Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time with our Snugglebug...Day 2

Our little pumpkin is one sweet little snuggler.  We enjoyed being outside with him for a bit today.  The other children in the other groupa (the small group that the children live and play with) were out playing and they sure did find a friend in surprise there.  They also actually let us in to see where Ivan's groupa plays and sleeps.  We were really surprised by that! The other children in his groupa all have special needs.  We are holding off on posting pics like that just yet.  I also would love to post the precious photos of Derek playing with the other children.  But I think we will have to wait on that one too.  We are just trying to use wise discretion.

We found out today how we can be a blessing to the children at Ivan's baby house that may not be adopted.  The orphanage told us some things that they really need. It is ridiculous how expensive stuff is here considering people's wages.  We bought a box of 105 diapers today...OVER $50!!!  Yes I am not even kidding...ridiculous!  Do you know how many they use in a day?  As soon as we get home, I am going to start gathering for our next trip.  I am really hoping that we can take a huge amount of stuff back for all of these amazing children...most of whom will never find homes...especially those in Ivan's groupa.  What that does to me is hard to write.  Again, more on that later...processing a lot.

But I want to make something really clear.  We feel that Ivan is extremely fortunate.  I know that sounds crazy but his baby house has toys, a playground, food.  And we met his cargivers and you can tell they genuinely love and care for these children.  The director also seems to want the best for all of these children as well.  Culturally and socially, there is just no place for a child like Ivan.  It is very different here.  It is encouraged upon birth by the doctors to orphan these children because their potential is not understood.  It would be really easy to think people here are cruel and not just.  And I know in many places the conditions are NOT like Ivan's and there is much cruelty and neglect and abuse.  I can honestly say that is not the case for our son!  True, he has no family and true, he has so much unreached potential, but again we really feel that he has been cared for at the best level possible for where he was born.

And I will also reitereate...Ivan is in the BABY HOUSE!!!  Everything above that I stated is the exact opposite of what he would experience if he made it to 4 or 5 and no one came for him.  That is the very sad reality for many of the children in his groupa.  If no one comes, they WILL be institutionalized.  The children that cannot take care of themselves are already at a huge disadvantage and in an institution, there is no hope.  Those places are VERY different from where they are in the baby house!  The children without any special needs will go to orphanges, different from the institution.  All of the children need families, but children like Ivan have very little hope after transfer. 

I am so thankful that God has opened our eyes and pricked our hearts for these children!  I am so thankful that God lead us to Ivan, our son. I cannot imagine his sweet little soul in an institution.  I can't even fathom what will become of the children that we have to leave behind.  It is just too much...

I will leave you with some pics from our day.  Thank you for all of the comments.  We read them out loud to each other.  If has been the sweetest encouragement to our hearts.  God has used all of you greatly and we certainly feel every bit of that!!!  Here is more of our little love...

Looking into his Daddy's eyes...there is a lot of love there!
The green dots are something that they put on mosquito/bug bites.  I love Ivan's face here!
Looks like he must be saying, "what are you staring at?":)
Ivan LOVES this toy!  Our children helped pick it out for him.  I think it must feel good on his hands.  And btw...Derek is helping him sit up.  He cannot do that...yet:)
I am telling you....Ivan loves to cuddle.  He is so sweet.
We got some laughs today!
and LOTS of smiles!
Derek rubbed his skin and he loved it...especially his head being gently scrtached!
This is one of my very favorite pictures...tear up almost every time I see it. A beautiful picture of what it looks like to be protected by a father.  Ivan has really begun bonding with Derek and it is hard to put into words how sweet this has been!
And another favorite...signing the official papers stating that we have met Ivan and agree to his adoption.  The Director of Education was still asking our facilitator if we were absolutely sure, even after the papers were notarized.  YES...WE ARE SURE!!!!  HE IS OUR SON!!!  Pure joy to say that...can't wait until it is legal and final!


Jane@flightplatformliving said...

i think i am in love with him as well! and is it just me or does he really look like his new daddy! beautiful pics, your video from yesterday sent me to bed crying tears of joy! My husband immediatly knew i had been somewhere near a reeces rainbow family and he was right! love that you take time to post this, it really means the world to us. i am praying for speedy and easy paths for you lovely lady xxxx

Jess :) said...

K & D,
I have so loved reading about your time with sweet Ivan! I seriously stalk your blog around this time of day :) I have cried over the video and your pictures and am so excited to hear that the conditions he has been raised in have been as ideal as possible over there, with toys, love, and care. He is the most precious thing and I cannot wait to meet him.

The other kiddos are doing great! Em and Timothy climbed into bed with us at the crack of dawn because the hard rain woke them up this morning... it was really early, but what a sweet way to wake up :) Then TK went in and woke Stella up, but she woke up happy... in fact, everyone has been in wonderful moods all week- all three have been all smiles!

Anonymous said...

Oh Ivan is definitely a Kramer! It is amazing how he just fits right in even down to his appearance. So sweet...I cried over these picks again. Just love to see this story finally unfolding in all of its beauty.

Tanya G.

The Moore Family said...

I am so amazed, he is so beautiful! He looks like he belongs in your family, even physically, and definitely otherwise. He seems to love you guys already and it is obvious the love you have for him. He will feel it all of his days. I was in tears looking at all the pictures, reading all you have to say about your experiences with him so far... and especially watching the precious video. I am SO glad you put that up, he is an absolute doll and I can't wait to meet him.

Our prayers are with you guys and with Ivan. I was so encouraged to hear he has been in such an ideal place (for his country), but can't wait to see him in his real home with his true family. You are a blessing to him and I just know he will be a blessing to your growing family. Congratulations my dear friends. We LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

PS- He and Bennett share a birthday, 1 year apart... pretty cool!!! :)

Carrie said...

Beautiful beyond words! Thanks especially for sharing the video of those first few moments in your arms. :) Lots for you to process, I know, but it is such a pleasure giving thanks alongside you and Derek for this precious son of yours! The satisfaction and delight in all 3 of your faces...God is good! Love, love, love, my friends. Pouring the prayers, praising Him for the answers! Micah 6:8.

Anonymous said...

love this boy! thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing every part of this. know that you are in my prayers and i am so GLAD your family has grown in such an amazing way.

Anonymous said...

Tears running down my face- what a beautiful picture of a parent's love, of a child's dependence, of our Father's love for us. Really looking forward to seeing you all, together, and loving on little
Vanyusha myself. Love you all- all is well here!


Ann said...

I am so overjoyed for you and your family. Just beautiful photos. Ivan looks so gentle and sweet. Thank you so much for sharing. I can not wait to hold my sweet babies. I can not wait to kiss their sweet faces. Blessings Ann Plummer

Traci said...

Awww Ivan is so precious and yes he does look like he belongs to you already! Have fun loving on your baby boy and tell Vita I said Hello :) I can't wait to get back over there!! p.s. I tried to email you, did you get it?

Katie said...

wow. WOW. what a miracle that you found YOUR SON in the ukraine :) cannot wait to meet this precious new cousin of ours! we love you all and are lifting you guys up.

haud_ad_hominem said...
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Brian H. said...

Reading the blog this week has been a daily highlight. Such a beautiful and incredible expression of love. Ivan fits in so perfectly with your family - your perfect son.