Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mom and Dad

The warm morning sun shines, sneaking past our white shutters, as a four year old shuffles into the room. She crawls on the bed and snuggles between her parents. A few moments later, a six year old wearing Rapunzel chonies and a tired look on her face joins the party.

Slowly, a 13 year old girl peaks her head into the room. "Yana, come in." 
She sees the warmth, the cuddles, and the love, but doesn't approach us. Instead, she watches from the door.
We urge her again. "Yana, come in here." She reluctantly walks towards her family and sits on the corner of our king mattress, close to my feet. We grab her waist and pull her closer, and she doesn't fight it. Now laying across our lumpy feet, she smiles at us.

That same day, I hear her call up to her father. "Hey you who's here" she hollers upstairs.

"What did you call me?" Adam says back, leaning over the balcony from the upstairs hallway, looking at the little girl with her hands in her face and a giggle in her movements.

Adam enters the kitchen and begins to munch on the dinner preparations as I cut carrots. I look at him with smiling eyes, a shaking head and a shrug. "It would be so much easier for her to call me dad" he confesses, laughing as he says it.

Don't worry I tell him, at least she calls to you

Alex clapped for my attention the other day.

I lay in a homemade tent, made from blankets and a bottom bunk bed, reading stories with two little girls by flashlight. Suddenly,  I hear three large loud claps. In the darkness, the girls and I are silent, the read aloud paused as we listen for a voice.  Another clap.
I poke my head out from between the Elmo and butterfly blankets to see the silhouette of Alex standing in the doorway of Lily and Elliot's room, the hallway light on behind him. As my eyes adjust, I hear..."Where my pants?"

Adjustment period.

It has been only three months since they left Ukraine.
We have transplanted two young adults, changed their diet, their language, their culture, their friends, their family. We have changed their lives.
For good or for bad, everything is different for them. 

And they are learning. And they are growing. 
But nothing is quick. 
There is so much we have to explain. Everyday. It is constant.

We can't even get through a Saturday morning family breakfast without a large discussion. 
"Yes, bread, milk and cheese are good for you!" "Yes, I know the director at 'children's home' said milk will make you fat." "No, a potato and salt for every meal in not a well balanced diet." 

We have even had to rewrite history a few times. For instance, having to explain that a Ukrainian was not the first man on the moon. Or that there were really dinosaurs. Yes, they did indeed exist! 

We tread lightly, knowing that their whole lives have been flipped upside down, and usually we just agree to disagree. 


Summer has been amazing, with both Adam and I home in July, we have really been able to focus on the kids. 

There is so much to praise God for each day, the growth, the interactions, the friendships, the trust and the stories. 
Adam and I lay in bed whispering to one another. Laughing and comparing the different shenanigans we have encounter during the day. On our pillows, talking about our four biggest blessings. Love.

Growing our family through adoption has added another layer to our relationship with each other and with God. For this we are so grateful and thankful.

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13


Yes. We would love for them to call us mom and dad, but we can't force it. We have asked so much of them already. And, it's OK that they are not ready. It will only make it that much sweeter when they finally do. 

I am faithful that one day I will hear the words "mom" escape from their lips. I pray that it comes when it feels natural and normal to them. 

"You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalms 4:7-8

Disclaimer: They refer to us as mom and dad to other people, and did call me mom while I was in Ukraine, but have stopped since coming to America. I have stopped trying to figure it all out.  :)


  1. Love this update. You are such a great writer, Kimmy! MIss all of you and am so happy for this time that you've had off together. I love that God is working in and through you all. xo

    1. Meghan you are too sweet. I am gonna miss your face and Godly advice next door.

  2. I think racing snails and older child adoption have a lot in common. :)

    I love my little "turtle" who actually chose to be a snail one halloween...

  3. (Did that comment make any sense?)

    I am always thrilled to hear about other families who adopted "older" children. Thank you.