Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I got info from Michelle this morning and will talk to her more in a few minutes before I go to sleep.
They got the passport!!
They are getting on a 4:30 train to Kyiv!
They booked flights home for Friday!
Just need to see the doctor and embassy on Wednesday and Thursday. That should be plenty of time.
It is almost over. Or is that just beginning? Maybe step blah-blah-blah is over and the next step is beginning.
Woohoo...they will be home for the weekend. Just in time for the gas shortage, the Wachovia bank buyout/takeover, the stock market plunge, and the congressional bailout "stuff". It has been a pretty exciting week in America...and they have no idea about any of it. :-)
P.S. I have 20-25 years till retirement and I look at the stock market like it is on sale right now. Keep on doing the monthly purchases no matter what. It will come back before I need to tap into that money. Though I am glad I still have 20 years to recover.
Oh, wait...this is an adoption blog. Never mind.
Monday, September 29, 2008
She and Nadia are having fun being together and enjoying each others company.
I worked all night so I have to go to bed. I apologize for the short post.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Michelle went to the baby house this morning and signed all the necessary paperwork for transfer of custody. All the children lined up and gave Nadia a kiss and patted her on the head. All the nurses and caregivers and doctors and the director did the same. Mama Tanya (Nadia's favorite nurse) cried. Tears of joy because she had a family or tears of joy because she was really attached to Nadia? Michelle is not sure. Probably both.
After picking up Nadia they went to the apartment and ate some lunch. Then they were going to go to the store, but Nadia did not want to go. She wanted to stay home. That is until Michelle showed her the cool new ride we got for her (stroller). Then she really wanted to go and had a wonderful time cruising around town. Michelle says later in the day Nadia wanted to go out for a walk just so she could cruise some more. :-)
They took a bath and had a great time playing in the water too.
The passport office was able to get the paperwork processed on the same day as it was submitted. They are telling us that the passport can be picked up at 11 AM Monday morning. That is awesome and we hope it actually happens that way.
Michelle and Nadia will head back to Kiev after getting the passport and saying goodbye to Masha.
Tuesday will be the doctors appointment and then the embassy for the visa.
The airline Michelle wants to use has changed the schedule a little. When I flew home they went from Kiev to New York on Thursday. That same flight is now on Wednesday and Friday, but not on Thursday. She will either find a different flight or will come home Friday. That could work well anyway because it will give them time to make sure all is right while in Kiev. Flying home Thursday would not leave room for any delays at all. At least it leaves a day for errors or delays.
So, right now Nadia is actually sleeping with her Mama...and she is loving it. Who could ask for more? :-)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Michelle and "Fred" went to the baby house to get Nadia for the passport trip today. They decided they would send a caregiver after all. Probably just because they could. Nadia did not like the idea of getting into the car at all. She cried even if Michelle touched the car or leaned toward it. As far as we know she has never been in a car. After making her get in and letting her yell for a few minutes she calmed down and actually enjoyed most of the ride to the passport office. Michelle says that when going to the car for the ride back nadia had no problem with the car at all and enjoyed the whole ride.
The passport office has told Michelle that the passport will be ready on Monday if it goes out today. "Fred" will call tomorrow and find our if it did indeed go out on Thursday or Friday morning. We will see.
Michelle is planning on picking up the passport Monday morning, taking a train to Kyiv Monday night, visiting the doctor Tuesday morning, visiting the embassy Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, and trying to book a flight home for Thursday. We are really hoping that plan will work.
The "less good" news is that Nadia is at the baby house tonight. Michelle is staying with a nurse from Nadia's group. That nurse is working tonight. After discussion between all of them it was decided that Michelle will pick Nadia up in the morning. Masha (the nurse) will be home and help Michelle ease Nadia into a real world diet and schedule. Nadia has eaten the same things every day for her whole life. Masha knows this stuff and the schedule. She will teach ity all to Michelle starting tomorrow because she will not be working for three days (or something like that).
Oh, and they closed out the "state" account and donanted it to the baby house today. That took a lot longer than they expected. I guess the office they had to do that at was being a pain in the buttocks. At one point they even said they could not do it because Michelle's passport (US) does not have her address. Well, duh. None of our passports have an address. They worked around the hurdles one by one until the office ran out of excuses and coughed up Nadia's (our daughter's) money. Ugh.
I know she told me other stuff also, but for the life of me I can't remember it all. I have to go find out if there are flights available for Thursday. :-)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
First...The tax ID was applied for on Monday. They were told to call on Thursday to check on it's issuance. Guess what they got this morning! Yes, a part of the process that supposedly takes 10-20 days took less than 48 hours. This same process in the same region in the same office took at least 10 days just a few weeks ago for another family. Why the big difference in such a short time? We have no idea, except that God answered that prayer! Thank you for that.
Second...Nadia has a state savings account in Ukraine for her future because of her disability. That account contains 4,000 hryvna (Ukrainian money). The exchange rate was around 4.7 or 4.8 when I left, so it is worth about 830-850 dollars. Michelle and "Fred" will go close that account. The money will be donated to the baby house to help all the other children and make their lives a little better in some small way.
Third...In order to access that money Michelle would need an "adoption" certificate. We did get one when we adopted Yana, but Nadia only got a birth certificate. "Fred" has never had a reason to get an "adoption" certificate before. I asked about it, but it was not normal procedure for them and I let it go. Anyway, they do need this certificate to access the savings account. So, they will get the adoption certificate, which answers a very small prayer of my own. (I do genealogy and every piece of paper is important. It is a totally different story).
Back to the point of the third thing from today... they need this adoption certificate. To get that they would have to travel back to the birth city (Volchansk) which is over an hours drive away. They were ready to go do that when "Fred" called to make sure the woman they need to see would be in the office. I am sorry to say that she was going to be out for a day or two, or something like that. Then the lady asked if "Fred" was still in Kharkiv. That just happens to be where this lady is headed for that time. :-) To make the story a little shorter...the lady is going to make the adoption certificate, bring it to Kharkiv, meet "Fred" and give it to him, and save them a two day wait and a trip to Volchansk! Unbelievable!! Thank God again!!
Fourth...Now that the tax ID is obtained the passport can be officially applied for. Nadia needs to be at the passport office personally for that procedure. The passport people need to do a "scan", which involves finer prints and I think it is a retinal scan or something. So, tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon Michelle and "Fred" (and no escort) will be allowed to take Nadia to this passport office in downtown Kharkiv. Wonderful news! What is even better? They will return Nadia to the baby house, the doctors and nurses and director will do a bunch of paperwork, and later tomorrow (afternoon) Michelle will take Nadia FOR GOOD!!! God kicked down another door for that to happen already also!!
So, Michelle will have Nadia with her full time starting Thursday afternoon, has saved about a week in waiting time so far, is looking at being home possibly later next week (it was maybe 2 weeks), and is happy.
She has requested that everyone pray for a quick turnover period with the Ukrainian passport being issued also. That is one of those things that has slowed some families down in the past. It can take a week if things go badly. Yana's took two days because there was an election going on at the time, and it was a different procedure anyway. So, please pray that goes smoothly and quickly. It is the last BIG hurdle.
Once the Ukrainian passport is issued Michelle and Nadia will head back to Kiev. They will go see the doctor for a physical and then the US Consolate for issuing the visa for immigration. Once in Kiev, it should only be 2-3 days before they come home forever. Woohoo!!
In other news from Ukraine:
Michelle was able to meet with Konstantin (our facilitation team manager) and Ninel and had a fabulous lunch. She once again was able to connect with friends. :-) She is supposed to meet with Ninel again before leaving Kharkiv.
There is today's update from Ukraine. More to follow later. I am pretty sure Michelle will be posting less once she has Nadia. I doubt the little one will feel like cruising the blogs and reading email. :-) I will keep you as updated as I can from here at home.
Please continue to pray for Harrison Lucas. He has been making leaps forward and is amazing. Please pray that his recovery continues.
I will try to post some Queen concert photos and video tonight! :-)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"Fred" and I posing in front of a street-side billboard for the concert we would be attending later that week. :-)
We met more friends for lunch and an afternoon of fun. (Me, Sveta, Michelle and "Fred"). Michelle will probably tell you more about Sveta. She got her drivers liscense last February and bought herself a car. It is quite an adventure driving with her, but she is a wonderful person.
Michelle and I with Victor (Sveta's son) posing on top of a Russian T-64 tank overlooking Kharkiv.
We went to some place that had well water that is claimed to have healing properties. Our friends made sure Michelle went there because they know of her health issues from earlier this year. Drinking this water cures everything, including cancer, according to the signs. :-)
This is Michelle's least favorite mode of transportation in Kharkiv. Well, maybe she likes it better than walking. :-)
We arrived in Sakhnovshina at our friend's home and they had this feast prepared. It was delicious and included the obligatory toasts. :-)
Valek and Luda. They are some of the best people I have met in my life. I love them both dearly.
Our friends for life in Sakhnovshina.
Valek, Luda, Michelle, Myself, Larissa (Yana's teacher), Oksana (Luda's sister), and Dima (Oksana's son)
Yesterday we picked up the final decree and birth certificate for our darling Nadia (YES!). It is as final as it gets :) We filed for the tax ID and were told we can start calling on Thursday to see if it has been received (please pray it will be ready when we call).
Last night was REALLY cool! Guess who I had dinner with.....ChristieM (as she is known on FRUA). How cool is that? She was SO kind and brought me some quick dry long johns so I would not freeze to death LOL The past 2-3 days have been nice but today it is cold and raining again (let's not forget windy too). So I am SUPER appreciative of my new warm clothing :)
It was so awesome to finally meet her. I felt so comfortable with her like I have known her forever ( I think I have known her for probably 3 yrs actually but only online). It was a great visit and I hope we will meet up again some time statestide.
Gosh, I had so many things I wanted to post about but can't remember them now. I prefer so much more to prepare my post on the laptop then upload them hear then sit here and feel like I am rushed for thoughts. Oh well, this is just a minor inconvenience, if you could even call it that.
I am enjoying so much my time with "Fred". We just have some great laughs together, I could have laughed myself to tears last night AFTER our conversation was over just thinking about it ( I did laugh quite a bit during). It is great to have someone around to laugh with.
I have failed to share how thankful I am for some wonderful friends and family back home. I am SOOOO incredible thankful for those people who have stepped up to help our kids while we were away. Of course my parents have been so awesome taking in the kids and doing their best to keep them busy doind things like going to the YMCA and doing some homeschooling. Then Beverly was SO awesome, she picked up the kids each Sunday and brought them to church. I was afraid the kids would not be attending while we were and away and when Beverly answered it just melted my heart. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! And as if that wasn't cool enough Devin and Melissa offered to pick up the kids each Wed. evening for church. How awesome is that! So not only did my kids NOT miss Sunday service but they also had Wed. for fellowship and prayer! Praise God! I am just so incredibly grateful and thankful that Dan is home with the kids now, spending quality time together and preparing for Nadia's arrival. God is good!!!
So I still have not been able to complete my shopping for Nadia's much needed clothing and was hoping I could today but the stinkin' rain again! I found an indoor mall but as I mentioned before it is really expensive and I couldn't get myself to spend the money even for just a few things. Hopefully things will dry out again within the next day or two and I will complete my shopping.
And quickly before I run out of time, Nadia continues to become more and ore comfortable with me, I am in awe! When she is tired, she stradles my legs and lays her head on my chest. She can spend a half our like this just SO relaxed, almost asleep but not. She then will look up at me with a smile, I am not the only one in heaven. The other day I was kissing, kissing, kissing her soft cheeks and neck and she let me without any complaint. It was as if she was mesmorized by this LOL She loves when I sing to her and rock her and will even request it of me. I can't stop thinking how perfect she is for me. I think about all of my children and think it is SO obvious God chose each on for me because we are exactly what each other needs. So beautiful and awesome!
Sorry no time for spell check (the atuo specll check does not work in Ukraine for some reason) so you get the mess I give ya! LOL
Look forward to some posts from Dan. He has requested to also be an author of posts to share about Queen (are you smiling Colleen? LOL) and upload more pics of our baby girl.
Love to all!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I had a wonderful visit with Nadia today, she continues to impress me. Today I showed her how to sit indian style and she did beautifully. Weird, seems like no one ever showed herhow before.
We are tried some stretching games but it was not long before my spitting friend came to take over. She seems to think Nadia needs a full workout, not particularly stretching. She had her doing some arms lifts then wanted her to do leg lifts. This old lady actually got down on the floor and started doing leg lifts to show Nadia. If only I had my camera!! LOL The look on Nadia's face was priceless. This woman spent so much time rolling on the floor doing all kids of weird things, I was only hoping that someone else would walk in and see her and tell her, "You crazy old woman, get up off the floor" :) But it didn't happen.
Yesterday after I left the internet center I headed to the cafe near the apartment for some hot food. Of course there were 2 drunk guys in there. Okay, one was drunk the other was passed out. It's interesting how many wasted people I have seen since I've been here. Although I KNOW America has it's share of drunks and drug addicts, I don't usually see them in my daily life. Here however I have seen men shaking other men silly to wake them from their drunk sleep to get off the tram. I have seen men, probably in their 40's, drunk on the tram, flicking each other in the face for laughs (??? okay), I have seen what I thought was some random drunk at the cafe the other day but he must work there or something because no one seemed to have a problem when he walked behind the bar and even went into the kitchen at one point.
Usually I just play "keep an eye on the drunk" to be sure to stay out of the way. However, yesterday at the cafe, this guy was trying to make friends with me.
Dan called on my cell just as I was trying to order, I asked him call back in 5 min. He took about 15 mins to call back and during that time the drunk guy (probably in his mid to late 30's) stumbled over and used my shoulder to hold himself up as he began to talk to me. I just smiled and told him (in English) that I speak English. He continued to speak so in Russian I said "I do not understand". He went away.
Then Dan called back and we were chatting. My drunk friend came back to the table and figured he would sit out the phone call. I continued to talk and refused to make any eye contact. I stared at my soup and my hot tea. Then I saw him squirming in his seat, moving his feet to get my attention but I continued to ignore and talk to Dan.
I told Dan he had to stay on the phone with me until I left. So I got up (still no eye contact) got my check, paid for it, went back to the table to grab my bag (still on the phone and no eye contact with my new friend) and left the building. It all worked out and he did not get up to follow me.
Dan was on the phone telling me to tell the guy to go away. I said I did not want to make him mad. He said, "Be rude! You didn't come thereto visit with him!" It's not that I didn't want to hurt his feelings, it's that I didn't want to have a mad drunk guy on my case.
Anyway, no more to report on that.
I am just about out of internet time and am headed to the open market to do some shopping. I have been invited back to the baby house (by Masha) at 3:00. She said it is better because the sun will still be up (I am assuming she means when I leave). I really like this idea and hope it works out well and I can continue to visit on this schedule.
Thank you so much for the prayers. Don't worry I wasn't planning on being miserable the rest of my time here. My evening at "home" was a nice break from the crummy weather.
Love to all!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Just moments after the rain picks up. I still have a long way to go and know I will be drenched (and literally frozen) if I do not use the cheapy umbrella, so I try again. Of course, the wind picks up as well and my umbrella is inside out over and over again. What else can I do but start to cry. I couldn't help it. I just want to see my daughter!
Of course I start thinking about all of the other stuff that upsets me like the situation with Katya and trying to understand how on Monday (after the 10 days when the adoption decree if finalized) why I STILL won't be able to take MY DAUGHTER! It is just ridiculous to me that they still need this and that, which takes another 10 days! It doesn't make sense, she is MY daughter. Of course, I will just deal with it but it would be a lot easier if the weather would be a little more cooperative.
The weather yesterday aftenoon was not much better than this morning but still not quite as bad. Last night was low 50's but not as windy and no rain. I was actually happy about that! I'm not asking for perfect conditions but come on! This is insane!!
When I have my 20 min walk to the tram (to wait for 30 mins sometimes) from the baby house heading "home", the sidewalk is really dark. One side of the street has more mud than the other. But the side that has less mud has trees blocking the street lights from shining there and I can't see where the mud is and even get concerned I am going to walk right into someone. It is incredibly frustating.
I keep thinking about the things I have at home that would make these conditions a bit more bearable such as my Uggs for one. I would also like to have my thermal undergarments, my heavy down coat, gloves and pashmire scarf.
So you are wondering, why don't I go shopping for warmer clothing, right? I mean, even if I can't bring them home it would be worth the money to not be miserable, right? yeah, my thoughts exactly, HOWEVER, shopping is not indoors. Shopping is in the outdoor market SEARCHING for what I need. I haven't even picked up what I want to get for Nadia yet (though I seem to have time) because I haven't seen what I am looking for. So I just can't seem to get myself to stay out in the wet, windy, cold even longer to HOPE I will find what I need, THEN wait another 30 mins or more for the tram because the open market is at a different stop.
Okay, so now you are thinking, "Don't they have any indoor shopping malls?" Perhaps there is something not terribly far but I don't know where. THAT and indoor shopping prices are double, maybe even triple the prices at the open markets.
So tonight, unless the weather conditions change quite a bit, I will stay in for some holy hibernation (watching CNN, reading & praying for better weather tomorrow).
In other news, Dan has made it home safely. Yana sent an email wanting to hear that he made it home safe and has her present with him LOL Kids!
Oh and Dan, you mess with Anthony and I about our snuggling because of his age but guess what I saw as I passed the room where Luda (Masha's daughter) and her son Vlad (12 yr old) were... they were snuggling in bed together!! Yes, Mama's can still snuggle their young men and they DO all over the world! I want to snuggle with mine too (and my Yana too, of course!!).
Also, young men seem to have the same interests all over the world. I see them at the internet center and see Vlad at home, playing computer games. I also enjoyed watching Vlad play with his cat, Sean (after Sean Connery, I believed named by Masha lol) with the red lazer beam light. Differnt language, different country, but very much the same. Pretty cool!
In Nadia news...she has really begun to learn some of the songs I sing to her. When I sing 5 Little Duckis she does the QUACK QUACK QUACK (though she is usually short just one QUACK) at the appropriate times. When I sing Alice The Camel she sings the BOOM BOOM BOOM at the appropriate times. When I sing If You're Happy & You Know It she claps her hands, "stomps" her feet, and shouts HOORAY at the appropriate times (sometimes I have to remind her which one it is time to do but she does it). :) She is a doll!
Today I tried to teach her her new name, Nadia Hope Hills. She was working on Hope but it kept coming out as Whoop! So maybe we should call her Nadia Whoop! LOL
We both miss Papa and can't wait to talk to him on the cell (with Yana & Anthony) soon!
Well, not sure what else to write right now. I still have another 25 mins left of computer time here and do not look forward to getting back out in the weather to head for the tram. I guess I will surf the web for a while or something :)
PS Dan, I think Sveta is coming to kidnap me soon. Pray for safe driving. Oy!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I thought I would stop by again on my way "home" for the night. :)
First, I have to say that your comments are very appreciated. Diana, you are SO right! I feel the same way about, if they only knew they would never let me take her!! My feelings exactly!
Tonights visit was awesome! I can't explain it but at some point during our visit, for the first time it really felt like I am her Mama and she is my daughter. My love for her continues to grow but it was not that. Maybe it's her accepting me as her Mama that made it click, I don't know but it was just a new feeling and of course it was really cool.
I also wanted to share how proud I am of her. We were sitting on the floor playing, as usual and were gathering our things for me to bring her back to the groupa. I picked her up off my lap and was going to sit her down so I could pack up the crayons and stuff and she put her feet down to stand instead. So I was trying to get her to sit, because I couldn't hold her up and pack up at the same time, but she was set on standing. That is when I realized that she had really good balance. I lightly had my hand on her lower back, and while her legs and ankles were not in perfect position, she was pretty much standing on her own! Oh my goodness, this one is going to do really well once given the chance, I just know it!
As it was said in the comments, just wait until I send updates back to Ukraine on how well she is doing. I bet jaws will hit the floor.
Colleen, you have asked if Nadia's CP is as bad as Vivi's and I was thinking about it today why it is so hard to answer. It's hard for me to answer because Vivi was not given the oppurtunities that Nadia has. Vivi would be much further along by now if people took the time each day to massage her and hold her by her hands to try and help her walk to the toilet and various places.
I just see these girls doing amazing things in their lives, people just don't know but I know us mom's can see it. I'm just so excited for all of these kids I know and hear about with CP. These kids are the true survivors for sure.
It occured to me today when thinking about Diana's comment about people looking at her son because of his limp. I thought about how so many people will look at these kids and think, "He/she does not walk well" Meanwhile us Mom's (and Dad's) will be looking at these same kids thinking "Look how incredible he/she is walking! That is amazing, awesome and beautiful!!" Same kid, same walk, different ways of seeing it.
I will definitely be posting on FRUA and the Yahoo boards about our blessing when I get home. We will pray that others hearts will be opened to these precious secret jewels awaiting families!
I don't even know what to post about because I was not prepared to come up with new thoughts to share, I had a pretyped entry! LOL
Anyway, I have learned that the temp. in F is 50! No wonder I am so cold especially when it is raining and the wind is blowing. I still can't understand how it was in the 90's last week. We were so hot that Dan and I opened the window in the hotel room, were laying on the beds in our underwear with the fan blowing on us. It was HOT! Now I can't my hands on thermal underwear fast enough. Crazy I tell ya! LOL
Nadia is doing AWESOME! While it really stinks that Dan is gone (he is curently in Kyiv and leaves for the States on Thursday), I found that Nadia has become increasingly more comfortable with me over the past few days. It really has been so awesome.
I am enjoying where I am staying. Masha and her family are so wonderful. It turns out she lives with her daughter and grandSON (not granddaughter). Her grandson is 12 and is a REALLY great kid. Masha has been off work the past 2 days and has been cooking for me. Very tasty!
It was funny, last night when I was waiting forever for the tram I thought I should probably give Masha "Fred's: phone number should I become MIA. But I also wondered if anyone here would be worried and at what point would they become concerened.
Well, I left the baby house at 7, as usual. But the tram doesn't seem to come until 7:45 or so. Then it is 10 stops until I make it "home". When I walked throught the door Masha was waiving her fist at me (in a loving kind of way LOL), to let me know she was worried. I couldn't explain to her that I came straight home, there was nothing more I could do to get there any faster. Anyway, it's good to know they are watching out for me :)
Speaking of, she is probably wonder what happened to me after my morning visit. She was going to try and help me find an internet cafe but she had an earache all night and was still not doing well when I woke this morning. So I gave her some Tylenol PM and assumed she would lay down and get some rest. I would not dare make her take me out today for our internet search if she is not feeling well. However, she may still be waiting for me. I guess I should go :)
Love to all!
PS Good news, sounds like my sister may be coming to visit for my last week in Ukraine. I think that would be really fun, I hope it works out!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Today was a fun filled day! We went to lunch again with Ninel but also with "Fred" and my friend Sveta. Afterwards Sveta drove us to a few places in Kharkov (she is a craaaaazy driver!). It wasa lot of fun but unfortunately we only got to see Nadia for 5 mins this evening (we did see her for a morning visit though).
Anyway, I just wanted to share about our experience with our Ukrainian friends' responses to us adopting a child with CP. If only you saw the faces of Luda, Okasana and Larissa in Sakhnovschina as "Fred" spoke of Nadia's CP, you would have thought someone died. It was incredible. Of course no congratulations on our new daughter or anything, even after showing pictures and video.
Then today Sveta got to meet Nadia for those 5 mins. and she was so concerned. "Fred" tried to explain to her how things are different in the U.S., medically (he also explained this to our friends in Sakhnovschina) but none of these people get it.
My daughter will be perfect....scratch that...my daughter IS perfect! She is not defective and our lives are not ruined because we have adopted her.
Dan and I talked about this alone afterwards and we both just feel like if the friends we have in Ukraine are loving people (and they are) who care for orphans (and they do) feel this way about a child with CP, then WOW! what does that say about the average person in this country's feelings about these kids? It would be hopeless for her here.
It is just so terribly sad. These kids are not garbage! We seriously feel that amongst all the "healthy" children in Nadia's group we got the the very best one. She is the one God chose for us and we have absolutely NO doubt about it. We are not saints or are not trying to be special, different or anything else. We know God put the love in our hearts for Nadia and we could not be more grateful, we are SO blessed!
My daughter IS perfect!
PS it was 9 degrees celcius today!!!!!!!! brrrrrr
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Today we started out early, but not before receiving a yummy birthday present from Dan.
Not only was it my favorite Ukrainian chocolate, Korona, but it was Korona de Luxe (whatever that means LOL)! It was a very good breakfast :)
We headed first to Masha’s flat to see about accommodations for me beginning on Monday. Dan will be leaving with “Fred” for Kyiv, then flying home probably Wednesday after filling out some forms at the Embassy on Tuesday. This means I will be here alone.
Thankfully, Masha (a nurse from Nadia’s groupa) has a flat with an extra room where I can stay. She lives only with her daughter and granddaughter, so no men! It looks very nice, clean and has what I need, including some company. I will feel safer staying with someone, so we are happy about this.
From there we headed over to the baby house to see Nadia. My sweet DAUGHTER was so bundled up, it was really cold! A few days ago it was, what we called, Africa hot (probably in the 90’s) and today was much much cooler. “Fred” was thinking it was probably close to 17 degrees Celsius (I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit but it was cold to me). I can’t believe this place is on the same planet as America! What’s with this crazy weather??
Anyway, since I would be staying with Masha, we had hoped that maybe we could get permission for Nadia to come stay with me. Unfortunately we learned that this is not allowed. Not only that but I can’t take her ANYWHERE away from the orphanage until we have not only the final birth decree but her birth certificate! This means that after the 10 days, I will have to wait probably another week or so before the rest for the paperwork is in order before I can take her! The reason they are giving is because of bacteria and such. They are afraid that she will bring some sickness back into the orphanage. So, I can only take her when I take her forever and I cannot take her forever until we provide all of the above mentioned documents! I am more than bummed! I am wondering how long and painful the next few weeks is going to be like. I thought we were pretty creative with coming up with various activities for our visits but we are already feeling it is time to change things up again to keep things interesting. ::::sigh:::: I will just pray for wisdom and recharging :)
In other news, we also learned that the night of my break in to the baby house, someone had come out to open the gate. That someone waited until 11:30pm for us to show up (oops! We came and gone long before that). That someone, thankfully, is a fond friend of my mine who has forgiven me (LOL)
Recognize this woman? LOL
After our visit with Nadia today we headed for Sakhnovschina. I slept both on the way there and back but am pretty sure it took over 2 hours each way. Our visit was very nice. We visited Luda (a friend and caregiver at the Sakhnovshina Internat) and her family. Yana’s teacher, Larissa and her Luda’s sister, Oksana also came by. Luda made a big beautiful meal, it was REALLY tasty! Everyone sang Happy Birthday to me in English. :) Very sweet!
We found out that Luda finally has internet at her house now, so we hooked up the laptop and called to my parents and kids on SightSpeed (like Skype). It was SO nice to see my babies. I know everyone there also enjoyed seeing them and talking to them too.
Here we are chatting :)
No birthday cake for me today but I am perfectly fine with that. Last night we had plenty of sweets to celebrate Nadia’s adoption.
Now I am back at the hotel room preparing to head down to the internet café. Dan and “Fred” went off to see Queen in concert. I decided that while it might have made for a nice blog post, that I prefer to kick back and relax alone for awhile and keep warm indoors.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
NADIA HOPE HILLS!!!!!
::::::::::hear the roar of the crowd:::::::::::
Court went well. No problems or anything of real interest to post about (other than some interesting attire was worn by some other workers at the court...mini skirt or see through lace shirt with very visable bra). We are ECSTATIC!!!
Now it is just a little weird to think that Nadia is our daughter but not in my care. We are going to talk to the orphanage about taking some day trips with her so she will get used to being out with us.
It's strange to think that Nadia really has no clue what has happened and what will happen to her life in the days to come. Can't wait to dress her in her new clothes and snuggle with her on any schedule I want :)
We will probably not be able to post tomorrow because we are headed out early to see Nadia then we are off to Sakhnovschina. THEN we will go to the Queen concert...yes, you read that right, QUEEN concert in Kharkov, for a little Ukrainian celebration (they are only expecting about 100,000 people). Please pray for our safety. LOL I can't imagine that many drunk people on the metro afterwards, I plan to leave early :)
I’m exhausted! After leaving Nadia from our evening visit, we got all the way back to the hotel and realized we did not have the camera. We called our facilitator, who was on the train (and still is) on his way here, to see if he could call the orphanage. We thought he would call back, so we waited. After a while we figured he may have had connection/reception issues so we should just go back.
We went all the way back and found the gate was locked. We walked to the front gate and it was locked too. So we called our facilitator again, who said he had called but would call the orphanage lawyer so HE could call the orphanage and ask someone to let us through the gate. So we waited….and waited. Finally I flattened myself on the driveway, and scooted under the fence. All I could think was that I was going to get busted and watch me get arrested and try to explain my way out of it in English.
Well, we got the camera and no one ever came out. So I didn’t get busted :) Still an interesting experience to remember for memories of this journey LOL
Good news, we have approval from the SDA and will be going to court tomorrow (Thursday, September 11, 2008) at 2:30pm. At last…she will be mine!! Moohahaaaaa!!!!! LOL
(We head to court in just a few minutes :))))))
OUCH! Can YOU do the CP sit? Oy! We need to work on that!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Oh and I left off of my last post that Mama has her addicted to Nestea (got love the "ahhhh") and Papa has her addicted to chapstick :) Oops! LOL
In this video you will hear Nadia repeat me as I say "What!?" (she hears me say it often lol) but today she was repeating with me, back and forth "I love you" It was of course really cute :)
(don't forget to PAUSE the blog music before watching)
So I see a message on here that I can continue to edit my post while this uploads. It also looks like it is going to take a looooong while (hopefully I won't run out of internet time --- UPDATE: I DID run out of time and had to pay and restart the upload. Grrrr. The rest of what I began to post still remains). Anyway, I figured instead of just staring at the computer screen during the upload I could share about what kind of things we do during our visits with Nadia.
We visit everyday, from about 10-12 and again from 5-7 (roughly). This is during their scheduled outside time, so we take Nadia to the opposite side of the grounds to be alone with her (or all of the other kids bombard us).
Nadia likes the swing and we do that for a while. Now that we found bubbles, we do a little of that while on the swing. Sometimes we blow them and she tries to catch them but mostly she likes to blow them and watch us catch them.
Then we swing some more and Mama sings silly kids songs to her. I usually start a song then ask, "Eesho?" (more?) and she says "dAaa" LOL So I sing (not sure of the correct titles of these songs by the way):
5 Little Duckies
Alice the Camel
The Ants Go Marching
If You're Happy and You Know It
I Love You (The Barney Song)
I've Got Something In My Pocket
and occasionally something different will come to mind, or I make up a song about how much I love her. :)
She HAS to have her "otchkey" (glasses)on when we visit, but most often pushes them on top of her head (which is cool because then we can have eye contact).
She likes to hold my cell phone (on the swing) and talk to Papa (he will use the camera as a phone or even a pen LOL). They talk back and forth (in Russian)
How are you?
then Naida will ask something like "Where's Mama Tanya? Where's Mama Luda" and of course Papa will let her know that we haven't a clue, maybe at home".
Then it's good bye. Only to begin again. :)
Then when she remembers about the chapstick, she askes Papa for it. She takes the cap off and smears it all on and around her lips, then the cap goes back on. This happens about 100 more times before she gives it back. :)
Then we usually sit at the picnic table and color in the Elmo book and draw on the sketch pad. She likes to take the crayons in and out of the box, rearrange papers, hand us crayons one by one, etc (of course various little kid's toys come to mind that she would probably like, when she is doing this stuff).
Then sometimes we will go over to the covered bench (no table there) and I will bounce her on my knee like a horse. She likes for me to also sing the silly songs during this time.
When she appears to be getting tired (usually in the 11:00 hour before nap time), I will rock her and sing show tunes :) Like Yana, when we first adopted her, when we ask "Te Oostala?" (Are you tired?) She will say "Nyet" EVERY TIME! :)
Eventually she will say "Dmoy, see-chas" (which roughly means go inside now). She likes to see me surprised...shocked that she would want to leave us. So I check the time and ask for permission from her, to go "petome" (later) "in ____ minutes". And she says "da" LOL How kind of her to give us more time. :)
She obviously loves when we get there and has a great time when we are together, but also seems ready to go back to her group each time too. While I am happy she is not upset by us leaving, I can't help but wonder what it will be like when it is time for us to take her. We want to ask our faciltiator to get permission for us to take her to the Children's Theater (puppet show) this weekend. It is probably likely that she never has left the orphanage grounds before so this would be a REALLY big step.
Oh my stars (as Gale would say lol)! I can't believe this thing is STILL uploading. Maybe I will just sit and stare at the the screen the rest of the time :) After this it is time to kick back and possibly nap(dan is already in the room) before we head back to the baby house again to see mya doch (my daughter).
Please pray that Thursday (tomorrow) she will officially be declared our daughter!
PS Court is scheduled for tomorrow. Waiting for confirmation from facilitator about SDA approval.
Nadia's (probably) First Experience Blowing Bubbles!!!
For Anthony and Yana
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
This afternoon for lunch, we met a friend face-to-face for the first time. I have been talking with Ninel (Director of US-Russia Global Exchange) for 3 years now. We have spoken on the phone and emailed one another a whole heck of a lot but never met each other in person. As a matter of fact, Ninel has pretty much kept her identity concealed LOL We once asked her to send us a picture and she sent a picture of her handsome son instead LOL
So while we both live in the US, although on opposite sides of the country, it took us 3 yrs and traveling half way around the world to finally meet! It was so wonderful to finally see the woman with the famous voice (I have had dreams of her voice in a room of dozens of people, but I could not find her lol). We hope to get together more before we leave.
Tonight I am really tired and am not in much of a typing mood but there were a couple of things I intended to post earlier but keep forgetting to.
I was so happy to confirm that Nadia wears a size 2T. After seeing her most recent picture (before we traveled), I went back to the store and exchanged a few things for size 2T. It was still a guess but I hoped I was right. So yesterday we took an outfit with us to the orphanage to try on over her tights. I cannot wait until she is in our custody and can actually wear them.
I had also measured her foot a few days ago. She is 15cm from heal to toe. We ended up buying a size 23 (not sure what American size that is) but it was still a bit of a guess. We tried those on too and they seemed to fit well. The shoes she had on her feet were 24 but I think they were a little bit big.
I also wanted to clarify something I had posted previously. I had said that Nadia seems to me to be on target for a 3.5 yr old. What I was referring to was psychologically & emotionally for an institutionalized child. I certainly didn’t mean that she is necessarily on level with all the other kids her age, raised in a healthy home in America. Perhaps I didn’t need to clarify that for any of you but it has been bothering me that I typed that and failed to share my complete thought.
Anyway, she is a very sweet girl with lots of potential. I look at the beautiful, smart, strong little girls of my friends, who were also adopted fairly recently from Ukraine, (kids with CP) and realize how blessed Nadia has been. Even though she has gone without a lot of things, the attention she received at this orphanage sounds to be a lot more than so many others. Knowing what incredible progress these other girls made, I can’t help but be optimistic about how well Nadia will do too once she is home too. I really can’t wait until all of our girls can meet. I hope it won’t be too long from now.
And now for some pics. To get to the orphanage we take the subway to the crowded and hot min-bus (picture below), then walk these dirty trails down behind some buildings (the baby house is pretty much hidden). I am also including pics of the baby house grounds, including the “playground”.
We would have included pics of the subway (metro) but Dan almost got arrested (exaggeration) for video taping there :) You know all that secret stuff that happens when you are waiting for the train! Whatever! LOL
Oh and lastly, when we were headed to Sakhnovschina for Yana’s adoption, Dan & I joked about having to ride a donkey. I said that I did not want to ride one LOL. Well, let me tell you that if riding a donkey was an option in place of taking the mini-bus, I would be yee-hawing my way all the way to the baby house.
Monday, September 8, 2008
September 7, 2008
Today was a good day (not that we’ve had a bad day here yet…well, SDA appt day was disappointing but still wasn’t “bad”). We visited our sweet angel twice and visited center city Kharkov between visits. We had a good lunch there and LOVE that it only cost us about $11.00. Can’t beat that!!
This baby house (not sure about others) rotates through caregivers quite a bit. I have found my favorites :) Today 2 of my 4 favorites were working. These two women are SO happy we are here for Nadia and really seem to like our family. When we came for Nadia, both times today, they told us we can take her to the other side of the baby house (outside) to the “playground” (hard to call it that but it is what it is supposed to be) away from the groupa to be alone. The groupa loves us so much that they scream and cry when we take off with Nadia. The kids are cute but are wanting so much attention they are grabbing at us, running and slamming into my backend with their faces (that would mostly be Nonstop Nastya), or trying to eat my passport purse (that would be the Irish looking kid). So it is nice to have alone time with our princess.
By the way, that Irish looking kid tries to bite EVERYTHING. I was showing our photo album to Nadia the other day and he came up and bit the end of it!! Then when I was tickling Nadia on the swing (you saw the video), another kid came up and started “tickling” (more like grabbing chunks of her skin…she thought this was hysterical too…weird) so the Irish kid came up, laughing and start wacking her (she continued to laugh like this was SO funny) then he tried to bite her bum!! I saw his mouth coming for her so I put my hand over her bum and he got me instead. Luckily it was not very hard but I’m thinking the kid needs a muzzle.
And of course, we will always remember Nonstop Nastya. Holy heavens, this child needs some valium. She is a wild woman! She is tiny but, whew buddy, she is all over the place. I can’t help but think of Nastya and wonder what it would be like for a family who would request a healthy girl under 4, and receive Nastya’s referral. I mean, she is healthy. She is under 4. The caregivers even say she is smart. So how could a family come and NOT accept her referral (I’m just imagining, I have no idea what her status of availability is). Just made me realize that even literally healthy young girl is not always the best pick. Of course I am biased but I’m pretty sure we got the best one of the group :) That’s not to say there aren’t some really cute, sweet kids there. Just that my kid is the best one LOL
I forget the details (I hope to get them again later) but Nadia was with the much younger kids for quite some time and her progress was quite delayed. Then (not sure when) they finally put her with her own age group and she quickly caught up (genius idea to put her there, huh?). We believe since she has spent so much time on the sidelines, sitting with adults (caregivers) just watching and observing (she is very observant), that it has done a lot for her. We believe this is what has really helped her vocabulary and ability to observe and comprehend.
The sad part is, it seems like the kids spend many hours a day (at least 4 hours a day in this warm weather) outside running around. That means Nadia is sitting and watching, NOT playing. I suppose they may push her on the swing from time to time but not that I have ever seen. I really don’t think they did very much if at all.
While I don’t expect that she will be the “perfect” child (whatever that is), she does seem like she is more of a go with the flow kind of girl (remember, I am Anthony and Yana’s mom. These 2 are very strong willed and active kids ---Yana more running/jumping/climbing and Anthony more talk, talk, talk, wiggle worm). For instance, today since we were able to be alone with Nadia, we busted out the crayons (those toddler triangle ones seem great by the way) and the Elmo coloring book we brought. This kept Nadia entertained for over an hour. Of course she was sitting on my lap, we were interacting with her (Papa across from her making silly faces, etc.) but still, she was relaxed and into it.
It was a great day for Nadia and Papa’s interacting. She will interact with him but still does not allow him to get too close. He was able to kiss her cheek a few days ago and it totally freaked her out, his prickly skin was more than she was ready for. BUT, she loves “talking on the phone” with Papa. She holds my cell and Papa holds rolled up cellophane or the camera to his ear (a hand won’t do) and they chit-chat. You will see in a picture below, I am talking on a toy fish. That only worked for a short time because I broke the “rules” and kept commenting on the fact that I was talking through a fish. LOL We will have to get her a toy cell phone when we get home. It would be cool if we can find one that is like a walky-talky so she can talk to someone through it. I think she would LOVE that.
So while we colored, Papa and Nadia would stop to do this copy game. They would mimic each other with their glasses. The glasses would go on and off, on the head, back on the face. They seemed to be having a lot of fun and I enjoyed just sitting back and watching. I know Papa is dying to snuggle her but he knows she just needs time and it will come.
We are about 10 pages into this post and you are wondering about the title. I had lots of titles come to mind, none of which covered all I ended up typing about. So I chose the title that describes what I found most interesting today.
While darling Nadia was sitting on my lap coloring, I smelled something funky. It was obvious what it was, so I was concerned she needed to use the too-al-i-et (toilet). I would ask and she would say, “nyet” (no). In time, that “nyet” turned to “da”, so off we went to find her groupa so I could take her inside (Ha!). I went to the front door of the orphanage (where my favorite spitting old lady usually is) and asked the old lady on duty today, about taking Nadia to the toilet. She told me to go “tom” (there) and pointed up the hill to the groupa, away from the building, at the playground. I pretty much knew what would come next but hoped I was wrong.
You see the other day we watched Nonstop Nastya as she went over to the sidewalk, near the hill and pulled down her pants to squat and pee. That was then followed by another child, a CUTE little boy, pulling down his pants to pee. I had hoped that since Nadia was unable to do this herself that she had not picked up this habit (I am imagining these kids getting adopted and the parents having to break the kids of this habit…imagine the school playground, OY!).
So I went up to the caregivers and told them that Nadia needed the toilet. They said something like, “Oh, tom” (Oh, there) and pointed to the hill. I am sure I had a crazed, disgusted look on my face (sorry, I just really hoped she could use an indoor potty…or even just a potty outside but a potty none-the less) and said (in my fabulous Russian) “Oh, maybe….” and patted her bum. Both caregivers insisted that she does not need to poo just peeska (pee). Again, surely I had a perplexed look on my face as I tried to explain that she was stinky but they insisted she did not have to poo (uhh, I guess pooing is not on the schedule for 6:30pm).
Then one of the caregivers took her from me, pulled down her tights (she was wearing tights but no skirt today) and squatted down with her on the hill. It was quite interesting see how she held her to aim her peeska but never-the-less she did not go. Guess it was a waste of squatting time.
Anyway, I suppose that is all of my interesting news for today. Although I am happy to also share that these caregivers (okay, just one of them lol) complimented me twice on my Russian. As horrible as I know my Russian is, a foreigner can’t help but feel good about such compliments.
Oh one more thing, I forgot. Our facilitator left us for a few days. He should be returning on Wed. He said he had to go home to buy worms. Yes, worms. Apparently, Sunday is the best day to buy worms and it is better that he do this rather than his wife because women cannot haggle for the price of worms as well as men. They need the worms to feed their frogs. ROFL Umm, okay….. LOL
Sunday, September 7, 2008
GUESS WHO LIKES TO BE TICKLED! OH MY GOSH, THAT LAUGH JUST GIVES ME THE HAPPIEST FEELING INSIDE. NOT SURE I COULD POSSIBLY SMILE ANY BIGGER THAN I AM IN THIS VDEO LOL (Don't foget to scroll to the bottom of the blog page and hit pause on the music first)
No pre-typed post today, sorry. Glad to see many are still reading along :)
We learned for a little more money we can get faster internet right here at the hotel (when it is working anyway). Hopefully we will have access to it for the rest of the week. Of course we have to come to the internet cafe, it is not in our room, so it is only for a little bit each day.
Today when we walked through the gates of the baby house and down the sidewalk to the play area where Nadia was sitting on the bench, she saw us and immediately said, "Ea-dee Sue-da" (come here!) LOL Very cute and heart warming!
Time to go see our baby girl again. This time we are bringing clothes and shoes to see if we got the sizes right :)
Love to all!
Oh and a quick update on thefamily at home. Mom's eye is fine and yesterday about an hourafter I posted my blog entries, she called with the kids using an AT&T international calling card for 20 mins. It was very clear and so wonderful to talk to them all.
Gotta run! Paka!(goodbye)