Sorry I took so long to post. I started this one last week and then someone built a lego vehicle or wanted to play hide and seek or needed a hug and I got sidetracked. :) Part of the message was lost, but some of it is still here so I will pick up where I left off. One of my goals for today is to get us home on the blog. Tomorrow evening marks two weeks since our arrival home. The kids are doing great! They love it here and they are loving life. It is amazing what loving parents, good nutrition, and playing hard will do to a kid in just a couple quick weeks. We love having them here as well. Life as we knew it will never exist again, but I can't even remember what I used to do with my time. I love being their mom and Kevin is a fantastic Pop. Kevin's parents were here to help us until Saturday morning. Babushka and Deudushka had so much fun getting to know the kids, and the kids adore them as well. Last week was pretty crazy around here trying to settle in and I am sure they are enjoying the peace and quiet of home. This week we have focused on fine tuning our routine and just spending some time alone as a family of six in the evenings. We look forward to seeing Kevin's parents in a few weeks though when they come back to break ground on their lake house! We can't wait to have them close by and spend lots of time at the lake next season.
I have to get this stuff down because I am forgetting so much already! Okay, last time I left off with...
Waiting for our medicals for the U.S. Embassy. These were the strangest medical appointments. They looked very briefly at the kids, asked them questions, and had them draw pictures. The doctor was very nice. The girls went in together (with me) first and then the boys. As soon as Julian's check was almost up Tate started to cry a little and say "by-ooz." This means something like, "I'm scared" and I am so glad he tells us all the time when he is. Once it was his turn he didn't shed a tear though and things went just fine. The doctor could have required much more so it was nice that the doctor was good with the kids and basically just asked that we would take them to a doctor once we were home. We have appointments with a pediatrician who specializes in Internationally adopted kids in a couple weeks. They like for you to be home a couple weeks first, which I can appreciate. The doctor can be pretty intimidating and they will be running several tests. We are going to break the appointments up into two days. Girls and boys. I am so happy to have found someone fairly close by that knows what they are doing.
We visited a beautiful fountain in Kiev. The kids love to play in the water and there are so many nice fountains to play in around Kiev. Unfortunately this trip ended with the kids deciding not to behave and Julian throwing one of the his royal fits in public. He was having a hard time with us at first, but things are going so much better now that he understands that is not an acceptable way to let us know how he feels. Poor guy must have been so scared at first!
This was all on Monday. Then Kostya had to leave to make sure he was able to get home in time for Nikita's 8th birthday on Wednesday. He was having a hard time finding a train ticket. I am so glad he made it home in time to celebrate with his family. Hope you had a fun bowling party, Nikita! We had so much fun getting to know the whole Farkovets family on our trip. They were so kind and so much fun to hang out with. The girls cried when Kostya left. All of us were very sad. We really enjoyed the time we spent in Ukraine and it was hard for all of us to say goodbye. Thank you so much for everything Kostya! Spending time with you and your family was like spending time with old friends. We will always hold a special place in our hearts for you three. You are doing such important work and we were so happy with all aspects of the job you did for us. You were an answer to our prayers.
There are so many beautiful parks in Kiev and this one was only a couple of blocks from our apartment. It is the big park across the street from the university, I am sure most Ukraine adoptive families have been there. The kids loved all the neat play equipment, the fountains, the ice cream stands, and the beautiful landscaping. They even rode ponies there one day! Kevin would take all four kids there by himself so that I could get things done (like packing, laundry, etc.) and they just loved it! The park has huge shade trees, gorgeous green grass (rare in Kiev), beautiful flowers, and an all around calm and relaxing atmosphere. Kevin was saying that this is the type of park where you would expect to see old men playing checkers and chess and when I walked to the bathroom a few minutes later, guess what I saw? ;)
The view in the evening and at night from our balcony. It was fun to live in a big city for a week.
The kids loved it too! Here they are standing out there in their pajamas. Their orphanage was off a dirt road and they had never seen so many cars speeding by. They loved the twinkle lights in the trees!
As soon as Tate got over his fear of the washing machine (he wouldn't go in the bathroom alone when it was running) he couldn't get enough of it! He watched it for a long time. No more, "by-ooz!"
How cute are these two? They slept in the room with us. Kevin made a bed on the floor and I slept down at the end of the huge bed. Sophie and Julian slept in the other bedroom. They were up late every night talking and laughing and probably just catching up on the last six months and talking about the future.
One afternoon Kevin took the boys for ice cream and I took the girls to see the cathedrals and shopping at the stands by the SDA. Sasha drove us and waited for us while we toured around. It was really hot so we bought drinks for everyone. This is the girls in front of St. Michaels. It is gorgeous and right next to where we had our appointment at the SDA. It felt strange to be taking the girls to the place where we had first seen their sweet pictures and heard about them. I even got a few pictures of them outside the building.
I had to get Sophia's picture in front of St. Sophia's! I got this one of both of the girls and some of each of them alone. Of course when we were there in June we got wonderful pictures and when I took the girls they were setting up for a concert and it was hot and sunny. Oh well. Maybe I will Photoshop Sophie in to one of the pictures we took in June. ;)
The boys loved the Ukrainian soccer outfits we got them. They continue to wear them a couple times a week now that we have been home. We'll have to get them some Beckham jerseys too!
Wow! In only three sittings over the course of one week I was able to finish our time in Kiev. Of course I have so many great pictures I didn't post, but these ones help tell the story. I actually finished this post sitting on our side porch. I let the kids Slip and Slide, gave them cold drinks and trail mix, and set up the water table with water toys. They have been playing happily for a couple hours. It seems like that is how longs it takes to get the four of them into bathing suits and all sunscreened up, so I am glad they enjoy playing out in the water on hot afternoon.
Looking back over my post it is amazing at how different they already look! I will post again soon. Really. :)