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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Three Years

Three years ago Phillip and M touched down in the U.S.

After spending 4 weeks in Ukraine we came home after court.
Phillip went to work for 1 week, then went back to Ukraine for 10 more days to finish the process and bring M home.
I stayed in the U.S. with the boys.
We spent Christmas apart.  
It was honestly SO HARD.

Finally on December 29, 2010 we were together again!

The kids meeting each other for the first time.

The next morning the kids were looking out at the dusting of snow.

The year "after the airport" was one of the hardest years of my life. 

Ultimately though this journey we set out on to bring M home led us to 3 more.

She has taught me so much about love, and acceptance, and made me an expert on how to advocate for my children.  Three years ago I had no idea what OT or PT or an AFO was.  She has shown us that Special Needs really aren't that big of a deal.  I've learned about the damage that's done to a child by being institutionalized from birth.  I've learned how significant my seemingly unimportant role as a stay at home mom really is.  

Loving babies matters.  Bonding matters.  

I've also learned never to write M off on anything.  Things people said she'd never do, she does.  Things I thought she'd never do (and I set the bar high!) she does.  
She has learned to love.  She has learned that family is forever.  She has learned boundaries.

She is sympathetic.
She loves babies. 
She is kind.
She is SO smart!
She wants to be a mommy "just like you mom."

She adores me, and I don't deserve it.

She is the most determined individual I have ever met.  

Sometimes I wish I could go back and do some things differently in our first 18 months home.
I wish I had known more about what orphanage life does to a child.  
I wish I had known better how to help her heal.
I wish that I had not been so frustrated.
I wish I hadn't felt so ashamed for not knowing what to do.
I wish I had found support groups sooner.

I am SO thankful for my adoptive mama friends.  I would be so lost without them!
They truly were the light at the end of my tunnel.
Their advice and support saved me.
I've learned so much because of M and its made me a better mom.
Because of her I have gained a wealth of knowledge in how to parent kids from hard places.

There is a quote that says, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."  
I fell a lot.
But I stood back up.


We love you M!
Happy Family Day!!


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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