Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update X3

Just a few updates:

Video Update:
First, after sharing our adoption video, I heard from a few people who said they were really disappointed that I didn't include pictures of all 5 of us together in the video. So, prior to ordering our DVD copies to keep, I updated the video just a little at the end and added a few family pictures.

We received the DVDs a few days ago.  Yesterday, Markos saw the cases. He immediately started asking to watch it, so we watched it together. He was very cute - getting excited with every new picture, and pointing, and exclaiming, "Markos!", "Emama!", "Ababa!", "Markos' bed!", etc, etc, etc. After we finished watching, he excitedly requested, "again!". And so he proceeded to watch it, oh, like 7 times in a row. :-) Then, when Eric got home from work, he ran to the room with the TV and pointed to it and told Eric, "Markos CD!". (He calls all discs CDs regardless of rather or not they are computer discs, music CDs, DVDs, or Wii games.)

I have to say, One True Media did a great job with the DVDs. If anyone is looking for software to use to make video montages, it was an easy program to work with, had lots of options, and has a free version (although, I upgraded for $20 or so in order to be able to include captions in the videos and use other features with the premium version). It was well worth it though! I've made several videos - from our Arizona trip, for Eric's and my wedding anniversary, and for the adoption. Anyway, if you haven't yet seen our video, here is the updated version.



Well....
Also, about a month ago, Eric and I started a Charity: Water campaign to raise $5000 in order to cover the costs of drilling a well in a developing nation like Ethiopia. Many of you have supported that effort and we thank you! The campaign lasts for 90 days. We still have 58 days remaining in our campaign, and already, we have raised $4617!!!  That means that, so far, 230 people will have clean, fresh water for the next 20 years. Thank you! Thank you! If you haven't yet donated and wanted to, please go to our site at:
http://mycharitywater.org/starkfamily
You can donate by credit card online, or if you prefer to send a check, you can send it to:

Charity: Water
200 Varick St., Ste. 201
New York, NY 10014


Please make checks payable to Charity:Water and be sure to write our campaign code on the subject line of the check.  It is MYCW-13206.  If you wish to include a message for the website & are mailing a check, simply include the message with the check in the envelope.

100% of all donations go directly to the water project and are tax deductible.  If you donate online, you will receive a receipt for taxes immediately via email.  If you mail a check, it will take a few weeks to process and you will receive a receipt within 3 - 4 weeks.

We look forward to being able to share with you the exact location of the well that we have all funded together in the next 12 - 18 months!!

1 Month Home:
So far, so good.  We had our 1 month post placement visit this past weekend.  Markos is beginning to be a little more flexible with his eating/food choices so that is making life easier.  His English is coming along at an amazing pace.  Seriously, these kids are SMART!  His relationships with each of us are getting stronger and stronger -- unfortunately, this also means that he and his siblings are beginning to fight like...uh...siblings.  Ugh.

As many of you know from Facebook, we're having sleep issues -- basically, I get none and Markos doesn't apparently want any unless I am with him.  We're working on it and trying different things.  (Melatonin, music, changing night lights, me creeping my way out of his bed and onto the floor)  Sadly, my favorite Ferber technique which I used with great success with both of my biological kids is not an option with a newly adopted kiddo.  I am trying hard to remember that Markos is very scared, and that he has already lost 2 parents so it's natural for him to not want me to leave him - even if it is just to go into the other room to sleep!  Sometimes when I look into his terrified face when he thinks I'm leaving his room, I can't help but to start to cry thinking about how awful it must have been for him those first weeks/months in the orphanage when there was no one to lay with him, rub his back, and comfort him when he was so scared and sad.  But it's still just plain hard to get no sleep and then to have to function all day with the knowledge that you won't be getting any that day (except MAYBE an hour tops IF Markos naps and you can nap with him) and you most likely won't be getting any that night either.  Please continue to pray for Markos' feelings of safety and security, at night especially, so that these sleep issues will get better!

Aside from that, we're doing very well.  Markos still gets very shy when he is around new people.  At one point, we had discussed having a "Meet and Greet" type of party after we had been home for a while, but we have realized that this won't be possible.  He just wouldn't do well with it.  He would want me to hold him the entire time and he would just bury his face into my shoulder and wouldn't talk to anyone.  But, we're not worried about attachment issues anymore, so if any local friends want to stop by for a visit, please consider yourselves welcome to stop by (but please call first - remember I get no sleep - this makes showering optional on most days!)  ;-)  

Lastly, we're planning our first weekend trip away.  (Yikes - wonder how little sleep we're going to get at someone else's house.)  We are going to my parent's house for the last weekend in March so our family can stop by for visits, too.  Again, no party or large gathering is possible at this point.  Hopefully by this summer though, maybe for his birthday or something.


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