Sorry for such a long break but it was CRAZINESS getting home! One HUGE suggestion for all of you going through this is to READ your handbook from RR!!! In all of our previous adoptions we always used a credit card to pay at the embassy. Well, Ukraine does not take credit cards. Oops! Okay, big Oops!!! I was willing to stay another month if need be just to get things done. Never once in this blog did I complain about my time away from home. I told myself that I would not count the days I was away from my kids like I did when in adopting from South America. I told myself that I would be on a mission to bring these kids home no matter how long it took and until this very moment I have not counted the days I was gone. Seriously, I just counted them now. 2 months or 57 days or 1368 hours. We knew it would be long and that is why we never complained about it. It was so worth it!!!! Hard on the kids back home though. Its a long time not to have mom and tata around.
It cost us a total of 46,381.62. Again, never once on this blog did I complain about how much it was costing just the WHY it was costing!!! We knew it would be lots of money to bring four kids home from two different regions. I was trying to let families know through our experience the "cost" of things that come up. We were down to eating one meal a day. We took buses and trolleys or walked. Like it or not, agree with it or not, offended by it or not........it was and is the TRUTH!!! We know the exact amount because we requested and kept EVERY receipt for EVERYTHING. Even if written out on a napkin, we got a receipt.
This is what it took for us to get home.
These are just to get home! When I say it was crazy, I mean it was CRAZY. The plane was late leaving Ukraine and we were worried about missing our flight home once arriving at JFK. All the kids did GREAT on the flight. No problems what so ever. The flight attendant started asking us questions on the kids and we were happy to answer anything she asked. She was so helpful with all of them which is one reason it went so well. Throughout the long flight she found out some of the things we went through and how long we have been gone. She kept telling me that she had to do something for us. I told her to knock it off (that's how I talk) that she had to do nothing for us. I told her it was very nice that she thought this but there is no reason. Once we landed and got into the terminal Ken showed me a napkin that was folded up. I opened it to 60 dollars and a note written on the napkin that read: This is all I had in my purse. You are an amazing couple for saving these children. God Bless. How sweet was that???? After landing we also found out that we missed our flight home. With no money, except the 60 dollars from the flight attendant, we decided to stay in the world lounge at the airport. Ken travels a lot for work so one of the perks he has is being able to go into a lounge area away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. They have TV's computers, free food and drinks, bathrooms right there. It was a great place to sit and relax.
Ken went to go see if we could get on stand by for some flights home. He managed to get us on a flight but once we were at the gate and dealing with other ticket agents we started running into problems. The screen on the wall shows you if you are on a stand by list. It then shows you the names that made it on the plane. Well it said we should be on the plane but the ticket agents were letting all the other stand by folks on. They asked if it would be okay for them to separate us. We said we don't care where we sit just get us home! After letting a few more stand by folks on they asked us what four people wanted to get on. WHAT, when you said separate us we thought you meant seating not planes!!!! Back to the front ticket agent we went. Only flight available was for the next morning. While Ken and I were doing all of this, Roc stayed with the kids by our gate. She struck up a conversation with a couple who just returned from Ireland. Our friend just returned from Ireland so Roc was asking lots of questions about their trip. They then started talking about how we missed our flight and they messed up with getting us on stand by. They kept asking us if Delta gave us food vouchers or set us up a place to stay that night. Roc told them no they offered us nothing but that we could go to the World Lounge to eat. When Ken and I returned Roc handed us a piece of paper all folded up. I asked her what it was and she told us about the couple and that they said give this to your mom and not to open it until they had left. I opened it up and it was 12 dollars in food vouchers wrapped around a hundred dollar bill!!!!!! I said ROC, What it the world did you tell them!!! Roc said they were just talking about their trip and our trip. How they thought the kids were so cute and that Delta should really help you out since it was not our fault for missing the flight. It was then and only then that I lost it. The kindness of some people. The lack of sleep. The stress of the last few days. The stress of the last few months. It all just started pouring out. We went back to the lounge to figure out if 160 dollars would get us a place to stay and a ride there and back the next morning. It was now 11:00pm and Luke started getting restless. A new crew came on working at the lounge. Two women working at the front desk saw us sitting there and asked Ken to come over. Don't know what went on but all of the sudden one of the ladies came over with stacks of cookies and was putting them in my bag. She started getting us all up and moving along with Ken and told us she got us a hotel for the night. She gave us food vouchers and some juice and was shoving it all into my bag. I was just so exhausted by this time I really did not know what was going on. I just went with it. She kept telling us that someone should have done something sooner and how sorry she was. She said we all needed a good night sleep and things would be better in the morning.
I did not tell the kids we were coming home because I kept telling them dates before and it always fell through. We decided to stop telling them when we thought we might be home and just show up when we show up. And that's just what we did. We got home around 6:00 Sunday night July 18th. I don't know who was happier, us or the kids or grandpa!!!! He got to go home!
Okay, I know it is getting long but now I have to tell you how the kids, both new and old, are doing.
Dani: She hates it when anyone of us leave for any reason. Groceries, work, school, mow the yard, anything. She cries and cries and wants us all to be together. It has gotten much better and with all the other kids here showing her how it all works has helped tremendously. I am not quite sure how she is going to handle it when everyone leaves to go to school?!?! She has picked up on many words but continues to talk and talk and talk to us in her little husky Russian voice thinking we know what she is saying. She LOVES to boss and sing. She loves to change cloths at least 15 times a day. She loves to fix her hair and carry purses. She loves getting her own water from the fridge. She loves the trampoline and playing outside with her brother and sisters. She HATES naps, going to bed at night, not being included, hard shell tacos, having ANY door closed and thunder. She has a all day doctor appt. next month where afterwards all the doctors will get together to decide the best action to take. She had parasites, lacks in vitamin D and Calcium but has no problem taking medication to fix all of these. She loves her new brothers and sisters but absolutely ADORES Charley!!!
Josh: Josh loves everything except when you take his hands out of his mouth. Then he tends to get cranky and whine for about 3 minutes. He loves to rough house with his brothers and sisters, watch TV, sing, play the piano or keyboard, water, chew on EVERYTHING and our animals. He follows the cats around and wants to do whatever they do. He is a happy, happy little boy and very smart. He will need surgery for his cleft palate. I guess after surgery he wont be able to do his trick for the boys anymore! YUCK!! Charley and James get a real kick out of this. Ken says we know when he is full because he has a "full indicator". Its when the food starts coming out of his nose!! Another huge YUCK!! But again, Charley and James love his full indicator!! He will be having some hormone tests to see if we need to do anything about his growth as well as all the other tests.
Luke: Ahhh, Luke. Luke loves his family. he loves it when we shake his arms up and down, yogurt, oatmeal., blended up tacos, music, hair, strings, sitting on our laps, the animals, the dogs licking his face or toes, sleeping in mom and tatas room and being around us. He hates water, taking naps, going to bed at night, having to try new things be it food or play and is very stubborn. We were told both Josh and Luke did not feed themselves and were not potty trained. First day home we gave them a spoon and they both started to feed themselves. It gets really, really messy but who cares? They are doing it!!! And the dogs love all the extra food that falls on the ground!!! We started potty training and it is actually going pretty well. Luke is healthy besides the parasites. But those are all gone now and they want to see him again in 6 months.
Denis: Our little 15 pound 4 1/2 year old. Denis loves to suck his finger, eat, get thrown up in the air, music, playing with his mobile while he is supposed to be napping, being held by EVERY member of the family and petting the dogs with his feet while laying in mama and tatas bed. He hates dogs licking his feet, being fed with a spoon, anything cold, loud noises and baths. He has learned to hold his own bottle, cry when he has a wet diaper or is hungry. He babbles and makes many more noises than we ever heard before coming from him!!! He has had and will continue to have MANY doctor appointments. He lacks in vitamin D and calcium along with the parasites. He needs surgery for pulmonary heart problems and a hole in his heart. The surgery to fix both of these things will be done at one time. He is still having more tests done before surgery to make sure they know everything they can about his health. I'm talking every kind of test you could think of. From simple blood work to MRI's. Here is a photo of him looking a a families blog about himself. Can you guess who's blog it is??? It is a blog from a mama that loved him VERY much! http://ridinthewavewithulord.blogspot.com/
The other kids were very excited to see four new faces walk through the door on July 18th. They were hesitant with Luke for about two days, thought Josh was the best thing since sliced bread, LOVES Denis and acts like Dani has been here forever! The only real difference mom has noticed is feeding this crew and NEVER having a clean bowl!!!!
We were just talking today about what we missed most about Ukraine. We unanimously answered, Toby!!!! hahahahah!
I want to thank all of you who have prayed for our four new Ukrainians! Even before they were part of our family. Those of you who have followed along on our journey, and sent well wishes and prayers. Those of you who donated money or things for our garage sales. We are glad to be home!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
- 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.