Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meeting Anastasia

Okay folks, I have so much to say and not a lot of time to write it tonight. So...I am going to post some photos to appease you for the time being and then try to write tomorrow. The first two days in region are very busy because the facilitator is trying to get so much paperwork done. It's crazy! No sleep for a long time and lots of car travel and waiting.
I will tell you the important details right now though. We met Anastasia yesterday. It was the best first meeting we could pray for. We met with the orphanage director and then they took us upstairs to meet Anastasia. The moment they opened the door to the room she was playing in and called her name, she came running out the door. They didn't have to tell her what to do or who to go to, she ran straight for Daddy and jumped up into his arms. Almost before he could even register what was going on =). It was very sweet and she is quite attached to her Daddy. (Sounds like her siblings at home...) We have enjoyed playing with her and loving on her. She is actually quite mellow and doesn't seem to like playing extremely actively (though she can be active when she wants to!). She likes to sit and cuddle, and she likes quiet activities. We took a photo album today and she flipped through the pages for our whole hour. That's all she wanted to do. Tom tried to take the album and play other games with her and she would have none of that. She just wanted to sit in Papa's lap and flip pages. Yesterday was bubbles. She loved those as well and wanted to figure it out all by herself. That seems to be something she likes to- to do everything by herself like a little adult. She copies all of the things that Tom does and tries to be like him. He lays down, she is right down next to him. He stands, she is standing too. When we were outside today we sat at a picnic table that she led us to. She sat down first and folded her hands and looked. I am not sure if this is something they do before eating, or if she has seen adults fold their hands, but it was very cute. The director told us that she loved this baby doll that they had. She would carry it around like a little mother almost like it was a real baby (also sounds Alexis). Unfortunately the other kids broke the doll, so she doesn't have it anymore. I guess she used to even sleep with it. First on the list of things to get- a babydoll =).

So, that was our meeting. On the adoption side of things, we have court next Thursday, the 10th of December. Yulia says the likelyhood of our 10 days being waved is low, and I'm not sure she is even going to ask for it. We will see... But still be praying for that for us. If it was waved we could be home for Christmas with all of our children under one roof. That is something that we hope, pray, and dream for, but we also trust God's timing and know that if we don't get to be home for Christmas it isn't because He can't do it, but because His purpose is for us to be here right now. We trust Him fully and know that wherever we are it will be His will. We are excited at how quickly court will happen and how wonderful things have been here.

Something super exciting- we got our apartment for the month...the WHOLE month (which we probably won't need the entire thing...) for $300!!! That's $10 per night, which is AMAZING! All praise goes to God for that one. Definatley something that He made happen for us. The woman who owns the apartment just finished remodeling it (very nice inside). She has two apartments and works at Children's Services (the place that first approved us to adopt in region). She doesn't rent it all the time and it isn't for business. She just thought she would make some extra money. It very much blessed us! We had in our budget for $60 per night. That means we saved a lot of money by her generous offer.

Our driver in region is also very affordable. He charges $5 an hour...well, 40 Hryvnya which is pretty much $5. We tried to tip him 20 Hryvnya after yesterday's LONG day where he was with us all day and he wouldn't let us. $2.50 is seriously no big deal dude! But he wouldn't allow it. This morning he brought us apples from his garden and tomorrow he said he was going to bring us honey from his friend who makes it. He also invited Tom to have some Vodka with him LOL. He said you can't be in Ukraine and not have Vodka, it's a tradition. It's a man's drink. Then he told him that it is the medicine that he needs for his cough.

He has taken such good care to make sure that we are comfortable and get the things we need. He picks up on little things we say and makes it happen. Yesterday he took us to the resaurant that his wife works at and had them make us traditional Western Ukrainian food. Yulia, our facilitator, told us that it was her first time trying it too. It was like a corn meal porridge that was firm and on a platter. She cut it with something that resembled dental floss. You take that piece of porridge and put some very salty white cheese on top followed by their version of bacon. They don't fry it in strips here, they just cook up chunks of bacon. It was delicious. Tom already wants to have it again =). They also gave us dumplings with potato in them and some sourkraut soup (I'm not sure what you call it). All of it was very good, but I was so full after just the soup that I couldn't eat much of the dumplings or the cheese/bacon dish. Today I mentioned that I wanted to try Borshch. I asked if they make it at his wife's resaurant. He told me that it was gross with his face and shook his head no (HA), so I didn't think we were going to try it. For lunch, he took us to another place that he knew the lady and had already prepared for her to serve us borshch. It was very good =). I think he took us to a person who makes it the way he likes it.

So, now Yulia is headed home and we are here alone to visit Ana everyday. It's about a twenty minute walk to her orphanage, so we will walk in the morning and then have our driver take us for our eveing appointment. We would like the ride when it is dark outside because it gets a little cold in the night air. He can also take us to dinner if we want him to. He said any time we want him to take us to eat, just call Yulia and have her tell him. (He doesn't speak English) We actually spent a lot of time in the car today, waiting for documents to be done by Yulia (man that woman is busy on days like the first ones in country). So...we figured out ways to talk with him. For a long time we were using gestures and a little bit of our Ukrainian language book, and we did okay with that. Then later we got our modem for the computer so that we can have internet wherever we are. It's a wireless one. We tried it out in the car while waiting for Yulia to get our court date and I had the idea to use Google translate to speak with him. He was SO excited. It was funny...he thought it was the coolest thing that we could type what we wanted to say on the computer and he could read in his language. He told us he has internet on his phone, so he could e-mail with us that way =).

Okay, time for me to get back to bed. Hope to share more with you tomorrow, though I wrote more than I ever intended to do tonight already.
Also, please check out the family blog Pure Mommy Extract so that you can see Ana's friend Tonya. There is a family that wants to bring Tonya home, but isn't able to pay for the adoption. Please consider donating to Tonya's fund this week so that this family can commit to Tonya right away. If 1090 people donated just $20 to Tonya's fund that would cover the cost of her adoption. So, please spread the word and raise these funds. I know we can do it!


  1. So happy to hear things are going so well! I hope you are feeling better now. Ana is absolutely beautiful :)

  2. This is so wonderful! She is so precious!

  3. Loving the photos, she is beautiful! I am so happy for her, and your family!

  4. Sounds like everything is working out fantastically and that you'll get to spend a lot of time with Ana. And I'm sure she will be getting more than one babydoll for Christmas! Sit and cuddle - hmmm, I think I know some grandparents that could go for that! That is so cool that you figured out how to communicate with the driver. It's wonderful that he's being such a great help to you guys. Love you all.

  5. LOVE all the stories!

    Sounds like Ana will enjoy having a new baby in the family come May! :D

  6. Yea! What wonderful pictures!

    Amazing stories about the apartment and the driver. Wow! We spent 6 weeks in Ghana, at $80 per night. God truly has BLESSED you financially so far. Praises!!!

    Praying for you all. Can't wait to meet Ana (and Tom and the kids).

    Laurel :)

  7. thank you sooooo much for sharing all these beautiful pictures and stories. She is such a doll... and I can't express the joy I have in my heart to know Anatasia has finally met her family!! Our good thoughts and prayers are with you during this part of your journey. Looking forward to reading more about your time with little "Ana" and watching you bond :)

  8. I absolutely love the pics! She is darling. She has a big smile -- love that, too! What a sweet girl. She is very smart, obviously, since she fell in love with Tom right away. I so enjoyed reading your blog. You're all in my prayers. Take care! Love you guys.

  9. I love the pictures! It is so sweet to see how much she likes her papa. That would make Andy a little jealous (it must be the facial hair!)

    We will be praying that things move quickly for you. I admit that I cannot wait until you are all back here! Andy leaves on Saturday.

  10. Hey there... I just noticed that your link to your family blog is wrong (looks like somehow got added to the address). Anyway, thought I'd let you know...

    For those who may see this comment before Amber has a chance to change it, the correct address is

  11. Give her kisses from Grandma and Pa Pa. And we'll make sure your other two get kisses from Mommy and Daddy. Skype me as soon as you get home tonight.

  12. OMG, she is absolutely DARLING!!!:)Have fun with your sweet little girl!

  13. All the pictures are so precious! She's a doll for sure :) Yulia was our facilitator too and she went over & above in helping us in every way as did Nikoloz & the taxi driver she hooked us up with in region. Please give a hello to her from Isaac & the fox family :) Praying for you all. Alysha