Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
We were not able to wake up and go see our babies due to the icy weather. Taxis would not drive this far out. So this afternoon we finally found a taxi driver that would take us to the orphanage. It was much more quiet in the evening because some of the workers have already gone home. We found it to be much more relaxed. Elisa did so much better this time because people did not keep coming in and out talking to her. She has always like Tony and has always clung to him, but she actually liked me today!! She wanted to sit with me, and when I walked away she held her arms up for me. This made me feel much better inside knowing she did like us a little but.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The snow is keeping us inside for the second day straight now. We were all ready to go to the orphanage today and the translator told us they were closed until Monday because of the weather. These are the things that keep making us so mad. She knew this since yesterday, but never bothered to tell us. The snow isnt even falling today, so I really dont understand. Im ready to just pack up and go home and send Tony back out to bring them all home.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When we got back to the apartment, we couldn't wait to get out into the snow. The girls got bundled up and out we went. They made snow angels, slid down the slide, had a snowball fight, played "freeze" tag and then attacked me with snow. They had the most fun being drug around by their ankles through the snow. This was fun until the snow made its way up their coat and it was time to go inside. It was such a great relief to get out of the apartment for a bit and let the kids let loose. Check out their pics........
Thanks to everyone that has offered to help us. Our second travel date back here will be the second week of Jan. The first week they have been parties here and get really wasted they said so they shut down everything. Kinda funny, but we thought we would travel the next week instead.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Its getting dark here. We were only able to see our babies once today because they fear that the swine flu is here again, so they closed the orphange. Me and Tony think they should spped things up and let us take the babies early to keep them from getting sick!!! (Yeah right!!)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Then came Vanessa. We named her Vanessa, Victoria.Victoria was her name here. They call her Vikka. She did not look anything like we pictured her to be. She was a typical downs baby. She had all the normal expressions. She came to us right away and laughed the entire time. She totally melted my heart. Every time i even talk to her she laughs so hard that she has to stop and catch her breath.
After passing her along we received Arthur. We named him Elijah Gregory. This poor baby made us sad. He never once smiled, nor did he even try to. He was so overweight and large for his age. He has a beautiful face, and I know he will have a beautiful smile. Its just getting him to do so. Arthur was very very heavy for me as well. He is going to have to learn to walk fast!!!!. We were told alot of good news while we were there.
Elisa had her heart surgery in Feb. of this year. Vanessa does not have any heart issues anymore, nor does Arthur. So basically they do not need to see a heart Dr, at all. However we do not really go by what they tell us. They tell us Vanessa does not need glasses and does not have strabismus, but you will see from the pictures her eyes clearly cross all the time.
Arthur seemed to be having trouble breathing, but Im hoping he was just getting a cold.
The orphanage was not very kind to us because I had my children there they told us we could not bring them back. So now we don't know what we are going to do yet. We don't have to many options really other than just letting them sit in the front while they wait for us an hour.
Ill send you guys many pictures in the next few days. Right now we do not have internet in our apartment. We are having to pay a driver every day just to drive us to McDonalds to have internet. He does not seem to like us that much either. The lady at McDonald speaks english though so she has been very helpful to us.
Tomorrow is Sunday so we cannot go see our babies, so we will send more pictures of them on Monday.
I CAN NOT WAIT TO BE HOME!!!I never thought I would be so homesick. I dont think Ill ever do anything without my kids again. I wont even take a family trip without them. This feeling away from them is just miserable. The entire process just takes to long. Im praying, and I ask that you all please pray along that this is over very very soon desperately want to go home.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
For a split second I wondered if we could just avoid the subject all together. But that would not be right. So I told Aloyna about our family. 4 biological kids and 3 adopted. She looked up as if to do the math in her head and looked back at us and said "10 kids!" She looked worried and said that we really needed to explain this to the chief because they often think Americans come to adopt because we get some kid of government subsidy for doing so. In otherwords, our motives would be questioned. Now Leah and I were a bit worried. Could this adoption really stop now...... for this reason...... because we have too many kids? We wispered to each other that we would just tell the truth and explain our love for children and our desire to help...... and ultimately explain that this was something God had called us to do. On top of this, we were told while we were waiting that Arthur's name had been mispelled on the SDA approval and that they may reject the document until it can be corrected in Kiev. We walked in to an intimidating room where we sat at a long table and the chief sat at an executive desk. Everything she said was translated as she was saying it. It took a bit to get used to looking at one person and listening to another while they both spoke at the same time. The questions were gentle at first.... introduce yourself, where are you from, what do you do for a living? And then she asked about our family. We described our family and our passion and calling to adopt. We explained that we had fallen in love with Elisa Vanessa and Arthur through pictures online and that we knew they were meant to be ours. The chief laid her pen down and looked at us sternly and began to speak. The Russian language always seems harsh, but we've learned that it just comes out that way. The only word we understood was "spaseeba" which means "thank you". It seemed like forever until we heard the translation. The chief almost had tears in her eyes as she "gladly took her hat off to us and bowed to us as her heroes". She commended our love for children and our large hearts and thanked us for making such a sacrifice. Leah and I got chills as we realized what she was saying. We were approved!!!!
From here, we left to pick up an "inspector" who would accompany us to the orphanage to meet with the orphanage director. When we arrived at the orphanage, they looked at Noelle, Emma, and Grace with concern. They said they could come in and immediately gave the kids surgical masks to put on. The orphanage was very nice and well kept. We walked into a nicely decorated office and met with the orphanage doctor, our interpreter, a lawyer and the inspector. They began to give us the medical history of the children as well as what they knew of their biological parents. We even saw pictures of Vanessa's mother. Surprisingly their medical conditions seemed much better than explained to us before. Elisa had already had her hearts surgery and they didn't think the other two would need surgery. They told us about their temperment and in the middle of talking about Elisa, the door opened. In came an orphanage worker with a small child. It took us a moment, but we realized it was Elisa. She was so beautiful and small. She was much smaller than we thought, but she looked just like her picture... her picture from almost a year ago. She was fussy, but we both got to hold her for just a second before they took her for a nap. One by one.... in the middle of the interview, they brought the kids in. Vanessa was bright and happy, laughing the whole time she was there. Arthur was quiet and not very active and was HUGE. He had a belly that would make a sumo wrestler jealous. He just sat there contently while we loved on him. More on the kids later when we send videos, but the appointment ended well. Everyone in the room loved us and they were laughing at the thought of our large family. They conveyed a great respect for Leah and I and even told us to "write Obama a letter to ask for money to help support our kids". We're not sure if that was a joke or not as the people over here seem to love America's new president. We walked out of the orphanage with a card that would allow us to go see our new babies from 10-12 and 4-6 every day until we left Odessa. We were again approved and one step closer to bringing our kiddos home!
The train rocked quite a bit, as it moved forward. As we looked out the window we could see glimpses of snow on the trees and hills we passed. Every so often we would see an old farm house with snow covering the roof. After a while it became just black outside. We turned on a movie on our laptop and began watching. Grace sat on the upper bunk playing on the macbook while the rest of us watched "RV" on the bottom. I (Tony) dosed off about 30 minutes into the movie. Leah and the girls watched until about midnight and then settled in to sleep. The rocking of the train put everyone to sleep except for Leah. She was up most of the night probably because it was so hot on the train. It was 20 degrees outside and felt like it was about 85 on the train..... go figure. A few hours into the ride, the train began to stop. Uh oh, we didn't realize there would be multiple stops. We started wondering how we would know when it was our stop. Would someone wake us up.... had our driver told the attendant that we would need help..... would we hear the name of the town we were traveling to? We knew we were to arrive at 6am, but what if we were asleep? So we woke up at every stop and checked the time. At about 5:45am, the attendant knocked on the door and said something we could not understand, but it ended with the word Odessa. Whew! We made it.
As soon as we stepped off of the train, a large man immediately grabbed our bags and introduced his wife as Sveta. She bundled our girls up better (the people here are adamant about kids being bundled up when outside). Call it faith, but we assumed this man was our driver, so we followed him to his van and got in. Neither the man nor his wife spoke any English, but they were very nice. We drove for about 25 minuted and arrived at our apartment. A nice lady met us the door and showed around the apartment. Again, she spoke no english, but was apparently the landlord who lived next door. Again, she was very nice. We were told that someone would come pick us up at 9:30am to take us to an appointment. We all took this opportunity to catch up on some well-needed sleep. Finally we were here..... close to our kiddos!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Our time at the grocery store was more about avoiding getting run over than shopping. Buying groceries was interesting to say the least. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what things were, we decided to just go for the essentials; eggs, bread, milk, cereal, hot dogs, bologne, ketchup, pasta, and coke. When we arrived back at the apartment, we realized that the bologne was actually cheese (don't ask) and the milk was some sort of yogurt (we think). We're not sure what the hot dogs really were, but they were mushy and smelled funny. So we put a little cheese on them and covered them in ketchup. The coke was good though..... Even the water is not "water".... it is some sort of sparkling water. We're going to pull out the old translation book today and give it another shot at the store.
Today we will meet our facilitator today and discuss our court appointment for tomorrow. We've been told that there is a cool circus right around the corner from us, so we may try that this afternoon. If all goes well, we will be on a train to meet our kiddos within a few days.... hopefully no later than Friday. The weather is cold, but not nearly as cold as we thought. It's a little below freezing, but no ice or snow to speak of.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I am leaving with excitement to meet our babies, but a little fear as well. We have friends there right now that have had a very hard time. The people there did not like Americans and where trying to hurt her husband. Its really freaking me out a little bit.
My oldest daughter at home will be bounced around from one friend to another while we are gone, so Im a little worried about how she deals with everything while we are gone. I'm going to miss my kids so much. I have never ever left them even once in my life. Its really the hardest thing Ive ever done.
We will be posting as soon as we get settled into our apartment there. So I guess by Tuesday we should be able to post again. On Thursday of this week we should get to see our babies, then we will post pictures for you to see.
Thanks everyone again for your support. We have had many ups and downs here, but its all coming together now. Please pray for a safe flight as I do not do well with planes at all. Please pray for our entire journey. Thank you all. Ill write soon!! Leah
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
- Getting Ready to bring them home
- Back Home
- Flying Home Tomorrow
- Back in Kiev!!!!
- Bitter Sweet Christmas Day......
- Christmas Eve here, and we are approved for adopti...
- Please Pray for Flight
- Tomorrow is our last day here!!
- Leah forgot the most important update......
- We are in Love!!
- Good News and Bad news
- Fun snow day
- More Snow!!!
- Psalm 127
- Possible Court Date
- Still Friday
- Friday in Odessa
- A Surprise Meeting....
- H1N1 hitting us
- Our little Eli's first smile (Arthur)
- A very cold cold day here!!
- About the Dogs Here
- Monday night in Odessa
- Sunday in Odessa
- Today we met our girls, and our boy!!
- Quick Pics
- Interviews Galore!!
- Midnight Train Ride (written on 12/10)
- Change In Plans!!!!
- got the referrals!!
- Thursday - Waiting on Referrals
- Tuesday afternoon here
- Day 2 - Way Too Early in the Morning
- At the Ariport
- Leaving Tomorrow
- 5 days left!!!
- 5 days lwft
- ▼ December (39)