Week One

We are home.

last photo of Lyuda in Ukraine

We arrived in the US on Friday afternoon. We spent the evening with my family.

My littlest nephew. Lyuda enjoyed holding him a lot more than this photo shows, once we tied her hair back so he couldn’t pull it.

We left early Saturday morning to go home.

These photos were all taken by my wonderful friend Danae.

Reed said “it took us a long time to get to the airport. it’s far away.” We live about an hour away from the airport. I asked when the next plane to China was leaving, so he could see what a long trip really is! After 4 plane rides, I had a very different concept of far away.


This is by far the easiest transition after adoption that we’ve had. Perhaps there will be other challenges as months go by and school starts, but for now, it’s pretty smooth.

Reed, Lena, and Gus have had school this week. After we take them all to school and go to the grocery store, Lyuda gets her own to-dos for the day. She took two math placement quizzes, and we could see where she has some holes in her knowledge. With math, it’s mostly been a few missing concepts here and there, as well as the language barrier. Now I have her doing a small math lesson each day with videos and worksheets. So far, we’ve covered place value, simple fractions and American money. She also has some English and reading work to do each day. At the suggestion of another adoptive family, we tried Reading Eggs, and I also introduced her to Lingua Leo today. She will also be doing one-on-one English lessons. The main goal of those is to boost her confidence with speaking, as grammar and vocabulary will come with time. It only adds up to a couple of hours each morning, and then she has lots of free time for the rest of the day. She has been spending this time doing embroidery, reading, and cleaning up around the house (without being asked).


Teaching Gus embroidery.


I brought this jersey back for Reed. I was very excited to give it to him. He loves soccer. Orange is his favorite color. And this jersey is from the soccer team of the region where Reed was born. He loved it, just as I anticipated.


In summary, we’re all having a great time together and getting used to the new normal.

One last thing, I will be making the rest of my blog posts from when we traveled public soon, in case you missed them. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Week One”

  1. I am absolutey thrilled for you! Enjoy the smooth transition and soak up the positive energy – to use when challenges come! Congratulations to a wonderful family!

  2. Such amazing smiles on all of them. I’ve said I think Lyuda’s smile gets brighter every time you post a new picture. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  3. That very last photo is the best. All you’ve worked for in one glowing shot. Congrats on this beautiful family!

  4. Congratulations! I love seeing Lyuda’s beautiful smile & the children look so comfortable together. I’m glad the transition has been so smooth. I’ve been following along on Instagram but look forward to catching up more when the blog posts go public.

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