Growing up

It has been two years since I last posted on this blog. I have received a few emails from people interested in Ukrainian adoptions and am glad that it has helped a few families, just like other authors helped us with exploring the possibilities of a Ukrainian adoption, ultimately realizing our dream.

I simply cannot let it lapse this long ever again! So much has happened in these two years and I won’t write about everything that transpired, but will offer highlights, some photos and a glimpse of how life is evolving with the twins.

I guess the biggest news is that my marriage is over. It was something I knew would happen sooner or later. In fact I knew a day before we met the kids (I wasn’t dreaming, contrary to what I wrote on this blog on that day back in 2009), but I am absolutely positive that I took the wisest decision of my life to carry on with the adoption. As hard as some days are with non-neurotypical kids, I just cannot imagine my life without them. The most fitting word to describe my life is “colorful”!

In August 2012 I was recruited to go work for a really good firm, the same firm that offered me a position back in 2007 but took the (dumb) decision to stay put with my former employer. I don’t regret anything though, because my 26 month stint at my second employer was very enlightening, learned a lot of new skills and worked with some extremely smart people. So far the move has been great and I look forward to years of further professional development and satisfaction.

School has been adorned by so many ups and downs. First grade was also rough. Isabella finally got the hang of the alphabet and has developed a keen interest in books, despite her struggles to learn to read. Isaac is making slow progress, but speech remains a tough nut to crack, even at the age of 8. He does manage to communicate though and is still a very funny little kid. Unfortunately his favorite teacher Miss. H decided to call it quits at the end of May 2012, making the beginning of the new school year quite tumultuous.

Right after the start of the 2012 school year, Isaac got kicked out of his second day-care. We were not very impressed by them to be honest and are glad he’s out of there. Luckily his mom’s work schedule could be adjusted so she picks him up right after school. Isabella goes to extended day on campus and we think it really helps her integrate with classmates, do some work, burn some energy and learn to cope with the rules of a structured setting. Isaac enjoys a few quiet hours with his mom, reading and playing, and then they both pick up Isabella late in the afternoon.

I have been doing a lot of cooking and freezing of the bounty, which makes things easier in the evenings after returning home from work. My new employer also lets me work at home from time to time, which comes in very handy when kids are out of school on public holidays. These days as long as you have a good internet connection, you’re almost as if you’re in the office: you have VoIP phone, can support users remotely, attend online conference calls and work on projects remotely.

The kids get home late in the evening, typically as I’m having dinner. Both usually come right in my face to see what I’m gobbling down (they truly do like my cooking!). In most cases they are already fed and ready for bed. We usually sit down and play a bit, watch some TV, get snacks ready for the next day and then go up to do some bed-time reading in Isaac’s bed. The current favorite is Hubble Bubble Cauldron Trouble…I cannot remember how many times we’ve read it now!

Back in December 2011, we held their 7th birthday party at the ice rink and skated for the first time. Isabella really loved it and in January 2012 I started us in some group skating classes. We have been going once a week for an entire year now and we both really enjoy it. After the second group class (one semester lasts about 8 to 9 weeks), Isabella wasn’t doing very well so I decided to get her private lessons with her last group class coach. Miss H is very patient with her and she’s improving every weekend. Her ADHD medication really helps her focus and suppress impulsivity. Here are four clips that show her progress.

20121116_161027In November 2012 my parents came to visit and stayed with us till late January. We had a lot of fun together, kicking things off with the inaugural Formula 1 race in the purposely built track in Austin TX, a couple of trips to San Antonio (one for New Year’s eve and New Year’s day/mom’s birthday) and several other fun seasonal events such as the Christmas lights at Moody Gardens and Nut Cracker.

We have settled into a nice routine now. Weekends are busy with laundry, cooking and grocery shopping taking a big chunk out of it. But overall we have a good time and the kids help out with little things usually.

Well, that’s it for today. I hope to keep posting little snippets from time to time. Thanks to Facebook, I ended up mostly posting various quotes and pictures for close family and neglected this blog, but I think there is still time in my busy schedule to share our experiences. Until next time, so long!


2 clicked here to comment!:

Debora said...

I am glad to hear your update, David! It's good to see the kids doing well and growing up. I'm sorry to hear of your divorce, though. Greetings from Colorado from your fellow US Embassy in Kiev visitors! Goodness, that was three and a half years ago! :o) ~Debbie

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hi Debora! So glad you commented :) How are you all doing? Yes, can't believe it's been that long already. The kids have calmed down a tad since that day running in the halls of the Embassy with your girls, although I still have to chase them a bit sometimes. I have not kept up with adoption-related blog reading as life just gets too busy at times. Anyway, I'm very bummed that we couldn't give the kids a proper family, but they still have two parents that love them despite the family situation, and PLENTY of involved relatives. You guys take care and I truly loved hearing from you. Take care :)