Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Charlie...

Dear Charlotte Wray...

Today is the day... the day that you "officially" became a Davis... sweet little girl, we knew this day would come since the minute our eyes met yours. We truly feel like God has blessed us with such a sweet girl and we couldn't be happier... okay, I lie... perhaps if they told us we could bring you home today, we'd be even happier, but we'll be patient, and we'll wait.

We had a little understanding/explanation of how today's Court Date was going to go. We were prepped, as in a 15 minute "brief", on the "hows" of how the proceedings would go and then were ushered into a room that looked like a conference room. As the judge walked in, we all stood... and then it sort of became a blur for us. Papa was told to stand first, and after introducing himself, the judge started drilling him with all the "tough" questions... you would have been so proud of how your Papa answered each question so diligently and completely 100% from the heart. It was pure love that poured out of his mouth... love for his little girl... you... and it made Mama's heart melt. Then, it was Mama's turn, and the judge didn't hold back from asking some tough questions... but the answers came... straight from the heart. Then your sweet orphanage director spoke, and shared how much you've changed in the past few days since you've been hanging out with Mama and Papa. She shared how you've become more lively (it's probably from all those flips Papa makes you do in his arms) and how you're sharing more emotions (it's probably from all the kisses I give you on your cheeks) and how you've been transforming into a girl that's ready to be in a "home" with a family... ready for the world (essentially).

Our court time went on for about 45 minutes, before the judge closed up your filed, looked at us and said in Ukrainian (translated into English), "Good Luck with your new family, you will be great parents for Charlotte" and then proceeded to leave the room. And in that moment, we became parents... your parents. And the tears of joy streamed down your Mama's face as she gave Papa a huge hug and kiss, and then thanked our translator (who congratulated us with hugs). It was time to celebrate, and it felt great. Even your orphanage director came over and gave Mama a huge hug, and said in her broken English, "Now you a Mama" and kissed your Mama's cheek. We then breathed a huge sigh of relief... and walked out of the courthouse with big smiles. In fact, when we saw you this afternoon, I think we were still gleaming from ear to ear. Sweet girl.. you had no idea what went on today... but hopefully in years to come, you'll actually be interested and want to read about the "official" day, and that's why I write you this letter.

Charlie (that's our nickname for you)... now we have about 2 more weeks in region to get to know you better... and we're so excited. After about 10 days, we'll start applying for your passport and receive the official court decree, and your birth certificate, and then we'll be on our way to a few more days in Kiev before heading to our home in Korea. We're hoping to be on a plane with you in our arms sometime towards the end of June... and we can't wait to introduce you to all of our wonderful friends that have been praying for you and love you like crazy! You my dear... have no idea what you're in for... it's only just begun...

We Love You,
Mama and Papa (he's sitting here right beside me as I type)

"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118: 24

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Monday, May 30, 2011


A few of you have written/wondered what color hair our little one has... so I have this picture to share with you today. She's not a dark haired girl (like her Mama and thankfully no grey like Papa )... and she's not a blonde haired girl... she's right in between... a little of both... just the way I like it!

Please don't mind her crazy/tangled hair... It's pretty ratty right now... pretty sure she doesn't ever get bathed... that's all going to be remedied when she's ours!
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Sunday, May 29, 2011


Our little girl (seriously, I can't wait until I can share her name with you all), is so hungry each and every time we see her. One thing that we've recently tried to teach her, is the words "Num-Num", while pointing to our mouths for "food". In the beginning, she would devour anything we put in front of her... stuff her mouth until nothing else would fit in... chipmunk cheeks to the full extent.

Everyday we have good intentions to pick up our little one from her room, scale the stairs up and down four times, and head outside, where we hope to achieve 2 laps of walking (and sometimes carrying) around the orphanage.... Usually, we get down the stairs, and her "cuteness" takes over, with her "Num-Num" gesture and ruins our devious exercise schedule. No worries, we certainly get in those laps... but the little one ends up burping up all she eats because of it!

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Testing the Waters...

A week (in region) has come to a close and although we're pretty exhausted (we are pretty new to the parent thing), we're certainly hopeful. We struggle with the mental aspect of handing over our little one to the institution every day, hoping that the little progress that we made during our visit...sticks with her after we leave (we are only able to spend a total of 3.5 hours a day).

Often we visit the orphanage to find either a reserved and quiet girl... or a blabbering, speed walking champion. Our little girl is in a room full of kids half her age, and mimics what they do (not talking, barely walking, wailing out of frustration, etc.) but when we bring her out of that environment, we see our "real" little girl (the one that she wants to become...the one she's striving to be) for about 30-45 minutes. She's walking... and when Mama and Papa skip, she actually tries to "skip"...but it looksmore like a "midget hop" instead. Sheenjoys climbing up and down stairs... holding on to the rail (safety first). She wants to sing along (hums, and tries to mimic some sounds occasionally) when we sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "Jesus Loves Me".

Yesterday, while we were letting her take a sip of water from her Camelback water bottle, she wanted to stick her hand in the water. So I took her water bottle, and dumped some water into the top part of her Camelback, and let her splash her hands in it. She LOVED it... wait, that might be an understatement... it was probably the highlight of yesterday's visit for her... wait another understatement... it was probably the highlight of her entire week. Hopefully her love for water will transition into a love for bath time (we're pretty sure the kids NEVER get baths here...only washcloth baths), and eventually transition into having fun in the pool with Papa.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Let There Be Laughter...

Every time we've seen our little girl, we've tried to take her shoes off (because she always has shoes on)... we're just so curious to see her toes. Each time the velcro slides open, she WAILS (think "worlds going to end, screaming her face off" WAIL). I think shoes to her, are a comfort (especially her sparkly ones that she's worn 4 out of the 5 days), and she only walks around with shoes on her feet. Today, when we brought our blanket, we sat down for some 2 on 1 time. We started to take her shoes off... and as soon as the wailing began, we pulled out the banana and bribed her with it to let us see her toes. Quickly, her wailing turned to smiles... and while she stuffed her face full of banana ingested her banana like a proper lady, we were able to stroke her feet. And that's when we heard it... the laughter like no other laughter... the laughter that comes from a tickle! We found her tickle spot... we plan on using it against her...

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Death of a Banana...

There are two less bananas in Ukraine as of today, and it's all this little girl's fault...

We've been trying to "sneak" our little girl some yummy food... as in good nutritional food, that will do her body/mind well...and pleases her taste buds, and bananas are doing the trick. I say we "sneak" them... but today one of her nannies saw what we were doing, and she smiled at us. And it was definitely a smile of approval. I think we're going to bring a whole bunch in for her class/group so they can all indulge, even if it's just one day. The director of the orphanage made it clear to us when we first met, that our little one needs solids, since they mostly feed them all different kinds of soups... and that's the only way she's going to grow and develop properly the way she should be.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Each Day, is a New Day...

Today was our third day spending time with our little girl, and the anxiety (on my part...) is less and less... and it's because we already see improvement in the last few days. Each time we go to her group in the morning to pick her up, she's so excited to see us. She lets us pick her up and kiss her cheeks and rubs her head next to ours. As we head outside, she loves to take charge and just start walking right away. We try and get a lap in around the orphanage each day - half of that is her holding both our hands and the other half is broken up between taking off like a banshee or on Papa's shoulders (she loves his hair and the view from up top). You'd be amazed at how zippy those chicken legs can be.

We noticed something yesterday when we dropped her off for the night...she started singing (humming and coo'ing) in the hallway right before her group room. Today she was gabbing (quietly) all day. She doesn't really open her mouth much, but there is some kind of rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" going on in that little noggin of hers. We also found out a couple other things: She loves bananas/cheerios, and she hates toothbrushes. We can't win every battle...yet.

Serge, our Godfather to all things Ukrainian, tells us to expect our court date on May 31, 2011... pending on if our Interpol Clearance comes in/clears (its not looking good w/ the hubby's rap sheet). If all goes well, and we get done with court that day, then we have to wait 10 more days in this region before we're "allowed" to leave... then we'll head back to Kiev and start some last paperwork to get back to Korea (passports, visa, etc.). The last part is a bit scary in terms of coordination and visiting embassies - but we'll brave that when we have to. For now we are pouring on as much love as we possibly can to this little girl.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. When we checked facebook and our email we had over 75 emails/posts/blog comments from all our wonderful friends. Thank you for uplifting us and the little one so much. We can feel it all the way over in eastern Europe from literally all over the world.

(here she is on Papa's shoulders... do you see those pigtails? I had dreams about them, before her nanny fixed her hair like that today!)
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What we have gotten ourselves into!

Well it has been a crazy last couple of days, and I apologize for not updating our blog sooner... but we are alive and we are well...and we are officially, unofficially, officially parents (pending our court date). We met our little girl on Monday (May 23rd) at 10:00 in the morning... and had about 30-45 minutes with her until we were pushed out the door, for her to have her lunch. She's 3.5 years old...but she's VERY delayed. I'm already stressed/anxious about all of her struggles that she has ahead ofher (tons of speech therapy, some physical therapy for her hip joint, dental work, and lots of interaction/much needed "momma" and "papa" time)... but I know God has big plans for her... Just trying to take one step at a time.

Today, was our second day. We get to visit her in the orphanage from 9-11:30 and 4-6 pm every day (including weekends). We already see some changes in her from the short time that we've been able to pour ourselves into her.On the first day she was very reserved and hardly muttered a sound - now she loves when Papa flips her upside down (giggles like crazy), she's walking around more and more (bruises and cuts to prove it), and doesn't seem to be a big fan of when we have to drop her back off in her group's classroom and is making a lot of ooo'ing and awww'ing sounds. She still not listening to us when we call, but we think that's because of the language barrier combined with her institutionalization tendencies.

Friends... please pray... pray for this adjustment period for the hubby and I... pray that any doubt will exit my mind, pray that she'll continue to show progress... and start to flourish with all of the love and prayers that you have been sending from so far away (and from the vitamin gummy that Papa sneaks into the orphanage without the Ukrainian nannies knowing).

I'm not allowed to post photos of our sweet girl until she is "officially" ours... but for now I can show you her thin chicken legs! (the stains on her knees are from iodine from all her falls).
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good Eats...

You know the old saying that says, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach?", well that saying certainly applies to me and Ukraine.

Tomorrow we are heading to our specific region, and will be in and out of internet... so expect less blog updates and less e-mails/messages. Any chance that we have with wifi, I'll try my best to get the "word" out...
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Morning Routine

Even in a new country, new "home", new surroundings... I'm able to find comfort in my daily morning routine. I'm so thankful for little inventions like the french press... that allow each morning to feel like any other morning, regardless of where I am.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Killing Time

Today's stroll around Kiev, brought us to a HUGE festival up one of the main streets, to celebrate (and perhaps make some money for) next year's EuroCup (that's going to be held here in Ukraine in 2012). Lots of fun country displays, many individuals were dressed in costume and of course there were some beautiful old buildings to gawk at. But one of the fun sights we saw today, was "Freedom Square"... some beautiful golden statues, fountains and stadium. We continue to "kill" time before we head out... but still have 1 more full day to go.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Walk About

Strolling around the city has been fun... always something new to check out, or to gawk over. We are spending some good time relaxing and getting "charged" before all of our energy is expelled by a 3 1/2 year old. For now, I'll overload you (on this post) with some photos of our adventures walking around Kiev.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Low and Behold...

Today was one of our first days of "taking it easy" in Kiev... until we leave for our region early Monday morning. We took a stroll around parts of the city today, after picking up our referral from the SDA office (we're good to go now), and low and behold, look what I found:

Yes, that would be a fabric/craft store... and yes, I walked in and checked it all out... I certainly practiced will power today, when I left with NOTHING!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Certainty in Uncertain Times

Well, today was THE day... the day of our SDA appointment... and being that I am in the process of writing up this blog post, I can say without a doubt, we SURVIVED! There's still much that we're are unsure of, but we can rejoice in the fact that we feel led by God to go and visit our first referral. We will not leave Kiev until either Sunday night or early Monday morning, to travel to our specific region, which means we'll be doing some sightseeing the next few days. What we can tell you is we'll be visiting/meeting a 3 1/2 year old girl... a girl who appears to be quite the little fighter, in regards to the cards she was dealt... a sweet little one that we hope to call "ours" very soon...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calm Before The Storm

We had a wonderful last 2 days in Italy... one rainy day full of rest and relaxation, and the other running last minute errands and visiting the city of Sacile. Such beautiful sights (I could blog all of my pictures of Italy... but that might be overkill). And oh, how I wish the sweet smells could transfer from my brain through the computer into yours. We are so grateful for that short time in Italy, and We headed out yesterday (Tuesday, May 17th) morning... and made it safe and sound to Ukraine. After a few bumps, (no one was there at first to pick us up from the airport-we twiddled our thumbs for an hour, driving around in a taxi for awhile...) we were greeted with a welcoming and familiar "Hello" from another sweet couple (4 children back at home in the states) adopting here in Ukraine as well, at Karen's Hospitality House. So comforting to be staying in this beautiful home along with meeting others that are on their own journey, like ours. This mission, is truly a blessing to those in "limbo" here in Ukraine. After settling in, we made a quick run to the grocery store last night before heading to bed... and then slept soundly. Today is a new day, in a new city... but it feels like the "calm before the storm". We head to our SDA appointment this afternoon, and could possibly be meeting our child via "paper" today. If we accept our first referral, we should be leaving within the next 24-48 hours to meet our little one(s) in their region, here in Ukraine. If we don't accept our first referral, and wait until our second one, it could mean a few days of sightseeing here in Kiev. This should be a pretty emotional day, pray dear friends that God just makes it EVIDENT that our first referral is either the one, or not the one. I'll keep everyone posted with an update shortly.

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