Family Matters Day 4: Kolya

Kolya is 18, and my fourth youngest child, yet he’s the newest member of the Savage family. We adopted Kolya 9 years ago from Russia. He lived the first 9 years in an orphanage. If you’ve never read our adoption story, you can do so here. It’s quite a God Story!

Kolya loves any type of manual labor. He’s a hard worker who has three different part-time jobs: cleaning new construction, working for a construction company as a helper, and working for a masonry company as a helper.  Kolya longs for a career that will keep him working hard physically and outside as much as possible.  (Leading him into a “trade” career is new territory for Mark and I. Any wisdom a seasoned mom can share with me on how to secure apprenticeships would be greatly appreciated!)

Kolya has a ton of energy and loves to have fun. He’s got a fun, crazy side that occasionally shines through!  Kolya serves on the sound team at church.  He’s also a runner. He prefers not to compete, but rather to run for enjoyment.

Today is Kolya’s first full day of school as a high school senior. He takes 1/2 day of core classes and then goes to another high school in town to spend the other half of the day studying construction management. He’s looking forward to graduating and being on his own as soon as possible. I try to not take that personally…he was, after all, practically on his own the first 9 years of his life!

Kolya has challenged me to be an advocate for my kids in the school system. He is an ELL (English Language Learner). Even though he retains no Russian, English is still very challenging for him.  When it seemed like he might fall through the traditional educational “cracks,” I’ve had to speak up and get him the accommodations needed for him to be successful in the classroom.

Has parenting an adopted child been easy? No, it hasn’t. It comes with its own set of challenges. However, parenting my biological kids hasn’t always been easy either. They are all unique human beings who have needed unique help from Mark and I. Figuring that out is what parenting is all about.

Now you’ve met my 4th child. If you have four or more kids, I’d love to hear about your 4th child! (If you are reading this in email, you can leave a comment here. Simply click and then scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on ‘comments’ to share!)


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8 thoughts on “Family Matters Day 4: Kolya

  1. My 4th child is Kellan. He is the younger, by 2 minutes, of my identical twins. I remember blogging predictions about his personality when he was just a few months old, and I was spot on.
    Kellan is fiercely loyal, extremely methodical, and intensely sweet. His dry humor already cracks me up. He likes knowing what to expect in a situation, and takes a while to find comfort in new routines. He just started Kindergarten last week, and while the first few separations were extremely challenging for him, he is doing great already!

  2. Elianna is my 4th daughter. She was born April 29 of this year, so she will be 4 months next week. She was my quickest delivery, as I was in the L&D room for 7 minutes before she was born! She’s a very happy baby. She smiles and coos a lot. She has been sleeping through the night (10 hours) since she was around 2 months old. Her latest trick is she is rolling over (both directions). Her big sisters (4, almost 3 and 20 months) love to hold her, kiss and give her hugs. We tell her she has to toughen up or her sisters will love her to death. 🙂 Currently she is our youngest, but we hope to add some more kids in the future. We’re thrilled with our 4 girls and would welcome more, but we’d also love to have a few boys too. 🙂

  3. {Kathy} My fourth child’s name is Luke Thomas. He continues to bless me everyday since he was born. Today, he gave me the best hug I have had in a long time. I feel fortunate to be his mother. Although he is 9, he has wisdom of a old sage. I depend on him to provide the best insight on life I can find.

  4. Hope-bug is our fourth. He came five weeks early and his verse picked out long before we even knew he was coming rang loud and clear: PS. 71:5-6. He likes to keep busy outside with Dad doing chores to earn money for his next purchase. He likes his legos and tries to play with his older sisters. He is outnumbered and so his excitement is high to go to China and bring home his brother who is two years older. I love to play games with him or shoot baskets. He has the funniest faces!

    He said, “Mom what is my brother’s nick name? Slug bug?”
    “Peace bug, little man, peace bug.” 😀

  5. 4th children ROCK! I was a 4th born child. 🙂 Enjoyed reading about Kolya, Jill. He seems like a fine young man.

  6. My fourth child is Henry. He is 19 months and such a fun little boy! Although he is in to everything, runs from us in public, and thinks spitting is hilarious, we wouldn’t change him for the world! He can be sweet and snuggly but he is definitely ALL BOY!! 🙂

  7. Our 4th child is our foster daughter MaKayla. She is 15 months old and we are in the process of adopting her. She was premature and is still a little peanut. She recently learned to walk and is working on her vocabulary. She is a joy to have and we are so excited that God has blessed us with the opportunity to adopt and raise her.

  8. I just now had a chance to read all of these wonderful posts that I have missed as school has started and we’ve been adjusting to live without corn, chocolate, olive oil, oats, and mustard (the latest of Mandie’s 20 food allergies). I will take a separate paragraph to introduce my trio.

    Truman Christopher is my firstborn. He was a surprise c-section after he got stuck in the birth canal at 38 weeks. At 9 3/4 he is sooo much like his mama in that he reads CONSTANTLY, and well. He reads far above his 4th grade level, and is an honor roll student, after entering public school for the first time last year (I homeschooled til my divorce). Truman was my easy baby, but very attached til I weaned him from the breast at 22 months while expecting his brother. Truman loves animals, and realls every fact he’s ever read about them. He also love Star Wars, outdoor sports in the winter (not a summer kid), and learning to cook safe for his sister. He says he wants to open a restaurant when he grows up, that caters to people with as many allergies as his baby sister has. Truman is my sensitive soul, and my divorce hit him hardest. Maybe b/c I am also the oldest and we are so similar, we often butt heads, but always reconnect. Truman adores Sunday School, VBS in the summer, singing in the kids choir at Sunday School, and helping with his baby sister’s allergies. Truman makes friends a bit slowly, but becomes very close and keeps them for life (his bff Shelby Lynne has been his friend since her birth 9 months after his). Truman is most often found in a quiet corner reading, or asking to come along to the grocery store to buy avocados, which have been his fave since 5 months of age.

    28 months later I gave birth to Hunter Michael, who is my imp! He was supposed to be a scheduled c-section, but became semi-emergency when he decided to also come at EXACTLY 38 weeks, on the day and exact time my (now deceased) younger brother graduated from Knox College. At 7 years old and second grade, Hunter is all boy! He broke his wrist last May, and WOULD NOT be still or allow anyone to help him – he kept carrying books for the girls in his class. Hunter does things at his own pace, from being born, to ONLY nursing til his first b-day, to standing up off the floor and walking at 13 months w/out ever crusing, to waiting to talk til he was 3 and spoke in full, clear sentences. He has the cutest grin, and uses it to get out of trouble! He is the most popular kid in his class, an honor roll student, and A L W A Y S on the move! He loves airplanes, and love to read through Steve’s magazines and books, and is eager to learn to fly them. Hunter wanted a tattoo for his 6th birthday (settled for temporary blue dye in his hair), and to skydive for his 7th. This kid keeps me on my toes!

    21 months after Hunter, his “twin”, Amanda Jeanette was born by major emergency c-section, 4 weeks early. Her lungs were not developed, and I only got to hold and see her once before she was life-flighted to Comer Chilren’s NICU for a week. She went in at 6lbs 10ozs from all of the stress on her body, and came out at 4lbs 12 ozs. Mandie is a fighter! Before she got transferred to Comer, she got her fingers under the glass O2 hood and tossed it to her toes when the boys in the nursery cried! In the NICU the 1st time I held her at almost 3 days old she wanted to nurse, (had never yet been fed) but when the nurse took her to her isolette to feed her my milk via Ng tube, she protested by holding her breath, turning blue, making the monitors scream and docs come running. She calmly opened one eye and grinned. With 2 older brothers she is a real toughie! I hope school settles her down, in fact! She is Mommy’s girl, and nursed for 4 1/2 years (31 months tandem with Hunter) and has stolen Steve’s heart. Mandie’s strength and attitude serve her well, living with reactive airway disease, celiac disease, and 20 other food allergies, plus medicaiton and enviro allergies. She is an amazing advocate for her self, nicely tells people about her epi-pens and why she wears them, and how to help her when she needs it. She is totally girly, and into shoes, clothes, etc – but also LOVES animals, esp. Grandma’s chickens. I am thankful that Mandie is my last, but even more thankful that God surprised and blessed me with her as well as her brothers.