Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pics of the summer pool fun

1 month home and things are well

I always love when we hit the 1 month mark home time.... things begin to settle down and we get back to something normal.... I have finally figured out the food and cooking, the new ones are learning and doing the routines without many issues.... and it feels like we are a family..... Paul was disciplining Jonas for acting up some in Sunday school.... too bad for Jonas that his sister is in the same class... Paul was saying, "You know things are different now... You are different now. You are Jonas Briggs... a part of this family. You represent me and this family to others and we can not have this behavior while you are in Sunday school- he was being silly and talking with another girl ( not sure how he still is non english - oh well ). His punishment was he was not allowed to get ice cream when we all went out to Ritas for a treat..... Later though he came up to me and said he was sorry and I could tell he meant it...There is alot of this type of parenting going on.... Your in a family now, You don't have to be like that or this is how we do things here" is said alot :) It seems to be well received.

Ben got back a week ago from his mission trip to Russia with our church. He had been home just a week from the adoption trip with us and left for Russia. He will never admit it but I think he is glad to be on US soil... He worked at a Christian camp for teens... some of them were drug addicts.... I hope to post some of his pics when he downloads them.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to visit my "grand" babies in North Carolina- Ella and Ezra this past week. I took 7 of us for a visit and we had a glorious time of it.... I would often forget that Ella was 2 when playing with her ... she and Mya would play and Ella was just right there with Mya who is 6 and a half ... especially with her language skills and imagination--- I love the imagination of children. Ezra is the crusiing now and a speedy gonzalous when he is down on the floor.. He loves to roll things across with his hand and follow it. He still is such and easy baby. It is such a gift to have these precious children in our lives.... wish we lived closer....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Here are lots of pics of our trip

The ones just under this are when we returned to Kiev for the Embassy visit and medicals and visas... We were very grateful to our team for helping us to adopt these children... They worked hard and we have been blessed by their efforts. The embassy even was able to issue all 5 of the kid's visas in record time and we were able to leave as planned... We were very grateful for that.... I recommend a visit to the zoo in Kiev. Roma also took us to Independence Square- so the kids could see it ( our 2nd apartment was far away from that area)... we took a tram to the Dniper River and went on a boat ride... It made our last day in Kiev very special...

Pictures of Kiev- after our court... on our way out

Pictures of Donetsk

Having fun with the "Cottontrees"

The first part of June some of the trees had this white cotton
like material that came down.... the kids would collect it and
lite it with a lighter...

Paul in front of the kids orphanage

All 5 of our children were from the same orphanage.
That helped to make our trip faster... We were able to do the adoption
of all 5 in one court hearing, we had to do 2 sda appointments...
the first 2 boys they gave us as a referral did not want to be adopted.
We never even met them... we got our second appt. days later and
this time they allowed us to adopt unrelated children... A miracle because
they said they don't allow the adoption of 3 unrelated groups or
children--- they have let us do this 2 diff. times.

We also were able to do 4 of the kid's birth certificates right in Donetsk and Jonas's was done on that 15 hr day...
Our passports were done in a half a day.... all in Donetsk.

Birch Trees in Donetsk

Remember my description of our first nite- a hotel in Donetsk

Our Roma with Tia

The kids always love Roma... sometimes at first more than us
It is perfectly normal... he can talk with them and he is alot of fun.
This for some paps would be hard to deal with... My encouragement
to adoptive parents... get over it... eventually they will be yours and love you too.

Olivia's quiet smile

I love this pic. of Olivia... she had built a tower with the cards
and was proud of it. She is often quiet but will express herself
to us.... she is a beautiful child with lots of gentle, tender ways.

Playing with the girls

We would play cards, uno, puzzles, memory.... and they would listen
to our MP3 players... this was our inside mtg. room ... we sometimes would
be in here with them for 3 to 4 hrs... then go outside to the playground.

The first time we met

This was our first visit... the girls fixed chia (tea) and brought out
cookies and chocolates for us to eat... I love their sweet smiles.

Train station in Kiev

Inside the train station in Kiev... waiting to board the overnite
train to Donetsk... We were on our way to meet the kids for
the first time...