Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Today is our "gotcha" day! The day I officially took custody of our two new family members :)

Here's a bit about that special day one year ago...

Ukraine 008 Special needs workers

The staff from the 'infirmary' area of the hospital... Saying goodbye was bitter-sweet. They raised "Dashka" (Emma) for 5 years, but they knew that she would have already been sent to a mental institution a few days prior if she wasn't going home with us. And their little "Danka" (Micah) was so sick they were very unsure about me leaving with them both.

Ukraine 011 Lawyer Director Wife

Right to left, the director, me, the director's wife, and their son in law (the lawyer). Also saying goodbye. The director and his wife have very sweet hearts toward the children and were so glad to see these two little ones going home.

Ukraine 014 First Car Ride

A big day- first time out of the orphanage with Mom, and here's their first car ride!

Ukraine 016 First Plane Ride- Kiev Ukraine 017 First Plane Ride- Kiev

Then... their first PLANE ride! Emma had to ride in her own seat for take off and landing even though she didn't even hold her head up... Here's what snowsuits are REALLY for :)

Ukraine 023Ukraine 033 First bath

The first time I saw the emaciated body of my 5 year old daughter...

Ukraine 029 First bath

They don't get submerged baths in the orphanage- they're rinsed under warm water 'hanging' over the basin sink... Emma LOVED the tub (and still does!)

Ukraine 062 finally sleeping 11pm

Finally sleeping....

Ukraine 040 first bottle- 10pm

Micah went on strike from eating but slept through Emma's bath and changing that first night. This was actually pretty helpful since I was completely alone with them both. Here he is taking his first bottle since being fed at the orphanage (9am-10pm without eating...)

Ukraine 059 scrawny Ukraine 048

It was the first time I'd seen the pencil like arms and sunken ribs with his swollen bloated belly too... So sad how malnutrition looks :( :(

Ukraine 064 finally sleeping 11pm

At 11pm he finally turned in for the night as well...

And my first day as the mom of these two little ones was a LONG one! I climbed in next to them in the king size bed after using all the pillows to ensure they wouldn't fall out of the other side of the bed. Then I laid down with no pillows and just a thin blanket for myself and tried to sleep. I think I got in about 30 minutes before Micah woke, screaming, and needed food again. Every 2 hours all night long he wanted to eat. And it took him 30 minutes to get down a bottle. Then I'd crawl back in to bed and pay he'd go to sleep...

The next morning we were picked up at 9 am to go to the medical office and get their medicals completed. Of course I had been up since 5 with Micah so we were ready with plenty of time to spare...

You can read more about our gotcha day HERE


  1. i will never forget how excited i was to read you were bringing 2 home instead of 1!! you guys have done such a great job with them. Its amazing the difference between then and now! you deserve a huge award!!!

  2. OH these pictures still break my heart. How your family has been changed, you are so blessed. And I am so happy to hear about Mr M!

  3. I can't believe it's all ready been a year home for your sweeties...tears in my eyes thinking of the ones not home yet, whose reality is the same as those first pics of your sweeties....how amazing the change in Emma and Micah's world. Further proof to me that anything is possible with God. You have an amazing family-fitting for two amazing parents :) Thank you for sharing the journey with us all.

  4. Wow, I cannot imagine that they are the same two kids they are now. Thank you for posting this. It's amazing to see how your family has been changed, as well as their world!

  5. I loved following your journey then and still do today, even more so :)

  6. Those pictures break my heart :( I'm just curious, what did the orphanage feed them in their bottles?