Saturday, July 31, 2010

One year ago today

One year ago today we met Victoria for the first time. It is so surreal to me to be here in the same place today. I will never forget the moment when we were all sitting in the director's office at the orphanage and they brought this shy little girl in to meet us. It is amazing to see how far she has come in the past year. It has really shown me being here just how far she has really come.

This is the very first picture I took of her and Morgan together when we met her on July 31, 2009. Victoria is so serious and unsure about what is going on.

I compare that to this picture I took on her birthday a little over a week ago. She is so happy and really has a light in her eyes.

This picture is from two days ago at the orphanage visit. I took the boys a few little trucks and some cookies. I just love these boys. They are such boys one minute and then the second you sit down they just jump on your lap and want to be held.

Today we went to Shevchenko Park. Shevchenko Park was my saving grace for the last week or so when we had Victoria with us in the apartment. My mom and I took her there every day. We ate lunch in the restaurant there and I had the mushroom soup and deruny (potato pancakes) that I have been craving. We got to go with another family that is adopting an HIV+ little girl and is in Kiev on the tail end of their trip. They are actually finished, they are just waiting for their flight home. They were so great. The little girl, Irina, is such a delight. She is almost 9 years old. We got to spend time with her, her mom and her big sister Amy. Amy is going to be the best big sister ever to Irina. I can't wait to see her at home with her family and how she will blossom.

This is the back of a statue of Taras Shevchenko looking at the "Red University" or more formally Taras Shevchenko University.

The outside of the restaurant. It is so, so charming inside.

Just a cute little thing in the park.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The kids

We took the Metro to the orphanage this morning for a visit. It was kind of rainy so they had all the kids under their little play huts. As soon as we walked in I saw the kids from Victoria's groupa. I was happy to see that one of the caregivers I knew from last summer that speaks pretty good English was with the group. I went over to say hi and showed her some pictures of Victoria. She was very happy to see the pictures. One of the little boys, Kolya, that Victoria talks about a lot looked at the pictures and asked where she was. The caregiver explained that she was home with her Daddy and sister, but he obviously remembered her. As I was walking away I waived goodbye and that same little boy blew me a kiss! Break my heart!!!

Here are the kids. The little girl in the picture (Zoya) has a family that is here now completing their process and she will be going home next week!

Sherry got the tax ID #s for the kids taken care of today and will be taking them for their passports tomorrow! Things are moving along.

Morgan this picture is for you - this is the very, very long escalator Mommy has to take down to the Metro and then back up when we are coming back. Do you think you could do this one???

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm here and well

Sorry for the delay in posting. I arrived in Kiev safely on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning we went to the orphanage and I got to meet all of Sherry's precious babies! They are the sweetest children. I didn't get to see Victoria's groupa, but we will be there again tomorrow so hopefully then. I did get to see the director and say hi and he was very happy about how well Victoria is doing.

We spent the day today picking up new birth certificates and applying to change the tax ID numbers. We hope to apply for passports tomorrow. Keep Sherry and her children in your prayers that there will be no bumps in the road and people will be willing to do their jobs (that is not always the case here).

Sorry, no pictures on today's post, but now that I have mobile internet at the apartment I'll try to make sure to get some posted tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's A .........


We had our 20 week ultrasound today, and as you can see it will be girl #3 for us! We are all so excited, but I think Morgan might be the most excited. Everything checked out very well, except that the baby is measuring about a week big for my due date. My cycles are very irregular, so we had an early ultrasound done which is what they based my due date on. Now, based on this ultrasound they think the earlier one may have been off a bit. I am going to have another ultrasound at next month's appt. for more measurements and if the little one is still measuring big they will probably move my due date up about a week. Not really a big deal. Morgan was almost a week late anyway, so give or take a week doesn't make much of a difference.

I leave tomorrow around lunch time for Ukraine!!! I'm so excited. I am scheduled to arrive in Kiev at around 1:15pm (their time) on Sunday. I'll post as soon as I can.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Victoria

Today Victoria turns 5 years old! It is hard for me to think of her five years ago today. In a hospital in Ukraine, born 14 weeks too early, weighing only 2lbs. 1 oz. No one to hold her or love her. I compare that to the day Morgan was born and so many friends and family couldn't wait to come and see her. To hold her, to love her, bringing presents, carrying on about the new baby. Every child deserves that.

Even though today is Victoria's 5th birthday, it is the first one she is celebrating. When you are in an orphanage a birthday is not something to celebrate. The older you get the worse off things are for you. You move from the baby house to the internat and then eventually to the streets. I am so, so glad that from now on birthdays will be a happy occasion.

We went out to lunch and Victoria was more than happy to be the center of attention. She was smiling ear to ear and so happy. We are having her birthday party in a few weeks after my trip to Ukraine, so I will be sure to post pictures of that too. Victoria is looking forward to that a lot, but today we celebrated with presents from Mommy, Daddy and Morgan, a special lunch for the birthday girl and a very, very big piece of chocolate cake. She was loving her birthday hat too (it has five candles on the top).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to Ukraine!!!!......and beach fun

Saturday, July 24th I will be boarding a plane headed for Kiev, Ukraine! I am so excited. I am flying out to help another adoptive mother bring her 3 new babies home. She adopted 3 children under 3 from the same orphanage Victoria was in. I am so excited to be able to see the kids from Victoria's groupa again. It is also very surreal because it will be almost exactly a year to the day that we left for Ukraine last July (we left July 28th last year).

On another non related note - here are a few pictures from the beach on Monday.

Victoria actually went in the water this time AND LIKED IT!!!!

Morgan could spend all day finding and playing with the sand crabs

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

I have a secret

Okay, so it's not really a secret - I just haven't announced it here yet.

Our family is going to be growing again!!!

I always thought that any future children would come through adoption, but God had other plans for us.

I am 17 weeks pregnant. The girls are super excited to be big sisters and Joe and I are thrilled. My due date is December 10.