The Family

The Family

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  He starts out very quiet, almost withdrawn, not meeting our eyes, but by the end of our time he is pulling the toys to him that he wants to play with (like Schuyler's ipod!!), looking right at me,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!!

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