I know this post is long overdue; please forgive me!
Well, we made it home safe and have been enjoying life since! :) I must say, 5 weeks at home trying to get settled in, caught up, ready for Christmas and 3 December birthdays, goes by MUCH faster than sitting in Ukraine praying my way through an adoption!
The kids are doing incredibly well....we all are. I am still head over heals in love....even more so than before.
We missed our flight from DC to Charlotte and had to rent a car & drive to Roanoke where Dan, Anthony & Yana met us to drive us the rest of the way home. The moment Olya stepped out of the car Yana walked up and they hugged. And I mean really hugged! It was SO incredibly sweet; a moment I hope none of us ever forget. As soon as we were home and the home tour landed us in the girls' room, the real bonding between sisters began. There were pillow fights, giggling and wrestling. They were instant best friends. It has been amazing to see and be a part of.
Olya is so much like Yana was when she first came home. Yana was a bit of a tornado...friendly, lovable and sweet but a whirlwind leaving a mess behind her everywhere she went. LOL Olya was home just 3 weeks then flipped over the handle bars of the scooter (I'm not even sure how one does that) and broke her arm. She is now sporting a red cast and will continue to do so for about another week and a half.
Ivan and Anthony make great video game playing buddies LOL ...as expected. They build model cars, rockets and Lego Mindstorm robots together. Although Ivan has won each game, Anthony does appear to be a decent challenge for him in chess.
All the kids accepted each other right away and get along great. The bickering between Anthony and Yana has decreased and the bickering between Ivan and Olya has increased since coming home. LOL Nothing major, just good ole healthy sibling rivalry. Ha ha!
Both Ivan and Olya took right to Dan. I had wondered if they would be more reserved initially as they were in the beginning with me but by the time we made it home, they were extremely comfortable with me and ready to have their Papa too.
Olya is a snuggle bunny with Dan, just as Yana was (she is less so now that she is becoming a woman lol). Dan could not be happier. This was something that might have been difficult to deal with, adopting a child that did not feel comfortable being affectionate with her Papa, but thankfully this is not at all the case. Praise God!
I would guess that Ivan was our biggest adoption risk only because of his age and gender. I wondered how it would be for me. Would it be awkward for him or I to hug and show affection? NOT AT ALL! He gives me MANY hugs everyday and doesn't like to let go at bedtime (I don't either). My heart melts everytime I hear him say "MY Mama!" and "I love my Mama SO much". How sweet is he?!
We began some homeschooling but are currently taking a break for the holidays and will start up again next week. The kids had some adjustments to make and still do but I think we reached a point of acceptance and understanding. They both enjoy being homeschooled and do not even want to go to the public school (not that we are giving them the option at this point anyway). I have Anthony and Ivan working together on some subjects and I think it is great for both of them. I am doing the same with the girls. Then Ivan and Olya have some things they work on their own (Rosetta Stone English and Mavis Beacon Typing). Yana helps both with reading, which is helping her as well at the same time. I am excited about the rest of the school year.
So today is New Years Eve and Ivan's 15th birthday. I told him that he will forever be my baby boy and he is not allowed to grow up. He is not in total agreement with that (lol) but assures me he has no interest in girls right now and does not seem to think he will in a few more years either (ha ha!) so I should not worry about him falling in love and running off with some girl. :)
Miss Nadia Hope turned 5 last week and continues to do amazingly well. It was an absolute miracle that after spending 5 weeks in Ukraine without therapy she did NOT lose what progress she had previously made. Not only that but home just one week and she started doing things she had not done before...like standing up out of her chair all by herself with NO HANDS!! She then used the coffee table to balance herself but a number of times stood up out of the chair this way on her own. I so was proud of her, it brought tears to my eyes.
Well, time to finish baking the cookies. We are making little Ivan cookies for his birthday LOL they are sugar cookies shaped like little gingerbread men...or Ivan :) We are doing the real celebrating on Sunday when we go go-cart racing and play lazer tag. This will be a first for both Ivan and Olya.