About Us

Hattiesburg, MS, United States
We are a really average family that just can't get over that we have been adopted by an extraordinary God! We are excited and expectant as the journey to enlarge our family unfolds before us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two weeks down....

As of bedtime tonight, we've been home two weeks!!! How time flies when you're having fun. We have been very busy, but everything is going well. Nicholas seems to be adjusting well. He's really settled in and seems to be getting more comfortable by the day.

He and Erick are doing much better together. They have their moments, but more and more, we can see them accepting each other and acting like brothers. I think they are also figuring out how to gang up on us! Oh well, we knew it was bound to happen. I guess that;s just one more thing to be thankful for:)!

Part of our busy week was a trip to the doctor with Nicholas for a checkup. That was an experience. Our pediatrician, Dr. Greg Parvin, was great. Greg and Denise have been friends since elementary school and their families go way back. He really made Nicholas feel at ease right up until he told us that Nicholas needed one vaccination and some blood tests. The only way we had to prepare Nicholas for what was coming was to use Denise's iPhone to translate what was about to happen. First, I found the translation for vaccnation and played it for him. He got the picture and was not a happy camper. We got through that and headed for the lab. Again, I played the phrase for draw blood, and it got worse. He screamed like bloody murder (pun acknowledged). Once it was over and we went back to wait, I got the iPhone out to translate "all done." When I put the phone up to his ear again, he pushed it away and started screaming again. Poor baby! Though it was't funny at the time, his reaction has gotten funnier as the days have passed. We still have one more medical test to go...but the iPhone doesn't seem to have a translation for "stool sample," and for the life of me, I haven't figured out the charades signals to explain it :)!

Today, we did some running around including a trip by the church. We wanted to take him in and show him around on a day when things were quiet before bringing him on a Sunday. It doesn't get much quieter than 3 P.M. on the Friday of Spring Break week!!! Assuming all continues to go well, we are planning for everyone to be at church on Sunday. We can't wait to get him acclamated to Temple.

Well, that's about it for now. Once again, I want to say thanks to the many people who have done so many kind things for us in the days since we have been home. We have been fed and provided for by so many and we are grateful. We love you all.



Monday, March 9, 2009

It's 8 o' clock and all is well!

Sorry we haven't updated in a couple of days, but as you can imagine, it has been rather hectic. Yesterday was a good day. Denise and I got to go to church for worship as the boys stayed home with her parents. What a blessing! It was so good to be back and experience the presence of God together with our beloved Temple family. Tony preached one of the finest sermons I have ever heard him preach (and that's saying something--as many as I have heard over the years). It will be a tough act to follow, but I am excited about preaching. It's pretty hard to mess up a message on the Cross!!!!

Things seem to be getting better with the boys. Erick is really seeming to get more comfortable with Nicholas, and they are really beginning to enjoy each other. It's good to see. Nicholas has done well. He really is a good natured boy, and I think we are seeing more of his stress-free personality. We haven't seen any of the aggressive child we saw in the orphanage. Not to say that we won't, but so far so good. Our communication seems to be pretty good as well. Denise and I are begining ot recognize more Russian, and we can tell he is understanding us more as well. His first clear English phrase came courtesy of a Madegascar (sp?) Happy Meal Toy. It is, "I'd Like to Move It, Move It!" So appropriate for Gene, Gene the Dancin Machine! He has also added the phrase "double trouble" from our Pop-A-Shot. I am sure that one will be said of him and Erick soon. The one phrase he hasn't mastered yet came while he was rifing in the car a couple of weeks ago. I said he was "chillin' like a villian." That comes out "chicken like a billian." Nobody will take him seriously as a "gangsta" anytime soon.

Nicholas is eating well and sleeping well. He is easy to get to sleep and he has slept all night every night since we got home without incident. Pretty cool.

Denise's parents went home today. We were sad to see them go. They were a big help, and we love having them here. But, today with just the four of us, it seemed like we settled in pretty well. Erick heads back to school tomorrow, and I'll put in my first full day of work after a half day today. My mom returns home from Florida tomorrow as well, so after tomorrow, we'll get down to the business of a routine. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

One more thing. Nicholas nad i had a breakthrough today. This afternoon, I turned on a game from the World Baseball Classic. He loved it! I expected that it would just be background noise while the boys played, but he crawled up in my lap and watched for a while, and he even imitated the pitcher and the hitters! Cool. Nevermind that he kept calling it "basketball." At least he's not a soccer only man. He also watched a little NASCAR yesterday. Between those two sporting interests, there's something I can work with :)!

Have a great night,


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home...and it's all good.

Sorry we didn't get to update from Memphis last night. Northwest threw us a bit of a curve. The information we had said the flight was departing 30 minutes later than it did. We had time to grab a quick bite to eat (Popeye's Chicken was a hit) and hit the road.

The reception at the airport was awesome. We were so grateful for the friends and family who came out to greet us. I am not really sure what Nicholas thought of it all, but he's got to have a big clue to how many people have been been praying for him and what the Body of Christ is all about. We will take a few weeks before we introduce him to church, but we're ready for him to begin to get the idea of a church family as well as his new family.

After we got home last night. Nicholas was hilarious. He just walked around from room to room taking it all in with a huge grin on his face. At one point, he looked at Denise and said, "Momma, Poppa Dome?" (Momma and Poppa's Home?). She looked back at him with a big smile and told him, "Nicholas Dome!" With a huge grin, he seemed satisfied. Another highlight was a pair of black dress shoes that Nanna and Papaw brought. I think we missed a little on our size estimate and they are really big, but he was so proud of his new shoes. This morning, he had to have them on with his pajamas as soon as he got up. Too funny! Last night, the boys settled into bed about 10 and we all slept until about 6 this morning. It really exceeded our expectations.

This morning has been fun. We introduced him to pop tarts and chocolate milk. They were a big hit! He and Erick have been enjoying Nanna and Papaw, and we're had a great morning just playing together.

We're home and we're grateful. Grateful for a great God and his mercies and for his people.



Friday, March 6, 2009

On the road again....

We are in Amsterdam. No problem getting out of Kyiv (except for the eye rolling and sighing of the passport agent who processed our paperwork...I guess doing his job was a little much to ask so early in the morning :)). The flight was 3 hours and uneventful. The boys are tired, and I am hoping and praying that the next flight (10 hours) is as uneventful. Looks like we are on schedule. We'll try to update again from Memphis. We should be there @ 4:40 and out of customs later...

See you soon,


Thursday, March 5, 2009

We're on go for home....

First, let me say that after looking at the post from last night, it looked like Erick wrote it. Sorry about all the typos and junk. I was beyond spell check at that hour and didn't really even notice. Slush, you know I love you like the brother I never had. I have 6-weeks worth of trash talk stored up, and I know I won't get to cut up with you while you are over here teaching...sorry I had to rib you, but I just couldn't resist.

Anyway, we got Nick's visa at about noon, and everything looks good for a 6:45 A.M. departure in the morning. None too soon. The zipper on Nick's new winter coat is shot. Every toy we bought had either broken or the batteries are run down. We have about an hour until the manager from our Ukrainian agency stops for a visit, and then Joel and Mary Ellen are coming over to this side of the river to have dinner with us. We'll have to meet up with Yana sometime to get the copies of our court decree and Nick's birth certificate with the translations to make us legit going through passport control in Kyiv tomorrow. That should polish off the evening, and get us to bedtime. We'll be up at 3 A.M.ish. Then we'll be off to the airport at 4ish. Then....nothing to it. Just 20 hours worth of flights and layovers. Piece of cake. Please pray with us. Assuming no delays, we'll be into Pine Belt International Airport (Ha, ha--at least we won't have to wait long for bags) at 8:15.

That's about it...see you stateside.

Thanks for everything,


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Somebody call coach Cal.....

We ain't quite got this switch from zone to man to man defense worked out yet?!?!?! I figured as an alum of the #5 U of Memphis TIgers, he could give us some pointers.

Seriously, I an writing a quick post in the middle of the night to let you know we are o.k. Exhaused but doing pretty well. Yesterday began at 7 and ended with dinner at TGI Friday's across the street from out flat 13 hours later. IN exhasustion, we fell in the bed with two wired boys are were able to get them to sleep before 10.

This morning, a run to the eembassy for paperwork, to get a medical exam (with good news--the doctor saw little evidence of the developmental delays indicated by the orphanage. He leaned to believe it is lack of opportunity to develop). We'll see One funny moment, when the doctor asked what language he spoke...he asked "Russian" and Nick sayed "nyet. He asked Urrainian and Nick sayed nyet. He asked English and without missing a beat Nick said dah (Russian for yes). Everybody got a big laugh.

We thought up until late this afternoon that we might het his visa this afternoon. Delta had seats for us Thurday morning. Instead we should get it tomorrow morning and with a chunk of change put down later, we are heaeded home Friday. We will Fly into PIB (HAttiesburg/LAurel) at about 8:15 P.M. Also means Nick will become a citizen in Memphis (my childood home--pronounced--Meffis for those of ya'll not from there.) Kinda cool.

GOnna run, I'm sleeping with Nick tonight and don't want to disturb him. He snores like a buzz saw and every once in a while an odor wafts over that might explain why that counter=terrorism check might be taking a little longer. It's like rooming with Slusher. BTW, SLush, any of your middle eastern relations made it over this way in 2001. Cause come to think of it, Nick likes to throw his hands over his head and yell "OOpah" while he dances> Just wondering?

Thanks for praying. We're all well and ready to see you all.



Monday, March 2, 2009

False Start

Wow! The last couple of hours had been wild. Today was pretty typical except that we have been waiting for word about Nick's passport. No word at 2 P.M. Then, a little after 4, Yana called and the passport is done! So, we were thinking, "Great, we'll pick Nick up in the morning." Not so fast my friend. Yana called right back and said that the Director would not be at the orphanage tomorrow, so we either needed to get him right now or wait until Wednesday. We talked for about 30 seconds and decided to go ahead and get him. So we hurried and got his clothes together along with the gifts for the people at the orphange and some other stuff we had accumulated to donate, and we headed off to the orphanage.

Once we got there, we went to the director's office fully expecting to sign the papers and get Nick to bring him back to the hotel for the night. The director welcomed us into the office, and she tried to tell us something as we were getting reasy to sign the papers. One problem...no translator. Yana is still in Kyiv. A qiuck call to get her on the phone, and we understood. The director was willing to make special arrangments for us to pick him up at 7 in the morning. Whew! I think that will be a little easier for everyone.

So, we are headed to get him in the morning at 7 with a quick stop in Odessa to get the passport and then on to Kyiv. If everything goes well, we should be in Kyiv tomorrow afternoon around 4 or 5. One giant step closer to home!

This last couple of hours has been a blur. We just prayed from the time we got the call that God would order our steps. We're pretty sure the director's unexpected offer was just that. It's not that we don't want him with us. It's just that we want to minimize the trauma for everyone.

Erick's pretty whiny tonight. He went from being excited to get his brother, to crying over not getting him, to crying over wanting his old life back! Well at least he'll have his "old life" for one more night:)! Pretty funny. I'm sure every child that has ever gotten a sibling has wanted that from time to time.

Erick has been facinated with the hotel cat while we have been here. He's also been pretending to be a cat and coined a new term, "cat-tastic." I hope we have a cattastic day tomorrow....

I think from the post tonight, you can tell how to pray for us. Thanks for checking in on us. We'll write when we can.



Sunday, March 1, 2009

One day closer to home

You know how it is when you get a blister. The longer it goes. the more irritated it gets, and when you know you are about to be able to take your shoes off...it gets unbearable. That pretty much sums up the emotion of this afternoon. We are ready to go.

The visit at the orphanage was pretty tough. Nicholas was fine. The last two days, he has brought this little pink phone out with him to play. It plays music. I think it hit us both today, he had it because he was imitating momma's iPhone with the hot pink cover. Too funny! Anyway, he was pretty low key for the beginning of the visit. The last couple of days, he is really enjoying just sitting in one of our laps or being carried around. He hardly wants us to put him down. The tough part was the other kids. One of the other groups came over to play by us today, and after a while, some of the kids made their way to come play with us. It was fun right up until the part when they all started to call me "Poppa." Whoa, that was tough. I guess they are pretty used to seeing women, so Denise didn't draw as much attention, but they were really paying attention to me and trying to get my attention. The hopeful look in their eyes was so sad. All those little boys and girls need a poppa and a momma. They need homes, and I wish I could give it to them. In the end, I am crushed that I can't give it to them. That hurts. That stinks.

Tommorrow is the last day of life as we know it :). Barring something really unusual, Tuesday we will become a family of 4 24/7. I am tired just thinking about it. For all the anxiety and what-ifs, in about a day and a half it's going to be a reality. We're pretty nervous/scared/excited. For now...we wait.