The Family

The Family

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We're Here!!!

Yeah, we are finally here and I finally have a moment to update this blog a little!

What a whirlwind it has been, as all adoption trips seem to be. We arrived to EE by way of Frankfurt on Sunday afternoon. The driver we love, Nico, was at the airport to get us, along with another adopting family. We cleared customs just fine, not a question was asked which is different from last time, and our luggage was the first off the conveyor belt! so glad it arrived with us! So, off we went.

First we exchanged some money and bought a few groceries, you know the staples- water, coffee, chocolate..... :) and Nico got both our families set up with a cell phone to use while in country. Then it was off to our apartment in the big city! We stayed in a totally new place this time, but still not too far from the buffet we ate at and loved last time we were here. Great food, cheap prices. Really wish they had a restaurant like that one at home!

Outside our apartment in the city

On Monday it was the day we had been waiting for, our appointment to receive the referral for our children!! Well as it turns out, even though they are in the same orphanage, because our son has no documented special needs we could not receive their referrals together. So it will be the same process as it was for us last time here- we got one referral then we have to return to the city for our second referral. Except last time it was 10 days later. This time they are taking pity on me because of Atticus's condition and allowing the appointments a week apart. So we return this next Monday for the second referral and then I can head back home on Tuesday morning.

Luda's referral picture

Vanya's referral picture

We met some other great families while getting that referral, and it was nice to chat with them and find out about the children they were adopting too. And I tell ya, nothing- still nothing- beats seeing
that dossier, all those documents you put all that time, blood, sweat and tears into procuring, back in your hands again, but this time sewn together by thread. It just brings tears to my eyes when I think about how I prayed for their safe voyage across the ocean and safe delivery into the proper hands so that they could be scrutinized and ultimately approved and we could come get our children!

Mama, Papa and Schuyler having cappuccino after getting our referral

We got to visit the infamous Roshen store while in the big city, along with our friends the Dewberrys.  Here are Schuyler and Kolya out front, and below is a picture of one of their gorgous window displays.
Tuesday we officially picked up that referral and Tuesday night it was all aboard the train to our children's region! It was actually a great train ride. We were in the car right next to our friends from NC who we knew and loved even before this trip. So it was fun to hang out and chat a little. Later Tim fell asleep and Schuyler was listening to music on her iPod when a friendly stranger decided to meet my acquaintance. That's what I get for leaving my door open. ;) He commented, in Russian, that I should turn the light in so as not to hurt my eyes. I was reading my magazine by the light coming in from the hallway of the train so I wouldn't disturb Tim, and thus began a lengthy conversation between he and i, and then Tim after I nudged him awake! our friends next door came iver to see what all the talking and laughing was about, and hercsin was able to translate most of our conversation for us too. Interesting evening.

Upon our arrival in region we went straight to the social worker's office to get her approval and signatures and then to see our kids! We went in and sat down with the director and social worker of the orphanage, talked a little, showed her some family pictures, then in came Luda! Of course the tears started flowing as I hugged her again, she looked adorable! Then Vanya came in. We hadn't seen him in even longer and it was SO great to lay my eyes on him again!! It was an amazing feeling to know, for sure, that we were here to get THEM. I had promised them I would be back, hopefully by October, and I kept that promise! That was a great feeling.

I had been so afraid if letting them down, of getting their hopes up and then something happening and us not being able to follow through, or the country shutting down again, who knows what. But I am just so glad that I can say I kept my promise. Yes Luda and Vanya, you are coming home to your family. Yes, we are going to be your Mama and Papa. You won't be alone anymore!

 We have gotten to have just two fairly short visits with the kids because of running around for paperwork, but we can already see how glad they are we are here, and the look off relief on their faces telling me they are happy it was sooner rather than later. We have loved visiting with the other kids we met here previously too and I am going to do my best to advocate for those who want and need a family so badly, like our children did. Good kids who want nothing more than a home and love.

So here are some photos from the trip so far. And again, another huge and heartfelt thanks to those who helped us get here! We could not have done it alone and our children thank you!

Vanya and Papa!!  Love this boy!! (and that guy too)  ;)

Vanya trying hard to do a Tangoes puzzle

Yulia and Luda!  Amazing young ladies!!

Sweet A who also has a family in NC coming for him!!!  We got to deliver a little care package to him from his Mama and Papa!  :)

Making paper airplanes and throwing stars with a kind and sweet 14 year old boy.


  1. Janice - it is so amazing you are there and uniting with the rest of your family! Thank you so much for sharing pics so the rest of us can journey with you and catch glimpses of our kids that are still there. If you get the chance please do tell Yulia we love her and miss so much it hurts but are trusting God and His plan and time line in bringing us together.

    Betsy, Jon and Hailey

  2. Thank you for sharing! We are going to Lozovoe orphanage hopefully in December to adopt Ruslan Pavlyuk and his sister that lives with their grandfather. Would love to be able to connect with you and your family. My email is Blessings, Sarah Zwetsloot PS. Mike Davis gave me your blog info.