Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 45

Dear AJ,
How cool is it to be watching your Daddy talk and sing and laugh with you while he changes your clothes this morning? Answer: pretty cool.

We've been waiting for this time with you and it's still a bit surreal that we have it now. We were just saying the other night- remember sitting at home asking the Lord, when?? Then, when we knew "when" asking the Lord, please bless it....and make it get here faster please!! Now you've been with us for 6 days. And you are every bit of the taste of sweetness we thought you would be- and more.

So, I know I haven't written since January 15. Not much was going on between that time and January 24. We had passed court, which was held on January 13. We had to wait 10 days to get the court decree, so it was really a lot like the movie Ground Hog Day around here. Get up- walk to the subway- ride subway for 30 minutes- walk to our bus stop- ride the bus for about an hour- get to orphanage- visit you for a couple of hours- reverse order- eat- shower- sleep- wash- rinse- repeat.

Then, finally January 24 came around and we had in our hands the official court documents stating that the country of Ukraine recognized us as your Mommy and Daddy. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that a piece of paper, typed up in Ukrainian, stamped and sealed could ever look so precious and beautiful.

The next day, January 25- we left early in the morning for your birth city- Volodarka. We needed to pick up your birth certificate. The women in the Birth/Death registration office were very helpful to us and we didn't have to wait very long...well, what we have decided is not waiting long. We have learned that not everyone in this world lives by the American "microwave society" standard. Which, actually- looking back on some of those long 10 hour plus days of paperchasing- was a bit refreshing. Don't get me wrong- at the time, nothing was more irritating.  The ladies in the office told us your birth mom's name was Svitlana. They said you have 2 brothers somewhere in the world but they wouldn't or couldn't give us their names or whereabouts. Then again, it is very possible they just didn't know. We found out that your birth mom died in a traffic accident when she was 35 years old. (Feb. 4, 2008 is when she died.) We did find out some other information about her as well, but we'll save that for you, just for you and only if you decide you want to know. We left that placed after sharing some video of you laughing and giggling and the office ladies asking us to take care of the little boy who was born in Volodarka.

January 26, 2012. The day we will celebrate for years to come for sure. GOTCHYA DAY!!! (or GOTCHA DAY!!!...whichever) We got some time alone with you and changed you out of your orphanage clothes into a pair of Guess Jeans and a Hawkeye football jersey. You looked amazing and Daddy was so proud to have his little man represent his fave team on the other side of the world.
Our favorite nanny came into the visitation room to say Good Bye to you. She held you for a little while and we took your picture with her. Even though we didn't understand what she was saying to us- the mutual love for a child speaks volumes which language barriers cannot pierce. You've lived in that orphanage since you were 6 months old. You had never been to the visitation room or outside the four walls of your groupa until we came for you. That one nanny, was the only one who said Good Bye.
I could go on a tirade about how hurt I was for you or how angry I was at the people you counted on to keep you alive. But, that's for another day. Not this one. I will just say that stepping out into the crisp winter air, surrounded by a freshly fallen snow, and walking through that orphanage gate with you in my arms will be what needs to be remembered about that day. That- and I would be lying if I didn't tell you, whispering "Dasvidanyia Baby House, it's time to go home!" in your ears while leaving, I think, was really the Lord speaking through me to you. Redemption- He came 2000 years ago and again on January 26, 2012. Jesus Rocks!!

Fast forward to today- February 1, 2012. You've been with us for 6 days and you're teaching us a lot about you. You are scared to death of taking a bath. You loathe having your teeth brushed. Your favorite toy remains to be Scout. You will tolerate drinking sips of plain warm water. You like caramel candy. You like muffins. You like apple/rice cereal made with apple juice and really nothing else. You like trying to mimic us saying "silly silly silly" by saying "illy illy illy or gilly gilly gilly." You have the sweetest smile and your face can light up this entire apartment. You flop like a fish when you sleep and use your head to help flip you over. You're a great sleeper and your interal clock says 8pm is lights out- and you mean it! You don't cry very often, but it does hurt my heart when you are playing and then stop to look around and start crying out of nowhere. It makes me wonder if you are missing the comfort of your groupa. I'm sure you are and I'm sorry for that. I wish I could make this whole thing easier for you.  You get a look of pure disgust on your face when we bathe you, brush your teeth, and feed you something you don't like or want- almost as if you are positive we are trying to murder you. I promise we are not. You have not pooped for us yet- and being a GI nurse, your mommy desperately wants to see some poop!! Please feel free to oblige us at any time. Although, I must be honest with myself. I fully expect you to have a major blow out on one of the flights home.

And these next two sentences are perhaps two of the best sentences that will ever be said. You received your visa today. We are going home.

You are snuggled up in bed and asleep right now. It's been a long day. Sweet dreams my little Antoshka. We love you to the moon and back.

Mommy and Daddy


  1. so, so beautiful. oh how i love this.

  2. Oh my heart. I suspect ya'll might be headed to the airport about now. Safe journey home AJ and family!!!!

  3. So awesome! Such a happy story!! How amazing is god!!!?! You are totally gonna be in the company of awesome RR families like the Winkles (Autumn gave away darling Yuri after less than 6 months! Apparently institutionalized toddlers are a ton of work whodathunkit?? But she claims it is the Lord's will on her blog sooo very Christian and heartwarming!!!

    The Emelyentsevs did even less well only a month til RR cutie was in the ATMs of Jesus!!$

    You guys are awesome!! Your son is great!! Cannot wait to see how your story unfolds!!!!!

    1. Freedom of speech should be revoked for idiots! .....yes Batya, I am speaking of you! Take your remarks and stick them where the sun don't shine!

  4. You have an amazing way of making me cry. The little boy who was born in Volodarka, and "I would be lying if I didn't tell you, whispering "Dasvidanyia Baby House, it's time to go home!" in your ears while leaving, I think, was really the Lord speaking through me to you. Redemption- He came 2000 years ago and again on January 26, 2012. Jesus Rocks!!" Oh my Leann! I am loving your miracle! Let healing begin.

  5. I just read all your posts from Ukraine after seeing you on the RR 'already home' page... I had seen your little boy's photo on RR before, I can't remember if it was on MFFM or under one of the waiting to adopt categories... but I remember looking at your sweet boy and thinking how much he needed a mama and papa to bring him home. Having read your blog, I have to say it touched me in an extremely deep, personal way. You see, the very first part of my life that prepared my heart for adoption happened before I was even born, when my uncle Anthony was born with Down Syndrome. He lived ten years. My grandparents and mom and uncles and aunt loved him so much. So the fact that your little man shared a name with my uncle made him extra special to me. Then I read that your gotcha day was January 26, 2012. 12 years ago on that day, my grandma passed away and went home to her son Anthony. And now, 12 years later, on a day when I had previously experienced loss... I got to 'witness' your boy, whom my grandma would have loved, being given the gift of new life. Really beautiful. I blogged about my uncle and my grandparents here:

    I will keep following your blog, I can't wait to read about how AJ is settling in at home (oh, also, AJ is what we call one of my Dear Borrowed Kids, whom I talk about in another blog post) and meeting his big brother! Your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers. And someday, when AJ is older, he can read this blog, his origin story, his 'birth' story... and know just how much he was loved and waited for and how hard his mama and daddy worked to bring him home. What a beautiful gift to give your son. I am so happy for you all - what a joyful and triumphant story.

  6. How long until you decide to send him back?? Godly Christian families like the Winkles decided to disrupt (oops!! Rehome!!) darling lil Yuri after all of six months (and claim it as the Lord's will on their blog)!! The emelyentsevs sent their RR pumpkin Nicolai into the arms of Jesus in less than a month!! And are still in jail for beating him to death!!

    But you seem like responsible folks! Who passed a home study snd criminal checks and screening by Ukraine!! Oh wait. They did too!! Best if luck!!!!

  7. Wow!! JAYCEE KAY shame on you!!! Who do you think you are? I cannot believe the audacity of several of you people! Get a life and. Mind ur own business and leave this family alone!