Monthly Archives: October 2010

What’s Going On?

Sorry for the lack of postings via the blog.  Truthfully, there just isn’t much to report.  We wake up, get ready, have breakfast, (peanut butter and jam), pay for our room for another night and walk down the road to see Mayah.

We visit with Mayah for about an hour and a half in the mornings.  We were allowed to visit for longer, but truthfully, we all start getting bored.  There’s really only so much we can do in the same room with the same toys.  She is well taken care of where she is at, and her friends in her groupa get all excited when she comes back.  She doesn’t seem to mind going back either.  We want to keep it fun and not force anything so it makes sense. 

Friday, while looking at her coloring book, Mayah stopped at a princess, pointed to her lips and motioned for lipstick.  We decided to bring the make up kit with us yesterday.  She had a BLAST!  After each activity we did together, she would stop…put more lipgloss on in the mirror…and then resume.  She cracked us up. 

I miss the boys like something crazy.  I can’t even believe it’s ONLY been one week and we have much more to go.  *sigh*  I skyped yesterday…and Gage and Alexander both popped their heads in.  David…once I managed to get him in from the other room, wouldn’t lift his head.  Then we lost video connection and he left the room again.  I came back up to the room when the call was over and cried.  I long to “be snoozie” with David and cuddle with him, he is such a cuddler!  I close my eyes and just dream I get to hold each one.  I miss them so much.  I know they are safe in the hands of Our Father…HE is watching over them.  HE is making sure they are getting all the love and attention by using Nana, Mimi, Pap and Kelli.  It just doesn’t replace Mommy, but it’s a great substitute. 

Sasha will be coming back on Tuesday (we think).  Apparently, he calls our region, finds out if our case has been assigned to a judge and then he speaks with the judge.  He said as soon as he heard anything he would call.  I’m glad time seems to move quickly here.  Even with little to do.

We managed to find some English speaking channels last night.  One was GOD TV and Joel Osteen was on….we switched to BBC news.  I’m hoping someone we like is on GOD TV, that would be rather awesome!!

Mayah is a very good little girl.  Even with the hearing and language barriers she understands when Mama is telling her what to do.  When she wants to do something I’ve said NO to, sometimes she’ll put her hands on her hips and do the head to the side thing….sometimes it’s cute…but one day I just looked at her and said, “I’m the mama of 3 boys, no amount of hip stances, or cute little pouts (Gage/David) will get me to change my mind.”

We are ready.  Ready to get home and find out what new normal is.  I try to tell the boys a little about Mayah but hope that Nana, Pap, and Mimi show them pics of her on facebook.  I prefer hearing what THEY are up to in our absense.  Have I mentioned I miss them?

I’m sorry this post is a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  I’ll write more again later.  We had Daylight Savings Time end this morning at 4 so normally we are just waking up and getting ready…but Dan is still sleeping and enjoying the extra hour I suppose.  I need to find more things to amuse myself in the dark.  I’m glad I brought my DS, it has soduku;)

We encourage you all to continue praying for us, and the people along our journey.  We are praying for a court date THIS WEEK!  And we hope you are too;)  Thank you all so much!!


Day 3 Visit 1 in Region

Day 3 in Region Visit 1

Today we walked in the cold to Mayah’s orphanage.  I took some pictures of the neighboring village.  These houses are on the road directly to her orphanage gates. 

 I’m glad I brought a sweatshirt to go under my jacket…I forgot to grab the insert for my coat at home.  Makes a HUGE difference.  All the puddles on our walk were frozen over this morning, it gets really cold here at night.

This is the gate of Mayah’s orphanage. 

Inside there are little playgrounds in front of a few groupa houses. 

This is Mayah’s groupa house. 

and across the way is the hospital where we play together;)

We walk in the door and there is one little girl who always announces our arrival, “mama, mama!” she yells.  Today, this really cute little blondie started blowing me kisses, if we had the money…I’d think about adding her too….but I think what we have in store for our family in the near future is enough for now.  Though we are really praying that our being here, opens the way for other American families to find their forever children.  All the children in Mayah’s groupa are adorable!!  Some come up to me for hugs, and I LOVE that I can provide. 

Mayah runs to her little locker

And her care-taker helps her get all bundled up.  Today, Papa was able to grab her stuff for her while she was getting on her layers!

I was able to see her sweatshirt size LARGE.  I wasn’t able to see her jeans size today, the tag was off.  But the careworker was able to explain that because she is so skinny they use the adjustable waistbands on the jeans anyway.  She really looks to be the size of the average 7 year old.  She comes up to my chest. 

Today, we made a necklace out of beads. 

She was content for a rather long time to make a pattern with us and get all the beads on her necklace.  She picks up the necklace to show us and half the beads fell off!  She, in all her beautiful patience, slowly rebuilds her necklace. 

Showing off her finished product! 

At some point, she found my brush.  She asked me to brush her hair.  I obliged happily;)

When I was finished, she wanted to brush Mama’s hair.  Dan said she looked so happy to be doing it.  When she had my ponytail ready, she even reached over to be for the tie…too cute! 

Papa was happy to take pictures of his girls;) 

Papa was also very happy to get a picture with his little princess

She enjoyed snack and even signed a few words with me!!  Cat, cookie and beautiful. 

I think when we get home the first thing we are going to do is see what we can do about her hearing.  When Sasha comes back, we’d still like him to come into one of our visits and see if she is actually using words or mumbling much of the time.  Most imporatly….she says, “Mama y Papa”  good enough!

One of the little kids repeated, “wow” to Dan when we were in the groupa house this morning…Mayah was able to repeat, “meow” when we were talking about a cat in her coloring book. 

We were able to communicate that we are allowed to come back at 4 and visit until 6 tonight.  The time changes tonight so we’re going to pay attention to when it gets dark.

I will also add, we no longer see the Treacher Collins, we see Mayah.  And she is beautiful!  We are so thankful God chose us to be her Mama and Papa.  We really cannot wait to get back to the states and introduce her to her little brothers. 

Thank you so much for your support and prayers.  We are incredibly excited to become a family of 6 as soon as possible!!! 

Day 2 In Region

Day 2 in Region—

We didn’t eat breakfast because nothing is in English…we didn’t see our translator’s car, and prepared to walk to the orphanage, which isn’t far.  Dan called Sasha, and he said he was parked out back and would meet us shortly. 

We went for our visit, and Mayah comes running out of the room ready for another fun visit!!  She got bundled up, grabbed her dog, coloring book and crayons and we were off.  Yesterday, she had her headbands on when we came back for visit 2, today they were off.  Her hair was french braided!  I’m really in for it.  I can’t do that.  With 3 boys when was I ever to pick up that trade?  HELP!  Haha

We get to her room and begin playing.  We didn’t take anything new for her this morning.  She noticed.  We don’t want to spoil her.  We are in a great room for playing.  There are hula hoops, balls, weights and a huge mirror.  She LOVES to look at herself while she does things. 

She bounces back from one thing to another like popcorn.  Too cute.  The stickers we brought for her yesterday, she would put one on and insist I take a picture.  Then another…and another pic…then another sticker…and another pic.  Every new activity requires pictures….BUT if Mama takes a picture of something when she’s not paying attention…all playing ceases and she has to come see it. 

Tonight, we need to learn how to say brother in Ukrainian.  So when we show her the pics of the  boys again…we can say they’re her brothers.  I can’t wait to see how she will react.

This girl is going to LOVE gymnastics with her brother!  She does a great handstand and loves somersaults…Mama..not so much.  We told Alexander Mayah would come to gymnastics with him and he was so excited.  They simply cannot wait for her to be home.

Neither can we. 

Sasha filed our paperwork this morning with the local court.  He says he’ll call us on Tuesday after he finds out what Judge we have and when we’ll have court.  Please, friends,  pray we get court ASAP!  Dan and I are totally believing in God to let all 3 of us come home together  oh yes, I said together.  It can happen. 

Tonight’s  visit was  too short…not only did it make us sad…Mayah was sad and confused.  Our hearts were breaking.  Dan thinks the one care-taker told us to bring her back at 5.  It was 4:30.  Yikes!  We hurried up and got her in the room.  We got boots (size 12) and coat (size 8a?) off and she went to her table.  There was someone in there at first, but she packed up her papers and left…it wasn’t long before Mayah was already taking over her space.  She knows what she wants.  Excellent quality for my girl!!  In hind sight, Dan thinks maybe the woman told him we needed to come at 5….we don’t know.  I suppose after a few days of 4:30…maybe we’ll all begin to understand what is the proper schedule.  We felt bad for leaving her so soon…(though we did give her some juice in the room….she LOVED it!)  I blew her a kiss, and she returned it to us…we knew she’d be okay until tomorrow morning when we return.  There is one little girl who loves when we come…she calls me Mama and I got to give her tons of hugs before we said our “pakas” and out the door we went.  Sasha went into the city for some final paperwork and then he was headed back to Kiev.  He took us to the store and to exchange some money…we get  to pay our hotel daily so that’s also a super score.   We don’ t have a microwave or anything in here but a fridge, so our food choices are limited.  Ugh…I hope tomorrow blogging will be easier…doing 2 days at once was a bit difficult….I’d like to keep up the pace daily and better share our experience here.  Here is a pic of our view  from our room…don’t be jealous.

This is what we see on the walk from the orphanage to the hotel.  The walk isn’t bad, and the weather is cold…but enjoyable.  Refreshing.  I like the cold. 

Today I’m incredibly thankful for everyone who prayed when I asked.  Prayers are incredibly powerful, and we serve one amazing God.  We cannot wait to hang out with our little beauty tomorrow.  Enjoy the pics!!


I promise tomorrow’s post will be better;)

Good night to you all!!

Day 1 in region at the orphanage


Day 1 in region

I’m sorry for the late post.  When I heard people say, “adoption isn’t for the faint of heart” I never thought that meant me well it does.  And chances are, it’s you too.   It’s reality.  And I’ll get to that later.  Let’s recap yesterday’s events.

We got up at 5, it was cold and rainy.  Thankfully we were mostly packed and headed out the door.  We waited for Julie on the corner.  Poor Julie.  She doesn’t have great english at all, so we stopped at her friend’s house on the way out of kiev (I think, after a while we were lost….Dan and I , not Julie!)  We waited for a while in the parking lot and then Valentin joined us and we were off!  We stopped along the way for coffee and then we were back en route to our destination.  I slept most of the way, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open for love or money.  We finally arrived in Mayah’s region, passed her orphanage entranceway and we had to head into the center of the city to pick up the social worker.  Dan and I waited in the car

The social worker hops in the back of Julie’s car, Dan is in the center of the backseat.  Funny, yes;)  Poor guy, thankfully it was only a short ride. 

We get to the orphanage and drove all around zigging here and zagging there.  I was lost.  I had no idea how on earth we were going to make it on our own.  We get in and Julie had to go pick up the orphanage doctor, Valentin walked us through a bit of the process.  His english was fantastic!!  Valentin had been to this orphanage last year with a family adopting 3 children.  We were happy to have a friendly face with us.  The orphanage director came in as well as the vice-orphanage director.  We sat in a room with 6 other adults and the doctor filled us in on Mayah’s condition.  We were ready.  I don’t know how long it took , but the vice-director finally made a call and we heard she was on her way.  We were so excited!  They told me to get her stuffed dog out and ready. 

She entered.  Mama cries.  I don’t even know what Dan did.  We just smiled and watched her.  They told her she could have the dog.  She was happy and sat down at the table.  We left our seats along the wall and sat with her and we got out the coloring books.

I have no idea how long our visit was but our faces hurt from smiling so much.  I tried to contain myself from incessant tears.  Nothing says, “I love you and want to be your Mama” like a crying stranger.  Really.

When the visit was over we got to walk with her to her groupa building.  The orphanage is a bunch of buildings all bunched together.  The older kids seem to have the ability to come and go and play outside as they so choose.  Which is great.  The people here are wonderful.  They seem to care for the children.  Mayah walked closely with her care-taker.  She took her dog, coloring book and crayons with her.  I’m glad to report each time we visit she grabs her things and brings them with us;)

After we dropped her off, we learned the orphanage doctor cleared us to have a room to visit with her in the hospital…which is right across the “road” or walkway of her groupa house.  Awesome.

It took a while to leave after the first visit, they got our official “YES” of accepting her referral.  We waited more in the hallway.  The vice orphanage director told us, “God bless you” and she feels Mayah is better WITH US!!  I, of course, being the emotionless woman that I am….well…I cried AGAIN.  Go figure. 

I’ll just post pictures from our second visit, since I’m a day behind on blogging.

Later today/tonight I’ll post from our second day’s adventures!!  Our hotel does have wi-fi…but not in the rooms…so I have to head down to the restaurant to post online.

If anyone ever doubts if God answers prayer…the fact we are here, happy, and our future daughter runs out of her room yelling, “my mama, my mama!” should say HE DOES.  He has prepared her heart for us as we have been praying.  Our sons cannot WAIT for their sister to be HOME.  Neither can we.  Neither can we.

Day 4 1/2 part 2-Last Night in Kiev

Dan and I had a marvelous day together!  We were barely here at the apartment.  Long enough to re-group and sype with the kids and get some things settled. 

David still isn’t missing us too much, he barely has time to skype with us…but we did manage to get his whole face on the screen and I about melted.  Oh how  I miss them.  It’s all worth it though, we know that…but it doesn’t take it away at all.  …well…skype helps a bunch!

It’s raining here now, perfect to head to bed shortly.

Dan and I had the local cuisine for lunch.  It was only $12 for us both to get a sizable about of food and drinks, he loved everything he got…me…not so much.  We choose different things. 

so we stopped at our favorite pizza place on the way back just for me

yesterday we ate upstairs, today we waited downstairs and took it back to the apartment…or should I say them.  While trying to order 1 small pizza with 2 toppings they mistakenly thought I was ordering 2 pizzas with everything (that’s how they come).  We didn’t mind, we had dinner then too!

Nico called us at 3:30 and told us Julia was coming to pick us up at the corner at 4.  Julia doesn’t speak much english, but she does speak spanish…so I had to dust that off the shelf in my brain and it helped quite a bit.  Her husband will be the one assisting us tomorrow and for the next few days, but he’ll be meeting us in Mayah’s region. 

The SDA pickup was simple.  Serge went in and got our paperwork, we went outside to talk some things over…then he left and we followed Julia back in to the hallway and waited in line.  We had  to show our passports, sign a paper and off we went!  The lady at the SDA laughed because I wasn’t smiling in my passport photo (no, you can’t see it!) and I was all smiles while in her office. 

This is the gate you go in to get to the little hallway at the SDA

(only this is from the inside looking out)

We left the SDA and Julia had to do some things so Dan and I stopped to have some coffee.

Dan got to stop at the Ferrari store…that made him happy;)

What I love most about this city is the “underground”.  There’s a metro arena!  A mall..A HUGE MALL!  Nico told us about it and we went to check it out.  We got Mayah’s dog there

Cute huh?  I think she’ll love to be snuggling with him when we’re not around;)

There are just stairways going down like this:

Until you get your bearings, you never know where in the city you’ll pop up!  We felt like gophers.  Foreign city mall gophers.  But we got the hang of it rather quickly.  It actually goes a few floors deep as well. 

And now for a tour of our apartment:

Dan has to unlock the first door:

Then we just open the second and head right in!

into the hallway.  The bathroom is the first door on the left, the kitchen is straight ahead and the living room is off to the right and the balcony is off the LR and the BR is off the LR;)

the bathroom has a little washer on the left.

then the kitchen:

the living room:

the bed part of the bedroom:

and where I spent most of my time…the desk part of the bedroom using the cable modem;)

we also have a great balcony;) 

This is the view at night from the ground in front of our apartment.  They have these trees all lit up.

We have really enjoyed our stay here…taking in the sights, trying new foods and shopping in a new culture.  We’re ready to experience where Mayah is now. 

This is…the last night our beautiful daughter goes to bed not knowing a Mama and a Daddy.

Isn’t our God wonderful?

Day 4 1/2-Last Day in Kiev!

Dan slept in, and as usual, I was up rather early.  I got some banking issues taken care of and tried going back to bed.  My attemps were futile at best.  Oh well.  Plenty of time to sleep, really.

I did my first load of laundry in Europe.  WOW.  Much different.  I’m on my second and last load before we travel.  It’s looking like we’ll be traveling to Mayah’s region with damp clothing.  Good thing it’s not too far and I brough febreeze travel with me.  WHEW!

We ventured out this morning with intentions on buying Mayah some DVD’s in Ukrainian.  That way she has a little “taste of home” .  Dan and I found the boys’ favorite movies here.  I’m checking to see if we can play them on our DVD players then we will go back and purchase them.  What a neat experience for the boys as well.  To see their favorite movies in a completely different language.

Their sister’s language.

aaaand, the answer is no.  Though I heard if you put them in your computer you can play them that way, but we don’t have DVD drives on our laptop.  We bought a portable dvd player instead.  That way the kids can watch movies on long road trips. 

Hmm..I suppose we’ll have to think of something.  I’d really hate to buy a region 5 dvd player for a few movies.  Maybe we’ll price them.  (?)

Our walk this morning was wonderful!  This is what road-side sidewalks are like:

It’s 2 way traffic in these things.  You’d best be walking quickly and be prepared to rub up against the side as other fast moving pedestrians march onward to their destination in the other direction.  It’s quick, I tell ya!

This is what the city in our area looks like:

our apartment is up the street on the right hand side (you can’ t see the building)

It’s actually the view from Friday’s…which is here:

And after yesterday’s most delicious pizza at this place across the street,

don’t waste your time or money at Fridays.

Some more city views from our location, get a load of the traffic.  Always congested, always moving, always someone honking their horn.  You must have to be born into it to want to drive a car around here.  Nico says it’s not so bad.  haha

Maybe the pictures don’t do the traffic justice.  You’ll have to take my word for it;)

Off to lunch!!  (here)

I’m hoping in between being here after lunch and before going back to the SDA we will get to skyp with our kids;)  what icing that would be to our day.

**oops!  I forgot to add our spending**

Yesterday’s trip to and back from the SDA was $50 grivna= $6.29 USD  and today I bought myself a hair tie, mayah a cute pink headband and myself a headband to keep my hair back….total$53 grivna (estimated, Dan doesn’t have the receipt for that one) = $6.67 USD.

Day 3 -We Seek Adventure!

Day 3-We Seek Adventure!  (a little David shout out there!  He climbs the tree and tells me, “Mommy I’m going to seek adventure!”  I love that kid.)

First off…I had breakfast with my “flat children” 

Last night was a little difficult for us as we took a nap. OOPS!  It wasn’t until after 2:30am we fell asleep.  I got up at 7:30 and woke Dan up at 8:45.  We had breakfast and met Nico outside to pick us up and take us to the SDA.  Traffic was terrible…moreso than normal.  Apparently the PM of Canada was visiting today.  While we waited, we were there early, Nico bought us all coffee…awesome coffee!  We met Serge and later headed in to our appt.  An excellent note for anyone who hasn’t went to the SDA yet…wear tennis shoes!  Really.  It’s cobble stone and hard to walk on with heels.  Serge wore jeans and shirt…I should have also…at least the tennis shoes anyway. 

Here is the sign for the SDA.

And a peek of the church right next to the SDA, they are having to renovate because the hill under the church is sliding. 

We went around back and went in a small doorway and waited in the hallway.  After standing there for maybe 15 mins or so Serge led us upstairs.  We met in a small office and we saw Mayah’s file sitting nearby.  First, we had to answer a few questions about us and why we wanted to adopt a sn child.  We got to learn a few things about Mayah we didn’t know.  Her hearing seems rather bad, she has speech issues…which would be obvious because of the hearing and she has scoliosis.  No biggie.  More imporantly, we got to see her baby picture!!  We didn’t get it, but at least we saw it.  She was so cute and tiny all swaddled up and she was even looking at the camera.  The next picture we saw was the same one on the sirotsvy website…only it was a full body shot.  She looks sooo tiny and she has big feet!  We love it!  We learned her mother abandoned her at birth with a letter stating such.  While it’s heart wrenching to conceive…we are sure it’s because she was always meant for our family.

We also made the decision not to add another child along with Mayah.  It was the only thing that brought us peace.  We got to look at some other files, and Dan and I were both waiting for promptings from the Holy Spirit to speak to us as to which one.  While we weren’t given too much time…we feel we had enough to make the decision.  Mayah will be enough for now.  She is where our concentration needs to be.  I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t want us to bring home 2 when we’re approved for 2…but He knows best.  That doesn’t mean we can’t ever come back.  *wink*  lol

Afterwards, we left and Nico took us back to our apartment.  We got to see a little of the city and decided we’d venture out!  We walked practically back up to the SDA.  It started to look like rain, so when we got to the top of the big hill near this place

We decided to turn around. 

Along the way, we maneuvered through an underground mall, which isn’t far from our apartment.  We walked through it, but there was nothing there we needed.  We continued on and walked through the streets, people and rushing cars.  Pedestrians certainly do NOT have the right of way here.  Run across the road when given the chance.  Run.

We got to see 2 McDonalds’ and Dan says, “oh there’s something you don’t see everyday.”  And I said, “actually we’ve seen quite a few McD’s since we left our apartment today alone.”  “Oh.”  He said.  He makes me laugh.  My life would be so dull without the one God made just for me.  I love him so much. 

Also on the way home, we stopped for pizza.

Delicious pizza.

Pizza we can’t stop thinking about.

Total, including 2 drinks, 2 toppings for a “middle” pizza was $97 grivna.  Dan had $100 so he gave the girl the remaining 3, then he realized that may have been more insulting than good….oops!  Good thing we’re going back tomorrow, he can make up for it!  Total in USD was $12.57.  MUCH better than our overpriced meals at Friday’s the day before.  We may also try the local cuisine as well tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to it. 

We are doubting there will be much to choose from when we get to Mayah’s region…so we’re enjoying eating out while we can.  We’ve also consumed all of the ham and cheese Nico picked out for us, and we have Nestle coco puffs, juice, yogurt and fruit to get us through tomorrow…and taking the excess along with us since it’s not all that far.  Then I’m sure we’ll be eating all our food we brought with us (won’t take long, I didn’t bring much) and everything we are able to buy from a local market when we get there Wednesday.  WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!

**also, I used an ATM for the first time today!**  we are needing my SIL to wire us our paypal funds but in the interim, I was able to get some grivna out.  It didn’t let me choose USD at first even though the option is there…nico said they never have USD in there, he tries but never happens.  lol  I was able to withdraw some grivna though!!

Thanks to God and to all his people who helped us get to this place in our lives.  Your obedience to him is appreciated in everything we do while we we’re here.