The whole family finally together

I’ll post something while Leeza gets used to the fact that she has to take naps here too…it was apparently an unexpected surprise and she’s yelling ‘I don’t want it!’ in Russian at the top of her lungs. Considering how much in her life has changed in the past couple days  it’s amazing that this is the first full blown fit she’s had since being here.

Philip and Leeza started out their journey home with a quick flight from Kiev to Munich and, I’m told, she loved everything about the ride except take off and landing. Then they hopped on the 9 hour flight from Munich to Chicago. You might remember a prayer request I had a few days ago that they would be upgraded to Economy Plus to have a more comfortable flight and I understand I had a few scoffers. However, when Philip went to get their boarding passes he realized he and Leeza weren’t seated together so they had to be moved to, you guessed it, Economy Plus. They even got bulkhead seating so Philip could stretch his legs out! Thanks,God! She ended up sleeping a little bit and it sounds like it was a pretty uneventful flight home. As they were landing on American soil I got a phone call from a dear friend who had managed to get Leeza’s medical records translated for us (thank you , thank you, thank you!) so they were ready for her appointment next week and then it really seemed to hit Josiah and me that we only had a few hours until they were going to be here! The house was as clean as it gets with 3 little kids in it, they were all dressed and we were just sort of running around in circles with excitement until it was time to leave. Thankfully we got there just a little bit early because so did they! Another dear friend was there to take pictures of the kids all meeting each other for the first time. Leeza was excited to see all of us, but especially Josiah, or ‘Jew-Jewa’ as she calls him. We came home and let her explore the house a bit, bounce on the couch and play with some toys before putting everyone to bed.

We thought we were going to get off easy when she’d settled down by 10pm, but then she woke back up at midnight. As I sat beside her I could hear her stomach growling so I asked if she wanted a snack and some water and she got excited. When I came back she had her pajamas partially unzipped and I thought she might be hot so I asked if she wanted them off (they sleep in their underwear in the orphanage when it’s warm). It wasn’t until she started insisting that I find her day clothes that I did the math and realized it was time for her to get up in Ukraine and her body was wide awake, despite almost no sleep, and she thought we were starting the day! The kids there ate cookies and tea for breakfast every day so when I brought in animal crackers and water she must have just thought these crazy Americans eat their breakfast in the dark, in their beds! She was confused and wouldn’t let me leave the room the rest of the night, but she did stay in bed and try to sleep. If it wasn’t for a bad cough that woke her up every time she might have drifted off. We spent the night with me trying to sleep a little as she held my hand and styled my hair. Here’s to hoping she’s really tired tonight and we all get some sleep!

Other than sleep times she’s been doing really well. She loved playing on the fort and jumping in a pile of leaves. She took a bath with the girls and at least tried a bite of pancakes for breakfast. She LOVES milk and refuses to even touch a chocolate chip. I’m not sure she knows what cheese is and wouldn’t try it at lunch. She’s in heaven with all the hair bows the girls have and has brushed her hair (and anyone elses’ who will sit still) with every brush in the house already.  I think we have a budding hairstylist on our hands. She has no concept of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ so we have a lot of work to do on sharing and being respectful of someone else’s things and space…and sippy cup. She is fitting in so well already and has given us the biggest smiles and loudest laughs we’ve ever heard from her while she played with the kids this morning. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we’re just enjoying today for right now.

PS Apparently nap time will take more than one day to go smoothly. Philip and I are betting we’ve got at least 2 more days of screaming before she accepts it. We feel like Super Nanny…we’ve already put her back in bed more times than I can count. :)  (Note: Day two nap time went about as well, although she did fall asleep with about 5 minutes left.)