That is how long we've been home. It has only been one week and one day, yet it feels like they have been here forever.
I want to go ahead and apologize right off the bat, for my blogging absence. We spent the first few days adjusting, and then once I got the chance to sit down and blog....blogger was down. Now it is back up and running and I have a few minutes to type, so here goes.
I'm going to try to sum up the days since we've been home quickly. I really wish that I had had the time to sit down and blog everyday, because every. single. day. has been an amazing journey. The three Ukrainian kids I have in my home are not the same kids I took out of an orphanage just a couple of weeks ago. The changes in them, already, is more than I can convey in one simple blog post. But I'll do my best.
I guess I should tell a little bit about our journey from Ukraine to the USA. The kids did AMAZING on the long trip home. We had alot of bumps in the road on the way home, but God showed up at everyone of them, and we made it home when expected, against all odds. We were blessed to be able to fly home with only one stop. On both plane rides Danil and my mom sat together, and Josslyn, Alik, and Kellen sat with me. It just worked best for everyone that way. Danil needed the most direct attention during our flights, so it was a big blessing to have my mom with me and available to give that to him. The trip home really deserves a blog post in itself, but since my computer time is super limited these days, I'll have to save that for some random day when the mood hits me at the same time that I have a chance to blog. With six kids, that day might be never....
Anyway, when our plane landed in Houston(oh glorious day!!), the kids trotted off the plane and we all headed to customs. The kids(all four of them) had traveled like champs, and we made our way through customs like we owned the joint. After customs my new kids and I were herded to immigration. My mom and Kellen weren't allowed in there, so they went and got our luggage and met the rest of our family who was waiting in the arrival section. Immigration felt like it took FOR.EV.ER. I was SO CLOSE to being home with my kids, and was once again stuck with paperwork. Ugh. The guy that stamped my kid's visa(finally), ended up being really nice and helpful. Once we got our visa stamps, instructions on green cards and what-not, and were finally sent on our way, I was more than ready to be re-united with my other family members. Alik, who had been very relaxed up until this point, started tensing up. I don't know if he could sense that I was getting exciting or what, but as we approached the "Arrivals" door(which held my waiting family on the other side) he grabbed my hand with one hand, started sucking his other thumb, and tensed up his entire body. When we walked through the doors it was great!(for me, at least) I could see alot of family and Luke and Ray came running up to us. I was carrying Josslyn in a baby carrier(she weighs exacting the same as Kellen, and they are 2 years apart). I squatted down to hug Luke and Ray. Luke doesn't really require squatting, but it is uncomfortable to bend over when you are wearing a baby(or a 3 year old, in this case). Raylen came right up too us and held out her hand to Josslyn and said, "Hi Josslyn. I'm your sister." Josslyn smiled, reached out to Ray and took her hand. It was one of the moments in my life that I will never ever ever forget. It was one of those times where you feel like everything is absolutely perfect in the world. From the time that Josslyn warmed up to us in the orphanage and we started to get to know her personality, I knew that her and Ray would be great friends. But I had no idea that Josslyn would take to Raylen IMMEDIATELY. The picture perfect introduction has carried over in to our day to day life also. On the way home from the airport Josslyn and Ray talked to each other whole way. Josslyn babbling in Russian, and Ray answering in English. I am still kicking myself for not getting this priceless moment on video. God had truly done a work in their hearts to supernaturally connect them before they ever even met each other. Josslyn absolutely adores Ray. Joss is usually up in the morning before Ray. When J sees R, she runs to her, yelling, "seestra!"(sister, in Russian) Josslyn will stroke Ray's face, hug her, and then stroke her face some more, all while saying, "Seestra!" over and over. Like I said, Josslyn adores Ray.
Back to the airport though. Danil did great, of course. He met everyone with a great attitude. That kid is so laid back an flexible it is amazing. Since he's been home he has been a completely different kid than Josh and I visited with at the orphanage. We reeeeeaally thought he was going to be our toughest kid, but he has seriously been the easiest of all six of our kiddos. He is so calm and laid back at home that I can forget he is even here. He only gets an attitude or gets fussy when he is tired. He goes to bed great at night, sleeps the latest(except for Luke), and takes long naps. What more could a mom ask for?! He LOVES music, and he tends to wander the house looking for a quiet spot so that he can play his little piano and sing. IF he can find that spot, he will stay there for an hour just singing to himself. He's pretty much amazing. Josh adores him. Even though Danil isn't particularly affectionate, Josh's adoration has turned him into a Daddy's boy and he, in turn, adores Josh's affection.
Alik has been my blossoming little flower. He has gone from a scared wild rabbit at the airport, that would have done anything to get back to his groupa, to a completely different child. I honestly don't think that there is anything in the world that you could offer Alik that would make him go back to the orphanage. He has totally fallen in love with us. In just a few days time I saw changes in Alik that I was praying I would see with in the YEAR. He has made strides and brought down barriers that I wondered if they would ever come down. I know that some children, because of their circumstances in early childhood, are just uncapable of bonding. What I had seen from Alik, while we were in Ukraine, made me question if he was one of these children. I got my answer very quickly that he is NOT one of those kids. He loves me more than I even deserve. I have only been his mom for a few weeks, and he adores me like I have been there for him for years. And he loves Josh exponentially more than that. (and THAT is another miracle in itself). I could write a book about the changes I've seen in Alik since the time I got him out of the orphanage. ONLY GOD could do a work like I've seen. In 7 short days, Alik has already busted through ever expectation I've had for him. I don't even know what to expect from him now. If he continues on the track he's on he's going to be the president one day. He wants to learn English so bad. He is constantly bringing things to me and wanting to know what they are in English. He even picks up things that I haven't taught him. He's quite the little learner. In the past couple of days he has really bonded with Ray too. They are quite the little pair. Since he is so little for his age, they look like twins. He likes to be near her, and they play great together. He's the twin that Ray should of had at birth.
I know that I have only begin to scratch the surface of telling you what has been going on here the past week. I am really going to try to do better at blogging. Maybe now that we are falling in to a schedule I will have more of a chance to get computer time. Maybe I will get a chance to post pictures of the past week too.
Thanks for your patience.