Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ukraine Adoption...Bringing Dennis Home

This family is currently in the Ukraine to bring home their new son Dennis. These are amazing parents who have adopted a large number of children and have formed a beautiful and loving family. Their travel blog is The Ukraine Train

Spending time in Kramatorsk

Had to post this picture to let all of you know that John finally got his milk last night. Let me tell you---- he enjoyed his bowl of cereal.

We are loving our time in Ukraine in general. We have been surrounded by some of the most wonderful people and we can't say anything negative about our experience thus far. I personally feel like I couldn't be in better hands with our in-country facilitator. She is amazing, down to earth, and while our relationship is probably supposed to be more on a professional level, I've enjoyed getting to know her on a more personal level. I know that I will miss everyone here once we leave. Last night we sat up quite late drinking homemade Coffee Americana with the owner of the apartment as her son set up high-speed internet for us, our facilitator, and our driver. I was in good company.

Last night, the owner heard that all of the water would be shut off for a couple of days and so she prepared by filling every empty bottle and pot in her home. John doubted such a thing would happen but just as I finished taking my shower at nearly midnight last night, the water did get shut off! And has only been on a brief amount of time in the early morning since last night. Thankfully, we have the water in the pots.

Here is a view outside of our apartment window. Very nice.

I think Dennis would enjoy watching the birds feed. Someone was here spending time with the birds yesterday evening. Reminded me of the episode of Hey Arnold (a kids cartoon) where there is a pigeon man.

Around 8:45 this morning, we were off to visit Dennis. Today we had a driver since we had to go to the notary between visits, but tomorrow we will walk to and from the orphanage.

When we got to the orphanage to visit, we had to make sure that at least one of us checked in by signing a book. Then we were allowed to go to Dennis' room.

They brought him to us all fresh and smiling with his hair combed back............. a stark contrast from yesterday's first meeting. I really got the sense he remembered us. His outfit, although still an orphanage outfit was adorable. His pants were pulled up to his chest....... but on him his outfit looked so cute.

I know you guys are probably waiting for a picture of his sweet smile----but neener-neener- neener you'll have to wait till after court per Ukrainian law. We are hoping that that may be as soon as early next week!

Have I told you just how smart Dennis is? At first he was holding and drinking from the water bottle that John had given to him. Once he saw me get out the little cow and sit it on his lap Dennis quickly chucked his beloved water bottle on the floor since he thought he was now getting something better. :) Very typical for a small child. :)

Here is a picture of him crinkling up the photo page I was telling you about yesterday. I'm not sure if you can tell, but his hands are so petite and just beautiful. On his right hand he does have some redness that the orphanage doctor says is from him gnawing on his hand and finger but thankfully it is looking a little better today. Yeah!

Dennis loves to wrap his little fingers around ours-----especially to pull himself up.

Not long after we started visiting with Dennis we were asked if we wanted to take Dennis outside to watch a program that the orphanage was doing for the kids. Of course we said yes....... who would want to miss that?

Here they are instructing the kids about an obstacle course they will be doing-----kind of like a gymnastic event------baby style. I must say that the kids are very well taken care of here. The orphanage staff do a tremendous job of caring for each of these children.

Near the end of the program everyone got up and danced, including John. They also danced to "I wanna be a chicken." It was so cute to watch the children move around.

Within minutes of the program starting, a doctor came to take Dennis to get a full medical report on him. It was nice to see things moving along so quickly with our process.

Though we were free to go, we asked to stick around to play with the children. It was wonderful playing with all of them. This frog that wanted to kiss and eat their noses kept their attention for a very long time. A few children I could tell had FAS-----but their personality was such that I wish I could take them all home. But honestly that wouldn't be fair to Dennis at this time because he needs our full attention as do our other children at home---which being surrounded by these children made us also miss. We miss you Adam, Caleb, Rachel, Julia, Annalyn, Sveta, Anna, William, Andrew, and Jonny! So instead, I will be coming home looking for families for all of these children, so start spreading the word. :)

We asked the children if they wanted to put the puppet frog on their hand. Only this little girl was brave enough to give it a try.

While waiting for our facilitator to get back from the notary, we went for a walk around the orphanage and surrounding area.

Here is whimsical piece of art on the orphanage wall near the front door.

These look like a long strip of garages separate from the tall apartment buildings behind us. Kind of like a mini storage unit back in California.

This road was made of dirt and led to somewhere beautiful.... I imagine. Can't say for sure because we didn't have time to explore. Maybe tomorrow.

Not too long after this, we said goodbye until 4:00 PM and headed off to have lunch.

We took out our driver and facilitator for lunch----- a very small token to show our appreciation for all that they have done for us. We had a delicious lunch----- I had a garden salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, and dill, later followed by quail lapsha with hard boiled quail eggs and chunks of quail meat. Very tasty. John had Trout shashlick and vegetable rice which was also very tasty.

After lunch we headed to the notary to sign documents and after we visited a park across the street.

In the middle of the park was this fountain surrounded by water. It was fun to watch three children running in the water. If we lived here, there would have been thirteen in the water. :)

Since it is about time to go and visit Dennis again, I will say goodbye for now. But I will leave you with one last picture of......... a Ukraine bus.