“Chicken Bells, Chicken Bells, Chicken all the way….

The Christmas Spirit is alive and well at our home this year!  It is truly is a magical time to experience Ian’s first Christmas with us!  He is like a kid in a candy store all the time  and everything is new and exciting for him!  He can’t wait for Christmas!  He likes to listen to the music of the season, but, I have to say, when he sings “Jingle Bells”,  for some reason, it sounds like “chicken bells” to me – it cracks me up (hence the odd title)!!  Everything is a possiblity to him, and he wants everything, and wants to do everthing (including every sport known).  We will start with Upward Basketball in January and see how that goes.  Since Ian is athletic, outgoing and competitve, I think it will go well.  Most everyone will tell you that there isn’t anything shy or reserved about him.  He is doing great in school – he is on level for second grade math, and gets special help with language.  We have just been blown away by how well he speaks, and he understands most everything.  He has made many friends at schools and at Indian Guides.  The sad part is that he has lost his native language.   We recently skyped with his former home  on his “Ukrainian Birthday” and he had a hard time understanding.  But, his friends came and sang Happy Birthday to him, first in English, and then in Ukraine.  It was so sweet.  It was great to see some of the kids again that we spent so much time with over the summer in Ukraine.  

Ian at the Christmas Parade

To back up a bit, we had a family reunion with my husband’s side of the family at THanksgiving.  it was awesome for Ian to finally meet most all his aunts and uncles and cousins – there were 31 of us there!  Albeit, it was chaotic at times, entrenched with family dynamics, but Ian had a blast getting lots of attention and babying from his cousins!

Ian with some of his cousins in Duck over Thanksgiving

Ian getting a haircut from his cousin Reagan over Thanksgiving

As far as attachment issues go, Ian is more on the clingy side of things which is sometimes hard (but better than having emotional distance issues).  He seperates well to go to school, but at home, I cannot leave his sight before he is  asking where I am, where I’m going, and sometimes litterally hanging on my body! It feels a bit like having a toddler at home again!   When I’m trying to manage a household, get dinner going, help 3 other kids with homework and get them to where they need to go, and work part-time, it’s very frustrating at times.  I find myself getting annoyed a lot, which I feel badly about.  He is high maintenance and sometimes I can’t figure out  how much is  part personality, part adjustment, part issues becuase of what he has experienced in life.  It’s a toughie.  I’ve noticed that he tends to dominate the household environment and has a hard time sharing my attentions.  If I’m having an intent conversation with another child, he will inevibly be in the background with a distracting behavior or talking loudly.  I think these are all normal issues (and really pretty minor compared to what the possbilites are), but sometimes I feel like I’m muttling through the dark figuring out how to parent all the changing dynamics at home right now!  On the upside, Ian and his brother have really started to bond well – engaging in imaginative play activies and looking out for one another.  It’s obvious that Ian really looks up to his big brother and it is a real answer to prayer  because Ayden was my one child that I worried the most about in terms of bonding and transition.  He is a kid that likes his space and he has had to sacrifice that – along with sharing his room, toys, and mommie’s time.

 Ayden and Ian going out for Halloween together

We’ve been reading a book together as a family called Castaway Kid by R.B. Mitchell.  IT’s about a kid that grows up in an American orphanage, and his life story (non-fiction).  While Ian really hasn’t been able to follow along, it’s been impactful on my other kids and eye opening about what it might be like to grow up longing for a family.  It has been helpful for me.  I tend to get caught up in the day to day struggles, feeling frequently overwhelmed, and forget to step back and  reflect on the big picture – to remember that God had clearly chosen us as Ian’s family,  to reflect on the blessings and joy he brings, to remember that, if he were not with us now, he would have likely already been transferred to a horrible institution and lost any hope of ever having a family.  So, in the middle of chaos and the daily tattle-telling I am trying to thank God for every minute of it.

Even though I’m not faithful about keeping the blog updated, I know that many of you  still faithfully pray and think of us often.  It means a lot and many Christmas blessing to you and your families!


Ayden, Ian and Annalise with Santa

The 6fishies discovering history at the Lost Colony museum in NC

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13 Responses to “Chicken Bells, Chicken Bells, Chicken all the way….

  1. Amy says:

    Glad to hear he is adjusting to his new family.Yes I know it must be overwhelming at times but as long as we are here there will be trials.You handle it well I’m sure we tend to over think things when it comes to ourselves.I’m sure once he realizes he is secure and learns his boundries he will settle into the dynamics better.Just gotta remember he has not grown with the family over the years so he does not have the same security yet.It’ll come and everything will fall into place.Hope your family has the Merriest of Christmas! Warm Blessings!~Amy

  2. brenda says:

    Boy he really came home at a great time! Halloween, Christmas….wow! I can imagine getting frustrated but you are right–it takes some perspective of what could be right now. And yes, I suppose it could be worse. But still, I can imagine how hard it is. From an outside point of view, it seems like things are going great. He sure is a cutie and your other children are just beautiful/handsome. You are very blessed! Have a great Christmas!

  3. Jan says:

    Thanks for the update! It is so fun to see him in his forever family! I’ll continue to pray for you and your family! Merry Christmas!

  4. Rob Mitchell says:

    I am the author of Castaway Kid. I am Robby.
    Thank you for loving a child not born of your womb but born of your heart.

    If you have time, please find emotionally powerful emails from around the world of wounded people finding Hope at http://www.castawaykid.com/

    I celebrate your journey.

    In Hope,

  5. Laurie Mc says:

    Thanks so much for the update! I know yall are busy, but it’s so nice to hear how all of you are doing, especially here at Christmas. Still praying! Sounds like everyone is doing great with the transition. Thanks again for updating us!

  6. Diane says:

    I love reading your update! It has been exciting to follow your journey. Glad things are going well overall. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Pam says:

    Thank you so much for the update! It’s wonderful to know how well Ian is doing and how well you are doing as a family. Being a wife-mother-worker-friend can be so demanding – but know you’re doing a truly amazing job (and God’s work!). So very happy for all of you. May all of the blessings of Christmas be with you and your family now and always!

  8. annie says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your fishy family! Been following along since the adoption journey, and I’m so blessed by your blog. Ian seems like quite a treasure! God bless.

  9. Michelle says:

    So happy to see how well your family is doing! May God continue to bless you greatly.

    (I’ve been following your story from Adeye’s blog.)

  10. queenbbb says:

    Have missed your updates. Hope all is well. Blessings in abundance.

  11. Debbie says:

    Ya have for sure missed your updates, I’m sure your so busy!

  12. Jenny says:

    Update PLEASE???? Hope all is well.

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