On Dec 02, 2010, we adopted Wesley in a court in Ukraine. A few days prior, on November 28, we adopted Aleksa at a different court in a different region of Ukraine! Just prior... We adopted James on September 1, 2010! He was in our home for just over 3 months before that as a foster placement with the intention of adoption.
When we look back at life in 2010 it was a WILD year. Lynae was born in September of 2009, so her year of infancy happened at the same time that God brought James to our family through foster care adoption. At the same time I was working (as a volunteer) with an adoption ministry running their Ukraine program and advocating for special needs adoption, as well as helping independent adoptive parents to complete their paperwork in a correct and timely manner. When Wesley came across our computers and a grant was given to him to find a family since he was in urgent need of adoption (he was already supposed to be transferred to an institution and had been sheltered for a time to keep him from transfer), we spent a week in prayer and then Mike said "that's us. Let's go."
What a busy year, a bit of a blur, really. I left for that trip a week and a half after Lynae turned a year old, and then went to adopt Wesley... and then Aleksa as well... about 6 weeks later. We missed our homecoming at Christmas and
Christine Harm(she went with me for almost a month to help me bring the kids home!) and I ended up celebrating in Ukraine, then came home on December 30th with our new arrivals.
As I look back on 'memories' of today, exactly a year later, in 2011, I was traveling home from Bulgaria with
Shelley Bedfordwhen helping her bring her new daughter home! Although we have a child from Bulgaria, this trip with Shelley was my only experience traveling there since our son was already in the USA before he came into our lives. It was definitely a special trip and opportunity to see his country (which of course we didn't even know about him for 2.5 years after this trip), and to be able to do some missions outreach in Bulgaria as well. That was my last trip across the big pond! It's hard to believe it has been 9 years...
As a little fun side note, I found out on that Bulgaria trip that I was pregnant with Delaina, too . She is my only biological child that traveled to Eastern Europe! She was only big enough to make me sick enough to know I was pregnant withough needing a pregnancy test on our long flights home, though! Ha! When we traveled,
Rachel Davis's husband and mother in law were with us for a leg of the journey, bringing their son Jordan home, and their mom kept telling me I must be pregnant. I was in some serious denial!
We have come a long way since picking up those two little ones in Ukraine in 2010. We've gone from a family of 10 to a family of 16, by adopting 2 more times and having 4 more biological kids. We moved from our "lifetime" home of central Florida to northern Georgia. Our lives have a whole lot more medical involvement now than they did before. We had ZERO g-tubes in early 2010, then James joined our family and eventually Wesley got a gtube, and now of course we have Nya with her gtube but also a trach, ventilator, and occasionally O2 needs. James also has home oxygen, and Wesley developed epilepsy almost 6 years ago now.
Just a little reminiscing Here's a throwback picture to December 2010 and a picture from October 2020 from Aleksa's 18th birthday!
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