Thursday, December 30, 2010

A sad return to the orphanage and reading lesson #1 :)

Today took a very unexpected turn!
We were eating breakfast in our jammies after playing cards and the phone rang.
It was Yana telling us we had 20 minutes to get ready to leave to return Adrian to the orphange!
I was so confused and heartbroken and wondering what on earth was going on.
We hurried about and got everyone dressed and she explained to Adrian that he had to go back to the orphanage today and spend the night and we could come back and get him tomorrow.
He was dressed in his clothes in 10 seconds flat and ready to go.
I talked to Yana and told her to please make sure he is ok and understands we don't want this and we are coming back for him we are not leaving him!
She talked with him and I could hear him asking questions and then he brought me the phone again.
I was promised he was ok and he understood. 
He was asking when we get to go home to America?
How many days?
She told him to the best of her knowledge and assured him we are still going home to America!
A few minutes later he came back into our room and was in his orphanage clothes.
I lost it!
He was handing us his clothes we had bought him, brought us his pants, shirt and hat and was telling us to keep it.  We were telling him no, it's yours!  You're coming back! Put them on your shelf.
These clothes are YOUR clothes!
Adrian's clothes!
You ARE coming back home!

Bryan folded them up and put them away as I tried to gather myself.
I was doing my best to calm down and keep it together and was not doing well at all.
Here is my baby that we've finally got and they are telling us to bring him back and he is changing back into those too small pants, those huge boots and those wholey tiny underwear.
What is happening!?!
The phone rang again and it was Yana telling us our ride was downstairs and the quicker we get down there the better, he is waiting.

We had to hurry and get down there so I got dressed as quickly as possible, no make up, threw on my shoes and hustled to get my coat on and get out the door.
Bryan mentioned that maybe this was God's plan to help us spend more time with the kids at the orphanage and love on them some more.
I hoped so.

I need to fill you in a bit on some information I've found out since being here.
The orphanage that Adrian was in is not just an orphanage.
It is an "internat".
From my understanding and the little bit of research I've done, that is what they call mental institutions here.
I was devestated.
I began to recall several comments that had been made about kids being "transferred" to this orphanage and about it being the orphanage where "sick or mentally retarded" children go.
I brushed it off b/c I didn't see any sick or mentally retarded kids.
Then I remembered court.
The judge asking - you do know he is sick right?
You know he is mentally retarded right?

He is NOT mentally retarded!
NONE of the kids we met were mentally retarded!
I am really glad I didn't know this before as I am a worry wart and it would have driven me nuts.
I am also happy to know now that Anastasia is in the "best" orphanage (if you can even consider one orphange a better place than another) that there is in this region.

I have known this for a few days and it has just been such a shock to me and hard for me to comprehend that I haven't said anything on here about it.
These kids are delayed educationally and emotionally.. but I can tell you why!!
They have NO ONE to love them!
NO ONE to care for them the way they need that they would get in a FAMILY!
They are NOT mentally retarded!
If your child is behind in reading or math... are they mentally retarded?
They are also delayed physically.
What else do you expect without proper nutrition?
These orphanages do what they can with what they have but it is not ideal.

My heart is broken over this injustice.

When we went back to the orphanage they had these Beautiful and amazing pictures that the kids in this "internat" have done.
Hmmmm doesn't look like the work of a "mental retard" to me!

Ok there is my rant for now.

We went in and were directed to the assistant director's office.
We were greeted so nicely and she loved on all the kids.
They had presents for our kids - little paper backpacks that were full of candy that I'm sure were donated to the orphanage and they had a few extra.
The kids loved it.

Notice that those are the only pictures I have from the orphanage today...
Just after taking the above pictures, I was handed the phone and we were told we needed to leave immediately.
No explaination given at that time, just we need to leave him here and go.
No staying to visit.
I bawled again!
You are making me leave him here and not even get to spend any time here today?
What is going on???
They were all so bothered by my crying that they asked why is she crying?
Oleg told them b/c she is Mama!
That is her son!
She doesn't want to leave him!
She finally got him!
So they felt bad for us and said, ok, we will call you when everything is ok and you can come back and get him!  He doesn't have to spend the night. Ok? Don't cry! It's ok!
Ok, fine.. that is better than waiting till tomorrow!
I'll take it but I'm still devestated and confused!
Adrian walked us out to the car and we said our see you laters and gave lovins.
We assured him he'd get to come home tonight and we'd be on our way home to America soon!
He was so brave.
He didn't want to stay.
He was sad we were leaving but he trusted us that we were coming back for him!
Can you imagine being in his shoes??

When we first got to the orphanage the first thing I noticed was there were several cars and a big blue bus.
There have never been that many cars there.
MAYBE one car here and there.
Never more than one at a time.

As we were leaving we were told that the blue tags on the cars meant they were police cars.
Something was going on where they were wanting every orphan accounted for.
They didn't want us there so there wouldn't be any problems or questions.

We were all still hungry as our breakfast was halted and it had been a while with the long drive to the orphange and back so we went to McD's for lunch.
They gave the kids balloons today and we had fun playing with them on everyone's hair and trying to balance them on our noses. :)

Thankful for our other kids that helped make a hard day fun.
Austin actually gave me his cuddle toy to hold with hugs from Adrian as we were leaving b/c I was so upset.
Sweet boy!
I love them all so much! 
Thank you Lord for allowing me to be their Mommy!

Look at those skills! 

Awe, check it out!!!!
Mommy has skills too! 

Lou Lou got it too! 

Ha ha!

Look Mom!
I made a mohawk!

It's working on my hair too Mommy!

We got home and thankfully were all very tired and emotionally drained so we rested!
Which of course helped pass the time without our bubba!

This picture is of the stairs to our apartment.
We are in an apartment building that is under construction but it is saving us money so it's worth it!
The picture is to show you the broom.
Remember I was telling you about the first visit to the orphanage to see Adrian and the kids had these tiny brooms and were sweeping the slush out of our way?
This is what they were... 

About 4pm we got a message that Adrian was on his way home!!
We hadn't been up for long so that was good!
We anxiously awaited his arrival!
I was sitting here in the room with Bryan and had a flutter in my tummy and I just knew he had to be here!
I hollered at the kids to look out the window in the living room to see if he was here.
They yelled HE IS MOMMA! HE'S HERE!!!
My heart lept with joy! 
I jumped up to the window sill in our room, flung open the window to try to see and couldn't see the car.
I just knew he was here though!
I went and looked out the living room window and was about to put on my shoes to run down and greet him and the buzzer for the door rang!
I knew it!
He's here!!!!

I ran to the door with all the kids right beside me and we flung open the door and hugged him so tight!
So glad you are home baby!  We missed you!
I love you!!!

He was so excited!
He was carrying a bag full of things.
We went in his room and tumped out the bag..
I noticed at this point he was wearing different clothes.
Smaller clothes.
Lighter clothes.
I told him to change to get on Adrian's clothes and he was so happy!
We took off the orphanage clothes and went to look at the things in the bag.
Oleg asked him what it was and he said they gave them to him.
They were his old orphanage clothes and they said he could have them.
It was all so tiny, some full of holes and just worn out.
He did have some colors and a note pad that he was happy about.

We took this picture and put away his coloring things and packed away the orphanage clothes.
This made him happy.
They can use it more than he can and it will fit someone else better.
We plan to return them when we go back to finish paperwork.
They had him trade out the nice coat he had for an old one.
He did come back with the big boots still on.
It was so hard to see him in those clothes again.

He was starving when he got home so we sat down for a snack and I got to work on dinner.
Lemon Pepper Chicken, corn and can you guess....

Butter Noodles!
Wheels tonight :)
ha ha

We then played around some more and decided to work on some more sight words.
He is doing so well!
We wanted to try a reading lesson to see how he'd do and he blew my socks off!

We have a great book that we've used to teach Lexi how to read and are now using it for her and Adrian.
I love it!
It is called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

He did so well!
He wants to learn and that makes me happy!
Here we are working on his first lesson where he writes the sounds we learned today..
M and S...

So Proud!
The picture made his head look funny - I don't know why but whatever. LOL 

Look at those letters~
He's doing great!
We practiced his name too :)  

All in all it was a good day.
Rough but good.
God is in control and we are trusting him every step of the way even when it looks bleak and is not what we want.  We ultimately want to follow him.

Please continue to pray for all of the orphans of this world.
Please continue to pray for our financial burden of paying for this adoption as well as beginning to fundraise for Anastasia's adoption.
I KNOW it can be done!
We've seen it done!
Just yesterday two little boys recieved donations over $11,000 towards their adoptions.
Every little bit helps!
Please help be a piece of the puzzle to bring Adrian and Anastasia home!
We NEED your help.

You can still make 100% tax deducatable donations to our adoption fund that will go directly towards the costs to save Adrian and Anastasia TODAY or TOMORROW and have them count towards THIS YEARS TAXES! 

You can do so by clicking on the picture in the upper left hand side of this blog that says "Help bring Sergiy home" or you can visit and donate there. Mark your donation as Adrian or the Horner Family Adoption. 

Thank you!

Please continue to share our story and pray for our family and all the other families working to save the orphans.

You never know who you might know that could help save these kids.
One day on FB made a world of difference in two boy's adoption fund yesterday.
WHO can YOU share this with?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

News, shoplifting and dancing...December 29, 2010

It was FREEZING cold here!
It was -1 Celcius one time I looked and -5 Celcius later.

We were BORED today and tired of being inside!
We decided to bundle up and go for a walk to the mall that is down the street.
It is pretty close so not a long walk.

Here's my boys pretending to get Mama with Spiderman Web before we left...

I don't wanna wear my hat Momma! 
Ayden it looks so funny!
Let me take your picture!

That was NOT a smile....

Oh, I see, you don't want to play your DS??
(Don't judge me whatever works! LOL)
Look at that smile!
See it worked!
Oh and the point of the pics was that his hat was funky looking and it was funny. lol

He wasn't chancing losing the DS for the day!
ha ha

Her either!
Lexi modeling as always!
My princess!
She had her leg popped and all! 


Shortly after we began our walk, we saw a news crew in our path.
Apparently they saw us too... 
They are shocked to see "big families" here I suppose.
So they stopped us and corraled us quicker than we could dart away to avoid them.
They rattled of some questions in Russian and we were all looking like deer in the headlights I'm sure and I said... English!
The reporter said, Oh ENGLISH! OK..
So, we smiled and tried to go on our merry way and she continued..
Where are you from?
WOAH She speaks English!
We told her America and she asked where?
We said Oklahoma.
She asked, so you are tourists?
YES we are!
She asked what we thought of the town..
we said it is cold!
We were freezing our butts off what do you expect!
She said what else?
We said the people are nice here.
So then she asked us to say a greeting to the citizens to wish them a Happy New Year.
We did and then she asked us to pretty much say it all over again saying We are from America and Happy New Year!
It was pretty cool!
The kids were all excited and apparently so was the reporter...
They were walking away from us here and she was jumping up and down and grabbing her camera man saying something and looking back at us.
Hope it was good! LOL 

This is a picture of a building with different flags.
Adrian saw it and said Americo!
We said yes, America!
America's flag!
Then he recognized some other flags and named them off.
It was neat to see that he knew the American flag and was excited!
That flag means so much to us and we know it will to him soon. 

In the mall there was a book store that had some puzzles and games..
Check out Scrabble! 

This is for my friend Layla...
Some of you will get this.. others will not..
They bought A LOT of those 24 piece sets! 

Hot pants anyone?
P.S. They are completely covered in Black Sequence..
Lexi thought all the sparkly clothes were beautiful! 

We LOVE the furniture here!
Cool furniture store in the mall. 

Ayden's hat hair! 
It may be freezing outside but it is HOT inside!
You are burning up in minutes and have to take off all the layers you had to put on to get there!

After we got done touring the Mall we went to the grocery store.
I just can't get over how big these are!
My Momma makes the best butternut squash and I'm wishing I had one of these bad boys to eat right now! 

I think I told you about the bins before, here's a picture of some of them that they have for pasta.
So cool!
Next to these were bins of flour and sugar. 
I don't think I've mentioned this before but, we get followed by security EVERY time we go into a store.
It is ridiculous!
I mean seriously, do we look like theives???
Today was no different other than they actually confronted us as we were checking out!
They tried to say we were stealing a stuffed animal.
The kids all have little stuffed animals that they love to carry around.
Austin and Ayden have their little dogs with them here and so they fit in their pockets and are small enough to carry around.  They like to pretend they are real and that they are seeing all these things and tasting things we eat. Just being kids.. using their imagination!
Well, after being followed the entire time, it was getting OLD!
I was frustrated with them and I was joking about them following us.
Well, as we were leaving a security guard met us at the end of the register.  
He was staring us down and really eyeballing the kids.
I was really tired of this by now and decided to look right back at him.
I didn't like the way he was acting.
I looked him straight in the eye and kept it there and then realized they were talking about Austin.
He and the clerk both rattled off something and were pointing at Austin.
I looked to see he was cuddling his dog "Buddy" and figured out they were asking if we paid for him.
I said that is his.
We brought that.
They of course didn't understand us.
The guard snatched it from Austin and was looking for a price tag.
Of course, there was none b/c it was HIS!
We kept saying it was his and finally I was fed up.
Austin is getting upset, all the kids are wondering why they are accusing them of stealing and taking the dog.
I shook my head no and said it is his and grabbed it back and gave it to Austin.
I mean seriously??
You just watched us walk through the entire store.. literally you followed us on EVERY isle.
We came up here and unloaded all of our items and just paid for them.
REALLY!?!? You think we are going to steal something?
It wasn't just this one time either.
Bryan goes in there almost DAILY if not several times a day.
I  have been numerous times!
We got our groceries and left!

All that being said, I do have to tell on our lil Princess...
One of the first days we were in this country, we were at a shop and she knew we were going to meet her bubba the next day.  We stopped to look at some pretty rocks at a kiosk and apparently she picked one up and got it for her brother.. (remember he thought it was gum and tried to eat it.)
We realized she did this when we went back to that store later and it clicked, that looks just like the rock Sissy gave to Bubba....
She got in BIG trouble for that!
We also realized she picked up some sort of light switch at some point somewhere in country too.
She was playing with it and thought it was cool how it clicked and was carrying it around in the store and left with it.
Again big trouble!
We had to explain what stealing was and believe me if we were home we'd have marched her butt right back to those stores and made her appologize and made a lasting impression!
However, in a foriegn country, not so much!
Mommy and Daddy disappointed and punishment will have to do for now!

So, I suppose their incessant following MIGHT be justified.

After we got home me and the boys were dancing around the living room :)  

Love dancing with my kiddos!

Lexi loves to go to the Daddy Daughter Dance with Bryan and can't wait for it every year.
That will be in February and I'm excited for her!
It will be even neater next year (2012) when Anastasia is home and can go too!
I wish there was one for Moms and their boys.
We do have Mommy and boys dates while they go on their Daddy Daughter Date.
We usually all get dressed up and go eat somewhere nice and then they go to the dance and me and the boys usually end up at Braum's after dinner or something like that.
It is so fun!

I can't wait for us to be home and back in the swing of things having our Mommy and me time and Daddy and me time.  The kids really treasure it and we do too!
Great memories are made and bonds are stregnthened.
We sure love our kiddos!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A tour around the apartment and a CHALLENGE to end a challenging day.. December 28, 2010

Another stay at home day.
It was cold and rainy here today so we stayed home and played.
Slap Jack!

I know many of you enjoy the pictures on the blog so I had to come up with some today!

Here is our new washer at the new apartment.
It is also very small!
It does work now!!  

Check out the inside!
Never seen anything like it!
The top left is where you put the soap.
That silver drum is where you put the clothes.. 

See how it opens up?! 

Adrian told me on like our second visit that he likes to help and wants to help Mama do the dishes and clean the house.  He wanted to help today so we did them together!
Bryan has been doing them all of the time.
If you know me, I LOATHE handwashing dishes!
He loved it!
He accidently squirted water in my face at one point.....
So, you KNOW what had to happen next right??
Well, more like sprinkle fight but it was fun!  

Here is our new stove with our pot, pan and tea kettle.
Movin on up!
We got four burners y'all!
hee hee 
That was hamburgers by the way.
They were DELICIOUS if I do say so myself!
(And I do! ha)
This was our lunch - we had butter noodles and chips with it too.
The bread here is so different.
We got some buns but ehhh...
I had hamburger  patty and noodles :)

Later he wanted to sweep.
Man, I could get used to this eagerness to clean!
Austin helped with the dust pan :)
Look at my boys! 

We relaxed a lot today too though..
Not all work!
Here's my princess playing her DS. 

Here's Austin playing his and Ayden watching. 
Yes, Adrian was playing his too but he was not in the room when I was taking pics so sorry none of him playing today.

Who knew you could miss a dryer so much??
Clothes line... 

Clothes line...

You get the picture..
Clothes line!

I know I have some foody friends out there so here's dinner.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
Oh and butter noodles of course..
Hey! I change it up!
They were wheels at lunch and SPIRALS at dinner! 

Oh and whatever this stuff is..
We had to go to the pharmacy to get more meds b/c our preventative supply was drained.
It is very different here..
You don't have to go to the doctor to get an RX.
You go to the pharmacy, tell them your symptoms and they tell you what you need and you buy it there.
Pretty cool if you ask me - although, I hear the law is changing as of the new year they will have to have a RX to get meds. 

Oh and we have these..
Vitamin C tablets.
Chewable, yummy goodness!
Yes, I just said that. 
I grew up with my dad giving us these and we loved them!
Ours were bigger and flatter.
Tastes the same though! 

Oh and we use a LOT of these here 
Water bottles.
We have to use it for cooking and drinking.
Thankfully they are VERY cheap!

Ok there's your entertainment in pictures for the day.

I again have a rough patch to share with you.
I don't want you to think by any means that adoption is easy, always happy go lucky, best situation ever, dream land stuff.
It's not.
It can be and is AT TIMES.
Not all the time.
Same as with the rough times.

I will PROMISE you this.....
100% WORTH IT!

That being said, here was our struggle for today.

We had a pretty intense morning with Adrian.
It is obvious to me that he has been abused in the past.
My guess would be pretty severely.
He has some scars I wonder where they came from.
I'm sure I'll know one day but the point is..
he comes from a rough place.
He has had a hard life.
Not just in the orphanage.
We found out that he has been in the orphanage since 2007.
His mother and father's rights were both terminated.
His mother has since been declared dead by the courts.
What does that mean?
I have no idea!
Is she alive?
Who knows?
I think that means they tried to find her for something and couldn't so she was declared dead.
Could it mean she is dead?
Sure it could.
We don't know.
His birth father is alive and lives in the town in which we are staying right now.
No, he has no rights and he does not know we are here or know anything about Adrian at all.
He has no other relatives.

I had to update that from the story we originally  had to what we now know to be the truth.
This morning he was pushing Ayden again.
We have told him lots and will continue to do so to remind him and make sure he understands that we do not push.  We are kind to our siblings, family and friends.
We don't have to fight.
We can choose not to do those things.
We told him not to push and he shut down.
Head dropped, eyes to the side and arms locked straight.
I tried to talk with him and he would not look at me.
As we were trying to get him to look up and talk he was saying NO.
So, we told him he could go to  his room to calm down and he lost it.
I told him to lay down and rest as I knew he was tired and overwhelmed and just needed a break.
He was in there laying down and crying then he got up and was climbing up to the window sill.
I again told him to lay down and rest and he started hitting the bed and kicking the covers off.
I went in to try to comfort him and tell him it is ok, just rest and he started swinging.
He was kicking and hitting anything in sight.
Eyes closed, tears streaming and he was just shaking his head back and forth.
I gently grabbed his arms and layed them across his chest and rubbed his hands telling him it was ok, we love you, but we don't hit.
He then started kicking the wall.
I had to grab his pants and pull his legs over straight so he wouldn't kick the wall and he was so upset he was just flailing about.
I wiped his tears and kept saying we love you Adrian.
We don't hit.
We don't kick.
We don't push.
We love you and we are not going to hurt you.

Bryan came in and was standing by the bed to make his presence known.
Adrian finally opened his eyes and he was now almost hyperventalating from all of this.

Bryan went to get him a glass of water and he sat up and came over to me and layed into me panting and crying.  We got him a drink of water and he had finally calmed down.

He saw Ayden walk by and he shook his head no and motioned pushing.
I said that is right, no pushing Ayden.
He repeated me and he held out his arms for Ayden to come hug him.
Ayden came in and they hugged and Adrian said he was sorry.
He then wanted Papa to come in so he could tell him he understood and no pushing Ayden.
He then said no pushing Lexi, no pushing Austin and on and on.
We said yes, honey, no pushing.
He stayed in my arms for a few more minutes and we hugged and said we loved eachother and decided it was time to go color for a bit.
He tends to color to calm down and recharge.
We went in to the living room and all colored together then were back to playing and having a great day.

I tell you all of this not to say anything bad about our son.
He is awesome!
We love him dearly!
I tell you this to let you know, these kids come from HARD places!
They need attention.
They need guidance.
They need FAMILIES.

God has called us to this and thankfully, he has equipped us to handle what he has called us to.
I'm not saying that ALL children in orphanages have been abused or that they will all have these outbursts but it may happen and it did happen with us.
He has been great ever since and he is learning to trust us.
He is learning that we love him and we are not here to hurt him.
He is also learning that we don't hurt eachother.

I always wondered why I had to endure the things I did growing up.
Physical Abuse.
Sexual Abuse.
Emotional Abuse.
I think I have my answer.
God knew Adrian would need a Mama that can understand what he is feeling.
God gave me the insights to know to the best of my ability what he might need and want to feel secure and loved.
God gave me a loving family that saved me before it was too late and taught me what it was to truly be a family and be loved.
I am now able to have that with Bryan and our kids.
We are a family!

I am not saying all of this to toot my own horn either.
I would never ever wish abuse on anyone.
I am saying that GOD allows us to see things, to go through things that we don't always understand..
sometimes for years and years...
so that HIS NAME can be GLORIFIED.
So that HE can use it to help someone else.
All he asked of us was our YES and our OBEDIENCE.

What is God asking of you?
What has God allowed you to go through?
We all have a testimony.
We all have lived through things for a purpose...
greater than our own..
for God's purpose.
What will YOU do with what God has GIVEN you?

Make a difference in the lives of those around you.
Maybe you can't adopt.
That is ok.
Can you help a local teen that is struggling with something maybe you have struggled with in the past?
Can you volunteer at a shelter?
Can you go on a mission trip?
Can you raise funds to help these orphanages?
Can you HOST an orphan for a few weeks?
Can you spread the word about those that are adopting and help them raise the funds to get the process done?
I know of several families you could help with RIGHT NOW that are all working very hard to save their kids from these hard places.
To give them hope and a future.
There are 4 families including ourselves that I can name off the top of my head from our own church.


What will you do?

What is GOD asking YOU to do?

Will you listen?

Will you obey?

No matter the costs?

NOTE you need to do what GOD is telling you to do -not just whatever sounds good or feels good.