Monday, July 5, 2010

First Few Days Home

We came home to this big welcome sign. Great job kids. Later, Adam played guitar and Julia sang us the song that the two of them wrote together. It was beautiful.

My Mom, better known as Baboonya had a wonderful meal cooked for us. Kotleti, oven baked potato wedges, salad, garlic bread, and a cake--- what a yummy meal to eat after all that plane food.

Paul loves to draw. His eyes lit up when I brought out a big plastic tub of markers and crayons.

Jonny and Annalyn joined Paul and soon Anastasia was drawing and painting too.

Anastasia was not feeling well and couldn't wait to take a nap. Jet lag hit her the worst but now two days later she is finally getting used to the time difference.

Paul is slowly getting to know his new siblings. Jonny and Paul are nearly the same size even though they are three years apart.
Anastasia is so beautiful yet there is a sadness in her eyes that makes my heart hurt. John and I have no doubt that she is missing her friends and her previous life that she had pretty much known all her life. Even though she is going through many changes right now, she has kept it together pretty darn well.

Paul is adjusting great. The first morning I showed him how he should fix his bed-- and I was pleasantly surprised to find his bed made this morning-- and I didn't even remind him. I praised him for remembering and he smiled with pride. Sadly, my little boy is very afraid of our animals. The dogs bark at him because he is a stranger and he is too afraid to let them smell him which I know will do the trick. Anastasia listened to me immediately when they first barked at her and everything is fine-- she even told Paul to let them sniff his hand but he is so fearful--- I am not sure how to handle things. Now he is afraid of our kitten. I had Adam introduce Lizzie our bearded dragon and Paul began to freak out until he saw how harmless she was. He ended up petting her when she was in my lap. I am hoping he will give our two dogs and kitten another try.

We went swimming one morning. That was fun. Back in Ukraine we had asked the kids if they could swim and they both said yes. I guess there definition of swimming is different than ours because neither of them could swim to save their life. But that is fine with me because now we get to teach them!

Bless Julia's heart. She went out and bought these new floaty toys with her own money just for Paul and Anastasia.

Today I took this picture of Anastasia. She is beginning to feel more comfortable in her new surroundings. I got her to smile a little more for the camera.

All my girls are managing to communicate even with the language barrier.
Aren't we blessed with six beautiful daughters?

Sveta, Anna, Rachel, Annalyn, Julia, and Anastasia.

Anastasia loves to swing. Julia swung with her--- trying to get to know her.

I have already had to remind Anastasia that Rachel is 14 and she is not. We had to have the talk why Rachel is allowed to wear make-up and she is not. I think this will end up being the hardest thing for Anastasia-- being the baby girl of the family.
Back In Ukraine

This is how they slept the night before our flight home.

We ended up in the same apartment back in Kiev. Here we are preparing to leave for the airport.

Waiting to board our plane.

This picture was taken at the beginning of the flight-- before take off. Anastasia did not do well on either flights. I didn't know a person could get airplane sick-- but now I know. Bless her heart.

Paul enjoyed the flight and slept for most of it. He loved the headphones and change the music stations at least a thousand times.


Laura said...

Great photos ~ thanks for sharing! Paul and Anastasia are so blessed to have you and John there to help them during this transition to family life. And what a blessed family you have!

~Laura :)

Chelley said...

wow I cannot get over how much all your kids LOOK A LIKE if you didnt know it you would think they were all biolocically related!

I hope that Anastasia will be able to feel the wonderful love you family as to offer! LOVED the shot of all the GIRLS

LOoks like Paul has been there 4 years not days!

Anonymous said...

Nastia is really a cutie. Her tiny, shy smile breaks my heart. I hope she will adjust soon, I can't wait to see a big 32 teeth smile!

Hanna said...

I get horribly air-sick . Dramamine is advertised to help...but itvis expensive. Next time buy regular benadryl. It is basically dramamine(with some other stuff added) and costs MUCH less. Take it about 30min before takeoff on an empty stomach. It really REALLY helps.
Once again REGULAR benadryl(i think itvsays allergy) not the kind for colds or flu.

Sally-Girl! said...

Great update, glad to hear all is going fairly well. I may give Gio some Benadryl just to make sure. I have heard of others who have brought kids home that are air-sick.

Looking out the 14th floor of the Garden Hotel over the masses of humanity down below!

Tina in CT said...

Perhaps getting her a stuffed animal dog and cat that looks like your dogs is the first step. Everything is so new so it'll take time.

I bet they were pleasantly surprised to see your lovely home, yard and pool and mostly to meet their family.

Carol G said...

I could hardly wait to see the photos and read about your new children, Christine, and you did not disappoint!! What a wonderful post! I can also see the sadness in Anastasia's eyes. I know she misses her friends, and they will miss her. Change can be so scary at times. I'm praying for both children to adjust quickly.

Heather said...

Christine, when we got home with our son Blake he was terrified of our dog - a fear like I had never seen before. After several attempts we had him get used to the backend of the dog - where there are no teeth :0) Slowly but surely the fear went away. My guess was it took a little less than two weeks.

Other bloggers of older children told me that part of the fear comes from stories to them that portray the dogs as mean. Another part of the fear may come from stories their peers tell them once they find out they are being adopted and the other kids are jealous. I don't know how much of this is true but maybe it will help give a little insight for you.

Rachel said...

My youngest son threw up on an airplane trip out to California when he was 4, so Anastasia isn't the only one. I knew at her age this would be tough for her, but I am praying for her to adjust quickly. I'm sure she will love her new home. How sad that Paul is so afraid of your animals. I wonder if he has had a bad experience or if he just hasn't been exposed to animals, so he's fearful. ?
Praying for you all. Thanks for sharing your lives with us. :)

Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful. Love seeing all of the girls together.

Mary said...

I used to get terribly air-sick, but then I grew out of it sometime during my teen years. Maybe Anastasia will too?

Great to see all of the photos - seems like you're having fun being all together at home again! I hope Anastasia's not feeling too sad - I'm praying that the adjustment will be easy for her and Paul.

HomeSchool Mommy said...

Air sick is just another form of motion sickness. She will probably get car sick, too...if she got sick on the airplane. Do you know anything about car sickness? Dramamine is THE BEST for flights and car rides over an hour or so (there is a less-drowsy version now, but the original works better). As far as the car, the cooler the better...not sitting in a place in the car that has sunlight coming in, sitting in the front seat, having LOTS of cool air blowing on you, not doing ANYTHING in the car...just looking straight ahead.

Loved seeing all these pics and hearing a tad of how it's going!

Kevin and Pam said...

Praying you all settle in quickly together. Don't be suprised if Anastasia gets car sick too. Justin was terribly sick on the flight home and for several weeks got car sick too. Now I guess he is used to the car and doesn't get sick anymore.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everyone is adjusting. Thanks for the post and the pictures! I have been waiting to see everyone together.

Jill in Indiana

Mama in Uganda said...

Oh, bless their hearts. You know better than I do--those first few weeks/months can be a hard transition. Before you know it it will feel like they have always been part of the family. It is amazing what love can do :-)

Siyang E Phoyadx said...

How cool and wonderful and blessed.

Annie said...

I'm imagining the kids are stunned; shocked; overwhelmed on so many levels. I would be, if I suddenly lived in a different home! Let alone a new language. I think taking Caleb and Rachel was so compassionate on your part. It must help a lot.

Expat Mom said...

It's always amazed me how your children all LOOK like brothers and sisters . . . and seeing Anastasia and Paul with the others . . . well, they fit right in. They were obviously meant for your family. :)

Anastasia looks so overwhelmed and sad, I hope she feels better soon. I know she'll get the love she needs there and can't wait to see that beautiful face light up in a truly joyful smile.

The meanderings of a history hound said...

I thought I had posted this for you. Ack! Blogger is on the blink!

Anyways. To help Paul adjust to the dog and help the dog accept Paul as part of the family, I would suggest having Paul feed the dog.

He doesn't have to have contact with the dog at first, just put the food in the dish & put it down. This does a few things, 1) Shows your dog that Paul belongs there & is a member of the "pack" so he needs to accept Paul, 2) Gives Paul some control over the situation which will ease his fears of the dog.

If I remember correctly, your dog is small, so once he stops barking at Paul, ask Paul to let the dog approach him, but don't ask him to pet the dog yet.

I think once the dog stops barking at him and Paul sees the rest of the family interact, his fear will subside.

BTW - Congratulations! I've enjoyed reading about this journey.

~ Noel

Lisa said...

This post made me laugh and it made me cry. My heart was tugged many times. It warmed my heart so much at the reception the kids received when they got home. I know they felt loved.

May God abundently bless you and annoint this family!!!

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