Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a word from the kulp kids...

A handful of people have asked mom when she's going to update her blog... we don't know what is taking her so long, for goodness sakes...all she does is sit around watching grey's anatomy and eating bonbons...we basically take care of ourselves...geesh...

Anyway, since mom is taking so long to get back to her blogging, we thought we would write an entry for her and maybe she would get her act together and start posting regularly again...

After wrestling for it, we have decided to update you in chronological order...

Danielle - life is pretty (can I hold the baby?) good lately.  I've been practicing a lot with my dynavox, at home (can I hold the baby?) and at school.  I really really love my (can I hold the baby?) new sister emily ... well as long as she's not crying.  Mom says I might be transferring (can I hold the baby?) schools soon...I'll keep you (can I hold the baby?) posted on that ...we're not quite sure about all the details yet.  Ohh ears are giving me a bit of trouble...hopefully the doc will (can I hold the baby?) figure out how to make my hearing better soon.  I'm growing like a (can I hold the baby?) weed, and right now I'm pretty fixated on helping baby doll emily...   where is that baby doll anyway?

Simon here - Mom and Dad say I have a lot of hills and valleys.  Mom was getting pretty stressed out a few weeks ago, bc she said I was having a "non verbal grumpy streak" whatever that means!!  So to help her relax I've been super duper happy and talkative for about 2 weeks now.  She won't stop telling everyone about it...geesh!  I still can't stand the feel of shoes on my feet...I'm not sure how all you shoe wearing people do it!?  I really love love love emily...she loves it when I kiss her and leave lots of slobber on her head and face.  I'm really gentle with her...but mom won't let me tote her around the house like one of my teddy bears...I don't get it??  I think mom just wants to hog up emily all to herself...ohh well, I make her smile all the time!  I think my new brother and sister may even be more interesting than the patterns in the carpet or my elmo movies... mom is still slacking so I'll let Shea fill you in...

Shea - well...I've been an American now for over 3 months and I turned 5!  Mom worries a little that I don't speak ANY Russian anymore...she's gotta chill out!  I'm rockin' kindergarten, I L O V E riding the big yellow bus.  Mom keeps taking me to all these different doctors, hopefully we'll be done with all that jazz soon.  I guess pretty soon I'm going to have some "major work done" on my teeth...then I hear I might be getting a "fixer upper" on my left hip.  I think I'm going to keep mom and dad busy for a while!  They gave me these new robot leg things...they're OK I guess...once they are on and I'm walking I like em OK...but they kind of slow me down when I'm trying to scoot away from mom on my hands and knees.  I give her heck when it's time to use them...but she keeps saying I'll like them someday!  It is pretty cool that I can walk tall with em...and I've conned them into giving me pennies when I do a good job :) is pretty good!  See ya later alligator... I'm gonna grit you!

Emily - well I may not be able to talk yet...but I can write...shhh don't tell daddy.  Geeze Louise!...what a family I've been born into.  Looks like I'm gonna have to be one tough cookie!  Mom is all sad and teary cause she's going back to work part time tomorrow...but come on mom...hold it together, Daddy is going to be so much fun!  For the last 2 nights I've decided to cut mom a break and I've slept for 7 hours for her.  She seems so happy when i do that!  I just discovered these long things at the end of my body...if I kick them around alot they make my chair bounce up and down... pretty cool.  I've also started to coo, and I've managed to laugh twice.  Mom gets really silly when I do these things and calls the whole town over to see.  Weird!  Oh yeah...I've had 2 ear infections so far and I'm only stinkin' 8 weeks old (today!)  Thanks alot Simon, Shea and Danielle...I know we're supposed to share and all...but keep your cooties to yourself please.  Well I better go...don't want mom to catch me on the computer, I think I'm technically too little to be surfing the net.  Bye Bye, burp, coo!

Monday, June 27, 2011

first embassy day...(sb moms - question for you in the last photo please)

my son reminding me that God has the whole world in his hands....

Today was our first of two embassy days.  Shea and mommy went solo because it was pouring rain and windy and my parents wouldn't have been allowed in the building bc of security etc.  I also left the stroller home bc I knew with all of the stairs on this trip and needing to get through the metal detectors etc etc it would be easier for just today to travel without it.  Shea wore my poncho and we tried not to get blown away by the wind!  No photos of this's not allowed at the embassy...and it was too wet and difficult to try to take them anyway.  Once there the appointment went smoothly and Shea was perfectly behaved!  He sat like such a good and patient boy!  (now to figure out how to get him to be so good on the potty!...he really doesn't like it...he will do much better once home on a potty chair I'm sure)  For families coming behind was 404$ US today for this step....and filling out your forms ahead of time is really would have been so stressful to try to fill them out while there in my opinion...especially if you are alone...

So the business of the day went very well...I was whooped by the end though...3 flights in and out of this building...the taxi was 1/2 an hour late so we took shelter in the tunnel where we could see the taxi arrive, but still be out of the rain...also a delay in the van that would take myself and another family back to our apartments after...we took shelter in a grocery store as many others did to escape the downpours.  Lets just say I was glad to get back into the apt today!

By late afternoon...the apartment was again getting we all put on our sneakers and headed out for a walk in the rain...which had decreased to a "moderate" soaking by this time...we tackled some crazy hills, outdoor ramps and stairways and got a healthy dose of exercise and came home looking like wet noodles...except of course for shea who was dry as a bug in a rug with his rain protected stroller shield...thank you again maria c!!

The electricity has been hit or miss has never fully gone out, but it is not strong enough to power the microwave right now, and we have no we had a classic "EE tourist dinner" tonight, ie pb and j, cup o soup, apples etc... shea thouroughly enjoyed every bite!

more future blackmail material!

whooey...I'm not sure how I feel about this toothpaste taste yet mamma!

he certainly knows how to ham it up on cue for the camera...

this apartment is certainly not child oriented or disability oriented...he needs both hands to stand...and both hands to do his self we get creative!  The bathroom I'm trying to potty train in is literally about 4x4 (which the toilet takes up most of!)...hmmm shea who needs support...nothing to hold except mommy or the toilet...mommy is 7 1/2 mo prego...gets pretty darn interesting.... !!

this is his spinal scar...there are also some abnormalities further down...but it's a family show here!  Spina Bifida moms...chime in...does this look typical...or is the scar tissue pretty keloid or hypertrophic like??  what are your thoughts?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

waiting out the weekend until business can resume on monday...

one of his still moments amongst his go go watch the world around him...
it's been raining non stop since we arrived on saturday to the capital...but cabin fever sets in, so we gear up for the rain and head out for walking a couple of times a day.  This apartment is very close to some indep square, St Micheals and St Andrews.  Nice to see a different part of the city this time...still lots of hills and lots of stairs!!  Pack light if you are coming advice ever....

shea and mommy in independ. square.  (Maria this stoller has been a godsend!)

grandpa was braver than mommy on this ramp!  I know PT's he should be going backward!  Also it must be engrained into all children to give a mamma no peace in her 10 mintues of bathtime solitude wheather they have been yours for days or for years!  All through my shower I heard...maamma...maaaammmaaa   and giggles.

An orphan no more! Gotcha Day!

there will be more pictures of gotcha day in the private
blog, want to keep faces protected....

His first machina ride as a "free man"!
changing clothes to leave the orphanage...last moments with his nanny who had true love for him...

this is a dark photo...but a moment full of light....leaving the gates of his orphanage as a Kulp

intwined in all the tender moments and first events of gotcha day there was still much business to be flights out of region to happen in 15 hours time, making arrangements to pay rent and return keys, getting an embassy appointment booked earlier, ensuring all paperwork needed is leaving region with us....

probably the most significant moment of the day....our first ice cream cone together!!!

the trains were good if Shea could watch while embracing mommy...they were a bit too loud on this first day

who is enjoying this first meal more?  mamma or shea?

the train is too loud mamma...there is so much world I want to see...but can we turn down the volume?

This day was a wonderful whirlwind.  His special nanny helped me prepare him to leave, with tears coursing down her face most of the time.  She loved my boy, and was at the same time happy to see him find a mamma and pappa, but sad to have to say goodbye to him.  We took time to walk Shea around to each of his grouppa mates to say goodbye and give hugs and kisses.  His nanny walked us down to the taxi and she hummed "America The Beautiful" and was explaining things to Shea again. 

The pictures above show the happenings of the day.  One of the most fun moments was the pre bed bath time!  He loved it so much, and probably would have stayed in the tub all night if I had let him.  Brushing his teeth was at first a scary ordeal filled with crying...until I stopped and brushed my teeth infront of him...making silly faces....and he caught on with no problem.  It seems to be one of his favorite activities now.  We are already making headway with some of the brown stains on his teeth.  Sitting on the potty ring on the toilet was not his favorite activity...actually probably his only "bad" experience of the day....but mamma is hitting the ground running with this one!  We have had 3 sucessful "foos" in the toilet so far. 

Time for bed and packing came....I laid down in bed with him and his starvation for human touch was soooo evident.  He nuzzled, and hugged and squeezed and sniffed for many many minutes...finally I thought he was asleep and then it was time for me to try to sneak out of the room to finish packing.  Before I was 2 steps out of the room the most mournful wail started... I don't blame many new and overwhelming things to take in, and now in a room by himself ???  What was mamma thinking?  So I climbed back into bed with him and he was instantly calmed....

His first day went very very well, he managed so many new sights, sounds and experiences with awe in his eyes and no major meltdowns.  He showed all spectrums of emotion.  We can't wait to be with daddy to finally be a complete family... I've sighed a big sigh of relief on gotcha day...but will fully feel the relief when we are home in daddy's arms with brat and sistrah!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The ever changing story of EE adoption...

An important prayer request for the EE orphan situation in general first...  On July 11th adoption will halt in this country.  The president did sign laws which will allow the shut down so that government offices can be restructured.  Let's hope positive changes occur in a timely manner due to this and that the doors reopen very very soon.  Pray that the restructuring may clean up some of the questionable processes that are a part of life here in regards to working the system...

In these laws that passed it also confirmed that unless you are an orphan with special needs you can't be adopted internationally until your 5yrs old.  I think they are trying to get more in country adoptions of their own orphans but this may increase the number of children who age up in the system and thus become harder to adopt.  Also the list of special needs that are accepted is quite limited to only more common diagnosis...lets pray more of the rare or less common diagnosis will also be allowed, otherwise more and more special needs children will face institutionalization here. 

Basically...let's hope the changes are quick, and improve the process overall.
Remember my post about leaving your type A at home?? That’s all I need to say J
If you can’t leave your type A at home…you should probably adopt from China! Very structured, planned, mapped out…

Arriving in region on Monday we were told there was a possibility of getting the passport on Friday…but more likely Monday.

By Tuesday PM we were told there was no chance of getting it by Friday, and to plan on being in region until

June 29th because of the mon and tues EE holiday.

By Thursday we were told there was SOME chance we would get it by Friday.

By Friday we were told we would most likely get it that day…but they couldn’t really be sure.

By Friday at 3:00 we were told to be ready to leave the apt in 15 minutes to pick up the passport and then go have Gottcha Day and bring Shea home with us….and return to the capital by Saturday morning! (okay, I admit that my type A did kick in and I outlined all the flights, packed the suitcases and packed a Gotcha Day kit, gave the going away nanny and orphanage gifts etc etc all by Friday morning…you know….just in case!! )

I think the nannies knew we would be leaving soon too…because in addition to the normal treats, pampers fruits and toys that we would bring on visitations they had some special requests. They showed me a broken electric water hot pot, a broken lamp, missing light bulbs and a needed extension cord….implying I should buy them for the orphanage. This was a project for Dad and Mike S…walking over to the market with my shopping list while the women did that days visitation.

So back to EE adoption creative scheduling. My facilitator at one time laughed with me and said…you try to figure out how everything works….stop trying because it will only change and that’s why you pay us! Ohhh but it’s so hard to not be in control says this mamma.

(by the way…my stomach is visibly shifting Left and Right like the atlantic ocean waves right now…I think someone is trying to say hello…and don’t forget about meeeee!)

So we hurriedly booked our tickets to the capital, and headed out to the passport office. Luda had been out of region since wed am working with other families, so she had put the driver in charge of this task. When we arrived the door was locked and the office looked closed! The driver made a call and the door opened, I was asked in…the driver waited outside.

It was kind of strange being in a building, locked to the public from the outside, not speaking any of the language and having workers walk by you wondering what the heck you were doing sitting there in the waiting room. I tried not to make eye contact so that people wouldn’t try to make me explain what I was doing and I was half afraid they might tell me to leave! After a few minutes I was handed the passport, checked it for any errors, signed a paper that was all in Russian and headed toward my little one to spring him from the joint!

So you probably want to know about gotcha day….hee hee hee, I’m thirsty and have to go to the bathroom so you’ll just have to wait for the next post!

And also…before we get to that… before we rejoice….please say prayers for a family who is a bit delayed in Shea’s region. We were able to spend nice time with them and I would really love to see them having court very soon…..and also for any complications that have occurred or may happen in the future….whether day to day problems….or bigger external issues from external sources….that they be obliterated and their little boy goes home with them forever very very soon!
this is the sleeping room for the grouppa

the regional passport office...the last step before gotcha day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

notice the beautiful frilly flower hat...good grief

future blackmail photo when he brings home his first girlfriend!  I gave him the hat....but yikes about the rest of the outfit!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

wed 22nd...the paper chase continues!

these critters are everywhere! so we might as well play with them!  Some of them are super big!

stray dogs are as common here as squirrels are at home it seems...and they travel in packs, but so far all are friendly

shopping in style....much more fun this way...

buying bannanas for the grouppa
Wednesday 22nd…the paperchase continues
Today was another busy one… first stop with my driver was picking up Luda then we headed to the orphanage for a 9 am meeting with the orphanage atourney. ( which of course started at 9:20 typical ukranian time ) That was completed by 10. I received Shea’s baptismal certificate from the local orthodox church that also had a small cross necklace, this will be a special keep sake for us. The orphanage has all the children baptized. I received the needed paperwork to close down his government bank account and transfer the money back to them, the permission to release him from the orphanage on the day our passport comes and permission to take his “orthopedic shoes” and night time leg splints with us when we leave. Next we were supposed to head off to the social workers office in the city to get additional papers we would need for our bank visit. In Ukranian time frame style…the social worker was not ready for us and we needed to wait an extra hour, but that was fine with me because it allowed me to do a short morning visitation with Shea, and we also met the Silva family today (adopting noah).

Once we made it to the social workers office we then headed all the way back to the region of the orphanage to complete the banking work. I also managed to buy some cherries from a street vendor in the process. They were very yummy, but after a few I noticed a worm in one, then the next, then the next…. So I think I may have accidentally gotten a little extra protein today, blaaaahhhk.

Once the bank papers were complete we headed back to the orphanage for two more signatures and then I headed back to the apartment and met up with my parents.

The evening visitation was nice, cooler, and we did a play date with the Silvas. Shea enjoyed cars, pegs, treats, and sliding snails down the slide! I am proud to say that he is now easily saying grandma and grandpa….rolling his R’s the whole time….I hope he doesn’t loose that little trait. He also said simon without being prompted when looking at a photo today….that was a joy!

From now until passport arrival there is no paper chasing thank goodness. I just have to get started on my embassy paperwork to have that done in time for our appointment. We will re enter the phase of 2 daily 2 hour visitations.
My ankles are quite a bit better, a little ouchy still…but much much better, thank you all for your kind words and prayers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A paper chase day...

By 7:30 am we were off. Our first trip was to Shea’s birth town. The office of vital statistics was in a touristy section of town, and we did not get a chance to look around the more residential settings. We arrived at the office before it opened and waited in line to submit our papers. We were informed that his new birth certificate would be ready by 2pm…and probably not sooner. This worried Luda a bit because she was not sure we would finish all the needed business to complete the passport application requirements by the end of the day. Our current status was that Friday the 24th would be the first possible day we would have his passport in hand. Luda had discovered that Monday and Tuesday the 27th and 28th government buildings are closed…so the second best option would be that we would get our passport on Wednesday the 29th. (fyi after we get his passport and get ourselves back to the capitol we need two full business days of embassy and medical exam work before we can fly home.)

Since we had to kill time until 2 we drove to a nearby monastery with rock formations and churches built into the rock itself. Then we went on to a local palace of a former king and finally to a souvenier market and some rest time to have our packed lunches. I was antsy that we were “loosing time” in the race against the clock…but my personal photographer (mom) took many lovely photos of his home region that I’m sure he will someday find great meaning from.

By two oclock we went back to the office of vital stats and the door was locked….oh dear! By quarter after 2 we were let back in, but our certificate had not been started. By 2:45 we were on our way back to the town of the orphanage in a very speedy manner thanks to our driver artur….very speedy…white knuckle fast!

Our fist stop was to the notary office, and then to the social security office to get his tax ID number for the bank work we will have to do tomorrow. Then we raced again back to the orphanage to pick up Shea…which I had not realized was going to happen today. There is no written itinerary with this trip, and I had not been told about this part of the day, so it was a nice surprise. Unfortunately when we arrived at the orphanage the lawyer had forgotten to write up the form giving us permission to take him out for his photos. Luda called her and our resolution was that they would allow us to go without the form since she had forgotten to complete it, but we needed to take a nanny along with us. It all worked out, but this again caused some time to be lost in our race against the clock…counting down ultimately to the day we would get our passport back. Also because of the extra person there was certainly no way that we would all fit in our drivers car, so my parents had to stay at the orphanage grounds while we did our work.

We needed to take Shea to the passport office and then to get visa photos done. In the midst of our hecticness artur was sent on an errand to find us a new phone charging cord as ours didn’t work and we were unable to communicate with the team if needed. We completed all tasks at hand today, but by an hour that was too late. We are told Friday passport partying is not going to happen. They are fairly sure we will have it by Wednesday the 29th, and of so we would be allowed to go by train back to the capital that night, or by plane in the morning…which ever has 4 open seats and a good deal.

Of course…these are best estimates and not written in stone, but it looks like Shea will be “sprung out of the joint” and joining us by Wednesday the 29th if all goes well. We arrived back to our apartment by 7:00pm and collapsed into a tired and hungry mess J

So that was our day…pretty factual I know….sorry about that. A few special moments…. On our outing, Shea was given the option of the nanny or mamma a few times, and I was the lucky winner…it felt good, and of course is a good bonding sign!

I’m cautiously optimistic that we will have a good little traveler when we leave. He is usually so activity oriented and I was afraid long bouts of sitting in one place would be a problem. What I found today is that we was so enthralled with being in a car and watching all the hustle and bustle of the city that is was hard to get a peep out of him…. His eyes were glued to his surroundings as he was nestled into my lap. Once we were back to the orphanage he proclaimed “that was a good trip”!

I will close for now… I was really really hoping for a Friday passport day to shorten our travel time and to get home as a family all under one roof….but looks like this was not meant to be. I think we will probably be right on track with the 2 wk estimate period which I am very thankful for. I do think and hope we will be home in time for july 4th celebration fireworks, and danielle’s birthday on the 7th. Oh and by the way did I mention Dan has to leave town on July 5th for 8 days for work duties in florida??

Good grief, I’m just rollin’ with it! Thank you for your prayers and the comments that I have gotten along the way. We appreciate all of your support….Mamma Liz

Monday, June 20, 2011

His little mind processing

Our flight into region went wonderfully and it was such a relief to not have to ride the overnight train this time. I’m so thankful to have found such cheap rates…. I wonder if we can make that work on the way back to the capitol city too? Also my travel sickness has been conquered by a safe OTC med that my obgyn suggested.

As soon as we got back to region our driver artur picked us up. We had a few wrinkles in regards to getting an appropriate apartment, but with a few phone calls that was shortly resolved and I’m very happy with where we are staying this time, considering we have 3 adults now. Most of all….there are only about 10 stairs or so to access this apt, and my body really needed that right now… much better.
It is very hot during the day, but has been cooling down and raining at night. No AC in the apt this time, but lots of windows and 2 fans…so we’re cooling it down well. In fact I’m at peace listening to the rain right now as I write. At home my kiddies have probably been off the bus for about 45 minutes…

Dan is a great daddy, continue to lift him up - that he has a fun week, with unexplainable energy and stamina. I’m sure he will start to get worn out.

So, what you’ve all been waiting for. Yes we did get to visit Shea today…our first visit was cut a bit short because I had to do some paperwork at court as soon as I dropped off my luggage at the apt. I let mom and dad take a nap to catch up from our jet lag and then we were off and running after I was finished up at the courthouse.

Shea was already outside when we arrived, and I’m not sure the nannies had realized I was coming today. My first observation was that he was not wearing tights! Hallelujah!
My second observation was that my buddy with CP was not to be found….. All the other children from shea’s groupa were accounted for. I’m praying that maybe he was with the nurse, or in a PT session….but I did not see him in the afternoon either…. I’m very frightened that he was transferred while we were away. Please pray for this little man who so longs for love and physical touch and either will soon, or has already faced institutionalization. That is all I will write for now on this matter……

As I was studying my son’s bare legs, checking out a few bug bites, and a few scars that I hadn’t seen before (all probably from his club foot corrections ) I noticed that he was studying us! The reaction was not his normal giggle, stand up, smile and call out MAMA! He was studious…. And looked like…hey I know you, but who are these other two with you? I can only imagine what was going through his mind…. Where’s daddy?? What’s happening next?? Are you giving me to this other nice couple you have brought with you?? No worries though, bc within one snack, pulling a new toy out of the backpack and 10 minutes later my old shea had come back to me, giggles, cuddles and all.

Shea loves his grandparents that’s for sure! He also recalled his English word for Daddy as we looked through pictures…I can tell he’s waiting to see his Daddy someday really soon. Shea was won over by the treats and toys brought by grandma, and the man play and sound effects from grandpa!

So tomorrow is a busy paperwork day. I leave at 7:45 am to head towards his birth city in order to transfer the birth certificate…one of the first steps needed to acquire the passport. Our facilitator this time is Luda. She thinks there is a chance we will be heading back to the capitol city by friday, but wants us to be prepared for Monday as a realistic option also. Gotcha day will be no earlier than Friday as it stands now.

2 prayer requests…there are a few official holidays that are spread out over the next few weeks here in this country….lets hope our timing works out just perfectly so that the offices we need fall on actual work days to eliminate any delays.

Also…I officially have kankles, very swollen feet and swollen toes. They are not so comfortable shall we say….and with all the walking, heat and appnts etc it’s very hard to get them elevated for any length of time during the day….please pray that this magically resolves for me…or at least that it doesn’t cause pain any more. Thanks!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back in action...

The long gap in posts was my time home for the appeal.  Now I'm writing to you from the capital city again.  We got here with fairly smooth big problems anyway, some minor bumps in the road (ie pray for mom and dad who are recovering from a short case of food poisoning from lunch at the philly airport, but doing much better now )

This time around Dan is at home keeping it all going with the kids, last days of school, md appnts....etc etc... Please pray that he has the stamina to "survive" until I get back home, and that he has a low stress, full of fun couple of weeks without me!  ( I'll come home as soon as possible dan, I promise!)

My parents have come on this trip with me, which I am so thankful for.  Being on 4th and 5th floors of apt buildings without elevators, with luggage, eventually a 4 1/2 year old who can't walk and being 7+ months now would have gotten pretty tricky by myself!...especially on the trip home.

So the dad's in my life are having a pretty unique fathers day this year...that is for sure! Thank you guys!

Our father's day dinner!
To summarize, we have been in this city since about 1:00 sunday afternoon, and by 4 am monday morning our driver should be here to take us to our flight to Shea's region.  Because we were able to book the flights last week instead of buying train tickets in a peak season yesterday it is actually cheaper to fly this time, thank goodness!  We are told that on monday we will be able to do visitations, and tuesday morning early we start take two of the paperchase adventure.  Monday the offices are closed for some reason, but they wanted us here and settled so we would take no chances missing appnts etc on tuesday am.  It is nice to have that one day to recover from travel a bit...let my kankles from yesterday return back to a recognizable state and see Shea before we hit the ground runnin'.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Officially Shea Matthew Kulp!.... relief!

Monday, June 6thwas Court Day! Our driver is scheduled to arrive at 9:30 for our visitation with Shea. By 9:10am we received the call that we could leave our suitcases in the apartment, wear non court clothes and go see our boy for the last visit of this trip. We were asked to then be ready for our next pickup at the apartment by 1:00. Hmmm, we did the math. If we did our full visit until noon with Shea, got back to the apartment by 12:30 barring any traffic problems, that would give us 30 min to hike all those stairs, eat, get presentable for court, and haul our luggage back down all those stairs. Dan and I decided this would be cutting it to close for comfort so we said goodbye to Shea at 11:30 on this day.

Saying goodbye to him was a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, to me it signifies the next step in the process and being a little closer to having this adventure complete…with him in my home. On the other hand, I’m so looking forward to holding Simon and Danielle…. But will certainly worry about Shea while away from him.

As for Shea, he handled it all well. He was cheerful and did not have tears or anguish! He was actually quite distracted by his shovel and bucket as we were giving him his goodbye talk. They all say he’s understanding what’s happening….but how much can a 4 ½ really process?? I’m not sure. I held it together and was strong…until saying goodbye to the little boy in his grouppa with CP. I’m so afraid that by the time I return, he will have been transferred to the institution. They tell me it will happen shortly…does that mean a week? A month? ½ a year? I have no way of knowing right now.

He grabbed me and hugged and hugged….he looked into my eyes and then hugged more. We did this for probably a full minute or more - I think the nannies must have wondered what this was all about…. While wanting to hold him much longer, we peeled ourselves away and waited at “the gate” for our driver to arrive….trying not to look back.

Readers…. If any of you have had adoption in the back of your mind…is it time to bring it to the front? I know, I know…. Not enough time, energy, money, skill, and on and on…..Dan and I have all these same fears and limits….but what I do know is the yearning I could feel from this boy…. The warm sweet breath on my cheek….his “mama, mama” repeated over and over…. I pray that someone gets brave very soon and says YES for the sake of this little one who is breaking my heart.

Will I miss Shea? Yes, of course I will…. But in my mind I know he is now safe. No institution for Shea! TODAY he became Shea Matthew Kulp!! Today he became our son! I know there is hope for him…and this brings me great joy! For the little man I’ve mentioned above… his hope is fading….. So my friends you see how conflicted my heart is.
Regardless, I’ve promised the details of court…I will tell the nitty gritty after I get a shower, a meal and a rest… it is actually june 7th now and we are back in Kyiv, and have a couple of hours before our consulate appnt…

Love - Dan and Liz (thankful for ALL the prayers of support)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Get out the big guns of prayer...court tomorrow!

so it gets a little hard coming up with 4 hours of entertainment for an active 4 1/2  year old!

If bribed with grapes or oranges he will sit for about 20 minutes and work on numbers or songs to teach language...

His preferred mode of transportation!  Strollers are for babies mama!  He will be using one on the trip home though!

Sticks and dirt!  I'm a boy!  Who needs toys?!

Who needs assistive devices and orthotics when I've got playground equipment??

In U the families have a term called the groundhog day phase. (you know that Bill Murray movie when he wakes up and does the same thing over and over and over....)  Here, that is when your business is temporarally done and you wait and wait for your court date assignment, and then wait some more for court to actually arrive.  You visit your child...usually twice a day depending on the region...and you sort of have trouble remembering what day it is... and because of the limitations of the setting... sometimes things seem to blur together.... did we do this or that yesterday or was it last week?? You search for food, take the long rides back and forth.  You try not to accidentally order liver (yes we did...and boy did my gag reflex kick in! just like when my parents tried to make me eat it when I was 10...hey I tried) Any how... today was our last groundhog's day for now!

Tomorrow we have one final visitation in the morning.  As is the norm for this trip...we are a little unsure on some details for tomorrow... we aren't sure yet if we are moving out of this apartment before the visitation and keeping the driver with us all day... or if we come back to the apartment one last time between visitation and court.  We were waiting for a phone call today to straighten this out... but it did not come.  Sooo we are packed and ready and have cleaned the place up just in case.  Whatever happens...the marathon starts tomorrow.  Court is happening at 14:00 ... so if anyone is awake at 7 am eastern  please pray at that time.  This judge will determine if we are "fit" to be Shea's adoptive parents.

As soon as court happens, we will rush off to the train station (and hopefully make it in time!) for a 5 something train.  Then we will ride across the country heading north to the capital for another 13 hours.  Tuesday will be our visit to the consulars office (US) to have Dan sign paperwork as he will not be returning on the second trip so that he can stay home and care for Simon and Danielle and get back to work and real life.  Then by 6:45 AM on wednesday we hope to be on our flight for HOME!!

Yes, I will miss my Toma and worry about him... but all of this means we are getting closer to having him home forever... and it will be such good medicine to my soul to see my babies at home!

On a closing note... After my lowest day this trip emotionally a bit ago...I embarked the next day to adjust my heart and my soul and try to be proactive about not letting the heaviness of it all get to me.  I was sitting out front of our building sitting on the stoop, and waiting for dan to return from some grocery shopping.  I was praying... thanking God for our many blessings while here.  Asking God to show me joy and to lift my spirits.  At that very moment a BIRD POOPED ON MY HEAD!!  I'm not kidding!...  All I could do is laugh and laugh.  Who knew God was such a comedian??  He released my soul to laughter all through a little bird doo!  The end!

Friday, June 3, 2011

photos from june 2nd and 3rd

such simple pleasures.... (aka no wonder he loves us...we bring him treats!)

He knows the word for "grape" now and says it without prompting...he loves do we...look how big they are!

Grandma Kulp...I brought him that lacing kit you got us for christmas...SORRY...  why would you lace a pattern when you could tie all your "machinas" on this awesome string!  Again...simple pleasure....  I think we need to find a hot wheels ramp!  Aunt that tractor trailor full of match box cars is going to be put to constant use!

making silly faces for daddy

typical scene from our street...didn't want to offend her so snapped this shot on the sly

double trouble

this beautiful window is in shea's can't tell that it is missing many pieces, also this is one of the many areas that leaked and flooded into the interior of the building during this weeks hail and rain storms....

Mama...I'm not looking at you...I'm not looking at you... :)

Shea is pampering mama by putting lotion on my legs for me.  He is very concerned about my bug bites...he hates bugs!