Monday, July 7, 2008

Feel Free to Ask

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked many questions about our adoption, our family, our motivation, our faith, and our son.  I am so sorry that I have not taken the time to answer all of the questions and so I wanted to take this time to do so now.  So if you have any questions, any at all, please feel free to ask them now.  I'll probably be too busy in a week to answer then so you best get them off your chest now. :)

BTW, all of you have been so encouraging that I just wanted to let you all know how terrific I think you all are!

28 comments:

Tracy said...

I'd just like to know more about Dennis' health issues. I didn't see any more info except that he has a cleft palate - I assume that is not corrected yet from the diet restrictions. It looks like he has had some sort of surgery, though, from the scar on his left cheek. Do you know what happened with his eye? Did any of your other kids have health needs like this? Welcome home! And I do hope that the time goes quickly for you and Dennis as well until he can come home too.

Shannon said...

I have always wanted to ask what kind of Work John does.

Anonymous said...

First, I'd like to praise you for taking upon yourselves to step out and take in a child with special needs. It's awesome to see people doing this and helping these beautiful kids find homes to be loved. I also was wondering what else happened to his eye and cheek. Do they tell you things like that? He's still so wonderful and I'm so excited to see him happy with his new mom and dad. He will be so loved by your whole family! Good luck.

Charissa said...

I want to know, did you feel like the officials in Ukraine were suspicious of your intentions to adopt Dennis, particularly concerning his "imperfections"? Were they surprised to know how big your family was? I was just curious, because people were shocked about us adopting our 5th, and one with significant developmental delays, at that. Thanks for giving us all a chance to ask questions.

Sue said...

I am so blessed by your family even from cyber space. Imagining ourselves, with our mere five children, tackling this adoption and the medical needs that will follow, it stuns me. How will you make the time for the medical appointments and surgeries? I have a hard time with just the orthodontist and routine stuff. I am guess ing you have a great support system - our families are all thousands of miles away.
Sue

Zac and Jenny said...

Welcome home! I can hardly wait for the 18th when Dennis can be with you FOREVER!!!

I think I read somewhere that Dennis' scars came from his birthmother (I hope I didn't dream that up)... are you comfortable telling us more about his scars and owies and how he got them?

Have they said if his eye is painful (other than when they wash it out)? Are you planning medical intervention for his eye? If so, how long down the road?

Congratulations again on your newest child. He is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so open and understanding about your readers' curiosity. I mistakenly thought that a previous post of mine had been deleted. I jumped to the conclusion that I had offended you by asking too personal a question. Now I understand that my post was not deleted -- I just didn't look hard enough for it. It was a message from another/different anonymous reader that was taken down -- I'm sure for a good reason. Please know how much I admire you, Christine and John, and how much I appreciate your sharing your family's journey with me. You're such an inspiration. You're helping me to see a clearer path for my own life -- not through adoption, but through the plan that God has for me, personally.
Best always,
JEB
Atlanta, GA

Ashley said...

No questions here... I will read your answers to the others. :)

Just saying again how much of an inspiration your family is to me. Thank you for all of your help and speaking with me on the phone when I needed you. I don't know how you do everything you do with a big family. I have a hard time with 2 getting things done. You are a person I hope I can be like. As we are expanding our family, I hope to be as good of a mom as you are. Looking at you, makes me feel like I can do it! I can have a big family and still be there for them. I do not want to hinder any children God has for me because I am afraid. I can do this and thanks for showing me that it can be done. :) Love you!

redmaryjanes said...

I am so glad to know that everything is moving along as it should. I cannot imagine how hard it was to leave Dennis behind but I know that your children at home were probably needing you. He will be home soon. I loved all of your photos, you guys did an amazing job documenting your journey!

Carey and Norman said...

I'm so glad you made it home safely. I know how hard it is to return home during the 10 day wait as we did the same. It is reassuring knowing that he will be back in your arms forever very soon.

I wanted you to know that I got to explain to our son last night how you were Dennis's mother and father and how you were going to take care of him. His little heart was so moved by your story. At 3 1/2, it was amazing how much he was able to grasp.

You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Michelle said...

I would like to first say that I am SO happy this little guy has a family, and how neat it was to see unconditional love, as though his scars never even phased you. My only questions are these: did Dennis's birth mother get prosecuted for what she did to him? And will he be able to have plastic surgery to help him have a more typical appearance? I am sure that that decision is a tough one for people who love him just like he is, but that in wanting the best future for him, you would pursue it so he is less stigmatized by it as he grows. He is SO tiny and beautiful, and it hurts me to think of him hurting when his eye is cleaned. I hope whatever you all decide that he will never hurt again.

KristenK said...

Hi Christine, no questions, but I had to tell you that Annabeth (age 2) has been very curious about your blog and always wants to see, "choo-choo, baby with owie, doctor". I explained, as much as I could, about the baby with the owie and how his mommy and daddy who love him are going to take him to the doctor. She is very concerned about little Dennis.

Jill said...

My son, Nikita is in the orphanage 13 in Artemosk - is that where Dennis is???

Amy said...

Hi Christine!

A few questions... or more of WOW's..how'd you do that??!!
#1 - HOW do you manage ALL your kids? I mean do you drive a airport shuttle around town to transport them all? How in the world do you get them all ready for school, and bed, etc? I have a hard time with three! hehe
#2 - At what age was Dennis when the injuries occured? Was he just an infant - or was it more recent?
#3 - We'd like to send you some stuff to help out with Dennis... what is the best way to get it to you? (you can contact me via email or blog or whatever....I'm not crazy (well sometimes the kids drive me crazy!) But - I'd love to be able to help a bit for all the great things you have done for Dennis and your other kids!)

Glad that you are home safe!
Amy

Kelly said...

Christine, here's a burning question...How old are you and John? You guys look so young and rested. Not in one of the photos from Ukraine did you ever look tired or stressed. I especially loved the one with your hair back in the pony with the bow. (maybe it was restful, just having one child to deal with while you were in Ukraine) What I am trying to say is that you 2 look marvelous.(Dennis is a doll, too-but you already know that.)

Mike and Christie said...

I wanna know what your favorite ice cream is. :)

Mike and Christie said...

I also would like to know how your parents are reacting to Dennis.

We have had some rather painful experience with my own mom, but she and I aren't that close anyway, for the very reasons of her shallowness.

I just KNOW Dennis is going to be such a blessing to you.

Mary said...

I think I asked this before on your other blog, but I would like to know more about your faith. I love learning about different peoples beliefs, so I would love to hear more about your particular church, its tenets, and the ways that you follow God. Thanks!

Kelli said...

Oh, I had hoped you would all come home together. I cant imagine leaving without him. WHen do you go back?

kristen said...

do you want more children?? :) (how's that for personal and nosey?) i think it is SO awesome that you have 10, now 11. more children or not, you all are wonderful people and i wish i'd lived nearby you to really get to know you and your family. i think it is awesome and amazing and i LOVE big families!! too cool!! i always wanted many children. i have two lovely children now - and that may be all God has in store for me - but i still love reading about your lovely, large family.

kristen said...

maybe one more question, did you always want lots of children, or is this something that has evolved? :)

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your openness. I imagine much more medical information will be identified after he comes home and is seen by doctors here. Im wondering if you are already in contact with a surgeon to do the facial reconstruction and what the process may entail. I wonder if he was born with the cleft or if it was somehow caused by the injury to his face.

Your little guy clearly has a rough road ahead of him but he will no longer be alone! Your story is really inspiring and I hope it will help other people consider special needs adoption. Im also curious about the personal motivations of people who go down this path. I grew up in a similar family by the way with the exception that we did not have the same religious beliefs.
Jessica

A. Ray. said...

I stumbled accross your blog a few weeks ago and have been hooked by you guys and your journey! I am thrilled for you to have such a beautiful and loving family and am so excited you have chosen to share your journey! I added you to my list of blogs that I read...I hope you don't mind?

alison said...

I forget now how I came across your blog but have been hooked ever since. It is great that you are opening the field to questions here on the internet. My question is how do you handle questions in public, especially in front of your children. I only have 5 kids (both bio and adopted, 2 kids have visible SN) I always try to respond in a Christian manner but most of the time will just try to make a joke out of our situation, by responding "Yeh...we're crazy" or "Yes, I must confess, I'm addicted to adopting" or jokingly say "I'm trying to save the world." These kind of responses usually cure their curiosity without me having to get too personal.

Martha said...

Do you have all the funding needed? And will you need to do more fund raising for surgeries and such?

Julie said...

How long did you stay in Ukraine total. It appears to be right at three weeks, if I'm counting correctly, but I wanted to make sure. What was court like? Did the Judge ask you questions?

I'm so glad that your process seemed to have went rather smoothly. I sure hope ours goes that well!

Connie said...

How about, will you forgive me for not getting your boxes in the mail before we left?? :( Things were kind crazy the last few days and they got forgotten! I probably need to go get more T-shirts in bigger sizes, and some soft cotton PJ's for Dennis that a good blog friend tipped me off to. We will get them in the mail asap - in the meantime, we packed TONS of hugs, kisses, and love for everyone, and will be hand-delivering them very shortly!

Annie said...

I may have missed the boat on questions. Probably did... And I have to say that I was really impressed with the questions people asked, and with your answers, Christine!

Here is a question that has struck me. How did you approach this adoption with your other children? I know that it is only natural to initially find Dennis' appearance distressing. How did you help your children become comfortable, rather than fearful? Have any of them expressed anxiety about what happened to him, or what will happen? Have you tried to work with them to come up with responses in case someone else either says something unkind or asks questions... I can remember that Aidan was on oxygen for a couple of months when he was an infant, and I was asked any number of really pointed and surprising questions. And once treated to a woman's observation: "Sometimes its a tragedy when they live, isn't it?" I guess she was not too hopeful about his outcome! Fortunately I have a sense of humor and the natural inability to take offense. Praise God!

Another question - since you said, "Feel free to ask." Dennis appears to be so thin. Do you think this is because they limited his diet so much? I'm glad to hear he is gaining weight. He sure looks happy!

Finally - how do you do it all? Your house always looks so clean! I know that organizing kids to help out is often harder than doing it myself.