Thursday, September 27, 2007

News about Max

We got Max's medical records yesterday. I was SO excited to see how much information we received and even more excited to hear how he is doing and how much he is loved there. He has NO health problems (pretty rare for kiddos with DS). He is cooing and loves to be held and to eat! Yeah!! He has good head control and has been receiving Physical Therapy for 3 months now. I was so surprised and happy to hear that. Sometimes I think of him laying in his crib, not exercising his muscles and not getting enough attention. Now, I feel so much better knowing he is eating well, socializing, playing with toys, and getting therapy.

I was sad reading about his birth parents. They are a young couple, newly married. The pregnancy was their first. It was planned and she received good care during her pregnancy. After giving birth, she was told her son had Down syndrome and she and the family decided to leave him at the hospital. It breaks my heart. I know it breaks hers. I just wish she lived in a place where children with disabilities are not shunned and put away. I hope to be able to let her know that Max is going to be taken care of and loved. My heart truly goes out to her. I pray that she will feel comfort in knowing he will have everything he needs. I only wish she could have kept him to feel his love and see how beautiful he is. But, I know he is meant to be with us now. It was good to know more about Max and his life. I am READY to bring this little guy home. (I think I've said that before.) Patience has been a trial of my life =-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Learning about BONDING

We went to an adoption class last weekend through our home study agency. It was specific to International Adoption. It was very informative and I thought I would share a few things we learned to help anyone else who is adopting. The most important thing for me to learn was about bonding with our new little one. The teacher explained that children living in orphanages see so many faces/caregivers in a given week, they do not associate one person as the one to meet their needs. Therefore, she recommended having you and your spouse be the ONLY two people to hold, feed, change, dress, bathe and put the child to bed for the first 3-6 months. No sitters yet. She said if you have family coming, let them help you with the housework, the other children, and preparing meals but that they should not care for the new child. Another adult may hold the child if they are going to be part of the child's DAILY life and parenting team.

It was suggested to hold and carry the new child as MUCH as possible. Skin to skin is best, especially when feeding a bottle. For the rare times he is not being held, have him in the same room with you. Sleep next to him for the first 2 weeks or so. (Bed sharing is not recommended due to accidental deaths.) Your face should be the last face he sees as he falls asleep as well as the first when he wakes up. She said if others comment that you are "spoiling" your child, then you know you are on the right track!! You have to make up for lost time and help him experience cause and effect. When he cries, pick him up, EVERY time. Be ecstatic when in a few months your child cries when you are out of sight. You will know he is bonding to you when he doesn't want to go to anyone else and shies away from others. Don't push him to be "friendly to everyone" for a while. (There is plenty of time to love others after he feels safe with you.)

Other suggestions included lots of singing, baby massages, rocking with him, eye-contact, and of course one-on-one play time. Be careful not to overstimulate your new child. For a few weeks think quiet, calm, gentle cocoon. We learned a lot of good information about parenting skills and travel too. It really was a great class. I hope some of the info helped others too. So, if you see me from January to June with a little cutie attached to me you can know that we are bonding. It is more involved than I originally thought but I can't wait to get to know and love on Max. Time just can't go fast enough.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Home Study to Court

Hooray! Finally, our home study write up is complete and on it's way to the court. We should get our adoption certification in about 3 weeks. (Step #4) Then, the paperwork goes on to the USCIS for HOPEFULLY only a few weeks and then on to Serbia. We just can't get him here fast enough!! We have decided to name him Max. No middle name yet. I look at his picture everyday on our shelf with our other family pictures and he is already part of the family. The kids see his picture and know baby Max is coming at Christmas time. They both have "the more the merrier" kind of attitude about life so, I think they will adjust well. Keep sending good thoughts our way so we can get Max home soon!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


This is day one of our blog. Here's an introduction to our family. (The Reader's Digest version.) We have been married for 10 years. We have given birth to 3 amazing and fun children. All 3 of our children have Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Our oldest passed away at a year old. He would be 8 now. Then we have a 5 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. We are now adopting a beautiful little boy from Serbia. He also has Down syndrome. He will be about a year old when we get him home. We are about one month into the adoption process.

So, the biggest question: Why adopt a child with Down syndrome? The geneticist says we may have a 50/50 chance of having a child with DS with each pregnancy. (No one knows for sure.) So why not just have another baby?
1. I hate being pregnant. I am SICK all the time and can't take care of my children the way I need to.
2. We would be too worried to have another biological child. Unfortunately, we know all too well, the health problems that can come with DS. We also know that we could not handle losing another child or having a child who needed to "live" in the hospital over and over.
3. Most importantly, this is just right for us. We get the opportunity to get a child out of an orphanage and show him his potential. We can provide services he would never receive there. We already know the in's and out's of therapy etc. and we are ready to LOVE this little boy!