Sunday, September 30, 2012

She's Baaaaaack!

Sara finally left the hospital and is back at the orphanage. She's actually been back since Thursday  evening so sorry that I am just getting around to posting it. She spent a total of 16 days there! We were still never given a diagnosis but assume that it was just a virus. She will have a head to toe examination once we are back home but for now she is safe and sound. Even though the whole ordeal was a bit unexpected, frustrating, and long, I am grateful that they cared enough to have her checked out. I am grateful that she had access to health care. More than anything this experience has made me  grateful for living in the great nation that I do! We are blessed!

Luckily we were able to visit with her in the hospital (most days). It wasn't the ideal place to visit, lack of anywhere to sit for starters, but beggars can't be choosers right? Our visits were short but we enjoyed the cuddles and were happy to bring a little sunshine to her and her little friends. One of her roommates, the little boy who I spoke about in a previous post, the one who looked very ill, was so excited for our visits. We brought him treats to every visit, played with him, and Mark allowed him to watch music videos on his phone. It was obvious he was bored out of his gourd, and the look on his face when we'd enter the room was priceless. I really hope that he was able to go back to the orphanage and was able to get some fresh air too. I am sure that even though he doesn't have a mom and dad to go home to he looked forward to going back to the "home" he has only known. I am sure he missed his friends and caregivers. There was another little girl who laid in her crib so still. She was very ill as well, didn't even have the strength to turn her head. All I could do was caress it and hold her chilled little hand in hopes that she could feel my warmth and love. If I could have fit them both in my pocket, I would have. Please share your love tonight and when you're saying your prayers, pray for all those children around the world who are alone, cold, sick, sad, hungry, hurting.

I am so happy to say that we have one more day until we get to bust Sara out for good. Tuesday is the big day! We are on the homestretch and it feels good! Can I get a fist pump and a booyah? As much as we have enjoyed our time here, we are getting a bit stir crazy! We just want to be home as one family under one roof! There is really not too much more to report other than we have found some yummy non-fast food restaurants. Indian and Greek food, yum! Chicken and mushroom filled crepes, delish! Meat filled bread cake, mmmm! I got left behind at the metro station. Mark got on, doors closed, me still standing there. Had a Dominoes pizza dinner with another RR family who arrived at the same time as us but got to leave on Thursday (best of luck Vilardo Family). Bought a one of a kind oil painting at a street market. Found the cutest Ukrainian dolls (I say they're for my girls, but they're really for me.) Went to church, took the wrong bus back, found our way in the end.The best part of the week by far though was me being able to capture Sara's smile! She has a really funny, cheesy look that she makes when she is happy. It's the look that I saw when we first met and one that she gives when the sun is shining on her face or the wind is blowing in her face. But I actually got her to giggle and got a glimpse of her "real" smile and had my camera handy to capture it!

I knew my chubby cheeks would come in handy someday!

That's better, my cheeks weren't cutting it after all.
Beautiful baby girl!

Daddy's little angel.
Get me outa here!

She does belong, look at those chubby cheeks!

Gazing at her daddy.
I'm still here?

You think you're going stir crazy?

Pizza night with Julie, Logan, and Dawsyn (behind the camera).
Fresh air! Finally!

This is her cheesy, I'm lovin life face! The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, life is good!

Mommy and me.
I couldn't be happier!

The many faces of Sara.

Just chillin'.

Like Bob Dylan.




That's what I'm talking about!

Smile, smile, let me see you smile!

That great big Sara smile!

Doesn't get better than this!

"I thank God for all I've been given at the end of every day. I have been blessed, with so much more than I deserve. To be here with the ones who love me, to love them so much it hurts. I have been blessed!"


Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Mother's Love

I have said this before but I'll say it again, I love music. One of my favorite piano artists is Jim Brickman. He performs this song called "A Mother's Love" and I would like to dedicate it to my mother. I know it's a bit cheesy, but let's face it, I am about as Velveta as they come! So mom, thank you for all you do! Your selfless and loving ways allow me to live the life that I enjoy! You are an angel sent to this earth just for me! I cannot thank you enough for giving me life, being a part of my life, and teaching me all that I hope to be as a mother! Our family is complete and we couldn't have come this far without your help. I love you Mom! Thank you for your mother's love!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Poo Or Not To Poo......

......that is the question? This post contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing. Read at your own discretion. It's really not graphic, just maybe a little TMI (Too Much Information). "Toilet humor" as some may call it. I just call it darn right funny stuff. First off let me just state that we have eaten way too much Mc Donald's and other garbage that we would not normally eat on a daily basis. How our friends lost weight when they came here is a mystery? Besides the cheese, bread, chocolate and Borscht that this fine country has to offer, we don't find their cuisine very appetizing. Hence the reason why we eat Mc Donald's and other fast food way more than we should. My body is beginning to hone in that a french fry is not a vegetable.

The other day we went for a walk in an area that we had never been before. We walked around a market, had lunch (fast food) and as we were headed for home, I got the sudden urge to use the toilet. We walked a little faster, looking for a place that I could stop and relieve myself. Finding a toilet can be difficult when you're in an unfamiliar place and if I didn't find one quick, I knew I was going to be in trouble. I knew that when I started to sweat it was not looking good. I was desperate! Finally we saw a place where we had eaten before. It was a different location but we were sure that it would have what I was looking for. Thank my lucky stars it did. I rushed in, opened the door and to my surprise this is what I saw.

Not exactly what I had in mind and there was no way in heaven that I was going to squat! Let's just say that the sight of this "toilet" aka squatter scared the poop right back in me. I all of the sudden didn't need to go anymore. (I had too many visions of what could have gone wrong if you get my drift.) When I came out Mark was no where in sight and as I waited for him I wondered if he encountered the same problem as I did. I could tell by his smirk that he did but he said that he had no problem using it. "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." Well we were off and I was certain that I would make it home before "it" hit me again.

I felt fine, fine enough to do a little shopping for Sara. As I was looking at all of the cute things that I wanted to buy for her, "it" did hit me again, like a ton a bricks. Luckily there was toilet right across from the shop where we were shopping. It was one that cost money but I was happy to pay knowing that I didn't have a choice and perhaps with it costing money, it would be a proper toilet. I quickly paid, ran into the stall and to my surprise I saw this.

Another joke right? The answer to poo or not to poo was a given. Poo! I had no choice. And boy am I glad that our friends had paved the way for us in so many ways, but especially to warn us to bring our own toilet paper. This stall had no toilet paper! Now whether or not I was supposed to wait at the paying counter for the attendant to hand it to me, I don't know. I didn't have time to wait. So thank goodness I had some handy toilet paper in my bag. Although it turned out OK, I wish to never encounter this squatter again, especially when I am faced with a poo emergency. What I really want to know is this. If they have gone far enough to plumb a squatter then why not install a proper, sit down, no splat toilet instead? I don't get it but I have to say there are many things I don't get here. I guess these things just add to the adventure.
Now I am sure you didn't come to this blog hoping to read a #2 story. You came here to hear the latest on our baby girl. Well I am sad to say that there really isn't any new news. She is STILL in the hospital (2 weeks now). STILL there for a runny nose. STILL waiting hopelessly to get out. She shouldn't be there and needs to get out but there is nothing we can do or say about the matter. We have one more week until her gotcha day, Oct. 2nd. The 10 days is actutally up on Sunday but since the vital statistics office is closed on Sundays and Mondays, we have to wait until Tuesday to get her new birth certificate. After we get it, we can then go to the orphanage and bust her out for good. Mark has a feeling that we will be busting her out of  the hospital rather than the orphanage. I sure hope not. I am just grateful that we can at least see her and visit with her in the hospital. Our visits are short, but they are enough for us to let her know that we are still here and love her the same. Tomorrow is a different day so maybe we'll hear different news. Stay tuned! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day of Hope

Hope Day
September 20, 2012

This is it! Behind this wall, Susan's (Veronika's) fate will be determined. We're full of hope!

 YES! It's official Susan (Veronika) is now Sara Lily Lutkin!
Thank you judge! Let me give you a big hug!

Alexander the orphanage director and us.
Thank you Alexander!

Yulia our facilitator/translator and us.
Thank you Yulia!

"Eeeeeek!!" I'm off to see my baby girl!
We're here! But how do we get in? We walked all around to find an entrance.

Let's check this door. No, it's locked. This one? No that one is locked too.

Swimming anyone? Ha ha! I totally thought this was a pool but Mark informed me that it was the remains of another building. I did wonder why a hospital would have a pool? Tee hee!

Still no luck getting in. But then we realized that we were at the back of the hospital. At least we were close, the first building we came to and thought it was the hospital ended up being a dental surgery building.

Here we are!
Now which way?

This is it. We had to wait for the chief doctor to give us permission to come through this door. Permission granted thank goodness!

Hello Sara! It's so nice to see you again! Guess what? You're ours forever! Welcome to our family little princess.
Together at last! Together forever!

Oh, hello Mommy!

Where have you been?

Never mind, you're here now.
Bridge maker, build me a bridge to another world.

The one that I live in so cold, so broken and alone.

Tear taker, take all the rain falling from my eyes.

Run in and rescue my hungry cries. You can keep me warm.

Rock me to sleep, sing me a lullaby.

Whisper to me "It'll be alright."
Hold me here til' dawn.
Lift me in your arms, higher than a shooting star.

Close enough, I can hear your heart, tonight.

We'll see ya soon!

We love you Sara Lily Lutkin!


Orphan's Lullaby Lyrics by Anadara
Bridge maker, build me a bridge to another world.
The one that I live in is so cold, so broken and alone.
Tear taker, take all the rain falling from my eyes.
Run in and rescue my hungry cries.
You can keep me warm.
Rock me to sleep, sing me a lullaby.
Whisper to me, "It'll be alright."
Hold me here til' dawn.
Lift me in your arms higher than a shooting star,
Close enough, I can hear your heart, tonight.