Thursday, June 28, 2012

We've Got Them!

Where to begin?
I am sitting at the bar in the kitchen of our apartment in Kiev looking out the window.  Rachel is out on the balcony painting her nails because she can.  Both the little boys are asleep.  Let's just say we are enjoying our little time of peace and quiet.  I wish I could post pictures-- behind me lie two of the cutest and sweetest little boys all snuggly in their jammies-- their very own jammies.
That in itself is a beautiful miracle.
These boys are forever with their family.

Let me back up a bit.
After running back and forth literally, to the bank, to the passport office, back to the bank, to the orphanage, back to the bank, back to the passport office, we finally had the passports in hand.
We withdrew the money from the boys' bank accounts to give as the customary orphanage donation.  My jaw nearly dropped to the floor when I saw that together they had 49,000 grivna equivalent to over $6,000 in their accounts.  And we gave it all to the orphanage since I was told that is what is always done.
Strange that I thought the customary orphanage donation was $1,000-- I guess I was wrong.  I did request that the money be spent on surgery for the kids. 

We really didn't have time to throw a going away party of any sort, but we did get to videotape Oliver and Nolan with their groupa and caretakers.  We also got pictures.  And what is really nice is that I brought another toy to see about an exchange for the white giraffe and after explaining why I wanted it, the caretakers just gave it to me and told me to keep the other toy too.  Yay!  Oliver still prefers that giraffe over any other thing I brought.

We didn't have but an hour to get everything packed and loaded into the car so that we could head to the train.  Just enough time to pick up an extra preventative inhaler for John and some melatonin for Nolan.  Since train tickets were about sold out, we had to get first class ones if we wanted to ride the train Wednesday night.  If you ask me, the extra $60 was well worth the air conditioning, free coffee in the morning, extra pillows, extra bedding, complimentary toiletry packet, and the clean smelling bathroom stalked with toilet paper, soap, and a rug.

Oliver had come alive since leaving the orphanage but he was still a content, cuddlebug.  Nolan however was quite active and curious about everything.  I was thankful for the pencil box I brought with a few crayons and paper.  I added an empty tic tac container, a few squares of a cut up blanket, and some scrap pieces of paper and suddenly it was his treasure that he packed and unpacked at least a dozen times.  He stopped to go to the bathroom which Rachel offered to take him.  She came back saying he was scared to use the toilet.  I solved the problem by going and showing him that Mommy can use the toilet and still live and right after he went.  This boy is really potty trained!

We ate dinner which was not an easy feat to prepare.  The bowl of instant mashed potatoes for Nolan was simple enough-- just add water from the big semavar and stir.  I was very thankful for thinking to save the plastic spoons from our plane trip over.  However, making Oliver's dinner was a bit more challenging.  After hearing that Oliver had a very special diet of a certain dried milk in his cream of wheat made with boiled water and nothing else, I was a bit nervous.  But hey, I have been a Mommy for nearly 18 years to just as many children so I didn't fret too much.  And of course our little chub-a-lub didn't complain one bit.
But he did spit up a bit after eating and has been ever since. :(

After dinner we tried to wind things down.  Oliver was content to just lay near us and chew on his beloved white giraffe, but Nolan wanted to stand up on the beds, look in the mirrors, and take off and put on his shoes about twenty times.  He pulled off his socks one time to clean the toe jam between his toes.  That made us smile.
Finally after he spilled his water from running back and forth on one of the beds I got out the melatonin and crushed it to mix in his juice.  Then Rachel and I waited to see what would happen.  Call it coincidence but within 10 minutes he was much calmer and Rachel and I decided to lay down and close our eyes to go to sleep.  Nolan had a little packet of tissues from the train and kept squeezing it making a noise.  He kept doing it as he lay down and rested.  He probably squished that tissue packet for 15 minutes as he finally dozed off to sleep.
Then around midnight,Oliver woke up and cooed for an hour while we slept.  Awww, so our little boy has a voice too.

The morning went fine and before we knew it we were in Kiev.
Now we are in our apartment just a few minutes walk from the Center where all the Euro Cup stuff is going on.  They had music blasting all day long.  The apartment is my favorite yet.  I love the layout, the bed is huge, and it has every amenity that I can think of. 

The first thing we did when we got here was give them each a bath.  That was fun and passed an hour of time.  Yay-- only 120+ hours to go!

Oliver is probably sick with a cold or something.  I know, I sound like a broken record.  He is still a bit congested and sounds a little wheezy but we watched one of the doctor's check his breathing just yesterday with a stethoscope and she said he sounded fine.  He loves to be in the carrier with me and falls asleep every single time.  Rachel and I used to joke that we were going to pinch Oliver when he was in the orphanage because we never heard him cry-- not once.  Well he cries now-- when we put him down. :)

 Nolan is doing fine.  He loves to use the toilet and has figured out how to flush it. He loves when I praise him about it too!  He also loves to turn lights off and on.  For the most part he is being great taking everything in stride, but he does continue to test every so often.  I did a few time ins with him today in order to make him rest and he began with lots of screaming.  As I talked to him, he calmed down and that lasted for 1/2 hour until he tried something again that I had already told him no to a few times.  Maybe it was opening the fridge, or trying to sneak on the balcony, or flush the toilet for the umpteenth time-- if he did these things after I reminded him not to, we did a time in.  As the day went on, and we broke up the hours with walks to the park or the store or out to the center his behavior continued to get better.  We made sure to have him do a lot of walking to get his energy out!

We had McDonald's for dinner-- Manka for Oliver of course.  He spit up a few times so I am now on my second load of clothes in one day.
Nolan loved the french fries.  With hopes that Nolan would wind down we got them in their jammies.  He still wasn't quite ready to settle down, so I gave him another melatonin pill with a little bit of coca-cola.  It was his only taste that night so he was happy to have it.  Within 15 minutes again, he went and laid down next to Rachel and fell asleep.

Since I have been typing, Oliver has woke twice with tummy trouble.  It seems that he is constipated and gassy.  The change in food I am sure.  I played bicycle with his legs and massaged his tummy and he went a little bit and passed a lot of gas.  Now he is feeling better for the time being.
But of course he is in Rachel's arms while I finish this blog post and try to reserve plane tickets home and he will soon be back in mine for the night-- all night just like last night. :)

Please pray for Oliver to feel better and for Nolan to trust us more and more.
Nolan misses the kids from his groupa, I can tell, but as a result he is spending more and more time with Oliver.  We got lots of pictures of them being sweet brothers together.

Also, please pray for our plane tickets.
Long story short, we are not able to fly out on June 30th like we thought.  It seems as if every day after a holiday is just another holiday around here so we can't get our medicals done until Monday, July 2nd.  We are able to fly out on Tuesday July 3rd, but can't afford the tickets plus they have long layovers.  It was looking pretty bleak for July 4th as well with Euro Cup ending and all, and I have been searching high and low for something. . . anything.  And praying but probably not enough admittedly.  Finally just as I am finishing this post up, I got an email for tickets on July 4th for a reasonable price-- not good-- but reasonable.  I'll take it.

Blessings from Kiev!


  1. I'm so glad you have them!!! Praising God you also got tickets... If I was Oliver I would choose to be held non-stop too!
    I looked at the orphanage fee as a way of giving back to the kids left behind. Even if it isn't used for them (and most of the time it is)... it paves the way for more kids to come out.

  2. So happy to read your update and that you and Rachel are enjoying your sons! Prayers for your time left in Kiev and for your family in CA!!!!

  3. So very happy for them and for you all!!! Praying for safe, speedy travels and no more tummy issues for Oliver.

  4. I loved hearing about you break out days...Glad to hear things are going well.As I read about trying to get the plane tickets it made my stomach go back to our experiences...I hated that feel like your so close and then stuck...I will pray for the tickets to work out.

  5. So glad you have your boys and that things are going relatively well. Also that you have tickets. Even though they are FARTHER out than you'd hoped, it is so reassuring to actually have them booked.

  6. I'm glad you're so close to going home and you actually have your boys for good now. How exciting. Here's to a safe, calm trip home! I'm thinking I could use some melatonin for my kids now. :)

  7. Praise the Lord! I am so happy to hear that the boys are with you and doing well. Praying for wisdom and grace and fun, too, while you finish out your time in Kiev.

  8. typing 1 hand..finally able to make $100 donation to you..hope it works..i got receipt...used debit this look for it..hope helps with travel happy for u all...didn't realize john was there..maybe u r bringing inhaler home to him..God watch over u all:)


  9. Congratulations. So happy for all of you.

  10. Such a wonderful thing. I hope you have a quick and safe trip home.

  11. Congratulations!!!! I hope the adjustment is smooth with the boys. I can not wait to see pictures of the rest of your journey!!!!

  12. Praying for you all!

    My nephews both had/have problems with gas as babies, and I know it was really hard for their parents - and all of us - to comfort them. Praying especially much for that problem to go away! :)

  13. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing the details. I can hardly wait for you to get home and hear everything!!!! I can imagine you just being in heaven holding little Oliver through the night in your arms. :) We will be praying you guys home.

  14. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I'll keep praying. I know what it's like to try to get out of there when holidays are being celebrated. Be sure to check with the US Embassy for closures too. I believe they close for American holidays as well as Ukrainian.
    Blessings & God speed!

  15. I'm so excited for you all. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures. Little Ollie sounds like such a little sweetheart. As as Nolan. How fitting if those boys arrive on American soil on July 4th.

  16. OMIGOSH OMIGOSH...SO glad they are OUT and with you ...thank you for your updates.....It sounds like for now things are going more or less sweet that Oliver sleeps all night in your arms...that is how my second daughter slept for the longest time...such sweet memories I have of that....

    I won´t be able to check the blog til Monday again...I will be anixous to see how things go! And AWESOME On the white Giraffe!!!!

    HUGS!! I will be praying for you!

    P.S. SO EXCITED to see them home!! And can you believe I miss having updates on your other kids!! LOL.....INternet is a funny thing...lets you into peoples live to the point you really feel you know them...HUGS!

    1. I agree! When I pray I sometimes stumble with the "right words" "pray for my FRIEND....oh I mean my blog friend..well its maybe a one way friendship....anyhow praying for the Reed family in Ukraine and Ca..." LOL..

      Although it was in the states we were traveling with a very high energy son who was 2 and went to pick up our newborn daughter in Fla...we had a pack and play and everything and she would only sleep on our chests....not even the bed..only our we took turns...4 months ago we were in MO bringing our son home and the same thing. We were traveling with a 6 yr,4yr,18mo and now getting a newborn...we actually had to buy a pack and play as the people we rented from didn't have the end the 18 month old slept in the bed..and you guessed it the baby on the chest....once home though he transitioned to the basinette that first night..this was after about 2 weeks both was like they knew they were HOME...amazing how even the newborn could sense they were not quite able to rest as they were not home yet


  17. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! Only a few more days friend!!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blessings!