Faith to Move a Mountain

In November of 2011, I started this blog as a sort of journal to chronicle the events of our son Quinton's adoption. Quinton is a little boy who was born with an extra special something. Quinton has down syndrome and was given up at birth by his parents because he has down syndrome. His birth parents must not have had any idea what a blessing he would be or I am sure they would not have given him up. Unfortunately in Eastern Europe (Quinton is from Ukraine) people with disabilities are not accepted in society and at the age of 4-6, they are sent to adult mental institutions where most of them die :( Although it breaks my heart that his parents have missed out on such a joyful little boy, God has used this unfortunate situation to bless us with a gift greater than I could have ever imagined: the gift of our first child. If you ever considered adoption-do it! Don't let money deter you. God provided over $20,000 for us to adopt Quinton. We were not fully funded until 50 minutes before we boarded our plane to Ukraine. If you have never considered adoption, go back to the beginning of this blog and read. You will see what a blessing adoption really is. Many people tell us that we are angels for rescuing Quinton, but the honest truth is this: Quinton has given me far more that I will ever be able to give him. He is my little miracle, my silly bug, my baby boy, my love. HE IS MY LIFE!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update

Wow! You all are amazing. I cannot believe the responses we have had to our blog. So many people have come up to me and asked if we are going to continue blogging. No wonder things went so smoothly for us. There were friends of friends of friends following our journey and praying for us. We cannot thank you all enough. I will continue to update the blog for sure. Your comments served as a constant source of encouragement when we were anxious, frustrated, and homesick. Your prayers are what helped us through.

Quinton is absolutely coming alive! He is thriving before our very eyes. I don't know what all to say-words just can't describe the joy he had brought to us. His smile lights up the room. It is so special to rock him to sleep at night and to be greeted in the morning with a huge grin. There is really nothing better. He loves the bathtub, rattles, and anything that makes noise. He loves having a mommy and a daddy and a family and friends. He is sitting up on his own now like it's no big deal even though just a few weeks ago he needed help holding his head up. He is not crawling yet but does a great inchworm scoot and is now getting up on all 4's. I think he will be crawling before we know it. It is so fun to see him transform. We have 18 days before I have to return to work and I plan on soaking up every moment with him that I can. Here are some pictures from the past few days. They're not in order and I'm too tired to fix them...sorry ;)








Saturday, July 30, 2011

We Are Alive ;)

We had a very long trip home, but we made it and Quinton flew like a champ. Aside from this stomach bug I picked up, we are all doing very well. We are exhausted and still trying to get adjusted to a time change. How do you convince a baby that regardless of what his body thinks, it is not time for bed? Oh well. We will get there.

We were so blessed to have been greeted at the airport by lots of friends and family who even waited around for almost 2 hours after our flight to get out of customs to welcome us home! Thank you all so much. It was so special.

Quinton is doing fantastic. He has changed so much from the first time we met him almost 2 months ago. He is sitting up on his own, bearing weight on his legs, and interacting and smiling all the time. He is loving having a mommy and a daddy and I am sure if he could talk he too, would thank you all for your love and support. We could not have gotten him home without you all.

It is 3:00 am here so I am not going to wake Brian up for him to show me how to get pictures from the camera to my Mac (the camera card won't fit and I think you need a USB cord or something), but I will try my best to have him help me upload some when he wakes up.

Well, since we are home now, our lives as a family of 2 have come to a close and an amazing journey of like as a family of 3 has now begun. We thank you all and thank God for our little boy and for our match made in heaven. We love you all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Flight Information

We are so busy packing that there's no time to blog right now. I just wanted to share our flight information as many people have asked about meeting us at the airport.

We are flying home on Lufthansa flight LH428, Munich to Charlotte, arrives at 3:25PM.
Please remember that we have to get through customs before we make it to baggage claim.


Thank you all for your support and prayers!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Heading Home

Our journey here in Ukraine is coming to an end and we are slowly but surely making our way home. Last night we took the overnight train from Quinton's region to Kiev. We arrived at 6:40 this morning, picked up another family, took them to their apartment, and went straight to our embassy appointment. After the embassy, we went to the medical clinic for Quinton's medical clearance. Everything went great. He weighs about 9 kilograms now which is close to 20 pounds and is about 29 inches tall. Tomorrow we will return to the embassy for our final appointment and interview at 2:00. We will receive Quinton's visa then we will go back to the apartment and sleep a few hours before we leave to catch our flight HOME! Thank you, Jesus! We are so ready to be home. All things considered, Quinton is doing pretty well. There is so much change for him, I can only imagine how he is feeling. It is overwhelming to us, so it has to be so hard for him. On top of it all, he is teething. I can feel his top front tooth cutting through his gums and he is not feeling too good as a result. I gave him some children't ibuprofen and it seemed to help some. I am thankful that he is sleeping now, but I am sure I will pay for it later tonight. That is when I will hand him over to Brian. He got a nice 3 and a half hour nap today so daddy is on duty tonight!

Here are some pictures of our own little Curious George... He is a cute little monkey :) He was in a room with us, playing on the floor. All of a sudden he noticed a cracked door and went for it. Every few seconds he would look back at us to see who was going to stop him. He finally made it through the doorway and looked around and then decided to come back out where all the fun was. Love him!











Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fun at the Park

Today we met Tonya at the bus stop. We rode into the city and then took a tram to a children's park nearby. It was fun to get out and go do something different. I have been stuck inside unable to truly enjoy my little boy since we got him because he was sick and then I was sick. The fresh (if you can call it that) air was nice and we had a really good time. First all 4 of us rode the paddle boats. I swear I think Quinton would have jumped out and into the (green) water if I would have let him. I asked Brian if I could just stick his toes in. He said no because Quinton puts his feet in his mouth LOL. During out boat ride, we were also thoroughly entertained by a girl in a blow up hamster ball trying to walk on the water. I had debated trying it just for funnies, but after watching her never get up off her knees, I am glad I opted not to.

After the boat ride, Tonya talked us into a few amusement park rides. Brian got on those swings that go round and round with her. I said "no way". The last time I got on those things, I was probably 7 years old and smiling so big the first few times around. The next thing you know, my face was green. I will NEVER EVER get on those again. Ask my dad. He will tell you. Next I took Quinton on a Ferris wheel. He cared absolutely nothing about it. Oh well. Can't win them all. The last thing we did was bumper cars. Tonya and I were the only ones riding. It did not take long for me to figure out that these cars go way faster and hit way harder than any bumper cars I had ever been on. It was all fun and laughter until I started going backwards and Tonya ran into me from behind and my neck cracked. I really thought for like a millisecond that I had broken my neck by the sound it made. It feels ok now, but I am dreading waking up in the morning. I don't know if I'm going to be able to move. We would have loved to have stayed longer, but our little guy was sleepy and needed his medicine so we headed back to the house.

As we were walking from the bus stop to the house, it started pouring rain. Yay! Good thing we had the stroller with us. It came with a waterproof cover so Quinton did not get wet. He took a short nap then ate dinner, took some children's benadryl (a test to see if it would help him sleep on the train and plane-it failed by the way), played for a while and then went to sleep.

We have  a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. We have to go get Quinton's passport and clean up and pack up. We leave this region tomorrow night at 10:45 and arrive in the capital on Tuesday at 7:00am. Then we have our embassy appt. at 9:00. In just a few days we will be home. I will post flight information soon so that anyone who would like to come meet us at the airport can do so. We would love to see you all! But for now, if you are planning on coming I would say maybe try to be at the Charlotte Douglas Airport by 3:00 or so. Our flight arrives at 3:25, but we have to get through customs first :P












That's all for now :) I'm not sure if I will get to post tomorrow night because we will be on at train beginning our journey home!!!!!! Goodnight :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Short and Sweet

Today was a good day for Quinton. He is feeling so much better and seems to be back to his normal happy self. I also think he is really starting to get this mom and dad thing. I feel like he is starting to understand that we are always going to be here for him and that we love him so much. He is such a good kid. He is even patient with me when it takes me 3 tries to make him something for dinner that he will actually eat. I know-some people probably think it is ridiculous to make that many meals, but we are still figuring him out and we can't have him hungry or dehydrated, so we are just feeling our way through everything. There are not many pictures today because I have been sick with a stomach bug for a few days. I think I am finally on the mends though :) We are less than a week away from home!


video
Sorry if you're tired of seeing the same things over and over again. We are tired of playing the same games over and over again too LOL.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What's In A Name?

I had someone ask in one of the comments if we ever announced Quinton's middle name. I honestly don't remember if we did on the blog or not, but we did on facebook. Sorry-I forget sometimes that we have different readers on different networks. So as most of you know, in the end we decided on the name Quinton Jonathan Miller, but I don't believe I have told the story of how we came about it.

First things first. The name Quinton came from Reece's Rainbow. The children on this site are listed with alias names. We did not realize this until we were already several steps into the process. We came to know him a Quinton and the name just stuck so we kept it. I'ts cute and the nicknames that went with it were too hard to give up.

The hard part for us was picking out a middle name. We had toyed around with Alexander, but we found out that it is a Ukrainian tradition to give each son a patriarchal name. The do this by using the father's first name followed by "ovich" (I think). We found out that Quinton's birth father's name was Alexander and we were not to fond of keeping his father's name since  he decided to give him away (thanks Mr.-your loss, our gain).  We asked for suggestions from friends for fun and got lots of great suggestions. We thought that we had plenty of time to decide, but we were wrong. We were riding in the car and Marina said "ok, I need to know the child's new name." Hmmm...we had about 5 minutes to decide. Brian pulled out his phone that had an app on it about names and meanings. I told him that I had remembered someone suggesting a name that meant "gift from God" which was perfect. He looked it up and both Matthew and Jonathan had the same meaning. So, we said it over and over again and I still could not decide so I left it up to Brian and he chose Jonathan. Just in case you missed it, later we played a joke on facebook. We explained the Ukrainian tradition and announced his name as Quinton Brianovich Miller just for laughs. (If you don't know-Brian is my husband's name). We got a few good laughs. I also toyed with the idea of announcing him as Quinton Oneless Miller (for one less orphan) and Quinton Minusone Miller (for 147 million orphans-minus one). I wanted to do them all, but in the end we went with Brianovich just because it was the most believable.

The last name was a given :)

So there you have it: Quinton Jonathan Miller

Everyday with Quinton gets a little bit better. We are learning more and more about him all the time. I am hoping that soon we will start to recognize what his signals are: when his little grunts mean his tummy hurts or when they mean he is frustrated or hungry, when his cries mean he is scared or when he just needs to be loved on or....when he is just being a booger. I am pretty sure we had a lot of the latter going on today ;) One of the toughest things is figuring out where to draw the line. He is starting to fuss more and more when he wants us or if he is not sitting facing the way he wants, or if he wants something he has dropped. I am so tempted to give into it all because for so long he has been without. I want him to know that we are here for him, but I know he will have to learn that he cannot have everything he wants. Right now we are not giving him lots of "things" we are just showering him with attention and love and I think it is making him rotten LOL!

Tonight Quinton fell asleep in my arms. Brian came in and asked me if I wanted him to lay Quinton in the crib and I told him not yet. I rocked him in my arms for what seemed like forever until my arms burned and then I sat down with  him in my lap and just thanked God for my precious little boy, for Quinton Jonathan Miller-my gift from God-my match made in heaven :)






We have tickets on the overnight train from Quinton's region to the capital. We are working on booking flights for Thursday of next week. If we get the flight we want, we will be in Charlotte at 3:25 pm! Yay!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeling Better Already :)

Quinton woke up bright and early at 4:50 this morning. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom. When I walked past his crib, he was wide awake with a huge smile on his face. As tired as I was, I just could not leave him there. He probably would have laid there quietly until someone came for him as that is what he is used to, but I need him to know that we are here for him and will come to him when he needs us. When I got him out of his crib, his diaper was only a little wet. I was worried about dehydration because yesterday he barely ate or drank anything and giving him his meds was no fun either. Today though, Brian decided that he would try and give him apple juice in a bottle. It was a last ditch effort. The only thing we had any luck with the day before was with a medicine dropper and half teaspoon at a time :( When Brian put the bottle up to his mouth, he took it. I wholeheartedly expected it all to come right back out of his mouth as soon as he realized it was liquid, but he didn't. He drank like a champ and took his meds like a champ too. I was so relieved. His fever has stayed down for the most part today and he seems a lot happier. Unfortunately, I suspect he has passed his little bug or whatever he has on to me. I have been sick to my stomach all day. Brain did a fantastic job with him while I was not feeling well. He doesn't read my blog much so I can embarrass him a little and call him out. I am so proud of him and how much he has stepped up. He is not the one who had a passion for children with special needs-that was all me, but he understood my desires and trusted me when I knew it was what God wanted for our family. He loves Quinton sooooo much. It is just heartwarming. Quinton is one blessed boy to have a daddy like Brian.

This evening, we got a call from Marina. We were hoping to have Quinton's passport by Friday so we could schedule embassy appts for Monday and Tuesday, but it will not be ready until Monday. Oh well, that will only put us a day behind. Right now the plan is to take the overnight train from Quinton's region to the capital on Monday night. Then Tuesday and Wednesday morning we will have embassy appts and hopefully fly home on Thursday!!!! As soon as the embassy confirms our appts, we will book a flight outta here! We would LOVE to have friends and family meet us at the airport :) We can't wait to see you all.

Sorry, not many pics today. I was sick and Brian was really busy with Quinton.

 Quinton enjoying his new (way overpriced) stroller-glad we sucked it up and got one though. It is really nice to have a safe place to put him. I can cook with 2 hands again :)

 Daddy's touch-drinking apple juice. Yay for hydration!

 my sweet boy laughing til he could not breathe anymore :)

 sleepy at 7:30-think again kid. I do not want to wake up before 5:00 again! (although I'd do it again in a heartbeat for him)

 The strollers here recline so Brian rigged it with an umbrella to sit up so Quinton could watch a DVD while we sat down to eat. (He says thanks, Becca for the movies :D
Quinton and mommy taking a much needed nap.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh My....

Our first full day of being parents was not as smooth as we had hoped for. Quinton slept through the night and woke up a very happy boy, but it was not long before he started acting funny. I was pretty sure he had a fever, but with it being so hot here and without a thermometer I was not sure. We called our facilitator about it. We wanted to be on the safe side because we really need Quinton well when we go to the embassy for his medical evaluation.She told us we needed to take him to the orphanage doctor and have him checked. 

Yesterday when we closed out Quinton's bank account (we return the money to the orphanage as a donation) apparently they did not give us everything so we had to go back to get the rest. From there, we were to go to the orphanage and give the money to the head dr. who would check Quinton for us. The bank would not give us the money without some kind of bank book. There was a very nice customer there who was able to translate for us. Otherwise I don't know what we would have done. (Thank you God for putting the right people in the right places at the right times to help us!) We called Marina who called the dr. She came down to the bank with the book and confirmed that Quinton indeed had a fever. He was getting hotter and hotter. I was so worried about him. Her driver was kind enough to take us to the pharmacy to get the medicine we needed and took us to see another dr. there. They took his temp. and it was 103 :( I felt so bad for him. The nurse gave him a shot in the rear (which left a nasty purple bruise) and explained to us through yet another game of charades how much and when to give which medications. His fever came down, but spiked again this afternoon. He will NOT eat and he does not drink. I am so worried about him dehydrating. We did get about 3/4 of his fever reducer in him through a bottle at his regular snack time, but that was nearly impossible. I thought that maybe he could taste the meds or just did not like what I gave him, but apparently this was not the case. He just does not feel like eating. I made him 3 different bottles for dinner, just hoping to find something he would eat. It didn't happen though. Finally we resorted to tag teaming. We had to get some fluids in him, so Brian held him and I used a medicine squirter thingy to drop apple juice in his mouth. He hated it, but at least we were gentle and didn't choke him like some people have done him. 

By the way, does anyone know how much fluids he needs to stay hydrated? Our dropper was about 1/2 tsp at a time. Any tricks or advice would be appreciated. The last thing we need is for him to have to go to the hospital :(

There were times today when he seemed to feel pretty good. We got a few laughs and smiles, but most of the day was spent trying to console a sick and scared baby. 

Brian went to the children's store and bought a stroller and some long pajamas. He is not used to the cold air and would not stay covered up last night so we thought long sleeves and pants would be a good compromise.

 Quinton in his new pj's-believe it or not, the hat was not my idea... I promise! Brian made him wear it LOL

We also gave Quinton his first bath-ever! He has always been sponge bathed. Can you imagine never having had a bath? That's just crazy to me. I love baths! He was very hesitant at first, but in the end he splashed and laughed and played. It was so sweet-until it was time to get out. The cold air hit him and he did not like it at all. He calmed down though and we got him all dried off, lotioned up, and in his new pj's. Before long, he was out. Now he is sleeping soundly in his crib and smells like the McGee girls used to :) Angie always used the pink johnson and johnson lotion on them. I was so excited to finally be able to lather Quinton in it. Mmmm-nothing better than a clean smelling baby right out of the bathtub! 



Please pray for healing for Quinton. We need him to eat tomorrow and to take his medicine and for this mommy not to cry when she does not know how to help her little boy. 

Thanks so much!

Tomorrow we should find out when we are going home!!!! (Hopefully-haha)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gotcha Day!

What a day! Words cannot accurately describe today and all of the emotions that came along with it, but I will try my best. Here goes:

The morning started early as we continued our paper chasing. We had to go to several places to drop off forms and get Quinton's passport started today. It takes 4 days so we are praying it will be ready on Friday. We will know by Thursday if it will be possible to have it by the end of this week or not. If we do get it this week, we can book train tickets to the capital, schedule our embassy appointments for Monday and Tuesday, and....are you ready for this?-book plane tickets home!!!!!!!

We picked Quinton up around 12:00 to get his passport pictures made. It was his first ride in a car and he did fabulous! He loved watching all of the people and cars go by. Poor thing though, had to leave the orphanage right at lunch time. They decided he might get car sick if he ate first, so he had to wait until almost 2:30. Despite being hungry, he was a champ. He took about a 15 minute nap or so while we were waiting and the rest of the time he was happy go lucky.

Yeah...He's riding in Brian's lap-no car seat here. Eek!

We returned him to the orphanage for lunch and a nap and went back to pick him up for good at 4:00. We took several dozen homemade cookies and banana bread along with juice boxes for the kids and necklaces for the nannies. We spent some time with them and I loved on them all one last time. It should be no surprise to any of you that I left in tears. I cried tears of sadness for the children we were leaving behind, tears for the nannies (well-the nice ones at least) who were saying goodbye for the last time, and tears of pure joy as we walked out of the orphanage and our of those gates! I was a mess. I was experiencing so many emotions at one time and it was impossible to sort them all out.


 Me, Quinton, and one of my little buddies who has a mommy on the way!

 Us and Sonya-such a sweetie. So heartbreaking to leave her behind :(

 My happy boys!

 Lovin on my Leeza Lou :) She has a mommy coming too :)

 Comical shot of the 5 of us LOL :)

On our way out of the gate!!!!!

We walked back to the house to change clothes and headed to the market to get some things for dinner. We used the baby backpack and it was HOT. We are kinda regretting not bringing our little $15 umbrella stroller with us. It was going to be too much to carry, but I wish we had. We are going to be here anther week or so and we are going to wish we had that stroller. We are considering going out and getting one, but they are expensive here. Oh, well. we shall see.

When we got home I made Quinton a bottle. It was disgusting, but he liked it. We bought some baby food puree of chicken, peas, corn, and some other stuff and had to water it down with fruit juice. Yuck! This is what he is used to though, We do not know why yet, but he refuses liquids...like downright refuses them so the only way to get them in is to mix them into whatever he is eating. It's not so bad to mix in milk with oatmeal or bananas, but fruit juice with peas and chicken? To each his own :)



After dinner, Quinton had a blast playing with some pots and a spoon. The boy loves anything that makes noise. He was pretty sleepy since he missed most of his 2 hour nap he usually takes. I thought I would just rock him to sleep and he would be out, but it turned out to be quite a challenge. Quinton has been so easy going since we met him. He took to us right away and in a whole month, we had never heard him cry. That changed tonight. He was exhausted and bless his heart. In one day we took him away from everything he knows and brought him to this strange place. We were so excited to have him here with us, but he was scared. He cried and cried. He would laugh one minute and then cry the next. He would be fine, but if one of us left the room, he would start to cry again. It broke my heart. I was in tears. Not because he wouldn't go to sleep, but because I could not make it better right away. I know that in the end, a family is what he needs, but tonight he was looking for the comfort of his routine. Instead we bombarded him with the unknown. We changed him into his Buzz Lightyear pajamas and turned the lights off. Brian put on the lullaby music and I rocked him in my arms for what seemed like forever until he went to sleep. He fell asleep in my arms and I cuddled him until my arms were numb.

goodnight munchkin! Sweet dreams :)

As I layed in bed with my baby boy I cried again. I cried tears of thankfulness to God for blessing me with such a wonderful gift and thanked him for such a magnificent and glorifying story. Now, as I sit here and type away, my son (he is really mine!) is laying in a crib in his own brand new pair of PJ's. When he wakes up in the night, I will hear his cries and pick him up. I will comfort him and I will be his rock. He has never had this before. He has only known a life where his cries are unheard. This transition to a new life may be tough for Quinton, but from now own I will hear his cries and when I do, I will come running. I love him so much!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. There is a family here in country who needs your prayers now more than ever. The Warner's have recently adopted Joshua. They took him to the embassy for his medical clearance. They were told that he had pneumonia and needed a chest x-ray. Long story short, the family is having to rule out TB now and are facing a much longer stay here (possible 6-8 weeks) or they can have a different procedure done that would produce immediate results but could jeopardize his safety. To add to this, they are out of money AND Lisa's sister just passed away unexpectedly. Please pray for them. You can check out their page if you like and leave an encouraging comment for them. I know that God can work miracles. I have seem them throughout this entire journey. The Warner's need one now!

Love you guys!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gotcha Eve!

This morning we went paper chasing to obtain all of the documents necessary to take Quinton tomorrow. Once again, Marina rocked! She is so awesome! While we were waiting for papers she told us that the court did not want to hear our case until July 18th! That's today! She had to do a ton of behind the scenes work to get our date changed. I can't go into all of the details, but she had to call on some pretty important people to make it happen. I cannot say enough nice things about her. In the end, it took about half of the day so we still made it to our evening visit. Quinton was so happy to see us. There was a pretty big thunderstorm, so we had to stay inside for our visit, but it didn't matter. We actually took him just outside to an overhang and let him feel the breeze and watch the rain. Judging by his reaction, I don't think he has ever experienced a storm before (besides hearing the thunder). It was so sweet to see his face when he felt the wind. It took his breath away the first time. He is such an angel.

We are still planning on hopefully being home around the 29th. We have to wait on Quinton's passport to be finished. In most regions you can pay an expediting fee to get it quicker. Some people even get lucky and can get it in a day. Not here, though. We will pay to expedite it in hopes of getting it in about  days instead of 2 weeks. Please pray for a speedy passport. Our friends the Williams' are in another country right now adopting their little beauty and would appreciate speedy passport prayers as well. We are so ready to be home with our little one. Thanks!

 Yesterday Brian and I took the bus to a mall. We decided to walk across the bridge to the city instead of catching the bus again. The bridge crossed the river. It was overcast and a beautiful day for a walk.

Just watch out though. the bridge isn't exactly solid. There are holes and cracks everywhere and if you look closely, you can see the river about 100ft below (I completely guessed at that, but you get the idea...it's a long way down LOL).


 Check out my flip flop tan. C'mon-you know you are jealous. It gets a little more noticeable every day LOL.

Finally-the cute stuff! 

 Meet Quinton's new friend-Dentyne Ice. He loves how it rattles when he shakes it. It literally entertained him our whole visit.

This is the only picture from today that didn't turn out very blurry, but it is so sweet. He is outside watching the thunderstorm. He was just in awe. So many firsts for our little guy...

Oh, by the way-today is Gotcha Eve! This is Quinton's last night in an orphanage! God is good!