Monday, September 29, 2008

Last Blog

We are not really bloggers and only started this one so everyone who was interested would know how things were going. It turns out, blogging can be a bit theraputic for the blogger. Anyway, I will write this one as kind of a closure - if anyone is even still reading. John and I have been home for a week now. Zhenia has e-mailed us to let us know Viktor was fine, for now. We left money with Zhenia to dole out over the next year or so if Viktor is in need. Viktor also knows he can always communicate with us through Zhenia. We are sad with the way things have turned out and will continue to pray for Viktor and the decisions that will shape his life. I won't say there is not frustration and anger in the years' worth of paperwork, 2 months of being away from home and the financial sacrifice that went into this adoption. We are not, however, angry with Viktor. In fact, I don't think we are angry WITH anyone, just how things worked out. My heart aches for the orphans in Ukraine and I hope to return to help in some way in the future. Right now, we are so grateful to be home and with the kids again. I will trust God in his infinite wisdom that this adoption was not meant to be. Even though we feel we have lost something, we are certainly more aware and grateful for what we have. We are American Citizens (so very blessed!), turns out John and I still like being with each other, and we have an appreciation for even the most stressful days with the kids. One of the greatest blessings was the outpouring of love from everyone who prayed and encouraged us through this process. Many of you were already such an important part of our lives, but many were people we had never met, yet were willing to take the time out of their busy lives to care about us (especially the Maryville group!!!!!). Please know you all have been an inspiration to our family exemplifying Christ's love to one another. I cannot adequately communicate our appreciation for you - I only know God's hand was surely providing the love we needed through you. Now we are home and are needed here. While this experience has had a profound effect on our lives - we will try to focus on the positive. Our prayers are with the families who have already adopted and those of you considering international adoption. Although our story didn't have the perfect ending, there are so many families out there who are thriving. I guess I will close this chapter in our lives - for now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, September 19, 2008


This should be the post where we have a picture of the happy family with their newly adopted child, like so many other blogs I have read. Well, it was not to be for the Curry's today. I cannot think of enough words to describe how John and I are feeling: dejected, rejected, devastated, shocked, disbelieving only begin to touch the surface of this surreal situation. We are emotionally and finacially bankrupt at this point. I truly believe Viktor thought he wanted a family (or at least a chance to live in the states). Time was definately not on our side. Maybe if we could have gotten him straight from the orphanage. Once he saw the freedom the other kids had, he resented our presence. When I arrived in Kyiv last night I was briefly greeted by Viktor and enthusiatically by John. My husband looked like he had not slept in weeks and I could tell the stress of the situation had definately worn on him. Almost immediately after my arrival, John expressed his concern about leaving me in this "situation". It quickly became apparent that John had tried to present a better situation to me hoping things would improve. The call from Ryan Hennesey only had a good effect for about 1/2 a day. Viktor had been avoiding being with John and resented any time away from his friends. Many negative things happened but I will not relay them all as my desire is not to villanize Viktor. You may recall the e-mail where I talked about Viktor being disrespectful to Zhenia. Well, I saw first hand last night. Zhenia came to talk about court and make sure we all knew our part. Viktor refused to talk with Zhenia and would only answer questions with "I don't know". He kept his head down and got angry when we pressed for answers. We expressed our understanding of how scared he must be and how much he would miss his friends - to no avail. He stated he didn't like when other people put their morals on him. He also said directly he hated church and would never go again. We tried to present the positive side of being in a family. The benefits of having a "forever" family far outweighed the immediate gratification of his friends. His answers were vague at best. He then went out with friends and returned (late as was his usual) - it was clear he had been drinking. He ended the evening by slamming his bedroom door and locking it (apparently not the first time - even without any confrontation). John and I were devastated - John hoping things might change when we were both there - me now seeing firsthand what John has been going through the last 2 1/2 weeks. We talked at length, knowing Viktor did not want to come, but trying to justify "making" him come with us and hoping things would get better in the states. Zhenia was shocked about Viktor's behavior, even kids who act up once they get home are usually excited during the adoption process - not that they don't have fears and doubts - that is very common. Many change their minds about being adopted close to the time to go home or right before court. But they can usually be reasoned with and, at some point, show some enthusiasm for their family. Zhenia tried to explain how important this court date was, this was his last chance to have a family and we were have been working so hard for this to happen. We had been increasingly worried about his lack of curiosity about his life in the states. The only question he ever asked was "how will I learn english" - but that was awhile back. He never asked about life, us, activities, house in the states. We had hoped that he would wake up this morning at least a little happy that court was today. John said he had been sleeping until 11:30 or 12:00 each day. Well he was up and showered and dressed by 11:00. We thought maybe there was a glimmer of hope - he had decided that this was what he wanted. We learned however that Zhenia had called him twice to get him up, told him to get dressed and apologize for his behavior last night. He didn't apologize - which I didn't expect, but I was so disappointed he was not excited about court. When Zhenia arrived we talked. I was physically ill at the thought that this might not happen. When we asked him if he was happy he shrugged. When we asked if he would like to stay in Ukraine he said, "I just don't think I could get used to the family, rules, I like to be on my own". His lack of emotion was heartbreaking to me, surely a defense mechanism. But after the decision was made - his relief was evident - which was also heartbreaking. We thought we were offering him something he wanted. We hadn't expected gratitude (at least not in the first few years) or an easy road to adjustment. Soon he was laughing again with Zhenia (the Viktor we first met from the orphanage). He told Zhenia he liked us, but he liked his friends better. We then learned that a Ukrainian family had wanted to adopt him a couple of years ago. He had visited their home but hadn't liked the fact that they attended church and didn't want to live their "lifestyle". He has had enough of school, rules and he feels he is ready for some freedom. Knowing at some point he will probably regret this decision is agonizing. John got to experience 2 "honeymoon" days with him - I got 1 night. At the courthouse, we had to write out a petition and John broke down. I thought this would upset Viktor, but it didn't. We asked if he would try to finish trade school (they can also finish their formal educationt there if they want) then we would help him attend University if that was his wish. We were trying anything to try to stay in his life in some way. We took him shopping and bought a new phone, coat, boots, pants and other items we thought he might need in the upcoming months - as with children - he was very excited about these material things. We are heartbroken. The toll this has taken on our family is enormous and now we will never get to see the fruits of this labor. I don't enjoy books or movies that don't have a happy ending. For those of you who have faithfully followed this blog - I am sorry. For those of you who have faithfully prayed and supported us - I am sorry. We feel we have failed and are second guessing about any way we could have done things differently to get positive results. If we could have gotten through court it might be different. We don't know why God led us here to be away from our family and invest so much emotion. Now we will return to the states and try to get back to a life we had planned with three kids. His room we had ready will be a dismal reminder of the boy we had to leave behind. Nothing about this situation is good or happy at this point except we will be back with Phillip and Cassie soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prayers Answered - Thanks Ryan

Hello all, I'm still here. I've just been underwater for the past couple of days. Through much prayer I have come to the surface today and have gotten my second breath. The past couple of days have been very difficult. Viktor all but shut down on me for the past two days. It started on Sunday. We had made a plan Saturday night to go to church in the morning and then after I would take Viktor, Vlad and Denis to the arcade down on Khreschatyk for an afternoon of driving fast and killing stuff. I didn't know that Vlad and Denis were coming with us to church until Vlad showed up at the door right before time to leave. Well off we went. Keep in mind that Viktor went to church with me the previous week and did fine. We get to church and for some reason the service is much longer than normal. Needless to say the service did not hold the three musketeer's attention very long. After the third or fourth time refereeing the slappy game between Viktor and Vlad, I was just about to separate them when Vlad and Denis decided it was time to leave. They both got up and left and Viktor looked at me like "hey I want to go to". I said just a while longer and we'll leave, although I don't think he understood me. A couple minutes later, Viktor said he had to go the bathroom and he was gone. He did not return. I was hoping that he would so I waited there just to see. On the way back to the flat, I got a call from Viktor asking where I was. I told him where I was headed and he met me there. No big deal. I believe that Viktor thought I was mad at him for leaving church although I said nothing to him about it.

Skip to later. From the time we met back up after church, I could tell that Viktor was acting as if something was wrong. I tried several times to ask what was wrong and could get nothing from him. I called Zhenia and he agreed to come by on his way to train station that afternoon just to get a pulse check and allow for some communication to take place, that did not involve charades. We do this on occasion. Allow me to back up a little bit. Over the past four or five days I could feel Viktor migrating more and more to wanting to spend time with his friends only. All he wanted to do was go out with his friends, and they were here knocking on the door before he got up each morning and would hang around until it was time to get back to the hostel before the doors closed. I felt I had been reduced to little more than a walking billfold useful only when Viktor and the Entourage were hungry or needed rodent pet supplies. This was one of the things I wanted to address with Viktor when Zhenia came by. I wasn't wanting to cut ties with the friends, I just wanted some breathing time where Viktor and I could spend a couple hours a day Mano E Mano. I wanted the Entourage to hold off coming over until after a certain time of day. That's it, he could still see his friends each day, but I wanted us to have a little time as well. Now, enter Zhenia. I could tell right away that Viktor was not happy to see Zhenia. Zhenia and I talked before we talked with Viktor. I told Zhenia that I wanted to keep the conversation very positive and upbeat. It did not go that way at all. Zhenia tried but Viktor shut down on him immediately. For some reason he thought I was mad at him and that Zhenia was just there to relay my madness in Russian. That was it, Viktor spiraled in from there, head down, refusing to acknowledge any communications. After a while, Zhenia told him that he could leave because it was no use going forward. The one thing that Zhenia was able to understand before the communications collapse was that Viktor wanted the same freedom as his buddies in the trade school entourage. We talked a little about life in a family not always being about what we want individually but sometimes what is best for the family. He told Zhenia that he wasn't the type who liked this part of family life and that he would do what he wanted to do when he wanted. Zhenia confided in me that when he was in trade school he loved the freedom as well. All of that freedom is very attractive to a 16 year old who lives only in the moment. These kids who graduate the orphanages and go to trade schools are free to roam at will with the only exception being that they have to be back in the hostel before they close the doors at 10:00 pm. His friends come and go as they please with no one telling them what to do at all. Each trade school is structured differently from what I can tell. The school that Vlad, Denis and Valla attend give them 38 grv each day to live on. That is about $8 US per day. That covers food and anything else they may want or need. I don't know if they get a clothing allowance or not. Let me just say that I have gathered my information from talking with the kids themselves and since my Russian can only insure that I can find McDonald's and the nearest toilet, I can't say that my facts are 100% accurate. It's not gourmet, but they can eat three meals a day on that sum. Most of the kids I talk to only eat twice a day. A loaf of fresh bread at the market is a little over 3 grv. Other trade schools are set up to feed the students a breakfast and lunch and then provide a central kitchen in the hostel and ingredients so that they can prepare their own dinner.

Zhenia speculated that Viktor was seeing all of his friends roaming around free and that it looked good to him. Also, there is a young lady involved. Her name is Valla and she graduated with Viktor from O-21. I remember all to well some of the foolish things I did at 16 because of a girl. Remember, no girl is worth waiting 12 hours for by the Sun Sphere at the Worlds Fair, and the ones that are won't make you wait.

We were concerned that Viktor may go to court on Friday and tell the judge that he wants to stay here and go to trade school. If he does, it's over. If he puts his head down and refuses to acknowledge the judge, with this particular judge, it's probably over. I could not believe this turn around and how quickly it happened. I called Sharon completely baffled, not knowing what to do. Luckily she did. She put out the call for prayer warriors to pound on the doors of heaven on our behalf and they responded. One of the first responses we receive was from our friends in B'ham, AL who apoted Viktor's best friend Ryan at the end of last year. Ryan's mom said that he wanted to call Viktor. She said that she would let Ryan know what was going on with Viktor so that he, who had gone thru much of the same himself, could talk to him about it. Ryan and Viktor talked this morning. After the call, Viktor was a different young man. I was no longer on ignore. Ryan confirmed something we had suspected. It seems that his friends have been trying to convince him not to go thru with the adoption. I don't know whether its jealousy about not being one of the chosen ones or if it's just not wanting to lose a friend that would make someone try to talk someone else into giving up such an opportunity. Ryan assured me that Viktor loved us and that he was definitely going to go thru with the adoption and come to America. God gave Ryan the right words at the right time to calm Viktor's fears as well as ours. Thank you to all the prayer warriors who have petitioned and continue to petition our Heavenly Father on our behalf.

I am so thankful for the change in the situation here that I'm a little embarrassed to ask for even more prayer. Our good day ended on a bit of a sour note when my back went out this evening while cooking dinner. I have trouble with my Sciatic nerve on occasion and my last attack was about two years ago. Looks like it was time for another. I'm OK as long as I don't try to get up from the fetal position.

Viktor's best friend Ryan at home in B'ham AL. I took this picture just before we left for Ukraine in July. I can't wait to see Viktor and Ryan together in the states.

The ever elusive Valla. Please pray for Valla. I think she really likes Viktor and I'm sure she will be very hurt by his leaving. Viktor also told me tonight that she had to go to the hospital today. I couldn't understand the reason, the charade included putting his hand on his chest and coughing.

Viktor playing in a soccer match at O-21 this past Saturday, his Birthday. The opposing team is from a local High School. The match ended in a 1-1 tie.

The franchise players of the O-21 Futbol team and their coach. Sergey, Viktor, Andre and Martin (pronounced Mar-teen).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Need Prayers!!!

This is Sharon blogging from southern mississippi. As John says "the hits just keep on coming". When I arrived in Hattiesburg I wrote a huge check from our suffering bank account for a new air conditioning unit for our home we have for sale in mississippi. Also for the repairs to the house from the old air conditioner malfunctioning. We have a contingency offer on our home and the potential buyers had a home inspection performed last week. Well, the inspector noted some moisture he believed might be from the roof. The buyers wanted out, even before they inquired whether we would repair the damages, if any. So, house still on the market (1 1/2 years), meeting with a roofer on monday and possibly having to buy a new roof - wow that's really awful - but wait - it gets better (or worse).

Viktor is having huge doubts about wanting to be adopted and moving to the states. Unfortunately this is happening before our court date next week. Should we go to court and he tells the judge he doesn't want to be adopted - game over. Viktor has been living with us since September 2nd and court is scheduled for September 19th. Shortly after he arrived the kids from O-21 who were attending trade school near our flat started visiting our apartment. At first, they came over to watch movies, play games, and get fed. Then they started going on outings with john and viktor. Sometimes john would let Viktor go out with them and Viktor was very concientious to call and be home right on time. Viktor has seen the relative freedom the kids get after trade school is over each day - a drastic change from orphanage life and a very alluring life to a 16 year old. Of course, as a child he lives in the moment without very much thought to the future, or what life may offer after trade school for an orphan in Ukraine. He has no family what-so-ever to rely on when things get tough, as they certainly will. We have the option of cutting off access to his friends but don't believe that will help our case before court. We have expressed our understanding of his fears and our great desire for him to be in our family, but at 16 and before court, we are limited in what we can MAKE him do. With Zhenia today he was very disrespectful. We have expected this at some point (usually when they are denied something they desire- but that hasn't happened yet), but not before the adoption was finalized. I hate that john is going through this alone. As an adult we can see all the potential pitfalls and hardships he will face if he stays. Selfishly, we have already placed him in our life and feel like we are losing a child as his fears grow. On Tuesday Zhenia is supposed to meet with john and viktor to discuss the reality and try to figure out how to proceed. I fervently ask for your prayers (if you're not worn out from our constant request) and support for viktor and for my husband, alone in a foreign country and living with a resentful teenager. This has been such a long and frustrating journey to end in such heartbreak. The doubts and fears for these kids is VERY normal and something they all seem to go through, but many times it is closer to the time they go home and after the court hearing. We pray that viktor will have a change of heart, at least long enough for the adoption to go through and for us to work on his fears, and/or that God will show us how to proceed without the adoption happening. After all, we never had control of this situation, only God. John may decide to write later to give more info, but I wanted to get the prayers going right away.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rats, Hamsters and Gerbbles oh my

I've staring at this blank blog space for about 10 minutes now. I have such a hodge podge of things to tell you that I don't really know where to begin.

Viktor and I have established a good routine as we live out a rather interesting version of the ODD couple here in Kiev. I am thankful for this opportunity to bond before everything gets turned upside down for him in the states. It will give him an anchor point at least from the standpoint of knowing Mom and Dad a little better, so he isn't swept away as he tries to acclimate to life in a new and somewhat strange place. Our communication is combination of English, Russian, grunts, pointing, and scharades.

We are getting to spend alot of time with several of Viktor's friends from O-21 that attend the trade school right around the corner from our flat (apartment). These kids, which have just graduated from the orphange are trying to adjust to life outside of the internat. They are basically responsible for themselves at this point. This particular school is one of the nicer of the schools that Sharon and I have seen. It offers training in the finacial trades and it is located in a nice part is Kiev. That being said, these 15 and 16 year old children are pretty much on their own. It is not surprising to me that when Viktor's friends aren't attending class they are here looking for him. At this point, these kids who grew up with Viktor at O-21 are more family that I am, so I want Viktor to spend as much time as possible with them before he leaves for the states.

From what I can tell, these young people get 38 grv ($8 US) per day to live on while at the trade school. That's $56 US per week and that covers food, clothes, personal items and anything else they may need or want. Imagine if your 15 year old were forced to budget their life on that amount of money. Needless to say when we see a need, we try to meet it. For the past week we have had a small entourage when we go out and get lunch or dinner. I even subject them to my cooking. Haven't had any compalints as of yet.

The day before yesterday Denis, Vlad, Viktor and I were eating dinner at the flat. Viktor looks at me and says, "Denis wants a rat". I pass Denis the plate of bread thinking Viktor was telling me that Denis wanted another roll and that rat came out instead of roll which is what they sometimes call bread. Denis looked confused at the offer of the bread. Denis makes the buck toothed mouse face and says Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse. Vlad, who understands and speaks the most English in the bunch speaks up and says, Denis would like for you to buy him a rat. Thru much grunting, gesturing, scharades and consulation of the Russian to English dictionary I discover that Denis wants a Hampster. Hey, he wasn't asking for money to buy cigarettes or alcohol so who was I to say no to the request. My next problem was where do you get a Hampster in Kiev. There aren't any Walmarts or pet stores in the malls. I leave this problem up to Viktor. I look at him and say "Kooda" (where) and he points to a place on our city map thats not to far away. I next ask him "Skolka"(how much), and he said 25 grv (~$5 US) for hampster, cage and box of food. No problem, we tell Denis to come back tomorrow after school and we'll go get him a hampster. The request for this small pet was not lost on me. The next day Denis shows up after school for the much anticipated trip to Hampsters-R-Us. Valla has come along with Denis. Valla graduated from O-21 with Viktor. We think that Viktor likes her but he wouldn't admit to it when Zhenia asked him about her. I give Viktor some money for the hampster plus some extra to get them all some McDonalds for lunch and off they went to find the hampster. They return a little while later and ring the door bell. It's Valla, Viktor and Denis, with TWO cages. Viktor and Denis come in while Valla waits out in the landing. Viktor and Denis both sit on the couch with cages in hand. They couldn't find hampsters so they had to settle for gerbbles. Viktor looks very happy with himself. I become very concerned. I said Denis could have a rat, not you. My mind was scrambling as I thought of how to tell a very pleased looking Viktor that he couldn't have a rat, gerbble, or hampster with us first discussing it. I call Zhenia for some translation help but he didn't answer. I tried to explain that momma would kill both of us if she came back and found gerrbles in the flat. Our son has a sense of humor. After he let me dangle on the hook just long enough, he got up and went out on the landing and handed the cage to Valla who had been patiently waiting for the return of her new rat baby. He got me good. I'll get him back just you wait and see.

The Odd couple enjoying a Fat House dinner.

Part of the entourage for the evening meal. The young lady is one of the teachers from the internat named Victoria. She visits the O-21 grads at the trade schools and helps with the transition.

Vlad, Victoria, Viktor and Denis

Denis's and Viktor's tray at the Fat House. Not a scrap was left when they finished. Keep in mind that Viktor is 5'3" and weighs ~ 125 lbs soaking wet. Oh...I forgot that they all went back for dessert when they finished eating plus we stopped for ice cream on the way back to the flat.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lost and Found

Well, yesterday marked the end of the first full week of having Viktor with me. From all that I can tell, he is an authentic genuine earth kid. It has been very busy around here since Sharon went back to the states last week. I have a whole new appreciation for single parents. Last Thursday night on the way back from the grocery store (Cilpo), we heard someone calling Victor's name. It was one of the boys, named Denis, that graduated from the internat at the same time as Viktor. Turns out that the trade school that Denis attends is very close to our flat, merely a short 2-3 minute walk. They talked for a bit and we asked if he would like to come back to the flat and join us for dinner. Denis and Viktor watch a movie, Hancock in Russian, and we had dinner then Denis had to get back to the school hostel before they closed the doors for the night.

The next day, Viktor and I went and visited the Great Patriotic War Museum (WWII Museum). Ukrainians suffered greatly in the years leading up to the war under Stalin's communist rule, but it was nothing compared to the cruelty they experienced at the hands of the Germans. The images on display at the museum left an impression on me that will last a very long time. It explains what I see in the faces of the elderly I have seen in Kiev. If you lived in Kiev during the thirtys and the fortys you lost multiple loved ones either to Stallin and/or Hitler. And I think that a two month adoption process has been difficult. Sorry for the history lesson but it left an impression on me.

Anyway on the way back we stoped by the Mickey Dees on Khreshchatyk for lunch. As we left the McDonalds we ran into Denis again. He was with one of the teachers from O-21. We talked a bit and then we made plans for them to stop by the flat to visit later on in the evening. I thought to myself, there must be some reason that in a city of 6 million people, we keep running into Denis.

Skip ahead to the weekend. After a brief break from writing, I post a fresh blog. I look forward to reading comments from those who read the blog. Its kind of like fissing. You start by throwing a freshly written blog overboard and then let it soak for a while. I prefer to wait about 12 hours before I pull it up and see if I caught any comments. To think that someone would take time out of their busy lives to read what I have to say is somewhat flattering. Puts a lillte extra pressure on you to try and write something even midly interesting.

Anyway, as I was sitting at the lunch table I decided to check my latest blog for any comments.There was a comment from a lady who said she stumbled across our blog. She had read it and notices that we had mentioned our facilitator Zhenia. She said that she was looking for a child she had lost contact with from O-21. She meet this child when he visited the states a couple of years back. Zhenia was part of the group that brought the kids over to America.

I'll give you two guess which young man she was looking for? Yep you guessed it, she was looking for Denis. Wait it gets better. Guess who was sitting that the table with me eating lunch? If you guessed Denis again you are correct once again. I don't believe in luck. I believe in answers to prayers and this was clearly a case where God answered the prayers for help in finding a young man that had been placed on a someone's heart.

Pretty cool stuff to be allowed to experience. More great news. We play soccer Sunday after noon and it did not involve the much anticipated trip to the Hospital that I feared so. Viktor is the real deal when it comes to soccer. Tonight he was picking a sprite bottle of a post at about 75 ft. Soccer is second nature to him. Its been his escape for years.It will be fun watching him as part of a team in the states.

My thumbs are sore and its after two in the morning. Time to throw this blog overboard and let it soak.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We're both from Mars, just different neighborhoods

OK your going to have to bear with me. I'm blogging with BlackBerry (CrackBerry) today. No internet service in the flat today and we haven't updated in the past couple days. To late to go to the internet cafe so I'll just muddle thru on this tiny little keyboard with my big brain surgery hands.

Sharon had to travel home to deal with some issues with the home we are trying to sell in MS. Seems the upstairs AC unit has gone bad causing it to leak water and cause the ceiling in the kitchen to cave in. There is suppose to be an inspection performed on the house next week. And the hits just keep coming.She'll be back for the court hearing and then she'll stay until the process is complete, somewhere around Oct.8. I am catching the first flight out after the court hearing, hopefully the 20th. I am not looking forward to leaving them here. Therefore, it's just us guys right now.

It's very interesting getting to know our new son. We waited what seemed so long for him to be with us and now here he is. Now, I know full well about being in the honeymoon period, but my impression after four days is he's just a nice kid. He's seems to be pretty laid back. So far he has been very polite and helpful. I know, I know, this is a very artificial environment that we're in right now. Luckily I already have one great teenage boy so I know the drill. Viktor likes pretty much the same things that Phillip likes. Food, sleep, Video games, girls, cars, sports and cell phones, not necessarily in that order. He likes to play games and he picks up new games quickly. He's competitive but not in a take my marbles and go home kind of way. He is very organized. As I stated in the previous blog, all his worldly belongings were packed in one blue and black duffle bag. What I didn't tell you was how meticulously it was packed. All the clothes were folded just so and stacked neatly. Yesterday I went into his room to get him for breakfast and he was packing his things into one of the suitcases that we had brought with us. It was like he was saying OK I'm ready to go home, I've got all my stuff packed into your world now. I think we'll ditch the duffle.

On the first morning I asked him for any dirty clothes that he wanted washed. He brought me the Tennessee hooded sweatshirt that we brought him when we visited over Christmas. I just think he wanted to show me that he still had it. It's well worn but he still has it.

He likes a wide variety of things to eat. He has gotten something different each time we have gone to the Fat HOuse. He even mixes it up at the McDonalds each time we go. He'sa big chiken fan. I am happy to report that he is not a big dried fish fan. A lot of dried and pickeled fish is eaten in Ukraine. He's a compartmental eater. He eats all of one thing before moving on to the next. He'll eat all his potatoes before moving to the salad which he finishes before moving on to the chicken Kiev. It's all business at dinner. He's normally finished well ahead of me at meal time with his dishes stacked neatly in front of him, because I'm a circular/random eater and it requires much more wasted movement to eat.

OK, that's all I can type on this little keyboard for now. I know that a lot of readers of this blog have been calling and expressing concerns about the timeliness of the entries, so I promise that even if I don't have internet access I will endure typing on this miniature key board so you can continue to get your daily adoption blog fix.

Stay tuned for tomorrow I go to play soccer with Viktor and his friends and then Viktor will show me where the emergency room is.

Until then.........