Saturday, May 23, 2015

The homecoming

Two American citizens and two Ukrainian citizens entered the immigration line at LAX airport around two thirty pm last Saturday afternoon, but at six o'clock, four American citizen (two with dual citizenship until they are 18) exited the airport and got into our family mini-van.  We drove south on the 405 toward a forever home and to see the rest of their forever family.

 As we pulled into the drive a week ago today, I jumped out of the front seat to move the step-stool blocking the garage parking space.  A 4 year old little girl with wet hair and a princess bathrobe opened the door from the house. "Mommy!" she yelled as she threw her arms around me. Oh my bugaboo, I think to myself, but my hug was interrupted when she asked, "where is Yana and Alex?"
I look up and Adam has pulled all the way into the garage now and the charcoal grey sliding doors begin to uncover a new brother and a new sister. This 4 year old girl pushes her mommy away and jumps into the lap of a tired 16 year old boy with his seat belt still around him. 
Alex! Alex! Alex!
Lily runs out of the house, bypassing her mommy (who has been gone for 15 days) and jumps on Alex too. 
Two pink marshmallows in matching robes jumping around the car screaming with excitement, their brother and sister are home forever. 
Yana, carries Elliot into the house and Alex hold Lily's hand. A welcome home banner hangs visible for the entire neighborhood to see.

Wanna see your room? Wanna see your room?
They repeat over and over and over to their older siblings , their bodies quickly bouncing around with pure joy. 

As they start to head up stairs, I stop them (buzz kill), "Adam get the camera" I tell him. I make Lily give me a hug and I have the kids help take out the suitcases while Adam sets up the camera in Alex's room.
I get a call from up stairs, "all ready" and so I lead the kids up the hall way.

Here is a youtube link of the video. Alex was pretty stoked, "my room best" he tells me.

Yana added her own touch to the room, books about dogs and horses
Yana's room is filled to the brim with a gorgeous matching furniture set and a closet packed with clothes, but she couldn't see past the stuffed dogs I harvested from the garage sale we had back in October.  I always knew she was going to have a Sabaca (dog) room. 

You would think I would have more pictures of the kids but since they call me "paparazzi," (which is only a little hurtful), I have been trying not to bust out the camera for every adorable encounter that happens. 
I hide behind kitchen curtains to capture video of the four of them jumping and laughing on the trampoline and when I finally do corner all four of them, this is what I get...

... Stinkers!

What have we been doing? 
We have been breaking down walls, Klimas-style.

Dance parties in the living room to country music. The girls love it and well,  Alex watches in dis-belief as his mom and dad "cut a rug" next to our bright orange couch, picking up whatever girl wants to twist or spin. 
I try to grab Alex and pull him off the couch, but he stays sitting, so I dance with his arms swinging them around and around as he tries to pull away, unable to keep his smile hidden. 

Sometimes (usually), Lily and Elliot will fight over something really dumb, like a toy, and as they are laying on the floor pulling it from each other and screaming, I look at Yana who is watching them and say, "This is your family." She smiles and shakes her head. We are definitely not perfect, but she doesn't seem to mind.

Alex escapes to his room, his sanctuary and he draws, or watches soccer. He opened the paint set we got him and with a recycled white canvas he created his first master piece as Alexander Klimas. 
I walk into the garage door from work and instead of Yana coming to hug me, I see Alex in the stairway. "Alex, show mom your painting!" Adam calls from the kitchen. He pretends he doesn't enjoy the fuss, but gestures me to follow him to his room. I can tell he is proud to show his mom his work, but keeps telling me it's not good. I reassure him that it is amazing and incredible. 
I take out the camera and snap a picture of it against the orange wall in his room, I show him the picture, "look at how amazing your art photographs." He smiles and falls on his bed face first as if he is embarrassed for me to see his reaction. 

We have bought socks and underwear, and pants, and groceries and groceries and groceries and running shoes and then some more groceries. We have turned down every offered invitation, play date, dinner plans, hang out, park invite...I am being selfish, I am working on my family right now. I mean, I didn't even blog!
I want to bond and I want them to know that we love them no matter what. That's what family is. 

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Colossians 2:2-3
Tomorrow is Yana's 13th birthday.

This is the first time for her to have presents and cake on her birthday,  AND the first time having siblings and parents to share it with. Happy she was born. I am giving 5 dollars to Lily and Elliot and 10 dollars to Alex and we are heading to the Walmart to pick out something for their sister.

I have been doing this for awhile with the girls, And I love that it makes them intentionally think of someone else rather than just themselves. (And it helps learn the concept of money and budging).  Lily told Elliot and Alex, if we put our money together we will have 20 dollars and get a big gift for Yana. Look at that mental math, love her thinking!!!
Happy 13th birthday Yana-banana, we are so happy you were born!

1 comment:

  1. There is so much happy in this post! I'm thrilled for all of you. :>