Friday, June 29, 2012

A year ago… (yesterday)

June 28, 2011 was the first day I met Anya.  I remember the day vividly.  Adoption was far from my mind, I was JUST hosting.  Our intentions were only to give Anya the best summer of her life!  Yesterday,  June 28, 2012, was arrival day for many children from Ukraine that are coming for summer hosting.  I can't help looking at all the airport photos posted on the New Horizons for Children Facebook page and reminiscing about my airport arrival day and the excitement and nervous anticipation I felt.  These are my airport pictures from last year.  I remember we waited nearly 2 hours outside of the international terminal… Tony and Bella were at their absolute naughtiest…. I remember a girl tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Do you know your little girl has eaten 11 pieces of gum?".   I'm sure my response wouldn't win me any mom awards, but it was the only thing that kept her occupied and happy, and I was okay with that for the moment.  

I love this picture!  I just wish it showed more of Anya's face!  

(PS I was pregnant with Leo last summer)

Our first day, we went to Navy Pier…. Anya was a little shell shocked still
 I never dreamed on that day, that a year later she would be home for good, and part of our family.  Okay, maybe I did dream just a little…. But I certainly never thought it would be a reality.

New Horizons had a project last summer, to make a cardboard promise sign…. and they made it into a slide show….  You should watch it (click this link)!  It will make you feel something - I promise.

This was Anya's poster!  This was (and still is) my screensaver on my computer for the past year!  
We overcame many obstacles to make this happen, it was a long year waiting and we had many obstacles along the way (making the joint decision to adopt, money, time, paperwork, deadlines etc) but we overcame them all!

June 15, 2012 Anya became a US Citizen when we landed in Chicago and was reunited with her new family!

She has been home 2 weeks today!  I am happy to report that everything is GREAT! We are all adjusting well.  Anya is learning English… we practice every evening for a little bit after the little kids go to bed.  Anya seems to really love her little siblings, and they love her too.   This morning I found Bella sleeping in bed with Anya!  She started out in Tony's bed, but during the night found her way to Anya's room.   Our biggest obstacle has been Anya's shyness around extended family and friends…. but I feel very confident that will improve with time.  She does still keep in contact with her boyfriend Sasha in Ukraine (via Facebook, texting and Skype), and they are still very much missing each other.  I think that makes her sad at times, but she tells me she is very happy to be here, and she even sent me a text one night telling me "goodnight, I love you, you are much better than I ever imagined!"   Those who are following this may think Anya is lucky to have us as her family, but we feel like we are the lucky ones!  


Annie said...

I love the smile on her face in the arrival pictures. What a difference a year can make!

I hope she's eating OK now!

Elle J said...

Beautiful, Lori!! God is awesome ~ what an amazing family you are together.

Tina in CT said...

What a beautiful post Lori.

Allison L said...

Yay! Thanks for the update! All the happy smiles from your children at the airport has me a little teary eyed!

My husband and I dated long distance for a fairly long time. It's so hard to deal with sometimes but it's great she's keeping contact.

Anonymous said...

Tears! Love you and your fam! =)

jake said...

Lori and Todd: Anya is such a great daughter! She is so blessed to have you both as well as your family!

spunkyamy said...

Hope all is going well. Been following Rachel since K's adoption. Sad her blog is private now. You all are such wonderful people to open your hearts to children that deserve a loving family. I know these children have amazing parents. God bless you!
Amy in TN