Saturday, August 28, 2010

really great kids

the kids are settling in nicely. Andre hasnt bitten anyone in a couple of days. so that is a big deal. why they hate to play outside I do not know but I have to shove them out the door. Today I said anyone inside is going to work. 3 of the four worked their butts off helping me. Jaeger and Ethan and Ben and Sophie and Andre helped me clean the basement this morning while Eric took the girls to work with him. once they understand what you want MOST of the time they are more than willing to do it. drinking milk sometimes they dont want to do but in general they are mostly compliant and helpful. The girls had a slumber party the other night all sleeping in one bed. that didnt go over so well with the owner/occupant of that bed. We wont be doing that again for awhile, but they still ask evcery night. they LOVE chicken and its the only thing that ALL of them will eat without a fuss. AJ and Jaeger often just refuse a meal because they dont like it. I am not going to beg them to eat. there will be another meal in a couple of hours and by then they usually come to their senses.

We took them all to the park for the corn feed the other night. they loved it. they liked the corn but not the hot dogs. they liked the soda too. and the playground, and the beach.....Probably they were getting tired of people speaking to them in English and asking them questions they couldnt answer without my translation. all in all I would say it was a pretty successful outing with them.

the girls are so very loving. the boys are becoming more so. Andre crawls in bed with me every morning for snuggles and kisses. sometimes its so early when he comes in that we fall back alseep for awhile. Jaeger responds well to praise. and we are trying to build his confidence by giving him things to do that we can praise him for and also having him do things with Eric, MAN things. like go to the hardware store together. he is a fantastic cleaner. he pitches in better than my other kids. The kids are taking turns drying dishes.

I think at this point with sophie and ben we were still so much in shock and not to mention jetlagged and getting used to various orthotics but generally the kids were so distant. and I was still not attached to them. It has gone much better this time. I am very happy with the children we brought home. They have fit into our family quite well. Sure they fight like siblings. but thats alright. thats real. I would rather deal with real than fight soemthing you cant see.

I am going to switch over to my family blog now. http://Enbergadventures.blogspot.com so please come follow us thee.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

too bad the boys dont sleep.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

some pics of the kids




new kids are real treasures

the kids are having a bit of tough love. they seem to be responding. having papa at home to reinforce is helpful. Chicken is cooking in the crock pot. we are supposed to go to Maggie and Jays later to visit. first time we have taken them anywhere. We take this one or that one here and there but not all of them at the same time. thank goodness its summer so we can be out by the lake and not IN someone's house. these guys are a bit destructive. so far we have lost a light globe and a set of window blinds. seems minor but many near misses! Andre aka AJ aka the wild man is constantly getting himself into a mess

That said the kids are bright and funny. The girls get more and more loving all the time and Andre is really getting to like having his OWN mama that stays all the time. Jaeger we have discovered has a penchant for handwriting! He loves to write words! I write them and he copies them. his handwriting is awesome! he doesnt like to go outside. he would rather sit in front of the tv which we limit.

oh we do love them. more so every day. Yesterday Diana let me brush her hair and put it up. Today Natasha let me put her hair up. She NEVER lets me do her hair. I take these baby steps as positive signs. Natasha is very loving and always hugging and kissing us saying I LOVE YOU!!! we always say I love you too so now she has started to say I love you too! when she is the first one saying it. In the orphanage she and Diana ALWAYS had their had back. More and more they are letting it down. letting it hang loose. Diana's hair is longer and thicker and she often keeps it back but does let it hang sometimes. Natasha at least part of every day leaves hers hanging down. its so pretty. nice to see her doing what SHE likes with her hair not what is required or expected. will post some pics soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

so far today

Jaeger has had multiple whiny crying meltdowns because we used the N word(for you nonparents the N word is NO!) Ethan took the boys next door without permission, stayed close to mom for several hours because he keeps taking things, and immidiately took things not belonging to him as soon as I let him loose, Natasha and Diana are probably starving to death because I wont make sandwhich after sandwich for them, Maia whined cryed and snivled because I was making laundry soap and wouldnt let her in while I did, Chrysta had herself a handful of attitude snits, Andre had several meltdowns, chased cars, dumped the pencil sharpener, tasted borax, and tried to eat a handful of cat litter. umm is it bedtime yet? I am so ready!

they did spend the morning playing outside in the water that the rain left. I am sure they wrecked the grass but there was no keeping them out so why fight it? currently the girls are downstairs and the boys are upstairs watching ruff ruffman.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the quads and twins


jaeger ethan natasha (and soon diana) are 8. Maia and Andre are 6. Ben is 6 too but he was downstairs when we took this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

more on our trip home

first of all we had to get up at 2am to get ready to catch our ride to airport at 3. our flight was at 530. there was what would later become a fatal error in our ticketing. but we were all set to fly home. kids were sleepy and not too much trouble. we did ok on the flight to Germany. I must be blocking it out because I cannot recall the seating arrangements. oh wait I remember. Andre and I were with another man across the aisle was diana natasha and another man. cody and Jaeger were somewhere behind us. Andre chatted up the man next to us. wouldnt let him sleep. kept asking him questions. he was very kind and grandfatherly and answered his questions and didnt get mad at him when he woke him. Andre wanted to snuggle up to him to sleep but I was very firm and woudlnt let him. he settled for neutral ground in the middle of his seat. We had FIVE hours in Germany. we played Uno a lot. I spent 23 dollars on water! that they didnt drink but rather used as swords to whack each other with an occasional sip that would require 15 trips to the bathroom to process.

FINALLY we got on the big plane. drove the kids nuts seeing the planes were there but we couldnt just get on one and go. Andre has a snit at one point while waiting and I was kicked hit kneed elbowed bit had my glasses knocked off while he fought me. I give him credit though for not screaming but only whining and crying about it. In Kiev he screamed bloody murder.
so finally on the plane. Again spread all over the cabin. Andre the wild man with me. Cody and Jaeger 20 rows back. Natasha and Diana were right behind me in row 22. thankfully there was a woman traveling alone on each end of their row so they were kind enough to help the girls out with their movie screens. Andre kept pushing the button for calling the stewardess. I didnt know he pushed it until they showed up and I would apologise. at one point they got a little pissed at me and I got a little pissed at them. I said I cant speak Ukrainian or Russian. He cant speak English, I cant tell him not to do it. can YOU speak Russian? no she only spoke portugese. I dont know why they couldnt just ignore calls to row 22. The girl next to Andre was named Maia. she was from Montenegros and headed for Maryland to be an exchange student. She enjoyed Andre a lot and he enjoyed her. She was a sweet girl. On the other side of me was a man from Nigeria headed to the states to learn about 4G fiber optics. it was neat talking to him. Andre didnt sleep until about 2 hours from Philly. the girls were out long before that. Cody and Jaeger didnt sleep at all. got to Philly and went to immigration and they were stupid and on a power trip and I am absolutely certain what should have been simple will be problematic in the near future for their citizenship. not to mention that they had to STOP working on My case to help a fellow employee process someone else because he coudlnt remember how! GRRR. they fingerprinted the kids. I have never even heard of that. the kids were good sports though. we just adopted 9 months ago. we didnt have to do that then. they argued with me about the kids getting citizenship they said no they only get a green card. GRRR> so we gathered our luggage and ran to check it in again and ran for our gate. thats where the fatal error occured. We were not ticketed for the kids for the last leg of the journey.

we ran back to the desk for us airways and I lost it. tears. exhaustion. kids who dont listen. (the boys, the girls were little trouble)helpful son who was also exhausted and getting ready to lose his temper. and do you know what the very kind lady at the US airways desk did? she yelled at me! why dont I have tickets? HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW~! All I know is I dont have them! help me! by the time they figured out that we did indeed pay for tickets it was too late to get them. they gave us gate passes and we ran for the gate. they wouldnt even call ahead and ask them to wait for us. we RAN the entire way and got there and it was too late they were gone. so we went to the us airways desk where lots of otehr people were waiting because THEY missed a connection. All this time Natasha hasnt been feeling great, they missed their meds, she had been throwing up, she had a swollen tender gland near her ear that wouldnt let her eat. the boys were out of control and RAMMY and nowhere to go because the play area is in another area that we already had to pass out of to get to our gate(which is next to where the help desk is)(oh and in germany they have several play areas, except you cant get to them. they are in the domestic part of the airport and you have to go through passport control and the kids didnt have visas for germany. nice huh?) so ultimately they gave us overnight at airport marriott in Philly. and meal vouchers. they said we could eat at the hotel or in the airport.

we went to hotel. man I so wanted to brush my teeth but I didnt have toothbrush or hair brush I packed them in suitcase. but we checked in and were told no indeed they do not accept food vouchers at the hotel restraaunt. now what am I going to do? I have to feed these kids! so we had to go back to airport ask for gate passes and go through security to get back to the airport part that had the food. Ordered a pizza and fruit at sbarro and the kids were so tired that when we were done they were begging BEGGING to go to bed. so we went to hotel and kids all went to bed and I took a bath. nice hot quiet soak. ahhhh. by this time I deserved it! I was ready to wring the boys little necks! they were just wild and into everything. probably major over stimulated not to mention no reference for what we do at hotels. girls just fell into bed and slept. boys didnt take too long to sleep but at 4 they were all awake again. I finally just got up and we left for airport, even before my wake up call. at least we didnt have to haul much luggage.

at the gate I got the kids smoothies. they liked them. but the lady at the smoothie place was cracking up laughing at me ordering so many smoothies.once again they had us spread all over the plane. except this time it wasnt even in twos! me in row 1 some one else in ro 9 or 10 someoen else in 21 or 22 just all over. Andre is a wild thing and can not ride alone. besides he is 6 and who wants to sit next to a wild and unattended child? once again the kindness of strangers prevailed and we were able to sit all together in the back and the people who were slated for those seats took our seats elsewhere. so the girls were together cody and jaeger and andre and me. the kids asked me all the way home about papa. all they wanted was papa. it was a two and half hour flight in which they served drinks but anything else was outrageously priced. I pulled out the trail mix and the treat I bought the night before with meal vouchers and wahlah, snack. While we were still an hour out something made ma laugh. If you remember the scene from National Lampoon's christmas where the white trash brother in law is out holding the hose while his RV's waste tank empties into the storm drain, he says "shitter's full!" and that is all I could think of for the rest of the flight after the plane's toilet tank was full half way through the flight.

Our good friend Uncle Bob picked us up at the airport. He had stuffed animals for the kids. they hugged them all the way home. We stopped at mcDonalds for a playland and they loved running and climbing. they had a lot of energy to get out!

we arrived home to waiting sibs who were very happy to see us. Andre and Ben fell into each others arms smiling. Reunited at last. Maia hugged the girls and they were so happy to see Chrysta again. Ethan and Jaeger became fast friends and they are both ALL BOY and have had a great time playing together. so far everything is going well. Andre doesnt like much to eat but if I can get him to eat ONE bite I either let him have what he wants or he realises hey this isnt so bad and eats it. he even drank his milk at lunch because I refused to give him water. he is 6 and wears size
3T well. he needs to eat! maybe its honeymoon or maybe they are all so genuinely happy I dont know. but what I do know is that its going very well here. Andre gets more appropriate all the time. Is even starting to cry to me over wrongs against him or hurts. these are 4 really truly great kids. everyone who passed them over is really missing out. they are loving and sweet, the girls are, and andre is more and more. Jaeger is getting better about listening. They all LOVE our dogs and cat. unfortunately our little dog doesnt like them so he is crated most of the time. I am hoping when my mom comes we can work on that. So far the only ones fighting are the same old battles between the kids who were here already and the same old battles between the new kids. no clashes between the old and new. they are all enjoying outside a lot. all the toys that were once old are new again and getting much use. I had to park my car at the end of driveway to stop them from going into the road. but they are loving the toys. Jaeger came in and took off on a bike. we didnt even know he could ride! natasha we knew could bike but she isnt interested much in the bikes. all in all I would say its going pretty well.

Monday, August 16, 2010

we are home

after a grueling tearful journey across the world we are FINALLY HOME! many happy faces. If you ever get the chance to fly through Philly, DONT! we are so happy to be home. the kids are all thrilled with each other and we let the honeymoon begin. And I am quite happy to honeymoon after the journey we had.

oh and if you adopt, dont fly through Philly because the immigration there isnt all that great.

Friday, August 13, 2010

we got it!!

got our visas!! we are going home! Sunday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

grrr!!

I woke up and got a phone call at about 9:10am saying she would meet me at the embassy with my documents. I said WHAT? no one told me I had an appointment. she said yes you have an appointment at 10. so I had to call yulia and find out how I am supposed to get there. so she called me a cab. I went there filled out a billion papers in addition to the papers I brought from home. but the papers that the lady gave me didnt include the birth certs! or visa photos! didnt anyone know that they would want visa photos? they want all of this today. original new birth certs copies and translations. why didnt they include that to begin with in the papers they gave me! also I dont actuallly HAVE the passports IN HAND. they are to be recieved today. so I had Yulia get me a cab home again as I knew there was little water. I got home to find that the girls had gone out with their friend. Cody told them it was ok. but now I dont know what time we need to go to get visa photos and whatever else I need and deliver to embassy. they only work until 1230 tomorrow! UGH! and the girls are gone and I dont know what time they will return. really they should have waited for me to return. I wouldnt have minded them visiting here. but now I am down two kids and dont know when the appt is that they will be needed for. hope they return soon! If I cant get visas finished tomorrow we cant go home this weekend. I do not want to stay here until next week! our original flight is Tuesday. thats FIVE DAYS AWAY!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

passports should be done today and hope for visa appt later this afternoon. medical and visa pick up tomorrow. if all works out we could come home this weekend. sunday has flight available. waiting to hear that passports are DONE and then I will make ticket changes. Andre is making big progress. this morning he woke to potty and then came and plunked himself into bed with me and curled up and tried to sleep some more. he didnt sleep but was very sweet. he spilled his water and didnt say a word and just got a towel and wiped it up. I caught him though and praised him. he has gotten SO MUCH negative feedback he doesnt even hear his name when you call him. He likes to be called JONATHON. Natasha wants me to call her Jordan. I tried to explain to her that Jordan is her middle name, she has TWO names and Natasha is such a beautiful name. but she says NO NATASHA! JORDAN! I still call her Natasha. she hasnt said anything about it. Diana and Jaeger like to test me in regards to eating in the living room. I could let them eat all over but that wouldnt be fair to them because at home we dont do that. I gave them some cereal this morning and am going to go buy some water and milk and bananas and make some scrambled eggs. dont know if they will eat them though. I throw more food away here than ever before. they want to eat. I cook. I serve. they take one bite and walk away. gosh I want to go home! they dont like my mac and cheese much either. andre wanted noodles so I made noodles. even he wouldnt eat them. he is very fickle with eating. what he eats today he may not like tomorrow. he smells everything first. if it doesnt pass the smell test he wont eat it. well I better go to the store since its still early and I dont know when our passports will be done.
sadly someone has broken my trust. they are trying hard to redeem themself and appropriate actions have been taken. but I am very sad that they were so upset about something(I have no idea what) that they did what they did. I think it will be awhile before they earn it back again. hard to trust someone who would throw you under the bus for no good reason.

Monday, August 9, 2010

andre keeps dancing around chanting YAN-O_KOVICH! lol the other day he said I am andrey yanokovich! and he also will walk around with a spoon or something and slap it on his palm while he struts around showing us he is in charge. this kid is a riot. he also mentioned the other night that he needs to find a wife(mind you he is SIX!)

nothing new. just played in the fontain.




dima took the girls out this afternoon so Cody and I took the boys and let them play in the fountain. then it rained and Andre jumped in every pudddle along the way home and I pointed out the ones he missed. he was a very happy camper. alas they are finaly quiet. they get so wild at bedtime! they really ae good kidds. they skyped with papa and the others and loved seeing them. Andre kept saying JONATHON! JONATHON! (his middle name, which may become what he is known as) Andre is very tiny indeed, his 3t clothes fit just right. he is 6. another ethan for sure. good thing I know about clothing skinny boys. Ben is only in a 4 or 5 and he is 6 too. It has been fun dressing the girls alike. they like that. I love it. Maia has matching outfits to theirs at home so I will be seeing triple when I get home.

update

Sprung the kids on Friday. they are with me in SunnyK. in a hot little apartment with lousy air no laundry and nonworking internet. this is hijacked internet that I am posting on. Andre is so dang cute. But he shuns me most of the time. Jaeger is this big strapping boy who whines and cries like a baby when he doesnt get what he wants. Natasha and Diana are very helpful and mostly well behaved. a little sisterly bickering but not much more. Diana likes to hit though when she is mad. and there is no tp to be found which sucks. but otherwise we are all fine. they loved the zoo yesterday. shower lessons have begun. they are doing ok with that. well better go before the kids tear down the house. and natasha wants me to shower so she can braid my hair.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

still blasted hot but moving forward

We are in ptown. We have received birth certificates for each child. And all tax codes are changed. tomorrow we can take the children and have passport photos made and apply for passport. Will take the children back to Kiev until passports are finished. They can spend some time with Dima this weekend hopefully. If we apply tomorrow we should be able to go back for them on maybe tues or weds. I am going to request the apartment John just vacated as I am not planning to spend much time there. The chairs pull out in to bed. I know it has internet.

So the last couple of days….we have spent in the car or waiting,…in the car. We traveled to Dasha’s city and then on to the place of birth of Diana and that was VERY FAR away. It was a gorgous ride. And we stopped at a little side of the road middle of nowhere place to eat and it was SO QUIET! Absolute silence except for the occasional passing car and us talking. It was all woods all around. A little dog camped out at our table looking for handouts and making us feel welcome. Our driver gave her some bread and she turned her nose up at it waiting for the good stuff. She did like my Tilapia. While we were there in Diana’s home city we had to change her tax code as hers was issued there the others were issued in ptown. We had to pay the expedite fee in every city. It was a lot of money! Much more than anyone expected.

Then on to Andre’s place of birth which was smallish town and we got there late as it was so long driving all over the country to Diana’s place of birth and it seems to take a very long time to change the name on a birth certificate. In Andre’s town the girl was new and was a nervous wreck to do it right. It took forever. We ended up staying over night in that city. There was but one hotel choice. It was not very nice. In fact there was a strip joint next door. Hotel Ptown looks positively palatial after that. Not even a shower curtain in that place! And you had to turn in the remote for tv when you go out. And I am certain there were roaches as it was NOT clean. And they gave us a little “plug in” to catch insects. There were TWO choices for eating. One was having a “gypsy gathering” of some type we were told so we went to the other. Flies flies flies. But the borcht wasn’t too bad. Except for the mayo….I thought they put sour cream in borcht? We were not able to get Andre’s birth certificate until midday today Thursday. Then on to Ptown. Another very long windy ride. I have nearly finished my second book this week and Cody finished his. He will have to reread one he already read since he doesn’t have another. I have one more in reserve but tomorrow we will pick up the children and I don’t think I will have much time for reading.

We went to the orphanage and found Natasha the attorney. She is such a beautiful young woman. She gave us everything we needed to change the tax code. Normally they do not do this at the tax office past one oclock. It was WELL past. About 330 or more. Our driver who says he is not david copperfield went in there and convinced them it MUST BE DONE NOW. And they did it. In a matter of minutes. Took way longer at Diana’s place of birth to change just HER tax code than it did here in Ptown for THREE of them.


We checked into the Ptown Hilton after that. Seriously compared to last nights place, the room we got here for the same cost is incredible! Huge huge huge! We have stayed in APARTMENTS smaller than this! My only complaint is there is no AC in the bedroom. Oh well.( We didn’t even HAVE AC in that little dive we stayed in last night. It was so blasted hot in there and we were not supposed to leave the window open at night because of insects. About 1 I said either I open the window or I cant guarantee I can behave civilly. A nice breeze cooled things considerably and we slept well for a few hours until it was time to get up. We had Fornetti for breakfast/ it was this pastry with a tiny bit of meat like hot dog inside and mustard. wasn’t BAD but not something I would choose to eat often. When Americans think Pastry we think SWEET! Fruit! Yum! This was not sweet and not fruit and therefore a little disappointing as it wasn’t what I was looking forward to. But we ate it and chalked it up as another adventure. )

I digress. We went to see the kids and they are so wonderful. Diana told me she will take her name Diana Claire and I hugged her and told her she was a love and a good girl. Dasha had been there yesterday and said that they are excited and also worried and nervous and sad to leave. All sounds perfectly normal to me! Andre veritably JUMPED into my arms and spent much of our short time there IN MY LAP or in my arms. And he was full of kisses. he also was very proud of his new name and says Jonathon very clearly which is surprising since he is missing most his teeth! But he wanted to go in that car! And NOW!! Jaeger didn’t even say hello until I tracked him down and hugged and kissed him. He was busy with a remote control car. He was a bit of stinker while I was there wanting to grab my hat. We went out tonight to the store and bought each boy a NYC hat. Both red. I hope he will love that. He wanted a new hat. We got some very cute sun hats for the girls as well and some yogurt for breakfast.
We went to Stairy Drar for dinner. Was a little more than we have been paying but since I stayed in a dive for my birthday I figured what the heck. for THREE of us it cost about 25 dollars us. Here I had heard good things about this place and Eric and I walked past it every single day here not knowing it was there. EVERY DAY! Twice a day! Our waiter was extremely shy! I think waiting tables is probably not the best job for him!

So tomorrow we bust the kids out of there. If we get everything done here in Ptown, like signing papers, and applying for passport dossier or something of the like, and changing the kids bank accounts over the to the orphanage We will go to Dasha’s city for passport photos. Then back to Kiev where we hope to see Dima. Tomorrow is Friday so if we don’t get to the passport stuff tomorrow we cant until Monday. So I am hoping all gets done. Maybe “david copperfield” can work his magic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

well I thought we were going to go bright and early. but I guess we now have to wait for the tax codes to be sent from Ptown to where we are in Ccity. which must mean that we can work on that from here? or from Kiev? anywyas we will still go on to get Diana and Andre's (hopefully!! remember Andre's place of birth didnt think they wanted to work today.) birth certificates just not leaving as early as we thought. I skyped with Eric and Chrysta. the internet is a really wonderful thing. it was getting late for them so we had to say gooddbye. and I thought I had to be ready in half hour. turns out I dont. But I am still hoping that waiting for the tax codes means good things. wrap this up in a hurry and get on home!

I miss the kids there. I miss the kids here. soon we will all be together and they will drive each other crazy and I will say gosh, I should have had goldfish instead lol. I adore my kids. every one of them. but admit it! even parenting ONE sometimes is a challenge. some days are good some days are bad. I know that will be the way. but to be home all together will be incredible. Ill take the honeymoon period! just get us home together!

Chrysta, tell the kids Mama loves them. that I miss them every minute. that I think of them in everything I do. and that I cant wait for them to meet their new brothers and sisters! and I love YOU for doing SO MUCH to help out! you are a real peach!

Mom I miss our calls every day. and I have only been gone a couple days!

we saw horse and cart on 4 lane highway. we see many interesting things here.

I am tired so maybe I will dress and pack and lie down to wait for the call to go.

ps its hot here

how hot is it?

I took a shower and used up all the cold water.

hahahahaha

seriously I took a 20 min shower in all cold water. it was starting to feel warm when I was done.

crazy. crazy.

left home sunday afternoon. Got to airport in plenty of time for our flight. when I attempted to check in I was told my itinerary had been changed. WHA? yes, your flight has been delayed 2 hours and you will miss your connections so we rescheduled you on the flight that leaves in half an hour. along with 50 billion other people. so hurry through security. thankfully Cody and I didnt carry on much. and we had on slip on shoes. so we got there in plenty of time for our next connection. until we were told that ......you got it! this flight is delayed two hours! you will definitely miss your connection! so instead of getting in at 430 you wont get in until 1030 and you will have to sit in Munich for so many hours that when you get there your flight wont even be on the schedule board. so we got to munich and waited. at the gate that was listed on our ticket. at one hour before boarding the flight STILL wasnt o nthe boards. and the gate we were at said London. I finally went to customer service. oh sorry your gate changed. so we moved. it said london there too but shortly after they left our plane arrived and we were FINALLY on our way. of course when we got here our driver was a little upset that we didnt call him. I dont know how I could call. my cell phone doesnt work internationally, or in Germany. THEIR phone that they let me use doesnt work in Germany.

so we got here and we fell into an apartment(with internet) and I thought I would fire off a quick letter home. no such luck. the net didnt work. and there isnt any air conditioning. and its about 150 in the shade these days.

After a fitful and HOT short nights sleep we jumped in our drivers car to head for region capital to get birth certs. (keeping in theme with the rest of my kids, none of them was born in the same place so we have to go to each place for birth certs. ps isnt that amazing? 12 kids and not a single one was born in the same place as another!) one city decided that it just isnt enough to have a court decree they want a notarised letter requesting they do it. seriously. this is the same city we worked with 9 months ago! and they also charged TWELVE times as much as SunnyK. they justified it saying that they have 7 days to do it. if we want it today the cost is 650 Grn. plus it was 200 for the notary! and then it took them ALL DAY to do it. we left SunnyK at 7 to get here at 9 and we didnt get it until almost 530! meanwhile we drove on to the Gplace(where they speak belarussian) where another kid was born. in a matter of two or three hours(including waiting for the lady to show up, and going across the street to the bank to pay for it, and waiting while they did it all) we had birth certificate in our hands. So today Natasha and Jaeger are Enbergs on paper. their birth certificates say we are their parents. tomorrow on to get Diana and Andre's. their cities are almost to Russia! but the city Andre is from says no they dont want to work with us tomorrow. go figure. wait and see on that.

we are staying in the city tht took forever. Your city Dasha. we got some dinner and it took an ENTIRE HOUR for it to arrive at our table. there was not another soul in the place. I think they had to go to MN for the chicken. We had been joking earlier in the day that my luck is whenever we want something, like referrals, paperwork, birth certs, flights, its always NO! so for dinner we laughed that it was just my luck, dinner? NO!

so tomorrow its back on the road. hope to be in SunnyK tomorrow eve and see John and Liesel. but for now, sleep. in this hotel with no air conditioning. and wifi only in the lobby(unless you are technologically advanced and can figure how to use it from your room.....like us lol)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leaving romorrow!

Nico will pick us up so Dima dont worry about meeting us. We will look forward to seeing you though later in the week when I get the kids.

When we get in we will go to apt and probably crash until Tuesday. then my guess is we jump in with the gathering of birth certificates. Looking forward to being there. NOT looking forward to the long boring ride over there. but its what I have to do to get them home. At least I will have Cody to keep me company. Tell the kids we are on our way!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

heard from the kids again

via friends. what a special gift to be able to send messages to them and hear from them via the friends we met over there. I hear my Andre is feeling better and will be back in his groupoo soon. My other kids are well and happy and enjoying summer(as children should!!!)

gosh I didnt know how much I would miss them coming home! we have passed the 10 day wait and its official. they are OURS! I cant wait to go get them and bring them home!! I love them so much!

every day the other kids ask if today is the day I will bring home Natasha Diana Jaeger and Andre. and I have to say no, not today. Sophie couldnt be happier that she can share her room with them. Maia couldnt be happier that I bought them all matching outfits. Chrysta will be happy, she has lobbied for these kids ever since the day we met them. She said we HAVE to get them! She was right. We did. they were ours in our hearts after that first day. we played with lots of kids those days we were there but none stole our hearts the way these 4 did. Ethan is thrilled to have some brothers who can keep up with him. he likes to do all boy all the time kind of stuff and poor Ben just cant. Ben knows these kids he was in groupoo with them. He looooooves the girls especially and asks about them all the time. and wants Jaeger to be on the top bunk of his bed. he and Andre are only ONE MONTH(precisely) apart in age. Cody is looking forward to going to Ukraine. last time he was sick the whole time. oh gosh I cant wait to get them home! I better go pack and get stuff done so I can get there and hug my girls and kiss my boys and see that special Jaeger smile and Andre's squinty smily eyes. so I can play Uno with Natasha and snuggle her and Diana.

Monday, July 26, 2010

heard from the kids....sort of...

poor Andre is sick again. poor baby. he was just sick 3 weeks ago. hope he feels better soon. would be better for him to be home with Mama when he is sick. soon Andre, Mama will take care of you when you get sick. Mama will hug and kiss you and rock you if you feel lousy. of course you will have hugs and kisses every day not just sick days. but Mama's have special powers when their kids are sick. They know how to make them feel better. Mama kisses and hugs can do wonders.

Dima visited with the other kids and sent us some cute photos. here is my favorite.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a fitting song

from The Music Man, by Meredith Wilson
There were bells....on the hill,
but I never heard them ringing
No, I never heard them at all,
Till there was you.

There were birds....in the sky,
but I never saw them winging,
no, I never saw them at all
Till there was you.

And there was music,
and there were wonderful roses,
they tell me, in sweet fragrant
meadows of dawn and dew.

There was love, all around
but I never heard it singing,
no, I never heard it at all
Till there was you.

Then there was music and wonderful roses
they tell me, in sweet fragrant meadows
of dawn and dew

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you
Till there was you

Saturday, July 24, 2010

soooooooo

trying to plan my return. tickets are paid for. I have a cd I can cash in. I have MOST of what I need leftover from last trip. I might be able to squeese a little more out of my savings. I havent looked at it lately to know. but I leave in a week and I dont think I have enough money to finish all the paperwork and room and board and driver. Small town and not at all supportive so getting anything done around here is impossible. my ebay sales never go very well. I lose money there. My etsy isnt moving. I usually have a change bucket but thats already been cashed in. I am scared that I will be there and run out of money and my husband is at home and here I am in a foreign country with 5 kids. We have enough to pay our bills no problem. but adoption is expensive and we hadnt counted on 5 weeks in country for the first trip. so the bulk of what we saved is already spent on this adoption, there are no reserves. only money that is earmarked for upcoming bills. all ideas are welcome here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making progress!

Bunks are up! girls beds are made up wtih sheets and comforters. Boys bunks are put together just need to get all the mattresses and sheets on. I have pillows for everyone. girls are on their beds. boys will be when I make the beds. Cleaned out some closets and got rid of some useless stuff taking up valuable space. got plane tickets for myself and Cody. plane tickets for the kids to return home with me. I also have received word from some people who know the children. they tell me all about them. I love to hear what they are doing and how they are. I love to hear about what they have done or how they have been in the past. we have had very kind offers to help with the children, to take us and the children to see sights so the kids can remember Ukraine. I hope we will get a chance to do some of those things.

what I love most is hearing about the children, MY children(I love to say that), and their past before me. What a gift to get that information. Many adoptive parents know only the life their child has from the moment of meeting and forward. I have been given an insight into their past from people who love them. I used to think that adoptions should be CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED!! but as we go forward, knowing Sophie's birth family and communicating with them gives me great satisfaction. I want for them to know that she is our wonderful beautiful beloved daughter and she means everything to us. I love to show them photos. and now I have these people who have known our other children before we knew them. and I am so happy to know them and hear info about the kids. and to have that connection to their past. I don't think I could advocate closed closed closed adoptions anymore. children need parents who love them, but also they need other adults who love them, who want the best for them. Thanks Darina and Dima for all the letters and word of the children, photos and info on their past. what a special gift.

Monday, July 19, 2010

baby steps

ok so I got pillows and the other set of bunks. now we need some rainy days to put them together. The boys are excited to sleep in them. Working on tickets. looks like we can fly sunday for same price as monday. same flights. which gets us in monday afternoon. vital statistics is closed on Mondays so nothing much could have happened that day anyways. so then hopefully we can hit the ground running on Tuesday since we will have to drive all over the chernigiv region to get birth certs for the children as all 4 were born in different places! Nothing is centralised like it is here. so we will have to go to each city and get a new birth certificate for each child. I nested a little today. cleaned up the downstairs hallways and bathroom. I dont knwo what goes on in that bathroom but its always a disaster. got some laundry done. the girls will have tons of clothes and the boys too. still trying to find some small toys for travel. like polly pockets or my little pony. I hope they like it here. I guess if they dont, they will have to get used to it. I finished Andre's papers for school. still 3 kids to go. you have to fill out about a million pages each kid. and its all so redundant. I cant quite bring myself to get excited about filling it all out. not to mention I did this x3 last november and again x2 in May. I suppose I better get used to it. everywhere you go everything you do there is paperwork. and with ten kids thats ten times the paperwork.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

stuff

I miss the kids. still. the old kids are waiting anxiously for the new kids. there is still a ton of stuff needing to be done. am I doing it? no. Bunks need to be finished for the girls(although we did get the beds made with sheets and comforters, just need a ladder and tighten up all the bolts.) bunks need to be put up for the boys. bunks need to be bought for the remaining boys. (and put up) pillows! I need pillows! I need dressers too. and a really large pot for making laundry soap. We need a bigger van that fits us all.(likely wont happen for awhile) I need tickets to return. I thought I had it all set but its on a monday and I didnt even think about how I would get to the airport. so now I have to wait to finalise those plans until I find out what flight we can get on SUNDAY. if its a ton more money I will have to make other plans to get to the airport. Maybe my dad can drive us. Or Uncle Bob. Or my bro. or SOMEONE. I WILL get back there one way or another. hope I have enough money to do everything that needs to be done. spending 5 weeks there really depleted our savings!

I am a little nervous about Andre the runner. But thats why I am bringing Cody. an extra pair of hands. Everyone says outside of his comfort zone(orphanage) he will be different and I will be all he knows and he will stick close. but I dont know about that with this one. he has a fascination with cars and will walk right up to a car and get in. any car. So he is going to be a challenge I think. The girls I dont worry about at all and Jaeger is old enough to understand and he seems to take redirection well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

missing the children

thankfully I know people who have been in contact with them since I left and know they are fine. I am not looking forward to traveling back over there. BEING there is great, and having the kids will be wonderful, but the LOOOOOOOONG travel over there is boring and exhausting. but it will all be labor pains soon forgotten in the jumble of voices as they all say MAMA! MAMA! Hope they wont forget the English they learned. I remember enough of the Russian I learned to still play Uno so I am sure all will be well! lol. Natasha just coudlnt get enough of that game. the others enjoyed it but not as much as Natasha. She is a smart girl and I think she loves the strategy of the game. gives her a chance to think! Oh Natasha and Diana, your sisters are here awaiting your arrival!!! Jaeger and Andre, the boys can hardly wait to share their room with you! and show you around the woods.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

my cuties!

video

Did I mention?

that I took peanut butter with us and I loved it several times when I was very homesick. but we didnt eat it all and it was in my carry on, I didnt really think about it much. I brought it over there in my checked luggage. so anyways they questioned it at the airport leaving SunnyK. I explained what it was and they were fine. got to Germany, of course they flagged it too thinking it was liquid. I explained again that it was for sandwich. ok. onward ho. to Chicago. where they TOOK MY PEANUT BUTTER AWAY! I couldnt bring it to minneapolis. it is not liquid. it is not sharp. it is not dangerous. and there is nothing that says you cant have stuff of that consistency. they said NO LIQUIDS. it ISNT LIQUID. It is peanut butter and didnt cost much and there wasnt that much left anyways so I agreed that they could just toss it. wasnt worth a fuss. but I still dont understand.

home and exhausted

We are home and I am sick and exhausted. The boys had been sick last week but I just couldnt refrain from hugging and kissing them so I probably have whatever virus they had. We had one last hurrah on Friday night in SunnyK with the Whites and Urbans and Michelle Z and another family whose name I forget. I had felt this thing coming on since Thursday evening. but Friday night when ice cream didnt taste good I knew soemthing was wrong! I ate the ice cream but threw away the cone part I just couldnt stand the taste of it. so we got in late and had to get up early to fly out and I dont sleep on planes. so we were exhausted when we got home. but happy to be here. It is the little things here that make me happy right now. Things like turning on the tap and drinking the water, no worries. things like watching the tv or listening to radio and being able to understand every word. even if we dont care what they are saying we can understand! I happily sat and listened to a woman on her cell phone. I dont recall what she was saying but I listened just because I could! and besides if you are standing in the middle of the airport luggage area chatting it up it cant be THAT private of a talk. Eric is in his garden weeding like mad. the deer managed to get in despite our efforts while we were gone. but the weeds were much higher than the plants so they nibbled a lot of weeds and only some plants.

We were only able to get one dog yesterday so I have to go get Mocha today. I want to sleep instead. but I have to go get my girl. hope I dont fall asleep driving! Too bad I dont have a teenaged driver yet.

the kids at home were happy to see us and gramma said while they behaved just fine they ARE a lot of work for someone her age. We are happy they were able to be here in their own home for awhile before we got back. it also made getting back easier. I still havent unloaded the car except for my laptop. Since we had roaches at one place I want to open the bags outside and unpack them there and put them right into the laundry. and right now that just seems like too much effort.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am now mother to ten

we did get court approval for the two boys and two girls(thus effectively seperating the siblings). we are now the parents of ten, barring no appeals in the ten day wait. we didnt have internet access until now(at home in the states) we are exhausted after traveling and being up for 2 days with little sleep and a lot of heat and a lot of driving (and our car wouldnt start after sitting in our friends garage for a month).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

court was supposed to be in half hour but it is rescheduled for 1130. oh PLEASE get that crazy paper that is missing and get here for court at 1130!

Natasha

Diana, Jaeger, and Papa

My little AJ

afternoon visit

much uno was played. sometimes with 2 players sometimes with 3 or 4. for the first time Jaeger came and wanted to play when no one else was playing. I suppose because he got yelled at yesterday for running around after having been sick about 3 days ago. he probably didnt want to get into trouble again. smart boy!
I explained to the kids via pictures that Papa and I will go home and I will return for them and take them home with me. AJ was a funny boy this afternoon. he is so tiny. much like Ethan, only smaller! Ethan will look like a giant! anyways he was digging with one hand and eating a sour green apple with the other. I offered to hold his apple for him while he digs so he didnt get sand on the apple. he let me hold it for a long time. he is learning for sure. When we arrived this afternoon AJ got a talking to about staying out of the water and he cried because she said he couldnt go outside with us. but she changed her mine and let him come and we stayed away from the water. anyways he was digging and digging a deep hole in the sand box and then BLOOP! he just fell off the sandbox backwards. we both laughed and laughed so of course he did it again. I said oh are you hurt? and grabbed him up and smooched him all over the head and he let me. this is progress. I let him bury my feet in the sand. I love that. he had fun doing it too. We brought candies, and Diana is so funny, she was hiding them in various places in her little bag so she can savor them one or two at a time. no one wanted to say goodbye today as we all know it will be awhile until we can be together again on a daily basis. I promised Natasha I would bring back the photo book for her to keep while we are gone. I wanted to have it for court as it was useful last year. so I will drop it off when we run to say goodbye before leaving here tomorrow. It is easy to see why Natasha is everyone's sweetheart. she is so loving and sweet. she stood in the window watching us go with a big sad face. we blew her kisses and waved. the others had already moved on to dinner. not Natasha. she waved and waved. they are really such good kids that just need a family of their own to teach them right and wrong. and to let them act like kids. This mornings adventure with sailing paper boats got them in trouble. my other kids would have been swimming in the puddle for sure. or at least sitting in it. AJ the clown is the only one who got wet. he just couldnt resist. it really seems sometimes that puddles are just MADE for little boys. or maybe little boys are just MADE to play in puddles. at any rate its a fun thing to do and doesnt hurt anyone and I am rather inclined to let them do it. but alas I am not yet their boss. so we stayed out of the puddles. I cant wait to see their eyes in the spring when the snow melts and the puddles are HUUUUGE!!

note to self

AJ wears a size 2T top and 3 bottom.
Jaeger wears a size 6 top, not sure on bottoms probably 6 as his unders were 6.
Diana wears a 5
Natasha wears probably 7 or 8. the 8 top she wears is a little big.

AJ the rascal

doesnt listen so good. doesnt like to hear nee. so I picked him up and took him away since he wasnt going to walk. he is small so it was not taxing. but I was NOT going to let him go. then he tried to BITE ME! scamp! he got a little pat on the behind. Just enough to distract him and get his attention. Really all he wanted was to act like a kid and play in this giant puddle where they had been sailing paper boats but if I let him swim in it not only is HE going to be in trouble I am too. And Jaeger decided it would be fun to grab the other boys privates. those boys need some boundries and HOW! the girls are really fine other than occasional pouts of sulks and soemtimes with a boy they will break out in a hockey game! but the two boys really need to get home and find out that this running amok is NOT going to fly. tomorrow is court. think of us. Please also think of our friends the Urbans as they have court too. They have been our lifelink while stuck over here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

new day new internet problem.

The kids were pretty fun this afternoon. Full of hugs and kisses. Except Diana and Jaeger went to fisticuffs over something. I was very proud of Natasha for sticking with the game this afternoon when in Uno she had only 1 card and had to draw 4. No tantrums just the regular Uno noises we make. I put her hair up like mine she liked that. It was just a pony tail that wasn’t pulled all the way through. Nothing fancy. Diana is the fancy girl. She likes fancy hairdos. Natasha just likes hers out of her face, but not fancy. Andre was such a love this afternoon. Hugs hugs hugs from that kid. A new visit means a new paper airplane. So I gave him a paper and he wanted Natasha to make it for him and the whole time she was doing it he was saying NEE NATASHA! NEE! NEE! And then she handed it to him after it was made and it didn’t fly so he brought it back to me and I made it up my way and we tossed it around and he was happy. Baby steps! But steps indeed!

Someone really needs to come and get Vika. She is very sweet and loving and affectionate. She comes for hugs and kisses every time she sees us and always smiling at us when we hug and kiss her. I have seen her grow and learn just in the little time I have been able to give her. In a family with fewer kids she would thrive. Will you be her Mama? She is 6 and will likely go to the institution soon. She does have another underlying condition.

days run together

Well I guess the heat got to them because no one seemed to like anything I had to offer this afternoon. Most days are good but I have to remember they ARE but children and will occasionally act like them! We got there late because they are not ever ready when we get there anyways. But then they had dinner early so they had to go. So we only got about an hour with them. I guess it works out because Natasha didn’t like her hair the way I did it so she sulked, Diana doesn’t like the name we gave her because someone else gave her a name. Vasa doesn’t like to be told no and had a little temper. Andre keeps handing me paper to make airplanes but then tells me the whole time NEE Mama. And does it himself differently. Only his way doesn’t fly and my way does. So after an hour of this we were ok with sending them in for dinner. Andre is still in the infirmary but they let him come out and play with us. He is doggone cute. My little AJ. Apparently this mornings events were forgotten because he had big hugs for me when he came out and more big hugs for me when he went back to infirmary.

It was beastly hot today. We walked home after morning visit and were drenched in sweat. We managed to get a taxi to come back after the afternoon visit. We are counting the days until we can go home. Eric has been trying to get the ladies to do some of our laundry. It hasn’t gone so well. The first day he went down there no one was there. Yesterday, Sunday he couldn’t find anyone around. Today he tried again and they told him no no, tomorrow is laundry day. So I guess he will try again tomorrow. When they will probably just say NO lol. that’s the way things have gone here. We bought some instant soup mix at the grocery store because there is a water heating thing in our room. But after I looked at it it is basically a bare coil inside the chamber and it really didn’t look all that clean so we opted to skip the soup altogether, although I suppose if you heated it to boiling it would kill anything. We have managed to have only one or two bouts of tummy trouble so we are trying really hard not to do anything that will make that three or four!!

I love reading all your comments. Makes me feel connected to home. I sure miss the kids. My baby doll Sophie I may not put down for a week when I get there. I told Eric the first thing I want to do is snuggle up with them all and watch a movie, ANY MOVIE, in ENGLISH! I haven’t heard too much from home except that they miss us. SO I presume all is well. Can’t wait to get Mocha and Ptera home too. I hope they haven’t forgotten us by now! I am dying to play hide and seek with Mocha. To make PB and Banana sandwiches for the kids, do DO LAUNDRY!, to do menial chores that need doing. I just want to be HOME HOME HOME!

Another morning with the kids. Another game of Uno. Or rather several games. All was well until Diana made Natasha draw 4 when she had only one card left. So she got mad and threw her cards down and ran off to pout. We carried on our game without her. But then Diana had to draw or got skipped or something she didn’t like so monkey see monkey do she tossed her cards in and went off in a half sulk in the way of Natasha. Jaeger gladly took over Natasha’s hand and played until Papa won. We only got to see Andrey for a couple minutes but long enough to make him a paper airplane since his from yesterday were lost, broken, thrown away, or otherwise disengaged from him. We just let the girls sulk and Eric pushed Jaeger in the swing. The girls inched closer and closer and eventually the two girls and Jaeger were all entertaining themselves nearby. Then they brought us little apples, as peace offerings I suppose, and Natasha was quick to give us hugs. And all was forgotten. Diana did my hair and then it was time for them to go to lunch.

We stopped at the baby house this morning and showed them all the photos of sSphie and Ben. They were all so happy to see them. I left a good picture of the two with the orphanage director to share around. I don’t imagine they get too many photos of their kids as they move on through the system or go home. As far as I know this is not a huge adoption region. Why that is I don’t know but we have had good experiences here. All of our troubles this time have been on the SunnyK end of things. And the birthplace of the girls(which is not Ptown). The director and the social worker and the attorney here at Ptown have been fabulous and I would recommend anyone looking for their child that they might consider Ptown. Beautiful children, gracious people, kind staff. The children get outside every day. They get fed at least 5 times a day. It isn’t as good as a family but it is a darn good place in terms of orphanages. There are many orphanages that are not nearly as nice as this one, and the staff not nearly as attentive. When a kid leaves here and comes home and really embraces family life with little difficulty I think that’s pretty telling that they were treated fairly well where they were. Not like a Mama of their own for sure but decent. I wish I could show you photos! I made a movie montage of the kids photos. Cant show you till I get home or Sunnyk

Monday, July 5, 2010

same ole same ole

except when we got up this morning there was no hot water. not like there was water it just wasnt hot, but REALLY no hot water, as in turn the faucet on hot and NOTHING COMES out! seems to have been resolved while we were at the orphanage with the kids this morning.

Andre did something strange today. he is clumsy. and he turned to run and fell right into a hydrangea bush and cut his hand open and he got up and ran away from us. I ran after him and scooped him up and held him in my lap clucking over his poor little booboo. it wasnt that bad and had stopped bleeding already but he fought me tooth and nail saying NEE MAMA! I kept saying DA MAMA! I dont know if he expected to get in trouble for falling into the bush or get in trouble for cutting his hand or didnt want stinging medicine on his hand. but he wanted NOTHING to do with me. I held him anyways and just talked to him and told him DA mama and he has to get used to Mama if we are going to America. then he wanted papa. surely PAPA will let me down. nothin doin I wasnt letting him go. he lived. I returned him to the infirmary with a kiss and hug shortly after that without mentioning his little booboo. maybe it will help him to learn to trust me. Nothing bad happened, he fell down, he got hurt, and he got held thats all. nothing bad.

nothing else new. I tried to upload photos but it used up my internet time and never even posted so I guess I cant show any photos till I get to Kiev or home.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

just another day in paradise....uhh Ptown

Just another day in Paradise. I mean Ptown.

The weather has finally cooled off a bit. Still pretty warm but not beastly hot and steamy. Today is Sunday and we are counting the days until we are back home. We miss the simple things. We miss the kids. We miss the dogs and the cat. There are many dogs and cats running loose here but you dare not touch one lest you end up with a bite! The last night we were in Kiev we went to dinner with John and Charissa and these two HUGE dogs were out with their owner, off leash. The MONSTER sized one barely looked at us but the almost monster sized one decided he needed to check us out and I was a little worried. Charissa’s heart is about as big as the moon and she reached out to the dog to let it smell her and I automatically said DON’T TOUCH CHARISSA! Thankfully the dog didn’t seem interested in anything but saying hello and when we ignored it and kept walking he went away. So we sure miss OUR dogs. Even Ptera the weewee queen!

The boys have still been in the infirmary but they came out again this morning while we were playing Uno with the girls. Jaeger saw me and ran to me and hugged me. Andrey wasn’t far behind. Andrey doesn’t want to let go once he gets his arms around you. Both boys are feeling a bit better and are anxious to run and play but are not yet allowed. Natasha and Diana are such good loving girls. With the boys out of the picture for a couple of days we have really seen the real Diana. She is so funny and dramatic. She gets more and more loving every day. She has started batting her eyelashes and creating great drama before laying down her cards in Uno. One day she even kissed her cards! She is a riot and I know she and Maia are going to have a LOT in common. Natasha love love loves Uno. She wants to play again and again. She sometimes gets mad at Diana when she is trying to be funny and sneak a wild card out of the deck and into her hand. We took some pics of the girls today with papa and with mama. Then each girl wanted to take pictures. We also brought them a little treat today. We have to do that away from the others so we don’t get into trouble for spoiling their dinner.

I wanted to take photos of the other little ones today but it was bath day and everyone was in their underwear and I didn’t think it would be appropriate to post those kinds of photos. Later when they are all dressed up cute I will take photos and maybe you will see your future son or daughter! Dasha is my favorite no doubt. But one of the little boys who used to be really naughty to me has started eating up any attention I throw his way and he isn’t mean. and he is awful dang cute. I think his name is Sasha. Big blue eyes and sandy hair cut short. Cuuuute!! Zapphirra has started being a little nicer but can stil be a stinker. She does love hugs though. And Vika, sweet lovable Vika needs a mama and soon! She has really started to blossom with just the little bit of one on one attention I have been able to give her. If she had a full time Mama all her own who saw the light in her eyes and the love she has to offer she could really reach her potential(which is really unknown due to her cognitive disabilities)

Today because of bath day we only got an hour with the girls instead of two but we enjoyed it. They seem to enjoy our time too. They always want to know about the kids back home. They want to know about Ben and Maia and Ethan and Sophie. And is Cody big? And where are Chrysta’s glasses in this picture? They are very observant girls!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

back to ptown......again.

We are back in Ptown. Did all the paperwork for the boys today. Ironically we were unable to see them most of the morning as they are sick in the infirmary. By chance the nanny brought them out for a bit of sunshine and we got to play with them awhile and love on them. Poor Andre is really under the weather. Poor guy. He is a really active kid who disappears often and you have to go looking for where he has wandered off to so the nannys don’t yell at him or you. But today he just sat in my lap and let me rock him. He is so tiny. He was pretty warm with fever and then it was like 100 degrees outside so he was pretty hot. He just snuggled up to my chest and let me rock him. He likes to color and draw but he was so tired today that he kept wanting ME to color for him. And have ME draw all kinds of pictures for him. He was definitely NOT himself. I hope he feels better soon. Jaeger really loves his name. Natasha Jordan and Diana Claire seem to think I am telling them their new names are Jordan and Claire when in fact their names will remain Diana and Natasha but with the addition of Jordan and Claire. I keep saying DVA! Which means two so they understand that they have two names not that I am taking away their current name but they just go on and on about Jordan and Claire. Diana cant say Claire very clearly. It comes out like clayee. Andre we didn’t talk to much about names as he was so sick. The girls were very animated today. Asking Yulia all kinds of questions. Natasha wants a doll that wets. Not to be outdone, Diana wants a doll that Kakas. lol

We filed all the paperwork and then when Yulia went to file the court papers to ask for a court date we were informed that it is time for the 6 month review and they are not currently accepting any applications to the court. Wont be until the 12. Happens every year July1. YIKES! We wanted to go home on the tenth! But Yulia went and spoke with the judge and he SO KINDLY approved our petition for court and we DO HAVE A COURT DATE for next Friday at 10am. I sure hope we don’t run into any problems there. Went pretty smoothly last time but then so did everything else!! Nothing has gone smoothly this time and it is a bit more complicated. But at least we have a date and we have something to move towards. Of course this means we are in Ptown for the next week. We are so ready to go HOME! We want to see our other kids. We want to be in our own house and watch tv in our own language. We want to be able to move around in our house (we never have more than two rooms here, living/bedrooom and kitchen) unless you could the bathrooms then its 3 rooms. But small. Our last apartment as well as our rooms in Ptown could fit in ours and the boys bedrooms completely.

So when we come home we will have to put up the other set of bunks for the boys, finish setting up the bunks for the girls and get some dressers from thrift/garage sale/freecycle. We are considering getting another set of bunks for the boys. Ben might like a big bed all his own. He and Ethan could be on bottoms and Jaeger and Andre on tops. Leaving room for a dresser on another wall.

I hope the kids are doing well at home. I miss them so much. Every day Eric and I will see something and be reminded of the kids and how much we miss them. It might be a child on the street, a child on tv, a statue, a fountain, anything. Since internet is so limited for us here and expensive we are going to try a different route tomorrow(Saturday) and see if its cheaper at the post office than it is with the router. Miss you all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

miracle of miracles

we got our referral AND our paperwork in the SAME DAY! we called Yulia and she said they would be done by 5 so we jumped up and started hiking to the SDA office where Serge met us. we got our paperrs! our walking papers as teh case may be. it means tomorrow we are off to Ptown to file for the boys. and all is on track for court next week. as soon as I have a date I will confirm the tickets home. they are set for saturday the 10th getting in around 830. so while we are in ptown we have to pay a lot for internet. so if you dont hear from us it only means we couldnt find internet cards that day. the hard part is behind us now. wow, did I just say that? we have to go to court and ask to seperate sibs and I think the HARD part is over! boy that says a lot about this experience! miss you all back home. Love to the kids and gramma and papa. cant wait to come home and hug you!!! Maia, take care of your dog Fabio! Ethan, save me some hugs! Chrysta, you are such a good girl! Cody, I cant wait to see yoU! Sophiedoodle, I miss you babydoll! Ben Ben, I lub you. seeyou all sooon!(but not soon enough!!!!)

ps our phone keeps getting these crazy text messages, that are probably advertisements for sex. so I started calling tem Sext messages.

pss Thanks for everything John and Charissa!! we will miss you guys!!
heading back to sda to pick up papers! looking for a miracle here!

WE GOT THEM!

we got the referrals for Jaeger and Andre! HUGE hurdle and relief. of course we are still having to hope and pray that the paperwork for them will be done yet today to be picked up and go to Ptown tomorrow and get the paperwork going so we can get court date and get the heck out of dodge! we did see scowly angry lady but she was not yelling at us today, thank goodness. We tried very hard to stay out of her way! we walked home after that. it was a bit of a hike but we walked on the shady side and it wasnt too bad.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

we waited

and waited and waited. we went out only to get water and groceries. we were back in half an hour. the rest of the day was sitting in this tiny apartment that is no bigger than my kitchen/dining room. we were waiting for word that our documents had arrived and they would be picking us up for sda apppt. except the sda doesnt have any appointments left for the day. which means we spent the ENTIRE day here doing NOTHING for NOTHING! we had planned tomorrow to go to Cherobyl museum. but now tomorrow we will go to sda and wait around for papers that MUST BE FILED on friday in order to get court next Thursday. WHY does this have to be so complicated??? it is bordering on the fidiculous how much paper work and how this crazy process goes. each thing is successive and you can do NOTHING in sync. each thing must wait for the last. we are ready to be home. we have been here since June 9. pushing a month! this was supposed to take two weeks. we are so tired and frustrated. but we are still hanging on hope that Jaeger and Andre will be part of our family.

Things I forgot to mention

first thing is HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM! Love you Mom!

one of the things we noticed is that the longer we are here the more we find ourselves missing a certain word in our vocabulary. so we will try to say something to one another and find we cant think of the word we want. I imagine this is what its like for the kids as they are learning English, they dont know enough English to tell what they want, but the word in their native language escapes them, thus making them unable to communicate their needs. Imagine how frustrating that would be!

anotehr this is that grammar rules are different here. and people who speak broken English(the people we deal with the most) mix up tenses or word order. I find myself asking things like "why you not do this?"

Buildings here are much different than home. there is not a smoke detector in our entire apartment. none in the hall that I am aware of. there are open wires and fuse boxes in hallways, hanging light fixtures are common. things that would just never pass muster at home are very commonplace here. The place we live right now is on the 5th floor. there is no light on the stairs between floors 2 and 3 and the lights on the other floors are very dim and do not carry down the stairwell. even in the daytime it is very dark to take the stairs. the elevator does not always go to floor 5. sometimes it only goes to 4 and you have to walk the rest. sometimes at floor 5 you call the elevator and it only comes to 4 and you have to walk down to it. sometimes you get in and it goes straight up to 5 no problem but you have to be prepared in case it doesnt because you never know when it will or wont. the apartment itself is small but very nice. the hallways are dark dingy dirty and in some cases downright scary!

the center line is routinely used to make another lane when driving. we walk everywhere we go unless its official business then there is usually a car that picks us up. we would not make it far if we had to drive here! One of our drivers told us that women have only begun to drive here after many years of only men drivers. they refer to them as a monkey with a hand grenade, not sure if I mentioned this before. this same driver has told us many interesting facts about this country. including how to make borcht! he speaks great English(not perfect but we can easily communicate about most topics) and he tells us of his little girl. she is 1. he also told us basswood tree flowers and leaves are used to make tea. never heard of that before.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the news from Lake Wobegone

up at the very crack of dawn to jump in a car and shake and bake our way to Ptown for the day. saw the kids. They were a little standoffish but not overly so. Vasa still cried when we left. The girls want to know WHEN are we going to America! and when can we get our ears pierced? and do you have lots of earrings in America? little do they know that we have LOTs OF EARRINGS just at our HOUSE! they are so cute. so we got the paperwork all done for Diana, it will be signed tomorrow as they cant sign it the day they recieve it for some reason. the social worker who needs to sign it has been the nicest lady to us in this adoption and the last. she is always very kind and speaks softly and smiles and us and tells us its all going to be ok. it will turn out good. I have no worries at all that she will sign. She is the one pushing so hard for us to seperate the siblings. We also filed for appt with sda. which SHOULD happen tomorrow. we will have to pay a cab(again) to bring the documents from Ptown to SunnyK and then go to SDA and have appt where we asked specifically for TWO kids with special needs. If they only give us one someone is going to be heartbroken. a lot of someones.

the plan is to get Sda tomorrow, get official papers thurs. go back to Ptown Friday and stay until court the next week and return home that weekend.

We taught the kids their names today. Natasha tried very hard to say it correctly. Diana loved it but then for a moment thought no she wants to stay Diana. I explained to them that they now had TWO names and she could still be Diana, but now she would be Diana Claire. Natasha Jordan liked her name too. Vasiliy we had planned to call Jacob but since it is also Eric's nephews name, same last name, and Eric really didnt like that name as much as some others we chose to opt for something similar. Jaeger Vasiliy loved yelling his name as he went high on the swing. Andrey we plan to call A.J. (Andre Jonathon). he is the perfect A.J. so cute and little and you just want to grab him up when he smiles at you.

Some friends of our dear friends the Urbans have invited us to come along tonight for dessert at their house. sounds like fun! and We could never pass up ice cream! But first at some point dinner.

and here is a photo to keep it fun. this is the girls when they were younger. Our friend Dima took this photo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pirogovo




you have to go there. its gorgous! we had a great time there. We took a cab out there and walked for hours looking at windmills and ancient churches and old thatched huts that were once the way of life. We wanted to buy a table runner and asked a vendor (a very old lady) how much hers was. she of course told us in Russian. when I told her Ya ne ponymayu she asked something and then at the same time as I said it she said Engliski? we had a good laugh. and she wrote down how much it was. so we paid her for it and I said Spaceba and she laughed and said nyet! Danka Shoen! and then we laughed and laughed and then she finangled us into buying a wooden spoon for our cafe (coffee)so we wont hurt our teeth when we drink our cafe. she wanted us to buy two but we only bought one. then we had some Kvas. it was strange but not bad. it smelled like bread, tastes kind of like beer. After we hiked all the way up the carpathian mountains(ok not really, just the huge hill that the Carpathia exhibit was on) we headed for the exit. When we got there Eric used his STELLAR language skills to find us a bus that took us nearly home(insert eye roll). but the bus ride was interesting and only cost 2 grivna each. thats about 50 cents total. much cheaper than the 8 dollar cab ride we paid for to get there. All our friends are busy tonight and we are exhausted so we just stopped and had some Ukrainian food and came home to veg in air conditioning and rest our blistered feet. It was about 90 degrees out there today and HUMID! so I have blisters on my arches of my feet. Eric fared better in his flip flops. The roads we walked on were cobblestone and sand. some parts were cobbled and others were sand and some parts were cobbles surrounded by sand. so it was rather rough terrain much of the way. but the high heels were out in full force! hope you enjoy some pictures of our day.

photos of yesterdays adventure




and today we are off to Pirogovo

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dasha

Dasha is the sweetest little girl about 4 or 5. she is in our kids groupoo. I dont know if she has any diagnosis but she is the sweetest little girl. if we didnt already have a fight on our hands for the other 4 I would be fighting for little Dasha. Every day she gives me the sweetest hugs around the neck. she is not in your face like some of the others. she likes attention but doesnt DEMAND it. she likes to play but doesnt enjoy brutalising others during her play. because she is one of the smaller ones she gets brutalised sometimes. she is so gentle and sweet. she smiles and comes running with a hug when we come. (I think we hug everyone in the orphanage when we arrive!) she has dark hair and BLUE eyes. she is very petite. but she has captured my heart. doesnt anyone want a Dasha of their own? she is so precious. I dont think that she thinks we are HER mama and papa but she sure does love hugs and kisses if we are handing them out. someone come get pretty little Dasha. she is such a love. If I thought I could convince my husband I would come back for her myself! but after this experience I am pretty sure he wont be on board with that!

WHEW!

left our apartment about 1230-1 and returned home about 10. whew! what a day! its saturday so of course nothing adoption related was happening. so we set out to see some more city. we went to the Great Gates of Kiev. it was really exciting! we got kicked out of a university because apparently we looked like we didnt belong. We also got shooed away from a shopping center we JUST EXITED because we stopped and leaned on teh wall and I looked at a blister on my foot. We had to ask ourselves if I was a tall leggy blonde in a short skirt and high heels if they would have shooed us. We walked through a really nice park/botanical garden behind the university. they let us in there lol. I will post photos of great gates tomorrow.

We met up with Urbans, Lorrains, and Whites for dinner. we had a great visit during dinner. then we walked down to Kreschatik street and some got ice cream. we sat around on a bench chatting and laughing and have such a great time. soon it was almost 10 and no one wanted to go home but it was starting to get dusk and no one wanted to be walking home in the dark so we reluctantly said goodbye.

Friday, June 25, 2010

alas there is hope!

in charge lady who comes stomping in yelling every time we go to the office has promised to give us the two boys referral after we get Diana's local approval. the local approval shoudlnt take more than a day(we hope) because the orphanage is really on the ball to help us, they want us to take these kids home and love them. If you EVER get the chance to adopt from there, you will find the kindest most loving people in charge. they dont hesitate to scold a child if need be(but really every kid needs a scolding now and then) but they TRULY TRULY LOVE these children. they know them all personally and individually. but like we said before nothing will happen on monday as it is a holiday and a big one at that. similar to our July4th.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

photos from my friend Dima




BLARGH!

A taxi drove our all important documents from Ptown to SunnyK for the mere sum of about 62.50 usd. then we rushed to sda for appointment. where we got.....exactly 1 referral. I am not sure what the deal is, we have been explained to by different people but I still dont get it. they gave us ONLY the sisters. saying sibs come first, we can get the others later. then we had to wait for seperation of sisters. which still remains unresolved but the region is in our favor and will support us to the court. so we finally got that second appt, and we got the other girls referral. but they refused to let us have the boys referrals. they say we have to come back again, and that this is because the boys werent on the petition(because THEY lost one child's file and we couldnt find out his name). we were told also that because we are seperating the sisters, that they dont like that and we are picking and choosing. oooook. so we arent sure at all what will happen now. we may have to tell two very disappointed boys that we cant take them home. the orphanage is counting on us adopting them and have gotten paper work in order for all of them. we are their last chance. people arent standing in line to adopt special needs older kids. so where do we go from here? someone else got 3 unrelated referrals just the other day. last year we had 2 unrelated and it went smoothly. but apparently 4 unrelated is difficult. why its difficult I dont know. but they are being difficult at that office. and since out representative/translator/facilitator was NOT THERE TO REPRESENT US/facilitate for us/translate for us we really had to just take the one girl and go. Monday is a holiday here. so nothing will happen on any front on that day.

oh fudge

tings are not well in camp sunnyk
my guess is that since it is 215 they arent going to call today. so we shall go out and see some more city. urbans! call us for dinner!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

well that was fun!

dinner with the Lorraines and the Urbans and then a visit at the Urbans place where they let us use their fancy high falutin telephone to call our kids. THANKS JOHN AND CHARISSA! Maia was so funny, she said well 2 weeks already and 2 more weeks is 4 weeks. isnt 4 weeks a month? yes maia. but why is 4 weeks a month? I dont know Maia look at the calandar and see lol. sophie wanted us to come home in 5 minutes. Ben wanted us to know that he had a booboo on his face. not sure what thats all about. Ethan was busy watching a movie and didnt have a lot to say. but after we hung up from them we had a fun visit with the urbans, as usual. Missed them when we were in Ptown. Took us about 45 minutes to walk home from there, got home juuuuuuust in time. it was pretty dusky when we got here. we dont go out too much at night/dark time. good thing it stays light so long! good thing there is no crime in SunnyK!hahaahah

no news on tomorrow. Guess we will call and check in when we wake in the morning. hoping for appointment!!! BEGGING PLEADING for appointment!

GAH!

GAH! why does this have to be so difficult? its bordering on the ridiculous at this point! we came back for sda. but we DONT HAVE THE CONCLUSION FROM LOCAL PRINCIPALITY! so no sda. wth? so now we sit here with another day on our hands where nothing is accomplished. running out of strength to keep this up. kids at home missing us. us missing them. kids here missing us. us missing them. and yet nothing is moving. we are trapped between a rock and a very hard place much resembling a rock. We are going to go find some lunch since we never did eat breakfast this morning. that is if I can pull it together long enough to go out in public.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the whole groupa and some of their caregivers



first child I dont know his name, then Artiom in the yellow. Nastya, Vasa,Natasha, Zaphirra, Diana being held by a caregiver, then Dasha(who is so sweet!)
front row is Andrey, Vika, caregiver, and Sasha

more photos of the kids, the little guy is Andrey




you should go over and see the blog of our new friend Dima. there are lots of photos there of our girls as well as many other kids who wait there. Dima has taken this orphanage as his own and visits and brings treats etc to the children. they all go bonkers when he arrives. Our kids thought they were the best thing since sliced bread! http://det-dom.blogspot.com/

a bit of the kids program. our girls are in the front (pink and green, green and yellow)and vasy is in the back in the bowtie

videothis is only one of several songs they did. plus the reciting. I didnt video all the kids with their speaking parts, I wouldnt have understood it anyways! and I knew the mem stick wouldnt hold it all. so I just got their singing and dancing. they loved watching their performance later via our camera.

finally in kiev so ....photos!




vasy is obviously the boy and natasha is in pink sweater, brown hair. Diana stripey sweater blonde hair. go ahead and tell me how cute they are! the girls want their ears pierced. of all things they could ask for thats what they want lol. typical girls!
 


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