Monday, December 24, 2007

Home sweet home

Final count:
22 days door to door; 20 days from US soil to US soil...absolutely amazing

For those of you who may not be familiar with Ukraine adoptions, they normally take 4-6 weeks, sometimes much longer if there are complications. We NEVER anticipated being home by Christmas, but here we are. For whatever reasons, God decided His timeline would be much different than ours. Happily, it was shorter. ;) :)

The boys are doing great. They traveled so well in the car the past couple of days. We had a backpack full of toys for the plane (and then the car) and it was never opened. They entertained themselves on the flight (for 10 hours!) with the headsets that are given with the travel package on international flights. In the car they chatted with each other and played with their blankets and coats. Mama's been very mean and refuses to pick up anything that is thrown or falls onto the floor in the backseat, so they've been learning not to throw things they may want later. ;) :)

We stayed in Greenfield, IN, last night at a Comfort Inn. We chose to stop there (a little sooner than we needed to) to let the boys experience their first indoor swimming pool. :) :) At first they wanted NOTHING to do with it--Zhenya was crying about it, but Mark and I got in and eventually coaxed them in as well (coax might be a little weak of a word here). Once they were in, they LOVED it! We had to drag them out. We only had a little bit of time before the pool closed, but it was perfect as no one else was there and they were able to relax and work on trusting Mama and Papa to keep them safe in the water. It was really a great experience and we're so glad we decided to do that.

Schedule-wise, we've been doing great and don't seem to be hit too hard with jet lag (at least not yet). The boys got up about 6:45 this morning and we grabbed breakfast at the hotel and hit the road. We arrived in St Louis about 1pm and picked up our car from some friends (thanks, K and J!!) and returned the rental car. As soon as we got home, we put the boys down for a nap and they were out for an hour and a half. We had a hard time waking them but we knew better than to let them sleep (and wake up at 4am!). Since we were home, and it is Christmas Eve, we opted to go to our church Christmas Eve service. I haven't been to a Christmas Eve service at my home church (wherever that may be) since high school, and it was so incredible to be back at home (at church) with the boys. So many people there have been praying for us and following our journey, and it was an incredible experience to celebrate our Savior's birth with them tonight. The boys did great during the service and sat quietly and still for almost all of it. Afterwards, many people came up to greet us and they closed up completely. The good part was that they both had death grips on our hands. :) As soon as we left church, they were babbling away again like crazy and had a long conversation in the backseat on the way home. We're glad to see that they are unsure around strangers and more comfortable around us. We've been seeing good signs of attachment but we've still got a ways to go.

As soon as we were home we put the boys to bed and they were asleep within a few minutes. Mark and I are headed the same direction now that we've got some laundry going. We're planning a relatively scheduled day tomorrow with a couple of trips to the playground as well as naptime. And no, we will not be celebrating a traditional Christmas with presents. :) The boys do not understand the concept and we don't want them thinking of Mama and Papa as the people who give them things. We want to be the people who care for them and love them and keep them safe, and we need to build those foundations before we can be givers of extra material items. I will post again tomorrow with pics of our journey. Sorry for no pics tonight but I'm wiped out and want to be able to be up and running with the boys tomorrow. :) :) :)

***Oh, and for those of you who are traveling soon: We were asked for adoption paperwork at the Kyiv airport as we were leaving, so be sure to pack a copy of your court decree (in Ukrainian is fine) in your carry-on luggage in addition to the envelopes from the Embassy. :) :)***

10 comments:

SB said...

Welcome Home!!! We've been praying for a safe journey and are so glad that you were able to celebrate in your own church tonight. Hugs for you all.

Tonya said...

Welcome home:):):). You just got the best Christmas present in the WORLD, girl! What a wonderful night to have your darlings sleep in their own beds for the first time. Christmas will be extra special to you from now on.

On another note, I seem to remember a dream that you had where you were standing in a feild and you looked over and saw a little blonde-haired boy about 4 or 5 years old and you knew that he was your son. And you knew that there was another child there too, I think. Am I right? I can't remember exactly....

dad and mom said...

Merry Christmas and welcome home. We also celebrated a wonderful church service tonight. Thanks for the grill, Paul's coming over tomorrow so we can fire it up for the first time, hopefully, not in the snow. Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood. Love mom and dat

Meghan said...

Merry Christmas to you all! Through all my travels I have been eagerly reading to keep up with all you have been going through; I am so excited that you are all home and can begin to adjust to all that God has blessed you with. Mike has been celebrating from afar, too.
We will continue to pray for you and your adjustment.

Bob & Reda said...

Mark and Courtney ... MERRY CHRISTMAS! It was really GREAT to see you as a beautiful family. Enjoy all your time with your sons and we now understand that all of you need a strong family bond with all the love you can give to each other. May the Lord be with all of you as one big family! AMEN!

In His loving hands,
Bob and Reda

MamaPoRuski said...

Welcome home and Merry Christmas! Yes, the presents can be overwhelming by well meaning friends and family. We kept the gifts to be given later, one at a time. That way our son recognized them as his and cared for them as he played with each. God Bless!

David & Monica said...

Merry Christmas Olstead family :-) We are so glad you are all home safe and happy!!! Love, The Massies

Jane said...

What great news. Welcome home & I hope you have a wonderful day...

Jane

Waitingonmyua2 said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS - and welcome HOME!

Many blessings today and forever,
Beth, Steve & the Tu. Tribe

Ashley said...

WELCOME HOME!! We are so happy to see things are going well and that you arrived safely.