Wednesday, May 29, 2013

He Came Back! Griffin's View

Griffin's View of May 29, 2012

There was a bunch of excitement going on in my groupa today.  The nanny got the scissors out and cut on my hair!  I really don't like hair cuts and I put up a huge fight!  Then they gave me a quick bath and I got really excited because I love the bath tub, but it didn't last long enough.  They dried me off really quick and stuffed me inside a pair of overalls.  THEN they sprayed smelly stuff on me!  Seriously, what is going on?!  I wish they would just tell me why they are dressing me up like this.

Before I knew it, the nanny carried me to the door, opened it, and there stood the papa!!!  He came back for me!  I had to blink a few times because I didn't really believe that he was there.  He had a huge smile on his face and he grabbed me into his arms and gave me a big squeeze!  I was so happy on the inside that I thought I was going to explode, but I managed to keep it inside, because I didn't want to do anything to ruin this moment.  Was he about to take me to the playground?

I heard the word "machina" and I got really excited!  I love machinas.  The papa said that I was about to go for a ride in the car!  I guess that's the other word for machina.  I could hardly keep myself calm!  I wanted to shriek with excitement!

The papa plopped me down on his lap on the back seat of a little black car, right next to the window!  Oh my goodness, is this really happening?!  I wonder where we are going?  The papa was talking a lot to the other people in the car but he would tell me that I was doing a good job, in my ear, every now and then.  Seems like they were talking about a lot of serious stuff.  He kept squeezing me so tight because I really wanted to crawl up into the front seat and drive!  I even reached up and pulled the driver's hair!  It didn't help, though.  I thought he would stop the car and let me drive.  Nope.  Instead, I just banged on the windows and tried to jump up and down on the papa's lap.  He was having a hard time keeping me still and he started to sweat!  When the car came to a stop, they took me inside a little building and tried to take a picture of me.  Nope, no way.  I really don't want my picture taken so I put up a huge fight.  The ladies started sweating, too!  Finally, they said that they got a good one but I don't see how because I was shrieking and wiggling all over the place!

We had a few more stops to make and when we stopped at the orphanage I just wanted to cry.  I didn't want this adventure to be over.  I'm so confused.  I really don't know what's going on.  The papa said that he was going to take me home but here I am back at the orphanage.  Oh well, I'm just glad he came back to see me.  The lady took me from the papa and they drove away.   I watched until the nanny took me inside.  I really hope that I can see him again tomorrow!  I'm just so, so, so glad that he came back!!!

For Chris' view of that day, click here!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Longest 10 Days Ever

During this time last year, we were on the 10 day waiting period.  Chris went back to Germany to be with Big G, I went back to the US to get Little G... and our sweet Middle G had to sit in the orphanage and wait for us to return.

My heart aches to think about that long 10 days.  I know Griffin well enough now to know how he felt when we left.  I know how he handles stress and the signs of how he handled that 10 days without us were very visible.  Breaks my heart.

Griffin's view of the 10 day wait from May 2012-

The momma and the papa had to tell me goodbye for awhile.  They said that they were going to court for me and that they had to go home and then come back to get me.  I'm not really sure what 'home' is, but they are going to take me there.  I'm pretty excited about it!  They showed me pictures of two girls that are going to be my 'sisters' and said that they have to take them back home, too.  They said we will be a family.  I'm not sure what that is, but it sounds nice!

I'm lonely.  I've never really had this feeling before because I never really had anyone to pay me a bunch of attention every single day.  I got use to seeing them and they made my days much happier.  I really don't want that feeling to ever end.  I enjoy having something to look forward to, other than the usual things... food, going outside when the nannies allowed, and I can't really think of anything else.

Maybe they aren't coming back for me after all.  It seems that it's been forever since they left me... maybe it's already been 10 days.  I don't really know how to handle this.  I've been moaning and crying a lot.  I have started scratching at my face and hitting my head on the side of the crib.  I can feel the marks in my forehead from my fingernails, but it makes me FEEL.  Feeling the pain of that makes me feel something other than the loneliness that I feel inside.  The other kids don't like for me to cry.  One little boy keeps biting me on my face.  I have bruises on my cheeks and it hurts really bad.  I just want the momma and the papa to come back and get me.

My days are the same as they use to be.  Every time the door opens, I hope that it's them.  But it's not. I miss seeing the smiles on their faces and feeling like I'm the best boy in the world!  They told me how special I am and I was starting to believe it... I hope they still think I'm special.

I think I understand what the 'love' word means now.  If love means that you miss someone so badly that it hurts, then I love them.

I hope they still love me.

I hope they come back to me.

I hope...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our Court Day Anniversary

Wow.  Time has really slipped by us!  I can hardly believe that it's been 1 year since I stood, nervously,  before a judge who grilled us to no end.  I just read the blog that I wrote that day and I can feel the tension creeping up into my shoulders and neck, just from reading it!  I can't believe that it's been a year.  It's still so fresh in my mind and I never want to forget it.  I never want the details to fade.

Today has been wonderful.  We got to spend some one on one time with Griffin this afternoon and it was so nice!  We took him to a new Mexican restaurant and bought him a cheese quesadilla and we realized that we forgot his sippy cup.  Not good.  So we bought him a kid's cup with lemonade and hoped he would give it a shot.  At first, he just pushed it away... wouldn't even give the straw a chance.  Then, Chris started giving him lemonade with the straw by holding it up to his mouth and dropping it in like a medicine dropper.  Worked like a charm!  He realized that he could actually suck the lemonade from the straw that Chris was holding up, so once he got the hang of that, Chris put it back in the cup, and Griffin started drinking it!  We had the whole restaurant wondering what was going on while we cheered and high-fived him over and over again.  We were so proud!

After that, we took Griffin to pick up Big G's birthday cake for tomorrow.  He is such a great shopping buddy and I love having him with me.  He helped me pick out plates and napkins to match the cake and managed to make a few girlfriends along the way!  haha.  When he flashes the smile, the ladies melt.

After our shopping was done, I took my sister-in-law and Big G to a painting studio for their birthdays.  We were directed on how to paint a canvas with an owl on it and it was so much fun!  2 1/2 hours later and we had some pretty awesome paintings to hang on our walls!  Big G was kind of discouraged since it was a bit difficult, but she perked up when I told her that we were going to trade paintings...she will hang mine on her bedroom wall, and I will hang hers on mine!  That made her happy!  I love her artwork and everything about her.

It has been the perfect day and I have enjoyed every minute of it!  We ended our night with some playtime at McDonald's with some awesome friends... and then we took a trip to Wal-mart after the kiddos were tucked into bed for the night.  We are zonked!  Tomorrow is Big G's birthday and we will be having some awesome family time.  Looking forward to it!

Love and Hugs!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Important Signature...

On this day, 1 year ago, we finally received something that we were desperate for... something that was needed in order to give our son his freedom and a family...

Griffin's birth mother finally signed away all of her rights so that he could be adopted.

She wasn't able to care for him but she didn't want him to be adopted.

She didn't visit him or provide for any of his needs.

I'm not sure why she didn't want him to be adopted for so long... but I'm glad that she finally realized that he needed a family.

I'm so thankful that she gave birth to him...that she carried him to term.  She gave him a chance, even though it didn't always seem like that to us.

I'm grateful that she finally signed the one piece of paper that released him from the bondage of that orphanage.

I'm sending a photo book to his orphanage with some great photos of Griffin doing what he does best... playing, going to school, loving on his family, enjoying the sunshine, riding his tricycle...and I hope that one day she can see how amazing he is... and find comfort in knowing that he has a family who loves and treasures him.

For our view of that day, click here.

Love and Hugs!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Endoscopy Tomorrow (Thursday) and IEP Meeting Today

So it's that time of year again...time to get retested for Celiac Disease.  We took him to the GI doctor last week and she believes that he has Celiac we are hoping for a solid answer.  Please pray that he does well with the anesthesia, recovery, and results!  

Today was Griffin's IEP meeting to discuss his goals for next year.  It went really well and I'm pleased with the goals that are set for him.  His teacher is awesome and seems to have great insight into who Griffin is and feels that he is a very intelligent little guy!  I have to agree!  :-D

Griffin's teacher shared some of the things that he is doing in the classroom and I'm amazed, honestly.    However, some of the things that he is doing in the classroom shows markers for autism.  Griffin's behavioral specialist in Germany mentioned that he could possibly have autism but it's very hard to tell since he was an institutionalized child.  Only time will tell.  

1.  He lines up toys in the classroom.  (He's never done this at home.)
2.  He learned to raise the blinds and can keep them level by pulling and alternating both strings.  (When she told me this, I almost started crying!  He's so smart!)  She feels that he is drawn to the horizontal lines of the blinds.
3.  He's infatuated with opening and closing doors. (Nothing new here!)  She explained that it could be the lines of the doors that draws him in.
4.  Repetitive motion of opening and closing doors, drawers, cabinets, etc.  He would do this for an hour if he's not redirected into doing something else.
5.  He waves his hand in front of his face.  (His hands were his only toy in the orphanage, so this may just be something he will grow out of.)
6.  Lack of speech.  I thought he was trying to say 'banana' and 'more' several months ago, but he stopped trying to say it.  He is still relying on sign language and I'm extremely proud of him.

Some positives that go against Autism.
1.  He craves touch and attention.  Yes, he is content to lounge on the floor alone for awhile, but if a person walks into the room, he will make his way over to that person and crawl up into their lap.  He reaches out for people as they walk by.  He will pick our hands up and place them where he wants to be rubbed...he loves to have his head scratched.  
2.  He makes eye contact.  
3.  He wants to be involved.

So does he have autism?  I don't know.  I'm not ready to put that label on him without giving him more time in a loving home.  All I know is that we are crazy head over heels in love with this little dude and we will provide the very best for him!  

Well, we have to get up super early in the morning in order to get to Jackson.  Griffin's procedure is not until 10:00 and he will be so hungry!  Prayers appreciated!

Love and Hugs!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rock Star Status- Griffin's View

This is Griffin's view of May 7, 2012... one year ago.

Griffin's View-

The momma and papa came back again today!  This is starting to feel like normal and I hope they never stop playing with me!  We do the same old things when they take me outside but I don't care!  It's better than being trapped in a walker that doesn't move!

Today, the momma and papa got very excited over something that I did.  Actually, I impressed myself, too.  I don't get this opportunity often because I'm always plopped in a chair by the nanny everywhere we go... but when the momma put me in the play shed, I saw a bench that I wanted to sit on, so I did it all on my own!  I put my hands on the ground, poked my bottom up in the air and backed up until I felt the bench on the back of my legs.  Then I walked my hands up my legs until I was sitting straight up!  I didn't know that I could do that, but the momma and papa got all sorts of excited!  That made me very happy and I made a mental note to keep doing this.

In a little while, the music lady came to my groupa's play shed and the momma took me to watch.  She didn't want me to miss my music class, and I didn't either...because it's my favorite class!  As the teacher was playing, I waved my hands in the air and clapped them every now and then.  I watched as my most favorite instrument was passed from kid to kid...the tambourine...and I wanted that tambourine so badly!  After all the kids took their turn, I thought that the music lady was going to put it away, but I was surprised when she handed it over to me!  The momma was so excited and she kept saying, "Go Griffin!  Play!" So when the music started, I turned into a rock star and tore that tambourine up!  I'm really good at keeping the beat and I always impress the nannies when I do this.  The momma and papa had a very surprised look on their faces and they kept looking at each other as if to say, "can you believe this?!"  Yep, I'm really that good!  I would be even better if I got to have a turn every single time!  I didn't want the music to end and I poked my lip out really far when it did... I didn't want to give the tambourine back but the nanny took it from me... but they all clapped their hands together after my performance!  That made me feel good.  The momma said that she would buy me a tambourine one day and I like the sound of that.

When they came back for the evening visit, they let me try to close the door again!  One day, I will get that door closed.  It shouldn't be open but I'm not strong enough to close it.  I just want to help the nannies out so that they will be proud of me!  I always watch the nannies and it seems that every time a cabinet, door, or drawer is open, they immediately close it.  I've been watching them do this for 3 1/2 years so it must be the right thing to do.  It really bothers me that this door is open.  The momma and papa let me try to close it for a few minutes and then they took me to the empty play shed.  There was a box of toys in there this time!  They let me play with the whole box and I've never been able to do that before!  I thought it would be fun but it actually made me feel angry inside for some reason.  I'm not sure why.  I would pick up a toy and it would make me mad, so I would throw it... then I would pick up another, and I couldn't help it, but I would get mad again!  I don't understand these feelings at all.  I think I confused the momma and papa, too...because they were trying to figure out what the problem was.  They kept picking up the toys that I was throwing and tried to show me how to use them.  It was just too much.  I was getting overloaded with too many words and too many toys at one time so I just tried to disappear behind my fingers.  Then the papa started tickling me and I was happy again.  It seems that these people are really understanding me much better than I understand me, sometimes.  That makes me feel very special.

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Momma Met My Girlfriends- Griffin's view

Griffin's View of May 4, 2012-

Griffin's View-

I don't feel good today.  My eyes and nose are sick. The momma kept fussing over my eyes and saying how red and swollen they are... and they kept acting like the nanny, as they tried to rip my nose off of my face!  I have to turn my head from side to side so that it will stay on my face!  They kept trying to make me happy, too, but I just wasn't feeling it.  Actually, the momma doesn't look like she's feeling too good either.  I know how she feels.

They tried to let me do the things they know I love to swing and play...but finally they put me in the play shed and gave me the mysterious bag of toys that the momma hides in her purse.  She gave me the whole bag!!!  I dumped all of it out and found a machina, that they call a car, a book with a strange looking mouse, called Mickey or something like that, a flat balloon, a toy phone, a ball, some I got rid of all of those and played with the bag!  It was awesome!!  I wadded it up and started scrubbing the whole play shed.  I figured that the momma and papa would appreciate this since I see the nannies always scrubbing things.  They let me scrub for a very long time!  I have waited so long to be able to do this but I never have anything to scrub with.

They also strapped me into the stroller and pushed me around the building.  I really didn't know what to think about this but once they gave me my giraffe meat, I relaxed and enjoyed myself.  I enjoyed feeling the wind in my face because it felt good.  As we passed by the play shed, the momma noticed that the music lady was about to start playing music, so they took me over to the nanny and asked if I could join them.  I think the nanny thought the momma wanted to end our visit because they soon walked away.  I was kind of sad to see them go, but the nanny gave me a tambourine so I was happy again.  I'm a rock star on the tambourine.  I wish the momma and papa could have seen me!

I was so glad to see the momma and papa later on that day.  Since I wasn't so happy today, I was afraid that they wouldn't come back to see me.  This was a good surprise!  They took me down the hallway and then they did something very fun!  They let me play with the door that I've always wanted to touch.  It was propped open and it should be closed!  So they let me push and pull with all my might and I couldn't get it to move.  I started to get mad so they took me to the swing.  I'm not sleeping good at night and I don't feel good in my eyes.  The new groupa has new sounds that scare me at night...If I don't go to sleep, the nanny will come in and shine a flashlight on me and I will get in trouble.  So I can't cry out for help.  I have to hide behind my fingers so that I will disappear... and wait for the sun to go up in the sky.  Sometimes that takes a very long time.

While they were pushing me in the swing, my two girlfriends found me!  They have pretty red hair and they both like to scream out, "Nazar!", so that I will look at them.  They like to come over to me when they see me and I wish that the nannies would let me go with them.  I'm always stuck in a walker every time they come to see me.  The two girlfriends saw the momma's purse and they tried to take her things out of it!  It was funny but my face hurt too much to laugh.  The momma kept saying that she wishes she could take them home, too.  What does "home, too" mean?  I watched my girlfriends until I drifted off to sleep.  My eyes were just so heavy and I couldn't keep them open any longer.

After I woke up, I felt like taking a walk, so we made some circles around the orphanage.  My mind kept racing about why these people were really here to see me every single day.  What were they doing?  I like that they come to see me but it just doesn't make sense to me.  I'm not going to complain because I do like to go outside every single day.

When our time was up, they took me back to my room.  I really didn't want to say paka (bye) yet, but my stomach was starting to talk and I knew that dinner time was about to happen.  That makes saying paka much easier.  Something funny happened, though!  The nanny told the momma and papa to come inside our room!  The nanny put me in the big play pen and told the momma and papa to stay and watch.  They looked very confused, like they didn't know what the nanny was saying, but they did the right thing.  I stood up and made my way to them so that I could be as close to them as possible.  That seemed to make them happy, so I threw my leg up over the side so that I could try to climb out!  They laughed at me and tasted my head.  That's so weird.  I'm beginning to think that they aren't really trying to eat me, but it means something good...strange, but good.  Soon the nanny came back and they had to say their pakas.  I feel pretty positive that they will be back tomorrow!

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Candy Lady! Griffin's View

Sorry for the delay in posts!  We have been having internet issues.

Here is Griffin's view of May 2, 2012-

Yesterday was such a scary day because I had to leave my favorite nanny and friends and move to a new room.  I tried to be really when I got scared, I would just cover my eyes up and disappear.  It helps when I do that.  I wondered if this move would mean that the nice people who visit me twice a day would try to visit another kid from my old room instead of me, but they came back for ME!  They found me in the other room and still took me outside.  I didn't know if the other nannies would allow it but they seemed fine with me going with them.  I'm starting to really look forward to these visits because they make me feel special.  I wonder why the other kids don't have a momma and papa people to visit them, too.  It kind of doesn't seem fair... But I remember a long time ago, another little boy named Vlad, who was just like me, had people visiting him and then he disappeared one day.  I wonder if I will disappear, too.  That kind of makes me nervous but these people are nice, so I think I will be fine!

When the momma and papa came to get me this morning, the momma sounded different.  She sounded like she was all stuffed up, like how I get sometimes.  So the papa took me, and the momma said something about blowing her nose.  So he took me outside to wait for her.  As we passed by the kitchen, I smelled my yuckiest meal ever!  LIVER.  GROSS.  I don't like liver very much but I always have to eat it so that my stomach will be quiet.  My tummy will talk when it gets hungry and it doesn't make me feel too good.    When we made it outside, two other little kids walked up to the papa and held his hand.  He still carried me but I didn't really like these other two kids pulling on this papa.  I'm starting to feel like he belongs to me, only, and I don't really like to share him.  Is he going to keep those two with us the whole time?  He led them to the play shed and dropped them off.  I was relieved because he kept me with him.

We played and had a great time!  I really didn't want them to leave but they promised they would be back for the evening visit.  I was looking forward to that!

I was so excited to hear the buzzer after dinner today because I knew that it was the momma and papa!  They waited in the office for me and just before they were about to take me out, the doctor candy lady gave the momma a piece of candy to give to me!  I was so excited!  I kept staring at that candy over and over again and it made my mouth water.  I kept having to push down my excitement because I didn't want them to see me act that way, but it was so hard to do!

When we got outside, the momma opened up the candy and I got so excited.  She put a piece of it in my mouth and then she let out a shriek!  Oops!  I tried to eat her finger, too!  She should be more careful!  She kept feeding the candy to me and when it was over, I got really mad.  I cried a lot.  I don't like it when my food goes away.  I was pretty grumpy after that.  The momma suggested that we go to the swing and that cheered me up a little bit.  She had to wipe the seat clean with her hand and then she let out another shriek!  She held her hand up and it looked like poopka, but it wasn't me!!  I have my diaper on.  She said that it was bird poopka and then ran inside to wash her hands.  The papa cleaned it up and let me swing, so that made me a little happier.  The doctor candy lady kept coming around and every time I would see her, I would think of candy and how bad I wanted more.  She kept making me very upset because I wanted more.  I didn't like acting this way because I could tell that it made the momma and papa worry about me but I just couldn't help it.  I have to act this way if I want food.  Everyone acts this way.  The louder I am, the more food I get.  I have to be louder than the person beside me.  I will try to do better.

The momma and papa held me even tighter today and promised me that I would have lots to eat one day.  I like the sound of that.   They also said something about a new name...that I would be called Griffin Nathaniel... I like the sound of that, too!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Love and Hugs!!