The Family

The Family

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Last Mother's day I was at home dreaming about my children across the ocean... Waiting for me. This Mother's Day, I am here across that ocean and thinking of my children back home.. Waiting for me to return. I am a very blessed mommy today. These children that have been a part of my heart for over a year are finally mine, and Gotcha Day is looming on the horizon. I am so thankful. To all the moms out there, I hope you have had a wonderful day filled with joy, love, and many hugs and kisses today! Appreciate these times because they are fleeting. Though being a mother is one of the most difficult jobs on this planet,cherish it. It is also the best job and ultimately the most rewarding. I thank God for allowing me to be a mother to,now, 8 amazing blessings. I don't know how He ever thought me worthy enough, but I cherish that role of mom and hope that despite my weaknesses and failings, that He is pleased with the job I am doing so far. Thank you to my spectacular and sweet children for making it easy.... Most of the time. ;) I love you more than you will ever know.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We Got The Call.....

Gotcha Day is Monday!!!

I am so excited!!!!!!!!!  Schuyler and I were visiting with Atticus this morning when Sasha called.  She told me that our passports will be ready on Monday, so that means we can also go get our babies on Monday!  I couldn't believe it.  Still can't!  I was ready for them to take their sweet time with those passports, and was expecting them on Tuesday at the earliest, maybe even Wednesday since this past Wednesday had been a holiday.  Surprise, surprise!

She will come to our region by train and meet us at 8am Monday morning.  I am to bring all the Gotcha Day clothes I have for the kiddos with me.  Then we will drive to Belagorsk first to close out Charlotte's other bank account and pick her up.  Then we will drive back here to get Atticus.  That night we will take the overnight train, again, back to Kiev and Tuesday morning have our medical appointments for the children and our Embassy appointment for the kids' visas.  Wednesday we pick up the visas, and bright and early Thursday morning we will be off to the airport!!!!  I hope!  I have emailed Eldon asking him to book our flights, still waiting to hear back from him as it is still very early in the US.

I really cannot believe that the time has already come for us to finish this all up.  It is kind of like when Tim and I first had Evan.  We kept expecting someone to come to our home and say, "Thanks for babysitting, you did a great job now I will take my child back."  It feels kind of like that with this adoption.  I keep waiting for someone to say, "You have done a great job here, but sorry, they can't go home."

I am glad that we have a weekend packed with activity coming up, it will take my mind off everything that will be happening on Monday.  Tonight we are going to visit Natalya's English class again, and then going for dinner with a couple of her students.  Then tomorrow we will visit Atticus and then visit the older children's orphanage for Bible study.  We will also need to finish up our gift buying-- still need some chocolates, coffee, tea, etc for the nannies.  

Sunday is church and then Natalya, Schuyler and I will be taking a few of the children from Losovoya out for bowling!!!  I won't get to spend Mother's Day with my kids at home, but at least I will have my Schuyler here with me, get to see Atticus, and hang out with some other wonderful children.

I am very excited for this week ahead.  It will be the culmination of what Tim and I have worked for since February 14, 2011.  And now, exactly one year and 3 months to the day that we decided to commit to these two precious children, we will be able to take them out of the orphanages and into the loving arms of FAMILY!  God is truly so good, and we are very blessed.

It has been an awesome trip here in Ukraine.  So much has happened.  We have been able to step into the lives of children in orphanages, truly see what it is like and learn more firsthand about the plight of the orphan.  It has touched my heart, Schuyler's heart and Tim's heart in amazing ways.  It has definitely changed us, and for the better.  

We won't just be going home with our two new blessings, we are going home with a renewed devotion to help these children, the orphans of the world, in finding HOMES.... FAMILIES......LOVE.

They will not be forgotten simply because we are back on US soil.  

Not sure how much time I will have for blogging over the next few days, and really not sure how much time I will have period once we have the kids :), but if I don't get to post again until we reach home I want to say thank you again to everyone for your support, love and prayers.  Keep it coming!  This whole thing won't be ending as soon as we reach our doorstep, but rather just really beginning.  And the prayers...and the support ... will still be appreciated, perhaps more than ever.

Hopefully some of you will be able to greet us at the airport, still not sure what time that will be, but I can't wait to see the smiling faces of my hubby, my children and our friends once I get home!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Winding Down

Today is Thursday and we are now, hopefully, going into what will be our last week here in Ukraine.  If all goes according to plan... though I am not holding my breath.... we should be able to get our passports this next Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, and be on a plane home next Friday or Saturday.  Yeah!!

So, that means that our visit with Charlotte that we had this morning was officially our last visit with her until we go to pick her up next week!!  Wow.

It was a FABULOUS visit too, just amazing.  Her nanny brought her out to us, like usual, but this time was calling her Charlotte!  Music to my ears.  We had such a great time with her today.  I really think she is finally getting used to us and is more comfortable.  She has always played with us but usually gets a little wild and I think has been trying to test the boundaries a little.

Today she was just calm and sweet, and it was so natural to be with her.  She is always so full of life and full of JOY, and today was no exception.  We played in the visiting room for a little while, then went outside because it is beautiful out today.

Today's visit just gave me an immense feeling of peace, that all is going according to plan, that everything is going to work out ok in the end.  Maybe it is because the struggle, for the most part, is over.... waiting, paperwork, approvals, all that stuff that makes you tense and on edge.  Now it is just me and my children, and Daddy waiting for our arrival at home.  Everything has fallen into place, many visits have been had and we have gradually gotten to know, and grown to LOVE, our newest children.

I was just so happy to have such a wonderful time with her today.  She amazed me, as usual, with that quick brain of hers.  I think she will be learning English very quickly-- especially since she can repeat things back to me perfectly already.  Today it was "Mr. Cow.  Moo!"  Can you believe?!  All 3 words together while looking at the picture of the cow.  Incredible.

I took quite a few pictures of our visit with her today, and I am also posting some of our visit with Atticus from yesterday.  It is going to be double trouble when they both get home, both pulling up and learning to walk at the same time, and being about the same size, and learning to eat solids together.  It will be like having twins!  Wasn't I the one who always said I didn't want twins??  Hmmmm.......  :)

Anyway, here are just some of our many snapshots of Charlotte from today, and Atticus from yesterday.  Please keep the prayers coming as we go through this final week here.  It will be a doozie for sure.  Emotional days ahead-- taking them out of their orphanages for the last time, embarking on a llloooooonnnngg train ride with them to Kiev, finally getting the paperwork they need to travel to the USA, and then of course the equally llllooooonnnnggg plane ride HOME!  I am so thankful for all our friends and family who have covered us in prayer during this entire journey and I just ask that it continues until we safely arrive in the US.  Thank you!!!  :)

Some artwork done by the children at Charlotte's institution and displayed in the front hall.

Standing by herself and drawing on her Magna-Doodle.  Notice the backpack?  It is super tiny and yet it takes up her whole back!

Zipping up her backpack.

Putting all the little animals back inside.

Was amazed as Schuyler was turning the toy upside down for the beads to go through!  Loved this!!

Look at how tiny her feet are! I mean TINY!  They are smaller than a 1year old's.  Her size 21 sandal (euro sizes), which is for a 12 month old, is too big for her.  :(

Loves looking to see what else Mama has inside her backpack!

The irises are all blooming here now.  Very pretty, reminds me of my garden at home.

Love this picture!  Happy girl on a swing!

Love this one too!!

We decided to blow on some dandelions.....

She was blowing very hard!

At the front door of her internat, getting ready to say goodbye.  Soon, this will be her home no longer.

He really, really wants to walk!!

Here however, I think he was a bit tired of walking  ;)  Just lifted up his legs and said, Nope!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Victory Day Ukraine!! And Random Pictures

Happy Victory Day to Ukraine!!  As I sit here listening to the cheering and the bands playing somewhere in the not too far off distance, I think about what this day means for them.  It is a huge holiday here, the celebration of the defeat of the Nazis in WW11, getting them out of Ukraine and Russia.  Major day.  Here is a link to an explanation if you are interested...

So today, after all the running around yesterday, we are just taking it slow and easy.  Since it is a holiday, everything is mostly closed anyway.  I just need a chill day really, before I gear up for packing up and heading out of here with two small kiddos who are going to demand lots of time and energy!!  :)  Can't wait, just relishing the time BEFORE the craziness if you know what I mean!

So, I figured since I didn't post any pics with my post last night, I would take a few minutes to post some pictures that I hadn't gotten around to putting up yet.  Enjoy them!!

Below are some pics of the kids at the older children's orphanage again.  We went with Natalya and her other friends on Saturday to do a Bible study with the children.  The orphanage is kind to let them come and do this with the children, they have established a good trusting relationship with the staff, mostly.  There are still caregivers who would prefer that they not come and are wary of strangers like us, and what we want to do with "their" children, but mostly it is good.  These kids amaze me every time we visit them.  Their sweetness, love and kindness is just incredible to me faced with their situations.  Remarkable.

 And so are Natalya, Anna and their friends who go tirelessly weekend after weekend not only to this orphanage but to others, spreading God's message of love, teaching them Bible verses, and showering these kids with affection when otherwise most of them get none.  I am humbled by their generosity with their time and energy.  When many other twenty-something ladies would rather be out with their friends or doing anything else they like for THEMSELVES, these women are serving the orphans in their city.  Constantly serving, doing good works, and just making it a part of their daily lives.  God bless them!!

All the kids love playing games on the ipad.  Of course!

Vanya and Dima.  Love this picture of two incredibly sweet boys.
Air hockey on the ipad!!

I have told Natalya she is like the Pied Piper!  Where she is a crowd of children will gather... every time!  There had been NO ONE out when we first arrived, and a few minutes later word had spread, and look!

Walking to the hillside for Bible study.  I just LOVE how sweet Dima always carries my backpack for me.  :)

About to begin the Bible study....

Such a beautiful view-- looking at God's creation as we talk about His plans for our lives.
Sweet Sophiya, longing for a family.....

Natalya teaches an English class at her church, and we got to go with her as guests last Friday night.  It was so much fun getting to meet these lovely people-- a doctor, trainer, teacher, banker... all wanting to learn English, and doing SO well with it too!  I was impressed!  And it was lots of fun speaking with them and telling them about things in the US too.

 After the English class that night, I told Natalya and Anna that I wanted to take them for dinner as a thank you for how sweet they have been to us!  I told her to pick a place with some traditional Ukrainian food, and she did.  It was wonderful!  Schuyler ordered ravioli and it comes in a broth and was delicious.  I ordered the pirogies stuffed with cabbage and they too were soooo yummy!  And we had peach juice to drink.  Great dinner with great friends  :)

Natalya and Anna

Momma and Schuyler  <3

From our not-so-happy day with Atticus... here is Schuyler strolling him around, just about the only thing he really liked that day.  And below his poor, pitiful red-eyed face after crying.  Still not sure what he was so upset about, it happened while he was with the nannies before we got him.  Makes the Momma Bear in me come out though to see him this sad  :(

But on a happier note, this was from two days ago, Monday the 7th, when we received Masha's NEW birth certificate!!  Masha no longer, she is now Charlotte Rose Rowe!!!!  Oh happy day!!!!

That is about all for now.  We have tons more pictures of course, and I will post more in the future.  Time for a little relaxing today, an orphanage visit with our son, one with Charlotte tomorrow and then the big wait till Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Just wanted to give a quick bloggie update!  We got started on our final paperwork yesterday, but it ended up being a very short day because the very first thing we went for, the court decree, had a lot of mistakes.  So of course, that took until almost 4pm to fix, then there was little time for anything else.

We did end up driving out to Masha's place of birth, Sakee, which is a cute and small little town about 45 minutes away.  There we got her birth certificate officially changed to reflect her new name-- Charlotte Rose Rowe!  Charlotte is a name Tim and I, and our children, all liked.  Nice and southern  :)  And it also is a reflection of his middle name, Charles.  Rose is for my maternal grandmother who has since passed away many years ago, but whom I loved very much.

Today we set off very early, 8:30, but of course as things go here, our first stop was not completed until almost noon.  Ah well, it is Ukraine time after all.  Very little work done very slowly.  Even the citizens will tell you so.

That piece of paperwork was for Kostya's birth certificate-- he is now officially Atticus Grant Rowe!  Atticus was chosen for the main character Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.  It is one of my all time favorite novels, and I always loved Atticus Finch because of his immense character, great morals, insight and intelligence.  Grant was a name that Tim had really liked, so we chose that because we just both really like the name, and it sounds great with Atticus!

After the birth certificate was done, it was on to make copies, then get new tax id numbers-- kind of like our social security numbers here, then to the notary, then to the baby house to get the lawyer there to give us the papers we needed to close out Atticus's bank account.

Well she said she would be there till 3, we got there before 1, she was no where to be found.  Sasha, our facilitator, called her.  Nope, she wouldn't be back in and she was not coming for us.  Oh boy.  What one person and their selfishness can do to derail an entire day!!

Well very long story short, we went to the bank and closed out Charlotte's account, Serge ended up calling the lawyer, she later agreed to bring the necessary paper to the bank, and we went about our other business of getting passports done for the children.

That was the FUN part, because for the first time my two babies got to meet each other!!  Charlotte, in her typical style, was yelling "Mama!" before she even got in the door, so I heard her coming a mile away!  Our driver's son had been sent to her institution to get her and bring her here to the passport office, and we were already there waiting.  Well, she saw Atticus in my arms when she came in, and my her eyes got HUGE!  She smiled at him and patted his arm and smiled some more when I told her this was her "bratya".  Oh how I hope they will be friends  :)  I can already see that we will have to watch her with him.  She is actually smaller than he is believe it or not, but she has a tendency to hit a lot, and he is very sweet and quiet, so I don't want him getting beat up on as soon as he gets home!!

It was awesome seeing them both in the same place together for the first time.  I should have taken a picture, but of course I didn't even think about it.  We had done so much running around and waiting all day, it didn't even cross my mind.  Oh well.  They are both very close in size though, might even wear the same size clothing.  He has a bit more meat on his bones even than she does, her little legs are like toothpicks!

So we got all that done, got their pictures for the passports, then headed back to drop him off at the babyhouse, Charlotte went back to the institution with her nanny, and then we went back to the bank to finish Atticus's stuff since we finally had that paper from the lawyer.

Well that is when the fun began!  The people at the bank tried to tell us they were closed.  Oh my goodness, come on people!  You knew we were coming back.  And it was 3:30 for heaven sake!!!  But tomorrow is Victory Day, a big holiday here, and they wanted to cut out early.

Well long story short, after much begging, pleading, crying, and begging some more, Sasha got the ladies at the bank to agree to do the paperwork so she wouldn't have to come back again by train on Thursday, poor thing.  I don't blame her!  That is a really long ride to go home tonight and have to turn around and come back again tomorrow night!  Ridiculous.

So, it is done.  Stressful day, but done.  Glad for our wonderful facilitator and her drive to make it all happen.  She really hustled her tiny hiney today for us and we are grateful!!

Got such a nice compliment from her tonight at dinner too, actually a few of them.  She complimented Schuyler on how mature, intelligent and well mannered she is.  That IS why I brought her after all!  ;)  She said that in her many years of doing this she has seen many spoiled American children.  I bet.  I see them all the time too!  Glad our daughter is being the example we strive to have her to be-- a Christian young lady who isn't spoiled by STUFF but rather has some good character.

She also complimented me on being stylish, which is a HUGE compliment coming from a Ukrainian woman!!  The fact that I am a mom of 6, now 8, and not haggard and dowdy looking really made an impression on her  ;)  Glad to know I still look stylish even with a big family.  Though those bags under my eyes and wrinkles on my forehead from frowning or worry are growing.......  ;)

I tried to explain to her that we love our large family, that we have chosen to do this and adopt, and our children are a blessing, they make us happy.  She knows women here who have many children and do not feel this way.  Perhaps they didn't have a choice in the amount of children they had, or their poverty causes them to look upon their kids as a burden.  Either way, it was nice to be able to set a bit of an example to her that moms of large families can still have that "twinkle" in their eye as she called it, and be quite happy and content in their state in life.

So all in all, despite some setbacks and stress, it was a good and productive day!  Now all we have to do is wait for the passports to be ready, hopefully next Tuesday, then it is off to Kiev that night by train after we pick up our children!!  That will be the most exciting day of all-- being able to walk out of that institution, and the babyhouse, with our children in tow, never to look back and never to be without a family again!

Cannot wait!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh Miss Masha!

This little girl is going to give us a run for our money!!  She is a firecracker, a spitfire, a ball of energy.... and any other name like this you can use befitting to a girl that is on the go.....go..... GO!

She has such a personality..... and a bit of a temper.  :)  But in her defense she was woken up for our visit today.  So all things considered she did very well!  She whimpered a bit when they brought her out into the hallway, but in no time at all she was all fired up and ready to play!

We hung out in the visiting room for awhile, playing with all the same toys that have appeared from my backpack before.  The princess puzzle.... whose pieces she likes to throw.  The soccer ball.... also great for throwing.  That fun toy with beads in it that Atticus loves..... also got thrown.  But not in a mean way, she just LOVES to throw things.  There were a few "nyets" said by Schuyler and I.  And even a little reprimand from her director.  :)  Who really seems to adore her by the way.  That I am sure is a little bit of the problem.  Everyone really, really adores Masha.  Maybe a bit too much!  :)  She is doted on a lot, and gets her way it seems quite often, which is strange for a child in an institution.  But she is a character and I think people just think she is adorable and give in to her.

She is an incredibly sweet child, she is funny, she smiles ALL the time, she is always happy and playful, and like I said she is full of energy-- which comes in handy in our family!  But of course she has lived the past 5 years in an orphanage or an institution.  No matter how much these caretakers adore her, they are still caretakers.  And she has never had the consistent love, or direction and discipline, of a mom and dad.

Everything will come in time I am sure.  The first lesson to be learned at home will be no throwing  ;)  But otherwise I know it is going to take lots of love and gentle guidance for quite awhile, and that is fine.  I just hope our friends and family understand if there are temper tantrums, fits on the floor, etc that this is just going to be part of the process.  Like it or not, both her time in the orphanages and her FAS have affected her, and these are things that will take time.

We are definitely smitten with this funny little monkey, and can't wait to get her home to a family filled with love to help her learn, grow, and be everything God created her to be!!

This boy at the institution was sooo sweet.  Offered to let Masha swing with him.

Climbed up ALL by herself!!  So strong!

Look at that smile!!!  LOVE!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

These Past Few Days...

Oh I really hate it when time gets away from me, or in this case, I have little or no access to internet, and I can't post.  Then it feels like there is SOOOO much to catch up on, and this time is no exception.  We have had a doozie of a week these past few days, in a good way!  Our friend Natalya has been such an awesome support and help while we have been here, and has kept us busy too meeting many new people and seeing lots of this beautiful country while we are here.  It has really been fabulous.  And of course, there have been our orphanage visits  ;)  the favorite parts of my day.  We have only gotten to see Atticus these past few days because Charlotte had a bit of a fever last Thursday and they told us not to come back until she was better.  And then of course the holidays here have begun-- Labor Day yesterday and Victory Day coming up this next week, so many people are off.  We only get to go out to her institution twice a week as it is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and couldn't yesterday because of  Labor Day, so we are hoping we can go tomorrow.  Atticus is doing great though.  I am finally starting to see real recognition in his eyes when we come to see him.  He is gradually letting more of his personality peek through on our visits too.  He starts out very quiet, almost withdrawn, not meeting our eyes, but by the end of our time he is pulling the toys to him that he wants to play with (like Schuyler's ipod!!), looking right at me, giggling and playing peek-a-boo.  You can absolutely tell that there is a great personality in there just waiting to blossom, and a lot of smarts too!

Today made me sad because after our visit Schuyler and I walked to the market to buy diapers and brought them back to the orphanage because he was running low.  When we walked in, there was my baby, sitting in the playpen alone and rocking back and forth because he was so bored.  There was nothing in the playpen to play with, so out of boredom he was just rocking.  We haven't seen him do this much, only a couple of times, and he never really does it with us because there is always something to entertain him.  But this is a learned behavior of course, just like the rolling from side to side that some kids to to help put themselves to sleep, and it is so sad to watch.  It was all I could do to leave him there this afternoon, and it made me all the more grateful that our 10 day wait is almost over and that soon he will be out of there forever.  There will be no lack of stimulation at home, that is for sure.  There will be no lack of kisses or hugs or "I love you's" and there will always be a mommy and a daddy to put him to bed.  Soon, very soon.

So as for the rest of this past week, it has been wonderful!  One of our highlights was our trip to Yalta this past Sunday.  It was arranged for us by wonderful Amanda who puts together the hosting program in Raleigh each year for some of the older kids from orphanages in this area.  She and Marina, who has also come to the US to help with the program, were going to take Radion and Kolya and some other children to the zoo in Yalta.   Radion and Kolya are the older brothers who were in danger of aging out if they did not find a family FAST, and thankfully my friend Dana through Sacred Selections took my info on them and found them a Mom and Dad in only a couple of days!!!  We are so thankful to God for providing these wonderful boys with a family, and Schuyler and I were so happy to be able to meet them last Sunday.  We were also there and got to watch as they saw pictures of their new family for the first time.  Such a moment!!  Radion was definitely on the verge of tears.  He knows how much this will mean for him and his brother and for their future.  They will be raised in a Christian home and have parents who LOVE them, unconditionally. It is such a gift!!  Below are some pictures from that trip.......

Radion and Kolya

Yalta is right on the Black Sea and is a beautiful town with gorgeous views of the water.  It was great to be able to walk down there, take in the sights, and have some lunch after we visited the zoo.  I will post more pictures I have of our trip there and of the boys when I have a chance, I have so many!!

Another wonderful thing we got to do this week was go see the Singing Men of Texas-- a choir of, yes, men from Texas  :)  They are a Christian group and they traveled here to Crimea to spread the Word of the gospel through song and preaching.  This was orchestrated by Michael Gott, and I had the privilege of meeting his wife and talking with her before the performance.  She asked that we pray that the message be received by these people and that their hearts be moved to want to live in service to the Lord.

It was wonderful to be here in Ukraine yet in the presence of so many southerners!!  I was overjoyed to hear all the "ya'lls" and the southern twangs.  It was just like home!!  And a few of the songs they sang were familiar too, like How Great is Our God.  Brought me to tears, it really did.  All I could think of throughout the whole performance that night was how so many people had told me while we were waiting to travel for our children that God's timing was perfect, and we would go when we were meant to.  Well I knew that was true, but sitting there that night was the evidence to me that it REALLY was true.  If I had not been delayed and come when I did, I would have not been sitting there at that moment, listening to these Christians raise their voice in song to our Father.  And it was so uplifting to me, it was just what I needed.  Here in this strange country, on this adoption journey, I NEEDED that affirmation.  I needed to hear these songs of praise to our Lord who had instigated me along on this journey in the first place.  It was comforting to say the least, and I am so grateful to Natalya for inviting Schuyler and I along that night.  It was indeed a blessing to say the least.

Kaye Bacon from Texas, me, Schuyler and Natalya at the performance
They sang in English and put the words up in Russian
One of the men from Texas talking with some boys from the older children's orphanage that we have been visiting, with Natalya helping to translate.  Her brother works a lot with these children and was kind enough to bring them to hear the choir that night.

Our sweet and funny friend Anna, on hand to answer questions about the kids' church camp this summer.

The last little bit of excitement we have had this week was going to the beach!!  Natalya called us yesterday as we were riding the bus back from our visit with Atticus and asked us if we wanted to go with her somewhere.  I couldn't understand where she was saying we would be going because of the noisy bus, but said ok anyway.  After all, why not?  We would meet at McDonalds in an hour, which was great because Schuyler and I were headed there anyway for lunch and some internet.  Well when she arrived with her mom and Anna in sandals and beachy attire I was like 'Uh oh!" as I looked at Schuyler and I in jeans and sneakers.  :)  Oh well, didn't want to pass up seeing the Black Sea again, so we hopped on the bus for the 1 1/2 hr ride with them anyway.  And let me tell you, what a bus ride!  I have some friends who get car sick easily and there would have been some puking going on if they had been on that bus!  It was terribly bumpy, VERY hot, no air conditioning and no windows open.  And we were in the very back and couldn't see out the windows very well.  Yuck.  Luckily, I do not get car sick and neither does Schuyler, but it was still an uncomfortable ride.

However the end result was worth it!  The beach and the sea were beautiful and we got to spend a fun afternoon with friends.  We are so thankful to them for including us in their plans and allowing us to see so much more of Crimea than we would have otherwise.  I will have some great things to tell our children about their homeland when they get older!  I have pictures of our beach trip too, but they aren't loaded onto the computer yet, and this computer keeps turning off on me because of a loose cord anyway  :(  So I am going to end my post here, and add on a few pics of our cutie for good measure from this week's visits.

Still thankful that all is going well for us here, and with Tim and the kids at home.  I miss them terribly, but this trip will be over before we know it, so I am trying to relish my time here too!  More to come soon!  Keep us in your prayers.

He LOVES the Rattle app on the Ipad!!

This one is a little blurry but that is because he was actively turning the pages and rubbing the fur on the teddy pg  :)

Oh, and just as an observation, I am noticing that as time goes on Atticus is not growing bigger but rather smaller.  :)  As the weather has warmed up, the layers and layers of clothing have been shed giving me a more accurate idea of his size.  I have also been able to see the tags of a few of his American brands of clothing and seen that he usually is in a 12 mo or 12 to 18 mo size.  It is amazing that in a matter of a week he has gone from being bundled in snowsuits and 3 other layers to now just two shirts, pants, still a few layers of socks and tights, and a lightweight spring hat.  So funny to me!  But he definitely is easier to carry on my hip without all that extra bulk!!