Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow and Holiday Spirit

I just realized I have not posted in months. Wow, time is flying. This will be a semi-short one to say we are enjoying the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. The boys are so excited and can't wait for 11 more days to pass. We had a fun pizza party with Aunt April for her birthday last night. Our tree is decorated and we have 4 inches of snow on the ground. It looks like a winter wonderland. Here is a photo of the boys with Santa.
Daniyar wants to know where Santa is every waking moment. He wants a Thomas train that stops and goes (remote controlled) from Santa. He was our chief tree decorator with most ornaments between 2 and 3 feet off the ground but we don't have a designer tree anyway.
Collin wants anything and everything Star Wars related. We are having many light saber duels and storm trooper shootouts these days. He's a little worried about getting a lump of coal (or "wump of coaw" as he says.) Some days rightfully so!
We have officially seen Polar Express 20 times now with many re-enactments of the hot chocolate scene lately. The boys were dancing around the kitchen with their mugs and Daniyar even acted out the knee slide quite well. He also does a mean train hobo from the movie with the Santa hat on. Collin likes to quote the "stinkin underwear" part a lot. We are in the potty words stage for sure. His Thanksgiving thanks were for Star Wars and armpits (probably really Star Wars and armpits because it is a funny word.)
They are both on clothing kicks. Only superhero, star wars or toy story shirts will do. Daniyar will wear khaki pants with elastic waists only. Do all kids do this? You'll see, they wouldn't even budge for the Santa photo.
Happy Holidays! Hope yours are as joyful as ours. Jacqueline

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I have been thinking a lot lately about how our family came together. I usually post to keep family and friends updated on our boys and our day to day lives. This post is a little different, as I hoped to reach out to families thinking about or in the adoption process. Maybe our boys will inspire other families.

It started as I was bathing the boys the other day. That is about the only time I can see both of their scars at the same time. Of course Daniyar's scars are always visible. Collin's scar hides beneath his shirt most of the time. I thought that if my boys didn't have those scars, they probably wouldn't be my boys. I don't know the exact reasons their birth parents decided that adoption was the best path for their birth children. I do know that Collin had symptoms of congestive heart failure when he was found and probably appeared very ill. Daniyar had a birth defect very costly to repair in his country, if the resources are available at all.

I started to think of when I was a child and pictured my family. My children looked like me in those daydreams, and didn't have scars. Nobody pictures their children with scars, missing or malformed limbs or ears, vision or hearing loss, birthmarks or lazy eyes. But children come with these things. Maybe my boys can inspire some parents to open their hearts to these kids. It is so much more difficult for children in orphanages with medical needs to find families. Certainly the needs vary a lot. Collin has an annual trip to the Cardiologist and no limitations. Daniyar will need multiple surgeries, intensive speech therapy, orthodontics, etc. But all of this is still just a little part of who they are and the joy they bring to us.

Perhaps a child with medical needs would fit right in your family. You may be their only chance for a loving family. They have so much love to give.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Balloons and Blue Angels

We had an aviation themed weekend. Friday night there was a hot-air balloon show and competition locally. We got to participate in a tethered balloon ride and some carnival rides for the boys. The balloon launch was beautiful. After giant ice-cream cones, the boys about fell asleep on the ride home.
Saturday included a short trip to Kings Island amusement park (15 minutes away so we go often).
Sunday we went to the Dayton Air show as Collin has a fascination with the Blue Angels. As it turned out, he enjoyed the kid's tent with the legos more but the adults loved the Blue Angels' performance. We even got a cooling rain sprinkle mid-show.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fantastic Florida

We had a great time on vacation. All together we had 14 people there. Both of my sisters, Jen and April, their husbands and kids, Grandpa and Zachary. We spent a lot of time at the beach and the pool. The kids loved the lazy river, kids play area, and catching crabs/fish with nets (we let them go). Even with sunscreen, both boys are quite tan now. We spent a day at the Magic Kingdom and Coco Key Waterpark in Orlando and visited Downtown Disney the day we flew back. It was hard to get them still enough for pictures but here are my best attempts.

An update on the little girl in Kaz. A couple of families still are expressing interest in her adoption-isn't that great! They are waiting on the program to open back up. Hopefully the process will work out for them and they will find their little one without too much of a wait. I am so thankful for all of you that asked about her, even if she did not end up being the right child for your family.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Fun

We just had a really fun weekend and a nice Father's Day. Daniyar's friend, Jaterius, from preschool invited them to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. They had a great time! We also went to King's Island water park on Sunday for a very hot Father's Day celebration. Collin played so hard he fell asleep on the King's Island train. They enjoyed their new play-doh ice cream and hamburger makers in their jammies.

I thought of fun things each of them have done lately. Daniyar's group in Kazakhstan watched music videos on their tv sometimes and the kids would dance. Sometimes they were hip-hop videos. I think he picked up some dance moves. Out of nowhere, he will turn around, stick out his "booty" and start slapping it while dancing! Kind of funny but also a head-turner. We tried to tell the long story at first but now we just say "we didn't teach him that move!" and redirect him. I'll try to get a picture some time.

Collin (preceded by Daniyar) has had the neighborhood tummy virus recently. We talked a lot about not drinking after each other so we wouldn't "give it" to each other. One day on the potty in mid poo, he said, I want to give this to you mommy or back to Daniyar because I don't want it any more! He thought someone else had to take it for him to get better. I also love the fact he still says "nusic" for music and "mapkin" for napkin, too cute!

We are headed off to Florida this weekend for a fun week with the family. Grandpa, and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins will be there. More pics when we get back!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thank you for the responses!

I appreciate the responses I have had to the post about the little girl waiting. I am happy to share what I can to help this little girl. It is nice to know families are willing to adopt the toddler/preschooler age kids. They are so much fun. So many things are new to them still. I would be happy to talk to any of you via email/phone if you like. I want to protect her privacy of course but would also like to help her find a loving home. I just took a special interest in her and with the help of the Baby House have been trying to be her voice in the US.

Thanks again! Jacqueline

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Little girl waiting in Kazakhstan

Well this blog isn't going to be about my two great kiddos.

I have just had on my mind the sweetest little girl we met when we were adopting Daniyar. She was the only one in his group that was also eligible to be adopted. She is the most beautiful little 3 year old with black hair and gorgeous almond brown eyes. I have been talking to everyone I know that might be interested in becoming her family. The reason she has been passed over is that she had a medical misdiagnosis as an infant and that is so unfortunate. Further testing shows the original diagnosis was wrong. She is also in a town that a lot of US agencies don't place children from. And she is 3 now, an older age than many families seek. I would love to make a place for her in our family but financially we aren't able to right now. If anyone out there has ideas about how to help her find a home, please feel free to email me at jacgray14@yahoo.com. I would love to talk to anyone about her, whether in the adoption process or thinking about it. I think she would be a great daughter for someone. She is well cared for at the Baby House but approaches the age to go to the older children's orphanage and that worries me a lot. And of course, she would thrive in a family of her own. I truly believe Daniyar would not be with us if a special person had not advocated for him and maybe now it is my turn.
On a side note, the boys are great, enjoying summer and looking forward to a visit from Grammy and Pa and cousin Liam's first birthday party. Pics next week from the fun weekend! Jacqueline