. We learned as we went. and we are better prepared now having gone through it with him. We know better what to expect from adopted kids. and how to deal with those things. But when Ethan cried ALL DAY LONG and ALL NIGHT LONG for weeks it was exhausting and I didnt really know what to do for him. I had a newborn as well and though well he is 2 he can act like a two year old. Well he couldnt. it took a long time for him to act like a two year old. probably not until he was 4.

Adoption is a wonderful gift to a child and a family. but it isn't free from work. it doesnt always go as planned. it doesnt always even go well. but if you do your work beforehand you can be prepared. if you do adopt dont give up because the beginning is hard. Adoption is like giving birth in one aspect, you promise to keep that kid safe. please take that seriously. if you need help get it. if things go bad and you cant go on then be responsible and make sure that kid is safe.
Baby Emmett is coming over today. the kids are excited!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Guess what I got to do?

have Eric and Jack over!! Eric's first love, Chrysta, was at a track meet so I was his go to gal. For Eric that means 15 minutes of crying I want my DADA (but dont put me down!) he is 2 and doggone cute. Jack always has something to tell me about. he is 5 I think. They are the kids of Eric's colleague and our friends Maggie and Jay. Maggie is on call tonight and Jay had a meeting and Chrysta is their sitter but had track so that means I get to have the boys! I loooooove me some chubby baby legs! so cute! I would keep him every single day if they let me! I planted a bug about needing a two year old around. Eric just grumbled lol. Seriously I dont know how I could do a two year old with Sophie being my baby. but hey I already have a double stroller and plenty of slings! and cloth diapers! probably not gonna happen but its been fun to have the boys over and play with a little one awhile. They are all settling in with a movie now. Everyone is in their jammies. Eric made me play stinky feet PHEEEEW! before I could put on his pants lol.

personality transplant?

Ethan has been off his medication awhile now. I can't say exactly how long. but for the last two days he has been a different child. Polite, kind, cooperative, easy to get along with, happy go lucky, HELPFUL and generally making my life a whole lot easier!!! If I had known taking him off the strattera would have this affect I would have done it sooner! I usually dread long weekends with him home. He is usually just so hard to get along with. not so this past 4 days! I didnt want to send him back to school! He was loving and sweet. he was helpful without being asked. he played well with his siblings and was empathetic to Sophie's cries. When Sophie ran over her toes on her bike and he couldnt pick her up he came to me but usually these kinds of things push him over the edge. not this time. he was calm and concerned and told me how he tried to help her but just couldnt. I cant even count how many times I said to him Ethan WOW you are doing such a good job today. Usually he is jumping to conclusions, blowing up, arguing with sibs. I dont know if its too good to last but boy I sure could get used to this!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Ben still struggles with boy and girl labels. Daughter and son are interchangable and if he is a good boy why then Sophie is a good boy too. Today when I was frustrated with his inability to do a job he needed to be working on(getting his pants on. he KNOWS how, just chose to do other things) and I was rushing about throwing every one in the care because I had to be somewhere at 11. So I got on him just a little. I said Ben you have had plenty of time to put on your pants. We need to go now! Lets put on your pants. and then I turned them right side out and started getting them on him. he kept asking me I dotter? I dotter? I still dotter Mama? and I didnt have a clue what he was saying because I thought he was asking if he could still play something and I was saying no we have to go. then I got it. and I stopped. I looked him in the eye and said oh! Daughter! no you are my son. Girls are daughters. yes Ben you are my son. still my son. always my son. forever. and he smiled and hugged me and said thank you mama. and gave me a kiss. he is so darn sweet. and so obviously clueless about this Mama thing. I scooped him up and took him to the car and told him I love him and when we came home he could play outside(his favorite thing) he was happy then. poor kid. it makes me so sad that just because he didnt get his pants on he thinks he will be disowned. sent away. back to groupa for you. I love his tender little heart and it breaks mine that his is so uknowing about how love works. children should never have to wonder if they will be tossed on their ear if they mess up. kids DO mess up. its their JOB! and while paretns withdraw their approval they do not withdraw their love. The love for them should be constant and questioning of it unneeded. so sad that so many children dont know that love. Happy that I can be the one to teach them and make a difference in a few of their lives, but in reality my soon to be total of 6 adopted kids is merely a drop in the ocean.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Sophie notices S in words. she knows S is for Sophie. but she says ASS when she says S. so in the car she was saying Maia nay have ass! Sophie have ass! Ass for Sophie!

Friday, April 2, 2010


its lonely here. I really havent seen anyone socially since uhhhh I cant even remember. must have been last summer. No one calls. no one writes. no one stops in. I could disconnect my phone altogether it rings so infrequently, and when it does its usually st johns wanting us to donate. Maybe its because we adopted. Maybe its because my husband sees many of the townspeople in clinic. Maybe its because I am not a Christian. Maybe its because Im a jerk(but I doubt it!) Maybe its because people dont like my kids. I just dont know.

No one was supportive of our adoption. I guess they probably arent supportive of us adopting again. but it still isnt their life or choice. anyways life here is very boring. and dull. and lonely. its me the kids and the dogs most of the day. then for a few hours at night its me the kids the dogs and Eric. I dont feel like I have any close friends. My kids have no close friends. Eric has no close friends. how have we lived here nigh on 5 years and still I actually KNOW only a handful of people and see even less?

My family is far away. Eric's family is far away. People who we were close to when we left duluth never once visited us since we left there. Family comes approx once a month or every other month, some family less frequently and some not at all. so I have no one, NO ONE to count on here. Last night I was in such pain and I knew I would have to endure because I was not going to the E/R with 4 kids in tow since there is no one to watch them if the big kids are gone. we missed Kinder roundup because sibs werent allowed and we have no one. I dont even have an emergency contact on the kids school forms other than myself and Eric. When I was a kid there were lots of people whose names could have gone there. for my kids there is none.

I cant even count the times someone flaked out on me. the one really and truly good friend that I could count on and KNEW she would be there moved and I dont think I have had another friend like her since. I miss her. She rarely calls anymore. she lives far away and has her own troubles. She couldnt stand the oppression here either. we had each other while she was here. two lost souls. I really miss that kind of friendship.

all this to say, its lonely here. and its a rainy day. and dark and depressing. and I have no one to share it with. I dont know how long I can live here. I dont care how much money we lose, I just dont think I can stay here alone. the kids at school are mean about sophie and bens disabilities. I can only imagine what they would say about the girls if they knew about them.