Wednesday, August 26, 2009

goodbyes and hellos

the summer is ending
It is time to say goodbye to a few of the boys' playmates who have been playing outside with them by our building. One family returns to Kuwait for the school year. And another girl goes back to her parents in Kaunas.

Erik's reaction reminded me a little of last years' parting from cousins- just hard to express and looking and sounding very frustrated and disagreeable.

David on the other hand clung more to the one girl who was leaving later in the week. Her grandmother decided on the spur of the moment to invite the boys to go to the beach with them one day. It was 11am and I had come home from LCC so Gregg to go to a meeting. Erik did not want to go if I was not going. But David was happy to go. Said they would be back in 3 hours. After 4 hours I started to get pretty nervous, but after a while they did return no worse for the wear. David kept wanting to go back there for the rest of the day. Of course he was also getting candy and gum all day which mama does not give very freely!

The more complicated schedule has begun with Gregg and I taking turns at the office and the boys still home one more week. They start back to Preschool on Tuesday, September 1. We will probably have them in full days that first week and then get them out some days in the afternoons after that.

With the new school year there are always new people to get to know as well. One family that came for this year has a 5 year old boy. Another has a 4 year old boy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


it is time not to travel! We've done enough things to get pictures!

But real life has been happening around that too. We have enjoyed pleasant weather, nothing very hot, but at least it has been short sleeve weather for the most part :)

One of the things the boys talk about with some regularity is going to heaven. not sure what makes them think of it so much. We are not included to talk about it except as it comes up in bible stories. But, to our surprise Erik has gotten the idea that he should stop drinking and then he will die and can go to heaven. And he tried to get David interested in it too, which works for about a half hour. They both lose interest in it quickly. But that they came up with the idea still amazes me. I am not sure but we may need to also keep our eyes open for signs of depression with Erik because his tone is not just light-hearted. And though he is far more upbeat and much less angry than a year and a half ago, the roots are not completely gone.

David continues to develop in the areas where he is behind, but it looks like some things will still be delayed for this year. We are hoping he will become aware of his bladder overnight during this year. And that he will have better memory for cause and effect as he is both injury prone and limited in his consciousness of right and wrong. Since Erik is quite well developed in this area, it is more noticable to us. We find it difficult to redirect David when he gets his mind or behavior stuck on something. At these times it seems we have a perpetual 2 year old on our hands. At these times we also have to remember that some of this is influenced by the developmental brain damage in utero - his mother's alcohol use while pregnant. Yet, we see signs that he learns things by memory faster than Erik does.

I have gotten quite tired of hearing off-handed remarks in public about how naughty our boys are or how shameful that they don't listen to their mother. So, we are trying to be even more diligent about behaviors at home. There are some things that we did not address in the first year because we simply could not fix everything at once without crushing them. But now we realize that there are patterns of speech in addressing us and demanding that we should not be letting go.

But I should brace myself. These two know how to play off of each other and have great fun doing it. I could see that was going to be the case when they were 2 and 3! And as it sometimes happens with kids, they really are funny... when as a parent you are not supposed to laugh.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

adoption picnic in Lithuania

Friday night Saturday - Trakai campground. Beautiful and great people. Lithuanian families. European families. Relaxed atmosphere. Children with special needs. Lithuanian families who take more than 2. Challenged my stereotypes in a good way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tall ships and the sea

The sea festival included the Tall Ships race, with 120 ships docked in the harbor and festivities planned around it. We took in some of it over the 3 1/2 days, but have enjoyed others' pictures on Facebook since little guys have only so much tolerance for festivals when they are not eating ice cream or on rides!
We went to the beach near the harbor to see if we could see the ships leaving. So did more than 10s of thousands of others! not counting the people downtown by the river! It was crazy. And we've never seen the beaches so full.

We also had a nice visit with Grazina and the little girl she is "mothering" this summer. Brigita is from the Alytus children's home. We had met her a few weeks back on a visit to Siauliai and Grazina chose to have Brigita's birthday celebration during the visit with us.
David also had another opportunity with snails up close. One of our church families brought 6 in a container with a cloth lid for us to take home. We cared for them for a few days and then David let them out on the grass. He needed to check up on them for the first 24 hours even when it was dark outside. But then they basically disappeared. And I have finally gotten a few tomatoes from those tall plants. They will probably have produced much more in leaves than they will in tomatoes!