Thursday, July 16, 2009

We are submitted and starting a new blog

This has been a bittersweet day. Sasha, our facilitator, texted me at 2AM that our dossier had been submitted. Last time this process took a year; this time it will only be a matter of months. I am so thankful that it is moving quickly. But when I called Gabrielle to tell her, she cried. Why? Because it will be "so long" before we will come to get her. She told me recently in a letter that "time hangs heavy". How hard the waiting is for these children when once they learn they are loved, wanted, and will soon have a family. The SDA now has up to 2 weeks to give us an appointment date. I so hope they don't wait that long and am even more hopeful that the date will be ultra-soon, like August. Yes, to me that is soon but to Gabrielle it is an eternity.

In spite of the tears, however, the conversation today was sweet as we discussed her new name. I have a hard time changing names once I get used to one. I still call Roman, Roman. Gabe calls him Eli. But our daughter-to-be has asked for a new name and so I am committed to starting to call her by that name NOW so that I can get used to it.

I have also started a new blog. You can find it at I tried to think of a name that could encompass all our adventures, not just those related to adoption. Its hard to find time to post on a blog; but sometimes I might have something worth sharing and at least I will have that avenue.

Another cool tid-bit to share is the fact that my dear, 11 year old son, Roman, has been translating for Gabrielle. He does awesome! I am constantly amazed at the ease with which he and Vitalik both can switch back and forth between the 2 languages. Roman and Gabrielle have grown up together for the most part; they are already very close and act like brother and sister. He is excited that she will be joining the family, as we all are.

It is my hope, as always, that those considering adoption will stumble upon my blogs, read through them, and see what a blessing it is to bring a new child into your family in this wonderful, God-ordained way. I read a quote recently that I will close this blog with. The statement has to do with interracial adoption but, in my opinion, can apply to adoptions across the board:

It turns out that adopting interracially is a little like getting a tattoo or a piercing. The first one takes some thinking. The second comes easier, and the third, it’s not even a question….suddenly all your worry and fret seems so distant that you’re hard pressed to remember what all the concern was about.

You’re marked forever and can’t imagine life any other way.
(posted on

I, for one, certainly cannot imagine life any other way than without my children, both biological and adopted. They are all gifts from a generous and awesome God. To him be the glory for calling us to this wondrous task of parenting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One year home and we're going back again

It is so hard to believe that this month will complete one year home with Vitalik and Roman. There have been challenges but they have adjusted really well. A few weeks ago we returned from a mission trip in the region where Roman lived. We served at Camp Friendship for two weeks, ministering to orphaned children as well as others. While there, I had the chance to speak to a beautiful 15 year old girl named Vika about whehter she would like to become a part of the Davie family. She enthusiastically said yes. We have been working on updating our paperwork since March. We kept it a secret for the most part until we had a chance to talk with her. Now that she has agreed, we are happy to announce that we are pursuing her for adoption. Our I797 arrived this week and has been fedexed to Ukraine. Submissions are now handled differently than in 2008 and are based on the age of the child you are requesting. Therefore, we believe it will go faster and easier than last time. They have also been giving dates very quickly for older children so we are hoping to travel in August while realizing anything can happen. We appreciate everyone's prayers as we once again step out in faith in answering God's call on our lives. I will have to either change the name of our blog or start a new one. Before I say good-bye to this one, however, I will post some recent pictures of the family. So stay tuned.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Putting it all into practice

I love to read. Sometimes I am reading two or three books at a time. For over a year now I have been reading books on parenting adopted children. I found that I had to go back and re-read the books I read pre-adoption; they did not make as much sense to me until I was in the middle of this adoptive parenting thing. Two books that I am reading right now have a lot of practical advise for what is called "therapeutic parenting". Parenting the Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen and "Therapeutic Parenting" from an organization called ATTACh are both excellent resources and I highly recommend them. I had a chance a few days ago to put some of my knowledge into practice. Here's an exchange with one of my boys that is full of lessons learned.

Both boys and I were on our way to the Social Security office. I told them we would stop and eat on the way, as we left home around lunch. There is much bickering going on between them about where to eat. Two minutes down the road I am told:

Son: I am so hungry. I have to eat now. I cannot wait.
Me: So you will starve?
Son: Yes.
Me: I love you.
Son: You always say that to avoid a conflict.
Me: No, I just want to make sure you know I love you before you die.

(momentary silence then bickering resumes; humor did not work so I try again)

Me: I know that when you are hungry you get very anxious. There was a time in your life when you were hungry and you had no hope of getting food. But I promise you that I will feed you. You will not stay hungry.

(momentary silence then bickering resumes)

Me: I will choose where we eat.
Both sons: Thats not fair, etc.
Me: I did not promise we were going out to your favorite restaurant. We are out on business and I just promised that we would eat. I will choose a good restaurant that everyone likes. We are going to Jason's Deli.
Son: NO!!! Not Jason's Deli. I'm not eating there. I'm not hungry.
Me: Thats fine. You do not have to eat.
Son: You can take me somewhere else when you are finished eating.
Me: No, I won't do that.
Son: continuing protests against Jason's Deli which he has always enjoyed.

(I am realizing that this is not about hunger nor about where we should eat. I also know that we are teetering on the edge of a crisis and it is my responsibiblity to remain calm.)

Me: There are times when, no matter where I choose to eat, you are not going to like it. This is one of those times. But we are going. You are feeling anxious because we are going to get your social security number. It is another sign that you are here forever. You are not going back to Ukraine.
Son: Send me back Ukraine. Buy me a ticket back Ukraine.
Me: No. I will never, ever, ever send you back to Ukraine.
We get out of the car to walk into Jason's Deli. Loud protests continue.
Me: I can call Dad to meet us at the Social Secuirty office if you would like.
Son: I am not scared of Dad.
Me: I am so glad you are not scared of Dad. You shouldn't be. I would have him meet us because Dad has a calming effect on you. And right now you are feeling very stressed.

We get inside the restaurant and there is a line.

Son: (loudly and mockingly) There is a line in your Jason's Deli; we will have to wait for one hour; you don't know how hungry I am.
Me: feeling my face redden as everyone in Jason's Deli seems to be staring at us, I stare straight ahead, avoiding eye contact and totally ignoring these provocations.
Finally Son grabs my face in his hands and says: "Mom, why aren't you laughing?" Then he cracks up and the tension completely falls away.

After we eat, he starts getting a little antsy.
Son: Can we go now? I'm a little nervous. Will I have to answer any questions? Will I have to sign anything?
We go on our way and there are no more problems or conflicts.

I tell this story because 5 months ago there would have been a total different outcome. We may not have even made it to the Social Secuirty office and if we had it would have been on an empty stomach. There would have been no admission of "I am nervous", instead there would have probably been some running away, maybe some long hours in one's room later. And it would have been my fault. Without an understanding of what my sons might be going through at any given moment, I would have responded differently and only made matters worse.

When my boys first arrived, I thought I could treat them like my other children whom I had raised from birth. I tried but it did not work. I share with them the Gospel; I teach them the principles of Scripture and I apply the principles of Scripture in training them. And yet, the methods I must use in doing these things are way different because their backgrounds are so very different. It has helped me so much to read about other people's experiences; to read experts' opinions on the possible consequences of abandonment and adoption on a child's development and behavior. And then I thank God for the ability to sift all these things through His Word and come to a place where I know we are going in the right direction.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Learning to Love

This has been a great week. We had a little visitor here; teaching us to share, to empathize, to love. We enjoyed an afternoon at the circus as well as a visit from the fire department when we smelled something burning but could not find its source. Perhaps our little visitor was experimenting with something? We took him home on Tuesday and miss him already.

Friday, January 23, 2009

6 months down, forever to go

This week marks 6 months since we returned to America with our boys. The time has flown by and yet it seems as if they have been ours forever. They have made so much progress since those early days. Hopefully I can write more about that soon but today I just wanted to FINALLY post some pictures from the holidays.

Making our traditional Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve:

With Granddad on Christmas Eve with gifts from Rome, Italy, inspired by Roma:

Twas the night before Christmas:

Christmas morning:

New Year's Eve:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Grinch Didn't Steal It

Every year we celebrate Christmas on the 24th at home and then on the 25th at my mother's. So today was the day. Will post some pics later but had to share a quote from Vitalik: "This was the best Christmas ever. The grinch didn't steal it!" Any of you with children who came by way of adoption will know that the Grinch often steals the fun out of special days. But our day so far has been blessed with peace and happiness. Vitalik, in fact, said he was so happy, he wasn't even hungry! Now that, my friends, is happiness! So we pause for a moment during our busy, fun and incredibly special day, to wish you all the happiest of Christmases that even the Grinch cannot steal!