Monday, February 28, 2011

This is it!

So here we are! This is reality...So far not bad...He is adusting ok..we are getting caught up on our sleep..The language barrier is there but we can communicate for the most part..Haven't had to use google translate too much yet... He likes Ben's toys...They are also playing some computer games and TV games..Play station 2 etc...

He loves the dogs & trampoline is the favorite so far I think out of everything he's doing..He & Benjamin followed me up into the attic that was interesting to him..They found some Hess trucks and took them down...He still likes action figures so we have some of that...

Marco has a pretty good appetite and eats what we have here. So easy that way...I tried to explain we will do some school work today..learn English and do some math to start..I can show him geography type videos for now and we'll wait on history..Think we will start with Pennsylvania! That way we can visit some of the things he learns. Ruben is showing him multiplication cards and he knows them..just the English is hard, but he can write it too.

All is good and not many complaints...Still needs to put the toilet seat down. That's about it right now!! LOL

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We're Finally Home!

Glad to be on the ground is more like it! What a landing...Very very windy yesterday in Newark...I am petrified to fly and even more so now...So will only travel on the ground..maybe ocean..but not in the area where I read about the pirates in USA today..they are out of control too like the wind..LOL

I am already up & showered in case Marco is on the Ukraine time schedule as well...but he slept on the plane some and was up playing games with Benjamin for a few more hours after I passed out. I need sleep to remain sweet..LOL So I am ready for him if he gets's 4:56 am.

When we arrived last night I think he had culture shock..I tried to keep it all calm... but that is kind of hard with 11 kids, and 5 dogs..they were all so happy to see us and it was something else!...I think he is a little unsure of everything.

..He is also not used to seeing kids with Down Syndrome..They were never in schools with him and were taken away after a few days old.. They are known as afflicted children in Eastern Europe as some of you already know, and have many labels that are negative. Some even believe they are cursed..So we will be undoing and detoxing his thinking from many false teachings around here. Once he sees the love the children give us he will get it.

He is young enough to melt right in with lots of love and patience which I will need prayer for, so all you prayer warriors out there get busy and thank you. Simple things like, don't forget to wash your hands after the bathroom, and use soap & shampoo when you shower.. I have heard these things from American mothers , so I think there's hope! LOL

I'll be back later..Going to start making food for everyone...because I know the bed is going to be appealing to me in the next few days for naps. The jet lag and time difference usually take a good week to get back to normal.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm coming home I've done my time....

Will fly out of here 5:35 am....Be in New Jersey by 3:40 pm. Very happy about that!
Had a marathon day again getting the Visa...but we did it! Just had dinner with Mary & Blake...I will really miss them...We had a lot of fun and laughs...I feel bad leaving them but they have contacts & friends here in Ukraine...I will pray their process goes as quick as ours did...
Please visit the Eli Project and donate to their ministry...
I will blog when I get home! Well...maybe the next day! For now I will be packing...

One for the Road!

We had enough time to do some hair! Gave Shelley a color & some hilights before she left to board the plane!

Saying Good-Bye...

Been busy over here, no time to blog yesterday...Had some visitors, The Burman' was nice to meet another American family adopting. They will have 5 special needs kids when they are finished. Their children are adorable. It was funny here while all of us including Marco were on electronic devices talking at the same time or making noise..All contacting family or playing computer games..

Yesterday while the Burman's rested in our apartment, Marco & I were out with Natasha taking care of passport stuff/ pictures needed to be enlarged so we made 2 trips to the US Embassy and then met with the Man who took care of Marco for 3 yrs while he was younger. What a sweet man. You could see he really loved Marco and it was a little emotional when we parted our separate ways. I am so glad we had the difficulty with the paper for the passport so we could meet this man..He gave us a foundation to work with and also provided some kind of roots fro Marco from his Homeland. His father is probably alive here some where and so if he ever asks we have his name and picture. We promised Aleksander that we would write to him and send pictures especially the ones above..He really responds well with men. He will have lots of time with his brother & Father once home..I think we will be putting in a basketball hoop and slab of black top! This is his favorite sport and Benjamin too...Also Dad is a good teacher because he grew up in Manhattan and one of the favorite game of the kids there too.I guess "football" is not on the top of his list anymore! Although he can run down the players name quickly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Went for lunch in Kiev and flea market in Svet Ochin today..

We found this guy very interesting with his skin head hair mohawk and cork screw beard..and strange earring on the other side..not sure what he represents at his age...

This morning we went to apply for the passport & get Marco's photo done..So we are hoping for the passport by Thursday earlier enough to get a 3:00 appointment at the US Embassy...No longer can you have your appointment & get the visa in the same day. This we can then get Friday and take Marco to see the Doctor and be able to fly home Saturday 5:35 am~!! Here is also a picture of the metro.

Then we met with Mary & Blake for lunch and took the metro to Svet Ochin to hit the flea market..It was so so cold..we bought some scarves...We managed to have some laughs though despite the cold..Here is a picture of the people I drove crazy for the tights for my girls..They have very thick tights here like in Russia when we were there back in 2005. The man from Afghanistan translated for me a few times with the lady who had the tights..He is so nice & funny..He is here with his wife && son..He so much wants to go to America..I guess it's hard to get a visa to go...At least he is out of his own country...I am sure he is thankful. I find it amazing how people are the same all over the world..We also met a nice couple at Marco's orphanage adopting a little girl..Marco speaks Italian so they had a very good conversation & he tried to communicate with me & for me...this was funny..Then my translator came over & translated for Marco to me...a train of languages..They were so nice & very much like us...trying to get the info on this little girl and how her personality was..I love to meet people and talk to different people from all over the world..

Biological Mom & Dad

Here is one photo I tried to take a picture of to show you Marco's bio parents...The flash was causing a glare, it made a ray of sunshine from heaven on his mother..

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brown Bread Bun at McDonalds here...Very tasty & healthy!

Official Gotcha Day!

Today was our official Gotcha Day! The pictures are in the wrong order..We ate at McDonalds to celebrate..this was Marco's choice. We brought candy , chocolates, cake, fruit and beverages for the farewell party but the kids were in school yet...So we left it for them to have afterwards...Marco was anxious to leave, so off we went to Kiev to pick up the country tax code which was ready already! So tomorrow we go to the passport office to have Marco's picture scanned and they will tell us when we can pick it up! We may be flying home Saturday if we can get it by Friday morning and then have our US Embassy appointment. The Doctor's clearance for Marco might also be done Firday...Will update on this tomorrow...Meantime I got him off the computer. and on the TV checking out sports & now snakes! I call him Computer Hog and he laughs! He looked up the translation and it is Computer Swine...Funny to him..


This is the wonderful man who took care of Marco for 3 years after his Mother died....He is a very nice man. He also gave me pictures of Marco's mother & father and of his wife with Marco when he was a few years younger. Also more information about them..I am so grateful we needed this paper from him so I got my questions answered..We will see him this week in Kiev for him to say good-bye to Marco...what a happy ending....

Care Takers at Baby House in Vorzel...

I am finished with Baby House #1 hair are some of the ladies I did while there...I will go to Baby House #5 on Wednesday with Pastor Sasha...Looking forward to seeing the ladies from where my Milena & Lilli Luda are from...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Hello from a cab this morning and went to Almaz can visit their one website in
It was nice to be amongst other believers and I enjoy their service very much..Today the other Pastor preached and I had a translator again but this time through a mic in my ear...State of the art! Afterwards I hung out for a while and met a few people who came over wanting to speak English and meet me. They had heard of me through pastor Sasha and because we adopted from Vorzel region three children with Down Syndrome..These people work during the summer with the mission teams translating and helping. They have an English group that meets every Saturday night, so they want me to join them and speak English and eat! So we may go to this...I will have Marco with me starting tomorrow for good! So he has called me from his cell phone I got him..and I can tell he is very excited..He is going over the schedule and the family members and pets in English..What ever we can't figure out in English..we try it in a little Russian or Italian..A dozen or so words from each language and you can put together a paragraph! So we have some laughs over these silly conversations we are having.

This Saturday Almaz Church is having another large I may be going if we are still here! There is a possibility we could travel home Saturday, but with the new twist on the passport issue I think it will be Tuesday March 1 st or 2 nd for sure..Looking forward to landing in America..We will bring Marco's sealed envelope from the US Embassy to Immigration and they will process him as a US citizen at that time...Once he hits US soil he is automatically a citizen..Soon after they process his papers..we will receive his certificate of citizenship in the mail with a letter from the president welcoming him to our Country. He will hold dual citizenship until he is 18 years of age and then can choose which one he wants. I have a feeling it will be America.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marco's room at the orphanage and having Lunch today in the kitchen on his floor..


Yesterday I was picked up by my adoption team and headed to region....What a full schedule we had...we were able to get there early and drop off Marcos original birth certificate to get replaced, but they wanted a few things notarized and we had to come we ever so carefully walked on the ice to find a cafe...finally found one to kill some time..had some great ideas and discussed them for vacation tours, adoption and Euro Nannys... when I get back I have some advertising to do..LOL
We ate and laughed and then made our way over the ice hanging on tight to each other not to fall...picked up our documents and birth certificate and headed back to the city and applied for our tax code and stopped at the passport office to get the latest info there...So today Natasha & I traveled back up to region today and started the passport process which has a new paper needed before we are okayed for the passport...SO when we got there Natasha fought her way into the I waited I met a man I saw at the flea market 1/2 way back towards the city..What a nice man..Not sure what country he is from..maybe India...He was very helpful while I shopped for tights with the lady next to him...He speaks pretty good English.. So I promised I would buy something from him for helping.. I bought this little collapsible chair..tiny thing...he was this office for something to do with his passport too. He said it is hard to get his family out of the country..

I feel bad for the people trying to make a living here..I really don't know how some of them survive ..They make $100-500 per month for most average careers..$3-500 is with an education...and the costs of things are the same as home for the most part...very hard on the people here..Many die young from the stress and no insurance and not able to get health care they need.

Which brings me to today...we thought we were going to have trouble with the passport because Marco was not registered anywhere as far as an address..the office told us we would have to try to go back to the house he lived for some time after his mother's death..This was a scary thought..what if the person was not the same and moved..what if they would not cooperate....our nice cab driver took us there and waited...we found it! A little house with a fence in the village where Marco was born...I took a quick picture before we got to the door..which then opened quickly..we were nervous..we heard a dog bark..we were afraid he would be mean...
Out stepped a tall thin weathered man about 60 years old...Natasha went on to explain why we were there with her brief case in hand,,I know this looked intimidating, but we were more intimidated then he was...He was a gentle man and was willing to help us..what a was so cold waiting outside his door while he looked for his papers..He then came back and told us they were down the street at a friends house...
So off we went in the taxi and picked up his folder....He was leary at first he said but he was fine once I started to cry...The questions I was hoping to get answered came from this man... I needed to know how Marco's mother died and when and why...These answers could help me mother him and nurture him from what I figured was a painful past. Sure enough I heard the words I really didn't want to...His mother died at 32 years old of TB....He was with her when she died and was crying and crying saying what will I do now....I lost it at that point...I was broken thinking of a 7 year old boy crying over his mother's dead body so discouraged... I now know what he needs from me and his new Papa...He seems to be pretty well adjusted despite his past, but we at least have some information to work with while we love him and help him develop into a stable young man... He is a doll..He not only is a gorgeous child, but he is a loving child and a respectful, helpful boy. We are looking forward to get him home with the kids while we all start nurturing his spirit that he so long deserves and needs. His mother was also they lived with her friend when she died . This is when this man Aleksander and his wife took Marco in. His mother's friend ran to his house to call the ambulance and then they went over to console Marco... Marco lived with them for the next 3 years..Later on Aleksander's wife took ill and could not care for Marco and they put him into the orphanage. Soon after, his wife died. He didn't want to invite us in he told us later because he said there has been no woman cleaning here since she died..We assured him that was ok and we understood..

Aleksander came with us to the passport office to try to settle this problem and walked into the building and could not was very dim..common for offices here to save electric. He later told us he has glaucoma and needs cateract surgery. They do not have medical insurance and to get this surgery will cost $800. I thought that was pretty reasonable considering the prices in the US..Not a lot for us but for them it is out of their income range and he probably won't get the surgery anytime soon...I can't imagine not being able to see well and he operates some equipment for one of is jobs and parking cars for another..Sounds like a Tricky Tray fund raising event for Aleksanders eye surgery in my future...

On our way back from our busy cold day we stopped off to see Marco and bring him lunch and a cheap cell phone so he could call me and play games. He called me earlier..This was comical..I know about as much Russian as he knows English...we managed to talk a little and then he had something to he will come here for good to be with me on Monday! Gotcha Day.... We will pick him up after we meet with Aleksander again trying to get to the bottom of the address problem. This problem is a first for our team, but all will work our fine they said.

I am exhausted and so I will be going to bed early and sleep in tomorrow. Be back then for more details...

Been running...

Well I am back finally I can rest..I have been so busy and that is good..Last I blogged was Thursday.. I went to Pastor's house for dinner..I had a great time..Also had Nadya there form their church..She translated for me at the orphanage during the summer while I did hair..
She is a doll..Had great lasagna Olya made with turkey... and a very interesting desert pastry that was also very good.
Helped Pastor set up an American
So please check it out..I also set up a chip in for a huge need they have.. This need is for a vehicle to fit their whole family...They now have 4 children and not enough room in the car for them...and while he started to drive me home..the back door was not this is not safe. They are trying to have a work van converted from Germany which is the cheapest way to go. They will add the windows & the seats to it. This van will also be used with their church and picking up missionaries form the airport.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fun Filled Day Today!

Well I thought I would not be doing much turns out it was a great full day...My landlord came and showed me a fews things about the apartment and brought me a knife..I only had a butter knife...

After this I made my way up to the metro platform to meet Mary & Blake Malone...
We took the blue line and went to Dominoes Pizza where I was treated to lunch..yes Dominoes..Just like home! Well then we walked around looking for the street to St. Andrew's Church and the SDA so Blake could pick up some souvenirs...I think we missed it so we took that monorail thingy that goes almost straight up! And I survived..LOL Was pretty short and we were at the top close to where we needed to be..

I met up with the salesman from the booth of many bargains! Picture attached for those coming from this guy....Funny guy and speaks English...We tried on some Fox hats as you can see in the pictures also..Don't Mary & I look smashing?!

I bought my usual key chain and passed on the $100 hats...we proceeded to walk up the street and stopped at a few more places to check out their items and ended up in a quaint coffee shop for some cheese cake and tea...We really needed to warm up too...It got really cold when the sun went down...

We got a nice walk in today, like everyday...and we then went our separate ways until Saturday...we will head to the orphanage and see if the inspections are over...
Then we will stop off at Marco's orphanage and visit him...and head back to Kiev..

Enjoy the pictures from today...I am headed out now to dinner at Pastor Sasha's house and will blog some more later...

Cornish Family

This is a post from a friend I met in country, she did a great write up and compiled a lot of info..I just had to share..

Whispers in your ear
Have you, as a parent or adoptive parent of a disabled child ever had one of these things said to you?

God gave you that child because He knew you could handle it. I never could do what you do.
You chose the road you're walking, so it's your own fault if everything's not what you thought it would be.
I told you it would be hard and here you are coming crying back to me when you didn't have to have/adopt the child in the first place.
You adopted them, you take care of them. It's not up to your community to help you to raise those kids.
If you knew life was going to be this hard for you wouldn't you have turned around before you adopted that child?
Your friends don't like you anymore because they think it's too loud at your house when you're on the phone.
Don't complain about your situation, you got there on your own.
Whatever problems you're dealing with- just remember that someone else has it worse.
Why would you ever encourage anyone else to intentionally do what you do and adopt those kids when looking at your family it's obviously hard?
Did they tell you your kids would be like they are before you adopted them or did they lie just to get you to take them off their hands?
Sorry, I can't help you because quite frankly your son scares me.
I don't see how your husband hasn't left you yet after you got all those kids. Isn't he tired of it all?
God might want us to take care of orphans, but He didn't say to invite them all back to your house. He only meant to make sure the ones closeby don't starve.
Why would you go adopt a kid over seas when there are so many waiting kids in Foster care in the USA that need families? Other countries should take care of their own kids too.
Are you ever going to stop???
Are they all yours???
And the most profoundly STUPID comment that I have ever heard (and yes, was directed at me though some of the above are ones friends shared with me)...
Why didn't she stop having kids after the first one was born retarded?

First, let me say very clearly and very STRONGLY...

Those words are not from God, and are NOT a 'message' from God. Those words are meant to kill, steal, and destroy and those things come from only one place (John 10:10).

Next, let me share this:
God intends for everyone. EVERYONE. EVERYONE. to take care of the orphans. James 1:27 says that pure and faultless religion is that which cares for the widows and orphans. It isn't a "take this, leave that" type of salad bar. It's something everyone is told to do.

Just because you listened when God called you and someone else hasn't been called in the same way doesn't mean that it is any less his responsibility to care for orphans than yours. It doesn't mean everyone should adopt. It doesn't mean no one should. It doesn't say take care of the orphans next to you. It says to care for those in their distress.

So here's what I'm claiming. When it comes to your disabled or adopted children, if it is not edifying and does not build up the Kingdom of God and His people, then let the words of others roll off of your back like oil on water because their words are not spoken in the Truth according to God's Word.

And. Right, I'm not done. :)

And, if you need help, even if you've "chosen" this road. Even though you're the one that didn't terminate your pregnancy, didn't walk away from the disabled child. Even though you're the one that chose to adopt a special needs child-- or five. Even if your own choices somewhere are mixed up into the family that you have (or if they aren't!) remember... always remember... that asking for help is not admitting defeat. In fact, it's very different.

Asking for help means admitting you cannot do it alone.

If I remember correctly, God doesn't intend for man to be alone and therefore He created woman. God doesn't intend for us to raise our families alone. He doesn't intend for us to wear ourselves down until there's nothing left to give because we won't ask for help or won't accept help if it's offered. He doesn't intend for us to put ourselves into the darkness because we've not had any sleep and we feel like we can't ask anyone to help us out since this "is our problem". God doesn't intend for us to end up in dark places because we're caring for a child with a disability or because we're caring for an orphan. He says to DO. And He knows we need help.

God won't give you any more than you can handle.

God DOES give us more than we can handle. ALONE.

He always gives us more than we can do by ourselves because without that dependency on Him we might not know to call out to Him.

God never gives us more than we can handle WITH HIS HELP.

And if someone that you've asked for help is feeding you those lines at the top of this post, remember that they are not speaking out of God's Word. They're speaking out of their own selfish hearts. Forgive them, and look to another source that has a close walk with God and will help you or find the help you need.

You don't have to be alone, and you don't have to hide. You're answering a calling that God's placed on your life and He doesn't intend for it to ruin you, but for it to bless you in the direction that He wants to direct your life.
Posted by Meredith at 2/16/2011 08:15:00 PM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love this one too Jo..


Borrowed this from an Old & dear friend who shares my name too!


Visit with Marco...

Visited with Marco yesterday...I was driven to the orphanage by our facilitator & this was a nice break from walking in the cold & busy train & bus...It is very cold here about 7-20 degrees, so waiting 30 minutes for the bus can hurt after a while! I am wearing cuddle duds and gortex boots and gloves & all that..but the thighs were starting to tingle after that amount of time waiting for the bus...I did miss the one also by not realizing there are some blue now that go where I am I watched it go and tried to motion to stop...but not happening LOL

So Marco is a typical 13 year old wanting either my cell phone from home..or the Ukrainian dinosaur phone that I am using while here..He likes the games on them and looked a little sad or bored I said what is it? Internet??? LOL He cheered right up!! He has had a dose of internet at my apartment so this cell phone game must have been boring! He will stay in the orphanage this weekend because he will come out Monday for good with me..So this is ok with me too...I want him to be excited and have something to look forward to...I can go visit him there. While he played the cell phone game I was taking pictures, silly pictures of us..once in a while he'd look up..

The picture of the woman is named Vera...She lives in the basment of the orphanage..She was an orphan at this same place and so they let her work there and live there as well..She is so sweet..She has some special needs and she loves the stuffed animals I brought her. I will give her some more of my things so no tot have to carry a lot home. Yesterday there was perfume sales lady there and she bought me some! It smells very nice too..So SO Sweet she is..When I get home I will continue to send her letter and things just for her..I would take her home with me too if I could I think she'd need a visa ..she could help me with the kids..She would be missed at the orphanage though because she is so kind to the kids. She helps them too besides cleaning. I will adopt her from a far and sponsor her on my own and send her things from America. She could be my Nanny !..I will check this out!! I just love her..

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A good friend here...

I had dinner with good friends the other night and here is a picture they took and just emailed of me with Katya.....We look somewhat alike..and when I was younger I looked like her daughter Ana..Hard to believe but yes...I was once young and gorgeous! I wouldn't trade my life for anything though...It's all worth the wear are tear..LOL I feel so blessed to be able to be doing what we do and have all of our beautiful children and Wonderful husband!

Marco on Valentines Day....

I only was able to have a short visit on Valentines Day with Marco...Had a long day doing hair and left by the time I left Marco's orphanage it was starting to get dark..So this was different for me traveling at night..having to find the bus stop to get off in the dark by yourself..But I did it..I even tried a new one for me being alone..which I did get off with my translator once.. It is the last stop on the metro, so I get into the city faster not having to take the bus longer and wait with it's It was a success thankfully because I was also trying to meet with friends in my neighborhood..I made it down the famous Kreshatik street to meet the other families at TGI Fridays and was 30 minutes late, but the one family came in after..They hit the traffic by we all had a nice dinner and I posted the picture previously.. I wanted to bring something to Marco for Valentines Day and the Ladies at the orphanage had given me a huge box of I passed it on to him...They saved the day..They are so sweet feeding me & bring me tea all day...Ready to go back when the inspection is over there and finish the many ladies still waiting..

A few ladies posing after their hair doos...They were so happy..

Break from Hair doos..

Right now in the orphanage there are inspections going I will on hold until about Thursday or so...Gives me a break from walking and the cold..It was about 5 degrees earlier, and now just walking back from lunch was about 17.

As I stood waiting for my friends, In noticed all the beautiful coats. This must be the coat capitol of the world..All different colors and fabrics, textures and designs and patterns. Dyed real fur collars are just beautiful..Lots of fur coats and faux fur. I see why, it is very cold here...Most people walk everywhere too..So the animal fur is the warmest. The hats to match are exotic and everyone looks well dressed.

Years ago only black or grey coats were some of the coats were multi-colored like art with a teal fur collar to match..

Dinner at TGI Fridays with The Malones & The Lanes

Dinner at TGI Fridays with The Malones & The Lanes

Colder in Kiev..

Colder today then yesterday..I wrote a whole post and it went into cyber I will have to blog up another...Right now waiting for the Lane family to stop by with some food they can't take with them to their next region..then I will walk with them to where they are having lunch and have beverage, and then move on to meet with Mary Malone for the Ukrainian buffet lunch..They have it all there and atmosphere too! I will take pictures and post later today..

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cold in Kiev...

Hoping I don't get is very cold here tonight & tomorrow even colder..13 degrees and tomorrow night it will be 1 degree..Woo Hoo..My face was hurting this morning when we headed out to the store..

Tomorrow will be brisk walking to the metro. Then waiting for the bus...Going to try to finish up Baby House #1 hair doos so I can move down to # 5 for 2 days and then finish off in #2..It will be nice to see the Head doctor there..we have been in contact over the winter.

Right down the street from me is a church up on a hill...I see the red Cross nuns walking to it and I see a vacant lot in front if it...There is at least one man living there in this cold...This morning I saw him and once before when my husband was here, standing up sleeping..There is also a dog house/wooden box with a chained dog there..I think maybe another person or two are living in the other corner..I don't know how they can survive this cold..each time I go to the store I check, I will leave them our clothes...Ruben went back with nothing. He can have whatever grivnas I have left..I think I heard there is some kind on controversy about this lot and wanting to buid on it and people are staying there to picket..

Picking up some items tomorrow on my way home for The Folio family Tricky Tray coming up..That is if I am home !! You never know with adoption what will happen...I sure plan on being home by then...Hi Lariss!

My 3 Ukraine girls waiting back home for Mommy!

Some pictures from Botanical Gardens in Kiev...

Won't be very clear, I took a picture of the picture on my camera for now so you had something to view until I get home..Need to download Pantech driver once home..


Home Alone...

Just got back from Almaz Church 4 stops on the metro..We took a cab early this morning with a friend/translator Nadya..It was nice to see her again. This is the church our Pastor friend preaches at & what a great sermon today..I had a young man translate the whole service for me..It was very nice. It was great to fellowship and expose Marco to the gospel in his own language..It was the first thing on my list of things to do back in the USA, but he got the blessing of hearing it in his own language..I am sure it sounded strange to him coming from a religion who does not solely trust in Christ and live by faith and not by your works.

I will attempt to download & post a picture from a new camera I bought here yesterday...The rest of this day is for me to figure out how to download the Samsung driver I need to download my phone pictures..I have some beauties that I took & also Marco took at the Botanical Gardens here. Giant cactus plants I haven't see anywhere else like this..

I will also be just resting up today..Many muscles have been used lately that haven't been in a while..Walking walking is great..I am breathing in lots of fresh air into the lungs too! I can hear my Old Polish grandmother though ice in your drink and put your kerchief on...Most people here do not take ice in their drinks..even at I recall this from my grandmother that this is one of the reasons I cough...It may be true if you are not used to it..but not sure if that's the case for sure.I had one man trying to ask me if my doctor knows I drink Coca cola? I was buying it a store in Vorzel...and it came out of the not sure why, but I told him I never told my doctor..and he and the other lady looked at each other like I was drinking poison...Well I have heard from our old homeopathic doctor that it is very bad and so I exchanged the coke for a water...they seemed happy that I was prolonging my life...I figured they must know something I don't..

I am off to Vorzel by train tomorrow morning bright & early...I hope to meet the Malones again..Had a nice day with them yesterday and like spending time& talking with them. We have a lot in common with our large families.

I am also enjoying the alone time..I miss my husband & family back home very much and look forward to the day I book our flights home..but the trip is also a respite and I can regroup and go back with a fresh & appreciative outlook on my family..Marco is back at the orphanage for school..I will see him on my way back to Kiev everyday this week...Then the farewell party on Saturday and he will come with me for the duration of the trip.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snowing in Ukraine...

The weather was colder today and we had snow showers almost all day...sometimes heavy and sometimes light..we went venturing out today anyway...We met Natasha and the Malones at the Metro station and then walked to the Water Museum...And what a walk...up hill and up many stairs...but it was worth it... the water museum was fun and Marco seemed to be their most interested spectator..

I have a picture of him standing in a giant bowl and a huge bubble was brought over and around him..I did it too...was really neat. Not able to down load pictures off of my phone...but I did get a digital I will post other pictures tomorrow night..I will post all the pictures I can't get at now once I get home..

Marco is adjusting well with me...I think he is already very comfortable. He is like a typical 13 year old and wants to be on my lap top or phone playing a game...He loves American Sun Flower seeds.. He is very helpful and looks to make sure I am ok..He eats almost anything and things I wouldn't expect but then again I am in his territory and what may be strange foods to me is not to him...I call it a mature diet or taste for food.

Tomorrow morning we will be picked up by our friends and spend the day with them and have lunch... Later in the day Marco will return back to the orphanage with the clothes he came in.. Those clothes will be left behind and I have a bag there already for his real gotcha day outfit and outerwear.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Picked up Marco today from his orphanage..He is having a good time..skyping with the kids at home and playing with the cell phone...playing on the lap top..He took a nice hot bubble bath ..something he hasn't done in a few years. He is chewing up our American sunflower seeds like mad..He fits right in with the family..When we skyped the first time..Olivia was chewing and so was Marco when they looked at each and laughed..They each held up their bag from across the globe..Would make a great commercial for Davids sunflower seeds..The sunflower seeds that they eat here are black and no salt...they are ok..but nothing like ours..What a mess of seeds & shells we have over here..they are even in the lap top keys..LOL..I don't even think he took a breath between seeds..

Had a nice visit today with Olya...we caught up on the past few months and I got to see their beautiful new baby and had some laughs & brunch..I will see them on Sunday and Tuesday of next week..They are coming to United States and invited us to come see them and meet their other friends there who also have a few children with Downs... we hope to see them in Virginia mid-late March if possible...We are putting together a fund raiser and will add it to others who are doing the same to help with their new needs and ministry.

I really enjoyed having her here today all to was good fellowship and are looking forward to have them meet Marco and share the gospel with him..

Tomorrow we are headed to the museums and I think we 'll take a's going to be cold and some snow... Going to go to bed early because I didn't get much sleep last night due to drinking iced tea for dinner and the prowler from across the hall! He ended up being a "foreigner" like myself accidentally trying to open the wrong door and it was an ok is good and I plan on sleeping well...Marco is used to going to bed early anyway..
It feels very comfortable having him around and the kids are bonding via skype by sending each other little icons and eating cave cute. Every now and then one will grunt or smile and another will speak a word in their native tongue...
Marco had his first dinner at McDonalds...He ordered a Big Mac and fries and Fanta as they say here...I ordered him chicken nuggets to taste and here they also have fried cheese..yummy with cranberry sauce...I had the Ukrainian dark bread quarter pounder...That was great and I will have it again a few more times...The bread is heavy and dark almost the same color as the burger...Very good..I bet we'll not see that for a few years in the USA. They also have potato wedges..but I didn't try them yet...and I think crepes for breakfast..might want to go there early since we are meeting Natasha right by the metro there...
That's it for tonight...We will skype home one more time before bed...This is the best part so far..seeing the kids loving each other already from afar!

Skipping Hair at Vorzel today...

I made contact with our Pastor friend and his we are meeting today here at my apartment..Just finished straightening up and getting some food ready..I am a little tired though from not sleeping well...I finally decided I have 3 locks..they really can't get it because one is a bolt from inside...So I went to bed with my scissors and hair spray ...Hair spray makes great mace! Always felt pretty safe at the beauty shops with our hair sprays and Hot curling irons...LOL

I will be getting together with Sasha & Olya this month a few times..they will be taking me to Vorzel on Wednesday so I won't have to take the metro and bus that day...a nice break from walking too...You do a lot of walking here in the city...I don't realize how much I don't walk until I get here...out of shape ! After about a week or two it is amazing how my stamina improves...also my breathing..Must have something to do with my activity induced asthma...second hand smoke and hair increased my allergies since I was young.

I may try to buy a cheap camera today since I can't down load my pictures from my phone until I am home, so I will post those pictures later on.

Have a pretty busy schedule ...Today is GOTCHA DAY! for the weekend! Natasha & I will bring Marco here, but not before McDonalds! So I'd like to have a picture of this day having McDonald's for the first time...He is a good this I mean healthy eater.. The whole country is that way because they don't use preservatives in the foods and make everything from scratch.. so it is a pleasure eating here...May have something to do with my food allergies getting better while here too. Cutting out some junky additives and white flour. Even the McDonald's here has a dark bread bun for one of the I will be trying that one today...It is for a limited time only..LOL Had to just add that!

When we get back to the apartment..Marco can take a hot bath and then I will cut his hair!! Long time over due.....The just realx make dinner he can watch the TV and go on the computer..we will be skyping home for a long time this weekend..

Tomorrow we will head out to the Water Museum here in Kiev...then the Botanical Gardens...Not sure about Sunday...but 1 plan is to see Pastor Sasha & his family sometime in that day and then return Marco to the orphanage for school the next day.

Monday is back to Vorzel!!! Lots of hairdoos to do...Then to visit Marco on my way back to the city..
Tuesday Back to Vorzel...back to Marco....then my friends for dinner...
Wednesday Vorzel again with my friends..back to Marco...back to the city!
Thursday Vorzel andd back to Marco....This will make his 10 th day of the waiting The next day is the REAL GOTCHA DAY!!
Saturday we will have a farewell party for Marco with his class mates. There are 17 of them...I will buy a cake & some juice...and we carried over lots of candy that I 've been collecting for the orphanage since Christmas...Great bargains I got..10 cents and 25 cents...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Had a scare!

Someone tried opening my door about 45 minutes ago....I yelled HEY! and they stopped I went to the peep hole and they were closing the door across the hall very quietly...I called my translator & she called the landlord here to find out about this apartment across the hall...SHe then called the other land lord and they are not answering the phone over maybe they are drunk...hopefully..I was caught off guard and I am now I am ready for them! LOL I'd like to put the fridge in front of the door though..but it's a little heavy! Just hoping I will get some sleep..I'll make some kind of Booby trap! LOL

Another great Full Day!!

Just got back to my apartment about 6 pm. Started off meeting the Malone Family in front of the Metro on Kreshatik St. I love this family...they are so down to earth and just great...We have a lot of parallels in our lives, and it just feels good knowing there are families that share the same labor of love...

I huffed & puffed with my bag of hair supplies..& asthma! Most of my hair supplies were in Vorzel thanks to Meredith & the Lutz's who took them on the train before I left last trip..Thanks again for that...they had them under lock & key!
What a nice welcome I had and Mary M & I got to cruise around a little while the ladies were looking at clothes from a sales woman..I love those people..There was also one at Marco's orphanage yesterday...They have nice stuff. This afternoon there was a curtain sales man there and the ladies hair I did today chipped in and bought me one I was looking at!! That was so so nice of them...It is a beautiful curtain..with a valence too...They have beautiful curtains and table clothes here & in Russia.

Well Mary & I took some new pictures of 2 of the boys available and a few kids that are not..1 new one since I was there last..a little girl not available...
I did get to play a little with Misha who looked better than the last trip...He was in the playroom with no casts and walking around...and we got some new photos...Poor guy needs a Mommy quick..I will post his picture & email it to Reeces Rainbow for updates..He is so sweet.
The other sweetie was Andre,..he is also waiting for his Mommy too..It was really good to see all the ladies in the baby house...I will be able to spend a week in Vorzel doing hair and seeing all the ladies from our adoption. I should be able to get a lot of ladies done since I have the time. It was so much easier this time stopping at about the 10 th lady so I could finish up and get out by 2:30. Wasn't so hard on my feet this way too...last time it was overkill...On my feet in one place for about 10 hours with little to no breaks. Tomorrow I will return to the same Baby house by 8:30 or so with the Malones. Got to hand deliver a letter and pictures from Danielle ...They were so happy to see that! He looked so good with his glasses on...they really liked this..

Talked to our old translator from our 2009 adoption and will be meeting her next week sometime for dinner. I am keeping busy so I don't miss my family as much back home...Kind of hard..I think of them non-stop...

When I get back to the apartment at night I feel the emptiness from my husband not with me here anymore and get a little weepy...but I try then to do things I need to do like laundry, sort through mega candy, cookies & chocolates for Marco's farewell party next Thursday.. I have an official crying towel when the need happens..Better out then in! LOL Just skyped with the kids so the towel came in handy again after I hung up.
Marco is coming here I will straighten up and have his bed ready, which is one of those couches that folds open I think originated in Poland. I bought some dried sausage and kielbasa and ham and bread & cheese...& juice so far...I want to get some of their Presidents Yogurt..WOW is that good stuff..I had the strawberry one today...Need to get a dozen of those...yummy!
The food is very good here..some of the things I can pass on like the raw fish..and a few of their dairy products are much different. The milk is very different and thick...They have Keefer..which I can only drink flavored..and some other soft cheeses, sauerkraut and sour cream are different.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Had a Wonderful Full Day...

Started off in the orphanage waiting for Marco..but we were early...The social worker wants him to finish out his classes everyday...but he cannot even focus..He is ready to get out of there and I can't wait myself..It is a nice place, but he wants his new family. He is so excited asking questions about his brothers & sisters and dogs & cats...
He will be coming here for the weekend but must be back Sunday afternoon sometime. He will get to soak in the bath tub which he probably can't remember the last time he had that and he will get his haircut he has been holding out for Mama to do..

We will go to the grocery store for fruit & veggies & food. He is used to just bread & butter & tea for breakfast...I can top that!
We had lunch today at the Potato House in his town with Natasha. We walked there & back and it was a nice day...little cooler today though. Now we are having snow..I am glad Ruben left today when it was sunny & clear skies. He had a good flight to Germany...and he is now on the home stretch!

I came home from the orphanage by way of the metro and stopped to pick up another pair of shoes...My feet are too hot in my furry boots..I will need them this weekend though because the temps will drop below freezing.
Just had time to freshen up and was picked up to have dinner at Ivanna's parents home and see my "sister" Katya! So funny when I look at her pictures and see myself..
We laughed that we were separated at birth...It is nice to be in contact with them all year but to see them again in person is much better..We really have a good time and a lot of laughs. We did a little shopping near their house before dinner and we looked at more shoes..Instead I got a purse..I will be giving my present bag to Natasha because it is so I picked up another more casual one.

We ate a wonderful dinner and then skyped Darlena & Ivanna in Mississippi! That was great..Ivanna is doing so well and has many signs..I was very impressed! She is so happy in her new home..

we will begetting together again when Marco comes and go all around Kiev..
Saturday we will be going to a Water Museum here in Kiev..and Sunday Botanical Gardens to see the indoor plants, trees, and flowers. Then it's back to the orphanage where Marco will be sporting his new haircut!

I will be going to bed soon because I will be meeting the Malone Family at the Metro/Bus Stop to head to the orphanage of my 3 littles and doing hair until about 2 pm. Then I will go back to visit Marco a couple hours...

I will stroll through the metro flea market to see if I can find the cutest tights I saw back in November...They were chaneele like a fluffy sweater..They were so cute & looked warm..I did pick up a few pairs of other very thick tights that you can't get in America.
Well off to bed...I will be getting a 3:30 am text from Ruben when he lands in Newark NJ!! YAY! Home to the kids..I will rest better then..Good Night!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Golden Goof! ...... back to the airport...Our first mishap with them was the agent was sending my husband to a different airport where the car was not going to be parked! So I had him fix it...The second was when we got to the airport...and we had no tickets! I thought it was all confirmed with my credit card & exp.. which I emailed him and okayed the change to the right airport, to me this is a confirmation when I give out my credit card...he never booked the tickets! So we sat at the airport after all we had been through with Interpol thinking this just takes the cake! So the guy must have been in a frenzy while booking since we had no tickets....and charges an old friends credit card that traveled with us in 2009 that was in our file since then to boot! What the heck is going on..Most of us adopting use this same travel please check all your info when booking..this is 3 mistakes in one booking and we are not happy! He erroneously charged the wrong credit card.... NO ONE can authorize use of someone else's card! While he assures us all errors will be fixed and has now charged our correct credit card it is still aggravating.. Another day in the life of adoption...there is always something!

Marco with some friends...who by the way are available and very sweet quiet brothers..

They have a third brother in another place.

Busy Day today..

We started off nice & early and headed out to the notaries and US Embassy. Ruben had to do his part of the paper work and I did part of mine too! Our officer there was from America and very nice..We met another family who adopted a 14 year old girl and they were from State College PA...
We were in and out of there pretty we then got the bus to the metro to head out of the city to see Marco. He was just about getting out of his classes. If he has 6 classes in a day he is done by 1 :45. So he asked if I would please come earlier tomorrow so he can get out of German class! Children are the same all over the world..amazes I will be there about 11 am...He is going to fit right just feels so comfortable having him around. He looks like my biological children all mixed together.
We met a lot of kids from his school today. Some with families and some without. I met a little girl sucking her thumb peaking at me and smiling..Oh was she cute and so sweet I just wanted to hug her and mother her. There were some more girls in the craft class. We were on our way out so I will find out more tomorrow which ones were orphans and which ones have families. Some children live in this orphanage and have families that can't take care of them. Some children also now come just to go to school. I also got to see a woman who lives in the basement of the orphanage. She was also an orphan in this same place. So since she is not able to work or be alone they allow her to live in the basement and she cleans all around the orphanage and school. I gave her a stuffed dog yesterday and she was so so happy and hugging it. I will get her picture tomorrow.

A slouch on the couch! LOL Marco

Monday, February 7, 2011

Heading Out!

We are heading out now to meet Natasha and have Ruben do his part of the U>S> Embassy paper work. This paperwork is to clasify Marco as an immediate relative...

Then we are off to pick up Marco! I have his new clothes and he already had his new sneakers on yesterday. Everything should fit..Last trip I brought size 12 and it was a little small..So I have 14/16 and his coat is even one size bigger so it can fit with his (hoodie)sweatshirt. It is so amazing to me how different the children are in the orphanage. They really have nothing...and have not seen much either. Very wholesome and sweet. Looking forward to coming back to Kiev and taking him to McDonalds at 4 pm to meet with the Malone Family.

Just got back...

Went to TGI FRidays..met with Courtney & Mark & had a nice time...hopefully will meet again somewhere through our journey...

Here is a picture of the Court house we went to today in region. This was also the court for our 3 littles...Masha, Milena & Lilli Luda.