Saturday, August 2, 2008

The ride is over----

I have waited to post this last blog---- it is bittersweet for me. I had to take a poll to help confirm that I should indeed end this blog and merge it with my Smilesandtrials blog. While I have loved journaling all about our adoption journey to Ukraine, Dennis is now home, is a huge part of our family and therefore should be on our family blog. I will update you with this final post to share the huge strides Dennis has made since he has been home.

Thank you to all of you who have let the most encouraging and thoughtful comments. I appreciate them so much. Thank you to all that have contributed to our family in some way. What a huge blessing you have been to our family. I can't even begin to express how uplifting you have all been. God Bless you.

Just tonight John took this picture of Anna, Dennis, and I. I love it! He laid in my arms for an hour after this picture till he finally fell asleep. Did I mention that he is a sweaty little boy when he sleeps? :)

A couple of days ago, Dennis got this soft, homemade blanket and talking doggy. Thanks Jody for sending such a wonderful gift!

If Dennis could talk this is what he would be saying---"Oh no! My Mama caught me playing with her vacuum cleaner. Better pretend that I was playing with this piano instead."

Dennis is gaining weight! Since he was weighed during his medical exam in Ukraine he has gained four pounds---- in only 16 days!

Here is Dennis getting ready for his bath on 7/19/08.

Look at him on 8/1/08! He has filled out so much--- very little of his ribs show---- there is actual chunkiness forming around his thighs! He feels so much nicer in my arms--- not as fragile and not as bony!

I am just thrilled that he has taken off like he has since he came home.

Here are five huge noticeable changes that have taken place with our son Dennis.

1. He walks without help whereas when we first met him he had an awkward crawl and couldn't walk without our help.
2. He coos, laughs, and jabbers up a storm. During the first week we heard very little sound from Dennis.
3. He is an eating machine now that he is home! The first time I tried to feed him a banana, he gagged and spit it out, and I was concerned that he might have eating issues.
4. Dennis is into everything if we let him ------ the cupboards, the movies, the puzzles, even the toilet! Awwwe!! That caught me off guard! Now all of us are closing the toilet seat and bathroom door for added precaution.
5. Dennis is not shy around his siblings after all! In fact, Dennis loves all of them so much as they do him--- it is so obvious to everyone!

I have to admit that the first morning home, Dennis fell off the bed because I dozed off with him supposedly sleeping next to me. I felt like such a horrible mother for him falling off that I decided to show him how to get off by turning himself around and scooting off the side slowly until his feet hit the ground. Kid you not, I only had to show this kid once and now he is always scooting himself off the bed, that little turkey! I'm now rethinking what I have taught him. :)

He has his first consult with the pediatric plastic surgeon up at Valley Children's Hospital this Tuesday, August 5th. I have also talked with UCLA and Shriner's but feel at this time that going with this particular doctor is the best choice for Dennis and our family. Not only does this doctor come highly recommended but the hospital is fairly close by which means minimal travel and this doctor has already written two letters on our behalf to include as part of our dossier when we did all of our adoption paperwork.

Now please come join us over at our family blog where I will continue to share all about Dennis and how he is doing. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask whenever.


Michelle said...

Thanks for bringing us along on the ride. :-)

I will continue to follow your family & pray as I have been all along.

God bless all of you!

- Michelle

alphamama said...

I've followed your journey with fascination and have loved your blog! In fact, you inspired me to start a blog of my own to chronicle our family's 3rd.adoption from Kazakhstan...we'll travel in Sept to bring home 2 more children for a total of 5 kids. Thanks for sharing your story...and best of luck! We'll look forward to following along with the Reeds on Smiles and Trials...


La Viajera Insaciable said...

Love the updates! Dennis is truly blossoming. You can be sure that I will be continuing to follow your adventures on your family blog.

Thanks for sharing!


Terri said...

I have enjoyed the ride. I already have your family blog on my blog roll as well and can't wait to hear more worderful stories of the entire family.3

God Bless you all!

Nicole (SummersComing) said...

Thank YOU for including us on your journey! Not only are you an excellent "story" teller but I love the pictures and videos! I am happy to be invited to follow along on the family blog.

-Nicole in NY

Salzwedel Family said...

It is such a blessing to see the great strides Dennis is making with the love of a family. I will continue to follow the whole gang on your family blog. I hope everything goes well at the appointment on Tuesday. Many blessings from our family to yours...

adoptedthree said...

What sweet pictures! Dont ya just love babies after their baths!

Connie said...

Dennis is a VERRRY bright and curious little boy. It really shows in everything he does. I am so glad that he is now with you and living in an environment where that intelligence and curiousity are free to bloom :-)

amyl4 said...

Thank you for sharing your journey to get little Dennis. It was awesome and I enjoyed every post! He is awesome and I look forward to seeing him grow and blossom in your wonderful family!

Kathy and Matt said...

It has been a privilege to follow your journey! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Your family rocks, so we'll be sure to check in on your other blog now and then!


ArtworkByRuth said...

Don't turn it off though...I like to jump from your blog to the others still on the train!

Joy said...

What a wonderful ride. I have loved following your adoption of this little guy. I think that even though you have faced a few challenges you have risen to the situation.
I am glad that you have found a doctor that you feel comfortable trusting with your little man.
I will start to follow the other blog.

Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

Thanks for the ride! You've planted many a seed by sharing your journey. We'll be regulars at your family blog from now on.

Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful blog, I read it almost everyday.

Best wishes to you and Dennis. What a sweetheart, he is really developing wonderfully!

Thank you for sharing this journey with me!




Staci and Damon said...

Christine -
Thank you so much for allowing us to "travel" with your family through your adoption journey. Reading stories from people like you help me realize that in the end this will all be worth it and I need to keep my focus on God. Dennis looks like such a sweet, beautiful boy!!
Thank you -

Ashley said...

Wow, you can definitely tell how he has filled out! That is awesome! He is doing so well in your family and I am so happy that he has all of you. It is also exciting that he is not shy around his siblings...what a blessing.

I will be following your story on your family blog. Thanks for sharing everything with us and I look forward to continuing in your journey.

WheresMyAngels said...

Love that he is filling out and doing so well. Hope all goes well at your appointment today.

Annie said...

This was an amazing story, Christine! I am so grateful you shared it.

Our Family said...

Thanks for all of your posts and sharing your adventure. We will be following your family blog. God Bless!

Mary and Michael said...

It’s been a while since I’ve left a comment but I have been checking in often. The ‘Dennis is home’ video is beautiful; I had tears in my eyes watching it. He really is blossoming with all that love in your home. I am so glad he has gained a little weight, that is good and in such a short time too. What a great photo to end the ride with, I have definitely enjoyed tagging along. I agree, I think it’s perfect now that Dennis is home to merge this blog with your other one. I would love to follow along.

orphans4me said...

Thanks for keeping up the updates. I'm so glad you son is doing so well in your family.

jose, ana y nuestra natalia said...

Hello we are a Spanish family that I have known through the blog and Gerardo Laura. Tell you that I am worthy of admiration tennis a family very beautiful and very large full of love and it shows in the faces of all your children and not on the face of tennis that you happiness at seeing your children. Encata I read and see pictures of your family. We have a girl three months ago that we adopted in Ukraine, we are very happy and we are also looking forward to more adportar to another, not whether it would be possible, but strive to achieve.

Kisses and hugs from Spain,

Ana, Jose and our daughter Natalia.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you and your wonderful family!!!


Annie said...

Olga - I like the title of your blog. I would love an invitation, if it is open.

debi9kids said...

I have LOVED being along for the journey and will continue to follow along.
You have insired me to convince Russ to adopt again (shhh! Don't tell him yet! LOL)
:) Debi

Chris said...

Thanks for sharing! Your family is simply awesome!

Best wishes!

Football and Fried Rice said...

That picture of the 11 of them is amazing!! You are such an encouragement. Of course, I just spent the last hour reading posts & watching video, crying and admiring your stamina to raise a family & remain in the Faith - true to the God that has clearly blessed you! I love seeing Dennis flourish in just the last few posts and you can TELL the four pounds and the smile on his face! What a doll :)

NotTheMama said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!! I found your blog by trying to find out some info about another Denis in Ukraine, but I'm so glad I found yours!! I'll be praying for all of you!

LindaJean said...

Ahhh... I am late in commenting, but I would like to say, "PRAISE GOD!" How very wonderful to have your little guy home and absolutely thriving in your family!

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Dennis' picture on Reeses Rainbow. My husband even commented that he was a cute little guy. That night we prayed for him to find a wonderful family. This was quite a while ago but I continued to pray for him, he was always in my thoughts.
I cried when I read this! I read your whole story! Iam so elated for you, your blessed family, and most of all for that sweet boy I thought of quite often.
Congratulations on the arrival of your new son! Now you to will be in my prayers.
And I love the picture of you two in the tub. What a wonderful moment.

Infotainment said...

Hello there first of all thanks for stopping on my blog. I found your blog so informative & Entertaining as the above mentioned post is concern it was gr8. specially i want to tall some about your cute boy. I feel sad & shocked to see. what happened with this beautiful child May god give him long & Blessed life. Please bring some chocolates / cookies for Dennis form My side too. Waiting for your next Post too. With love from Pakistan

Anonymous said...

Bravo, this magnificent phrase is necessary just by the way

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Just finished the whole blog from beginning to end in two days. what an awesome adventure. So glad Dennis came into your lives and you never gave up through the long journey. You two are amazing parents! And have a wonderful and beautiful family. Now back to work on Smiles and Trials.
Rebecca (from Sacramento.)