Tuesday, May 22, 2007

1 year

I can't believe it's been a year already. We feel so blessed & so lucky to have Natasha part of our family. I wanted to say a few things, some thank yous & then tell everyone a bit about Natasha. It's a little bit of a read, so take you time. There are pictures at the end. But, in my opinion, it's worth it. :) And, hey, Dad Ray did ask for a book. LOL.

We can't even imagine our life without Natasha. I told Bob that it was just like having a baby. Once they are born, you can't imagine things being any other way. Our 5 weeks in Ukraine (as I look back on it now. LOL) were well worth it just to get Natasha home. It gave us some one on one time with her, that was nice, and also some time to start on some English lessons.

We missed our other kids that were left at home so much, our family, our friends, even our dog & cats. We cannot thank everyone enough. Anyone that had a part in bringing Natasha home, we know that it couldn't have been done it without all of you.

To all of our girls that we had to leave at home. Shauna, Sammy, Cailin, Kim, Sabrina, and Kelly. Thank you for being good while we were gone and putting up with us being in Ukraine for so long. We missed you all so very much and we were sooo glad to get back home. You have welcomed another sister into our family so well. We know that you guys all love Natasha and that she loves you back. We can't thank you enough. We are so proud of all you girls.

Shauna my love. You were the one who wrote to us the most. Blogging helped us get through the long days over there & we were always glad to hear from you. Your silliness & jokes and just everyday things you did always brought a smile and a laugh to our faces. Thank you.

Sammy. I think I talked to you and Sabrina the most on the phone. It was always wonderful to hear your voices. I am kinda glad you were so busy with your "2007 Showcase". I think it gave you something else to think about. If it was anything like this years Showcase, then we know you did a great job. We are so glad we got to see it this year. It was great !! Thanks for your understanding darling.

My Sabrina. Our selfless little girl. Since I was over in Ukraine for Mothers Day last year. When I got home Sabrina had made a beautiful card for me. Inside the card along with all my Mothers day words she put that she couldn't think of a better couple to be able to have Natasha as our daughter. I of course cried. My Sabrina has a way of doing that to me. She loves to make cards and do scrap booking. She always does a great job. We love you Sabrina and are always in awe of your selfless heart. You are growing into a most wonderful young lady.

Cailin, Kim, & Kelly. I know that you guys went "MIA" for a bit and we are sorry about that, but we are glad you got to read the blog sometimes. I think Kim & Kelly both made a few comments. We were always glad to hear from you. We love you guys and were so happy to see you at the airport. Thanks girls !!!

Mom and dad.
Thank you for being there with Shauna, Sammy, and Sabrina while we were gone. I know they appreciated it and so did we. They do like their schedule and we were so glad when we were able to get back on it. So you being there helped them stay on their schedule as much as possible. We thank you for that. I believe that you were busier than you thought you would be. Things can get quite busy back at our house sometimes. But, you did it & we thank you so much for that. You got everyone where they needed to be, when they needed to be there, and you even went to the events that we missed. Thank you so much. We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks for taking care of my yard dad. I know it's a little bit bigger than yours, but thanks for keeping it nice. I have even heard stories from some neighbors of you taking your lawn mower to my house in the bucket of your big tractor. Oh my goodness Dad. Only you. How funny. We love you both.

John & Lucia. Thank you also for taking care of the girls while we were gone. We appreciate it so much. I know it wasn't real easy for you guys. Lucia, Thanks for everything you did with decorating "It's a girl" all over our car etc.. I love that. It was so cool.

Krista & Bret. I don't know if you read this blog or not but I just wanted to thank you for taking good care of Cailin, Kim and Kelly while we were in Ukraine. I know you would have done it no matter what, but we just wanted to say thanks. We are so glad that everything is fine from Kelly's hospital stay.It was not fun being over there while she was here in the hospital. We could tell by talking to her and from the pictures that Lucia sent us that she was a pretty sick little girl there for a couple of days. Thanks for being there when we couldn't.

Grandma Plummer. We know that you were one of our biggest supporters from the very beginning. We thank you for that. You are probably our biggest prayer warrior. You are an inspiration to us. I hope that when I am your age I am at least as half as strong, half as wise, and half as stubborn (LOL) as you are. If someone ever asks me how I got to be so strong, wise, or stubborn. I am going to proudly hold my head up and say "I got it all from my Grandma Plummer." We love you Grandma. We are so glad that Natasha's middle name "Rose" was Grandpa Plummer's mom's name. We were looking for a family name, but Rose was the only one we could agree on. Turns out, it is a family name after all. We are so happy about that. (It is also Brianna's middle name. Bob's sister, Trina's youngest daughter) See how God works !!!!!!!!!!

Aunt Norma, Aunt Guyda & Uncle Tracy. I know you guys were right there along with Grandma Plummer praying. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

I must mention my Aunt Orpha who suddenly passed away while we were in Ukraine. I know she was one of my great prayer warriors also. Rest in peace Aunt Orpha. We love you and will see you again someday. I am so sorry you didn't get to see my beautiful Natasha before you had to go.

Barb, Debbie, Uncle Roy. Thank you also for all your prayers while we were in Ukraine. Barb, thanks for printing everything out for Aunt Guyda & Uncle Tracy who are computerless. LOL. I know that was greatly appreciated.

Dad Ray. Thank you for all your comments, compliments, prayers and suggestions of things to do while in Ukraine. Although I don't think I got any more scriptures memorized. Memorizing is so very hard for me to do. I did get a lot of cross stitching done and a whole book read. (For me to read a book takes a lot. LOL.) As you know, it has been a wait for us & we are so glad Natasha is finally here forever. We have not had to wait as long as others we know and met while we were there. God has always been good to us & maybe you and Randa being pastors and all helped put a good word in for us. LOL. Randa. You are so funny. I don't think we heard from you until Bob wrote the blog "like an engineer". Too funny. He does very good on the "facts" though, in his behalf. Sometimes he would write the "facts" and then go to bed & I would get on and write the warm, fuzzy, emotional stuff. Thanks for everything you two.

Craig & Jerry, Trina & Jeff. We know you were there praying for us also. A big hug and thank you to all of you.

Uncle Bob. What can I say. Your the greatest. The only one who got up at 2:30am and sent us a text message prayer. That was really great. You have no idea how much that meant to us. I can't believe it took us going to Ukraine for you to go to church & pray. (Out loud). You are the best friend and Uncle anyone can ever have. We love you and so do the girls. I do believe "The force was truly with us" while we were there and "with you also" back here. We are all so proud of you !! I did a good job at getting there and back and I didn't even need any oxygen on the airplane. And, you did a good job while we were gone. You didn't need any oxygen either. Maybe a little mouth to mouth, but no oxygen. Ha Ha.

Dr. McClain. We just want to thank you again for checking in on Kelly while she was in the hospital. That helped us feel better. We owe you one.

A big thank you to everyone in "Born in our hearts". We couldn't have done it without all of your support. And, thanks for the basket of muffins. They were delicious !!!

A word of thanks to some of our best friends. Steve & Michelle, Pat & Carla, Katie & Jerry. Thanks for everything, your prayers, your friendship, and for coming to the airport. Dave & Bonnie also. That was just the greatest & so much fun. We love you guys !!!

More friends to mention. Aunt Connie, Mike & Jan, Tom & Maria, Rich & Jill,Theresa, Rick. I'm running out of words to say. We are so glad you are all our friends.

Dan & Sandy. You guys are wonderful. We are so blessed to have met you & we are so glad we became friends in the process. Sandy, We are happy we finally got to meet you. Now we know the person that keeps Dan in line. LOL. Dan, your great, ornery, but great also. LOL. Please call or come visit anytime. A great big thanks for everything you did for us.

Angelina. I hardly know what to say to you. Thank You seems to be so little for all that you did. You are one Awesome Lady. I have never met anyone like you. You should be so proud of yourself. You have a great gift for all this adoption stuff and a wonderful love for all these children. I can't even imaging how many of them you have saved. May God Bless you always. If your ever in the States and want to visit, please know that you are welcome anytime.

If we have forgotten to thank anyone, we apologise. There were just so very many people involved in making this happen.

As far as Natasha is concerned. She is doing great !!! We couldn't ask for a better girl. We love her so very much and as I said earlier, we can't imagine our life without her. She had a great summer last year and is really looking forward to this summer. She loves to swim at grandma & grandpa's (Gail's Parents) house. She is just like a "fish". It's hard to get her out of the water sometimes. She likes to ride bikes & even had a big wipe-out racing Kim. She "rug burned" her face, elbow, her bottom, her knee & foot. Thank goodness she had her helmet on. Helmets are a rule at our house. But, I believe Kim won that race. LOL. She likes to ride scooters, jumping on the trampoline, flashlight tag, bon-fires, & just plain playing. She gets along great with our little neighbor Mallory. They love to play together, and have sleep overs at each other's houses. She is adjusting very well & it seems like she did it so quickly. We often laugh at how quick she became "Americanized". LOL We have had some "meltdowns" and some "testing the boundaries". But nothing we haven't already been through with all the other girls. LOL. Gosh, they all still test us. LOL. She knows the rules around our house and abides by them as good as any of the other girls.

Natasha started school a few days after we got back last year. There were only about 2 weeks left & we wanted her to get use to what school was all about here versus Ukraine. She started out in 4th grade. Not at 4th grade level, but age appropriate. Her first day was May 22nd, and she went for 3 hours. Then full days where we would drive her there and pick her up. The last week of school last year she took the school bus. She squawked about it at first, but quickly it became no problem. We believe she truly likes school, but that's not what she would say if you asked her. LOL. We were so very blessed in that Natasha's ESL (English as a second language) teacher just happens to speak Russian. That was a really big help.

Natasha, of course graduated to 5th grade & is about to finish that up this year. She will be leaving the Elementary and going to the Middle school next. I could just cry !!! My babies grow up so very fast. Natasha has made her own group of friends at school and is doing very good with them. Bob and I were just talking about how much we like Natasha's school friends. They, of course, play together whenever possible and have sleep overs as well. Natasha is doing very good in school. She was in the 3rd grade in Ukraine, and the bottom of 3rd grade at that. As far as we can tell she didn't even start school until she got to the Orphanage. So she is doing very well in school considering all she has had to go through. She is dealing with 5th grade math very well without even knowing her basic math facts. We do math facts as extra "homework" for her at home, as well as reading out loud to us. She is reading at about a 1st grade level right now, which is excellent for having to learn English.

As much as we tried to help Natasha keep her Russian by having her call and talk to her friend Helena about every week, she seems to be loosing it. She refuses to talk to her ESL teacher at school in Russian and when she talks to Helena she speaks in English & Helena speaks in Russian. Helena does know some English. It's my opinion that Natasha still knows some Russian, but just refuses to speak it or admit that it is still there. That is OK though. It's an adoption thing. We just want Natasha to be the 11 year old girl that she is. We plan on bringing Helena over this summer for a few weeks. Natasha is thrilled & Helena is thrilled. We planned this while we were staying in Ukraine & everything still seems to be on track for her coming over. We very much look forward to it. Helena is a great girl. She too was adopted by Slavik & Oksanna.

Natasha has already figured out that she can get a lot more things from daddy than she would if she asks Mommy. She also just looks at him & says "please." But all our other girls will say the same thing also. They openly speak about Bob as being a pushover. LOL. Funny sometimes, other times, not so funny.

Natasha has also figured out that grandma (Gail's mom) loves to go shopping. She uses this to her advantage as much as possible, as do all the other girls. The other day she asked Bob & I. "Can I call Grandma?" we said "yes, but why." She said "something." So off she went to call grandma & Bob and I heard, "Hello Grandma, shopping, yes, Justice." (Justice is a new store here with really cute & sometimes expensive girls clothes. They all love it there.) We laughed, but then I had to tell her that she has to get our permission first before she asks grandma to go shopping. She didn't like that very much. But, hey, neither do all the other girls. LOL.

It is wonderful to be able to communicate with Natasha. She knows most of what we are saying & is starting to talk in sentences now. She is starting to ask us questions about things or words she doesn't know. This is a good thing but can be very funny at times. Natasha will sometimes answer a question about herself if you ask her one, but we still sometimes get the shoulder shrug with an "I don't know." She seems to want nothing to do with remembering anything connected with Ukraine right now. That is fine though. We want her to just be a kid while she is one & we figure that she will talk when she is ready. It's no problem. She gets mad when we might say something that we already know about her from her past. Like what grade she was in & the kind of grades she got. What town she was born in. Just little things like that. We don't bring up any big issues.

Here are some pictures of Natasha and some "firsts" for her.

The pictures are in no special order. I had a hard enough time figuring out how to put them on the Blog again. LOL.

First 4th of July

Natasha with her friends Lisa & Jenna at her 5th grade Musical.
Natasha helping out building the barn with Uncle Craig Easter Egg hunt at church. (That's Sabrina under the bunny costume)

Natasha (11) & Sabrina (13) Visiting Shauna at Calvin College. (You can see Sabrina, Natasha, Shauna, & Cailin. Kelly & Kim are in there also, you just can't see them). First pumpkin carving. (Natasha,Sabrina, Kim, Sammy, Kelly, Shauna & Aaron, Cailin). Christmas 2007 All of us with Grandma Plummer. (Cailin - 14, Sammy - 16, Kim - 14, Shauna - 20, Sabrina - 13, Natasha - 11, Gail, Bob, Kelly - 12 and Grandma Plummer).
First day of school, 2007 Halloween/Trick-or-Treat with Uncle Bob. (And, yes for those of you that know. Natasha is wearing my old Majorette outfit from High School) Can you believe I use to fit into that. LOL. One of Natasha & Kelly's Christmas presents was to go to a Hannah Montana concert. (With Dad, of course). About 2 weeks after we got home we decided to adopt 2 orphaned foals. (Because we didn't have enough to do). LOL That's Grandpa Ray in the background. Ice skating with friends and Family. Natasha got her ears pierced. Natasha waiting on the School Bus with our neighbor & Natasha's friend Mallory. Swimming at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Were going to the Football Game. Natasha & Mallory building a snowman. Natasha & Jenna. Natasha's 11th Birthday party. (Mallory on the left Kelly on the right) Natasha and Daddy on their way to the Father/Daughter dance. Happy New Year 2008.(Dad, Matthew, & Mallory also in the picture). Guitar Hero with Jon from next door. Playing cards at the Cleveland Airport waiting for Shauna to come back from Ukraine. Yes, you heard me right. Shauna went to Ukraine July of 2007 for 5 weeks herself to help teach English at Donetsk University. She loved it. (Sammy, Kim, Natasha, Sabrina, Cailin. You can't see Kelly) And, last, but not least, Natasha's FIRST hair cut. Isn't she beautiful !!!! I suppose that about sums up our first year. It has been the most wonderful experience in the world. We wouldn't change a thing.
God Bless,
Bob & Gail Ray

May 22nd, 2007 - We are home

WOW !!!!!!! What a ride we have been on. Just wanted to say a short "Thank you" to all involved. I will write more soon as there is so much to say and it will take me a while to write it all down.

Thanks Everyone,

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Day 35 - May 19th, 2007 - Almost Home

We have made it safely back to the states, completed our trip through customs & immigration, the taxi ride to La Gaurdia, and are now waiting for our flight to Akron/Canton. Our flight is supposed to leave in a little over an hour, right now everything is on time. We met up with the Schnitzel's (the two year old twins) at the airport. Gail was glad to help out holding the girls during the flight. We are all tired, but glad to be almost home. We talked to our girls during the cab ride between airports. It was good to hear their voices over a good connection, but everybody is still anxious for our arrival home. Natasha, even though tired from the long trip, is still very happy to be in America. She flashes a huge smile when we pull out her new passport and they read her name "Natasha Rose Ray". We can tell she is very happy to finally be ours forever. Be home soon.
God Bless,
Bob, Gail & Natasha

Day 35 - May 19th, 2007 - We begin our long trip home

As usual Natasha and I are all packed and waiting for our driver to pick us up at 10:00 am to take us to the airport. Gail, on the other hand, is still packing. She is doing good this time and should finish soon - I think that is because she is so anxious to finally be going home. This will be a long day, our driver will pick us up at 10:00 am, we should be at the airport by 11:00 am. Our flight will leave Kiev at 1:00 pm, and is scheduled to arrive in New York at 4:20 pm. We are arriving at JFK and will go through customs and immigration there. We then have to take a short taxi ride to La Guardia airport for our flight to Akron/Canton. Our flight to Akron/Canton is scheduled to leave New York at 8:52 pm and arrive at 10:12 pm. We will be arriving in Akron/Canton on Airtran airways flight 212. Anybody interested can check our flight status at http://flightaware.com/live/flight/TRS212. If everything goes on schedule, we should arrive in Akron/Canton a little longer than 19 hours after our driver picks us up to take us to the airport.

We are anxious and excited to get home. We have missed all of our girls very much and look forward to seeing them at the airport tonight. We are looking forward to attending our church(Rivertree Christian) tomorrow together as one big family (although with the long travel day, we are expecting to make the 11:00 service). Please pray that our travels will go safely and smoothly.
God Bless,

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day 34. May 18th, 2007. We are coming home tomorrow !!!

Hello everyone. We can not wait to get home tomorrow. We are all so home sick and we miss our other girls & our home & family & friends & our dog and cats, even the bunny. LOL.

Today we went back to the American Embassy to pick up Natasha's Visa and her immigration paperwork. She will be a United States citizen as soon as she steps foot on U.S. soil. That is so cool !!

We also went to a place here called "St. Andrew's descent" where they sell a lot of souvenir's. We tried to get Natasha to let us buy her this Ukrainian outfit, but she said no.

Natasha found something else she liked, but I couldn't find anything I thought the rest of our girls would like. Oh Well !! Whhhhhhaaaaaa. Whhhhhaaaaaaa

We all went out to lunch at a cafeteria style restaurant that is down at the bottom of the hill. We didn't have a whole lot of time to eat because our facilitator had to catch an airplane back to Donetsk this evening.

Bob, Natasha, and I did some more shopping this evening at the underground mall here. It is really neat, but I forgot to take any pictures of it.

We had dinner at TGI Friday's tonight. We were in the mood for some American food with an English menu. LOL.

I don't have time to make any comments back to everyone who made comments to us in the last couple of days. But plan on doing that when we get home. I, of course, have to start packing for tomorrow. We need to be ready to leave our apartment here at 10:00am.

God Bless everyone. We are off to the airport tomorrow. Pray that everything goes smoothly and our flight is safe & we all get home safely. All my girls at home. I love you. See you tomorrow evening.

I will leave you with a few pictures. This is out our window looking at center of town. The dome is the center of the underground mall. The steps on both sides of it go down into the mall. It is really nice.

Uncle Bob. Natasha took this picture for you. This is Ketchup. The one on the train was a beer bottle. LOL.

Hugs & kisses,


Day 34. May 18th, 2007

This part of the blog is for Uncle Roy, Barb, & Debbie. For those of you who don't know. My Aunt Orpha passed away suddenly on Wednesday. Uncle Roy, Barb, & Debbie. I am so terribly sorry and I am so shocked and saddened by this. Please know that our prayers are with you. We did try to change our flight to today (Friday), but were unable too. We could get as far as New York, but couldn't get any flights home that would get us to the funeral on time. I just want you to know that I am so sorry we can't be there. I am upset about it & so wish we could be there. I do not want to miss it, but it seems that I don't have a choice. We will come and visit you very soon. I know you will have lots of family there, so we will come when things settle down a little bit. We love you guys. Hugs and Kisses. Take care.

God Bless,

P.S. I will update the rest of our blog later with what we did today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day 33 - May 17, 2007 - A busy day in Kiev

The train ride went smoothly. Here is a picture of Natasha already settled in the train for the night.

We arrived in Kiev at 7:00 am. We went directly to the doctor to get Natasha's medical exam. We met another adoptive family at the doctor's office. They were completing the adoption of their son. This was their second adoption, they had adopted two girls a couple of years ago. We exchanged contact information and hope to hear from them after we have returned to the states. We then went to the US Embassy to get Natasha's visa. We met up with the same family we saw at the doctor's office. We also met another family who was just completing their adoption of two year old twin girls. Since both families were in front of us in line, Gail gladly volunteered to hold one of the girls until it was our turn (they will also be on the same flight from Kiev to New York so I'm sure Gail will get a chance to hold them again). By the time we left the embassy, it was after 1:00 pm and everybody was hungry, so we went to eat lunch (we ate at the same cafeteria dad & I did when we were in Kiev in October). We then picked up our tickets for our flight home on Saturday, stopped at the store for a few groceries, and arrived at our apartment just around 4:30 pm. We spent most of the day in the van running from place to place. Once we got into our apartment, we were ready for a chance to rest and update our blog. However, we had to call the apartment manager back to get our Internet working. We are now settled in. Everybody is tired and anxious to get some rest for tomorrow. Natasha is enjoying watching Nickelodeon on the satellite TV. Tomorrow we will pick up Natasha's visa in the morning, and then spend a little time looking around Kiev. Our facilitator, Angelina Zherevichuk, will leave us tomorrow and fly back to Donetsk in the afternoon. She has been an excellent help throughout the whole process and we will miss her.

To all our friends and family, thank you for all of the prayers and comments. (Yes, Gail did get everything packed in time for our departure to the train station - our driver looked at all of our bags and thought he would have to make two trips, but we made it on time and with everything). Natasha already misses Helena, and we look forward to keeping in touch with Slavik and his family.
That's it for tonight as get some needed rest before our last full day in Ukraine.
God Bless and good night,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day 32 - May 16th, 2007 - We begin our journey home

We are just finishing our packing and getting ready to head to the train station. We will be taking the train to Kiev tonight. It is about a 12 hour trip. We leave around 7:00 pm and will arrive in Kiev around 7:00 am. We will go immediately from the train station to the doctor for Natasha's medical exam. Our appointment with the US Embassy is at 11:00 am. We will then get some lunch and head to our apartment in Kiev. We will pick up Natasha's visa on Friday, and should have most of Friday to look around Kiev before we head to the airport on Saturday morning.

We are excited to be heading home, but sad to leave many of the new friends we have made. Gail is busy packing (whatever she can't pack before our train leaves will stay here - Natasha and I finished packing several hours ago), and will respond to the comments tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day 31. IT'S A GIRL !!!!!!!!!

May we be the first to introduce you to our new daughter:


Weighting in at 99lbs, 3 oz
60 inches long
Her Mother and Father are doing great and are coming home on Saturday !!!!!!!

This is Natasha with her Passport, Birth certificate, & Adoption certificate. She has been smiling ear to ear all day since the judge announced she was officially ours.

This is all of us at the courthouse. The Judge is in the middle. There are 2 members of the jury. The prosecutor is missing from this picture. Juvenal authority. The deputy director of the Orphanage & our facilitator is behind the camera.

The court room.
Natasha with our facilitator, who is the absolute greatest !!!
This is us just outside the courtroom before we went in for our appointment.

This is the Court building.
We left about 8:00am this morning and didn't get back till 7:00pm this evening. We had a very big wonderful day. After court or facilitator dropped us off at a restaurant that we like. We wanted to celebrate some with Natasha. Plus, we were all hungry. LOL. While we were eating and enjoying the park, our facilitator was running around getting the adoption decree, the birth certificate, the paperwork needed for the passport. There was an error on the court document so she had to go back to the courthouse to get that fixed also. I'm telling you, this lady is a working machine. It was probably 3 hours until she was able to pick us back up and go to our apartment. Luckily it was nice and sunny and warm out. We had a leisurely lunch and walked the whole park. And, we still had time to spare. LOL.

Thank you , Thank you everyone for your continued prayers. Uncle Bob you are just awesome !!! We love you, you brought tears to our eyes this morning. For those of you who don't know, Uncle Bob really does have a "soft side". LOL. Seriously though. We got several text messages on our cell phone from Uncle Bob right before our court hearing today. That means he set his alarm and got up and PRAYED for and with us. You make me smile and we can't wait to get back and go to church "with" you Uncle Bob. Just an FYI. Any single Lady's out there looking for a really great, studly man who will always treat them right. Uncle Bob is your man. And thank you for "Talking to Shauna", she needs her butt beat. You have my permission to go over and do so. Although you don't really need my permission anymore because she is what they consider an "adult" now. And with such language !!! But, dude, don't give her any more "words" to use. How about just "Natasha is so tall." I love you my Shauna. We are coming home in 4 days. Can you stand it. I miss you !!!

Shauna, maybe grandma could shut the garage door when she is there during the week. DUH !!! Hey mom, I forgot to tell you that Bob has said. "It's a little weird knowing that your mother-in-law is at home sleeping in our bed." LOL. Don't you just love that. Maybe he will buy me a new mattress now !!

Theresa. I'm sorry, we have not run into your boy. I will try to ask about them tomorrow. Thanks for the prayers.

Thank you dad Ray. And your going to Mexico for lunch is too funny. I know it just made Shauna's blood boil. LOL. It's not fair though that we don't know what she says to you in Spanish.

Thank you Lucia. Thank you Michelle. We got this on as soon as possible. We were visiting with our friends we have made here this evening. Oksana & Slavik have given us a gift from the Ukraine. They are such good friends. We are already planning on trying to bring Helena over next summer for a few weeks to visit. It was funny, because she does not want to wait a year, she wants to come this summer. LOL.

Hey Dan. Trying to spoil my big news much. LOL.

Thanks again everyone,

God Bless,

Sweet dreams,



Monday, May 14, 2007

Day 30. May 14th, 2007. 1 day till court.

Hello everyone. Today was Natasha's party at the Orphanage for her class/friends. They all seemed to have a blast. I brought balloons from home and we just blew them up. I thought I would run out of air. LOL. We took in pizza, cake, soda pop, & candy. Seemed to be a hit. After the kids ate their pizza and cake they started playing with the balloons. The balloons were everywhere. Then they started trying to play keep away from me. Bob was in the hallway with Natasha's teacher getting all the specifics on her current grade level and capabilities. It was funny because the kids and I started to run around the table. The teacher flew open the door & was about to yell at the kids for running. She got about 3 words out & then noticed that I was the instigator. She smiled and shut the door. LOL. Too funny for me.
We also stopped at the Records Bureau to confirm their agreeing of the judges waiving the 10 day waiting period. From there we went on our hunt for a Notary. For Pete's sake, they are so hard to find over here. We must have stopped at at 1/2 a dozen of them until we found one that was in and willing to Notarize our paperwork.
It is late here and we have court tomorrow. Our appointment isn't until 10:30am, but our facilitator is picking us up at 7:45am. She has to make a stop back at the orphanage and take pictures of other children for another hosting program. So I will leave you this evening with lots of pictures to look at. Some of you will recognize yours.
Shauna Marie. I told you about the raccoon before we left. Shut the garage door at dark time. OK
Lucia. Thank you for the prayers. And yes, I think I will try doing laps while I talk on the phone. Maybe that will help. LOL. Sabrina cracks me up !!!
All of you who are reading. Please pray for our big day tomorrow at 10:30am. That's 3:30am our time. So everyone, get up at 3:30am and pray OK. LOL.

Lots of hugs and kisses,



One of Natasha's teachers.

Edward. I Love him. He is fun !!

And the one with the most balloons wins !!!!!!
Natasha's old room.
Look who I found !!!