What time is it in Ukraine?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's hard to say goodbye...

This little "baby" has been in my life since I met Todd over 5 years ago.  He is a spit-fire dog with tons of energy!  My Nana says he should be a circus dog because he's so fast and can jump very high!  He loves to cuddle, wrap himself in blankets, and follow his favorite person...me:)  He is a true love-bug and I will miss him so much!  Our favorite times together are at night.  He cuddles right next to me and keeps me warm at night.  Tonight and for many more nights, I'm going to miss my little Indy.  Dogs are such wonderful creatures and I'm so thankful God created them.  They love you no matter what and are faithful to the end.  We still have our big Obi who is our "gentle giant".  Inna has already taken his temperature, checked his heartbeat, and let him answer her phone.  She loves him and he is still curious about her:)

Indy, named after Henry Jones Jr. of the infamous Indiana Jones movies, has found a new home today.  His new owners already love him and he is playing with their female dog and loving all the attention.  They even called us to tell us how he was adjusting, which was so nice and compassionate.  Indy will be loved and treated well and he will even get to sleep on the bed (I'm glad because I know he loves that so much:)  

Indy has not adjusted well to our little Inna and we suspected this from the beginning.  He is a jealous little thing and we have been trying to find a home for him since December.  Indy was a rescue dog and you can see the scars of his abuse, which adds to his complex personality and dominant personality.  I love him so much but I know this is best for him and for our family.  Here are some pictures of my furry little friend.

Weekend fun!


 Some students came to visit Inna from Lee's Summit and they brought so many sweet gifts and lots of love.  It was so great to see these girls and their families!!
They brought some fun toys and WOW!  Inna LOVES her new kitchen set!! 

This kitchen set talks to you...the pots boil, the phone rings, and you can hear water coming out of the faucet!  So cool!

It's hard to tear her away from her new toy...mama's little baker:)

Visit to Children's Mercy for a check up...she was all smiles!

Daddy and Inna making silly faces:)

Inna knew exactly what each medical instrument was used for...and she wasn't scared.

Ok...all smiles until the blood:(  She fell asleep in the car within two minutes.  Too bad she didn't sleep all the way home to her bed.

Inna's new-found love for water and a birthday party for a friend! 

She didn't get in the pool, but she loved to splash and play.

We went out with some friends for frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf in Olathe.  Yum yum!

AND...we have success and smiles in the bathtub!  Yay:)

Slippery when wet!

I can't wait until her hair is longer so this "alfalfa sprout" can be bigger!

This is what happens when Mama makes lunch and Daddy is in charge of watching Inna.  She become a Smurf!:)  Well, Daddy was on the phone and didn't know Mama gave Inna a marker.  Oops!  Thank goodness for baby wipes and washable markers:) 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally...some pictures!!

Here are some pictures of Inna in Ukraine and in the USA!

The day after we left for the 10 day waiting period Inna fell on a bench and needed 5 stiches:(   
Inna with her friends at the orphanage in little bonnets!

International Children's Day at the orphange...a large celebration!

Inna ate a HUGE red cookie with her toy monkey that volunteers gave her.
Inna with Landon!  She loves Landon and looks at his picture every day:)

The morning before the long flight home.

Landon sportin' his Ukrainian gear for the flight back to the USA!

One of the only moments Inna was happy on the flight.  Todd said she cried 6 of the 8 hours on the long flight home...:(:(
When we got home some friends had planned a shower for us!  Thank you Jess, Deb, Nicole, and Leah!!  We are so blessed!

Todd and Inna stayed for the festivities! 

Our first mac and cheese experience...

...she didn't really like it too much!

Inna LOVES her new doctor kit.  Thanks Jody and Hershel!!

Inna likes Mama's shoes...and Daddy dressed her today since it was Father's Day.  Don't worry...she really is a Tiger fan!!:)

We watched Daddy play sand volleyball on Sunday night.

Playing in the sand at the volleyball courts!

Playing with Grayson with her doctor kit...she loves it!

We had our first outing to Kohls and Inna got her first pair of gym shoes and some jewelry.  Gotta love Kohl's Cash!
Inna used her doctor kit box as a bathtub...so cute!

Inna seemed to like the pool a little...

Cute little toes:)

Daddy splashing the water!

She loved the splashing!

Inna discovered the water on her feet would make footprints!  haha

Time for bathtime and bedtime!  What a fun day!:) 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A few of Mommy's "firsts":)

Todd posted about some of his firsts while he was in Ukraine so I thought I'd share a few of Mommy's "firsts"!  It's late so it won't be very creative:)

1.  Mommy was able to leave for the first time today during Inna's naps and she slept 3 long hours!  I missed her after a while...
2.  Inna's first fever at home...100.7 degrees over a period of 2 days.
3.  Inna's first doctor visit where her fever was a whopping 98.8 degrees!!!  I felt so stupid...
4.  Inna's first AND second car ride WITHOUT CRYING!  It was fabulous:)
5.  Inna has responded to MANY English commands, questions, and sentences from Mommy such as:
***  How big is Inna?  (raises her arms and Mommy tickles her:)
***Can Inna close the front door?  And she did!
***Inna, get your shoes and put them on.  She opened the drawer, found her favorites, and put them on...with Mommy's help:)
***Give Mama a kiss...and she does!  This of course is my favorite:):):):)
6.  Mommy saw Inna play dress-up in Mommy's closet.  She LOVES heels and jewelry!  She also loves looking at herself in the mirror with all her bling!:)
7.  I'm training the dogs with a "clicker" and hand motions.  I give a verbal and hand command, click the "clicker", then give them a treat.  One command is to "watch me" and she saw me do this several times yesterday.  Today, I told Inna to "watch me" andd she verbalized the words AND did the hand motion!!  Is she a smart girl or what?!?!

There are many more but my brain is tired.  I REALLY need to start journaling!  If anyone knows of a good baby book, please send me the link!  I want to start her baby book ASAP:)

PS--3rd night in a row of sleeping in her bed alone!  I'm so proud of her:):) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mama and Inna at home...alone...ALL DAY LONG!

Well, Daddy was off to work on Monday and boy have we missed him!  A set of extra hands has been so helpful with the cooking, cleaning, and playing...but it is giving Mama and Inna much needed time to bond.

Mama is used to running errands, meeting friends, starting household projects, and talking on the phone during the summer months, but life has certainly changed!  Now Mama makes meals, sings nursery rhymes, goes on walks, and gives a play-by-play of everything she is doing.  We are soaking in all the new surroundings that Inna sees, hears, and smells outside the orphanage walls. 

Things have gone amazingly smooth!  Thank you for all the prayers lifting up our family!!  Inna hasn't had any major break downs yet (unless you count bath time and car seats).  Bedtime is getting MUCH better and tonight we just had a break-through!!  Mama decided to sleep with Inna tonight to give Daddy a break and Inna just asked me to leave!  HA  I admit, I wiggle A LOT before I get settled and she must not have liked that because she said, "Mama...ah" and pointed to the door.  She did this about 4 times before I figured it out, "Mama...leave?"  Her response was...YES!  What?!  How awesome is this?!?!  Poor thing couldn't take all my wiggling and kicked me out:)  I hope this trend continues so I can see Todd at night!

Thank you for all the visitors, meals, phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages.  You guys know me so well...I love being around people (and talking:) and I must admit, there have been some "lonely" moments and I can't wait to hold a conversation in English with my little girl!  Each day we make progress and I know I MUST begin a daily journal of all the new things she does each day.  She is verbalizing more and I see her pretend play and mimicking so many things we do each day.  Mama is also learning what Inna likes, her attention span, and signs of when she is tired. 

Today we had some really fun moments.  Mama was getting ready and Inna explored our closet.  She put on some high heels, necklaces, and bracelets and walked over to the mirror to admire herself.  She loved it!  Then she wanted some chap stick and more jewelry!  So funny...a little miss girly girl!  Then, she weighed herself on the scale...she just loves it!  I thought, "Oh honey, just wait, a scale isn't always a girl's best friend!"  ha  Anyway, I captured the moment on my phone and I can't wait to get her a box of dress-up clothes!:) 

Inna gets so excited to see her Daddy come home from work!  It's every Daddy's dream I'm sure.  She waves to the car once she knows it's him, then the wave becomes more frantic and purposeful (aka, crazy fast!).  Once the car turns off I let her run into his arms and she gives him hugs and kisses and her biggest smile!  Then, she immediately tells him it's time to eat:) 

Well, I could go on and on but this post is getting very long!  I hope to post pictures of her room and of her soon!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

First Day Run Down!

They're home!!!!  Everyone got to sleep after midnight and we slept well!  Todd and Inna slept until 10am and Mama read some books with Inna to start off the day.  I made some pancakes and bacon and Inna enjoyed her first meal at home!:) 
Then we played in her room for most of the morning and Inna went potty on the "big girl potty" every time today!  Then, Mama gave Inna a MUCH NEEDED bath and she cried all the way through the process.  We'll work on that some more! 
Lunch was Nana's homemade chicken noodle soup and Inna loved that as well!  Nap time did not go well...we think it was too bright so we have a solution in place for tomorrow.  We later took a walk to the pool and put our feet in the water...Inna liked it OK.  She then helped me make dinner of baked potatoes, salad, and Poppy's special meatloaf.  She ate a giant piece of mealoaf twith lots of ketchup!  We played some more then started the bedtime process an hour early.  She is SO tired but is fighting sleep.  Todd is very tired so he is laying down with her now. 
So far the dogs have been pretty good and Inna even petted Obi's giant paw!:)  We are all home as a family and so happy to have a weekend together before Todd goes back to work. 

No pictures because our camera is in Landon's bag who is now in JC back home with my sister:(:(  BUMMER!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More of the story...

So...I finally feel like it's "safe" to share more reasons why Inna is a true miracle to our family.  The entire process has been quite an experience as we feel we are having such a close and intimate encounter with God.  This story is just one more way God has revealed Himself to us. 
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” James 4:13-14a (NIV)

This verse is so true...we don't know what will happen tomorrow.  In Ukraine, it was as if we couldn't predict the next hour, and that can make for a very insecure feeling. 

For those of you who have been following the blog, you remember our meeting with Sasha.  After our meeting and decision to move forward with another SDA appointment, both of us felt like our translator, coordinator, and agency were upset or questioning our decision.  Our instincts were correct because that evening we received a phone call around 10:30pm from our agency in California.  They called us to discuss our decision to not adopt Sasha.  It was explained to us that we should not expect to adopt a child with less-severe special needs, especially a child who has a cleft lip and/or palate.  Essentially, we were told that a child with a cleft lip and/or palate was considered "healthy" and our paperwork would not allow us to adopt a child with such needs.

WHOA!  Hold on!  Our paperwork specifically stated we were seeking a child with a cleft lip/palate and for the past 9 months this had never been revealed to us.  Now that we're in Ukraine, we are given this information?!?!

Well...to say the least we were very discouraged.  I had never been more scared in my life.  I truly thought we would be in Ukraine another few weeks and return home heart-broken and without a child.  It was a helpless feeling and I had no idea why God had led us down this road.  I mean, this whole process sounds ridiculous...I know...I've repeated our crazy story a dozen times with the same "you are a nut" stares!!!  I felt like a fool and I didn't know how we had "missed" God's direction in our lives.  I read through my journal over and over again and read over countless scriptures that had spoken directly to me over the past several months.  Seriously, this is where were were supposed to be...but why?  For what purpose?  God, what child have you chosen for us?  Please reveal him/her to us!

Soooo, I don't think either of us slept after the conversation with our agency.  We stayed up all night praying and contemplating our decisions up to this point.  Satan attacked and I wasn't sure what the next step was.  We met our coordinator the following day and she reiterated the same information about a child with cleft lip/cleft palate, but she was working hard to find us a child.  At the time of our appointment, she had found a young boy who needed hip surgery.  We arrived at the SDA office and waited...and waited...and waited.  We were then informed that the boy she had worked so hard for us to visit was actually not eligible for adoption for another 6 months.  Now what?  There weren't any more leads...  We waited over 2 hours in the hallway at the office as our coordinator made phone calls, talked to the social workers, and replied to text messages.

Finally, our coordinator came to us with the possibility of meeting a little girl with a cleft lip/palate.  Wait...come again?  I thought our paperwork didn't allow that?  If we meet her and get to court, will they take her from us because of our paperwork?  How is this possible?  Well...she said she was really going to work hard to persuade the social workers.  Hmmm...not very convincing, but I did trust her to work in the best interest of us and the children.  If we did not get to see her, we could waste our 2nd of three SDA appointments.  At this time it was after 5pm and we had to make a decision.  I point blank asked our coordinator if we should move forward and she said yes. 

Well, the rest is history...we saw a baby picture of little Inna, decided to meet her...then fell in love.  Even though the decision to not adopt Sasha was difficult, it paved the way for Inna's files to be opened, and it was the perfect timing for the Bottorffs!  God knew exactly what He was doing (duh) and He allowed us to see His mighty hand from beginning to end...well, who knows when the end is:)  What a blessing for us to meet Sam to heal our hearts, find out that Sasha was adopted, and to have the perfect daughter for our family!  It's overwhelming and I know many of you have been praying for us and have also seen God at work in your lives.  May you be blessed by this story as we are!!