Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First Easter

Hollis hunted for eggs and loved opening them to find what was inside. We put crackers in them as to avoid sugar overload. 

Hollis also got to kick the soccer ball around with a couple new friends and he had such a great time. I'm thinking soccer team is definitely in his future. 

All day we kept pinching ourselves at how blessed we are to call Hollis our son. We look forward to many more Easters. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Home 4 Months!

Hollis fits right into our family. He's growing in all aspects. He's now a good several inches taller than his sister and he's starting to speak some words. 

I never know when I'll be interrupted while attempting to blog so I'll upload a few photos while I can. 

Hollis got several musical instruments for Christmas and spends 10 seconds to 1 minute at a time playing them. Life is busy for a 2 year. 

We visited family during the holidays and he loved coloring with his aunt. 

And finally potty training! This little guy seems to pick up everything so quickly. Our method is watching for his signal which his putting his little legs together. Then we quickly put him on the potty chair. This will be a work in progress for a while but he's come so far. 

Being the mother to Hollis is such a blessing. When we were going through the adoption process I kept thinking of it as adopting a child with special needs, but to be honest his "special need" of limb difference has zero impact on our day to day life.  The hardest thing has been adapting to have two children instead of one and forming a bond. 

I highly encourage you to look at the children on Reece's Rainbow.org to see if there's a little one that would fit into your family. Hollis had nothing where he came from and now he has the love of a family and a limitless future. We are so blessed. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Month Home

Where has the time gone?  Things have been busy around here with Dr.'s appointments, bonding, in home therapy, and just living. Every health care professional that we meet is just stunned at how well Hollis is doing. For only hearing English for one month, he understands a lot. 

Hollis can say- bye-bye, hi, uh-oh, mama, dada, and papa. He tries very hard to repeat a lot of words but we'll need to practice some more. 

Hollis can sign- more please, up please, thank you, eat, and drink.  

We went to the grocery store today and when I put the milk in the cart, Hollis signed "drink". I was so proud of him.  

Good bye orphanage hair.  Hollis also had his first real hair cut. I would have taken a photo as it was happening except I was the one holding him. We was anxious until they gave him a sucker. That will be a special treat just for haircuts. 

The kids love playing at their table. We had just set it up and asked Hollis to do something. Before he walked away, he pushed his chair in. I don't know where he learned it, but I like it. 

Also another adventure for the whole family, we went to a restaurant...gasp! I can't remember the last time we did this. It wasn't a special occasion, just felt like we needed to get out of our bubble. Everyone had a good time. And Hollis drank from a real cup (not a sippy cup) which was a first. 

Our little guy signing "more" and smiling for the camera. He's not a picky eater. He eats plates of broccoli I put in front of him and carrots, or veggie patties. And he'll guzzle warm milk like nobody's business. 

We work on building our relationship with each other everyday, it will be a while before he understands family dynamic. Most days are good, but there are some challenging ones too. Believe it or not, I only share a fraction of everything that goes on in our lives. Coming from an orphanage will take years to overcome. Hollis is a sweet boy with a sweet heart and I'm so glad he's ours. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Corn On the Cob & Other Angels

Our house has been busy lately. Hollis is learning more and more each day. We still have our trials, the meltdowns, and the frustrations. But we're doing our best. 

I'm so impressed with how determined Hollis is when he wants something. He never let's his hands/arms hold him back. 

The other night at dinner he was eyeballing my corn on the cob. I made him his own and he loved it. 

He would not let me take it away until every last kernel had been eaten. (See photo below).

He is also using sign language more often.  He can sign- please, more, eat, drink, & up please.

Hollis has a difficult time accepting when meal time is over. Even when he's had plenty to eat. So we're working on that transition. 

At bath time tonight he only fussed when I took him out of the tub. That is HUGE progress.  He's been home 3 weeks and he's not screaming and shaking like he did when we first got him out of the orphanage. 

I'm so happy when I see how much potential Hollis has. He just needed someone to take a chance on him.  

And my heart aches for all the little ones left behind in his orphanage.  We met about five little kids available for adoption at his orphanage. There was an 18 month old girl who melted our hearts. She is so tiny and had the biggest smile.  She would blend right in with any family. 

Another little boy we met was about 2 years old and confined to a crib 24/7 because he couldn't walk. He reminds me so much of our Hollis with his big eyes and sweet demeanor. 

They are both listed on Reece's Rainbow as "Billie" and "Tavin".  They need their happy ending too. 

I will be posting soon about our visit to Shriner's hospital. Hollis had his evaluation and we have a diagnosis. 

Until then, pray more children have families that say "Yes!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bath is Less Scary

Hollis has been home 2 weeks now. We are all still adjusting but each day gets slightly better. There are less tantrums and more hugs. 

One big event that happened this evening was during what would normally be dreaded bath time. 
He can see it coming a mile away. He clings to my leg as I run the water. The tears start flowing as I undress him. And the screaming and uncontrollable shaking happens when I put him in the bathtub. 

We let him watch his little sister enjoy her bath time first so that he sees it can be fun. We touch water to his hands. Hollis is curious and will giggle along with Leenie when something silly happens. But watch out when it's his turn. Something comes over him, memories from his former life in the orphanage. 

I imagine his baths used to be quick, probably not too gentle and overall traumatic. When you have 16 babies to wash, it's not all bubbles and rubber duckies. 

I've noticed each time we've given Hollis a bath, he's starting to relax a little more.  I honestly thought it would be months before we were at this point. And maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I see progress. Last night he giggled while I washed him and dropped plastic fish in the water! 

And tonight he took a bath without crying or screaming. He fussed a little but that is nothing compared to what it was a few weeks ago. I'm so proud of him. 

My little man. 

After bath we walked into his room and he laid on the blanket and was ready to get dressed and have his coconut oil put on his face. He knows the routine. Afterwards we rock and sing and he's asleep. 

It's evenings like tonight that I'm so glad we chose Hollis aka Copeland. I'm glad we listened to God when adoption was laid on our hearts. I don't know how much longer Hollis would have had to wait. But I feel he was meant to be ours. 

We are forever grateful to all the people that helped us bring him home by donating while we were fundraising. Thank you. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Early Intervention

Yesterday was another big day for Hollis, he had his first appointment here in America.  One of the services we were hoping he qualified for was Early Intervention. Early childhood intervention is a support system for children with developmental disabilities or delays and their families. 

Because Hollis has been in an orphanage his entire life, he is behind in several areas. It's not his hands and arms that hold him back, it's been the lack of opportunity and guidance. He hasn't been given the chance to drink from anything other than a bottle, much less hold one.  

We weren't able to get him in for an evaluation for several weeks but they called and had a cancelation that afternoon. I fed the kids and rushed out the door to make it in time. The evaluation was 2 hours long with several people sitting in. 

I felt very comfortable the entire time and Hollis did too. They gave Hollis toys and tasks and observed how he did. They evaluated him in several areas and then gave us the results at the end. He was evaluated in expressive language, articulation, cognitive, social, adaptive, fine motor, & gross motor. 

Hollis has been picking things up very well since being home but I'm not educated on how best to help him catch up to where a typically developing 2 year old should be. I found early intervention so pleasant because I wasn't being bombarded with advice as I told them my concerns. They asked what my goals would be for Hollis in the next 6 months and 1 year. I'd love for him to learn how to self feed, speak, and dress himself. 

I found out that he qualifies for once a month in home visits for free!

I am so excited to see Hollis learn new things and for myself to learn the necessary tools to help him too.  This is such a blessing. I wish more people knew about if for their children. It was so easy to set up and do. 

I am a proud mom for sure. Isn't he just the cutest? He's afraid he's getting a bath, that's why he's so close to me. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

He Signs

Today at lunch Hollis was making a fussing noise every time he wanted another bite. He's not speaking yet so most of his communication is whimpering, fussing, or some cases screaming. The screaming has lessened A LOT. 

He can say words like "mama, papa, dada". He doesn't necessarily call us by those names but walks around saying them. 

Back to the story, I don't want Hollis to think that's how he gets what he wants, by fussing. So before each bite, I'd say "more?" and sign it.  After about 2 minutes, he would make the sign for more and soon after started saying "moe" at the same time!

I can't believe this is the same little boy who spent the entire 2 years of his life in an orphanage. He's only been home 8 days and he's signing.  He has come so far in such a short period of time. 

Here he is signing "more".