Monday, December 13, 2010

Back at it

Yes we are

Sunday, March 7, 2010

jake pics


YUMMY Cheezy Poofs

Thursday, March 4, 2010

it has been too long!

Hey everyone!

a quick update and some photos. I write you bleeding from my face and arms where Jacob (Milos) has decided to inflict pain. That said, he is really doing MUCH better.

Suggestions from Mary's online friends and our psychologist here have helped make a BIG difference.

Jake lets us play with him, kiss him and snuggle without inflicting serious pain on us (usually). He likes Mary to swaddle him and rock him and this usually calms him down.

Between his issues and regression in Joey, Mary has had to go back on family leave and I am afraid she will need to quit her job as staff nurse at a local agency that cares for adults with disabilities. That will make the budget really tight but there really is no other option.

There are so many things we did not expect with Milos--- We were not told the truth about his status-- but that said, it does not matter-- even if we knew the truth we would still have decided to bring him into our family. Our other international adoptions were perfect-- the kids were exactly what we expected (or more).

Something is up in Serbia and we would urge anyone planning an adoption from there to be aware that what you are told many not be quite true. These kids are neglected - the orphanages have the money but not the love or supervision.

Our kids from Ukraine, where there was NO money, had love. These poor kids in Belgrade have nothing.

please pray for these kids---

They need it

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SORRY it has been so long

Jake is HOME!!!

He was back in the hospital over the weekend for another bleeder, but is doing fine now. He seems to love school and they seem to love him-- SUCH a change from the local district where Joey goes-- It is all they can do to deal with him each day. That is a WHOLE different blog- and/or lawsuit-

Mary is also back to work as cash flow was getting pretty ugly-- so a day is:

Jake is up with Mom (thanks)-- it's been in the 6-7am range
7am I'm up with the other boys
Joey and Matt bath and shower
Cook Breakfast(we are on a BIG breakfast kick with hash browns, sausage, eggs and toast)
Em or Catie up to help with Jake
Mary to work at 7:30
8a Joey's bus
Some "Monkey George" with Jake-- Matt catches up on scores with sportscenter in his room
8:30 Bus for Matt and Jake
School for James
Work for me
Break for groceries and any other household needs around 10a
back to work for me and james
Matt and Jake off Bus at 3:30, Joey at 4
If I was smart, dinner was done before they got home--- if not---- YIKES-- cook and keep Jake safe!!

So far so good----

I have video on my phone and on the camera but no connection on this computer--- arrrgh hopefully tomorrow

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quick update

Milos (jake) is feeling better--- but his O2 levels are still very low at night. They are doing some testing tonight and tomorrow to see if he indeed does have a vascular ring. I am really hoping that is the problem-- it is a pretty easy surgery and once completed the symptoms go away at once.

Will keep you posted!


Friday, January 22, 2010

say Ahhhhhhhhhh

WOW --- where to start---

Milos (Jake) went into the hospital on Tuesday to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. We figured he would be in overnight but did not NOT expect what was next!

His oxygen levels kept going down when he slept (something we assumed based on his breathing at night in the crib next to us)-- so he needed to stay another night--fine-- the next day while Milos and Mary are strolling the halls at the hospital he starts bleeding from the mouth-- A LOT-- They rushed him into the exam room and determined he has a bleeder that they cannot stop-

Milos was rushed into surgery to stop the blood loss. In 30 minutes he lost 25% of his blood--- were we at home he would have bled out and died-- Thank God for the low sats and the extended hospital stay-- it saved his life!

Today he is feeling better but the docs think he has an abnormality in his aorta that is causing him to have trouble breathing and eating---

They would like to wait until he heals to do the tests to confirm, but if his O2 levels do not improve they may need to do it now.

Milos is out of immediate danger, but had a lot ahead of him--

Please keep him in your prayers--- I can't help but think with his limited English that this little guy has to wonder what the heck we are doing to him-- and why--

I trust that one day he will understand and appreciate the love and care---but right now we just want to make him safe and comfortable

Saturday, January 16, 2010


PICS are coming soon--

We learned today how we communicate with little Milos--- before we do anything we always ask "ready?" -- a fact we did not know.

Today he replied "ready!" when we asked---

WOW-- remember this is a kid who does not speak in Serbian OR English-- but today clear as can be he replied that he was "ready"

You would think the first word would be mama, papa or (as much as we have been saying it-- "NO"-- bit rather it is "ready"!

"ready" to play ball. "ready" to eat, "ready" to get down, "ready" to play.

Milos/jake is "ready" for whatever is coming his way!--in English


Monday, January 4, 2010

Serbia tips

I was asked today about tips for Serbia--- after a lot of thought here you go:

- Walk or take public transport everywhere (unless you have your child with you) trams and buses are cheap and easy-- Buy tickets for 42 Dinar per piece in books of 10 or 20 at almost any kiosk (most folks speak English) and ride at will. Be sure to punch your ticket when you get on the bus or tram. If it is crowded, just squeeze in-- it is expected.

-Exchange your money into Euros at your connecting point if you can-- Ask your bank if they can "up your limit" and get 5k in Euro at the ATM-- We actually paid for our trip to Germany for 2 days based on the savings from changing money at a bank in Munich vs in the US or in Serbia.

For Dinar, get your money at an ATM in Belgrade-- We usually took out 20,000 at a time (about $320USD) but you could double that to lower service charges

we did NOT use credit cards at all other than one meal-- many places took them, but we felt better with cash-- remember 60 Dinar make a Dollar!

While you are at it, make sure your bank and credit card people know you are in Serbia--- they may see odd activity there and suspend your account--uncool!

Take a laptop (or 2) Hopefully your apartment has free wi fi as ours did-- if not, McDonalds on Slavia square does.


Food in Serbia is quite good and quite like in the US (as long as you like grilled meat)-- Eat at "sport" by the orphanage bus stop--great grilled meats, goulash and salads (Mary liked the Serbska salad) The menu is in English

You get the same menu and prices regardless of the meal time--- so lunch and dinner cost the same--

"american food" can be found--
McDonalds at Slavia Square and at the pedestrian mall-- it's a bit expensive but for clean restrooms you can't beat it
Pizza Hut is adjacent to Radio Belgrade (but a better pizza place is down a block--- Jasna or Jasmina can show you)
There is a cool little Mexican place called "burrito bar" at the corner of Belgrade Street and (i think) Alexandar Blvd--- it is where the #10 tram turns-- there is also a good Chinese place right there (up Belgrade street about 1/2 block)
There is a Burger King and KFC but we did not find them.

Look for Donner kebap-- it is like a gyro-- yummy and safe-- you can have it on a fresh bun or a home-made tortilla. Serbia is known for their very LARGE, street food, hamburgers. We got one near Slavia (just up from the Maples' place) It was terrible--we got a couple of others that were great. very cheap--- trial and error

Grocery stores look TINY but they have what you need. "Mini Maxi" is the cheapest. They take Dinar or Credit-- everything is safe to eat-- fear not.

if you take the #10 tram away from the orphanage you will arrive at the "fresh market". Things are much cheaper there and you can feel free to bargain-- it's fun-- don't be shy.

Non food--- in Serbia, as in most of Europe, there are Apotek ( for prescription drugs) and other stores for stuff you would find at a "drug store" in the US. The best choice for hygiene, grooming and baby stuff in Belgrade is the "Lilly" store. Expensive, but very western.

See the sights!

We did not get to the fortress because the weather was so bad but try to--- it is supposed to be amazing
Basketball is HUGE in Serbia- if you like college ball you should go to a game-- there will be some Americans playing.
Theatre is also very good, but we are not fans--
Walk the pedestrian zone-- don't buy anything-- too pricey but a nice walk
The Sava and the Danube rivers join in Belgrade-- there are boat trips and a wonderful Island/amusment park to tour if you get a sunny day
EXPLORE-- the city is totally safe (other than pickpockets and the like). Don't be afraid to take the tram to "wherever" and hop off and explore

Adoption Stuff
Take a Cheapo stroller-- you will not be sorry! if you do not need it you can leave it behind--the orphanage staff will use it
take toys to play with your new child-- but assume they are HALF of their chronological age when considering what to take
Be careful of "add-ons" from your facilitator. They may want 60 euro to get to and from the airport when a cab would have been 10 total.
If you have to travel to the birth-town consider renting a car (get your IDP before you go)You could be charged 250 euro-- you can rent a car and pay for gas for less than 50
take snacks for your child-- Milos really liked pudding and bananas
if you play tennis there is a nice tennis "bubble" right next to the orphanage
ask to walk the grounds-- even it it is cold it is better than being in the "cell" (we spent a BUNCH of time in the lobby with Milos-- fun to explore plus yummy hot drinks out of the machine!)

Other stuff

Cram and learn the alphabet-- I kinda know it -- Mary has it down pat-- it will REALLY help you to get around
Learn "nice words" Thank you "hvala", please/ you're welcome "mollim" and how to count to 3 (ya never know when you might need some donuts!!)
(if it is important to you)-- scope out a church. It was very comforting for us to have an English speaking Catholic Church that we could attend every Sunday while in Belgrade
have a local phone-- your apartment guy should provide you with one at no cost-- you only pay for minutes

RELAX-- this is a wonderful journey. you will have time together with you husband that you rarely have. enjoy each other-- it will not be long till the chaos of reality comes crashing down!