Sunday, May 30, 2010

1 Week In

We are 1 week in and doing great!!!

This week has been more than I could ever imagine. It has been absolutely great having her home. Three children are not easy, I have had my struggles, but the struggles and the learning have also been great.

She is in love with every woman we encounter. Seriously!! She hugs them and even tries to kiss them. It is very cute, but Im trying to convince her a simple wave is just as good. :) She will sit in the highchair forever and feed her self. She loves that independence. The only thing I have found that she does not like to eat is coleslaw and anything too chewy or with alot of texture. She really enjoys yogurt and bananas!!
Addy takes naps well and sleeps allnight, although I do find her in the middle of the night on the floor after she has rolled out of the toddler bed...we are working on that.
She does get anxious around other children and men. Not sure if she feels competition from the children, but its getting better. She does really well sitting in carts at stores too.
She loves watching ketchup being squirted out, smiles from ear to ear when I refill her plate of food, splashes, ALOT, in the bathtub, and chases our dog around with her walker until she hits him and laughs!
Signing has worked out really well. She now uses three signs appropriately. Thank you, all done and more. She also fist bumps, thanks to a friend at a cookout this weekend.

Joe and I can sit and watch her for hours. She amazes us each and everyday. Her love and excitement at life is such a blessing to witness. We thank Jesus everyday for showing us this journey and we pray that her life continues to blossom with us and witnesses to others the pure joy that the Lord has given us.






Monday, May 24, 2010

Home At Last

Just wanted to let everyone know Joe and Olya made it home at 11pm Saturday night!!!
They ended up missing their last connection in Detroit, at this point Joe has so tired of people telling him they could not help... He got a rental car and drove the rest of the way home.:)

It was not the airport arrival and welcome we were anticipating. But it WAS great!!
Family and friends were here to great them with a very warm welcome. So bittersweet to hold her in my arms and have our entire family of 5 together.

She has been doing great! It has been overwelming, I wont lie. But fabulous at the same time. She sleeps through the night in her toddler bed. She has also been eating everything we give, without problems. Its soo cute to see the look on her face when she clears her plate and I actually put more on it, its like "I actually get more!!".

Noah is in love, literally!! We took her into school this morning to show his friends and classmates his new little sister and the look on his face of pride was amazing. He has such a good heart!
Gracie and Olya, thats a different story. There is definitely love between the two of them, but competition is there too. Olya does not like her to be really close and to try and help with things. This has upset Gracie and she feels left out. Im trying to get them to understand each other, I think time is only going to do that.

I will leave you with a few pics



Friday, May 21, 2010

Flight Update

Just a quick blog!

Joe and Olya could not fly out of Kiev, there was an emergency light on the plane. They had to wait 7 hours in Kiev and then eventually flew to Frankfurt Germany. They were on standby for four hours and were not able to catch that flight. They were way overbooked!!!
They are not able to fly out until tomorrow...;( Lufthansa did set them up with two free meals and a night stay in a hotel. Per Eldon, the most fabulous travel agent ever!!!, "only God knows where their luggage is". So he was able to get some clothing, diapers, contact solution and some other neccesities at a local pharmacy. They will hopefully be home tomorrow evening. I cant wait to get my hands on both of them. I have missed Joe something awful and to think it has been well over a month since I have seen my little one.
Joe did say that she is doing great and has been a trouper through this long airport journey. Hopefully her spirits will continue for the long day tomorrow that they have. Thanks for all the prayers and support.
Will update again soon!
LeaAnn

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kick the tires and light the fires!

After a LONG day of run here, run there, then back to here via there I have Olya's visa! We made our self set line in the sand and WILL be able to fly out Friday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In a mere 7 hours I will have to rise, get ready, somewhat prepare a 2 year old and off to the Kiev airport for our 5:30 departure. If all goes well, oh how i pray it does, we will be into Dayton at 3:15 local time to put the final nail in this chapter of our saga and open up a new can 'o worms as we all adjust to America life as a fam of 5! Just a short update, off to bed and hopefully a little sleep. Next update from HOME sweet HOME!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Slow but Sure







After several agonizing days of waiting and wondering we got Olya's passport this afternoon. So tomorrow will be a day filled with running to U.S. consulate to beg for a same day visa, medical, then returns to each place to hopefully retrieve those last few valuable papers to make an early plane to the states Friday. This is still not set in stone, if the consulate decides to play spoiler it could be Friday before we can get visa and then a Saturday trip home if I can get a flight. Right now all is geared for a Friday return. I have the apartment until Friday with little or no back up availability for an extra night and we put our plane hopes in a Friday booking with very limited or no space to squeeze in for a change to Saturday. Please keep our little duo in your prayers that all goes well Thursday to make a trip home Friday a reality.
Not much else to add other than Olya and I keep plugging along each day hour by hour figuring each other out little by little. My counterpart is coming out of her shell more and more as she realizes that 'ol Papa is not so bad other than that he says "no no" a lot! She continues to test more and more with her surroundings and my patience at times as she checks something out over and over despite my most heart felt retorts of "NO". AHHHH, the terrible twos are not halted by orphanage life! I will try to get out a quick update but if all goes well tomorrow it will be a mad rush between Thursday wake up and Friday TAKE OFF. Hope to see many of you SOON.
-Joe


video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

Much like the spare tire above my belt I have a wait problem! It should be the keyword for our adoption. Another day of no news, no firm dates that anythng will happen and tra la la la la. It is the hardest part of being here five out of the last seven weeks, you cannot plan a single thing concerning your own well being and find that outside of yourself no one here gives a hoot. If I didn't have my little companion to think of I would be out of my mind with boredom and the blah feeling of not knowing when I can get that treasured plane home. Kiev is not bad at all but I have seen enough, done enough... check please! To add just a little salt we have watched two other families that had SDA and court after us get thier children and are ALREADY HOME. To get it off my chest HURRY UP ALREADY!!!
On a happier tone, Olya is doing great. She entertains me daily and is figuring me out a little too fast. For the first time she showed just a little "woman" at dinner tonight and fussed about until we ate and got out quick to her enjoyment to walk back and yell "oooooffff" at pigeons on the sidewalk. Earlier today we ventured out to a nicely sized park and had just gotten there good when clouds rolled in from ???? and put down some rain. So we double timed it back to the coffee house close to the apartment when the real gusher hit with heavy rain and thunder. But it was short lived to allow us time to get back "home" for apartment playtime and nap.
I will close with the obligatory pics and wish everyone a good day. Ahhh to be in the company of some of you raunchy old americans...JOE


Chasing some pigeons "OOOOOOFFFFFF"


Apartment Playtime



Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Scream I Scream...

...for ICE CREAM!!


MMMMMMMMM!


CHOCOLATE!


Sorry for post delay, we had to switch to another apartment just for Saturday night and it was definitely a "last resort" flat. It was not as "new" as some of the other units and the phone line was apparently dead so no internet. We have moved back to our regular stomping grounds @ 19 Baseina Street for the rest of our stay.It is my third move this trip and Olya's second but it gives her a chance to ride in a car so all is good.
Yesterday after settling in our new digs we hiked to Kreshchatyk St. to take n the huge Saturday crowd and get some dinner. We went to Fridays and Olya had chicken fingers and fries, YUMMY. Afterward we got an ice cream from one of the vendors on Kreshchatyk and sat on the curb to enjoy (see pics). Then the uphill trek with toddler and backback in tow to the apartment. Today is very rainy so we are taking in our new NICE apartment. It has an all window balcony with views of the the cars and people and Olya loves it! Hopefully rain will settle long enough for a quick market run for water. Then tomorrow, hopefully, we will get passport news or the passport and start the 2-3 day dash to get everything done and a flight HOME.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Day Closer?

We are officially one step closer to coming home! We went to the passport office today for Olya's picture and paperwork to get her passport on it's way. So the question is WHEN will we be home?? I understand that everyone wants an answer to this question, and believe me I want that date etched in stone more than anyone! However, and please understand, I will not know the exact date we can leave until her passport is in our hands and this usually takes 2-3 days but can take up to five. As soon as the passport is here I can pin down the day we come home but not until then. So if you are wondering, SO AM I! We have had another good day. Olya loves to ride in the car! Today on the way back from the passport office she spent the whole time sitting on my lap looking out the window chatting to herself, it was way too cute! It looked like rain so chef Papa whipped up some grub in the apartment and got the lil miss a good bath and now it looks like she is about ready for bed (we missed nap due to passport office trip :)) Please enjoy this little video and pray for a quick passport turn around, then a safe delay/ cancellation free route home!

Cab Chatter
video

-Joe

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FYI her birthday is 7-7-07

Had to put this video up. The toy store was a big hit after a nice little Ukranian dinner. I can't put words to how absolutely fantabulous this day was. I may have to stay here to keep her to myself!

video

Please remember our house is only so big LOL!

JOE

GOTCHA DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After basically 3 days of cancelled flights, delayed flights, changed flights I made it back to Kiev late Wed. evening. Sorta settled in, slept like a hammer and awoke to beautiful Ukraine sunshine and the knowledge that today would be Olya's last day (morning) in the orphanage. To quote David Crowder "OHHHH, Happiness!" Oleg picked me up at 9:00, we then picked up Nadya and off we went to Vorzel. All said it was very quick and painless! I signed a few papers, then played with Olya until the papers were wrapped up, then a change of clothes and a few pics and the sweetest words "PAKA PAKA Vorzel." Olya has been a dream to be with thus far. She is so inquisitive, she watches and takes in everything she can. So far she has had passport pics taken, a visit to Ukraine "Grandmother" ( a story that can't fit on a blog page lol), a car ride with Oleg :),an apartment change, a trip to the market, and confinement with me without a tear YAYYYYYYYYYY! I could ramble on and on, what a joyous, blessed day. My cup truly runneth over. However, I know everyone wants some pics so here ya go...

















Posted by one Happy PaPa!!
Joe

He made it!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Joe made it safe and sound, after many delays and changes in his flight.

He will blog soon about his journey and new pics of sweet little Olga!!!!

Thanks for all the prayers!!!!

LeaAnn

Monday, May 10, 2010

Have I Ever Told You How Much I Love Volcanos!!!!!

Ok, that was a lie!

Who would of ever thought last November when we started this journey that a volcano would be a stumbling block!!

Joe was all packed and ready to leave this morning, when we saw that his long flight to Germany had been cancelled due to the ash from the volcano reaking havic once again.;(

Thanks to our trusty travel agent, he will be leaving, with our fingers crossed, in the morning. He will fly out around 11am and arrive in Kiev Wednesday afternoon.

This does add a bit of changes to getting Olga. The orphanage does not allow children to leave in the afternoon, catch me in about a two weeks and I will fill you in on my reaction to this!!:) He will be able to get her on Thursday, which will be such a blessing to check the blog and see the photos of the two of them together!!! I can not wait!

Oleg gave us a possible return home date of next Tuesday or Wednesday. So please keep praying that round 2 in Ukraine goes smoothly and Olga's transition time with her daddy is filled with fun, laughter and cuddle time.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.


I will update on Joe's arrival in Kiev.
Thanks for everyones support!!!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

He is Headed Back!!!!

We heard today that Oleg wants Joe to come back next Wednesday!!!

Soo exciting!!! I have so much to do between now and then. Help Joe pack for himself and for her!!! I cant wait to start packing her clothes, shoes and socks!!! Everything little and tiny and PINK!!!! Joe had said this morning, "if we do not hear from them today..Im just going back first thing next week and will get her out of the orphanage!" I know he is so eager to walk out those doors with her in his arms.

I will be trying to get him a flight out Monday or Tuesday at the latest. That way he is there for sure on Wednesday and will be ready first thing that morning to break her out.

We are praying that he will bring her home the end of next week or that weekend. With how our time over there has been, it might be early that next week. But we are fine with that. The more time she can spend with Joe over there will help him create that bond with him that he has been dying to have.

I can not wait to see him coming through the airport with her. To see the look on the kids faces when they see their sissy and if anyone knows Joe and how he has been with this adoption I know he will be a crying mess!!!

She is almost home!!!!!!!