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!