Friday, July 2, 2010

Back in Kiev!

This post is going to be chock full of pictures so hope you enjoy!

We were surprised when we were told that we could take the kids' passport photos. These are them-- and they didn't cost us a thing. Pretty cool I think. And the kids couldn't be more beautiful.

Anytime we were at the Internat or camp the kids wanted to hang around us. We didn't mind the company. :)

Rachel and Sveta hung out alot together. Here they are with Pasha.

One day we went shopping and bought all of this for about $35 U.S. dollars. Not bad.
We even bought these cool balloons. They are huge once they are blown up.

One night for dinner we bought Shashlick and I warmed up canned peas and made some rice pilaf. Too bad the meat was like jerky it was so dry.

Here we are in front of the court building. The director was really nice.

Caleb totally got into the Ukrainian role of hand washing clothes. He even suggested us selling our washer and drier to save for future adoptions--- LOL John's funny sense of humor.

We were blessed enough to visit this building three times-- insert sarcasm. This is where we had Anastasia and Paul's new birth certificates made.

Inside there was this nice children's library.

There were also a few statues and a memorial wall listing all the names of people that had died fighting in different wars.

This is an above ground sewer system that we drove under.

This is one of the many electric trains we saw here in Ukraine.

Come time to pick up the kids from camp, only I came because we all wouldn't fit in the car. The director had to come so that she could sign Anastasia and Paul out and pick up their clothes--- because they didn't belong to anyone else but to the Internat. Anastasia was wearing a pair of high heels that the director didn't recognize and so she was chewed out and told to give the shoes back. That is when I gave her first pair of shoes for her very own. I took lots of pictures like these so that Anastasia and Paul would have lots to remember.

Anastasia had a lot of friends in the Internat and though she was excited to leave she has since had her moments of sadness-- and tears have flowed. All we could say is that we understand and love her and her sadness will soon disappear.

When it was time to change Anastasia and Paul into their new clothes it was a special moment. For them because this is their first outfit that they can remember having for their very own. For me because it felt like dressing my newborn baby in their first outfit.
Paul liked looking at himself in the mirror. The shoes that the girl standing next to him is wearing are the shoes that Anastasia was wearing when the director yelled at her.
It was sweet the way her friends wanted to help make her look pretty for her departure to start her new life. A part of me wanted to be the one doing it, yet I felt this was something they needed to do between them.
Sasha is a boy we met who has graduated school and is heading off to college. Rachel wrote him a letter and hopes to be pen pals. He is such an amazing young man-- I think he will be just fine.
The director had lots of business to take care of while she was there signing out our kids. Besides finding out why one of the boys jumped off the balcony and broke his leg, and a few of her older kids ran away and were caught drinking under age, I asked her to take this last picture with Anastasia and Paul.

Here is a group picture.

I asked our facilitator to share what I had to say with these older girls. "I want you to know how much God loves you. He thinks you are all beautiful, fantastic, and have a special purpose in this world. Don't resort to drinking and smoking when you can do so much more with your life. When you are sad please remember that God is there for you and will always love when you think no one else does."
The good-byes kept on and on. It was hard to leave all of these wonderful other children behind.

On the car ride home, Paul got sick. Poor guy-- has gotten sick a few more times since. On the ride home, I had our facilitator read the letter John wrote to Anastasia and Paul since he could not be there with us at that time. It was nice to have the director hear and see her smile.
At home, we had McDonald's for them and it was sweet to see them share. Paul woofed down two cheeseburgers!

They enjoyed watermelon, peaches, Pepsi, McDonald's, and ice-cream for their first meal with us.
I brought each of them their own backpack with their own clothes. They were so thankful and looked through them many times. There first bathes I will never forget and neither will they! The kept on and on about how nice the water felt.

John filled out all of our forms for the Embassy ahead of time so we wouldn't have to do it there.

Don't the three of them look sweet together?

At the train station we saw this kitten. It was so cute. I showed Paul how to play with it with a piece of torn fabric and the kitty entertained us for the 1/2 hour wait.

It was nice to see how gentle Paul and Anastasia were with it.

We could only get one compartment with four beds for the train to Kiev. Rachel and Caleb rode back with our facilitators. The train was very nice-- it had air conditioning and a fairly clean toilet.

Anastasia and Paul were so well behaved on the train. They drew and then we ate dinner. When Anastasia wanted to go to bed around nine pm I noticed that she didn't look well. I felt her and she was very hot so I gave her some Tylenol.
We all got some sleep on the train.
At the medical appointment today, Anastasia had a deep cough so the doctor insisted on her having a chest x-ray. Clear-- but we were told that she has acute bronchitis along with a bunch of other malarkey. Yes I think she is sick but no I do not think she is near death like the doctor was acting. Another thing that made us a little disappointed in this doctor was what she asked our kids. "Are you sad to be going to America?" It was nice to hear Anastasia answer her No!
Please, please, please pray us home! Our itinerary has only one stop and we hope to be home by noon California time. See you back in the good ol' USA!

40 comments:

HilaryS said...

Congratulations to the Reed family. I am so happy that things went quickly and you are headed home. Safe travels home.

Hilary

Anonymous said...

amazing! Im so happy for all of you!!! broken hearted for the other kids. I want you to know that this experience has inspired me even more to adopt come the right time! - Gin

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing all of this. I loved looking at all the pictures. Glad to hear Anastasia isn't sad about coming to the US. You are all in my prayers as you go through this adjustment.

Kelli said...

Travel safe! love your posts, its all so interesting to learn about.

Christine said...

How bittersweet. Wonderful to hear that you guys are on your way home already, safe travels and see you on your other blog!

Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful story to follow...and I can't wait to see how Pasha and Anastasia react when you all get home! Safe travels...

chopanddave said...

Wishing you a safe journey home,

Sheila and Jeff said...

Thank you so much for sharing! Once again I find myself crying my eyes out as I read your blog. Praying for your family to have a smooth transition as well as for the sweet ones still in the orphanage. I can't wait to get to Ukraine and get my kiddos too!!
Sheila

Annie said...

Well, I think if an American child was going to another country to live, I'd not ask that question - but I'd wonder. My children were asked that in Russian all the time; Sergei thought it was uproarious that they thought they were being all private with him, but knew I could understand it.

It was really lovely of you to let Anastasia's friend do her hair. A last little kindness.

Doorless said...

Praying for a safe stress free trip home and that the kids begin to feel better.

Michelle said...

QUESTION:

when you've done your Ukrainian adoptions, have you checked with the SDA to see if Rachel, Dennis, Alex, or Anastasia & Paul have any other bio siblings that are available for adoption? It's just something I wondered about... especially given that this last adoption, you didn't have children like Dennis & Alex through Reece's Rainbow that you were set on adopting.


BTW, if I somehow upset or offended you by asking if you were wanting to adopt more kids after A & P, I apologize. I know you can't predict the future, and I wasn't asking you to... I was simply asking because I know in the past, you've said you wanted more. If I remember correctly, it was after Dennis... but whoever it was, I remember reading that you felt your family wasn't quite complete, but that John wasn't so sure, and felt that perhaps you were done adopting. So my question wasn't "Predict the future for me!" but "Are you feeling like your family is complete yet?"

Praying for a safe, smooth journey home!

- Michelle

Lucie said...

The chidren look so happy to be starting their new life in your family!
All the pictures of the other children makes me want to go and adopt them.

Cassc said...

Prayers for a safe journey home and a smooth adjustment period. I especially loved the picture of Anastasia and Rachel looking at Anastasia's PJs :-)

Anonymous said...

Praying for your safe journey home, and for a wonderful start to your their new lives in America. I have so enjoyed reading your blog.
Congratulations to the entire family!
I cannot wait to see the 4th of July photos!
xx Love from Oregon

*~Sarah Lynn~* said...

Have a safe trip! So excited for you and loved all the pictures!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Praying for her to get better!!!

YEAH!!!! Almost HOME!!!

Sally-Girl! said...

Home bound you are!!! I am so happy for you guys. The kids will have a great summer together!!! We are right behind you going home on the 9th. It seems so far away...just wanna go home!!!!

Love all the pictures. Kids will fit in perfectly with the Reed Family!!!

Sally-Girl! said...

Home bound you are!!! I am so happy for you guys. The kids will have a great summer together!!! We are right behind you going home on the 9th. It seems so far away...just wanna go home!!!!

Love all the pictures. Kids will fit in perfectly with the Reed Family!!!

living4him5 said...

Praying you home!!!

God bless,
Amy <><

Martha said...

I am looking forward to seeing you home in California again. You have my prayers.

Do you have any big plans for this summer? Just kidding :)

Jeanette said...

Congratulations!!!!! So happy you are headed home and I look forward to seeing all your children together. I can't get over that this whole adoption took 6 months from start to finish!!!!

MyLinda said...

Loved the pictures! Praying you'll be home in your own bed with two new Reeds in their beds soon!!

Renee said...

Thank you for sharing the amazing testimony God is creating in your family.

PRAYING!

kharms80 said...

Praying you have a safe and speedy trip hope. Congratulations!

Chris said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes! So happy for all of you!! Have a Happy 4th of July!

joeks said...

Prayers for safe travel home.
"See" you soon--on the other blog!

Roxy said...

God bless you, your family and your new members of the family. What a love-full story.

Agi from Hungary said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey!!
Everything happend unbelievably fast like a dream!

I was wondering if they was told being adopted, when they first met you or they knew before, that something important would happen to them? I just can repeat everything was soo quick, all of you are heros dealing with it! Included A.&P., of cours!

Are you mommy and daddy for them?
How did they called you in the Internat?

I wish you happy 4th of July and many many other one together in happiness!!!

Rachael said...

So nice that everything went smoothly and quickly for your trip. What a nice surprise to have your 10 days waived! Have a safe trip home. Congratulations. They are beautiful children.

Lisa said...

Praying for travling mercies, praying for Anastasia to have a good flight while she is ill. Keep us updadted please.

Isra said...

Congratulations on your two new beautiful children and welcome home!!

I was astounded you had the 10-day wait waived. Was this a surprise to you at the conclusion of court or did your facilitator give you a hint beforehand that this might be possible? Either way, it was *wonderful*! :-D

G-Zell said...

Your children are darling. They looks so happy! :) Have a safe trip home!

Difference2This1 said...

Congratulations!!! Praying your trip home was uneventful!! Thank you for sharing this special journey on your blog...it has truly been a blessing to follow this journey to bring these children home. Blessings, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Your children are so beautiful! I hope that you have/had a safe trip home.

Jefferson Hunt said...

How awesome! and wonderful! God bless you all!

I remember our son's first shower with us. He perched on the rim of the tub like a wet cat and jabbered about who knows what. Three more tries, though, and he kind of liked it - in his own boy way.

Anyway, thank you for letting me follow your trip.

The adventre has just begun.

V-time said...

Dear John and Christine. Congratulations!

Being from Ukraine, I know how much life there is different from the life in the USA. Only Paul and Anastasia know what it means to live without parents in Ukraine. Now you have given them a future, you’ve given them a real life! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
If I may, I would like to write few words for Paul and Anastasia.

Дорогие Настя и Паша! Поздравляю вас! У вас теперь есть мама и папа, братья и сестры, которые любят вас. У вас будет всё хорошо. С праздником Независимости Америки и хороших вам летних каникул!

(Dear Anastasia and Paul! Congratulations! Now you have Mama and Papa, brothers and sisters, who love you. Everything will be OK. Happy Independence Day, and have a good summer vacation!)

Adrienne said...

Christine,

I am sitting in tears for all of you. I love how Anastasia and Paul cherish their new clothes and their baths, and I wish all American children could see and appreciate just how fortunate they are to be born and live here, to have parents and all of the things we take for granted like having our own clothes to wear.

I loved seeing all of your pictures and look forward to seeing you and ALL of your children together!!!! :)

Happy 4th of July to you and your family! What a special one you'll have this year... just like we did when we brought Owen home 3 years ago!

MamaPoRuski said...

Love the photos, so glad you made it home, praying for peace and rest for all of you these next couple of days! HUGS!

Sabrina Steele said...

Praying for a safe stress free trip home and that the kids begin to feel better.

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