Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Land that I Love!

Ukraine is a place that I will forever yearn to visit....... soak in..... Not only did I fall in love with every single thing about it when we were there last summer adopting our son Dennis, but praying for this country, praying for their orphans, praying for the little boy that we are working towards adopting, has made Ukraine even more special.

I have the deepest respect for the country where two and God-willing three of my children were born.

Last trip I tried to take note of everything--- even the smallest of things.

We didn't watch DVD's--- we didn't even bring any. Instead we watched from our apartment window, the children playing down below us.

We never used a driver unless our facilitator asked us to. Instead we walked everywhere and risked getting lost. It was adventurous......because afterall, weren't we on an adventure of a lifetime?

Last trip, I actually packed some oatmeal packets, granola bars, and peanut butter. This trip, I want to eat everything Ukrainian. Last trip, I even brought a role of toilet paper from home. I am a bit embarrassed to even admit that. Outside of bringing a few things for Dennis and Julia, I want to say that I was a 100% Ukrainian in everything I did!

I noticed the unique purple flower in the field next to the path we walked everyday to the orphanage. I noticed the sweet smell when a light rain would sprinkle down on us.

No paper plates, no dishwashers, no fenced in backyards. No lawns to cut, crosswalk buttons to push, or coffee pots to rinse out.

This trip will be even more memorable--- I promise. This trip, I will enjoy it through the eyes of two of my children--- a special treat that I cannot wait for.

I love Ukraine, and will make sure to not waste a single moment there. I am looking forward to re-introducing all who helped us to adopt Dennis so that they could see what an amazing boy he is! Hopefully seeing how far Dennis has come will help them to feel a little more comfortable with Americans adopting their children. I feel that this is the least that we could do. I want them to know without a doubt that we have cared for and loved our Ukrainian born son with all of our hearts---- and will do the same for Alexsey.

This may sound a little strange to some, but for me, it is a humbling experience that I know will make me even more appreciative of what I have here at home. It will also hopefully embed in my heart an even deeper desire to return to Ukraine and help the orphans that I already dread leaving behind. I have no doubt that through this God will open my eyes to see things I may have otherwise been too absorbed in my own comfort to notice.

With Godspeed, I cannot wait to return to the land that I love!


Alan said...

That's a nice perspective you have... it's a little tougher to do what you say in winter... I would like to go back sometime in the summer and take in the vistas of the wheat and sunflower fields around Rozdilna, Andreyevo, and Milolaevka. It was beautiful in Dec., but would love to watch thunderstorms rolling in... I plan to take our kids back there some day if they are willing.

Chelley said...

Wow you could start a tourist trade with that post! Makes me wanna go visit!

Just wondering what happens if your trip to Urkrain falls around the same time as a operarion for Dennis?

Annie said...

Yes! Christine - perhaps in this post, more than almost any other, you have hit on a common chord between us. I am always so surprised by people that set out to adopt their children as though to "save" them from their country. To save them from being parentless, yes - or from poverty, but not from their country! That is part of who they are!

You also made me realize why I so enjoyed your last adoption blog. You two looked like you were on your second honeymoon! Craig and I were like that, too. I don't know that we've ever felt closer than on our adoption trips. Again, so many people want to stodgily say "It is not a vacation." And make a list of privations. is not like most vacations, that's true - it is far, far better. Rich, and deep and dense and powerful, joyous and beautiful and funny, too.

ukraine09 said...

Thank you so much for this post!! Having not been to Ukraine yet it is easy to fall into the trap of all of the negative things I read other people saying about the country.

I have always been determined going into our adoption that I am going to make the best of every situation presented to me while I am in Ukraine. I am going to enjoy the people, the train rides, the culture, the food and everything else I can because, after all, it is a part of my child. I want to have wonderful memories of this country to share with my daughter as she grows up. I want to love her country so that she can love it too.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for loving Ukraine and giving me something to look forward to.


Stefanie said...

You have the right attitude, you know the one that gives thanks in ALL circumstances. I too, love the Country, because it is the Country where 50 percent of my geneaology originates and it is the place where all FOUR of my Sons were born. Too many people are so negative while traveling and miss out on learning sooooooo much about their children's heritage!
God's speed,

Carey and Norman said...

So glad you were able to appreciate the small things (so often overlooked during an adoption as you are so busy worrying about what paperwork you need, court, etc.). I too would be more adventurous if I did it all over again!!

Anonymous said...

I totally hear ya, Christine. I felt the same way about Brazil. Soakin' in the sights and sounds and smells. Going down to the corner "bakery" for "paozinos" (little breads) and Brazilian smoothies (ever try an avacado smoothie? They treat avacados as a fruit down there and they're huge). It's an awesome experience.

adoptedthree said...

Ukraine has always stolen a piece of my heart. Perhaps that is why I continue, almost ten years after my first adoption, to follow the children and families. I so want to adopt again, but now is not our time. I hope to return next spring with my first son so that he can meet his bio sister and great grandmother

Anonymous said...

thank you for this post! I have had to stop reading an adoption blog because the couple are so negative about the country and making excuses why the children are not cute enough to be on their Christmas cards.

It made me cry for those babies.

"Annie" is very wise in her previous comment. We are not there to rescue these children from their "country". Well said, my friend.

Meredith said...

I'm with you! I want to go back so badly! And I was there when it was -20, and so didn't experience the beauty in Kramatorsk the same way that you did (especially being from FL myself LOL) but I loved it and can't wait to go back. I'm planning it for a year after this next baby is here. I want to experience it again but not only that, to go and reintroduce my children to those that questioned our motives to show them the changes and to rejoice with them not only in the potential of the children with disabilities, but in the positive things of adoption as well. And... this time since I won't be working on adoption (haha, at least that's not the plan!)take the opportunity to educate about some of the things they can do to help those little ones that are medically "set aside". I can't wait to go back to Ukraine! I hope your next trip is as enjoyable as your first!
Blessings, Meredith (RR)

ukraine09 said...

Hi Christine,

I saw your post on my blog. All we are waiting for is our I-171H, so I'm hoping it comes soon. Of course you are welcome to post our blog on your list.


Jill said...

It's great to see how they really live. I was able to stay with a Ukrainian family for a week and it was eye-opening, to say the least! God Speed!

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, but I was just reading the beginning of your blog- your love for your children and your family is so beautiful I wanted to read about your other adoptions. Do you remember writing this about wanting a dozen children? It made me smile and want to remind you of it- God bless.

Brenda said...

I have a wonderful program that I use for my photography business. I changed Alexey's body to brown tones and left his eyes just as they are and they are soooo bright blue! If you can send me your email, I'll send you the picture. I don't know how else to get it to you.
I also have a blog about a little boy I have from Haiti right now, if your interested in looking at it. He had 2 club feet and has been with us for about a year. We are his host family while he has been recovering from surgery.

erika pedersen said...

I love this post and I so can relate. That is exactly what brought me back here...:) Prayers all the way from Ukraine....

Ashley said...

I also love this post! And I love what Annie said about being so close to her husband on adoption trips. I feel this is what is going to happen with my husband and me. We are going there to get our son and how can this not bring us closer? I really do feel it will be like a honeymoon.

I think we need to appreciate our child's country. God did not call me to adopt Grisha because he is from Ukraine. He called me to adopt him because he is OUR son and is meant for us.

Terri-Anne said...

Let me preface this by saying I hope I don't offend. Dennis' life must seem like a whirlwind to him at times. From being adopted into a huge loving family, from the orphanage, also a new culture, and the surgeries he's been through. Although the changes he's been through have all been positive things in his life, they still have a big impact on him. In college we did a sort of questionairre on the "stress level" in our lives. Even wonderful events such as marriages, births of new children, and new jobs were considered stress-events as they impact so greatly on a life and take time to adjust to. The point I'm so poorly trying to get to is that Dennis has been through a LOT in the last year, and I'm worried that going back to the orphanage may be more than he should bear emotionally? Do you think his young memory will be jarred, about the orphanage being his former home? Will he understand that you are there to welcome another little fellow into your lives, or will he fear somewhere deep down that he will be left behind? He is very young to understand the nature of your trip. This might sound crazy to you, as he is very young and was even younger when he joined your family, and I'm really not trying to be inflammatory! I am just worried for Dennis's emotional well-being during the actual trip to bring Alexsey home. Have you considered what it may do to him to be back at the orphanage?

Sar said...

wow love this post, it's got me even more pumped up for my trip to ukraine in 2 weeks time!!!!

Sar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I follow your other blog too. In this picture Dennis' bad eye is on the right. But in your pictures on the other blog, his missing eye is on the left. I am so confused.