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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Papa?



"Papa!" "Papa!" The little blonde haired girl ran to my husband. Her nanny quickly chased after her but not fast enough. The little girl made it to my husband lightening fast, despite her awkward underdeveloped legs and her FAS. She made it to her "Papa"! Marty scooped her up and the nanny walked back to the groupa realizing Marty was ok and was bringing her back to the group. I watched as my husband gently rubbed the little girls back and squeezed her in a gentle hug. Her face was lit up with the biggest smile. The other children in her groupa had all stopped what they were doing to stare. My husband walked slower then I had ever seen him walk. He smiled reassuringly at the nanny and placed her on the steel carousel with some of the other children. It didn't take long for the little girl to break away and try running back but the nanny was not going to let her get away again and scolded her firmly in Russian. I had thought over the first few days the children were staring at "us". They were not. They were staring at "PaPa".

On another visit... We had just returned the boys to their rooms and were standing at the top of the stairwell, when we saw a slightly older groupa climbing the stairwell across from us. We watched them through the glass wall as 10 children and 2 nannys made there way slowly up the stairwell. They appeared to be 4-5 year olds. One little boy saw "Papa" through the glass and broke away from the nannys instinctively yelling "Papa!" He managed to push open the door that separated us before a nanny snatched him up by the arm scolding him firmly in Russian. He twisted his body backwards to smile at us as she dragged him up the stairs. As they reached the top of the stairs he attempted once more to break away and wave to us, she shoved him by the back of the head into the room. He was such a little troublemaker! I loved his bravery and his defiance.

Throughout our visits we would have similar encounters and hear children cry out Papa. One little boy always yelled "Daddy". I'm not sure why he used this word when the others used Papa. As I watched Marty's gentleness, playfulness, and love for our boys and the other children. I began to see him in a way I never had before. I watched as Edgar rubbed his furry beard, and played with his sunglasses and cell phone. I thought about how strong Marty must seem to them with his big hands and deep voice. How Marty laughed when Edgar wrestled to hard and kicked him in the face. I marveled at the way the other children adored him like a celebrity or Santa! A Papa! A Daddy! All these children long for is a father. Eventually my boys will see me as more then just a nice nanny, caretaker, maid...... they will feel the love I have for them and know what it is to have a "real"  Mama. But if they never do, I will give them the greatest gift they will ever receive, a Papa.

Where are you men of courage? Are you willing to defy the status quo? Break away from your groupa? Scoop up a tiny orphan child and give them a Papa?

                    Bringing Home Dunham and Edgar Donations LINK

Monday, April 14, 2014

If thats the coffee you have, thats the coffee you drink!






















Where do I even start?!

Arriving in Kiev was surreal. We saw the Goocher's at baggage claim. They were a beautiful, young couple, headed to the same orphanage as us to adopt their little girl. The driver met us just outside of baggage claim and we waved bye to the Goocher's and scurried to his van. Driving into Kiev the two things that stood out to me were the beautiful women and the graffiti that covered everything! We stopped at a small market where we picked up some misc. items for the apartment. I had to oink for ham and mimic wiping for TP but otherwise it went well! The apartment was decent. We settled in and waited for our appointment with social services to come. Our time in Kiev is a blur. We ate at a cheap local restaurant where one of the waitresses spoke English and they had free wifi. We met up with the Blakes and their new son Sergey and our Facilitator and went to the mall. We visited Maiden and were in awe seeing it in person. Then we took an 8 hour train ride to the region our boys are located.

We arrived late in the night. A women who was renting us an apartment met us at the train station. We drove to our apartment. We had specifically requested something as close to the orphanage as possible. It was close. It was also on the eighth floor and the bottom level smelled like sewage. The elevator was covered in graffiti, the size of a small closet and it felt as if the bottom would fall out at any moment. There were two keys to the apartment door and they were huge old style keys. The Russian woman who owned the apartment showed us around. It was older then the apartment in Kiev but it was clean and we were tired. The next morning we were able to see a little more of our surroundings when we left for Americano. It was a set of four large ten story buildings with a small park in the center. There were a few stray dogs and many stray cats. Every wall was covered in graffiti and looked more like a prison. Marty asked our facilitator if this were a low-income area. She said "No?" as if curious why we thought so. I explained to her this building would probably be condemned in the states. There were loose electrical wires everywhere, the plumbing was sketchy, and that microwave appeared to be the first one ever made. For whatever reason I loved the rawness of the situation. Staying at a modern Hotel would have felt "fake" to me? I wanted to know this place. The realness of where our boys would have grown up had they not been diagnosed with DS and abandoned. As time went on and we were able to see the rest of the city I realized these giant buildings resembling public housing were how most people lived. Some of them drove Mercedes and had designer clothing. Others drove older cars or walked, but they all lived in these graffiti covered buildings. In the morning they would walk their children to school and I would watch them from my eighth floor window sipping my instant coffee. As our facilitator Halyna would say... "if that is the coffee you have, that is the coffee you drink!" One particular mother stood out to me. She had crutches and suffered from cerebral palsy possibly? She would walk her son to school much slower and the other mothers would pass her up as she took breaks to catch her breath. Her son was perhaps 5 or 6 and he would run around picking up sticks or petting a dog and then run back to hug her when she stopped to catch her breath. He didn't hold her hand like the other children because she had to hold the crutches. I looked forward to seeing them in the mornings. There was something incredibly touching about this boy and his mother.

The day we met our boys, we were nervous, scared, excited. We met with the orphanage director who spoke Russian. She was nice enough but I could have screamed when she made small talk with our Facilitator while we anxiously waited to meet the boys. The first room we went to was Edgars. When they brought him out he was so tiny and he came to me right away. He had been eating lunch and was very agitated these strangers had taken him from his food. I tried to see his face but he had it buried in my shoulder along with a fist full of cracker. He began screaming and kicking and the nanny quickly grabbed him back and that was it. No warm fuzzies. No tears. It lasted 60 seconds. Next we went to meet Dunham. This meeting was a little better. He looked just like his pictures. Maybe a little blonder. He smiled right away and laughed. We could see that his nanny's were very nice and they liked him a lot. They said we could take pictures and seemed to be encouraging us to adopt him. That was it. No Hollywood movie there either! We scurried off to do paperwork, still in shock. We made it back just in time for our second visitation with the boys. We took them both outside together. Dunham was an absolute angel. Just perfect. He was very quiet and curious. He smiled and laughed. Edgar whined and growled. He threw himself backwards as hard as he could, slamming the back of his head on the cement. He did not trust us and he was letting us know. I was holding Dunham and selfishly was relieved because I had no idea what to do with Edgar. Marty saw my fear and uncertainty and he took the lead. He placed Edgar in the swing and began tickling and playing with him. Edgar grabbed the empty swing next to him and hit Marty in the head with it. Marty laughed.... Edgar laughed.... and so began the bonding. My fear started to slip away as each visit with Edgar got better and better! Each visit he seemed more and more alive! The glazed look would disappear when he saw us. He still preferred Daddy but we decided to take turns visiting the boys and Edgar loved his one on one attention! He began to trust me and realize I wasn't like the other "Nanny's". I would dread bringing him back to his room. His nanny was younger and clearly found him irritating. She would grab his arm and drag him into the room. Always saying something Russian in an unfriendly tone. He would fight her immediately. Refusing to walk, crying, it was heartbreaking.

The last visit with the boys was the best. Dunham was his usually Angelic self. and Edgar was so playful and funny. He kept running back in forth between daddy and I  getting hugs and kisses. We met with them together this time and Edgar came over to his little brother and touched his leg and cheek. We love these boys and cannot get back soon enough to bring them home! Right now we are recovering from all the traveling, physical and emotional exhaustion, and the colds and stomach bugs we picked up. We are also enjoying spending time with Baby Gage and the older kids as we await our court date. God's perfect timing got us home for Gage's 7 month Birthday and to see his second tooth pop through this morning (: He is a good God.







Thursday, March 20, 2014

April 3rd!!!

It has finally come!!! Yesterday we received our travel date! This is the day I have waited for so anxiously. We are so very ready to take this trip! I cannot wait to meet my precious boys and bring them home forever. We should meet them on the 4th or 5th of April. That friends is all.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blah!

Last week we should have had our travel dates, but due to the turnover in Ukraine things have been delayed. I am hoping to hear something this week.
So what is the hardest part about adoption? For me, it has been the waiting! I just don't see the point in all this waiting! I want to see my boys, bring them home and move on with our lives. I want to begin their healing and our adjusting. I want God to bend space and time and be sitting with them on the couch safe and sound watching a movie and snuggling! *sigh. None of these things will happen though. I am reminded time and again to be patient, to enjoy the work the Lord is doing in my life today and thank Him for it. I don't FEEL like doing any of that though. I FEEL like flying to Ukraine and grabbing my boys (and a few extra) and high tailing it back to Florida! That is what I FEEL like doing! That wont be happening either! So I am trying to immerse myself in the everyday chores and tasks. Staying focused on work, projects, and spending time with baby Gage. I know my husband is trying to keep his mind busy too. He began reading, had our septic pumped, fixed the sprinkler system, and other random things. We have already began packing our suitcases, and have bought all of the necessary travel items. It is just a terribly boring, anxious, waiting period. BLAH!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

                                                               Our NEW Normal! :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finding the words........

It is 1:18am. I woke up long enough to give Baby Gage a bottle, and checked my phone. 1 notification from Kara. The hostess of the benefit dinner held last night to benefit 5 orphans. Kara's second annual "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Benefit Dinner. The text said "we are not sure of the final numbers, but we had a special auction just for Edgars Birthday and it alone raised $3k!" WOW! Do you hear that Edgar?? Someone in this world thinks you are worth all of that and so much more! Go tell those Nanny's! I quickly showed Marty the message and the two of us lay excitedly whispering in bed (careful not to wake baby Gage). We are still in a daze that God has taken us on this journey. We are in awe at how he uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. That strangers have blessed us beyond reason! None of this makes sense! It doesn't seem possible, and yet God uses you and me to accomplish the impossible!

I am learning what it means to "step out in faith". So often I hear others say "when I win the lottery...". Having faith means doing something WITHOUT knowing how, where, why, without any understanding! Scary right!? YES! Irresponsible? Not if you trust in Christ! There is no safer place to be then the arms of Christ! It is also liberating, exciting, rewarding, renewing, and brings you closer to God then you could EVER imagine! At the beginning of this journey I worried over every little obstacle and planned tediously over the details. I was a scared kitten. Now.... the chaos in Ukraine doesn't scare me a bit. I  am saddened for the people of Ukraine, and pray for Gods peace. However, I am not afraid. Not afraid of what will happen while I am there, or when I get home. I am not afraid of caring for the boys or of their future. I am not afraid that we will not find the money or be able to provide for them. I have seen Gods miraculous healing, perfect timing, amazing grace, and power. I do not fear that this incredible God cannot get me through the hard times that are sure to come. I KNOW He will!

So, how do I find the words to thank those that have listened to the voices of the forgotten? How do I thank you for ransoming my children??? How!? How would you thank someone that saved your child from certain death? Would you fall to your knees and thank them? I am on my knees. Would you pray for protection over their family? I will pray for you! Would you ask God to see their good deed and bless them ten fold! Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you friends, family, strangers. Thank you Tillery Family. Thank You sponsors and guests of the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Benefit Dinner!"
Thank you Reece's Rainbow, our Social Worker Susan, our Facilitator, USCIS guy, Lindy House, Adoption Families, Thank you ALL! and most of all Thank you Almighty God for choosing to forgive our sins and bring us on this incredible journey of redemption!


                                       We ARE coming Edgar! We ARE coming Dunham!                 







Saturday, February 8, 2014

Loving the Littles on Valentines Day

These past few weeks of waiting were supposed to be a time of respite! lol! It wasn't. The path became steep, God held my hand through it. However, I am more eager than ever to get these boys home as soon as possible.

Our latest fundraiser for the boys is this Valentines Day...