Saturday, August 17, 2013

Three Weeks

So...   we have been home for roughly three weeks.

Somehow we haven't had as much time to blog.  There are have been doctor visits and lots of errands.  School has started back; Elena and Katerina and Juliana and Andrew are all in school.  Life is slowly turning into a "normal" routine.

After a long journey, after being "TV stars" on both sides of the journey - it is good to be back in our own home, in our own town, and  returning to the threads of our old life.   And they lived happily ever after.........

Isn't that a wonderful ending?

The book "The Princess Bride" by S. Morganstern (William Goldman)  ends this way.... then gives a teaser two paragraphs later....

"They could hear the roar of Humperdinck: "Stop them! Cut them off!" They were, admittedly, startled, but there was no reason for worry: they were on the fastest horses in the kingdom, and the lead was already theirs.

However, this was before Inigo's wound reopened; and Westley relapsed again; and Fezzik took the wrong turn; and Buttercup's horse threw a shoe. And the night behind them was filled with the crescendoing sound of pursuit."


There are days when it seems the newsworthy thing is not adopting these children - the newsworthy thing is living with them and being parents.

The news cameras aren't here (thank goodness) when Andrew has overflowed his diaper... and his swing... with nasty, nasty, ca-ca.... and we are already late.   And Elena is pitching a fit.  And Juliana is misbehaving.  And Katie is crying because Elena is crying.  And the dishwasher leaks under the kitchen and the kitchen has to be torn up to repairs.  And the children need a bath after every meal.  And the tire has a nail in it.  And we have a doctors appointment.  And we got to the store and the children are throwing thing out of the cart or putting things in the cart or running away or bruising the produce or begging for ice cream.  And.....

And then we wake up the next day and start the whole mad adventure over again.

Who said anything about an ending?

"Remember: that in books, and ages, and in life, the ending can never truly be written. "  - Atrus


Enough talking.  Pictures of children.

Katie, Elena, and Juliana

Katie's first day of school

Did you know that markers are not ice cream?  Really?

Juliana being adorable.

Andrew's first day of school.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost!

We are coming home tomorrow!  We will arrive in Atlanta at 9:34!  Thank you for all the support, encouragement, and prayers  They were definitely a huge help and comfort through this long process.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Now 3 of our friends have gotten theirs and are heading home tomorrow!  Praise God!  We will miss them but are so happy they can rejoin their families at home.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The blog has been silent for a while.  Ezra usually does the updating, but since he isn't here, guess I will have to do it.  WARNING:  Ezra is a much more eloquent writer than I am.  I tend to stick to the facts but go on bunny trails.

Pretty much been groundhog day here.  We wake up, eat, sit/play/take a walk, eat lunch, sometimes nap, meet up with other families for dinner (usually).  We have pretty much exhausted our 3 dining choice (Puzata hata, McDonald's, and Domino's)  These are 3 of the cheapest places we found.  Yesterday, we did break the routine and did something fun.  3 of us families went to an indoor water park.  It was a fun adventure and I was proud of how we all navigated our way their by ourselves.  We first had to walk about 30 min to the subway.  We thought we found the subway a few times and went down the stairs(strollers and all) only to realize, "No this is just an underground mall."  So up the stairs again.  I was very grateful to have John (Ezra's brother) with me, because he did all the heavy lifting.   I have never used a subway anywhere (other than well the one that makes those tasty lil sandwiches), so it was a fun experience.  We bought our coins, and proceeded down the steep escalator (yes, strollers and all)  I wish I would have timed it because it was a LONG escalator. We found the blue line, of course, we took the long way with the most stairs, but it would not have been an adventure without all of that.  We quickly got on the subway successfully (well someone's backpack got caught in the doors but we were able to pull it through just in time.)  We knew the name and number of our stop from the subway map and fortunately I was able to understand which stops we were at so that when it came time we were able to be ready.  We walked up the stairs from the subway and found our destination.  On the outside it appeared to be a mall, not really fancy on the outside, actually kind of blah.  No huge sign with flashing lights saying, "Dreamtown!"  Just a small, not to flashy sign that told us we were there.  Honestly from the outside, i didn't have very high hopes of this place.  Everything around it that we saw , including the outside of the building was pretty "bland and kind of dirty" 

However, that impression could not have been further from the truth. The inside of the mall was pretty AMERICANIZED in look and feel.  Very bright and happy.  'Dreamtown' where we were going was located on the 3rd floor.  This was quite amazing to me to think of the engineering of this building with the amount of weight all of these water features on the top.  (We can save the ENGINEERING post for later because some of the apartments we have stayed in seemed pretty sketchy in construction.)  Let me just say "Dreamtown'  was so much fun and it was so nice to have something fun to do to get our minds off of the 'unknowns.'   I could not believe the size of this place.  It encompassed the entire third floor of the mall.  There were basically 3 sections, 1.a kiddie section with many slides and waterfalls and shallow pools and climbing thingies and games and such, 2. a middle section that housed a smaller wave pool for the whole family, water polo, and lazy river, 3. a more adult section with bigger slides (inner tubes, double inner tubes, and no inner tube slides), a huge pool with massage chairs in them, waterfalls, a bar in the pool, hot tubs, another lazy river and another bigger wave pool.  It was really unbelievable.  The decor was really neat.  The adult section had a dino theme, middle and kids more of an undersea theme.  The best part of this is ANDREW didn't scream the whole time.  He actually enjoyed himself.  He really liked the little wave pool and learned to splash.  He even got splashed several times in the face and didn't cry.  This is a boy that SCREAMS bloody murder when giving him a bath.  Praise be to God for helping my little boy not be so scared and upset.  Because he did so well I was even able to go down a few slides, while he let our friend hold him (another answered prayer because currently, I am pretty much the only one he wants to hold him)  Andrew enjoyed the lazy river which is one of my favorite things too.  We ended the day riding the subway back to town and eating at the Ukrainian buffet.  Katerina though she had fallen asleep on the way home, woke right up to the smell of borscht.  Katerina at first did not care for the water attractions and definitely not the slides, but uncle John helped her through this and by the end of the day she was feeling a little bit more adventurous and enjoyed herself.  They both slept pretty well after all of this adventure.  Even little man, slept for about 4.5 hours in a row.  Sorry I didn't get any pictures, because well cameras and water= not good.

No news on ours.  One RR family should be picking theirs up in the morning and flying home Saturday.  One RR family, adopting 2 kids, got 1 of 2 passports.  I am praying that they get the 2nd tomorrow morning so they can also go home this weekend.  Though it will not be the same without them, they have a wedding to attend next Saturday  (the bride is here in Ukraine helping her dad finish the trip).  The other 3 of us RR families are still waiting.  While 1 other family waits the dad is returning home tomorrow morning, thus the mom will be here alone.  I know how this feels and how difficult it is, so please pray for this family.  The other family besides us are just hanging in there.  Fortunately, she brought her other 2 children with her so she is not separated from them, but it is hard for them to be far away from home. Her husband is also in the military so he is not with her, but she does have her brother in law to help her too.  Please pray that she gets her 1 passport soon so that these children can get back to their routine and a familiar place.  I will also note that one of the little boys has been a prayer warrior for Andrew.  He would often ask his mom to see Andrew's picture on RR and pray for him to find a mommy.  Such a little sweet man. 

There are other families waiting or soon to be waiting.  One family was able to go home and wait while their daughter got to stay here for a little longer.  I know this is hard for this momma and we pray they are able to come get their sweet lil princess soon.  This family as well as those mentioned above have been a huge encouragement to me, especially when I have been feeling down.

Several have asked how you can pray for us:

1. Obviously passports soon
2. Elena-tomorrow Elena will have her CT scan to see where we stand with surgery.  The original plan was to have surgery at the end of June, when we should have been home.  I am hoping that she can have surgery next week, and that I can be with her.  It is hard to think she could have this surgery without me there.  But, I don't know how long we can continue to wait.
3. Andrew-  he doesn't sleep very well at all.  He screams very loudly at night.  I really think it is because he can not get into a comfortable position.  So when he tries to shift in the middle of sleeping, he can't get to how he wants and screams. 
4. Katerina- I am sure it is pretty confusing for her.  Take her out of the institution where she has many friends and caretakers catering to her every desire, to a mom and dad and (2 grandmother figures), grandmothers go away when we come to kiev, bond with daddy, Daddy leaves. 
5. Ezra- as he works, takes care of the girls (with my moms help), and worries about us here.
6. Juliana-as she tries to figure out why her mama lives in the computer and isn't there to hold her.
7. Kelly-rest, school work, worrying when will I get home, worrying about kids at home and kids here, worrying about how I will get everything done that needs to be done before going back to work on August 2nd.  LOTS and LOTS of worry. That I may trust that God has all this worked out for our good and His glory.
8. And ultimately, that God be glorified in all of this!  

Friday, July 12, 2013


Life continues to plod along with us.  The children are adapting to their new family.  Katerina started off not wanting anything to do with Andrew, but she has recently been helping with his bottle and kissing him and trying to pick him up and so forth.  Katerina is very funny and has a great sense of humor. 

Andrew is not screaming as much as he did at first.  When you've lived your whole life in a box, everything is new and potentially terrifying.  He is also cutting multiple teeth, which does not help. It doesn't help that he was a favorite and used to getting his way.

We have had our first embassy appointment.  The children passed the TB test.


We went to the zoo in Kiev.

We went with another family who was adopting.  They were leaving for their region and a first meeting with their daughter that day.

The most pressing issue is passports for the children to immigrate to the US.  Ukraine changed passport companies.  For three weeks, no-one has gotten passports (in Ukraine, they use passports as a primary form of ID).  There are 120,000 people backlogged in the system along with us.  They finally printed some passports early in the week, only to have the equipment be faulty and 80% were misprinted.  They are still negotiating contracts for delivery of the passports once they figure out how to print them. 

What this means is that we have all the documents listing us as the parents of the children.  We have the children in our care.  And yet - we can't actually leave.  Or rather, we can leave but our children can't.   We had expected the trip to last about five weeks.  We have been here for eight weeks.  There has been one government delay after another.  This is just icing on the cake.    There are many adoptive families who are stuck here like we are.