Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chapter 6 - A Very Good Day!

Today was a good day all the way around.  We bought more minutes for the 3G modem so I can post some pictures!  Our first visit with the kids went well and as you can see by the first two photos, Roc kept her word to herself.  She played with not only our kids but ALL the kids.  I think the caretaker LOVED it!!!  Gave her a break.  It started out by two little ones coming over to are little area where we were playing with our kids.  They wanted to see us and what we all had in my big bag of GOODIES!!!  Which by the way Dani LOVES to dig through!  Then the caretaker came to get them but they really were not listening so Roc asked us if she could bring them back and play with all of them.  We told her to go for it!

So here is Josh.  Funny, loves to laugh, LOVES to climb, loves to chew!  Poor thing has had two surgeries and still needs more.  All on his cleft palate.  Heart is healthy.  He has some sort of chest deformity but not sure what they are talking about.  It is hard to get things through translation and the quick go through files that they do.  So obviously he will be checked once home with all the other kids.  His look reminds me of a little old man and I just LOVE it.  Ken and Roc think I'm crazy but I just think he is soooooo cute!!!

Diana, pronounced Deanna, is a sly, sneaky, precious, so cute and tiny!  She is tinier than I thought she would be.  She just didn't look that small on the RR site.  She is LOUD!!  She loves, loves, loves balloons and banana's!  She thinks she can do anything without any help like pour water from a big water bottle to a little water bottle.  Didn't work out so well for her.  She also loves digging in my bag of fun stuff but always ends up with a balloon, or 10.  She is very patient with Josh and Luke.  She is in the same group as Josh so they get along well.

And now for Luke.  He has changed so much just like all of you said!  He loves to wrap are arms around him.  It cannot be just one hand/arm, but BOTH.  He loves to stomp and jump up and down.  He really likes it when Roc brings him inside. The gentleman who sits and lets people in and out is very nice to us and told Roc that she is more than welcome to bring Luke in to play if she wants.  Roc brings him inside to a room where no other kids are.  In fact no kids have been in that building at all since we have been there.  We think they use it for the plays and stuff that the kids put on.  Anyway, she brings him in there to a room that has hardwood flooring.  She stomps and dances all around him and he just laughs and giggles at her!  While she is doing it he is clapping and having a ball.  Then of course when she stops its his turn!  He just stomps and smiles.
Luke also has some sort of deformed chest that they talked about?  He does have heart issues that have to be checked and one of his kidneys is in the wrong place? 
It took us a little longer with Luke but we can see it slowly happening.

We have are meeting with the head of the authorities to ask us the questions of why once again.  This is, we think, the last piece of paper before we start with Dennis.  Some confusion with Yulia and our facilitator down here but we will find out tomorrow. 
Thank you everyone for your advice, well wishes, hopes and prayers!!!  We are not even half way through all this so keep them all coming!!!  You don't know what it means to us!  It helps so much!

Chapter 5

I was up at 3:30 this morning and tried to do this post but things work a little different with this 3G thing I couldnt get to the net and I didnt want to wake ken up to ask!  So now its 7:30 and we are getting ready to go to our first visit of the day with the kids.  Thank you to EVERYONE that sent a comment!!!  It really does help in some strange way being so far away from home and then getting suggestions, advice, good wishes and and annoying comments from Jodi. Truly it made my sleep that night so much better!  Luke did much better the next day!  Roc on the other hand, not so much.  The caretaker can not bring all three kids back so Roc being Roc always wants to be the one to bring back on of them.  This day they went to their rooms and she had Luke.  About 4 steps from the top he stopped.  He knew where he was going and he didnt want to go.  Roc picked him up and brought him to his room.  He would not let go of her.  It took 5 caretakers to release his tiny little (strong) arms from Rocs neck.  Then on the way back down the steps she walked through the room where the picture of Dani was taken on the RR site.  The room was full of kids.  All of them saw her and went running to her.  One little boy was getting his hair cut and put his arm out and she grabbed it, held it and then hugged the little boy.  When she came outside the gates where Ken and I were waiting for her I saw something was wrong and asked her what was the matter?  First you have to know that the nick name Roc fits her to a tee.  She is a tom boy.  Nothing really dainty about her.  Ken says she is like a bull in a china shop.  She loves, loves, loves soccer and sports and is very good at them.  She is very competitive and Wants and Loves to win.  She has a strong will and determination so you dont see a lot of tears of sadness from her.  She just picks herself up and moves on.
I asked her what was wrong and she BROKE down.  Sobbing asking me why nobody comes for these kids.  Nothing is wrong with ANY of them.  They kept want me to touch them, hug them, pay some kind of attention to them and I almost started crying in front of them.  I had to leave.  I can't do that again.  I can't see that again.  I don't understand it.
What I told her is different than most people reading this blog believe.  At least from what I have read on your blogs.
I told her that this is what makes it so hard for people like me.  I dont believe God has Josh's or Luke's or for the matter He had your life planned.  What I believe is that God gave us free will.  My God did not pick Josh OVER Benjamin to find a family.  That was all my doing, all of our doings.  I let Benjamin down.  We all let Benjamin down.  My God did not want Benjamin sent to where he was sent.  My God wants there to be NO orphans.  But My God gave His people FREE WILL to change it.  Thats what I told her. Then I said you know what Roc, you have to think of it as it not being about you but about the kids or whoever you may come in contact with during this journey.  I found out about all this when I was 26.  You get to find out about it when you are 15.  You have 10 more years on me to make a change, some change.  Today you made a change.  You touched a little boy and hugged him.  He felt it.  He received it from you.  He will hopefully remember it.......Its all about free will.  What we chose and what we set aside so that we dont feel the pain or the saddness. 
By the time our taxi ride was over to bring us home she said thats what I have to do.  I have to do that everyday from hear on out.  Talk with the kids, hug the kids, play with the kids.  The caretakers didnt seem to mind me hugging that little boy so I'm just going to do it. 
I knew when I was awoken at 3am that the events of the day hit her hard.  She was having some kind of nightmare and screaming no, no, stop it.  I just came out and laid beside her till she calmed down, never waking. 
She is still sleeping now.  I'm proud of her.  I love her.  I hope today is easier for her and that the 10 years extra I gave her from the age I was when I started making a change will benefit her as a person.  I know it will benefit the kids she plans to touch in her life time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chapter 2,3 AND 4 UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!

Finally INTERNET!!!!  In Odessa it seems to be extremely difficult to get internet!  We tried to get the landlord from the flat to get it for us, but can't.  We tried McD's because we heard they have it, don't.  We tried the big mall because we heard they have it, don't.  We tried to find internet cafe, nada!  We have to have internet not only to keep JODI updated but also because Ken is working from here and Roc is doing her homework from here.  So Ken went on a quest to find a 3G internet.  He found a young kid at the telephone shop by the train station who was selling them AND JACKPOT, he spoke some english!  He got home, OMG I'm calling this place home???  Ken set it up and guess what?  All in Rusian!!  We tried for maybe 15 minutes and then decided time for another walk back to the store.  This time Roc went with just to get out for some scenary.  I stayed home, there I go again, to do laundry and dishes.  When they got back, walla, internet!  Success!  Bingo! Yay!  Ken said that he cant bring Roc anywhere anymore cuz she flirts with everyone........she came home with a bracelet.  She got it from the 18yr old guy that sold us the 3G and helped us get it running.  She really wasn't flirting it's just how she is, VERY outgoing and we LOVE to give her a hard time!!!!  Thats 1/2 the fun of being her parents!!!!
Because the 3G will cost us more if we upload photos I will have to wait till we are back in Kiev to do.  I know, bummer!
Okay, we decided to take the train for more reasons than just my fear of Serge's driving.  We would save money for one night not spent at our flat and also the money we had to pay Serge to get to Odessa.  Roxana also really wanted to take the train.....Harry Potter fan.  We packed up all our luggage because we had to be out by 1.  We did not want to bring all luggage down to Odessa with us so we left some at our "teams" office till we get back for our second part of all this.  We were told to be at the SDA to pick up our referral at 4.  4:30 and still waiting for someone, anyone.  4:45, still waiting.  4:55 Ken decides to just go get the referral himself since they close at 5.  He saw the Directors right hand lady (the one he and Roc met in 2008).  She smiled at Ken and asked another facilitator in the room if she could help us.  They called us in and both the SDA and facilitator asked where Serge was?  We said, good question!  The facilitator that was helping us happened to know Serge, I think EVERYONE knows Serge!!!!  She called him while we were filling out the paperwork to get our referral.  Traffic was Horrible and that's why no one was there.  We saw that there was 1 pack/referral left after ours and we figured out it was the Goodwins.  By the time we were done the Goodwins drove up and we got to say a quick hello and good luck.  We then drove to the train station to get the Goodwins there train tickets.  No, they were not with us, they were in a taxi and we were with the "teams" driver so we met them there.  We waited for awhile and then went to TGIF to eat and wait for Nico (driver) who is GREAT!  Good guy!  And of course he and Roc talk Spanish with each other because he was a Spanish translator in Cuba for the Soviet Union years ago.  Again, he loved her!  Good thing we brought her with!!  She has been GREAT entertainment for everyone!  She is such a good girl!  I am glad she is seeing all of this for so many reasons.  I know, I'm getting to the kids but that part is chapter 4 and I'm still in chapter 3! 
We went at 9 to "get" our train tickets.  There just "happened" to be 1 sleeper car left!  What "luck"!?!  It did not cost us any more, it just was the "last" one left.  Okay, hope you get it........the team got us on the train!!!!
Ken and I both went to sleep right away but Roc ended up staing up all night just looking out the window enjoying her time.
Next morning got off the train, met our facilitator who brought us to our flat.  In 2 hours we were to meet our new children.
We first had to go get the local referral at the administration office where the questions began.  Why, Do we have room, Can we afford it, How many kids do we have now.  We got there blessing and then we waited for them to type it up.  We then had to go pick up a inspector to come with us to evaluate how we interacted with the kids.  We arrived at the orphanage at around 11:30 and went through the kids files and were asked pretty much the same set of questions.
Then it was time.  But before I start there are 2 things I want you to know.  First, Ken is the type of guy that knew nothing of DS except what a lot of people think.  Thats not good or bad its just reality.  Sad maybe, but its true.  I'm going to be very honest here and he was very nervous and leary.  I was scared too and it is so hard to explaine in words but I am the type of person that would take in every stray dog, cat, animal or ANY and EVERY man, woman or child that I could or maybe couldn't.  I worry about the logistics, ramifications of everything AFTER the fact.  Ken not at all like me!
We find out the Luke has more problems than we thought.  He was deprived of oxygen and they had to do an emergency C Section on his mother.  It's the lack of oxygen that made Ken nervous.
They brought all three in together which was a bit overwhelming because we really didn't have time one on one with them.  Dani was first in line.  They told us that she would ask all the time where her mama was.  If someone new came to the orphanage she would ask "Are you my mama"?  Heartbreaking!  She stopped in the middle of the room stopped and just looked at me.  I reached for her and told her to come here and she got the biggest smile on her face and littarly ran to me and hugged me so hard!  Priceless!!!!  She is sooooo cute and very tiny!  Josh went right to Ken and Ken was lifting him up in the air and he was laughing and thinking this is so much fun.  This is all happening while I was with Dani and they were right next to me so I could see it.  Then I put Dani down and Luke came to me, or I should say I went to Luke.  He was petrified which in return scared me.  I didnt know what to do.  I had two other kids that were all over Ken and I, and I didn't know what to do.  The caretaker had Luke in the corner by himself and so I went over to see how or if,  I could make him not so scared.  I did my best but he really did not want anything to do with any of us.  They told us we could bring the kids outside for a little bit so we did.  As we played with them one on one as much as we could we asked Roc to stay with Josh and Dani while we went to Luke.  He was so obviously scared of us it broke my heart.  He just really was freaking out.
We had to go get some paperwork done so our facilitator told us we had to go.  The caretaker needed help with bringing Luke and Josh in because she could not do it herself so Ken and Roc helped her.  They got to go all the way to their rooms.  Luke did not want Ken to leave, he did not want to go to the caretaker.  I think that was a good sign, right????  Please, please anyone reading this who has experience with DS let me know what I should know or look for! 
It was to say the least, very emotional!!  I told Ken that I didnt know if I could handle Luke, if we could handle Luke, if the kids could handle Luke.  Ken being Ken and me being me, I jumped to the conclusion that this is who Luke is.  Ken, not being a talker, was just thinking and then said to me and Roc in a kind of quesion like, he seemed to like me.  He did seem to want to be with Ken over any of us.  We talked about it all night and Ken said we have to give it more time.  Its not only the DS but also a big part is being in a orphanage his whole life and we both know what that does to a child.  He said remeber what it did to Lica?  He could have been scared, out of his norm, wondering who the heck are these funny talking people and why are they looking and talking to me!
We were not able to visit that evening because we had lots more running around to do.  We met Serge at the administration office.  He was there before us doing what he needed to do and then our facilitator went in to do what she needed to do.  That left us there to talk with Serge.  I asked him if it took him three hours to get here and he said no, actually 2 1/2!  Thats all it took for Roc to lay into him.  You drive to fast and you are going to kill yourself she said.  She told him he was crazy!  He loved it and he loves this kid.  They started talking about God and how God is watching over him when he drives.  She told him God doesnt like it when you do stupid stuff!  Thats all it took, the next hour was spent listening to Roc and Serge "discuss God"!!!  She said she wanted to have ice cream that night.  He told her God provides for what you need and not what you want.  He asked her if she worked hard today?  She said yes, we were running all day!  He said then instead of all the talking you do you should just go up the street and get some ice cream.  She said she didnt have any money and he told her again that God provides for what you need!  If you worked hard than you need ice cream.  He said she could go get free ice cream up the street because God would provide.  She argued with him about that and all he said was you talk to much and if you want I will go with you and you will ask for ice cream and you will get it for free because God will provide you with it.  She wasnt buying any of it but they walked up the street and she came back with a "free" ice cream bar!  That lead to another 1/2 hour of them talking about God and what each other believe.  She brought up Buddah for some reason or another and he said that all the little kids in China thinks he is a happy Buddah because of his belly!  These two were to much to handle and we had to get going so as we were leaving she asked if she would see him tomorrow.  He looked at her and pointed up to heaven and said God provides you with what you need not what you want!   We did end up seeing him the next day!!!                   The next morning we knew we had to see if we could, in some little way, see anything from Luke.  Both Dani and Josh came to us all happy looking for balloons and all was well.  Then they brought Luke out and he was not as scared but still scared.  He wanted to go to Ken right away so Ken took him first walking the grounds while Roc and I stayed with Dani and Josh.  Then it was my turn and I was scared.  Scared that I would see nothing, scared that I would have to say no, scared that I may have been so wrong in thinking I could do this.  I went over to him but he just wanted Ken.  He wanted to sit with Ken, touch his face, and have Ken make fun noises to him.  I started talking softly to him and make eye contact with him and it seemed to be working.  Ken slowly started walking away until it was just Luke and I.  He started to panic a little so I would just talk softly to him.  I kissed his hand and tickled his belly.  He wasnt to sure or keen on that but then I would just back off a little to give him some space and then try again.  He let me put him on the slide and when I put my hand out he would grab it.  He is so different than Josh or Dani - they both are BIG huggers and laugh a lot! 
I still was not sure.  How could I not be sure, that alone was making me crazy and hate myself.  I hated myself for not feeling a contection with Luke like I had with Josh and Dani.  The reason I told you about how Ken is because what happened next surprised me and put a sense of peace in my heart.  Ken pulled me aside from Roc and It was just us two.  He said I dont know a lot about Lukes condition or DS.  I know we are scared but I see it in Luke.  He needs us.  He needs a family.  He needs our family.  It WILL take a lot of time but I think we need to give that to Luke but only IF you are up to it.  Yes I told him, I am up to it but what if he never likes me?  Nan, he will not only like you, he will love you.  And if that is not enough, we will Love him! 
This comming from Ken meant more to me than you will ever know.  And he is right.  If nothing else WE will LOVE Luke.  Nothing in return, we will just love Luke and hope and pray that that is enough.  So for today all the paperwork went in for all three kids.  This could all change if they say no or if something drastically happens between now and next week to make us change our minds.  Please pray that we see a change everyday in Luke!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chapter 1

Walked to our appointment and we got there at 10:30.  We saw the Goodwins said Hi and went right in to the room with the couch.  The Goodwins jokingly said don't take to long because we are right after you.  Now I know we are doing something unheard of by adopting 4 unrelated sn kids from different regions but I still thought it would go pretty fast.  Boy was I WRONG!!  12:05 I looked at Ken and said oh oh, poor Goodwins are probably panicked, there appt. was supposed to start 5 min ago!  By 12:30 my eyes were starting to fill with tears and I told Serge I'm not leaving without all four!  I will just go home now if it is not possible.  Don't know why I said that because I don't really think I could leave any of them but we/they are having problems with 2 of the kids files.  I can't go into to much detail because our blog is for any and all to read!  To keep things light I looked at Ken and said to him that this probably wouldn't be a good time for me to take a break and go outside with tears in my eyes and a cigarette in my hand because it would REALLY freak out the poor Goodwins!!  There was some paper mix up on our part and on the "teams" part and lets just say Serge was NOT happy!!  He was on the phone S C R E A M I N G!!!!  The poor guy was sweating and losing is breath!  We had 3 SDA workers in with us telling him to quiet down.  Then the 4th SDA worker who is right below the director came in and told him quite up and shut the door. She remembered Ken and Roc from when they were here in 2008 trying to adopt without a facilitator.  Yes we tried to do it REALLY independently.  Any way, she told Serege to quite up again because he was still yelling, so she could talk with us to see how we were and that she remembered us.  So we had 4 SDA workers, Serge, Ken, Roc and myself in this tiny little room.  I just kept thinking about the Goodwins and how they were probably wondering what the heck is going on.  So they figured out the 3rd childs paperwork so now they were working on the fourth.  They asked us how many kids we have, what the ages were and how many bedrooms we have.  Yulia, they pronounce it Julia, came with another paper and then we left the room but had to wait outside for the Director to type up some document?!  Serge was in and out and Yulia stayed outside the whole time with us.  We were joking with her on how in the world she could work for such a boss!!!!  She said she is used to him now.  We told her we were sorry for the lashing she took and how bad we felt for her.  She just laughed it off and said thats just how he is.  Now Serge comes outside and told us no worry you get all four its just they have never seen a case like yours before!  I know this is what God wants us to do so if we are somehow making it easier for other families who may want to adopt more than 3 at once from different regions then God can go ahead and use us. Besides, our reward is that we get to bring these four angles home with us.  Serge told us that Odessa is a very hard region to adopt from and he will drive us down there because he needs to be there also.  I asked him "Who is driving"????????  He said me.  I then said out loud OH GOD HELP ME!!!!!!  He thought that was one of the funniest things.  He asked me why?  I told him that I have heard about how he drives and I didnt want to go with him.  I could just meet him there!!  He was laughing saying no, it will only take us 3 hours to get there.  I said YES I REALIZE THAT AND THATS WHY I DIDNT WANT TO GO WITH HIM.  As he is laughing at me he said who is doing the adoption me or you.  I told him I would really like my kids to have a mother, you are going to kill me!  Yulia then got in on it as she too was laughing and asked me if I had some motion pills!!  She told me that it takes her husband and her about 4 1/2 hours to get there but Serge only 3!!!  But the road to Odessa is the nicest in all of Ukraine.  Oh, thanks Yulia but that doesnt help me!  She is very, very sweet and I love her already!  Oh, and in the middle of all this Roc was asking Serge about Ukraine soccer teams and why they are not going to the word cup.  He told her they aren't that good!!  She was asking him all sorts of questions that had nothing to do with adoption and I think he rather liked that.  Then she started talking to the ladies at the SDA in her broken Russian and their broken English.  She was a very good deterrent through it all!!!!  So the plan now is Yulia calls both Directors to let them know we have been there and we pick up the referrals for the 3 kids in Odessa tomorrow.  Then we DRIVE with Serge to Odessa (God HELP me) Thursday morning and DRIVE back with Serge (God HELP me again) on either Friday or Saturday.  Then go back to the SDA for Dennis, pick up his referral either Monday or Tuesday and head down to his region by (Thank You GOD) TRAIN.  Thats all I know for now, as you can see things could very well change!!!!  Please pray for us that we will be able to bring ALL FOUR home with us!!  It all looks good but we have a long road ahead of us!  Unless Serge is driving, then it will be a short road!!!! hehehe


Kaylee, plug the volume back on the computer!!  You unplugged it before we left and never plugged it back wont be able to hear the moooo when we email or IM you silly girl!!!  And the ringer is turned down so you cant hear the phone ring!!!  Miss you guys and I hope your taking care of grandpa!!  Thank you Lica and Kaylee and grandpa for taking care of things while we are gone, LOVE you very much!  And no fighting........that includes you too grandpa!!
Thanks Kit for checking in!  And thanks to everyone following along with us and all the comments, they mean A LOT!!!  
 Off to the SDA now!

Monday, May 24, 2010

We Are Here!

Well what can I say about our first flight out?  I looked and Roc and said, somethng smells hot, like its burning or something.  She said yup I can smell it too.  The we asked Ken and of course he says I dont smell anything, everything is fine.  1/2 hour later, still stitting on the plane which has not moved the "voice" came on the speaker and said they were having mechanical difficulties and they had 4 different guys come on to check the gages up front.  Something to do with the fuel sensors?  Of course by this time my "medication" did NOT seem to be working and I was in the fetal postition!!! hehehehe!  Needless to say we got a late start and were a little worried about making our conecting flight in Amsterdam.  We only had a two layover.  So when we got to Amsterdam we RAN to catch our flight and did make it.  We arrived to a rainy Keiv where we loaded most of our luggage on a cart and wheeled the rest.  Since the streets and parking lots are not the best we dropped our luggage more than once in the puddles of water!!!  By the time we were all done Roc and I were laughing so hard it just didn't matter anymore!  I will post pictures tomorrow we are all pretty tired.  Are appt. is at 11 tomorrow so please be thinking of us and say a little prayer for good things.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ready, Set, GO!!!!!

Okay, we are ready!  Well, as ready as we will ever be.  I have my medication for trains, planes, and automobiles.  And yes, I NEED them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I have my carry on and purse ready............
And our luggage is packed somehow someway!  All but ONE is donations
All of the stress AND months of scrimping AND saving AND fund raising AND garage sales AND collecting AND buying donations AND lets not forget all the paperwork!!!!! 
All of this for FOUR GREAT REASONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

From Chrissie's Family Blog

Dancing with Jesus

Chrissie has gone home to be with Jesus. Her heart has been healed and now she spins and she sways to the Cinderella song with Jesus as her dance partner.

Though Chrissie had a family for such a short time, I am so happy that she had a family that loved her while she went through this fight.  The happiness they brought one another will live  forever!  Our prayers go out to her and her family.
You can click the button on the right to read about Chrissie and her family.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We Have A Date For Dennis!!!!

MAY 25TH AT 11:00
I am so ready to start this part of the journey!  I can't wait to hold and love and kiss our sweet boy!

About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.