Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home A Year

Well, I can't believe it but we arrived home from Kazakhstan one year ago today. It has been an amazing year. I'm not going to sugar coat it, the adjustment has been a roller coaster. There has been sleep deprivation, exhaustion, blood, sweat, and yes, tears. But there has been laughter, excitement, pure joy, and total unconditional love. I am so proud of Cameron and the progress he has made over the past year and continues to make. He continues to work with a physical and occupational therapist and is getting ready to begin speech therapy. He has come a long way but we still have some work to do. He is still developmentally delayed but he has made great strides from the almost 8 month old baby I first met in Kaz who could not sit on his own and spent most of his time staring at his fingers. I could not be a more proud Mom!

I always said this blog was meant to chronicle my journey to Kaz and the first year home. And considering the name of this blog is Kaz Bound and we have Been There Done That, I feel it is time to bring this blog to an end. However, I am in the process of setting up a new blog that I will use for updates on my life with Cameron. And who knows, (only God does at this point), maybe there will be a journey to another as well. I'll post the link to the new blog as soon as I finish getting it ready.

Thanks to everyone for following along. I always appreciate the comments and the encouragement I have received, from some who I have never met.

God Bless!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Little Giraffe

Yep, my little man was a giraffe for Halloween. He enjoyed trick or treating but wasn't all that interested in the other kids in costumes or the candy (He's not really eating candy yet). But he loves to be outside so he very much enjoyed walking around the neighborhood. Passing out candy was less enjoyable. I normally do like to give out candy and see all the kids dressed in costume and my neighborhood gets tons of kids. But, it was a little chaotic this year trying to feed Cameron dinner while answering the door and trying to keep Kelsey from barking (impossible). You'd think after the first 20 or so people come to the door she would get used to it and stop with the barking but no. Luckily Mom was around to help. All in all, it was good fun. I'm sure next year will be even more fun because Cam will be 2 1/2 then.

I couldn't let today slip by without some nostalgia. Today, a year ago, I walked into an orphanage in Semey, exhausted after 36 hours of travel time, and a caregiver brought into the room this beautiful, big baby boy. I don't remember much of the trip but that moment is so ingrained into my mind. It is so vivid as if it were yesterday. Meeting my son for the first time was the most amazing moment of my life thus far. I will be forever grateful to God for allowing me to be this sweet boy's Mom. It is not easy being a single mother. It is truly a balancing act and I have never been more exhausted in my life. But I would not trade it for anything in the world!
Now, if I could only get him to stop standing in the tub!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fun At The Farm

Cameron had his first pony ride and hayride this past weekend. I just love Fall and I've been really looking forward to this time of year with Cameron. I'll have to post the obligatory pumpkin patch picture at a later date (when I'm able to actually get the pic). I had Cam all set up holding onto a wagon wheel, surrounded by pumpkins, with his pumpkin shirt on and the camera battery dies! Isn't that always the way? So the above picture on the pony is the only picture I was able to take at the farm. The farm also had petting animals such as goats, sheep, and pigs. Cameron could not have cared less about the goats or sheep but he really liked a particular pig. He actually got nose to nose with this smelly pig and there I was, with no working camera!

He is doing very well. He's getting more and more rambunctious and making tremendous progress. The teachers at daycare and church tell me all of the time how good and happy he is. Just today his teacher from school wrote what a joy Cameron is to be around. He loves to be outside and with this cooler weather we are outside more.

This weekend we will head to Atlanta, with Nana in tow, for a Semey reunion. I'm really looking forward to it. What a blessing to be able to meet up with other kids from the same orphanage. I plan to go to as many Kaz reunions as possible over the next years. I think it is really important to try to keep that connection as much as possible especially as the kids get older and understand their story more.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home 8 Months!

My, how the time flies. I cannot believe we have been home from Kaz 8 months today. We've been so busy this summer that I haven't had much time to update.

Cameron is doing very well. He is moving all over the place now. He is nearing 30 lbs and is a very good eater. He really likes bananas, mac & cheese, and sweet peas. He adores teddy grahams. He's not drinking liquids as much lately, which is surprising given how hot it has been here in the South. But, he's not getting dehydrated so his pediatrician is not concerned. And he drinks when he gets thirsty enough. Actually, he pretty much does everything in his own time. He's on Cameron's time and no one else's.

Cameron also loves music and has alot of fun playing his toy piano. He also enjoys bathtime and swinging at the playground.

I'm looking forward to a Semey reunion in Atlanta in October. I'm really excited to meet some other Semey kids and to hopefully see some little ones again who were in Semey with us. From reading others blogs, everyone seems to be doing very well.

From reading all of the boards, it does seem as if adoption from Kaz has gotten a little slower this summer. Some changes in the Kaz embassies here in the US have slowed some things down and because more families are wanting to adopt from Kaz now, the timeframes seem to have gotten a little longer. I just keep praying for the families that they will hang in and not give up so these wonderful kids will have a shot at a family. The changes I see in Cameron in the last 9 months since I first met him are nothing short of miraculous. He continues to work hard with his therapists and I could not be a more proud Mom. I shudder to think how far behind he would be if he had stayed at the orphanage.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy Little Man

Busy Weekend At Nana's

First Gaze Into the Ocean

Look at that cool flying kite!

But, I don't wanna pet the bunny!

Chillin' at first picnic

We have had a very busy May. Cameron had his first official picnic in the park, where we met many other adoptive families in the area. He had his first look and feel of the ocean, saw his first flying kite, and his first petting zoo (He could not have cared less about petting the baby bunnies and kitties).

He seemed to enjoy the beach immensely. (Maybe I will be able to talk him into being a marine biologist.) He even didn't mind putting his feet in the sand. This was surprising since he doesn't like to put his feet in grass at all. He like the water until the wave splashed too far up onto his torso. This was cold and he did not like it. But he really seemed to love being there. So much to see!

Cameron has made amazing progress over the past 6 months since we have been home. He is crawling at high speed now. He's getting better at walking while holding my hands and can stand without assistance for a nanosecond. He is finger feeding better and will eat almost anything you put in front of him. He doesn't seem to like tomatoes (that's my boy!) and loves grilled cheese sandwiches. He is using a sippy cup although still needs some assistance. My main challenge currently is getting him to drink cold beverages. He wants his drinks warm or room temperature at a minimum. His hair and teeth are taking their sweet time coming in. He definitely has more hair now but it is still not very thick yet. And it's looking redder by the day. He still has 4 teeth although 2 more top teeth are right on the verge of coming in.

He definitely has a mind of his own and I'm pretty sure I'll be dealing with a bit of a temper as he gets older. Must be the red hair! But, he is still pretty happy, laughs alot, and is jabbering up a storm (still working on Mama with no luck so far). He is a great sleeper most of the time. He plays hard and sleeps hard. The more mobile he gets the more he wants to explore, so he keeps himself pretty busy (and me too!).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Saying Yes

"It's What You Say Yes To That Determines Your Life"

Over the 18 months or so that I was either researching adoption or going through the process, I had some inspirational and encouraging quotes on sticky notes around my desk and computer. They are all mostly still there. One of my favorites is above.

How different is my life today since saying Yes to international adoption. I could truly not imagine life now without Cameron. A friend of mine asked me recently if I really felt like a Mom yet. I didn't even hesitate answering Yes to his question. I remember reading on one of the message boards that some Moms felt like it took 6 months to feel like you aren't babysitting someone else's child and I can remember thinking that I hope it doesn't take me that long. I can honestly say that it did not, not even close. Now, I didn't feel like a Mom immediately and I don't know exactly when it happened. It's like falling in love; you can't pinpoint exactly when it happened but you just realize one day that it has happened.

I also remember, early on when I first started talking about my plans to close friends and family, a friend of mine told me that I had no fear. Now, this is someone who has known me since 3rd grade. I remember thinking later that it wasn't that I don't have fear. I just try to live my life despite sometimes being afraid. I try to push through the fear and do things anyway and make decisions based on my faith and the path that I feel God has chosen for me. I don't want to get to the later years of my life and have regrets. And most elder adults will tell you that they regret more the things they did not do more so than the things they did do. I am so glad I pushed through the fear and said Yes. I now have an amazing son.

Cameron continues to do well. He seems to have adjusted to his school well. I am very happy with the daycare so far. He is getting EI (Early Intervention) and PT (Physical Therapy) and OT (Occupational Therapy) to help get him caught up developmentally. He's almost 14 months old. He is much more mobile now, even though he's not walking yet or crawling for that matter. He just doesn't seem to like being on his hands and knees. But he scoots and rolls to get around the room. His legs are strong and he is walking with someone holding his hands. So, I think it won't be long before he walks on his own. He is eating mostly table foods now and will eat most everything you give him. And I know I've said it before, but he is a BIG boy. Everyone comments about how big he is and they all seem amazed he is not closer to 2 years of age. And believe me, my back and wrists agree!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Birthday Boy

Yum, sugar!

Me and Nana

Love this fish wrapping paper!

Me, Mom and Kelsey

Me, Mom, Nana, Aunt Alice & Uncle Clay

My Birthday Stash!

Today is Cameron's 1st birthday. We have been home a little over 2 months and I can't believe how fast time is flying. He is doing so great. He is such a happy, good-natured little boy and I am still amazed that I get to be his Mom. On this day, I took time to pray for his birthmother and to thank her for giving birth to this wonderful boy. I will be forever grateful that he was given the opportunity for a better life and to enrich my life as well.

We celebrated Cameron's birthday on Saturday with a party at our house. I kept it relatively small; mostly inviting just family. We had a blast! I think I may have gone a little overboard with too many presents but I just couldn't help myself. You only have your first birthday once!

Enjoy the pics!