Monday, May 12, 2008

Wonderful kiddos

Hi everyone. We are doing well. Joshua (Teddy) and Merry (Blessing) are wonderful additions to our family. We love them a lot. It is amazing how well they fit in with the family!
Merry has had bronchitis, and is on her second run of antibiotics for it - at this point, she has been on antibiotics more since she has been home than not. She had a siezure this week, so we called 999 (like 911, for Ireland), and they sent an ambulance. She stayed overnight in the hospital, but they don't really know what caused it. I am guessing that her poor little body is just really tired from all of the sickness, and general frailty. I really don't think she would have lived much longer in Liberia. You might pray for her that she keeps getting better.
We are learning more about how to feed her - we need to put everything through the blender, because she can't really chew. Her mouth does not work right, due to CP. She has put on a little weight, and looks a bit less like she is about to waste away - she has thighs now. Not big ones, but at least they aren't just sticks! She does talk a little, (pronunciation is a bit difficult due to CP) and she is very bright.
In the hospital, Lily had a book of pictures she was going through with her. She asked Merry "where's daddy?" merry took her finger and pointed to the photo of Daddy. Then she asked "where's mommy?" Merry turned around and gave her a big hug! (AWWW!) :)
She is definatly attaching well to her mommy.
When she first came to us, she would not cry when she hurt herself; we had to go over to her and show her that we were concerned that she had hurt herself. Now, when she bumps her head, she fusses, and comes over to someone for a hug. She also didn't used to come for hugs as much; now when she has a bottle, she will come over and climb up on someone's lap (prefferably mommy; but she will come to me some too).
Joshua loves to hike. I took him out on the beach, and he could nearly outhike me! he went about two miles without complaining, and really enjoyed it. We celebrated his birthday, and he got cars and a scooter. He seems really happy about it :) Joshua is adjusting to school and vegetables, and he is letting his guard down more. We have negociated something of a truce in that he is willing to eat brocolli and spinach - but few other veggies. So, he eats one bite of the new things, and a serving of what he likes (or comparitivly likes) He's adjusted to bell peppers now too. We have bought rosetta stone for English to help him with his reading, and with his English pronunciation & comprehension.He is a real sweetheart. He watches out for the little kids, and will get someone's attention & try to stop them if they are doing something that would hurt them or break something.
Love,
Susan

Monday, March 17, 2008

They're Home!

Teddy and Blessing are home! They came home yesterday.

Blessing is very happy and smiley. She fits in really well. I think she is particularly suited to a large family. There is always someone to play with her, hug her, or walk her around. She laps it up :) Kari has been helping her walk. It is really nice. She is not really like a baby learning to walk; she is like a very weak person who knows how to walk, but needs someone to help them because not everything is working right. Like she could almost walk, but there are parts of her muscles that are just not co-operating all at the right times to make it work. Anyhow, they're happy.
Teddy is more reserved; there is a definate language barrier. We are not sure if all of his speech is English or not, apparently he is from the Gio tribe, and also speaks their language. He seems to understand us much better than we can understand him, though, and when he really wants to be heard, he seems to be able to make it work.
He is fairly reserved. He is also a very gentile, kind person. He is really good with the little ones, and watches out for them. He seems to be enjoying all the attention as well, he always seems to have at least one of the other kids with him, showing him things and playing with him.
Yesterday was sort of like Christmas; the kids ran all over the house showing Teddy and Blessing all of the toys, taking them all out and playing with everything for at least three minutes! I cleaned that morning, and by the time the doctor came, the house was turned upside down! The mess seems to have receeded some now.
Teddy seems to know what he is doing with a soccer ball, which he found in our yard. He was very happy about that find. I am wondering if I could find a soccer team or something for him to join. He also learned to ride a tricycle yesterday; I don't think he had ever done it before, as he seemed to be having difficulty figuring out how to pedal. He really likes the tricycle, too.
He does not seem to be very familiar with salt; perhaps he is used to having his food pre-salted? He has yet to try butter, too! Anyhow, yesterday he took the skin off his sweet potato and ate it plain. I offered him salt and butter, but he shook his head no. I guess maybe he is used to eating them that way.

The doctor came by; He said that Teddy is in very good health, considering what he has come out of. Our doctor is from South Africa, which is a real blessing, as he is familiar with all of the standard African problems; he is treating them for scabies, worms and giardia, and not making us do a million tests to prove it. He was certain Teddy has worms, and said that he has had scabies (he looked at his hand under a magnifying glass), but thinks the treatment he sent to Africa knocked them back. He says to treat again in a week.
The orphanage seems to have taken good care of him.

He thinks some of Blessing's trouble with weight gain is probably due to worms; much less serious than we had feared! So, when she is over the chicken pox, he has perscribed some medicine for that for her, too. As far as we can tell, while we were told she was retarded, we do not belive that this was an accurate diagnosis. She seems quite bright. We are fairly certain that she has some CP, though. Perhaps this is why they thought she was retarted. Sometimes when she is tired she gets a little spacy, but we think this is due to exhaustion. She seems to be looking out of her bad eye sometimes, but we have not patched the good one to see if she can see out of the bad one because of the chicken pox.

All in all, things are going well, and everyone is happy. :)

Hopefully Lily and Doug will settle on new first names soon! They plan to keep Blessing and Teddy as middle names.

Well, I guess I'd better go now - I need to go to storage to find Teddy some clothes - all the ones we bought were too big!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

They're in America!!!

I know it has been awhile since we blogged; another lady we heard about lost her referal from Ethiopia because they were offended by her blog, so we decided to lay low.
But now, that is no longer neccisary!
Blessing and Teddy are in America, with U.S. passports!
The passport office even decided to issue them in the names of Blessing Bradley and Teddy Bradley!
They're official!!!
They should be flying home Sunday night, arriving in Dublin Monday morning.
Now I just need to contact Golden Rule travel and see if they can change the names on the tickets...if not, they will just have to show them the Liberian passports, the adoption decrees (on which the new last names appear), and the U.S. passports.

Please pray for Blessing, she is very, very thin. Dangerously thin. We *do not* believe that it is that the orphange was not feeding her; all the other babies she was with were fatter than she was, and the nannies really liked her, in fact, she was rather a favorite so far as we can tell so it was not for that reason (she smiles a lot, and is a very rewarding baby) . We think she may be having difficulty properly digesting her food or something like that, in medical terms they would probably refer to it as "failure to thrive". Her mother also said that she was always a tiny baby, and floppy. Please pray that she makes it home safe and sound, and that we can figure out what to do from there.

The poor little girl also has some sort of an abcess on her leg, which my parents are treating with neosporin for the moment, and seeing if that helps.

On the upside, my mother took her mostly-empty bottle from her to change her diaper, and she said "I'm a baby" (aka, I am a baby, so you should give me the bottle) and she also says Ma-Ma. We had been told that she did not talk! Such things can be harder to discipher in a group setting, so we had wondered if this could be the case.

Teddy does not fit any of the clothes we bought for him, except his fleece one-piece pajamas. I think they are going to try wal-mart today. Things seem to be going well with him, though he has had some tummy troubles.

Hopefully we will post soon with pictures.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Underwear

Hi everyone!
I have news. My mother has made her first purchases for the new children. She has bought a dress/angel costume for Blessing, and boxer shorts for Teddy.
We laughed that the first thing she bought for Teddy was undies. But, when you think about it, if you do not have the privilege of owning your very own, used by no-one but you knickers, it can be pretty precious to have some. :)
Next she's planning on getting them both some pajamas.
This is a big step, as in general my mom does not buy anything for an expected child until they are nearly due home, and saves most purchases until the child is home.
I took a picture, but I don't seem to be able to find the USB cable! Oh, well, it'll turn up soon.
Susan

Sunday, January 20, 2008

we're still alive...

Hi all,
It's been forever since we have posted. There's not much happening on the adoption front - we keep waiting, and the paperwork never seems to end...It is truely amazing how much grief can be caused by paperwork!!!
Check this, check that, notarize this, go here, go there, talk with so-and-so. Re-do, re-send, update...
Anyhow, aside from the paperwork we celebrated Christmas :)
We have a tradition we started a few years ago of celebrating Christmas all the way from Christmas Eve through Epiphany (January 6, the day the coming of the wise men is celebrated). We Celebrate a traditional western Christmas day, but we do not give the children all of their presents on Christmas day. We save some smaller ones, and every evening we sing Christmas carols, read a Christmas story, and give the children a small gift (sometimes a craft or project for everyone, and sometimes a few small things, like Christmas crackers - a thing two people pull, which makes a "bang" sound, and contains a paper crown, a joke and a small toy- more or less of the kind you would get in one of those plastic easter eggs).
We try to save a few of the better things for Epiphany, and have a sort of a miniature Christmas. The kids love it, and it makes Christmas less stressful, as all our hopes are not just pinned on one day.
We started it because in the Bible, the Hebrews used to celebrate some holidays for a week or more, and Christmas always seemed so short...so, why not stretch it out and really enjoy it?
The children love it, and now they don't fully realize that everyone else is not still celebrating Christmas nearly two weeks afterwards :)
I found out this year that in Germany, St. Nicolas brings things for the stockings on December 6th, so I suggested moving the stockings...that's still up for debate :)
God Bless and Merry Christmas,
Susan

Monday, November 26, 2007

Visa delays






I'm afraid that there have been delays in the visas, so the children will not be home for Christmas.
This is very sad for Lily, as she has really hoped to get her children home for Christmas. She said that all she wanted for Christmas was her kids. Please pray for her, as this is very stressful for her especially.
The U.S. consulate in Liberia has restricted all agencies to 2 appointments per week. Each family needs 2 appointments, so that means that only one family per week could bring home children. In addition to this, all embassies take both U.S. holidays, and the holidays of the country that they are in - so this took further time away from visas in Liberia this month.

Hopefully the situation will improve soon - we are waiting to see. There is supposed to be help coming to the consul in December, so we hope that maybe that will speed things up.

Hopefully soon things will get moving again. We are waiting on a homestudy update as well, as we moved rental houses within Tipperary (we hope this will be in the next couple of weeks). Patty Anglin, the director of AOH will be doing our update.

Please pray for us that the children will get to come home soon.

Here are some pictures that I don't think we have posted.
Love,
Susan

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Under His Wings

After much trouble adopting and having to fly to London because my fingerprints were not bold enough and flying to Liberia before the adoption was finalized in Liberia (required) and many delays it has been very hard. There is a scripture verse that has been helping me to get through this stressful ordeal. I have managed to memorize the first half which is 8 our of 16 verses from the NIV. It is Psalm 91. Here it goes from memory and the remaining 8 verses I will do when they are thoroughly memorized.
1. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
3. Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4. He will cover you in his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6. nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.