Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Argh, even my son struggles with sin!

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I am writing at 6:31 am CST which is 2:31pm here. Ok to answer some of the comments.
Julia: very close on the price, the gotcha day is July 6th, and I am going to Kiev hopefully on July 14th. I have made some of the blankets cushions in spots where the wood from the bed stick out so I am managing! It is funny because when I was homeless in my car, and when the church allowed me to stay there, I slept on the floor on a thin pad about 2 inches thick. So for me it is not a big deal!
Fritzes: Can't wait for you to be back and I will definately show you around! Just call me!
Aimee: Nothing to worry about, but I will email you
Yo, Huggy Bear( Dave, do you like the name? Just thought of it!) and family: It will be great to see everyone again. Huggy: Keep the prayers coming bro, yes it can be quite lonely....
Thanks to everyone else that commented! I am blown away by your support.

Oh yes the answer was 15 grn, see if you can figure out how much that is.... It is like $1.85. That is unbelievable for the way these flowers were all decked out! In the US, I probably would of to pay $50 or more!

This may be a two for 1 day on the blogging since I have not had my second visit. I may just wait and edit this one later. You'll know

So I was able to get up a little earlier today, and I may have actually figured out a way to have a pretty good shower. The faucet for the tub has one of those hoses with a shower attachment at the end(it does not have anything to hang from), each time I try using it higher than the tub the hose crimps and I lose a ton of pressure! I think I found the way around that today though! Yeah, it was almost a normal shower. Then off I went to the buses! The good thing about all this walking is, I think I am actually losing weight!
(Oh before I forget, all parents coming to Simferopole with a laptop, you really should invest in a very nice and comfortable laptop back pack that is the normal old school back pack size to carry drinks and other items! I cannot tell you how invaluable it has been. The one I have has wheels and an extendable handle for the airports! The brand I have is Targus )
Ok so the reason for my tangent is I carry the back pack with me and it is probably about 20 + lbs with everything in it,  hopefully I am building muscle as well!

Well the reason for todays title was that I experienced a full blown tantrum from my son today, and it made me sad to have to "understandingly" tell him no in an aggressive way. He actually started to cry. I could not believe it. He came to hug me though right away and I did the best I could I to love him through it. What happened was I had him on my lap and was just making his bottle and he tried to rip the bottle and the juice box out of my hand and  was screaming at the same time! I was shocked.(yes this was different from his others) I think, he does not like straws at all, and he was mad I was putting one in his bottle to transfer the juice from the juice box. He came to me looking for comfort though, so it was cool afterwards.

 He also drank that bottle like there was no tomorrow! Then we got out a balloon and played with the "normal" kids for a while. One of them was so physcially aggressive I had to tell him no a bunch. That was scary to see the aggression in this 3-5 year old. His parents are going to have their hands full!

Boy does he and the other kids love these balloons. It's really no surprise since balloons are AWESOME!
Quite a different outfit today.

One of the nurses has written me a note for the pharmacy here to get what looks like 4 different things because they think the pimples on his cheek and his snotty nose is a problem I guess this medicine can fix. So I need to go soon to get that before my next visit.

They allowed me to stay for his lunch again. I actually was the one watching and feeding him. It was good to be able to do that! (Oh yeah other future parents bring regular teaspoons with ya, and see if they will allow you to switch. They give them full size tablespoons to eat with, and they are waaay to big)
So  I left and headed into town, on the 99 bus, but before that I stopped by and got a picture of those bakery ladies!Mmmmm all those pastries made daily if not hourly!
Then I went to that place I got the "stinky feet" spaghetti and walked in and my American friends were in there with their VBS group eating! How cool was that! That's where I got this pizza. Sorry I ate a slice before remembering the photo!
Ok really got to go now. I will finish this day later!

Ok it is later now, and my second visit was awesome! We had such a great time together again!
I had to go on the "Great medicine journey" that I have heard all the parents go on. He is supposedly sick and needed 4 medicines. I originally thought, this is just a con, but then I thought whoopdie doo if it was. If they are in need of some medicine for other children, then what am I gonna do wait for their parents to buy it? NOT! (remember their orphans, that was the joke!) So I saw her actually spray some medicine in my sons mouth and he did alright taking it! Then we went outside to dance, laugh, and try to call Mama(no answer)! Today I showed him her picture on my phone, and he thought she was on Skype and was trying to touch her. It was neat to see! I was able to feed him, and bring him to the back room to was his face. They just take running water and splash them with it! He did great! Then I wiped him dry, and they changed him and I got to put him in his crib for the night! YAHOO! I tell you what some of these nurses are great!

 Oh wait how did this picture of Zhenya get on my camera? ;0)

Then I started my trek to the bus!  I tried to make it to church that was in English tonight and I failed! BUMMER! I did get to meet Rollin who is their Youth Pastor from America! He seems cool! Then pastor Bob and I go to joke a little and I left for the busses again! I ate that awesome chicken kabob again tonight,  and at the restaurant there seemed to be this celebration with a large group that started dancing, it was touching to see them dance in their native dance! I tried ordering again with no interpreter, and I felt like Chris Farley when he was on that Japanse Game Show skit with Mike Meyers! I almost started laughing out loud when I thought about it! Anyways they brought me this bottle that had the most zesty, flavorful, clear sauce I have ever tasted. It was kind of like Italian dressing on steroids! Oh, it was so good with that nice fresh Syrian bread! MMMMMM.

Great News Everyone, I am going to get HIGH SPEED INTERNET installed here in my apartment, with Russian cable TV! Thank you LORD!!!!
Right now my internet is slower than dial up! So to all those parents coming after me, this apartment is the one to get!
Well I am done for the day, I hopefully will get to talk to my beautiful bride and then go to sleep. Funny my girls don't seem to miss me now that Mom is home! Don't worry, I knew that would be the case. They are all mama's girls!
Here are some more pics!
Don't forget to check out Suzanne's blog! She is contributing her own on this site! What a woman!


A view from "The Other Side". . .

Hello Everyone,
   This is Suzanne and I will apologize upfront for not being as entertaining as Toby.  And...unfortunately I will not have the great pictures of our little man :(
   I figured that I would write from my perspective to all of you future adopting parents who will be heading home, and leaving your spouse, for the remainder of the adoption process.  Although, I will remind you that EVERYONE'S experiences are different...this just happens to be mine.
    We went into our travels knowing that I would be coming home and Toby would be staying, but truthfully, nothing prepared me for the emotions of leaving Toby and Toby Jr. (TJ) behind.  I have to admit that I was so excited to be heading back to the states, to the comfort of my home and into the loving arms of my 3 daughters, but my heart broke at having to leave my boys behind.  At the airport in Simferopol, waiting for my plane back to Kiev, I began to cry uncontrollably.  Emotions are heightened throughout the entire process, but our family was going to be incomplete for several weeks and this broke me.  Thankfully, I was able to stay with another adopting American couple in Kiev, so my mind was occupied and the heaviness lifted for the rest of my stay in Ukraine (thank you John and Charissa).
   I had to get up at 3:45AM to head to the airport in Kiev for my flight out to Chicago and back to Omaha, Nebraska!!!  During the flights and especially during my layovers, my eyes welled up several times thinking back to the times I was able to spend with our new son.  It was truly a gift from God.  Only in the adoption process are you able to have so much one on one time bonding with a new child (unless it is your first born).  This isn't even mentioning the time that Toby and I had ALONE together.  Having 3 children, alone time is not a luxury anymore.  I was sad not only because that precious time had come to an end, but also because I was unable to truly enjoy it.  Looking back, I could see that I was so gripped with a spirit of fear, fear of man, that I couldn't allow myself to relax and enjoy this gift of time with my boys.  The Lord was, and still is, working on me in this area.  He is constantly reminding me of the verse in Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe."  Let me just clarify that my fear of man was totally around what they could or would do to hinder our adoption/  I was afraid that my husband's boldness would cause our facilitators to not want to help us...afraid that the nurses would not think we were fit parents...afraid that the judge would not grant us the adoption, etc.  The Lord had to keep reminding me that He is Sovereign and ultimately our adoption was not in the hands of man, but it was in His Loving Hands.
  Now that I am home, I wish I could say that that fear is gone.  I do not think that I will be able to be completely free of it until my son is home in my arms! 
   Coming back home, without your spouse and your child, is an emotional rollercoaster  of it's own.  I will save all that for another post.
    Again, I apologize for not being as amusing and comical as my AWESOME husband, whom I miss terribly, but I hope you got something out of it.
              In Him,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

To all who commented:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for your comments. I look soooo forward to them! I am sorry Julia I wish I could update you as well! Johnson's you rock! Dave, surprise that woman of yours with something special, you know she deserves it!
James, I am glad to do anything I can for you guys! Just wait till you read further on!
Roxanne, do we know you?

Ok, to explain todays title. I am using the "idealogy" that these orphanages are horrible and the nurses are too. However, I think to accurate explain the situation at least at our orphanage, I would say these ladies are vastly misguided on disablities like their whole culture seems to be. I believe Misha (Mini-me) is starting to open their eyes to the potential they have. I think if we could educate them more, these nurses would be outstanding care givers. At least most of the ones I have come in contact with. I was talking to this very sweet nurse, that knows a little English, about Misha and Zhenya and I was asking if they were friends. The reason I said that was that I was thinking Zhenya will be said when I leave with Misha. Her response was "they are my friends and I will be sad when they go." I have come across so many nurses here that truly do care for these kids with disabilities. I am not being biased. I observe them and see how they do care. It is a real shame I don't speak Russian because I would love to share the gospel with them and also child care techniques. So to explain the title, I think some parents see them as the enemy, and I would encourage you to really show compassion to them and be yourself. I know RR says every parents experience is different and to some extent that is true. However, I started this journey here with the "fear" of this place and these people. After the first half day of trying to be someone I am not, I realized Christs call does not stop at the US border, but we are to be His light to all the world! So I would encourage you to let your Light shine! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen God open doors for me here because I have fearlessly decided to be His ambassador! Today, I had a lady at one of the stores I used to live by(over a week ago) just come up to me as I was standing outside her store for the first time in a week, and in her best English say Hello with a smile. I thought wow, she remembered for one, but for two how the Light penetrates the darkness! Now don't be nieve and foolish, but be wise and loving! I would encourage really the dads, but maybe the moms' to other ladies, but definitely not other men! I have seen the perversion clearly in the men here, and so I do want to caution you ladies that come. Since I could not keep this short, even if you don't like your nurses, the best rule of thumb here is to heed todays title with all the grace God gives you! After all, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them." Luke 6:32
All right, off my soap box.
Today I felt horrible again I was really late to get to him this morning. Partly for oversleeping and partly trying to make the trip faster by taking unknown buses and then having to wait for the correct ones! I felt like a real bad Papa! You know that saying it's not quantity but quality, it really applies here! He just lights up when he sees me! It is awesome. The other cool part is the nurses let me stay till almost 1 today. I got to see him eat, go potty on the potty, and I got to lay him in his crib for his afternoon nap! HOW AWESOME IS THAT? He was soo good, I just laid him in his crib, and said goodbye and he just laid there and went to sleep! That was really nice! So whomever Zhenyas parents are I hope you don't mind me posting this picture, but I can't resist!
They are two buddies trying to be boys! This picture does not do this moment justice! I was soo happy!

So I spent some more time with nurses and I had a teenage boy there to help almost interpret! It was cool! Then I left, I stopped by a shop and negotiated really well for a couple souveniers. I was proud of myself!
Then I got to spend the rest of my time with the Godwin's! God bless you guys as you head to Kiev tomorrow and I will be praying you make your flight home on Friday!
Then I went back and got some more Pampers from that man that got me the mosquitoe repelent. He again gave me some balloons for the kids at the orphanage! Talk about a good way to keep me coming back! Still he was very glad for me and was welcoming me a lot today! May God have mercy on him! I also stopped by my bakery ladies and had a great time showing them pictures of what they call in their best English "beautiful girls"! These ladies are soo sweet. I keep forgetting to snap their picture but I will! Man, nothing like hot and fresh pastries! There is this boy that I like giving a grievna to. His mom is one of the market ladies, and he is probably 8. It is just so cool to see a young man respect and work for his mom like he does. He keeps trying to tell me No, I keep throwing it on the ground, he even chased me today. But I told him, he is a good boy and buy some candy! He respected what I said. Oh some of these people I will miss! Well with my pampers I headed to the orphanage. It was raining again! So Misha and I spent some time inside, trying to Skype Mama, but she did not answer! Then we watched a little bit of Ice Age, and then we went outside because the rain stopped. We finally Skyped Mama, and I do believe it probably made her day. He definately recognized her and smiled at her a bunch. Time flew by and I had to bring him in. That nurse told me to sit with Misha, dinner was late. So guess what I got to do, whomever Zhenya's parents are? I asked to hold Zhenya and Mini-me at the same time. BOY O BOY did we have some fun and laughs!!!! He is sooooo ticklish! With his knee bent the front side if his knee cap is a Great spot, and the same with Misha! I just sat there ticking them for so long and holding them. Then I got up and danced with them both again. What a night! Thank you Lord! I also stayed for dinner which was a fish patty cut up and white rice. They love it! I could not believe it was fish! So I snapped this photo and I just happed to get Zhenya in it as well! Lucky me! ;0)

Then my day ended with him. I took the 99 bus back to the city and stopped at this place on the corner called the Chicken house. I think I spoke of this place before. I have met the owner or manager his name is Maltune? He is cool, and speaks some English. I had a cheeseburger and fries, it is good to be able to read the menu even if the English is as bad as mine! Here he is on the left.

So I will leave you with some more pictures again, I got to get home. I hope the bus is still going that way!


I gave these Roses to my land lady with my wife's permission, ok guess how much they cost. Maximize the photo to see the detail of the craftsmanship. Then leave your guess. I will answer tomorrow!

Have a great night everyone!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, Monday,,,,

Well it is really late here and I cannot believe I am awake.
I woke up really late today too! Weird, this whole time change thing is definitely strange to me and my sleep!
So I got up this morning and did a little bus hopping and made it to the orphanage! That is always an adventure! Oh wait I have to show you my new bathroom accessories!

Pretty awesome hugh? Hey before you make fun of me and the colors they are. I suggest you go and remove your seat and shower curtain for 1 day and then come back and tell me how bad they are! :0) Really the choices here went from bad to worse on the designs and colors so.... I have always liked dolphins since the tv show Flipper!
Ok so now that you had your laugh at my expense, let's move on.
I saw my son for only a little while this morning because I over slept. It made me sad, but I think in the long run it was good for me. I was getting drained I think, and it helped I hope. Then I went to this place that makes a good pizza and the lady that started today speaks great English! I was so relieved. I could actually order something I have not had before! Yeah for variety! So I ordered their spaghetti with chicken. When it came out, I thought the waitress had really bad body odor, but it turned out to be the food instead. Seriously, it stunk so bad I started smelling my hands and my arm pits. It was a relief it wasn't me. I am not kidding it literally stunk like really dirty feet! What to do, but eat it. It actually tasted good.
It was nice to have someone understand me besides poor David over here. Poor guy, I am trying more and more not to call him, but sometimes I just need someone to interpret! It was raining again here. It has rained I think everyday since last week. The rain does not last the whole day though. it is weird. So I went back to the orphange, and had a good time with my boy. He was very tired though. Yeah this picture sums it I think! Boy when he gets tired, watch out! He is like his Mom, ahahahahaa! Got you again Babe! Make that 3 times now! :0) 
Man, I payed 120 grievna for some sandals to wear and I thought they were nice but think again. These cheap pieces of junk have not even lasted a week! Man I miss American rules because I would be returning these things in a heartbeat! Though I have walked more in these than I think I have ever done but still they are just cheap imitations. Frustrating, because I hate to have to wash socks!
 Well I had special visitors to the orphanage. David and his wife, they got to see how cool Mini-me is and how cute Anya is! They also got to see Zhenya I think. For those of you who are going to be his parents, and for those not, I saw them potty training him today! It was so cool to see! He is very smart! I love to see him with Misha everyday. I feel kind of bad taking Misha because I know Zhenya will miss him! They eat and play together, it is special. Speaking of eating, I had that awesome chicken kabob and freshly cooked syrian bread with vegetables. The veggies could of been better, but the other stuff is really really good and soo cheap!
Well hopefully I will get some American television from my landlords kid tomorrow! We had some time together and I am trying to motivate him to be a MAN! He is kinda doing nothing with his life right now and he needs to be! Well until tomorrow everyone! I look forward to your comments. If you do leave one Anonymously please at least leave your name at the end of the comment!
Here is some other pictures from today

Paka Paka everyone!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Sunday and it is real easy to leave comments now!

Wow, rough night trying to sleep, I think Dopey can have his bed back! :0) Also, I think the rain was making a tap, tap, tap sound on the aluminum window sil that kept waking me up! It's ok, I needed to get up and get going! When I say I miss my family it is a MAJOR understatement!
Got up and went to see my boy again today! It was great, ( I know I say that a lot, but wait till you see him smile at you!) he and I laughed and laughed this morning! He likes it when I pick him way over my head then tilt him down until touch noses and foreheads! It is FANTASTIC!
I hope you like the pictures I try to do my best taking pictures of us by myself!
So after that visit I went and bought guess what????????
A toilet seat, shower curtain rod, and a shower curtain! YEAH!!!!! I also went home and the landlord's apartment has a washer so I brought my clothes there, and tried to get connected wirelessly. However it was searching for a certificate because I think his wireless router security settings are messed up. So I never got on that was frustrating because his wireless router was all in Russian and it was a Dlink so I had no idea what I was looking at! That made me late for church, well that probably didn't but the bus hopping to get there probably did! I made it though it was pretty cool that I could manage to bus hop and make it there with no help at all! David gave a great sermon on Mark 5 and the Legion demons! I also got to sing Trust and Obey that I have not sung since old PCF days! It was cool, to sing in English while they all sang in Russian!
Well I just got done eating at my favorite restaurant called Creedo in English. It is GOOD and CHEAP! I forgot to take a picture before I started. I will come again and show you. Tonights visit went quick. We skyped the Urbans and my family from the orphanage! Whomever is thinking of adopting Zenya, I must say he is doing great! I see him everyday and while I wait for Misha's Pamper to be changed, I go and caress his face and hands along with the other kids there! Boy o Boy there are some cuties there!  Anyone looking to adopt a little girl with Downs would love this girl called Anya! Her smile is AMAZING! She is the cutest little girl too! Trust me when I say they are cute I mean it. You can ask my wife I don't throw those terms around about kids!
Well it is getting late and I need to install my toilet seat and shower stuff when I get home! I probably have to hang my laundry as well, so I better get going.

Please comment if you read this, it will do my spirit good!

Missing America, my friends, my little girls, and my FOXY, SEXY wife! (Ha Hon, I am too far away for you to get me for calling you that! :0)  )

Have a great night everyone!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wow, people are actually reading this

Good Evening All,

I can't believe the response you guys gave to my blog, what an encouragement thank you!!!!
Well Saturday has come and gone, and so have my visits. I thought I was getting really fortunate today, because I spoke to one of the nurses that knows some English and she told me it was ok to take Toby with me to the market, come to find out as I left the orphanage with him and was about 1/4 mile down the street the poor ladie came running after us, scared you could see, and said she mis understood me and that I have to be with him at the orphanage! B-U-M-M-E-R! So we hung out, and did some walking, swinging (he LOVES it), hugging and laughing! He is hilarious. Check out his jacket and outfit today!

Then I left and met another Malaysian family I met on the bus the other day and they speak perfect English! They were so relieved to find out I did as well! It was awesome! Izwan is the fathers name and I don't remember the others. He also encouraged me to come to Malaysia and gave me his business card to look him up if I come. He is some VP for Resorts over there! Is God good or what?

I got to meet up with the Godwin's! We did a little shopping and then some eating!
 It was great and they paid for me today that was sooo cool! Here is what we ate Greg had this mystery meat bowl! :0) Actually called "beef made the home way" I think. It was actually chicken wings in some broth, and with vegetables. Let's just say it's not making Greg's top 10 list! Megan had the the pyramid of rice and what they call Beef Stroganoff, she said it was good, then Mrs Godwin and I had crepes with chicken and cheese, I added a side dish of Chicken Julien (did not know what it was) The crepes came out ok, but they do not check the chicken for fatty parts and joints etc. So you could end up biting more than you can chew-literally! :0) The Julian is just cooked chicken with some cheese in a bowl. All in all, it was not great but better than others! It was just really nice catching up with the Godwins and enjoying their company.

Then I was off for my last visit today. I was tired! I got Mini-me right from his nap so it was cool, he was sooo happy to see me there. We sure did miss mama!

But me and my son (Wow can't believe I just said that! Isn't that awesome?) we got through the day having a good time on the slide and the swing and walking around together. He just loves to sit and hug me or sit on my lap and relax! Ah man, I don't deserve this. Thank you Jesus! Speaking of which, God started laying on my heart a message to be content. I started thinking about that and man o man how I can lose sight of things. Here I am in the Ukraine, totally by the grace of God, holding MY son and I am not content with being just on the orphanage grounds with him! What is my problem? I know it's that horible sinful nature in me warring to come out! Ah, to God be the glory for opening my heart to such things! I am so glad He holds me like I do my boy.

 Well I am going to go and maybe walk about a 1/4 mile to see if a restaurant is open so I can eat something. Have a great night everyone!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Wow, do my legs hurt!

Hello Everyone, (Actually I only have recieved about 3 comments from people, so Hello all 3 of you!) :0)

It's Toby again!

Where to start... Wednesday Suzanne and I officially(until the 10 day wait-actually 13 July 6th) became parents of our darling little boy Toby Lee McDonald Jr.!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!
Everything went well, except me asking for the 10days to be removed,(come to find this out on Thursday) that the question should not even be asked! Oh well there goes the theory "it never hurts to ask" only in the place we are though! Anyways we could not tell that court had any downside as a matter of fact the judge liked us so much that she complimented our supporter there, told the state lady she should get more involved because she sees the cause, and she let us take a picture with her! What an outstanding time! This judge we admire a lot! She was great!
Thursday, we moved out of our apartment to a much more affordable one. So far we are saving over $1200 in housing and transportation costs! We are saying No to the "American Discount" Praise God, anything to make this money stretch further is AWESOME! Thursday was Suzanne's official last day here in Simferopole. Her last day to be with our boy and me for the next few weeks! Saddening, and joyful at the same time because she gets to go back to U.S. and be with our girls! Who I miss SOOOOOOOO much! So we moved out Thursday and into the new place, besides it not having hot water, a toilet seat, shower curtain or rod, and a bed straight out of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, it is great!

Ok, so the hot water was turned on today, all the rest is the same but I am alone now so it is no big deal and I will pick up a toilet seat and shower stuff tomorrow and still save over $500 on rent alone!
The bed, well I think I broke it when got up last night. It is being supported by a glass bowl and the card board box that the fan came in! Hey like my friend Dave said it is a cultural experience!

So today is Friday and it is almost over. I left my beautiful bride at the airport early this morning! I am going to miss her, heck I already do! So then I spent the day walking it seems. I am trying to figure out where things are around here without having to bother the nice Christians here. Well that did not work out so well! I think I was lost for over an hour, and finally found this great pizza place that is dirt cheap and the food is AWESOME! They also have an American toilet with a seat! Ahhhhh! :0)  Then you know how I was invited to that graduation today, well I never made it there and could not get in touch with Raj. I called him 15 times because he told me to go to one place but he meant another. Oh well Happy Graduation Raj!
Well then I got to be with Mini me!!! It went great! We had a ball together and he kissed the phone when I showed him pictures of Mama! Other than that it was let's have a blast together papa day! He cracks me up and I am sure he will to all you who get to meet him! He loves swings so it looks like I will need to get a swing for him!

All in all I think I walked a good 10 -15 miles today, but hey it all ended well! I got this food for dinner tonight. Not bad, but not great either!

 Well off to to watch some movie and fall asleep as I await my daughters Skype calls! And if anyone of you want to Skype just look me up and the location is the city we live in Nebraska!

Have a good night and let me know you read this by leaving a short comment!