Where has the time gone?
I'm quite ashamed that it has taken me this long to update you on Danil. Sometimes I feel like that person who has found themselves in a body of water and is frantically trying to keep their head above water...then they realize the water isn't that deep....all they need to do is put their feet down and stand. Yep, that's me. It's a cycle I like to repeat quite often and for some reason, I just can't stay out of the water.
I last left you in May (as I put my head down and peer up with my eyes). It was just around Mother's Day. My first Mother's Day with Danil. My husband and the kids planned a wonderful day at the park. My only request was on that day, we honor Danil's birth mom. He remembers her and he loves her, so it only seemed fitting. As much as I want Danil to be mine and mine only, reality is he's not. It's not going to do him or me any good if I take that away from him.
My favorite picture of me and the kids. They took me to Starbucks that morning and Kevin snapped this shot of us all together. I just love these little people!
And here is Danil at the park kissing the balloon before he sent it to his birth mom. He let it go and watched it float away, way up in the sky. This picture is so precious and makes my heart ache for him all at the same time.
Also in May, Danil got to live out every boys dream. We attended a local Safety Day and Danil got to sit in all types of Police, Firefighter and Medical transportation vehicles. Considering Danil has a great curiosity about Policemen, this was his favorite....
The kids finished up school at the end of May and we celebrated by taking them out for ice cream. I'm so proud of my A students and Danil PASSED KINDERGARTEN!!! Woo Hoo! I tell you there were many nights I would just break down and sob my heart out. I didn't know if it was possible, there was so much for him to learn in such a short amount of time. It was great teamwork effort between his amazing Kindergarten teacher (Thank you Mrs. Godby), the Kindergarten teaching assistants, the school and our family. The school could have asked me to step back but they didn't, they let me be involved as much as I thought Danil needed and for that I will be forever grateful.
We spent the summer trying to stay in our daily routine. Danil doesn't operate well without one. His anxiety level rises, he stores it and then he blows...and we all pay for it.
In June, I continued school lessons for about 2 hours a day and tried to make it fun. We learned about money, the Arctic, pond life and puppets. I would try to plan the lesson around a field trip. We got to go to places like the I-max theater, a puppet theater and a local pond. It was a lot of fun.
We also celebrated Father's Day in June. We surprised Kevin with a ride on the "Pizza Train". We hopped on a train and rode it about 30 minutes to a small town where we stopped and ate at a local pizza parlor. When we were finished we boarded the train again and it took us back to our original location. We had so much fun that day.
June was just a month of F-U-N.
And then came July, the month of A-N-T-I FUN.
Oh my is all I can say.
We did get to go to our favorite place, Green Lake, Wisconsin for Family Camp with my parents. But it was so HOT. We didn't spend much time doing the things we normally do because it was so HOT!
Then we loaded up and headed back to Indiana. We had decided to stay at Indiana Dunes State Park campground for a few days. We were not there even an hour and Danil had a bike wreck. He knocked loose his two front teeth. I had just ran to a local city to purchase a bathing suit because I have failed to pack mine for the trip. I had just arrived when I got the phone call. You know that phone call that starts out "Danil is okay but...." and ends with "we are on our way to the Emergency Room."
I arrived at the Emergency room which conveniently was right next door to the shopping center. I had asked Kevin how he knew where the Emergency Center was and he chuckled "It was one of my projects." Isn't it funny how God weaves it altogether.
I saw Danil in the waiting room and the Mama tears started flowing. His teeth were just dangling from his upper gum. He sounded different, looked different...but he was still smiling and reassured me he was okay, that it didn't hurt. We left with his teeth still dangling and tried to enjoy that rest of our weekend.
After we returned home, we went to see Danil's dentist. He would not pull them. He wanted to see if they would retract. I was very upset. We spent another week eating soft foods because he couldn't chew because his front teeth would not allow his jaw to close. In one week, we were back at the dentist. This time he pulled them. Danil was sent away with on giant plastic green tooth to put under his pillow. The next morning he had $2....I wish the tooth fairy would have left me something to help pay for the Medical bills.
The rest of the Month our routine was shot. And Danil had lots of anxiety. Lets just say it was a rough month.
I do have to tell you that one positive thing came out of July of 2012. It was joyful Grant. The little boy that we left that day we boarded the plane to Ukraine was finally back.
His smile was now genuine.
His laughter was back.
I got to see that little upper lip curl that happens when he smiles that melts my heart.
Oh how I missed seeing that little lip curl all the time.
I asked Grant one day what was different. I will never forget what he said.
"I'm just choosing to be happy Mom."
Wow! Happiness is a choice and I'm so glad he finally chose it. He's been great since then. He loves his brother. He will even tell you he does. He says he couldn't imagine what it would be like without him. He's to little to understand all the trauma that Danil has experienced in his life. He doesn't understand Danil's anxiety. But even though he doesn't understand it, he is choosing to love him anyway and to just be happy.
Danil's anxiety started to decrease at the end of July and took him a while but he was back to the Danil that everyone enjoys.
In August, the kids started school and that's when I fell into that body of water again. I took a position with the school as an Kindergarten Instructional Assistant for 2.5 days per week. I figured I was usually there volunteering that much so I might as well get paid. With this new commitment and all the kids activities...this Mama is having trouble getting her feet down.
Lets just say, I am amazed at working Moms. How do you do it?
To complicate matters worse, I was sick for a few weeks in September, had an emergency root canal in mid-October and a week later has pneumonia. Then because I like to share, about 2 weeks after my bout with pneumonia, Grant got it...then a week later Abbey got it. But I am happy to report, we are all finally healthy.
I've had two weeks since the sickness left our house and I'm just starting to feel my feet descend. They are not quite on the bottom yet but they are getting close.
With this blog post off my shoulders....they are getting even closer
I am determined to stand up soon.