Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pictures Of Andrei Relaxing

Andrei and our two dogs have a love hate relationship.  They spend a lot of time barking at each other.  : )  This is a rare quiet moment together that only lasted as long as it took for me to take this picture.  They are so funny together.

He looks so cute with Madison's slippers!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have had a rough start, but things are getting better.  Andrei is sleeping through the night and taking naps without much difficulty.  He enjoys being hugged and snuggled, and he is beginning to ask for "lovesies" as he calls them.  Yesterday, he asked Randell for help without being prompted.  Eating is also getting better.  He is always willing to try something, but does not always like it.  We have found a few things that he is eating regularly; sticky rice, toddler turkey little "sticks", Rice Crispy cereal, Fruit Loops, chicken broth, any fruits, boiled eggs, and peanut butter sandwich today.  We tried baby food, oatmeal, malt-o-meal, and mash potatoes but did not have much success.

While we were going through the adoption process, I thought that was going to be the most difficult part.  The reality is that the work starts now.  Adoption is not sugar and spice and everything nice as Randell says.  It is hard work to bond for all of us, but it is worth every minute.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we bond as a family.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Update and Pictures of our First Week in the US

Loved McDonalds!

"Looking Cool!"

 Feeding the Ducks

He ate more bread than what he gave to the ducks.  : )

Fu n at the Park 

More Pictures of Kiev & Puppet Theater

Christmas was on January 7th, but a week later it is still being celebrated.  : )  Ukrainians love the holidays!

Pictures of the Children's Puppet Theater

Lots of Pictures of Gotcha Day

Sorry it took so long to post these.  I can't believe it has been almost 2 weeks since we were able to take Andrei out of the orphanage.  

The the other family in the picture is the Texan family we spent most of our time with.  The Henks also had their Gotcha Day for Roman.  Their family was truly a blessing to us.

Andrei and Roman look so cute!  The following day two more orphans would take their spots in the groupa.  I wonder who the new #11 toddler is.  There is such a great need for families who are able to care for all these little ones.

Down the newly remodeled hallway...

Down the stairs...

Out the door...

Into the taxi...

and... out the gates!

First Bath
He loved the shower head. 

First Meal...Ham and Scrambled Eggs

That is a mouth full!  : )

Andrei loved looking out the window at the cars going by.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We are all exhausted!

Transition has been difficult.  Andrei has been very frustrated, and he has had a lot of fits.  His world is upside down, and he must be so scared and frustrated.  Randell and I are stressed and emotionally drained.  Intellectually we know that what we are seeing is "normal" for a child whose world has just been ripped from under him, but emotionally it is not easy to deal with all day and night.  On a positive note, we were all able to sleep last night!  I am calling a counselor tomorrow to get some help for Randell and me.  We need some tools to help us deal with these behaviors and bond with Andrei.  Michelle, thank you for your advise and support tonight!!!

We took Andrei to his check-up today.  He needed two vaccinations and had blood taken.  We should get results in the next few days.  We were very thankful that the nurse spoke Russian.  I could see how comforting it was for him to be able to communicate with her.  The doctor completed a referral for Scottish Rite Hospital.  We hope to be accepted into their program and find out more information on the extent of Andrei's arthrogryposis and what will be the next steps towards improving the mobility of some of the afflicted joints.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated during this time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We are home!

Praise God!!!!  We are home!!!! Our flight was on time, and there were no delays.  None of our luggage arrived, but we were home and did not need anything from the suitcases that we did not already have.  It seems unreal that we are actually home with our son.  We are now a family of four!

Much like child birth, our flight home is an experience I hope to soon forget.  Andrei slept for only one hour, and the rest of the flight was not easy.  The flight was VERY difficult on all of us.  After hours of dealing with fits, screaming, and crying, I had a melt down on the plane and started crying into my pillow. 

He was exhausted by the time we got home, but he did a great job meeting everyone.  Randell's parents and Madison were waiting for us, and my sister and her family came by the house to see him for a little bit.  He has not let go of Madison since we got home.  So cute!  His eyes are always on her, and Madison has been a little mama.  Last night she was a little overwhelmed by his constant attention. We had a good talk about her role as a sister and making sure to take time for herself.  Please pray for her adjustment to the role of a big sister. 

The first night, he slept all night from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am.  Last night he woke up at three crying and after some rocking he went back to sleep.  I think that he is frightened when he wakes up and sees the strange surrounding.  Hopefully sleeping patterns will improve as he becomes more comfortable.

I apologize for not getting back to some of you who have called or sent a text message to check on how we are doing. I finally turned on my cell phone today.  There were so many text messages and emails, that I decided to leave the phone where it was and take it one day at a time. 

We are all really exhausted and Andrei is needing a lot of support as he is adjusting to a new environment and new set of expectations for behavior. My brain is too tired to think and really give you all an update of the last couple of days.  It might be next week before I post some pictures, but I promise to do so. We have a doctor's appointment on Thursday.  I'll try to post some info then.

Please continue to pray for Andrei's adjustment to a new home and our adjustment to him.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 30 –Traveling Back to Texas

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This is an early post for tomorrow.  I'll post our arrival in a couple of days.  : )

Our flight leaves at 6:45 AM. We will leave for the airport at 4:00 AM. Sooo early!!!

We will stop in Amsterdam at 8:45 AM. Our flight for Dallas leaves at 10:00 AM, and we arrive on Texas soil at 1:45 PM.

Please pray for safety, good weather, and Andrei sleeping through some of the flight. We can’t wait to get home!

Day 29 – Our Last Day in Ukraine!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today was cold and drizzling, but we braved the elements, got a taxi and went to McDonalds for breakfast. My arteries sang with joy as they were reintroduced to fast food. ; ) From there we walked to Independence Square and then to the Children’s Puppet Theater to see the show at 11:00. This area of town is gorgeous!

The theater was amazing, and it was a wonderful performance of the Ukrainian version of the Gingerbread Man. Andrei did great during the performance. He sat and watched most of the time and was taking it all in. He loved the fish tank they had in the waiting area. After the show he got to pick out a balloon. He chose one that looks like Minnie Mouse.

We wanted to do more walking around, but it was drizzling a lot, so we got a taxi back to our apartment. Tonight we hope to go to bed early and be ready for the airport at 4:00 AM.

I have a lot of cute pictures from today's outing with Andrei, but it would take all night to post them. The internet in the apartment is terrible. It takes a long time to post. I’ll try to post them after I am back in the US.