Sunday, June 27, 2010

One More Day Before Court

Rachel and Caleb have been well received by all the kids-- and have even already exchanged letters with a few. Going a step further-- I think a few of the girls have crushes on Caleb. And for one special boy-- Rachel has a little crush. But John and I would approve-- just in five or so years. :) Anyway, tonight John sat with Rachel and helped her write a few letters to the friends she has made.

You can find potatoes, green onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers almost anywhere around here. Many Babushkas sit outside their apartment with their mini veggie stands selling anything from sunflower seeds to cucumbers to jars of honey. This is a dish that I often cook us for dinner with the food we buy from them.

To make the meal complete, I add some cut up ham. We all think it tastes great-- even Caleb who merely picks out the green onions.

We picked up some deep purple tomatoes at the open market the other day. They have so much flavor!

Since tomorrow will be like today-- I figure now is as good a time as any to answer questions. So if you have any--- please feel free to ask. It will be nice hearing from you.


Gin said...

Oh! Lots of questions! Is Rachel's russian coming back? What language does she use with her new friends? Also, any ideas on the care package initiative? How long till you can brin Nastya and Pasha home? Any fears on bringing to older kids home? And do you think you'll keep in touch with Luba and Luda? Sorry for so many questions, but this is all really new to me and I hope to find myself adopting at some point in the future, so I'm very curious!

Hevel said...

What region are you in? Is it an actual Russian speaking area or a Ukrainian speaking one? What language does Rachel use to write to her new friends? Is she interested in bringing her language skills back up?

If you have the chance to buy the honey with the walnuts in it, go fo it. So so yummy.

Carey and Norman said...

These vegetables look amazing!

I'd love to hear more about the adoption process in the Ukraine. How would families consider a particular child who is waiting. What timeframe they should expect to travel if they began the process now. What kind of costs? Who would you recommend to use as a facilitator?

Thanks for sharing!

Michelle said...

i'd like to know:

- A & P ages (which is older?)
- what you'll call them at home!
- how you came to know of them
- if they're bio siblings, and if not, how you decided to adopt them together
- if you'll be visiting the orphanage Alex & Dennis came from this trip
- if you're all staying until everyone's home, or if some are leaving after court
- do you think this is it for kids? going for 15? :-P
- what do your kids at home think of these new kids being older? i think i remember reading awhile back (maybe when you decided to adopt Alex?) that some of the older kids didn't want you to adopt kids who weren't young, so i was wondering how they're all doing with A & P being older.

also, would you be comfortable making a list of ALL your family (new kids & parents included!) with birthdays next to names? or if you don't want it online, would you be willing to email it if i gave you my email address? for the LONGEST time i've wanted to send birthday cards & gifts for your family, but i don't want to skip anyone so i've never done it for fear of missing someone's birthday & leaving them out. :-)

- michelle

Jennie said...

Above posters have asked the questions I was wondering about other then what hapened with your hubby's crown? Did it fall out for good did he go to a dentist and if so was it any diferent then one you would go to in the United States?

Mommy to the Monsters said...

It's such a blessing to read your blog...Seeing the faces of the kids just breaks my heart.

Just out of curiosity what are the requirements to adopt from the Ukraine? Do they allow singles?

Anonymous said...

hey how is it i found out you might be leaving at the same time like a family i cant wait to see you and the kids



Jamey & Catherine said...

Hi Christine,
I have a few questions too...

1.You and John seems to know a lot of Russian, do you both speak quite fluently or just from things you've picked up and learned along the way?

2.When you get back home will you put A & P into school right away in September or keep them home for a little to adjust?
So many more questions I would love to sit with you for a day and just chat but I know you have a pile of others to answer too.
Someone once asked me about Oksanas Orphanage and Kazakhstan and could I describe life there in 15 words or less ( You don't have to use complete sentences) if you had 15 words to say how would you discribe the internat, Ukraine, the kids etc. what would you say? :)

Anonymous said...

Dear mom and dad,
i think that that is very sweet and i can not tell you guys how much we mis you all and we ca not wait for you to come back!!
Annalyn Reed

The McEacherns said...

Those tomatoes and cucumbers look SO good! One of my favorite Ukrainian staple dishes!

I think I asked before, but how (and when) did Rachel come to join your family? Obviously, she's originally from Ukraine, but that's all I know. And you mentioned that her bio family came to say good-bye before your trip, so I'm a little confused!

Are A&P picking up any English yet?

Kevin and Pam said...

We never ate like that in Ukraine! I want to go with you next time!

Anonymous said...

No quesions. I just want to say that I'm really enjoying following you on your journey.
Thanks for taking the time to blog about it.

Jill in Indiana

Anonymous said...

Yumm! Your meal looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

So, what exactly is in that yummy-looking dish -- ham and green onions -- what else?
Another question -- are you going to go to Rachel's orphanage?
Best always.
Atlanta, GA

Anonymous said...

I love reading about your inspiring story.

I don't want to offend or upset you but I am just wondering if long term your visits with all the other children in the orphange helps or hurts them. I feel such empathy for the other children who are not being adopted and I wonder if its too sad for them when they see such loving parents and other children being adopted when they stay left at the orphanage.

I will be praying that every thing goes well in court and for a safe journey back to America.

Allison said...

Hi Christine!!

So I"m loving seeing what you and Jenn Dove are cooking up. Can you write down and email me (or post) your "recipes" for these? I am going to need some help branching out from the typical things we eat here while we are in EE. I'm not one that can just "whip something up from a few ingredients". :)

Thanks so much! I can't wait to hear all about court!

Matt Penman said...

When you posted your need for prayer, we stopped school and gathered in prayer for your family. We continued on with school and I checked your blog an hour later and read that God answered our prayers. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey. You blessed us so much with our journey, it was nice to participate a little with yours. Sarah is learning how much we went through on our journey to bring her home, although she is acting out now, I believe your blog is helping her to cope with her past. We love you guys and can't wait to read your blog each day.

Sally-Girl! said...

Yummy yummy! Oh how I would love to have fresh veggies right now. It is the one thing I miss most when in China!

TylerandBrianne said...

Glad to come back from vacation to see things coming along. Can't wait till everyone is home safe and sound.

Martha said...

I have enjoyed being along for the journey of your last three adoptions. Each one is so special and unique, it is no wonder you keep going back again and again.

I am curious if the children will be allowed to continue speaking their native tongue when you return home or will this be discouraged and why?

Becky said...

I have questions about the language barrier with A & P, the other kids at the Internat and other kids you have adopted in the past. How exactly do you communicate? How much of their language do John and you know and how much English do the kids know? How does this affect the adjustment period once home? How does this affect schooling?

Also, as a family who has adopted children of all ages, is there an age (or placement amongst other kids in the family) where the adjustment is easier/harder? I imagine it is all very individualized and there are so many uncertainties, and I don't even know if my question makes any sense, I just know that when you have posted about disruptions on your other blog it seems as though it is something that is often brought up.

Was answering "Are you rich?" hard? I mean, because even financially, I am guessing almost everyone in the US would seem rich to the kids at the Internat (or maybe that is a false assumption).

How'd you choose A & P and does it break your heart that you can't take all the kids home?

Also, another age question. What are the age requirements for adopting an older child?

Thank you for blogging about your experiences there and about your life in general.

Holly said...

I would love to know about how this adoption experience has been...I know you did an independent adoption and didn't ask for specific kiddos through RR like you have before...maybe when you get back you can share more.
My heart is broken for the HIV angels over there and I would love to GO for 2! :)

James said...

How are you connecting to the internet? What would you do different technology wise knowing what you know from this and other trips?

Chris said...

This looks like such a wonderful experience for you to have shared with Caleb and Rachel.

Since you asked, I have one question that seems a bit silly, but I was wondering how clothes are handled with these older children. I know for younger ones like our son, the caregivers dress the children, but for these older children, do they have a community closet or do they have their own clothes? You commented on what Luda and Anastasia were wearing, and I noticed some other girls dressed more conservatively so I was just wondering how they ended up with the clothes they wear.

By the way, the dinner you've cooked looks delicious as do the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes!

Anonymous said...

I have several questions!! They are not so much about A & P but more about where they live.

I look at their sleeping arrangement, and that they wear the same clothes over and over again and I cant help but wonder if they have a problem with lice or mites?? The orphanage doesnt look dirty by any means...but sometimes those bugs just appear out of thin air!!

I'm also curious about what happens when they age out of the orphanage. Where do they go? DO they turn 17 one day, and then the next day they are kicked to the curb with just the clothes on their backs no where to go? Or are jobs found for them, and then they can live at the orphanage until they have enough money saved??

My last question, might be rather personal, but with soooo many hormonal girls and boys living together with pretty much no supervision...what happens if a girl becomes pregnant? How do they control those "desires" so to speak.


newmom2 said...

Keep up the blogging, I have one, what age was Rachel when she left the orphanage? My heart aches for the children left behing... esp. Luba and Luda...

Just wanted to say that I am enjoying your journey with you... and sending you prayers for a safe and quick journey home. (love the note from Annalyn)

HomeSchool Mommy said...

Mmmm! That food looks yummy!

No questions from me, but I will LOVE reading your answers to everyone else's!

Qadoshyah said...

What actually happens to the kids once they age out of the internat? And what age is that? Are they just on the streets? I've heard that some kids age out at 16, but then I've seen you say there are some 17 year olds there. Maybe every internat is different?

These kids all look so normal and easy going and could live such a normal life, it's so sad they are in an orphanage.

Laura said...

Hi! Great to read what you're doing...and cooking!

Most of my questions were asked above but I have a different one:

Are you at all concerned with going to Court and standing in front of the judge? Our first (and only, unfortunately...) time was nerve wracking but I'm wondering if you and John feel quite comfortable with the process now that you are "seasoned" court goers. I mean -- I don't think the judge could ask you any questions you haven't already answered! ;)

Have a wonderful, relaxing day before THE BIG DAY!!


Martinfamily4 said...

We loved Tomato/cucumber salad with mayo so much in Ukraine....we actually had it yesterday for lunch ( picked 40 cukes in our garden!) and our sweet little girl - said I like "Ukrainian Salad" good to see the real thing on your blog this am...enjoy ~ I love UA and her people, food etc.... :)

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

That food looks tasty! Oh how sad I am that we'll be missing the harvest season of Ukraine.
Can you say which region of Ukraine you are in... N, S, E, or W?
Is everyone staying after court?
Im loving following along!

Beth said...

I'll look forward to reading your answers...lots of questions.

Sarah left for camp yesterday but before she left she told me that once she gets back she can't wait to read your blog and catch up on all that went on this week.

We continue to pray for you all!

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Dear Christine,

It's such a blessing to follow you on your journey. Thanks for taking the time to share the photos and stories.

I love your response to Nastya's question "Are you rich?" She will certainly know that her cup overflows when she arrives home. You certainly are rich in love.

My question is the same as some other readers. Will you have to go home, then return in three weeks to bring A and P home, or can you complete the adoptions in one trip? I read some adoption stories where two trips are involved and others are able to complete things with one. Does it depend on the judge in that region? (We are starting on another adoption and are praying about the Ukraine as an option.)

Praying that all goes well today in court! I know you must be missing your other children terribly and hope you're home with your two newest blessings soon.

Much Love,

Cassc said...

Well you asked for questions and you got a ton, I'm interested to hear some of the answers! A few of my own:

1. I know that Ukraine is traditionally a blind referral country and that you've written about not particularly wanting to go through that experience. How can families go about becoming connected with particular children and how do you find out if they are legally able to be adopted internationally? What is the general process for petitioning for a particular child or children, do certain special criteria need to be met?

2. I know that you have done a few different "types" of adoptions, special needs, post-disruption, young child and now older child. As someone with so a wealth of experience (just another way that you are rich!) some point can you talk a little bit about these different types, and what people should consider when trying to find the best approach for their family.

3. Are there particular challenges you've faced as either a large family or an adoptive family and what kind of resources do you employ to deal with them? (I ask this not to pry but just in a how should others prepare kind of way).

I love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing with us!!

Cassc said...

Oh and the the AP above, I travel to volunteer at an Orphanage in Guatemala, yes it is hard for us to leave the kids when it's time to return to the states (both on us and them) but from my conversations with the nuns it's very enriching for the children. It's important for them to see examples of healthy choices and yes healthy marriages and families. I believe that these children do know "what they are missing" for lack of a better way to put it and even if it's only for a few days, getting attention and love can be transformative. But that's just my 2 cents