It was Birthday month last month for our family. The little boy who is not an official part of our family yet, but who we hope will be soon, turned four. I was sad to miss another of his birthdays but we're pretty sure he'll be home for the next one.
Someone else in our family turned seven, and was thoroughly spoiled.
He was SO excited when I started putting up decorations that morning. And the excitement continued all day as he kept asking if Babushka and cousin "Fai" were coming. He doesn't have enough English yet for me to be able to ask if he's ever had a birthday party before. It will be interesting to find out what they did for him in Ukraine, if anything.
Oh and someone else in the family turned thirty something.
He caught his first fish dipnetting from a canoe. I just love his excitement.
And he has become quite the hot rod on his bike. He has learned the awesomeness of the skid stop. Hopefully there is still some tread left on his tires by next summer. He spends hours on his bike most days.
The last few weeks his behavior has improved so much. The negative behaviors and tantruming are much less extreme and much further between. I can't even remember the last really horrible day we've had. I realized last week that I don't dread getting up and seeing him in the mornings anymore. He is courageous and loving and has such a good heart.
My warrior, riding ahead to scare off the loose dogs on our bike ride today. He does this every time we see these old dogs on the bike path. I'm not too concerned about them, they look twice as old as he is, and always head for home when they see us coming. But I think it's a good thing to nurture a protective nature in a boy.
Our summer started off hard, almost unbearably so. I constantly questioned my ability to be a good mother to this child. He just seemed to need so much more than I could give him.
But time has passed and he hardly even seems like the same child. The first two months I honestly didn't think I could do it. But the last few weeks things have settled down so much. In fact his negative behaviors seem to be about what any typical child would do.
Even when he gets in trouble and has to go to his room for a timeout we haven't seen a real tantrum in several weeks. He might cry loudly about it, but it doesn't last long. He has gotten so much better at resetting himself. And as his behavior has improved, my patience for his behaviors and my confidence as a parent has improved as well.
As I was saying, the summer started out rough, but it is ending wonderfully. With days filled with bike rides, swinging, jumping, hitting baseballs, swimming and getting spoiled by grandparents:-). And weekends filled with fishing, boating, canoeing, gardening, and more bike rides . Life is good right now.
My sweetie and I were able to get away for some much needed alone time last weekend while Yarik got to hang with Babushka. We went dipnetting in Kenai and Kasilof. The fish weren't running very strong so we only came home with five. It was wonderful to have some time together without kids though. We've been married for one year two weeks ago:-). The prosecutor tried to use that against us in court in Ukraine. Silly prosecutor. Marriage to my sweetie is wonderful. Parenthood is hard, but marriage is pretty darn easy so far.
That's my sweetie in the blue hoodie out there in the water. I was taking a break to warm up. Even with chest waders on it gets numbingly cold in that water.
Yarik was very impressed with the fish we brought home. Will even let him help fillet them. Next time we will bring him with us. He will have a blast.
This is an older picture, but this kid loves to ride his bike. So much so that he wore his training wheels out in a month. That stubbornness of his that keeps him tantruming for hours sometimes has also given him the determination to keep practicing and practicing on his bike. He broke one of the training wheels the morning that we left for Kenai. Dedushka (Grandpa) took the rest of the training wheel apparatus off while we were gone and we came home to our boy riding his bike without them:-)
Brett has a family!!! Aaaand his adoption costs have been raised:-D. http://piecingourpuzzletogether.blogspot.com/?m=1
Here is his awesome family's blog. They are traveling in just a couple of weeks! I am so excited for him, he is such a special kid. Thank you to everyone that helped make this possible with your shares and donations.