Monday, November 7, 2011

So Far To Find You

Since we have been home... Sorry I haven't posted lately. Honestly I had planned on kind of letting the blog disappear now that this segment of our journey has ended. I have been surprised by how many people have randomly commented or emailed asking for updates! So I'll give you a few~

Reed, Mommy, and Daddy are doing great! We couldn't have asked for an easier transition into our new lives. We have teased that we are waiting on him to get over the "honeymoon" period! We know hard times are going to come our way but as of now we are crusing nicely through each day.

We have stayed busy with so many things the first 2 weeks... Finally life has settled down and we have been hiding out up for some family time. We are so thankful for the visits and meals so many of you have shared with us. They have meant so much to us. Mostly, THANK YOU for the many prayers you all sent up to JC throughout this entire journey. We couldn't have done it without His guidance.

A few questions that have been asked by readers of the blog (sounds so crazy!) have been:

- How is Reed adjusting? GREAT! I would say the only issue that we have faced is eating. He doesn't really want to eat anything but BANANAS & VEGGIES! You might say well that great! No, I would prefer for him to broaden that menu! He is doing much better at trying new things. Someone pointed out to me that we didn't eat anything while we were in Ukraine either so maybe it's quite normal! GREAT POINT!

- How is English going? I would say wonderful... He is saying his ABC's, counting to 10, writing his name, and several other beginning educational things. We communicate quite well around the house. He has learned several one word phrases. Honestly there are so many I can't name them all. Communication is much easier than one might think. Let's say he is picking up much quicker than we did in Ukraine!

- What is the plan for him now? Reed and I will stay home until December. In January, Reed will start kindergarten. He has already met his classmates and wonderful teacher! He already talks about going to school so let's hope that adjustment goes smoothly. I'm thinking it's going to be much harder on Mommy than him.

- What are his favorite things to do? He loves to be outside. Daddy has him playing all sports! We went and watched our neighbor play basketball one night and he loved it! He talked about it for days. When he sees football or baseball on tv he makes Daddy stop and watch it. We have found it odd he doesn't really want to play with any of his toys. He would much rather be doing whatever Mommy and Daddy are doing. Yes, even if that is cleaning! He loves to do laundy, dishes, sweep, vacuum, etc

- Would you adopt again? NO DOUBT! We would love to adopt again. The journey is long and hard but it is more than worth it. I wouldn't change any step of our journey good or bad. It is all there for a reason. In the end you will look back and see how God planned each and every step of the way. In our case we look back and laugh at how funny He really can be!

The sole reason we did this blog from the beginning was to allow others who might want to do the same thing information and facts about an Adoption from Ukriane. So PLEASE if you are thinking of adopting and have any question email us. I learned so much from reading other peoples blogs. We would have been quite unprepared for several things if Tesney hadn't shared her packing list with me! We have already talked with several families we don't even know. They found our blog and thought they'd e-mail! GREAT! That's what we are here for. We want nothing more than to help you on your journey, encourage you, and show you it's all worth it!

I listened to this video after seeing it posted on a friend's Facebook page. It's by far the best song I have heard! Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

1st Week Results!!

Our first week has been nothing but wonderful! Sleeping, eating, playing, and SURVIVING! We could not have been blessed with a more perfect addition to our growing family. He is so much fun and such a loving little guy. He has proven to just go with the flow ALL the time! He is adjusting so well. After all the books we read to prepare for adoption we were ready for just about anything but honestly we haven't had to deal with anything YET! I'm hoping and praying it stays that way.

All week Reed and I have ran all over town with doctors visits, fecal samples, paperwork, and of course a little bit of fun! We received news Friday that all bloodwork looks GREAT and fecal samples are negative! YAY! Such good news. Daddy & I were so excited about our dentist appointment on Tuesday to have those NASTY teeth cleaned but Reed didn't enjoy the dentist at all! He refused to open his mouth so I guess we will have to continue to endure the RUDE comments people make about his teeth! We will try again in a few month until then Mommy will scrub & brush 10 times a day to clean them. He loves to have them brushed but he sure didn't love the idea of any fingers or tools visiting those teeth! Better luck next time. Least he left with a backpack full of goodies.. Right? They were so good to him. If you need a good dentist visit Dr.Roe & Dr. Tunipseed!

Thursday CC, Buddercup, and I took him to the Pumpkin Patch in Clayton. Daddy was said he had to miss out. I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with him for the rest of the year. Going back to work is going to be super hard but at least he gets to go with me. I hear he already has a cubby, seat, and lots of stuff with his name on it! He can't wait for some Mrs. Marchant love! If I have to leave him I couldn't ask for a better kindergarten hall to love and take care of him. ANYWAYS, if you haven't been you might want to make a visit! It was huge and very nice. They had the coolest pumpkins ever! He loved the petting zoo.. Odd since he is scared of animals! He got to ride the tractor to pick out his very own pumpkin from the patch! It was so cool. He kept kicking and rolling them... Not the thing to do with pumpkins! Buddercup took tons of pictures so we will post some soon.

Today he got to ride the mower for the first time. He loved it! He is all about helping around the house. He brought me all the dirty clothes eariler and wanted to wash them! Let's pray he stays this way. :)

We have his first set of pictures scheduled for next weekend. All know I have no clue how to dress cute myself might as well dress him for pictures... Thank goodness for people who enjoy that! Heather has it all until control! She has picked out the cutest outfits for him! He is going to look so cute. I can't wait to see how they turn out! THANKS Heather for saving him from Mommy dressing him!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Life... 6:00am wake-up calls, long bubble baths, tripping on toys, many slobbery kisses, juice boxes, snack times, NO naps... etc

As you can only imagine our lives have changed 100%. Honestly I don't think they could get any better! We are so in love with this little 35lb bundle of love!

Arriving home didn't prove itself to be very easy but nonetheless we made it after 15-20 hours in the air and a missed flight, lost luggage, and long layovers! We could not have asked for a better passenger to join us for the return. Reed loved the "semalot" aka "airplane". He just might be a pilot one day. Today when we were getting in the car he asked me where the airplane was!? He has told everybody about the plane rides. He seriously only slept about 2 hours the entire trip home! Poor guy didn't want to miss a thing. After our missed flight to Birmingham we were re-routed to Montgomery. We were so sad we missed out on the welcome home for Reed in Birmingham. Thanks to all who were and did come out. CC, Buddercup, GG, and Darryl were there to greet us. There are no words to describe the feeling of walking through those plane doors and having our families arms to walk right into. Those are the happiest tears I have ever cried! Sweet Reed could hardly hold his eyes open but he was able to love on each one of them! He knew each one of them for their visits on Skype! He is so smart!

When we finally pulled into the driveway around 1am (we had all been up about 28 hours straight at this point) we explained to him this was his home... He starting yelling "hooray"! He couldn't wait to get inside. This precious boy had no clue what was waiting on the inside!

CC had his room all set up ready to go! You will notice her skills above. She made the truck picture! It's my favorite! Reed's favorite would be the pile of toys she left him! He wanted to open each one of them at 2am that morning... So what did we do?? We open them! He slept with most of them!

The past 2 days have been more than perfect! Even with the early mornings and long days! Honestly, I get so excited to see him each time he wakes up. We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful son. We thank God every minute of every day for allowing us the privilage to call him our own. Sometimes it still doesn't seem real when he calls me "Mama".

Since we have been home we have managed to get a lot done. Most importantly, the rat tail is GONE! He did so good for his first haircut. It's amazing how much a good haircut will do for you! lol. They sure don't pride themselves in teeth brushing or hair styles! We have had many calls, visits, letters, texts, and e-mails from so many of you. We can't thank you enough for the support. It is such a wonderful thing to have from so many people. The outpouring of support since we have been home is amazing. I had "NOTHING" for the unknown child we would bring home before leaving and I came home to a home fully prepared for him. THANK YOU

"Never a dull moment!"

The next few days hold a lot of important appointments for this precious little man. Please pray that all goes smoothly and for Reed as he encounters a lot of new things. Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, October 13, 2011



A bond that is indescribable. Love. Tears. Fights. Trust.

So I have received several emails, call, comments, etc. of how lucky Felecia is to have a sister to support her through this journey. With that said, I think you should also know this story from another perspective…Mine.

A little background…
Felecia is a very passionate, dedicated person. She jumps in with two feet and never looks back. She will stand by her word and stand strong. As a child, she was defiant, strong-willed, and I would guess my parents would say she is the cause of their gray hair!

On the other hand, I am more emotional, cautious, perfectionist, and probably worry too much about what other think (sad, but true). Most decisions I make are thoroughly thought through. I remember many times as Felecia was getting spanked, (for no telling what) as a child, I would sit and cry because she was hurting. I think I have always been (sometimes unintentionally) protective of her.

We are very different and alike in many ways.

On with the story… Remember when reading this, I am not judging others on their decisions, but only sharing an adoption story (that I need to get off my chest) from the point of view of a protective sister. I think sometimes we are harder on those we love. I have always thought adoption was a blessing, and I feel that way now more than ever!

When Felecia & Tyler broke the news in summer 2010 that they were planning to adopt, I was shocked. I knew Felecia had always wanted children, but this soon? They just got married? Why not enjoy marriage for a couple years? Why not try to have your own? All these questions, I really just bottled up and went on with life.

I talked to her almost daily, but I really never asked about the adoption. I did not take any part in the planning. I rarely read the blog. I told basically no one. I attended nothing. When people asked, I shrugged it off. Not such a great sister now, huh?

Did you see all the I’s in that paragraph? I am truly embarrassed. For this, I am sorry! I am sorry to Felecia & Tyler. I am sorry to Reed. It was not until they had a travel date, that my heart-strings started tugging. Who am I to judge? What am I doing to make a change in this life? They are saving a life! Who cares about a made-up of timeline of how things should happen in life! Sometimes we miss out on the greatest opportunities in life by being a planner, and I hope I have learned my lesson!

I have still never talked to her about this. I just decided to change my attitude. This is not about me. She is my sister and best friend. I am now an aunt. It’s my time to drop the “I’s”!

I started researching Ukraine, reading blogs about adoption, and realizing I am going to be an AUNT!

As soon as she sent me the first picture, I realized, at that point, if he had 3 heads, and five arms I did not care! Are you perfect? I am sure not! He is a child. He needs love. He has feelings. My heart has ached for him to be here since then. I just want to hold him, hug him, and love him.

Now, more than ever I realize how much I look up to my little sister. She is going to be the best earthly mom Reed could ever have. They are both so lucky to have each other. I am so lucky to have them.

I think about a song that most of us have known and sang, but do we really listen to the words??
Red, Yellow, Black, or White They’re ALL precious in his sight Jesus loves the little children of the world.
From now on, I promise to hear each word. Thank you Reed for making me listen instead of think!

In just a few hours, we will hold, hug, and love the most precious blessing we have ever had in our family! WELCOME HOME REED (and Felecia & Tyler, of course)!

I will love you FOREVER, CC

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tyler's Random Thoughts

Things we will remember about Ukraine...

Tyler's casual observations:

We thank you all so much for supporting us.  I hope you enjoy my random casual observations of the great country of Ukraine!

- two people knowingly cut in front of me at McDonald's; one did on the train ride. They knew I didn't speak Russian so I had to smile and let them enjoy their place in line
- these people enjoy their carbs (a runner's dream).  One such restaurant had a meal that included fries, rice, and mashed potatoes (no meat). It was difficult to buy potatoes at stores because most places only offered a years supply
- Our tv in the region has 30 channels... 29 are in Russian. The only English channel is one which teaches people the English language. It has become my favorite channel.  
- they get into their politics here!  Riots...  it is crazy.  Check my Oct 12 FB post for more details.
- Britney Spears is currently here on her European tour. Ukrainians are dedicated people to be willing to listen to her sing in English. I am not sure I even enjoy listening to her in English...
- to get a buggy at the supermarket, one has to place a coin, in the handle, to unlock it from the other buggies. The customer gets the coin back when he puts the buggy back. Wal-mart...there's an idea!
- the roads here resemble those in Alabama...lots of potholes
- factories, factories, some pollution...and more factories
- the largest soft drink one can buy is about 1.5 liters. One can forget about purchasing a 3 liter. However one can find a "family size" beer of their choice which is double the size of the coke.
- I am not sure what the white particles were in the middle of our bologna.... 
- this country borders Russia (who's space station sent a man to the moon!) but I can't figure out why they design their brooms no longer than 2 feet long. I am still thinking on this one. It just seems like it makes for a tough sweep.
- the feeling of being a father and meeting our child for the first time - PRICELESS

It has been a fun ride. There are aspects about the way of life here which can teach us a lot in the US.  However I am now ready for some sweet tea & a good ole Alabama meal. We most importantly thank God for letting us be a part of his story.


Monday, October 10, 2011


We noticed this morning that the town we were in for 22 days... The town in which Reed lived is on the map above. It's on the Sea of Azol, Maruipol. Take a look at how far we were out!


Throughout this entire journey we haven't had wifi which meant NO communication! Now looking back I feel it was a time God wanted us to reflect and grow together in our marriage as we quickly changed from husband and wife to "mommy & daddy". I can assure you we grew together.. Even when we were laying on the floor singing church songs for about 3 hours! I think this happened several times!

I think God knew we weren't going to make it with Reed if we couldn't share him with his family back home! Needless to say Skype is our best friend now! We get to talk with everybody each day. Each day at the orphanage we would show him the family book and he would say names of people and animals... It was so cool to see him meet them for the first time online because he knew exactly who they were. He would jump up and down yelling something in Russian and go get the family book to show them a picture of themselves! He knew exactly who they were. He loves to dance, sing, talk, or whatever else Tyler has taught him to do every day for every person! He is so smart he figured out that CeCe (Aunt Cassie) says "dah" (which means yes) to everything so he always asks her for cookies & juice and when she says "dah" he runs to the refrigerator and points... He has it all figured out! Today he even called her all on his own! He must have wanted a cookie!

Yesterday he got to meet his dogs for the first time.. He was so excited! If only we could understand Russian! We did manage to understand he likes the little dogs better than the big one!

Gigi showed him his room and he was so excited... He started cheering "bravo" when she showed him a toy!

Today when I bought him an outfit I learned just how much this sweet boy has missed out on... I tore the tags off and went to throw them away and he about started crying. He kept saying no and I had no idea why. Come to find out he wanted the tags as toys. He has kept them all day. He won't let them out of his sight. To think there are so many sweet babies just like him who have had nothing just breaks my heart. Why? Each day at the orphanage humbled me. To see these children who want nothing but a smile and hug hurts. I wanted to load them up and bring them all home! Thank goodness for logical Tyler! This precious boy has already taught me so much. He has changed my life in so many ways. I hope and pray I do the same for him.

Tonight we got to spend time with another American family who are adopting two precious girls. They were actually in the same region as us. It was so awesome to be able to eat and talk with other people! What's so cool is their youngest and Reed already knew each other from a summer camp! They talked the entire time. How cool will it be to let them continue this friendship!?! We had a translator explain some of the things they were talking about... They were telling each other how cool Kiev is.. They were explaining to each other they were moving to the US but they wouldn't be in the same city.. They were also saying they had different mamas and papas because remember they have always called everybody mama and papa. It's so neat to see how much they understand.

Only a Visa to go... We booked our flight for Thursday so let's pray we get it within 2 days or we are in big trouble! We should arrive around 6:08 Thursday night!