WE ARE HOME!!
and boy does it feel good!
We had an extra long Valentine’s Day this year since we were traveling…
32 hours to be exact! What a special gift we brought home with us!
I guess I will start from where I left off last time. ;)
I believe last time I wrote we were waiting for the 10 day wait to be over. Wow, that feels like a lifetime ago!! Well, believe it or not, it DID eventually end…we were doubtful it ever would! haha! During that wait we did a lot of “not much”! It was super cold and snowy, with some warmer days mixed in, so we only ventured out with Joseph about once a day. (Darrel would go out more often foraging for food, etc.) Almost everyday Joseph would wake up and say, “Momma, (or Poppa) neyt outside.” –He was very nervous and scared when we would venture outside of our little cocoon.
Another reason we didn’t go out very many times a day was the struggle it was just getting outside!
Joseph’s favorite thing to do when we DID go out was take pictures. We have a camera FULL of “machinas” (cars) and the Dnepro River! When we were in the apartment his favorite thing was playing on the iPad or tablet. He would not even want to take potty breaks or eat. Since we have come home he has a time limit on his computer playing and has discovered so many things. Each day Joseph has been with us we have seen him grow. He was a VERY brave boy to come with us (that is another story I will tell another day) but EVERYthing we did was new to him. So there was the fear of the unknown. Stores were scary. People staring at him made him uncomfortable. (I agree!) Going from office to office was boring, yet unknown, so scary. Food was strange. (Even though we tried to feed him what the facilitators said he would like.) And the list goes on.
We were finally able to continue on “finishing up” the adoption on February 1st. On February 2nd we spent 17 hours getting Joseph’s new birth certificate in his home city, Donetsk. That involved taking a 4 hour train ride there, driving around and going to some offices, touring the city for hours, going to a mall to wait for the train, and then the 4 hour train ride back to our original city. It was a very long day!
Monday, Feb. 4th Darrel and our facilitator went back to Donetsk to finish paperwork there. Joseph and I stayed at the apartment and had the best day we had together up to that point. :) At the beginning of our time together Joseph could only relate with one person at a time. So, when a Russian speaker was around that person was “it”. Joseph would not only ignore Darrel and me, he would be mean, too. When it was just the three of us then Darrel was next in line. I was on the bottom rung! Honestly, it was not much fun, but I tried to be the adult and realize that it was most likely because of how he had lived in his orphanage and the institution. Each day got better and by the time we were on our way home he realized that I was not so bad after all. Now that we are home things are going much, much better. I think he is realizing that I love him and am not going to hurt him. I think it has also helped that we are now in a family setting. The world no longer solely revolves around what he wants. :)
Tuesday, Feb. 5th we did more adoption related stuff and visited the orphanage for the last time. It was pretty anti-climatic. From January 18th when Joseph started living with us until Feb. 5th we had to go back to the orphanage three or four times. Each time Joseph would get quiet and nervous, but never asked to go back or acted sad to leave. The last time we went Joseph was aware that it would be his last time, but he did fine. All of the school age kids were in school, but there were a few older boys around. Joseph asked one of them to give Vlad a message for him. (We don’t know what he said.)
Our Embassy and medical appointments were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of the next week. We went Monday and all went fine. It was nice to see the American flag waving at the Embassy!! Tuesday we got ready to go to the medical appointment and were called with the news that the office was closed for the day, which meant we would need to go back on Wednesday instead. We were pretty disappointed and felt sick that we had already gotten flights home for Wednesday morning. We were able to move things around and get our flights changed to Thursday…for a price!
Our flights went from Kiev to Munich, then Munich to Houston. We left our apartment around 3:30 am and arrived in Houston about 18 hours later–2 pm the same day! It was nice to have only one layover and change planes once. Joseph liked the little computers (of course) and played around with his and watched movies most of the longer flight. He FINALLY decided to take a nap about a half hour before we landed! During the entire trip he would ask every so often, “America?!” It was a little anti-climatic landing and getting off the plane with him sleeping! :)
Darrel’s parents and our kids all met us in the airport. We had a WONDERFUL time on the ride home with our four other kids that we had missed so much! Joseph played around for a few minutes, meowed and promptly fell asleep. (The kids thought that was funny!)
So, now we are home and ready to rumble! Joseph is learning so much and everything is an adventure.