Sunday, September 12, 2010

Aaron, Soup and Answers

What's a good post without seeing this smiling face first.... He's showing off his Transformer!

     I’m just plain hungry for real food. I hate to complain. We have the kindest woman in this country who has lovingly given up her bedroom for us to stay with her for weeks on end. She has been wonderful beyond words. She loves cooking for us. Loves it with a passion. Our original agreement was that she would provide a bedroom for us and we would take care of our own meals. She changed the contract over a week ago as she has now adopted us into her family. Each day, when we return from our morning visit, she is happily stirring food in the pot. She is exceedingly proud of her cooking skills and I will honestly say that it beats mine by a mile. But before we can ever partake of anything of substance, we have to have a bowl of soup. A bowl that is filled to the brim unless you can stop her soon enough. I like soup but soup on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday for weeks on end is beyond what my poor stomach can handle. Most of the time the soup is Borscht but sometimes it is made of other ingredients. It is good, but to make it she uses water from the faucet. Need I say more? She doesn’t heat her soup past boiling. It is running through me and I am at a point where the very thought of another bowl of soup makes me want to hide under the bed. She is cooking us other food but that bowl of soup that is required eating fills us up to the point where we can’t enjoy the noodles or chicken or whatever else she has lovingly prepared. It is not kosher to skip the soup part of the meal so we are stuck. I am now counting down the days when I will not have to eat my daily bowl of soup anymore!!

     Now that I got that out of my system.... Here's Aaron's newest trick - HOPPING DOWN A STEP.  He has just discovered that he can do this and so now we hop off everything.  All three of us.  What fun!  We are bouncing Tiggers!

SUCH CONCENTRATION - He was following the lines and for a child who has never had pen in hand, he did amazingly well. 

Here are answers to some of the questions we’re getting:

Aaron’s name:

We have officially named our little guy Aaron Vanya Nalle. Andrea Roberts of Reece’s Rainbow named him “Aaron” when she listed him on her site, and we liked the name from the start. It’s an Old Testament Hebrew name, just like those of our other two boys, Ben and Elijah.

His middle name, “Vanya,” is what everyone calls him here. Vanya is the familiar form of his given name “Ivan,” so it’s kind of a pet name. We considered making his official middle name Ivan, and we also considered John, the Anglicized version of Ivan. Julia had a grandfather named John, and both of our other boys have middle names that honor grandparents. In the end, we thought that keeping the name he knows best might ease his transition a little. He now has an English name, Aaron, and a native name, Vanya. When we talk to him we use a mixture of Aaron, Vanya and the even more familiar forms of Vanya which are Van and Vanyuscka. He is now responding to whatever name we use.


    When do we get to take this little guy past those gate??  (Note his backward britches?  No, I did not dress him!)


The court decree becomes official on Monday, September 20. Until then, it’s the 2-a-days (twice a day visits as allowed by the internat). When the court decree takes effect, we travel to Aaron’s birthplace to pick up his corrected birth certificate. Only then do we receive custody from the internat. Until then, he’s their responsibility. So no, we do not get any new privileges with him from now until then-- no taking him outside the internat for walks, nothing like that.

After the birth certificate comes the passport, which can take from almost no time to as much as 10 days or so, depending on which form they use and whether or not we pay a fee to expedite. We don’t know the details on that yet. There are several other bureaucratic whatnots, but we will just follow our facilitator Luda around and sign where she says sign, pay when she says pay.

Overall we looking at between 2-3 weeks left in this process.

At this point we are both staying. If it becomes too long then one of us will return home. We are making this choice in the best interest of Aaron. The month between our first trip and our second was difficult for him and we feel strongly that he should not suffer through another separation. He is at a point with us where he is happy, talkative and peaceful. Though we are struggling with how long our boys are home alone without us (and they are definitely struggling), we feel it is in Aaron's best interest for us to stay here with him.


  1. I love that last photo of Aaron and Rob. Precious. The photos of you guys and Aaron always warm my heart! Still celebrating here in NY for you guys!

  2. Ohhh I feel the pain of the daily soup! For us it also included eating a whole watermelon every evening after dinner during the summer with our doting Babushka!
    I am so glad to see you are staying, yes it is difficult but you wisely see he needs the attachment and bonding! I love his smile, it is sooooo contagious! Hugs and blessings for you today!

  3. I love the borsht and actually miss it (but I didn't have it everyday). How's the pork? Just kidding. I went to O'Charley's when we got home and let's just say that it didn't go so well....My tummy was not happy, but it was so cool to get a BIG glass of cold, iced tea with REFILLS! Your little guy looks so good and happy. I know how hard it is staying over there, especially away from your other children, and I pray that all goes well, you get the quick passport and get the heck out of Dodge! I love the Perry story, too, and look forward to hearing more. I don't think I will be back in Kiev until around the 25th or so. I am trying to get an expedited passport for my 15 year old son because I think bringing them both back alone will be too much. Anyway, good luck and keep on keeping on! Much love and prayer to you guys!

    Stephanie and Sean

  4. I think it is a great idea that you are staying. I know it is tough and last year I stayed because Noah was was similiar to Aaron and I didn't want to lose any ground. This year I am returning home for the 10-12 day waiting period. It was a tough decision but with many prayers and reassurance from the staff .. also feeling that my 13 at home need me (we have been here for a month)...I am ready to go home. I will be praying for you while you stay. Hugs

  5. So so glad to hear that court went well...and that Aaron is officially your son! I know how hard that is to still have to wait and do things their way until you can take your child out. It won't be long so hang in there. We are praying for you as are so many people. God will be with you. Enjoy your visits with you and won't have the time to focus on just visiting with him once you are home and have your usual responsibilities...even though I know you can't wait to be together as a family. I pray the time goes quickly for your and that you enjoy all of his discoveries while you wait.

  6. Aaron really is the most handsome little boy, isn't he? What a charmer he'll be when he gets back to the us! I continue to be overjoyed every time I think of what the judge said, and thinking of thousands of heads bowed in prayer behind you. You have reminded so many people, including me, just how powerful God is on behalf of His beloved children! Thank you for being His instruments, His hands and feet, here on earth!!

    Much love to you all,


  7. Aww... I feel so bad for you and the food issue. Jim and I never really did find all that much we liked and longed for good food back home but I just couldn't imagine eating soup each day especially made with tap water. As soon as you get to Kiev go get you a great meal at TGIF. Jim ate their when we made it back to Kiev and it was so wonderful and for a moment made us feel like we were back home. We are praying for your boys back home and for the time to fly by and the process to go quickly now that court is behind you! Can't wait for pics of you busting him out of those gates... that will be such a joyous day!


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!


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