Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well, I can't believe we've been home for almost 3 weeks. Emma is doing so great!! I can't believe how well she is adjusting. She is learning English at a supersonic speed. She understands much of what we say and mimics everything that Lucas says. She's so funny...Lucas says "Mama, I love you so much" to which I answer "I love you so much too". When Emma goes to bed she always says "I love you too so much", even before I get a chance to say "I love you". It is so cute, especially with her little accent. She is something special!!
Much of their time is spent in our pool, which has become their favorite pastime. I admit, it is mine as well. No longer do I need to "entertain" Lucas by splashing about. I can now sit on the sidelines (because frankly...that pool is too cold for me) reading a book....yes folks...this mother of 2 gets to actually read a book!! Who knew that I would have this luxury. I read a few sentences, look up, watch them jump in, read a few more sentences...and so on! They have become quite the little fish and hearing their laughter just fills me with a contentment I've never known. They have developed a bond, deeper than I could have ever imagined. They hold hands when we are out shopping, and we frequently find one in the other's bed in the early morning just before getting up. I asked Lucas about this one morning when I saw him sleeping in Emma's bed. He said he got up early and he knew it was too early to get up so he went to her bed to make sure she wasn't scared. I thought that was so sweet!!
I took Emma to get her medical evaluation done at the Internation Adoption Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital. They are so great there. They were happy to see that she is adjusting well. She is low on the scale for ht and under the scale for wt (something we knew). Actually, her BMI is 0! I think she would fit in well in Hollywood! The Doctor gave me some ideas for a high calorie/high protein diet which includes fabulous things like bacon, fried foods, waffles, ice cream...yeah...we should all be so lucky! Chris and I want to be on this diet...except we'd gain 20 pounds in the first month.
We're having Lucas's birthday party on Sunday and Emma will get her first experience with an actual birthday party. I'm happy for Lucas too because he has handled Emma getting most of the attention (and gifts) for the past couple of weeks so well. He rarely complains, which is amazing for a soon to be 5 year old! He deserves to have a little attention thrust in his direction. His little world has changed so much too and he has handled it better than I ever thought he would.
We are a happy family, enjoying our new lives together. We are blessed indeed!!
L,C,L &E

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Video #2

Here's another one, taken on August 10th...just after court.



Since I now have access to high speed internet, I'm posting a short video we took of Lucas and Emma on one of our visits to the orphanage. It was taken on August 1...5 days after we met her.

I hope you enjoy.


We're home!

Well, we made it home on Sunday night...exhausted but feeling so happy to be in America. Our travel was long (3 planes) but the kids handled it like troopers. We were greeted by several family members and friends which was so nice after our long trip...thank you to everyone who made it to the airport to welcome us home!!!

So far, Emma's transition into the Bush household has been fantastic. She seems to be adjusting very well, without issues or problems. We are only 5 days in but hopefully this won't just be a honeymoon period, but the way of things to come. She is such a great little girl. She is handling her new world much better than I would. I think Lucas is the main reason for her settling in so well. She just follows his lead and off they go. I was worried that she may have difficulty sleeping alone in her new room since she slept with Lucas while in Ukraine but the first night (perhaps because of exhaustion) she climbed into her bed, pulled the covers up, said "night night mama" then promptly fell asleep. We awoke the next morning to both kids playing quietly in the playroom, waiting for us to wake up. Gotta love that!!!!

We've been out to several places (Target, grocery store, my hospital) and I've been taking my cues from her. She doesn't seem to be getting overwhelmed or over stimulated. She's so easy going (much like Lucas when we brought him home) and she loves going on whatever adventure is next. She also doesn't mind her booster seat in the car with the seat belt. We thought this might be a problem since she'd never been belted in while in Ukraine but, again, she takes her cues from Lucas and just follows along.

I registered her for Kindergarten and will enroll her as soon as we get her immunizations up to date. I imagine she will go to school in about a week or two. It will give her some time to adapt to our environment a little more and I don't anticipate she will have too many problems adapting to school. She of course will be behind but I imagine she will catch up quickly with her peers. She is understanding much of what we say to her and she is speaking more and more English everyday. She is incredibly shy though so she may not speak in public for quite some time. I can't imagine a more perfect child for our family.

Our time in Ukraine was tough, but as I suspected, the tough parts are fading and we're left with the wonderful memories (of which there are so many) of our time in Ukraine. The experience for Lucas was so important in so many ways. He now understands what it means to be adopted from Ukraine and he learned so much from being in "his country". His pride in his homeland is something we hope will last for a lifetime.

I'll post more in a few days along with some pictures. I just wanted to let you all know that all is well and we are having a great time as a family of 4. We've dreamt of this for so long, and now that it is a reality, we are enjoying it immensely. Life is good!!

L, C, L & E

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Flight info update

When I got home from posting this morning I checked the tickets and it has 2 flight numbers for the flight from Chicago. It is listed as "Operated by United Airlines: #1237. I don't know which one will be the listing flight at the airport. Lufthansa is our carrier who we changed the tickets through so hopefully this hasn't added too much confusion.

See you in approximately 37 hours!!!


Houston...We are coming home!!!!!

I'm sorry I couldn't post yesterday. We had a harrowing and nerve wracking day but it all worked out. We made it to the clinic at 9 am to get Emma's physical (required for the embassy) and it was quick. We were done at 10 am with plenty of time to spare before our 11:30 embassy appointment...except we hit the biggest traffic jam!! After an hour and a half of nail biting and cursing (under our breath of course...there were kids in the car) we made it to the embassy at 11:29! It took an hour and a half but it was easy and they were very nice. They told us to call back at 3:30 to see if the Visa would be ready today (It all depends on the computers and if they go down and they can't communicate with Washington...we don't get visa til Tuesday) we went to lunch at TGI Friday's and spent 2 and a half hours pacing and sighing. That wait was so hard!! At exactly 3:31 (I didn't want to seem too anxious) I called and they said it was ready to be picked up!! YEAH!!!! So we have everything we need.

Our flight information is:
Luthansa: flight #9164
arriving from Chicago at 5:44 PM
Sunday, September 2

We will be going through imigration in Chicago so we won't be arriving in Terminal D like last time.

I hope to see some of you at the airport if you can make it.

We have enjoyed our ride together and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and support you have given to us. We couldn't have made it without you all!!!

Signing off from Ukraine!!
See you tomorrow!!

L,C,L & E