Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Friday, August 29, 2008

pictures from yesterday and this morning

leaving the orphanage

FINALLY sleeping!!
right before we woke him up to eat this morning

Thursday, August 28, 2008

we have our son!!

We picked up Wesley from the orphanage today!! I cannot post any pictures because he is asleep in our room, and the camera cord is somewhere in there. I don't want to wake him up, as it took FOREVER to get him to sleep. Damon and I both laid down on the bed and put him in between us, but he just sat up and played with the pacifier and a blanket. He fell asleep as we were getting up.
Feeding him has gone okay - it's a learning experience. I am just so worried about him getting enough food and water!! We think that we have his feeding schedule, but we cannot be entirely sure. He doesn't seem to mind the feedings as much as I thought he would.
No word on the tax ID. Another family here will receive theirs after nine days waiting, but then they have to wait for the passport. I think I might even be more homesick than I was when we left a couple weeks ago!
Please just pray for all three of us!! We are so worried about doing something wrong - you know, us being first-time parents and a child who cannot eat by mouth! Please also pray for a quick receipt of the tax ID number and the passport - we want to get home. We'll post pictures soon.
Love - Staci and Damon

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

back in Kharkov (day 40)

We are back in Ukraine after a few great days home! We have been running around from office to office doing paperwork regarding the adoption since we arrived. We found out today that the new tax ID number for Wes is going to take quite a bit longer than we thought!! Apparently you used to be able to get it in a day, but it looks like it is going to be at least another week based on what other families are experiencing!! The process now has to go through Kiev, then back to Kharkov. After receiving the tax ID, we have to wait for the passport, then head to the US Consulate. It looks like we will be here for another two and a half weeks. I don't want to change our return tickets yet because I don't have any idea when we'll be in the US.

We are both just frustrated!! Bet you couldn't tell :) The longer we have to spend over here, the less time we have off work when we get home. Wesley needs surgery as soon as possible, and it just feels to me like no one around here cares much about that at all!! When we get home and after surgery, Wesley will need to be in the hospital for an extended period of time (at least three weeks). This whole trip is costing a ton of money (about twice as much as we originally planned), and it looks like we will spend at least 8-9 weeks total here!! Please just pray for us because we are just feeling so discouraged (especially me - Staci). Not only all this mess about the adoption, but our apartment is crawling with bugs and we've seen evidence of mice. To me, bugs are one thing, but mice (or rats) are something entirely different!!!!
Good news - We were able to visit Wesley yesterday for about an hour. He was so happy to see us!! He was just laughing and he wanted to be passed back and forth between me and Damon. (Can you tell that he likes to imitate the faces we make? Can you also tell how much he likes his Dad??)

We thought we were going to pick up Wes today, but we were running all over the place and by the time we made it to the orphanage, the director was gone. Apparently we will pick him up tomorrow at noon (I will believe it when it actually happens).

So our plan for tomorrow is to go to the bank to withdraw Wesley's disability money, pick up necessary feeding and care supplies at the pharmacy and grocery, pick up gifts for the orphanage director, lawyer, caregivers, children, and then we will be able to pick him up. We'll see how all this goes without a translator. Neither of us has had the chance to feed him through his g-tube, so we are supposed to do that tomorrow. I don't know how that will work when we don't understand a word they say and they don't understand us either! I'll update tomorrow.
Thank you so much for your prayers (we need them)!!
Love - Staci and Damon

Friday, August 22, 2008

enjoying our home in Ohio

We've been home for a few days now, and it's been great!! When I first laid down on our bed at home, I thought it felt "too soft," but now it's just right! The dogs were very excited for us to be home, but Duke decided he was mad at us for about two days. He would sit about 10 feet away from us and stare. He's over it now, but we'll see what happens when we leave again and come home with a child...We have enjoyed seeing our family and friends, and we look forward to them meeting Wesley!
I wonder how Wesley is going to react to us when we return. Damon and I were just talking about how excited we are to be able to spend more than two hours at a time with him! Maybe I won't be as excited when he's crying in the middle of the night, but we'll adjust!
We head out of Ohio on Sunday and arrive in Kiev on Monday. We hope to head from the airport in Kiev to Kharkov, but I am not sure when the flights leave. We have our internet card, so I will update as soon as possible! Please continue to pray for safe travels, the adjustment to the time change, and for our first days as parents!!
Love - Staci and Damon

Thursday, August 14, 2008

we're coming home tomorrow (day 34)

The 10 day waiting period was not waived by the judge, but we are not too upset about it. We will miss Wesley (obviously), but we look forward to getting home for a while. I am also looking forward to a house with air conditioning, as it is currently 97 degrees and rising! As a girl accustomed to a/c, this is rough!!

More pictures, as promised

this was a great smile this morning (makes us sad to leave him for a while!)

watching other children play

LOVES to spin without stopping (not easy on Mom or Dad)

the phone was unharmed (thank you for letting us borrow it, Amy L.)

watching us

lest you think I was kidding about the crying...

Love - Staci and Damon

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We were officially declared the parents of Wesley today! Court took a long time to start, but only lasted about 25 minutes. The judge is considering waiving the 10 day waiting period, but we'll find out for sure tomorrow. Please continue to pray that it is waived!!


So here are the pictures everyone has been waiting on...

here's the serious look I was talking about

playing inside the orphanage

a family of three (I took this picture today. I would have shown a picture without something in his mouth, but that seriously limits my options! And since today is symbolic...)

isn't this the sweetest picture??

he LOVES riding on our shoulders!

I will post more pictures tomorrow! It's been a long day, and I need my sleep!!
Love - Staci and Damon

Saturday, August 9, 2008

day 28 & typical 17 month-old behavior

Things have been going well with Wesley. He still whines and cries at random times for no apparent reason (at least as far as we can tell), but he is getting more comfortable with us (and us with him). I appreciate all the posts and emails of encouragement from everyone - it helps us to know that his behavior is normal for his age. I know that he isn't sure exactly what is going on as he has never had this much attention placed solely on him by two adults!
We're looking forward to going home next week to refresh. I hope that us going home next week does not set us back in our attachment with Wesley. We look forward to Wesley meeting our friends and family this fall. I know they are all going to love him like we do!
Here is a picture of Damon with Wesley on his shoulders - I can post it since you cannot see Wesley's face, but you can see how blonde his hair is! I cannot wait to post pictures of our cute little guy after court!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I may have spoken too soon...

I was just saying how comfortable Wesley was getting with us, and then we had a day like today. He cried almost the ENTIRE time we were with him! Nothing seemed to settle him down. I am not sure what was going on. We're working on getting to know each other, so I guess it's going to take time - it's just discouraging to have a small child screaming and you are doing all you can to help, but it doesn't work! Praying for a better day tomorrow...
Love - Staci and Damon

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

day 25

All the paperwork has been completed for court and the adoption. It looks like court will be next Wednesday 08/13 or Thursday 08/14. We're planning on heading home on Friday afternoon and getting home around midnight. We're looking forward to seeing everyone. The name we have chosen for our son is Wesley Kirill. We decided to keep his current name as his middle name because we thought it fit him.
We've been visiting our little guy every day. I am also happy to report that he is getting more comfortable with us. Today he only cried a little when the orphanage workers handed him to us, and this is a great improvement from an all out sob. Then when we left today, I set him on the play mat with the other children. He was fine until we headed for the door, and then he started crying. He was looking at up with his lower lip sticking out and tears in his eyes - SO adorable!! Who would have ever thought I would be so happy to see my son cry?? But it's so nice to see that he actually enjoys having us around! At first we were very concerned because he hated for us to hold him and he would cry if he could see an orphanage worker. I think he was trying to get them to take him and hold him.
We were also noticing today that he is getting a lot better with his hands. He is able to manipulate toys with more dexterity than a week ago. He is also putting things in his mouth, even though I know the workers don't like them to do that. We want him to put things in his mouth and feel the different textures and flavors, so that will help with the transition to eating food. I took out the tape measure to get his measurements for clothing, and that turned out to be his favorite toy to play with today. We had a box of crayons, and he slobbered all over the box and tore it apart, so we had to throw it out. He's sucking his thumb more - good because it works the muscles in his mouth and throat.
He is also vocalizing more. We aren't sure what he's saying as it is mostly babble, but it's still good to hear. He almost said the word "dog" the other day! We're working on it...
We've been doing lots of walking. I've been reading my adoption books on attachment and bonding. We only get a few television channels in English, so BBC is on pretty much all the time. All that is on BBC is about the Olympics and it repeats about every two hours, but it's better than nothing!! They've even been talking about the start of football season, so we're excited to watch Ohio State and the Bengals. We should be home in time for the start of the season!! The weather has been nice - it is almost 2:00p and the temperature is 76 degrees.
Love - Staci and Damon
(WOW - this post is long, I guess I had a lot to say!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

day 22

We've been visiting our little boy every day. He's becoming more comfortable with us, so we're thankful for that! When we went to visit him today, the workers told us that he was getting ready to go to the hospital to have his feeding tube changed, so we only saw him for about 10 minutes. We'll go back tomorrow, but I don't know if we'll stay for the whole time because we are starting the paperwork to adopt him. We had originally planned to stay here in Ukraine until the end of the 10 day waiting period, but since we've already been here three weeks, we are likely going to go home after court. I hate to spend that much money to fly home for less than two weeks, but I think it would raise our spirits to see our family, friends, and dogs.


We've been doing a little sightseeing here in Kharkov. We even went today and purchased a couple of outfits for him. It took us over an hour to find the stores, but we finally did! Here are a few pictures from our adventures...

the fabulous dinner I cooked

(when I bought the chicken nuggets, I didn't realize we only have a stove - no oven. We also couldn't read the writing on the bag, so the vernikys (sp?) had a sweet cream filling)

this is the only dentist's office I have seen since we've been here (Amber, they could use you!!)

sandcastles in a large square in downtown

I also wanted to tell everyone that we LOVE getting comments! You don't have to have an account to leave any comments, just post anonymously and type your name at the end of your post. Thanks!

Love - Staci and Damon

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