Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Today's Topic: The $3.000 Fit

Now, doesn't he look like an angel in the dentist's chair? He was scared but bravely opened his mouth and let the hygienist look in. He grudgingly and only with a small amount of physical force sat still for the x-rays. He gladly opened his mouth for the dentist.
And this is what he got. See how proudly he holds it?! We were leaving the dentist's office and he saw the dentist down the hallway. Loudly he called out to him, "THAAANK YOOOU!" and waved vigorously.

Now, you know the middle of the story. Would you like to hear the rest? Keep reading...

So, all the boys will likely have tooth problems. This is what we expected; this is what we found.

Vitali's teeth look good, actually, but, who knows? Max, on the other hand has a couple of teeth that are just shells and the gums have grown right into the middle of the tooth. His dental appointment a month or two ago was no surprise: four crowns, four extractions and a filling. He's eight. Needless to say, he will have this much work done in the hospital. We have figured that the cost of this is about $3,000 after all the insurances and deductibles. OK. We expected that.

Just this week we took Misha in for a check up. He also has a tooth where, if you look, you can see the gums in the hole in the tooth. This tooth bothers him (Max claims his don't hurt) mostly when he eats.

You've seen the middle of the story. Moving on...

At first, the dentist was saying we might as well do his in the hospital too. He has eight teeth that need work, two of them crowns; the rest, small fillings. I asked if there were any way to do it in the office to save money. He said we could give it a try.

Our chance came the next morning where we were able to fit into a cancellation spot. The plan was to do the two crowns. Misha was doing great though actively complaining about the laughing gas. Then, the doctor numbed his mouth. He did not like that and said it hurt, though it was just the numbness he didn't like. Then came the drill-like thing that spins and sprays a mist of water and it was all downhill from there. In the end, Steve and I laid across his arms and legs and the dentist held his head in the crook of his arm like a foot ball and we all were sweating and trying to alternate between being firm but soothing though it all was to no avail!

When that crown was finished, of course we realized that we couldn't expect the doctor to work on him like that for 7 more teeth! So, we are going to have to have the rest done under sedation in the hospital. And it should be noted that he is very proud of his silver crown and still likes the dentist. He seems to know we were helping him--so he wasn't mad at all. Once he was done--he was fine.

Now. Why do I call that the $3,000 fit? Well, because he wasn't entirely scared. Yes, somewhat, but it was mostly his way of refusing to be uncomfortable. He didn't like the cold water or the buzzing, He didn't like the numbness and he didn't like the laughing gas mask which served only to calm him down enough to keep it on without fussing about it. Frustrating for us because it is a pattern with him.

The sight of a worm is enough to send him into hysterics as well as are puppies or chickens--including the baby ones. If he is nervous; he goes bananas! Aaaarrggghhh!

I wonder if anyone else has seen anything similar? He seems not to know how to process being uncomfortable with anything but to call it pain. The numbness of his cheek, if give him a friendly back scratching, being cold getting out of the tub, Hair clippings on his neck during a haircut...
He whines and writhes and cries out about these kinds of things. At the same time, he can fall and skin his knee, check for blood and not give it a second thought!

Anyway, I admit to being perplexed! Fortunately, while it is frustrating, it isn't something we deal with every day. And most the time we find his "freaking out" a bit humorous (although we don't let him know); that is, until it turns into $3,000! Eeek!

Even so, we love him to death! All of them. What blessings. Who'd have known that in our attempt to help three orphans that we would be so blessed in the process? It almost makes me feel selfish!

Melissa

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Camping--well, sort of...

Look at those sweaty, happy boys! No shirts, plenty of dirt smudges and excited over their first time to sleep in a tent! Let me tell you they were so excited when I pulled this out!

Last weekend began a streak of beautiful weather here and Monday and Tuesday nights, I slept in the backyard in the big tent with the kids. Steve slept in the house since he had to work the next days. The nights were pretty chilly and the boys confessed to being cold, but eagerly declared they wanted to sleep there every night!

We found that we need a few more sleeping bags although since we were in the backyard it didn't matter so much. But this week at church a new friend brought us some things her son had outgrown and among those things was a Thomas the Tank Engine sleeping bag! Isn't God good?! You can bet that the boys were pretty thrilled about that!

This week is beginning as winter and ending as spring again. That is the nature of spring, isn't it? They say we might get snow on Monday but Friday is near eighty again! Maybe we'll get to take that sleeping bag for a spin this next weekend. And maybe this time, Mommy will sleep in the comfy bed and Dad can rough it with the kiddos!

And...

If you haven't read the post below this one, then please don't miss it! Last night, Steve shared something that helps illustrate where our hearts now. I hope you will let Steve's thoughts and the little story he shares be an inspiration and encouragement to you.

Blessed beyond belief,
Melissa

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Far the East is From the West

Over and over I am struck by how deep the parallelism of adoption and Christianity runs. One of the deep issues that many adopted children struggle with is "Will I be sent back?" Vitali recently was asking about when we were going to the Detsky Dom? Finally we got online and got the translation of "You are never, never, never going back to the Detsky Dom. Mama and Papa are your parents and they love you and you are going to live with them forever." Vitali just smiled the biggest ear to ear grin when he heard this.

Later Misha was with me and was talking about the orphanage so I typed in the same note. I wish you could have seen Misha running to announce to Max "Nee Kagda, Nee Kagda, Nee Kagda, edeetya Detsky dom" (We are never, never, never going back to the orphanage!) Since then he has asked to have me play the clip again "YEE SHOO Papa". He will come up and say "Nee Kagda, Nee Kagda, Nee Kagda edeetya Detsky Dom" He is not worried he just loves hearing that and then does a silly giggly grin.

I can't help but think of the passage from Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west He has removed our transgressions from us." It is by adoption that I never, never, never have to face the consequences of my sin. I can't remember a time when I ran around announcing "Nee KAgda, Nee Kagda, Nee Kagda!"

I so wish you could experience the adoption story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the same experiences we have had this last couple years. The "preparing a place", "the redemption price", "the leaving the secure sheep and going out to search for the lost sheep", "the rejoicing when one has been redeemed", "the yearning for the others who are lost" and now "knowing how far the East is from the West" are so much more real through this continuing journey.

Here is the video for Casting Crowns' song "East to West"



Steve

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One of those days...the good kind

You know those days in early spring when you can hardly wait to be outside? The kind that are so pretty and fresh and the sun coming at it all from the east makes it even more appealing?

Yep, that is the kind of day we started with here this morning!

Once everyone had come back inside from waving goodbye to Daddy this morning, the play-clothes were hurriedly put on! And all the kids (except Hannah--I don't know what she was up to) bounced out the doors to play.

Apparently, Vitali couldn't find his shoes quickly enough and had to settle for his snow boots!
Max didn't even have time to adjust his helmet!
Ivy had time to change out of her nightgown but thought it would be better to add a veil instead and just look beautiful. She does, doesn't she?
She and Vitali rode their little bikes. They aren't allowed to go into the road so they ride down the driveway over and over again. Vita often sits at the bottom watching the big kids going by but here he is at the top about to begin his descent.

Misha saw me with my camera and kept posing for me. He learned to ride a two-wheeler when he saw Max and Hannah learning. He is so proud of being able to pedal! By the way, notice his bike? It was a hand-me-down from a friend of ours and is just his size. He doesn't seem to mind the butterflies at all! He does mind the helmet though! He doesn't like that much at all (not because it's purple) !
He likes to pose for me. They all do. Then they all say, "Pockazhee!" (show!) and look to see the picture on the back of the camera. Even Ivy always says "Pockazhee menya!" When I take her picture. She is so silly.
I love this one of Max:And this one too:

And he asked me to take this one of him with his big giant remote control truck from Grandma and Grandpa E. He loves that thing!

And I should mention that the kids all got bikes for their birthdays, some current and some advance-gifts! Also from Grandma and Grandpa E. Thanks, G'ma and G'pa! They use them every day! Every bike is out and needs to be hauled up the hill each evening. And the kids all take a few trips back and forth and it's done. Good kids!

Things are going so well here. I feel like we must be in for a 'storm' soon! Eeek! I hope not! The boys and girls get along so well and our only clue that the boys haven't always been here is their Russian! But the English is coming along and they each seem to take turns advancing and putting in the extra effort.

Melissa



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chiteeli!!! ( four !)

Here are some pictures of our littlest boy on the fourth anniversary of the day his little life in the big wide world began, although it was his first birthday with us! He is such a little joy despite being a big part of the many times we have flopped into bed at night exhausted!

I wish I could convey in this post the sheer thrill of the day for him! He practically turned himself inside out with excitement!
He surely was excited to have his birthday come! He could hardly wait!

The picture I should have taken of that day (darn hindsight!) was the one of him sitting at the table for a good 45 minutes straight where our normally constantly moving little boy kept a constant vigil over his cake! And, for those of you who know him, you'll be impressed that he managed not to touch the cake, either! (For those of you who don't know him personally, let's just say that so far restraint has not been one of his strong points! He tries; he really does try...)

Does he look happy to you?

Also, I thought you might enjoy hearing the different ways each of the boys refer to birthdays: Misha calls it a "Happy, Happy"
Max calls it a "Happy-to-you",
and Vitali, who even sang himself the song several times on his own birthday( I don't know where he learned it; I didn't try to teach him) says, "Cappy Bootday!"

M.