It is nice to be home. I managed to go upstairs last night and see the dogs. Lots of licking on my face… I never let them do that, but Nina was just so excited to see me. I was pretty excited to see her too… she is a special dog, very intuitive of how I am feeling. Silly when I need a laugh and calm and cuddly when I am upset or sick. It might sound funny if you aren’t a dog person yourself, but she and I have a bond.
One of the first things we did today was introduce the kids to the dogs. We brought Cache down first. He is a very good dog around kids, will let them pull his ears and jump all over him. He just laid on the couch and let us do what we wanted with him. Both kids were very scared. Aaron and I touched him and showed how calm he was. I put my mouth near his muzzle and made kissing sounds. The kids thought that was so funny and seemed to relax a bit when they realized he would not bite me. They petted him a bit, but they are still very scared. We let both dogs out a bit later. Nina, who has no kid experience to my knowledge, was a natural too. She often acts like a huge puppy, so that surprised me. Both dogs are good about keeping a little distance between themselves and the kids, but it is going to take more time. One minute they are petting them or reaching a hand out to be licked and the next their screaming in fear. Of course, this is normal, but I am ready to be past this and have dogs and humans peacefully co-existing.
We tried to go to Wal-Mart today. We wanted to pick some stuff up, like wipes, which we are totally out of. But, Wal-Mart was closed. Seriously Wal-Mart? I had much lower expectations for you. So, I was a little happy that Wal-Mart closes on Christmas and a little frustrated because we needed a few things. Target opens at 7am tomorrow and I am ready!
The rest of our day was just hanging out at home. We skyped with my family for awhile. We had our second annual gag gift exchange this year. I wanted to see the people who received our gifts open them. It was a lot of fun to see them open their gifts. Then, Ilya and Lena opened the gifts my parents sent them. Books which they just LOVED. Ilya got very excited because one of his books is all about trucks. We skyped for awhile longer, just talking while the kids played. It is great to see all 10 of them. I miss them a lot.
The Christmas tree is absolutely beautiful. My mom sent us my ornaments from when I was a kid. So, I gave Ilya and Lena those ornaments to add to the bottom of the tree. They LOVED that. My mom also got them their own bells, engraved with their names. It is a tradition in our family, a bell with your name engraved on your first Christmas. These bells are beautiful.
I am so grateful for all of these people we have in our lives. I know I’ve said it before, but it comes as a surprise to me constantly, how wonderful everyone is. Our friends and families have blowed us away with support. We still have our loan with family, but the rest of our adoption expenses are taken care of. Any money which we did not need, we are planning to put into the grant of a waiting child, specifically one of the boys at Ilya and Lena’s orphanage. We are not sure which yet, but we hope to soon be sponsoring one of these boys through Project Hopeful‘s Family in the Gap Program. I am grateful to have an opportunity to put something back into the adoption process.
Life here is so different from Ukraine. I want to share more about that later, but my American friends, we have it good. Really, really good. We are blessed. Blessed with things like clean water and building codes and vegetables free from giardia. I just wanted to share that with you.