Monday, July 24, 2017

Three weeks in

It's a real struggle for traction to engage Stefan's attention and sustain it for longer than 2 minutes. But there are small steps forward.

Today is rainy, which is lovely, but things are a bit more stir-crazy than usual.

Also, if you wonder where MamaV went, her iPhone stopped supporting Blogger, and she doesn't really care to (or have time to) spend much screen time on the laptop (which is also kept up and away all the time). For the record, I'm currently listening in on my first work meeting back from 3 weeks of almost-blackout, which is really hard to do in aerospace.

We're trying to figure out how to care well for the family and me still have any time for work. We have a little more runway, my team is very kind and understanding, but there will need to be a resolution pretty soon. On the plus side, school starts for Ana in about two weeks, so that will be some load off during the days. The boys are troopers, but it's wearing on them. Choupinette has both loved the best and been the saddest - Stefi requires very similar attention to what she needs, and there has been a lot of competition over Mama. Ana is a patient sweetheart, and we try to make sure to spend some snuggle time with her. We are thankful for church and friends and family.

Christ is in our midst!
He is and ever shall be!

Papa

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Assorted things

Somebody loves his machina.

Somebody else loves tricycles so much...


She got her own.

And bentonite clay is used for sealing wellbores, and can also do a number on your pipes. Alternative toothpaste users beware. (This was the flood that preceded the fire - poor old shop vac had a hard time with the water cleanup - that preceded a very rough Sunday morning).

Thank you for your prayers!
Papa


Friday, July 14, 2017

Ten years ago today

These two funny people got married.

They had no idea.

They still don't, but they hope they are learning to repent.


Thank you for your prayers.

Papa

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Aliveness check

Hello,

We are so thankful for every new day. Stefan seems to be making connections, and finding some level of "fit". Interestingly, he and Choupinette seem to be pairing off (in a sense). They're the closest cognitively, and both seem to need the same kind of attention and can engage in similar play. It's so sad that Stefi has never learned to play. However, he was able to drive a Hot Wheels back and forth with me for maybe a dozen or more rounds. That was news (he ignored the cars completely in the hotel). He likes water play (and the kiddie pool arrives today, hurrah). The photo below is Mama supervising this on the back porch (taken through the kitchen window, sorry about the poor zoom).


Everyone's heart has been very full. There have been more random acts of frustration all around, and it's obviously pretty hard to ingest a total stranger with physical ability but no communication or relational skills into the sibling dynamic. But we pray. This morning was nice, I got to pray, do chores, get oatmeal going, and even try to do some work (I'm "on vacation" which means I dial in from home when I can).


Thanks for your prayers, we need them.
Papa

Monday, July 10, 2017

And the work begins...

Notes from Sunday:
Thanks to you all for your prayers and your help. We have been blessed by many friends with meals, and we're thankful for surviving so far. Somehow he's going on 6 hours of sleep (up at 5am) in the last 48, so I'm hoping for better things tonight... neither of us slept on the planes. But, after a reroute in Amsterdam, we ended up going home via Seattle, none the worse for wear.

Swinging is good. But the heat is pretty bad. The boys and Choupinette are have very full hearts (Ana may, too, for all I know - she got held less today).

Notes from Monday:
Good night's sleep praise God. I was up with the sun, which was nice for prayers and chores. Stefi got up around 7am, which was fine. He's very interested in cookery, and hovered around the skillet until he burned his hand (very mildly, but a few times). He has added "Hi" to his words, doubling his vocabulary. At dinner, I asked if he wanted more chicken and his response was "Da!" (his other word), which was pretty great. Meals are hard, though Stefan is doing great - we're doing hand-over-hand with the fork, and I help keep his other hand from shoveling food (he's used to using his left to hold food in an overstuffed mouth). But he's making progress even already. The hardest part is the strain on the other kids. But kind aunts helped out today, and things were ameliorated. It's always hard not to project the present into the future...

Please keep praying, I am jotting this down while Mama has the bunch of heat-tolerant ones out on a walk, and Ana and I get to clean up the house (done, so I had a moment). Please forgive us if you don't hear from us often - our hands are full.

Christ is born!

Glorify him!

Christ is risen!

Indeed, he is risen!

Christ is ascended!

From earth to heaven!

Christ is in our midst!

He is, and ever shall be!

In Christ,
Papa

Farewell Sofia, hello croissant

A brand-new American Citizen eats fast food in Seattle

Singing and swinging

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ducks in a row

We have the packet from the embassy, all is (supposedly) in order, and I guess we'll see how leaving Bulgaria and entering the US goes! We'll be up early tomorrow (in a bit more than 12 hours), and off to the airport. No more meetings, appointments, etc. Stefan is enjoying another bath now (they are a nice break for me), and we may try to get to a vespers in an hour, but we'll see. Sv. Paraskeva is probably the closest one, but it's still a 10min walk. And Stefan had troubles getting to the corner store today. It's been a rough week.

I was not really joking when I said to Toni that the only visible difference between adoption and kidnapping is the paperwork...  And now I can begin insurance paperwork for the US.

Friday

And yes, I am thankful to God that it is.

Today we will meet with the lawyer who should have all the documents assembled. We left Stefi's passport at the embassy to get the visa stamp affixed (a step that always makes me nervous - he is without ID for a little while, though I'm sure in a pinch enough of the supporting sheaf of documents would add up to ID).

I have not been able to reach the lawyer by phone yet, and she didn't give a time, so we are bored in the hotel room. We'd probably be fine for a walk, but I'm conservative. We'll just go to the store soon, get some more cheese (the only remaining effective pill-vehicle), but NOT more bread - it became something of an idea fixee yesterday, and I had to hide it before he would go to sleep. Not that he wanted to eat it, mind you, just to have the bag (ignoring the several pieces that were already out for him, and of which I kept offering chunks). This post-institutional food security thing... but then, I'm reminded of a (perhaps apocryphal) internal memo from Vanguard, the financial company, that indicated the highest-performing clients were those who a) were dead, or b) had forgotten they had the account. Again, lessons for Papa from Stefan. It's very plain when it's bread, but we adults like to gussy up our insecurities with fancy names like retirement or career.

Baths have been the new ecstasy since Wednesday evening, but like anything, he's getting bored with plain-vanilla, and looking for a new high. He scored yesterday with the hand shower, but that papa would insist on helping hold it and not giving him free rein. Now I'm not sure what he's up to, but he's learning to get in and out of the tub himself, which is good, but also a little nerve-wracking to see him teeter on the edge. However, he refuses help, and I am not sure what he expects me to do - he may be telling me to take a bath, too. Yes, much communication is nonverbal anyway, but imperatives can be tricky to convey - and this applies in both directions.

Tomorrow early we're off to the airport, then back to the US via Amsterdam. The flight from Amsterdam to Minnie-StPaul leaves at 10:30am and arrives at 12:30pm - so short!

Thank you for your prayers, I'm looking forward to the rest of my family and my home. But I will miss Sofia, if not the hotel room.
And God bless Baba Annie.

In Christ,
Papa