Are Lena and Ilya also going to have American names?
I was thinking they were Scarlett and Reid?
Yes, they do have American names… Reed and Scarlett. But we are going to call them Ilya and Lena for as long as they like. They don’t know about their other names yet, and we have no plans for a transition. We love their Ukrainian names, but wanted them to have the option of a name which sounds more American when they get to public school. Especially for Ilya, as Ilya is a very Russian name and sounds a bit effeminate to some. Their new names are their first names and their Ukrainian names are their middle names. The name that they want to be called will always be up to them!
Were you allowed to interact with or observe any of the other children at 33? there is a specific child I am interested in…and I could email you privately and tell you the situation. I would love your input on the size of the institution, the area and your general thoughts.
I shared about this more on our travel blog, but everyday, we’d see the older kids groupa, the kids age 3-5, walk by after their music class. We also spent some time with “James” one day. Feel free to email me with your questions. MMorris87@gmail.com. The orphanage is decent. The children get good care there and I really enjoyed the region we were in, for the most part.
Were your children already familiar with one another? Not sure if children are separated by age into different rooms, etc.
They knew each other, but did not seem to know each other very well. I think this worked out for the best. They play nicely together and get along, interact with each other, etc. A concern with adopting two children from the same orphanage is that they may have had to compete for resources in the past, but that is not the case with them.
How was the flight home? I missed out on the travel blog! 🙂
We had three flights. The first two were not fun at all. The first was hard because the kids were wide awake and antsy. And we had three seats and then one. So Aaron took both kids since I had not slept at all. The second was our terribly long flight. They slept but it still got rough. I can’t blame them, but that was hard. We should not have seated them right next to each other either. The third was pretty good. We had two seats and two seats. That worked best. Lena slept most of the flight and Ilya was okay too.
What are your thoughts on your children´s Ukrainian heritage, do you mean to keep Ukrainian traditions
We’d love to keep up some of the traditions, but we want to use traditions which we can do as a whole family. Like St. Nicholas’ day and other Ukrainian holidays. I’d love ideas if anyone has them for traditions which are easy to do as a whole family.
What are your observtions of Ukraine in general.
Sometimes Ukraine would seem just like the United States and other times I’d feel like we had stepped back 50 years. There are lots of things which seem weird to me, but that is my perspective as a Western observer, who does not understand their customs. There are other things which are brilliant and we ought to implement here in the United States. Like paying for plastic bags at the grocery store or tunnels underground to cross busy streets or wearing the same outfit a few days in a row.
How is the attatchment going
It’s hard. Ilya and Aaron definitely have a bond. Ilya gets so excited when Aaron gets home from work and so sad when he leaves. He clings to Aaron whenever there are new people around. Lena and I seem to have a bond too. Honestly, it’s hard to tell. She calls for me sometimes. “Mama? Mama?” I can’t really speak for Aaron and Lena, because like I said, I have a hard time judging even our bond. Ilya and I are working on it. It helps when Aaron is gone. Both kids just soak up affection. Ilya likes to be a silly boy and wipe off my kisses, but he just lights up when he gets hugs and kisses. Lena is the same. Obviously attachment is hard from their perspective. It’s possible they’ve never had a strong attachment to another person. It’s hard from mine too. It’s hard falling in love with someone who treats you very poorly much of the time. I think you other adoptive parents may know what I mean.
My question relates to akopp’s, have y’all been to a dr. in the US yet? Any plan of action yet?
We have not. Obviously, this last week, the only week we’ve been home for, was that nutty week between Christmas and New Years. We wanted to give the kids some time to settle in too, before they’re poked and prodded. I am eager for their medical tests and to make sure that they are healthy. I’ll let you know how that goes when they happen.
I deleted a few questions, because I do not feel comfortable answering them publicly. Shoot me an email to find out what’s up and I may answer them privately. MMorris87@gmail.com. I will try to do a Q&A once a week if I continue to get questions.