"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Less!!!

Notice the famous "yellow dress". It certainly brought us luck!
There are now two less orphans in the world! We passed court!!!! In 10 days (really it will be about 2 weeks because weekends don't count) we will be parents of Nastya and Moira! Then, I can finally share their names with you!

The court room....

There were quite a few questions in court, but nothing too hard. The prosecutor wanted to know exactly how much money we spend on each child per month. That was tricky to figure out quickly! When the judge asked Travis why he specifically wanted to adopt from this city, Travis' brain went into a coma. He couldn't think of anything to say, so he just kind of shrugged. I thought we would be denied right there! Then they wanted to know who would help me take care of so many children. I said my husband would help and they all laughed!

Hearing the judge say how the children were invalids and had never, ever had a visitor was tough to hear. Never again my sweeties!

Thank you so much for all your prayers and great ideas and support! You are all my lifeline!

Travis flies home on Friday so then I will be here alone. Thank God I have met such wonderful friends here that I won't even feel alone. I'll actually have a bed to myself! Really, I will miss Travis a lot!

Nastya has a fever again and has been crying a lot! They don't want me to feed her anymore because they think the food we fed her gave her a rash. I don't think kids usually get rashes from pasta, but who knows?

Moira was lying in her "pen" facing away from me when we came to see her today. When she heard my voice, she somehow managed to flip herself over to see me! I was thrilled! Do you think she looks a little more "alive"?

Sweet little Xavier really needs a mommy and daddy! He is free for adoption, just in case anyone is looking for a sweet son!

I ate something today that has made me really sick. That's what I get for being adventurous. I should have stuck with eating cereal!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I would really like to write a happy post, but the fact is, I am emotionally exhausted. Going to the orphanage everyday and seeing what I see, and knowing I can do nothing, it is wearing me down. Talking to my kids on the phone and hearing them cry, "Mommy, come home. Mommy, I am sad" every single night is awful. Travis thinks I should come home with him. But I know I have to stay. I have to decide which of my babies need me the most. I know Moira and Nastya must have me here. I hope I can be strong enough for them.

Several people have asked me if we are sure we really want to bring Moira home. Absolutely, positively YES!!! Leaving her here would mean death for her. We love her, just the way she is. She is the only child in her group that we can help.

I was able to feed Moira today. She cried as soon as she saw the food (which was like cream of wheat). I felt so heart-broken for her. She is painfully thin, but she can't eat. I really do think she might have reflux. If anyone knows of an over the counter relux medicine I can buy here, please let me know!!! I feel so helpless.

This is not a smile, just like our referral picture of Moira is not a smile. It's a grimace.

Look at Nastya's skinny little chicken legs!

Here's our hangout.

I'll never get used to seeing cars drive on the sidewalk.


Moira really loved this toy we bought her!

We made a wonderful friend here named Anya. She is showing us the history of the city.

Thank you all so much for all your prayers and thoughts! They mean so much to us! Please, also include your e-mail on your comments so I can write you and thank you again!! You can also e-mail me at zoo35511@bellsouth.net

Gotta get to bed now. We've got to get up early to squeeze onto the bus!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Celebrating Small Victories

We are very excited that today we found a dumpster! We can finally take our trash out! Apparently, there are only a few dumpsters for an entire block, so we really had to search.We had lunch today with our friends, Jon and Jenny. They are so much fun and so kind.

They also took us to the market.

Underwear everywhere!

This woman was a hoot! She was posing for me to take a picture!

What's for dinner? Pig snout and pig ears!

People were eating this raw fish right off the table. Yum!

Today was the last day of school for the kids here. It's a huge deal! They actually release doves into the air, one for each kid, to celebrate. They also wear really fancy clothes, including enormous bows!

I tried to communicate with a pharmacist, an assistant, the cashier and several other by-standers that I wanted to buy a dropper. I was doing crazy hand motions and drawing pictures. They were talking to me in Russian and showing me things that didn't look familiar at all. But we were all trying. We all clapped when they figured out what I wanted. The whole exchange took about 30 minutes! I thought maybe I could use the dropper to give Moira some water, but the dropper is made out of glass and I'm afraid it might break in her mouth. But, still, we communicated!

I also met a very kind older woman in the stairwell. I tried out my new Russian phrase, "doe-bray oootra", which is "good morning". She gave me the biggest smile! Then she asked in English, "Where are you from?" I was amazed. Apparently, many people speak a little English, but they are too shy to speak in English.

I talked to a street dog today. Usually, the dogs (and the people) ignore me, but this dog wagged his tail and let me pet him. I wish I could take him home with me! He was so skinny.

Nastya is so fun!

Our favorite place to hang out is under this little shelter.

I am feeling really stressed about Moira. I wish she would show a little emotion, just anything. I tried putting her feet under some running water, nothing. I tried sitting her in front of a mirror so she could see her reflection. Nada. She didn't want the yogurt I brought. She wouldn't take a bottle of formula we brought. We tried blowing balloons, but she wasn't interested. I get this sad feeling that it doesn't matter if I am there or not. I know this probably isn't true; I know it takes a lot of time, but today, I just needed a tiny bit of hope. It's like she is down deep in a dark pit and I can't reach her. I have contacted an international doctor to see if he can come to the orphanage to examine both girls.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Little Miss Sunshine

Nastya is better!!! We went to her room again today and she still wasn't there. But as we were going down the stairs, a nurse was bringing her upstairs. She gave us the biggest smile!

She is feeling much better! Boy, can she eat! I brought about a cup of pasta, some cereal, yogurt and juice and she gobbled it all up! Her hands do not slow her down at all.

Sidewalks are used for many things besides walking here. Children use them for a peeing station. Cars use them for a road. People use them to sell everything from pig heads to underwear. Dogs use them for sleeping.

We went to a pizza place today that had nothing in English. I opened my arms and made a big circle and they brought us a pizza! Pizzas are delicious here! I love their sauce. Two big pizzas and two drinks were only $7.00!

Hmmmm.....which way should we go? We have no idea!

A very popular creature here. The big lips are a little scary!

Tired? Take a seat!

They weren't too thrilled with the swings!

Nastya loves balls!

Someday Moira, you will smile!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Everyday is an Adventure

Today our friend, Jenny, took us to an Eastern European thrift store. We had a lot of fun. Clothes are weighed and priced by the kilogram, not individually. I didn't bring any clothes from home for Nastya and Moira, so we had a lot of fun trying to find something to fit them! I think Moira only wears about a 9-12 month size! I wouldn't suggest trying anything on in the dressing room though; it had a sheer curtain! I wondered why Travis was in a hurry to get out of there!

Here is Jenny at the toy store.

Here is a sweetie who is available for adoption on reecesrainbow.org. He is called Xavier. He is four, but he is about the size of a two year old. He has the sweetest personality. Whenever he sees me, he reaches out for me and smiles. I finally picked him up and he started waving "paka" (bye bye) to the caregivers. He was ready to go!

Nastya has bronchitis (I know this is spelled wrong, but there is no spell check here!) I am so worried about her. I miss seeing her!

I tried to download an episode of "Desperate Housewives" on our laptop, but I got a message that said, "we notice that you are not in the United States, so this show is not available to you". I was very sad. Sit-coms in Russian are not all that funny.

No child would ever, ever be allowed to go outside without a hat here. So, we got Moira a fancy one!

Please pray that little Moira will trust us enough to show some emotion soon. If I take a toy away from her that she wants, she just looks away, complacent in her sadness. It really breaks my heart!