What happened…

Well, my friends…we are home.
My sister and I survived.

I am doing the “nutshell” version of our trip.
…stay with me….

We left the USA…on a plane.
I turned into a wackadoo before we even took off.
Apparently, when given situations of high stress (like leaving kids for long periods of time and adding new kids) I just lose my ever lovin’ mind.

We flew to Munich and then into Kyiv. 
And the revolution. 
Which sounds crazy, but it really wasn’t too bad most of the time. 
This was our first glimpse of the barricades. 
We had to get a referral from DAP and permission to visit Asher. (listed as “Kain” on Reece’s Rainbow)
Then we took the train to Kharkov, in Eastern Ukraine. 
And met this teeny boy…
The first time I held Asher.

Asher tolerated me…a little.

He started to like me a little more…sometimes.
After visiting with Asher for a couple of weeks, we found out that sweet Adam was also available…He had some paperwork hang-ups the first time we were in Kyiv. So, Samie and I headed back to Kyiv to get the referral for another boy. 
The day or so before we went back to Kyiv was when all the fighting took place. Maybe it was against my better judgement, but I wanted to see Maidan. I wanted to set eyes on the places where history was being made…where citizens rose up against a tyrannical government and fought for something different and hopefully better.
So, we walked around to Maidan. 
It was about a block from our apartment.
Samie agreed to go with me. 
She makes me behave.
She has a good sense of what is safe and what is not…
Sometimes, I lack that quality. Maybe.
After a couple of days in Kyiv, and a referral for sweet Adam…we went back to Kharkov by train and met the smiley-est boy with an awesome mullet. 
We also found out that Asher had been hospitalized. 
The hospital refused to release him, and since he was legally an orphan the hospital held all the power to choose whether to keep him or let him out. This hospital was no place for an orphan. 
Asher lost a significant amount of weight while he was there. He was weak and couldn’t walk. We were told he was hospitalized because he had a fever. Then we were told he was fine and would be released any day..that went on for a month. 
We saw Asher twice in that month. Neither visit did a lot to instill much confidence that he was receiving adequate care. After we visited our wonderful adoption facilitator, Tatyana,  spoke with the orphanage director and had a nanny go stay with him in the hospital. We sent food, water, tea, medication…I cannot tell you what a blessing that was! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tatyana who cheerfully went above and beyond what she had to do for sweet Asher. 
She also got Asher released from the hospital the second our adoption was final. 
So Adam and Asher didn’t even meet until the adoption was legal! 
The first meeting…
Asher (almost 4-years-old), Adam (almost 2-years-old) 

After the adoption was final we did tons of paperwork and running around to two different regions in Kharkov (the boys were born in different regions). 
Then the day finally came…
After leaving the orphanage, we went to Kyiv to do medicals for the boys. And then two embassy appointments. We got passports delivered. Got visas. 
And then we headed home.
The flight home was long.
There was screaming and crying.
And very little sleeping! 
But we made it home. 
And everyone got to meet one another….
And like any adoption…the journey has only begun.
It hasn’t been easy or what I expected. 
Just like every adoption.
During this adoption I learned I can handle more adventure than I thought I could. 
And that my big kids at home are much more capable than I thought they were. 
I found that my biggest blessings are my precious friends and family. You drove my children to appointments and activities, fed them, disciplined them, and did birthdays while I was away. I came home to a cleaner house than I expected, more food in the refrigerator than I expected, and way less laundry than I expected. (only 9 loads!) 
While waiting for our boys in Ukraine, I would read and reread all of your sweet comments. They bolstered my spirit when my patience was thin and my heart was just broken with all of the needs of the orphans that remain. 
Simply saying thank you to all of you seems so very inadequate. 
But thank you just the same.
Blessings to you all,

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