"If we ever move here for a couple of years you will do so well. The worst is behind us, you are already adjusted to life in Ukraine."
I am feeling more comfortable in our apartment, with the grocery shopping, doing laundry without a dryer and finding my way around town. However, those aren't the only things to adjust to if you want to become a part of a new community. Regardless, we are enjoying our time here in Ukraine.
Things are continuing to move forward. Most of the things that are currently taking place with our adoption are happening behind the scenes while we simply spend time playing with our kids. Occasionally we are asked to run to the notary and sign papers or we are called and asked basic questions so others can fill out paperwork for us. It seems that we are making good progress. We haven't experienced any major hurdles or obstacles so far (keeping fingers crossed!).
Yesterday we walked around town for about 3 hours. We enjoyed seeing where different landmarks were and took note of some shops and restaurants that may be worth checking out a little more carefully in the future. We walked to the orphanage so we could see how difficult it was to get there on foot. We thought about taking a camera, but it was a very foggy day, so we didn't think pictures would turn out too great. We'll take another walking trip soon and share pictures of this amazing city.
James and I are eating a lot of pasta, bread and Vereniki (potato filled pasta that is delicious). It's all very good food, but heavy and filling. As a special treat, we were told to check out a local chocolate shop that is just around the corner from our apartment. While it may sound wonderful that our apartment is so conveniently located to this shop, it is actually very dangerous! The chocolates are absolutely beautiful and SO delicious! (http://www.chocolate
Maks is opening up to us more and more (Especially with James... he is a typical 5 year old boy that loves to play cars, airplane, and wrestle with James. He giggles and giggles and giggles when they play together. It's so cute!). Alina loves to read to me out of English books. Even though she doesn't know what it all means, she is very good at sounding out and reading English words. Albina loves to play games and put together puzzles with James and I. Each day we take new books, puzzles, games and/or activities to do with the kids. We also take snacks for them. Maks LOVES sugar and will eat it constantly if it's available. As a result, we started leaving candy out of my bag and started purchasing fruit at the local market. He seems to love fruit just as much as the candy, so that's good (Unfortunately, it looks as though we'll have a substantial dental bill once we arrive home. Plus we'll need to do quite a bit of teaching on how to brush teeth properly so we can avoid additional cavities once his adult teeth come in. He truly looks as though he has cavities in every single little baby tooth. Ouch!)
|Alina trying on dad's glasses.|
|Maks trying on dad's glasses.|
Today the girls chose their new middle names. We needed to have everything chosen for paperwork that was being filled out today. We had Albina choose first. We gave her the options of 'Michelle' (after me) and 'Josephine' (after my grandmother). She immediately told us she wanted her middle name to be 'Michelle' after me. Next we asked Alina what she wanted her middle name to be. When she learned that 'Michelle' had been taken by Albina, she was disappointed. Fortunately she didn't make a huge deal out of it. Her two choices were 'Josephine' and 'Rose'. She chose Rose. I had hoped that one of them would chose the name 'Josephine' since that's such a special name to me, but we really wanted them to have a say in their middle names. Since they are older, we realize that changing ones name at this stage of life is a pretty big deal. I knew that meant I had to be okay with whatever the outcome was. And I am. I think both the names sound beautiful.
Since Maks is only 5, we didn't give him a choice. At the beginning of this process, we decided we wanted his middle name to be 'Stewart' (I've always wanted a son with my maiden name as his middle name). However, a number of weeks ago I started thinking that we should have his middle name be 'Douglas' after my brother who passed away in 2006. Once I thought about that name, it sounded just right and I realized it was meant to be. I hope someday Maks realizes what a special middle name he has been given.
Albina Michelle Truax
Alina Rose Truax
Maksym Douglas Truax
We are really missing Toria, Emma, Isabel and Micah. However, we knew this separation was a necessary part of the process. We are being patient and enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the Ukrainian culture. However, we are really looking forward to the time when we will be able to join our Ukrainian family to our United States family and be all together!