Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homeward Bound

When I was 17 years old I spent the summer away from home.  Almost every night I would listen to the song "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel and cry because I was so homesick!  (This is not an exaggeration.)

Today we got up very early and started getting all our tasks taken care of:
  • Paying for medical appointments
  • Picking up passports from the train station
  • Getting medical examinations for the children (this was quite an experience... medical clinics function much differently here than in the USA)
  • Filling out and submitting more paperwork to the US Embassy
  • And receiving the kids completed visas and passports!
  • Final accounting of all our adoption expenses
Once all these tasks were completed we had a number of people saying, "Congratulations!" because the process in Ukraine is finally FINISHED!  We are now free to leave Ukraine with our children and head for HOME!

I'm sure that many of you think that the past 7 weeks has flown by and it's unbelievable that we're already heading home with our three new children.  And in some ways, I agree.  However, in other ways, it feels like it's been FOREVER.  I am so anxious to see my other children and be home in familiar surrounds.  Every time I think about going home I get a little queasy, excited feeling in the pit of my stomach (you know, that feeling you get when you're a kid waiting for Christmas morning to finally come?)  I'm just so ready for to have my entire family under one roof, together!

And then there's the part of me that starts really analyzing this journey and I think about how my life has changed in only 7.5 short (or long, depending on how I choose to look at it) months.  Here is what we have accomplished in such a short time:
  • We met and/or learned of 3 children in Ukraine that needed a family.
  • We fell in love with and determined that they were meant to be a part of our family.
  • We began the adoption process (home study, paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork!)
  • We raised and/or saved approximately $55,000 to help fund our adoption.
  • We flew to Ukraine and finalized the adoption of Albina, Alina and Maks.
  • We returned home (this has yet to happen, obviously, but it will happen before it hits 7.5 months).
 And people say that miracles don't happen anymore...

So in just a few hours we will actually be Homeward Bound and the real work begins.  Because, let's face it!  As difficult as the adoption process (or 9 months of pregnancy for that matter) is: the hard part is raising kids!

So perhaps you think I'm excited to be at this point in my journey as the mother of 3 new children?

I am.

But I am also scared out of my mind.  I am completely overwhelmed with the responsibility I've just taken on.  I'm feeling inadequate.  Oh, so inadequate.

I appreciated the honesty of one blogger (a couple that is currently finishing up their adoption here in Ukraine):

With the realization of just how much our lives are going to change in just a few short days, we can’t help but feel like we are reaching the peak of a tremendous roller coaster (one that we have been riding for 8 months!) . I have the same tingly feeling in my hands and feet that I do when the clang of a coaster car’s wheels click to a stop right before the free fall (have I mentioned I’m terrified of heights?). We are both so excited for this next chapter, but at this very moment it seems like such a daunting task. We’ve caught ourselves wondering just what we have gotten ourselves into. But when we really think about it, we’ve never gotten off a roller coaster regretting the ride. Hopefully this ride is no different.

So, here I am.  In Kyiv for my last few hours.  I'm listening to Albina talk on the phone with her friend before she leaves Ukraine.  She giggles and laughs.  I am noticing how excited Alina is to be finally going to America.  I am enjoying the fact that Maks ran to me a number of times tonight to simply give me hugs.  And I have to think that as hard as my life ahead may be... it's all going to be worth it in the end.


  1. It WILL be worth it Shelly! So many blessings. With God anything is possible and He has been with you every step of the way. He loves these children and they are meant to be in your life. He has a plan and will rejoice with you in the good times and carry you through the hard times. You are not alone. The Lord is on your side and will always bring people into your life to help you when you need them. I know this and I know you are an incredible woman and mother who knows this. All is well my friend! Love you!! YOU ARE COMING HOME, YAHOO!!!

    1. Thank you Tamari! I love this reminder from you and hope I can remember at all times the fact that the hand of the Lord was evident in this entire process. That way, even when times are hard (which is inevitable), I will feel comforted knowing that the Lord is always available to help. I love and appreciate you so much!

  2. Don't worry, God choose you to be the family of those children, put your lives in His hands, He will help you become a knitknit-together, love-filled family.

    I hope you'll keep on blogging after returning home, I've grown quite fond of the 9 of you!

    Best wishes,
    PS: excuse my English mistakes, I'm French.

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words! I hope to continue blogging... life has been pretty crazy the last few days. Hopefully it will calm down a bit over time and we will start getting into the groove of things. I'll work on an update soon!

  3. I just discovered your blog and read the whole thing in one sitting! What an amazing story. I hope you'll post an update on how things are going now that your whole family is finally together. Bless you all.