our adventure…life, adoption, and a little bit of everything else
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Posts from — August 2007

Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to school we go…..

Ok, so maybe not OFF to school…but you get my point. As of yesterday, Ali is officially a 6th grader. Please tell my how that happened? I don’t know how my baby girl got to be 10 years old and in the 6th grade! Anyway, enough about that…but school is definitely going to be more of a challenge with a little one around. Russie wants my attention also. Understandable, but a little difficult when I am trying to teach oh say a math lesson. I know we will all settle into a routine eventually. He plays well by himself…but he also likes to say “Mama” a million and one times! 🙂 (not that I am complaining…I waited a long time to be able to hear that)

Since my last post, Russie Clark had his first hair cut since being home. He was SO good. He just sat there as still as could be the entire time. The gal couldn’t believe it. Then on Sat. Jay, Paula, and Abby (my brother and his family)were able to meet the little man for the first time. Russie was able to meet his cousin, Abby! She wanted to hold him so badly but he was having NONE of that. Though Paula did manage to get in some snuggle time. He also had his first donut this weekend…but to my disappointment he wasn’t all that excited about it. Ha! I thought “you just have to love donuts…who doesn’t LOVE donuts!!!”

Sunday was our baby shower. It was held at a friends house from church…they live in our neighborhood. We received quite a few clothes, pj’s, books, truck and cars, and you gotta love it….his first drum set. Ummmm, thanks gals!! Maybe they don’t love us very much…hahaha…all joking aside I am sure Russie Clark will love it. They told me after I opened it (2 ladies went in together) “you may never speak to us again, but we will be his best friend”…you got that right. Heehee…

My time is limited (surprise, surprise)…so I best cut this short. Oh yes, we are anxiously awaiting a visit from T.C.’s parents this weekend. This will be there first trip down here to see us and first time to see their new grandson. We are all excited. Though we aren’t sure how to handle the name thing…you all know that Russie calls T.C. Papa…and well, that is what Ali calls his dad. We will see how that goes….major confusion! A couple of people suggested Grandpapa…that is pretty cute.

Another funny story…we were in the van on Sat. and out of the blue Russie called us all “coocoo”. Yep….coocoo….and boy did he think it was the funniest thing ever. He also called T.C. “tato” (which is Ukrainian for Dad)for the first time. He has since called him that several times. He seems to switch between Papa and Tato. See, he had caregivers that spoke Ukrainian and others that spoke Russian…he seems to know some of each. Anyway, he would say “Mama, Tato, y Ali…coocoo”…then followed by laugh, giggle, laugh!!! Guess the truth comes out….even from the mouth of a toddler. Ha!

Enjoy the new pictures….

random pictures

August 28, 2007   No Comments


Ok, for starters Russie Clark and I were standing in the kitchen this afternoon…he loves to play with the magnets on the refrigerator…and he starts singing the ABC song. He has a Leap Frog ABC magnet set that sings the song and says each letter…anyway, guess the little guy was paying attention. It blew my socks off. Then, as I am typing this he is in the tub and he started counting (in English)…so he went from 1-4 and then skipped to 7…but it’s a start. He has the cutest little voice…we want to capture his voice on video, but haven’t been successful.

Let me see what I can tell you…he had his first dr. visit the other day. Everything went well except that the dr. is a little concerned about his small size. He isn’t even on the chart…except for the 1% in either height or weight (can’t remember which one). She told me to give him Pediasure once or twice a day. She said she would like to see him on the chart very soon. He is 1/4 of an inch taller than Ali was at 18 months…if you can believe that. (she has always been TALL though)But that is amazing to me. He weighed 27 lbs. and is 34 1/2 inches tall. He wore a size 2T shorts today and they came to his mid calf…man capris(as T.C. calls them), if you will. 🙂 He fits best into 12 months shorts. (and he is 3 1/2!!!)Anyway, I know he will start growing with more protein and vitamins. He is doing better with eating…which is a relief.

We ventured out to the beach yesterday for the first time with him. He LOVED it. He played in the sand and T.C. took him to wade in the water. I think he would have stayed for hours! The boy was covered from head to toe with sand by the time we left.

This weekend he will get to attend his first birthday party with Ali. After the party, we are meeting my brother and his family half way between here and Lake Charles (only about an hour and a half away) so that they can meet Mr. Russie!

Well, summer is officially over for Ali. We will begin school on Monday morning. (about 3 weeks later than we usually start) It will be interesting to see how that goes with a toddler under foot. Ummm…might be interesting. We will probably try to cram a lot in during his nap times.

Ali has decided to do year around swimming starting this fall. Registration is this Sat. Her best friend, Sierra, is joining also…so I think they REALLY like the idea of seeing each other several times a week. 🙂 She is excited to get back in the water. She absolutely loved swim team this summer.

Our church is giving us a baby shower on Sun. We can’t believe they are doing that for us, since we have only been there a few months. It is a huge blessing, though! With he and Ali so far apart…well, we are basically starting over.

I am posting some pictures from the last couple of days. He also has become quite fond of his Little Tikes car…as you can see from the photos.

Life with Russie…

August 23, 2007   No Comments

At home with Russie Clark

I am finally posting some new pictures! This will be a quick post…we are headed out of the door for Russie Clark’s first dr. appointment. We will see how that goes! We have such a limited medical record on him that I don’t know exactly what the doctor will choose to do.

We have had a fun time having our family together. We went to the neighborhood pool yesterday for the first time since being home. OH MY GOODNESS….the boy has NO fear of the water…which is a little scary. He walked right down the steps like it was nothing. He was jumping off the side, going under, etc. Looks like he might be a little swimmer like his big sister. We had to watch him so closely because he just doesn’t understand how dangerous the water can be. I had to make a Target (darn my bad luck..heehee..remember that is my favorite store!!) run this morning to get a float with leg holes. We can’t wait to take him to Galveston and see what he thinks of the beach. He will love digging in the sand.

I am posting pictures of the kids on the plane up until this morning playing with his kitchen set. We will be posting pictures from Ukraine as well. I am hoping T.C. will make a slide show of pictures.

Russie Clark at home…

August 20, 2007   No Comments

And toddler makes 4……..

We are home in the good ole’ USA….and finally a family of 4. We waited a long time for this moment, and we are loving every minute of it. (ok, minus the screaming in Target earlier today…heehee)

Where to begin? Ali and I were in Ukraine for a total of 5 weeks and 1 day, but who is counting? 🙂 There were some moments that I wondered if we would ever make it home. But God got us through it…and your support and prayers were immeasurable. Thank you so much. I wasn’t able to post while we were in Kiev due to not knowing where to find an internet cafe’ (as they call them there). We drove to Kiev last Friday. We were pretty much on our own as the other 2 American families that we were with were all in different apartment buildings in other parts of town. That was a bit of a bummer, but we survived. Monday morning we were picked up around 7:45AM and we began our visa process. Before you can file for the visa, you have to have them evaluated by a doctor. We had the doctor visit first thing, and then headed right over to the American Embassy. The Embassy visit took at least 2 hours….so you can imagine what that was like…4 children that had not had lunch or a nap and we didn’t leave there until 1:00. Ummm, we were all glad when that was over. From there we went to TGI Friday’s for a celebratory lunch….I know, I know…how sad but we were all desperate for some American food! After having lunch we were able to head back to the Embassy around 3:30 to pick up our visas. We were so thrilled when those babies were placed in our hands…that meant it was all over and we could all go home!! Hip Hip Hooray! Since we already had our tickets for Wed., we had an extra day in Kiev before flying home on Wed. Wed. morning we were picked up at 4:30AM by one of our facilitators and wisked off to the airport. What a scary ride that was…….remember the driving we described in earlier posts….well it was raining on top of the horrible driving. I was really glad to see the airport that morning. I basically had not slept in around 30 hours or more by the time we finally made it to Houston Wed. night. Actually it was way more than 30 hours because even the days leading up to us leaving I was only sleeping in small blocks of time during the night. You see, Ruslan Clark is an extremely rough sleeper. A very deep sleeper mind you, but a rough one at that. He moves constantly all night long. I was having to stay awake most of the night making sure he wouldn’t fall off the bed. I even tried sandwiching him in between Ali and I in the bed and he would even crawl over us (in his sleep) and almost fall off the bed. Ali finally opted for sleeping on the couch. 🙂 So anyway….back to my NOT having slept much prior to boarding the plane…then fast forward 24 hours to us landing in Houston…I was beyond tired! Not to mention we missed our flight in Atlanta and had to wait another 3 hours to BARELY make onto another flight. We were stand by and the only way we were able to make it is that Ruslan had to sit in my lap. Let me just say that I would have had Ali and Ruslan sit in my lap if it got us home. Know what I mean? Oh, here is a not so funny visual for you….and for the weak stomachs…you might want to stop reading….ok, were were all doing fine and had made it through a very long flight from Prague (like 10 1/2 hours) and were making the descent into Atlanta…seat belt lights were on…we happen to hit an air pocket or something and it was very turbulent…all of a sudden Ruslan gets sick all over himself and the seat…I get him cleaned up and clothes changed and look over and Ali has her eyes closed tight (never a good sign) and then she leans over toward me with her hand over her mouth (again, never a good sign) and I have just enough time to grab a plastic sack that one of the flight attendants had given me for Ruslan…and Ali gets sick. Ok, let me point out that I was already feeling sick myself…and if catching my sons…um, you know…in my hands…and watching Ali and cleaning them both up…I was feeling REALLY good at this point. But, thank heavens I was able to get off the plane and make it to the bathroom in the Atlanta airport….before I ended up getting sick. But I have a feeling mine was from some of the airplane food…it was terrible and I felt sick up until this morning. But, after a good nights sleep last night…I felt much better this morning. Was that like way tooooo much information or what? I just thought I would share a bit of what it was like flying from Ukraine to the U.S. with 2 kids. Back to my original point…after all that sickness…we finally get through passport control and customs (which takes a while with an adopted child…you have to turn in a packet of paperwork), and I look down at my watch……LOW and BEHOLD our flight was to leave in like 15 minutes. (keep in mind I am NOWHERE near our gate) Needless to say we missed our flight (I was about in tears from fatigue) and had to wait stand by to see if we could make it onto a later flight. We DID and here I sit…so thankful to be home.

I still have not even begun to unpack…though I shall tackle that tomorrow. Ugh…ugh! But I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Ruslan Clark explore his new home. He has been so cute. He loves Timmy and Happy…though not sure they feel the same. If one of them does something he doesn’t like he points at them and says “no”…too funny. We had to make a Target (my oh so favorite store) run today to pick up some boy toys. He (and T.C.) are the new owners of a Thomas the Tank Engine train track. We bought a small starter set and he can’t get enough it…neither can Ruslan…heehee. Russie loves anything that makes noise…and lots of it. I am sure we will be adding to the train set in the future. As I am typing he is crying his little heart out because it is time to go to bed and he is having to say good night to Thomas…it isn’t going well. It is very hard for him to understand that his toys are HIS and they will still be his in the morning.

Well, we will be posting some new pictures soon. I took a ton of pictures after T.C. left. But it is getting late and my jet lag is still lagging…so I had better close for now!

August 17, 2007   No Comments

Back home again…

After leaving Kyiv early (that never happens on American airline flights!), a four-hour layover in Prague, missing their flight from Atlanta due to a hangup in American immigration (the 3 year old looks suspicious?), and getting the last two seats on a the red-eye…the gang made it back to Houston at 10:30 p.m. last night…safe, sound, happy, and exhausted!

They’re all sleeping it off…more later!

August 16, 2007   No Comments