Sunday, February 10, 2008

02-09-2008 9:45am Kramatorsk

I want to clarify a few things. First off, I was wrong to post any personal negative feelings about any people at the orphanage because we have seen first hand that this orphanage staff REALLY CARES FOR the children and they really are well cared for and provided for. So I want to apologize and note that I have deleted the portion of my post that said my opinions. Also, I want to say that it is definitely a time of high emotion while we are here and little things in the lives of other people seem like mountains to climb for us. So I don't think my 'feelings' were unacceptable, but I know that this wasn't the place to put them.

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest, here's a little update :)

Dasha is in need of extra calories but not because her care is lacking in the orphanage. Her heart is working overtime and her body needs more calories just for that than any other function. Plus she’s never been as active (I think) as she is now and that will expend a lot of energy and calories as well. I was so surprised to hear that she has a complete AV canal because she is still with us at 5 yrs old with it uncorrected. She sure is a fighter! And that says great things about her care at the orphanage as well. She is on 3 medications (I think). One is the digoxin, one is a diuretic, and another is like enalapril but a different name. Blood thinner to make the heart not have to work as hard. The fact that she has been seen regularly for cardiac care and receives these medications to prolong her life and keep her healthy speaks wonders for her facility, director, and caretakers. We are so pleased with her care and blessed that her first 5 years were as pleasant an experience as possible. There is the fact that she didn’t have parents, one on one care, and had limited exposure to things that would help her develop, but they were doing their best by her and that’s all we can ask for.

Both Dasha and Daniil’s caretakers care for them SO MUCH and are very happy and good with them. There are actually a lot of caretakers in that area and the babies are all very happy and healthy looking. I haven’t seen a single caretaker, doctor, or administrative person that wasn’t looking out for the children’s best interest. Oh, and the facility- it is always CLEAN. It always smells like food cooking, and the kids have always been cleaned up before being brought to us. They are in cloth diapers (not really diapers, but a rag stuffed up in their clothes- like a receiving blanket in their pants!) when they are in their cribs but they put them in disposable diapers for them to come out and spend time with us.

We intend to continue bringing a pack of diapers each week because we know that their stocking up on them will help them in the long run. I’m sure they need them for things like doctor visits and similar outings as well. They did ask for them once and we brought some. That was the day we learned what they used to diaper the kids in the rooms because Dasha wet through her outfit twice in one playtime. The second time someone had brought us a disposable diaper from somewhere to put on her so we were set after that.

As for us and our timeline, we will have the inspector’s paperwork today and it will be on the train to Kiev tonight. Natalia (facilitator) has told us we will go to the court and apply for a date on Monday- the same time as our paperwork is submitted in Kiev to the SDA. I really don’t know what that means in terms of a timeline (people don’t like to give those here!!) but it’s good news that we’re moving forward at the very least!

Our visits at the orphanage have been pretty low-key so far. Daniil tried out the sling yesterday when we brought them both to the playroom and he was very content to face out and watch the world go round for a while. Then we tried putting him in the ball pit with us and he freaked a little. The first emotion he’s shown us other than getting upset about us putting baby food in his mouth! So I positioned him facing in on my chest and he was content the rest of the visit. He’s a snuggler and a watcher, so that was great. Plus, they’d woken him up to bring him out to us so I’m sure he wasn’t in the best of moods anyway.

It seems that in the mornings the staff want us to visit back in the special needs area for just about an hour but in the afternoons we can take them out to the playroom from whatever time we get there until 6. That’s just the trend I’ve noticed this far anyway. It also seems that this changes from caretaker to caretaker, so I’m not really sure. We just do what they tell us and visit where we can J. It is difficult to entertain 2 kids up on your lap for an hour though and there’s no interactive toys in that area so we’re down to just the things we’ve brought with us. It makes for a little creativity on our part and an hour is really about as long as Dasha wants to sit there. She knows that she wants to be out in the playroom!

Oh- and yesterday she was crying when they were getting her ready to come out. I bet they were cleaning her nose because it looked a little chewed on (but clean!) when she came out. Then she saw us and immediately stopped crying and even began to LAUGH as we walked down the hall! I’m sure it’s not US that she’s attached to yet- that would be pushing it- but she at least enjoys coming with us and playing and seeing the other children!

Yesterday we spent a good portion of the day with the other two American couples adopting from Antoshka. Their apartments are about 2 blocks from here and we spent a little time there in the afternoon then we visited at the orphanage and got back together for a “pot luck” dinner and watched the movie Transformers (on a laptop- with 8 of us huddled around!). It was a lot of fun though! We also did a little more clothes swapping. One family had brought cloths that were a little smaller than their daughter and gave us an outfit that will fit Dasha and a bib with pink letters that says “I love my big brother”. We had jeans, 2 shirts underwear, a pair of tights (I held on to one pair even though I think they’ll be huge on little Dasha), a hairbrush (her daughter LOVES to have her hair brushed!), some little rubber bands and clips for the hair (I did keep one set but I doubt they’ll stay in Daria’s fine hair), and a sippy cup. I’ll be able to pack a lot lighter on the way home J. Except that somehow I’ve got to get ahold of things that DO fit the kids… which may prove a little challenging.


  1. Merideth...I love the updates. I am praying for you and for the people you guys impact in Ukraine.

    What do you need clothes wise? I am sure that our church in Kiev (we have a lot of kids) can hook you up with some things...I even have my older girls things packed up and stored in Kiev due to our abrupt leave. If you would like me to me on the forum and I'll see what I can do.

    God bless, give your sweeties a kiss from us...


  2. hey, sorry I missed you today. The few hours I leave, you pop up! Please let us know what you need, so many of us want to help. Love and miss you.

  3. Meredith, I do know that alot of kids could survive with an AVCanal til a much older age, the big issue is it not causing permenent damage from PH. Mercede Always had blood pressure issues til after her valve replacement surgery last year. So she had 16 years of it being treated with meds til now. She also had a very high metab because her heart was burning so many calories. She started to gain weight after her surgery, so we now have to watch what she eats. I will pray that when they repair her heart, that her pressure will go down to a normal level.

    I didn't notice you saying anything negative about the orphanage other then the lawyer!! lol It does sound like they are much better then we all thought. I noticed the other blogs have felt the same way.

    Can't wait til you are home!!

  4. Thanks for taking the time to update. It sure sounds to me like the kids are enjoying your visits! I'd love to help in any way I can as well. You know how to get hold of me if you need anything.

  5. I believe these children are beginning to bond with you! After all, if God (as we believe) is calling you to parent them, couldn't He also be preparing their hearts to be your children? And I can tell you are wonderful with them. Thank you for posting again.

  6. When you get home, check out the walmart brand of Pediasure, It has lots of calories. Also, 5 oz of water with 4 scoops of Enfamil will make 30 cal/oz formula. You can add it to her cereal or whatever she's eating. I'm sure there's a way to increase it beyond that. You could ask a nutritionist. I'm sure you could also beef up whole milk to increase the calories if she's used to that. (This is what they gave me when we were trying to get our son ready for surgery) They also had me add lots of fruit to the mix as it has way more calories than veggies. That heart is working overtime and needs lots of calories.

    Good luck,

  7. Been thinking about you guys; sounds like you are having some quality visits with the kids. Sounds like Emma is a fighter, she will thrive with your care when you get her home.

    We have been at the Daytona race track with our fund raiser booth for our adoption fund. Things are going great. We will keep you posted.

    Can't wait to see more picture of our new grandkids!!!!


    Mom & Dad Cornish

  8. Meredith...What size clothes do you think they wear? I could send a package over to ya! :D I LOVE shopping.

  9. Hi Mike & Merridith,
    This Sherry Kinsey, I have been trying to keep up with you and believe me it is a challenge even from here. Sorry you couldn't get Sasha. I Think these little ones will fit your family just fine. I hope all goes well for you this week in cout in getting these to angels that is "angels from God" in your family. I know Christophere and Brianne can't wait for you to come home with their new brother and sister. If you need an extra hand as you know I can help you on Sunday at church and on Mondays at church. And maybe when things settle down when you get home you can bring them over to my house now that I am living back in Titusville. Well any way take care and can't wait to see your growing family back in Titusville, FL and at PABC

    Sherry Kinsey

  10. Meredith ... I didn't think anything you said was out of line ... no worries on my end! :) That is such great news to hear that Dasha is happy with you guys! I can't wait until you can come home!

  11. What an amazing story you have...just spent the past 90 minutes going through your blog. You are an amazing couple. I cannot wait to here that you are on a plane back to Florida (we live in South Florida).

    God bless all of you!

  12. Glad to hear that everything is going well with Emma and Micah. Sounds like the kids are starting to bond with you. I will keep praying.

  13. It is great to hear that you all are doing great. We are praying for a speedy journey home for all of you

  14. Meredith, I too can and would love, to go get the kids some clothes then mail them off. Sort of a welcome to our side of the world gift!


  15. Meredith, it was great to talk to you this morning and to finally get caught up on your blog just now. I'm thanking God for your progress.