Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

A few of my favorite things!

I enjoyed buying food in Ukraine last time. I like to cook and for the most part didn't have any problems roasting a whole chicken or frying mystery meat.  I can sound our Cyrillic and for the most part had a good idea of what I was purchasing.  
However, there are a few things one can't find in Ukraine.

Popcorn, stuffing, gravy, blueberry muffins, chocolate pudding, Starbucks Via, and chocolate chip cookies are making it onto my list this time.  

Look closely, someone is having a birthday while we're there as well!  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

At the Last Minute

So, we have been about $3K short for the last month or so.  I had to withdraw funds from our AdoptTogether Account the day we got our travel date because of the time it takes them to process requests.

We had been holding out hope for a grant from A Child Waits.  They had called us many times asking for updated info, and it really, really SEEMED like they were going to give us a grant.  The lady that I spoke to sounded very positive about it all, so we were VERY hopeful.  Then suddenly they wouldn't answer my calls to let them know we had a travel date, and then didn't return my messages.  Today we got the of rejection letter from them.

No grant.

This is the third grant organization to reject us.

We leave in 9 days.  Tomorrow it will be 8 days.  We have to get everything in order by Friday the 27th.

If you feel led to donate to us, you can do so through my PayPal.  The link is below.  I can transfer funds directly to our our bank account via this method.  Its not tax deductible like AdoptTogether was, so please just designate it as a gift to avoid fees being charged.

Last of all, please lift us up in prayer!  We still have a few large unknowns in this process!


Thursday, September 19, 2013


Eleven days until we leave!

Please pray with us for protection over our children while we're gone.  Pray with us for their hearts to be at peace.  Its so hard to be apart and we are already seeing a lot of tears and apprehension over us leaving.

The kids have been crying too.

Pray for a smooth process so we don't have to explain delays via Skype!  Pray for us to have enough $$ to complete the process without worry.

I just want us to back here with our new kids getting ready to decorate for Thanksgiving.  That's what I keep telling my kids, "We'll all be together for all of the holidays this year and it'll be great!"  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Its Not Easy

T-minus 13 days until takeoff.

I am struggling.  By my calculations, we are short about $3K.  I just don't know where its going to come from.

We also have this situation with our youngest boy.  We fear we've lost him.  We won't know for sure until we're on the ground in Ukraine and see it for ourselves, but its not looking good.  That brings another whole "unknown" part to our plans.

So here we are.  Trying to figure out how its all going to come together.

I know God has this.  He's had it from the start.

But I am afraid.

We have to leave our kids soon and we are struggling to get things set up with the bus to pick them up from a different location, and of course they don't want to do it.  Its a million tiny things.  I want to make the time we're gone easy for my kids and everything is just being a pain.

Please pray for us.

For peace.  For enough money to fulfill the plan God has for us.  For clarity.

I can't sleep at night for all the things running around in my head.

I should be packing and I can't get my mind clear enough to even think about what I need to bring.  I have a pile of stuff in my room and am waiting for the next paycheck to go through so we can buy the items we need for travel.

I think this is officially pre-travel jitters at its finest.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Two Weeks

Two weeks till we leave!  Today I spent an hour and a half at what was supposed to be a routine visit for M just to fill out her school medical forms.  The office randomly assigned my medically complex child the new doctor in the practice instead of HER doctor for this visit.  He spent some time questioning me about her translated shot records from Ukraine.  The ones that are three years old now.  This child that we had titers drawn for to test immunity when we visited the international adoption clinic.  The info that was in her file...
He seemed unconcerned that my child with CP only went from 1% on the growth chart to 2.9%.  She is now smaller than her 2 years younger brother.  I asked for a script for duocal to add more calories to her diet.  Nope.  But we are worried about how Ukraine administered only 3 rounds of polio vaccinations....  


I can totally see how old, and probably made up vaccination records trump proven immunity.


I headed straight for coffee before taking her back to school. 
Good times.

My Sweet Kids

W is so creative. He loves to build cityscapes outside.

Wy is always a superhero.

M never lets CP stop her from what she wants to do, and today she wanted to dig a hole. Not sure why...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Photobook: Done

Its always a good idea to take photos of your family to Ukraine.  Everyone wants to see them!  The ladies at the SDA (DAP) office, the judge, the orphanage director, the nannies, your driver!  Everyone! Last time I took photos in flip books, but this time I just made one on Shutterfly with a free code.

Click here to view this photo book larger
You'll love award-winning Shutterfly photo books. Start your own today.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Meet The Robersons

When we decided to re-host our boys during winter hosting last year, I agreed to be the coordinator for our location.  As I met the families, several were re-host families like us but many were nervous newbies!  One family stood out a bit to me because they were young like us, and they were hosting two teenagers! *gasp*  I remember they looked nervous, much like I felt when I was waiting to meet V for the first time at JFK!

Our kids came out after an extra long wait, the photographer snapped photos of everyone, and we all took our kids home.

The Robersons meeting their girls for the first time.

A few weeks later came departures.  I watched these two girls say goodbye to their family and I could see the bond that had formed as they said tearful goodbyes.  I think its called love.

The wait between winter and summer hosting is long.  Six months.

The Robersons were standing next to me as our kids walked into our arms again for summer hosting.

The photographer messaged me later, asking, "Is this family adopting those girls?  Because they look like you guys do with your boys, a family."  

And the answer is yes. 

But they need help!

Please take a few minutes to watch their video!

I stood with Shalon and watched her girls get back on a plane with my D.  We stood there and cried together as we told our kids goodbye.  Her girls each gave me a hug and then they were gone.

We've been so blessed with our fundraising that I just had to share this family that has come to mean so much to me.

Please considering helping the Robersons!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Birthday M!

This was M's 3rd birthday with us as she turned 7 years old!  She chose chocolate Minnie Mouse cupcakes and then asked for chips once she blew the candles out.  The girl likes the idea of a cake, but she has never actually liked cake!  

Our SDA appointment is several weeks later than we had hoped for, but I'm glad we got to be here to celebrate M's birthday with her.  We've already missed so much; I really didn't want to miss this! 

I think her smile says it all!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In the meantime...

We're starting to get our packing lists together, and purchase things we will need.

I got the travel prescriptions.

I booked flights!

I found Puma tennis shoes on clearance at our local department store and bought a pair for V and little V.  D LOVES Puma stuff, but they didn't have his size.  I got him the exact same shoes for Christmas and I think these must have been leftovers.  I got them both for less than half of what I paid for his.  Gonna be some happy boys :)

We're trying to squeeze in IEP meetings for M before we go.

Oy.  Really... who enjoys these!?

I'm involving MY team this time. Her preschool teacher from last year and her tutor from the past two years both know what she is capable of.  M is a complex little girl sometimes, but she's had some wonderful people working with her this past year that know what she is capable of.  So, I'm getting my ducks in a row because I expect big things from my girl and I just don't settle for less.

Overall, she is loving school.  After 4 1/2 years of being left behind every time her grouppa went to music class or to play outside, she still takes such joy in being "allowed" to attend public school in a typical class room "with da rest of da kids."  No one ever wanted to even let her crawl on the floor at her orphanage and as a result she has extremely delayed motor planning skills and spatial awareness issues.  I'll be darned if anyone ever tells my kid where she can and can't go under her own steam EVER again.  Mariah takes on the playground equipment like a little boss simply because she can.  We had a great preschool staff the past two years that let her do everything the other kids did.  Yes, she came home covered in mulch from the playground sometimes because she was crawling around pushing a truck.  I didn't care.  :)

Attachment issues are always another fun topic to bring up at IEP meetings.  I really wish ALL school staff was able to take a course on this or were at least given literature to inform them that it does exist.  There are SO many kids in the school system that are at risk for attachment disorders.  Kids in foster care, kids who's daddy has walked out, kids who have been se.xually abused, and the list goes on and on.  Teachers and staff often have no idea as to why someone wouldn't want them to hug their child or tell them that they love them.  If I ever have spare time again, I really think I would like to address this issue with our local schools because a parent shouldn't have to fight to have staff agree keep physical affection to an appropriate level for their attachment at risk child.  Teachers are at a disadvantage as well if they don't understand how a child in their class functions differently.  I constantly worry that since they don't understand, they won't follow through and enforce the boundaries.  I felt better after this meeting than I have in the past though.  Maybe part of it is that I am able to explain it better.

I miss my boys terribly.  I know I'll miss my kids when I have to leave them here again.  They are already getting clingy and Wy even started to cry about it today.  My sweet babies.  Its so hard to leave.  Its just as hard to realize that there are millions of little ones without parents around the world right now.  Heartbreaking.  How long have my boys been without a mama to tuck them in at night?  I just want to get all of my babies under one roof again.  This being a mama from one side of the ocean or another is for the birds!


We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson