Monday, February 04, 2008

02/04/2008 3:00pm Kramatorsk

Today started out ROUGH. A train ride where I couldn’t sleep, Mike couldn’t sleep, and I had horrible heartburn then felt sick. What a way to travel! And what a way to spend the night before you are to meet the director and inspector over the children we want to meet! Luckily we got to town early enough to find a hotel and get settled, nap a few minutes and take a shower. Then it was off to the inspector’s office.


The meeting there went well. We showed her the photo album and she signed off on our documents needed to meet Dasha (Daria) and Daniil. She didn’t accompany us to the orphanage as the other two inspectors had though.


When we got to the orphanage we initially noticed how clean, happy, and professional the orphanage looked. All the workers wore ‘nursing’ garb, the building smelled like lunch (and later on like fresh bread), there were colorful pictures on the walls and photographs of the children on them. The director was kind, happy, and very personable. He asked a few questions but wasn’t like an interrogation as we’ve gotten before. He was surprised, however, to hear that we wanted two “sick” children. Our explanation must have sufficed because that was all it took. There was a woman that spent a lot of time with us- either an assistant director or maybe a secretary? And she went into a room and brought back with her--- a laminated POSTER of the adoption of Daniil! The older boy that was adopted after leaving this orphanage! They were very pleased to know that Daniil had such a good home and when they heard that we knew of him too they were very pleased.


Also, the director smiled when I told him that Lynn with Life2Orphans was who had given us the information on Daria. It wasn’t long before they told us to go into the playroom area and there she was! Daria was laying on a changing table and they sat her up and were holding onto her. She was a doll!


We went and put our bag and jackets down and went over to her. At first she frowned at us and I squatted down (she was on a changing table, so she was then higher than I was). She looked at us for a minute and wasn’t sure she liked us invading her space. But after a minute we asked if we could hold her and they said yes. They did caution us that she doesn’t hold her head up well. Wow, was I surprised! Daria is NOT a little limp thing. I was expecting a mushy child with a blue tint, difficulty breathing, and a spacey glare. Instead we found a TINY, strong, attentive little girl! She is not nearly as strong as she could be, but if she spends much of her time in a crib then that’s easily explained. Her head will become strong very quickly, I think, when given the opportunity to use those muscles more often. She was not quite as bony as I was expecting either. Her muscles were far from strong, but she wasn’t all skin and bones with nothing holding her together. She was sturdy, strength-wise, and way more attentive than I thought she would be.


Although we didn’t experience any smiles from Daria we are told that she is expressive, smiles, laughs, cries, and pouts. She doesn’t sit up, crawl, or walk, but she does roll over. She likes people, babies around her that she can touch, and likes toys only a little bit. She had several illnesses in her first few years but after 2 has been pretty healthy.
Daria was given up at birth by her birthparents. She was the first live-birth of her mother (second pregnancy) and they knew that she would have problems early on in the pregnancy (but… they continued their pregnancy!). She came to the orphanage at 1 month old and has grown up there. She was born full term- around 38 weeks or so and weighed 3k, 150g (anyone have a conversion for me??). Her mother gave her up at birth. From one to two years old she was sick a lot with “the flu” (I think this is a general term- it’s used a LOT). After 2 she has been more healthy. She is not yet sitting or standing but she “turns around” (rolls over maybe?). They told us she doesn’t support her head but we often saw her doing it so in time I think she will be doing it more (when she has more time to practice!).

She likes other kids and enjoys touching them and watching them, and has a slight interest in toys. Dasha shows when she is happy/sad by laughing or crying. She plays, holds her own bottle (exclusively bottle fed because of the room she is in but we are told that she will likely learn to spoon feed easily—how sad)


Daria has had some vaccinations- which surprised us- and a major heart defect. She is on medication (maybe digoxin?) to help her heart. We were told the hole is between the upper and lower sections, but that doesn’t make sense because they said she has some “mixed blood” in her heart, so if it is between upper and lower it must be at the direct center… which would be similar to Brianna’s. Maybe a partial AV canal? Or else a poorly translated ASD or VSD (also a possibility). She had an echocardiogram done in November that will be available to us. It was also explained to us that one part of the heart muscle is somewhat distended (?) because it is working overtime. We’re not exactly sure what that means.


Lastly, Daria has “crossed eyes” (which we didn’t notice) and nystagmus (eyes go back and forth left to right- which we didn’t notice). So who knows. They also say she is near sighted. I guess n ophthalmologist will figure all that stuff out once we’re home!


After some cuddling with Daria we were brought into a ward to find Daniil. He apparently has “the flu”- again. He was born September 10, 2006 and is 16 months old. His mother is a year or more YOUNGER than me and the father born the same year as Michael. He was tiny at birth, 2k 700g (anyone converting again??), 50cm long. He received a 7 on his initial Apgar after birth. He was also a first child. He was born full term but tiny and was “hypotrophic” (light weight?). He was in the hospital for 1 or 2 months after birth and during that time his parents gave him up and his heart defect was found. It is a relatively small ‘open window’ in the upper part of the heart and it wasn’t seen as needing surgery or affecting circulation.


We are told that Daniil gets sick often and has had “the flu” 9 or 10 times including bronchitis, ear infections, stomach virus, and a strep infection. He’s had many rounds of antibiotics that are “4th generation” (very strong). He too has had vaccines but has just started them. He was diagnosed with Ds at birth upon visual inspection but hasn’t had any genetic testing done.
Daniil is far sighted (supposeably), has difficulty gaining weight (sound familiar?), often has loose stools, and is now on a probiotic and something that sounds like “ferments creeon” for his stomach to get it to digest vitamins and minerals. I don’t know. He gets Calcium, Vit D3, and B group vitamins now too. He has a prescription from a neurologist that is to improve neurological and muscular impulses (sounds odd to me) that is called something that sounds like “pieratsetam”. He also has received massage and PT. Daniil’s current weight is now 6kg and he is 65.5cm long. He army crawls on his stomach and is not yet sitting up.


So… after all of this (slightly overwhelming) information, we now know that Daria is ok, Daniil will be fine, and our family is about to grow by TWO! We have “said yes” to both children, but the orphanage lawyer (actually, a guy that’s about 24 and has a big ego that says we have to do things by the book, and he has the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in law) said we have to visit with the children every day from 10:30-12:00 in order to get the written documents that state we’ve made initial contact. We aren’t sure how MANY days we have to do this before the papers will be signed, but we’ll do it! You don’t really have to talk us into coming to visit these two cuties! Unfortunately each day that the paper isn’t signed is another day we wait. Oh, and he also said that the 10 days is NEVER waived here. So I guess we won’t be getting our hopes up for that even tho the orphanage doctor says she needs immediate treatment…


So, Kristopher and Brianna, I hope you can begin to accept the idea that there will be two babies joining you in the house. Dasha’s name will be Emma Hope and Daniil will be Micah Daniel. So little Emma and Micah will be coming home soon.


Now we can think about fun things like baby clothes and cribs :). I think Micah will be in about a 12 months size (maybe een 6-9 mos) and Emma’s probably in 24 months. Her little feet are SO TINY. I think they might be the same size as Brianna. For that matter, Brianna has probably grown in the 2 weeks since I’ve seen her and it’ll be another 2 weeks or more, so I’m sure she will look so big to me when I finally see her again.


At the moment, knowing that the kids are ok, the orphanage is ok, and that I miss K and B terribly, I am considering coming home for the wait. I may change my mind and end up staying, but I could not have guessed any of this would happen and I’m thinking a short refresher at home would’t be bad. Plus I’m definitely going to need a completely different set of clothes than we brought and another 2 hands to help out in getting us home.


Lastly, here’s a little blessing story. On Saturday Joy, Kevin, Mike and I went for a nice LONG walk and were able to meet up with Charissa, John, and little Ava that they just finished adopting! She is SO ADORABLE, and it was great to have the 6 of us together. When we first met up with Joy and Kevin I’d brought a bag of clothes to them because we’d packed for a size 3t girl and a 3t boy. But here we are with a TINY boy and a TINY girl. So in talking with Joy previously I found out that she is now going to stay during her wait and needed some clothes for her little Caleb. I do believe ours will do the trick! In the same outing after we met up with Charissa, I was given the ONE ITEM that I needed so badly- a hairdryer! So thank you to Charissa and to Valarie who aparantly sent it to her initially :) Mine died soon after arriving in Korosten and blew out our converter at the same time. I've been borrowing one from our host in Kiev, but needed one to go in region today. Blessings :)

41 comments:

  1. I am so excited for you!!! I can't wait to meet my two new grandkids!We will keep you in our prayers!!!Have fun on your daily visits. SEND US SOME PICTURES.

    Love,

    Mom & Dad C.

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  2. I am sitting here crying tears of Joy for all of you. What a double blessing. You will have them up to par once you get them home as you are a great and loving mom. Congrats on your addition to your family. Can't wait to see pictures.

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  3. Wow! Sounds like and exciting, but exhausting day! I am so glad you made it to region OK, and that your meeting with your two new little ones went well! A note on Micah (love that name), the medication it sounds like he is on is called "piracetam." Might be easier for you to reseach with the correct spelling.

    Congratulations on you TWO new blessings!

    Christina
    RR Group

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  4. They both sound just lovely! I'm so happy for you! We will pray that the man will realise her health is more important than ten days, who knows. Also, I LOVE the name Micah for little Daniil! Dylon was ok too but he sounds like a Micah! I'm so happy for you! Praise God for what an amazing blessing they are going to be to your family!

    Lu and William

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  5. I was sooooo excited to read your post. Congratulations on meeting your new son and daughter.
    Please email me if you need anything at all.

    lynnk@life2orphans.org

    Wishing you everything of the best!
    Lynn and family.

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  6. I have been following your story and am so happy for you. Congratulations on your double blessing. Hope the rest of your journey goes smoothly.

    Jan S.
    RR supporter

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  7. Oh, Meredith-- I just so incredibly happy for you all!! How exciting. Sending you the warmest thoughts & hugs. I would love to send you clothes for your new son. I have some in great shape having gone only through Sully if you'd like. I'd be honored to share with you. Praying for you ALL daily (including Miss B & Mr K).
    Tanya

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  8. I am so happy for all of you. I have been following your ups and downs both here and on ROA.

    Know that we are all praying for you!

    Love the pictures!

    Nicol Hudson
    mom of a teenager (Alex DS)

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  9. Meredith,

    Just an FYI since you asked:

    3K 150G = 6.62lbs for Emma
    2K 700G = 4.41lbs for Micah

    and...
    "hypotrophic" = according to the good "old fashoined" dictionary means less than normal growth.

    Hope this helps!

    Christina
    RR Group

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  10. Yay yay yay! The kids are beautiful and I'm amazed by the care they get! I'm also sure the medication they are talking about it piracetam, which technically is not a prescribed medication, it is more of an alternative medication. I can't wait to keep up with your updates now that you are there with the kiddos! :)

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  11. What a wonderful update and what beautiful kids!!!!!!! I'm so happy for your family and for both of those little angels! They will grow and change so much in the first few months you are home. You are going to get to watch Emma come alive right before your eyes. Congratulations!!!!!!

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  12. congratulations on Emma and Micah. They are both beautiful children and so lucky to have you as their parents. They are also lucky to have two new siblings as well! Cant wait to see more pictures!!! hugs!
    Amy and Mayson

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  13. The pictures are wonderful Meredith! I can't wait to see the post you are on your way home with them! Prayers that this can be a speedy process with no hiccups for you guys this time around!

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  14. Heather(hannah's mom)February 4, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    Doing a huge happy dance here!!!!! I am so happy for you. I know those two little ones are going to have an amazing life with you.They both look like they will fit into your family nicely.

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  15. So excited!!!! Can't wait to have you back here with your new little ones!!!

    Chris

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  16. YEAH! Praise God! What a BEAUTIFUL Family!
    Mandy
    RR

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  17. I'm so happy for you both. What a blessing you have received from God. Stay strong you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  18. God knew your were the family Emma needed, and little Micah too! Everything in our lives happens for a reason.

    Congratulations, we are so happy here, and seeing both chidlren in your arms warmed our hearts.

    Tom and Kris

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  19. Meredith...thank you for posting the pictures and the info. I am sitting here with tears streaming...God always has a perfect plan. You are both so blessed as is Dasha. I couldn't be happier for all of you. We would like to send a little something to your new family members when you arrive home. Our prayers have followed you and will continue to on your journey. deanie and the boys

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  20. God has blessed you with these adorable children. I am so HAPPY for you, God Is Good!!!
    Amy
    RR

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  21. UncleWaltand AuntDottieFebruary 4, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Meredith and Mike
    Just want you to know we are following your every day activities. Such blessings. Hope it all works out for you. And you will be back home as a family.
    We love you
    Aunt Dottie and Uncle Walt.

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  22. Praise the Lord they are both healthy enough to travel. We will be praying for the 10 day wait. What a wonderful miracle.

    Robyn(sarahsmommy-downsyn)

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  23. Thrilled for your family. Welcome Emma and Micah! You will be much loved.

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  24. Oh wow!! How exciting!! Congratulations!!!

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  25. They are so beautiful and that girl doesn't look as thin as she did in the first picture. Sounds almost like they are talking about a AVCanal defect. I know I used to be told it was a hole in the center of the heart, and it would make sence that one side of her heart would be enlarged with it working that way, that is what I always heard about Mercede until she got her valve replacement.

    Oh my, a baby boy! He is so beautiful! Wow. The piracetam is sometimes controversial over here and is a take it or leave it kind of drug. It used to be perscription but now is considered a dietary supplement. My friends son as been on it with the TNI program for years, she likes it but I have never found myself wanting to put the girls on it.

    I will pray pray pray that you will soon ALL be home!

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  26. Just wanted to say how beautiful they are & they LOOK LIKE YOU & MIKE & K & B! So amazing. I just want to give you all a big ol' squish. Oh, and Sky takes Piracetam if you have ?s later on.
    Bless you all.

    Tanya

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  27. How awesome to see both children looking so well! The picture we had of Emma did not resemble the little girl that you were holding. I am so glad you have your children and are moving along. I don't blame you, I would want to come home to. God is good all the time and He knew what he had planned for you all the time. I am so excited for you and your family.

    Kayla

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  28. My heart is so full of love and gratitude for our Heavenly Father for working these many, many miracles in bringing your family together! I cannot even begin to put into words the joy I feel for you and Mike! And I cannot get over how much Emma and Micah actually look like your children! God is so good! Congratulations Mike and Meredith!

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  29. PS- So glad that Charissa passed the blow dryer on and that you are getting good use out of it!

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  30. Congratulations Meredith and Mike! Praying that all is smooth sailing from here on out and that the Peace of the Lord covers your beautiful new family of 6!

    Kelly S
    RR Group

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  31. Congratulations Meredith and Mike!!! The children are beautiful! What a remarkable family. Can't wait to see more pictures of Emma and Micah. Good thoughts and prayers for the rest of your journey.
    Melini (Parrish Rehab)

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  32. We are so happy for you guy's and those precious babies,can't wait to meet Emma & Micah and just get to hold and love on them!!


    Love,
    Val

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  33. Praising God for the blessings that you have been entrusted with. Micah now weighs 13lbs. 2 oz. :o)

    June from RR

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  34. You have LOTS of people reading and experiencing this journey with you! The one medication you mention is probably "piracetam" and is NOT FDA approved in the US and used to be used in combination with the vitamin supplement Nutrivene D marketed toward those with DS. Piracetam is now known to have some definite medical concerns (which I just heard Dr. Lynda Pollack reiterate last week). Just an FYI that I'm sure you've probably already been researching. Take good care of yourselves!

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  35. hy·pot·ro·phy (h-ptr-f)
    n. pl. hy·pot·ro·phies
    Progressive degeneration of an organ or tissue caused by loss of cells.
    hypo·trophic (hp-trfk) adj.

    found this online...hope it helps

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  36. I am so very happy for you and your new children. They are beautiful. And thanks again for the clothes--they are lovely.

    Joy

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  37. K and B are now at school. Eli had a report due. Time to let you know how happy we are about the two angels selected for you. Glad they are healthier and stronger than we thought possible. Can't wait to see you all. Love, Mom

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  38. I was so excited to see you get to meet your new sweeties! I just know they will begin to "blossom" once you get them home.

    By the way, I didn't read all the comments but Piracetam is some combination of herbs that is supposed to improve functioning of children with DS. It didn't seem to make a difference with our son when we tried it for about a year and a half, but who knows...

    Best wishes!
    Carolyn

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  39. Wow! Looking at the kids they are just beautiful. With regard to pregnancy I suggest that pregnant womens can adopt a child. Because God is happy with those who take care of adopted babies. Further, the pregnant moms must not forget to maintain healthy balanced diet.

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  40. FWIW,

    3.15kg = 6.93#
    2.7kg = 5.9#

    1kg = ~2.2# (2.2046226)

    Good luck ... best wishes on all.

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  41. Thanks for sharing your story! These two cuties will add so much tio your family. We hope to travel to Ukraine to adopt in a couple of months.

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