Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It has been a BUSY 2 months...and that is an understatement :)

Hello everyone! I apologize, as I have always been a terrible blogger and now that I have 7 children I am a HORRENDOUS blogger lol. I will try to catch up on everything, trying not to leave anything out :) I actually tried to add pictures to this a few nights ago, they would not load but the post published anyway & I did not realize.
July 20, 2014: D.J. and I left for Ukraine, had my appointments for referrals, met both boys, spent a bit of time in "Brett's" region then came home on August 5th to wait for court.

A visit with Felix

August 18, 2014: Court for "Brett" (as he was listed on RR) in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine. His birth name was Valentine (pronounced Val-en-teen) We kept that as his middle name and still mostly call him Valentine. His first name is now Felix and he is just becoming used to being called by his new name. Then the 10 day wait began.

My facilitator &I  at the courthouse
D.J. & I after court

August 21, 2014: Court for "Randall" (as he was listed on RR) in Zaporozhe, Ukraine. His birth name is Ruslan (pronounced Roo-slan) and we kept his name as we felt at 15, he should keep it. Although I do wish we would have changed the spelling so that fellow Americans would pronounce it the correct way lol We started the paper chase on this day, because the 10 day wait was waived. We completed most of it & were able to finish the next day on our way out. The following are pictures of the courthouse:

August 22, 2014: GOTCHA day for Ruslan. We spent the day at a mall in Dnepropetrovsk while my facilitator did some paperwork with another family. He had his first McDonald's and played in an arcade. At the end of the day, we headed to Kyiv where we spent a few hours in a hostel before boarding a train back to our apartment in Khmelnitsky to finish up the 10 day wait.
The Boys Happy Home at Kalinovka

Telling his friend goodbye.

air hockey with his new brother

Ruslan beat D.J. in ski ball.

August 29, 2014: Paper chase began for Felix, ended later in the day than it should have because there were some paperwork glitches. There was an American family that had previously adopted him but returned him to the orphanage after having him for 2 days. There was paperwork that was not fully reversed so it made the process take a bit longer. By the end of the day, it was too late to drive 6 hours back to Kyiv so we left the following morning.
August 30, 2014: GOTCHA day for Felix. We drove back to Kyiv with "Uncle Niko." Our apartment was in Independence Square, which was so nice! And all of the mess from the revolution had ben cleaned up and, for the most part, the square was exactly as I had remembered in from 2012. On our first trip, just a month before, the sidewalks & monuments were still burnt, there were still tire barricades, drunk people loitering, bricks missing from the street, etc. Another adoptive mom said it was cleaned up pretty much over night.

The view from our apartment
The view from our apartment
The view from our apartment.
shopping at Billa
The week to follow was a very tough week. Felix had a lot of behavior issues and looking back, it was likely due to anxiety. He is seven &  had never been outside of his orphanage other than the two days he spent with another family that returned him to the orphanage. Institutionalization does enough damage to a child. Then to be rejected by people who claim that they will be your mother and father does a lot more damage. Now, another person takes him from the only home he knows & says that she is his momma. He hit, he screamed, he tantrumed. I had bruises. And as stressed as I thought I was, I can never even remotely understand what was going through his mind or how scared he was. My facilitator would come over in the evenings to try to help with he behavior issues (yea, my team is that good!)

Shopping at Billa

A visit to the Kiev Aquarium while we waited between embassy appointments

  My amazing fellow adoptive momma Becki got me in touch with an amazing woman, Kim. She was my angel sent from heaven! Kim had recently moved to Ukraine with her husband and four children and started a non-profit that serves orphans in Ukraine. You can read more about her organization Wide Awake International HERE. Kim was such a big help! She helped with language, Embassy visits, babysat while I went to the market and filled out online forms to finish up immigration paper work. As long as Felix had her with undivided attention and she did what he asked, he was good as gold. His world had been turned upside down, and he just needed to be in control. It all makes sense now.

September 4, 2014: VISAS & APPROVAL TO GO HOME!!! I wasted no time in booking our tickets home.
Last night in Kyiv.
September 5, 2014: We boarded a plane at 5:45am. First stop was Frankfurt, Germany. That first flight was not terrible. The next flight, which was 8 hours to Washington, D.C., was a tough one. Felix broke the tray table before take off, cried, hit me & tried to hit other passengers, screamed, knocked a tray of drinks over offered by a flight attendant (I know he was trying to help but WHAT was he thinking???) We got through customs at Dulles then were headed on our last flight to New Orleans. We arrived home at about 8:30. Steve & Tage picked us up at the airport. Just as our first adoption, I did not want anyone meeting us at the airport.



September 9, 2014: Just 4 days after we arrived home, Silas had his Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery. The surgery lasted about 8.5 hours. He stayed in the hospital 2 days and came home and recovered beautifully. The stimulator has yet to have the effects we desire, but he has only been adjusted twice.

The next month and a half was a rough transition. Felix still had yet to settle, which was to be expected. Although his behaviors were terrible for me, he was always well behaved and even a different child for Stephen. He seemed to have an immediate bond and respect for his Papa when he met him. About the middle of October, he finally settled down. The tantrums have stopped, the cussing at me in Ukrainian stopped (I now find it a bit comical.) He is cooperative, sweet and an amazing little boy. Frankly, I am surprised it happened this quickly but I am so happy that he is comfortable in his new life. Other families have had months of erratic behavior, his was so short compared to many. I struggled whether or not to share the things that I did but I want to be honest and also let others know that even when a child  may seem difficult, it can always get better.

The week in Kyiv and even after home were some very trying times.  I really need to give much appreciation to many people who helped us through those times:

1. Our awesome adoption community. Many of whom are adoptive mamas through REECE's RAINBOW There are so many  who  held my hand throughit all: the week in Kyiv, the flight home, and weeks after. There are not enough words to describe the awesomeness that I was surrounded by. I had help with anything I needed. I was down in the  trenches & I had countless people helping me. it was incredible.

2. Our dear friend Chelsea who has helped us through the transition at home.

3. OF course our facilitation team which includes my favorite person, NANCY, who I miss talking to daily.

4. Everyone, our friends  and family,  that has supported and kept faith in us through this journey  .

All 7 of our boys
I will stop here and continue with the next adventure of the Triple Tonsilectomy & Adenoidectomy so that I can justify why we made such a crazy decision LOL

Sunday, August 10, 2014

So much AWESOMENESS has been happening!

 I have met bot of our boys! I came home to wait for court. I will be leaving again late this week.

"Brett" is such a spunky little fellow! He has a ton of personality & I enjoyed spending time with him! He is a daredevil & full of energy!

"Randall" was a bit sick while I was there, but was still a sweetheart and showed me his crafts, around the place he lives and we watched TV some. He has a very bad infection in his face. Our kids' PCP will be ordering a CT scan as soon as he gets home, as she fears the infection could be in his bone.

Court will be next week then we will bringing our boys home :) :)

We are still a bit short on funds. We still need a little over $2600 to book our final plane tickets home. If you feel led, you can make a tax deductible donation HERE & you will also see a really cute pic of when I met "Brett" when clicking on this link :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Yesterday morning I received a phone call from one of my favorite people in the world, Nancy. She received our travel date of July 23.It is so odd, that this time around we received the phone call at the SAME EXACT time as the last time we adopted, 6:21am.
After receiving the call I panicked all day long. I finally booked tickets and will be leaving July 20th at 2pm!
We have also added a sweet boy to our adoption, I will get around to telling the whole story eventually. Right now an amazing army of people are rallying and have a matching grant for him. His grant must read $11,713 then an additional $1000 will be donated.
His link can be found HERE
Here is a picture of our sweet boy:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fourthof July T Shirts!

We have 1 week to sell
shirts for our boy's freedom!
shirts can be bought at http://teespring.com/ruslansfreedom
Can you help?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Candy for a Cause!

We are selling home made
New Orleans Style Pecan Pralines
to help with adoption costs!
We have 3 options to pay:
Our Reece's Rainbow FSP (tax deductible) http://reecesrainbow.org/70811/sponsorfeinland-2
Our Pay Pal Account which is rfeinalnd@yahoo.com
Prices are as follows:
$15/half dozen
Please be sure to contact me with mailing information!

Friday, May 16, 2014

"Randall" & Fundraisers

We have committed to adopting "Randall" on the Reece's Rainbow site! He is 15 years old and has Down Syndrome. He is amazing! We can not wait to get him home!

 Our paperwork is very close to being submitted! We have very little time to raise the remaining funds and we hope o add a second child, but want to be fully funded for "Randall" first.

We have several fundraisers happening right now:

We are selling "Kalinovka Love" t shirts with this logo:
Tshirts can be bought here : https://www.booster.com/kalinovka
We have an adoption auction happening on FB with another family
We have an "Upcycle" fundraiser where you can send in old cell pones and other electronics and it will earn us money towards our adoption!


We also have a weight loss fundraiser that will be wrapping up in 2 weeks. But we hope to repeat it. In this fundraiser, YOU can actually win cash prizes! If you are interested, you can join he FB group :

If you do not have FB, the rules are also posted on the You Caring site where we have the "pot"

We would also like to ask for your prayers as we have lots of things going on at home. Surgery coming up for both Silas and Andre, school placement issues for Silas & other issues. Many prayers are appreciated!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Second Time Around is NOT as Easy .....

This adoption has been very draining. I thought the second time would be easier, boy was I wrong! We have had several delays and wrenches thrown in.

 For one, the FBI seems to be unable to read my fingerprints on a card. They have been sent back twice and now I am being told I will need to pay again to have my check done even though I have never received the background check. It delayed our home study to the point that I paid to just have an electronic check to finish the home study. That is fine for the home study but IF the country we are adopting from implements a mandatory FBI check I am unsure what I will do. Because I will need a hard copy that is apostilled, not an electronic copy.

Fundraising has been difficult and we have had several failed fundraisers. We will have an "Upcycle" fundraiser that just started today that we hope will be successful.  It is recycling your  old cell phones. I will blog more in detail later but if you want to check it out the link is here https://www.causesinternational.com/upcycle/feinland

We have also had some bigger issues regarding the children that we have chosen to adopt. WE will not be bringing either girl home, each for a different reason.

"Della" previously had a family committed to her. A beautiful family; a mother a father and two young boys. I am actually good friends with Jenny, the mother, and they helped us financially start the adoption process for her because they wanted so badly for her to have a family even though they were unable to be that family. The circumstances that forced them to back out of the adoption process are no longer there and they decided they wanted to resume international adoption.

The first time this family was in the process to adopt "Della," they were asked by members of their church to take in a family from Haiti that had been living in a bus. The couple had two young girls. The couple asked them to adopt these girls and left them with the family. The social worker that was completing their home study told them that they did, in fact, have to choose between the two girls in their home and "Della," that they simply could not adopt the girls and "Della." They chose the girls that were in their home, as how could they do anything otherwise? The parents returned two months later and took the girls back for a day then brought them back only to return to take them back. There were other things that happened that prompted this mother to call Child Protection Services. The birth father did not take to this lightly. He threatened to kill this woman, her children and proceeded to go the girls school and threatened to kill the teachers and students because of the on-going investigation. This man is now in jail and the birth mother has custody of the children. This would have been enough to break many of us. But this family is determined to adopt and after grieving for some time, decided to resume adopting internationally.

When I initially found out they intended to resume the process, deep down I knew what the right thing to do would be. But I ignored it. I continued to talk to my friend Jenny and we would even discuss what child she may commit to adopting. I finally started discussing with my husband about if we should offer this family the chance to resume adopting "Della." We discussed. We prayed. We discussed more. I consulted with a few other adoptive mommas who I trust and of course my wonderful facilitator, Nancy. We did decide to offer them the chance for us to step aside to resume the process and of course they accepted. We are happy for them and very at peace with this decision. After all, we know that we will meet this sweet girl and follow her journey coming home and beyond. We will still be able to follow her as she blossoms in a loving family. This was decided some time ago and we were just waiting on them to obtain the proper paperwork that would allow them to commit to her through Reece's Rainbow.

How we lost "Kree" is a completely different story. We received a call from Nancy on Monday that another family that is in country now is adopting her. I cried. I knew that this was possible and had even suspected it a while ago. It has been happening to a lot of families lately.

So now we are feeling a bit lost and are unsure who we will be bringing home. We will take our time with this decision. We appreciate your prayers and support