Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Emma-Lee Julia Carter

That's our girl! So much has happened in the last couple of days. My mind is just a blur. I've had about 5 hours sleep in the last 3 days, so bear with me. This post will probably be all over the place.

Many of you have been sending emails asking questions about Emma. We could not release any details until she was legally ours, so here goes:

Emma was born October 9, 2001 in the city of Romny, Ukraine. She was named Julia (pronounced Yulia in Russian) Girzheva. Her mother was 21 and her father was 43. They were not married. She was carried to term, born at normal birth weight with no complications. Her measurements during the first year of her life were normal. So it sounds like we got all kinds of information, eh? Well, after that everything gets a little hazy.

We were told that Emma was raised by her single mother until last year. She was placed in the orphanage in June 2007, as her mother passed away at age 26. We have tried to get more information about her mother's death, but have been unsuccessful. Our facilitator told us that many young single mothers in Ukraine commit suicide, as they can not cope. This is something we will never know.

When we were first shown Emma's file, we were told about her problems. She is very behind developmentally and has emotional problems. It makes sense considering what she's gone through in the last year. Losing her mom and getting put into the orphanage was probably very traumatic. They showed us her medical file. When she was first placed in the orphanage, she was seen by several doctors and her immunizations were updated. This would explain why she is terrified of doctors. Also, the picture we were shown of her at the adoption centre was when she was first placed there...she was bald. They had shaved her hair off. Poor thing!

We got to pick up Emma Monday evening. She was SO excited!!! She ran out of there so fast and then waved up to all of her friends up in the windows. I must say it was pretty emotional for me, saying goodbye to so many of those kids who I've grown to love. I can't believe we'll never see them again. We pray that they will all find homes. Once Emma waved and yelled PACA (bye) to all of her friends, it was straight to the car and no looking back!!!

The last 2 days have been a rollercoaster. Several ups and downs. We are seeing the results of no discipline in her life. We are trying to correct her, but it's very difficult when you don't speak her language. She is still papa's biggest fan. Mama's still low on the totem pole, but she's starting to warm up to me. She's never had a dad, so I imagine it's pretty exciting to her. I think she just sees me as another caregiver, like at the orphanage.

The last couple of days have been super crazy with paperwork again. We had to get our court decree. Then we travelled to Emma's birth town to get a new birth certificate with her new name and Terry and I listed as parents. We were able to get a picture of the hospital she was born in. I thought that was pretty cool.

Yesterday we travelled to Sumy to get Emma's passport. When we got there, we found out it takes 10 business days to get a passport, which would mean we would need to reschedule our flight again, which is not an option. So we had to pay $$$$ to get a same day passport, but we're glad to have it out of the way. All we have left now is to get a Visa for Emma. That will only take one day in Kiev.

So now we just bide our time and wait for next week to come. We are staying in Okteerka, as it is much cheaper than staying in Kiev. We will travel to Kiev next Wednesday to get Emma's Visa. Then we will stay there till Saturday because that's where our flight leaves from. Our American friends have left to Kiev already. Their plane leaves tomorrow. It was sad when they left. It was so nice to have friends while we are here. It feels lonely now. Their entire adoption took 3 weeks and 3 days. Unreal!!! We will have spent 7 weeks and 3 days once all is said and done.

I should go. Terry is back at the hotel with Emma and he told me not to take long. Thanks for your continued prayers. Even though it seems things are done, things are just beginning. I'm still a little nervous about the whole thing. Good thing Terry has nerves of steel and can always calm me down!! By the way, shower time goes much better now! :) We got so many comments from people who loved that story!!

Bye for now!

Oh ya!!! I almost forgot! Swiss cheese chips: 2 thumbs down for me and 1 thumb up for Terry.
Chicken chips: 1 thumb up for me and 2 thumbs up for Terry.
Sorry, Jen. I haven't run into any crab chips again. If I see them, I promise to taste them!!! :):)

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