Friday, July 4, 2014

About our boys

Andrew Sergei Nolan
Birthday: May 20, 2007
 Andrew has lived in an orphanage his whole life. His father was not in the picture and his mother lost her parental rights (we are not sure why). He was born prematurely (at about 29 weeks) and weighed 2.6 pounds. He currently weighs approximately 27 pounds.
According to the orphanage, he has congenital cataracts. As far as we know, he is completely blind. He does not seem to have any vision at all.
He is non-verbal. He does sometimes say "Nee nee" (no no) when he is upset, and he occasionally makes the "mamama" sound.
Andrew has lived in a crib for 7 years.
Due to institutionalization,  he has some self-aggressive behaviors. This is common among institutionalized children. He scratches himself until he bleeds and his skin is raw. He slaps himself on the face and hits himself on the head. He bites his hands. It is very difficult to calm him down when he is upset.
But he loves to be tickled.
He loves toys that make any sort of noise! He likes to tap them on his forehead and the side of his head (he likes the sound they make). He can be entertained by a Ziploc bag or a paper towel tube for hours!

But his all-time favorite toy (so far) is a metal bucket. He definitely has some rhythm!
And he loves his dad!

Oliver Eugene Nolan
Birthday: March 27, 2007
Oliver has lived in an orphanage his whole life. He was abandoned at the hospital at birth (likely due to his special needs). When he was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck five times. He weighed 6 pounds at birth. He currently weighs 18 pounds.

Oliver has a rare genetic condition that causes a form of dwarfism. His hips are dislocated. His knees do not straighten out. He has club feet. His fingers do not bend, therefore he cannot grasp anything. He CAN turn his head from side to side (slowly). He is non-verbal. He rarely cries, and when he does cry, it is very soft and lasts about 2 or 3 seconds. Sometimes he makes a cooing noise. The only thing he is ever fed in the orphanage is formula, and he spits/vomits most of it back up.

He never smiles.

(But come on, would any of us be smiling if the orphanage caregivers wrapped us up like that in the middle of summer?)
Oliver has lived in a crib his whole life. Before we came along, nobody talked to him or played with him or gave him toys. We do not know if he understands anything. Sometimes he responds when we talk to him, and sometimes he doesn't. Some days he can be very alert, and on those days he moves his head back and forth and tries to follow us with his eyes.
At first he was very scared of his noisy new brother, but now he wants to watch him play. He likes to be propped up so he can see what is going on.
He likes to be held and rocked. It helps him fall asleep!
These boys are not perfect in the eyes of the world.

But they are perfect in God's eyes.
And we love them very, very much!



  1. Such beautiful pictures and a beautiful family!

    Sue H.

  2. Thank you for sharing your boys - they are adorable ! :)

  3. Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your journey! I can't wait to hear thar your back in the USA.

  4. What a beautiful family, bless you all!