Monday, November 1, 2010

We Meet

Today was the day we met our newest little blessings: Matthew and Ivanna. The day started off by meeting Serge (our facilitator) down at the bottom of our apartment early in the morning. Phillip and Isaac lugged all the luggage down the stairs - and there was ALOT! I was a little nervous that it would not all fit into the car. Hmmmm. Serge pulled up in a sporty BMW, and had another facilitator with him in his front seat. We crammed some luggage in the trunk and sat with other pieces on our legs until we could meet up with another driver and put some in his car. Crazy.

The drive to the region was INSANE! We were passing cars on the turn, driving lightning speed, and I just prayed most of the way there with my eyes closed. I thought that I might just die on some unknown European road. It was nuts.

We got into town and went directly to the orphanage. Phillip and I went inside to sit at the head doctor's desk. We showed them our photo albums, and they just loved them. They got to see pictures of our family, home, their cousins, other people with Ds who are doing quite well, and some images of Justus in therapy sessions. They saw the pictures of Justus and asked about him, and when they learned some of our children were here - they decided to let Isaac and Justus inside the office as well, which I was so thankful for.

I heard the door open ... and in walked a caretaker with little Matthew in tow. Oh... be still my heart. He is beautiful. Big eyes, just like his picture. Brown beautiful hair. Just perfect. He is sooooooo tiny. He is five and a half, and probably the size of a three year old. My Chloe is three, and Matthew is slimmer than her. At first we just sat on the couch, not wanting to crowd him. I wept. The orphanage doctor wanted to know why I was crying. I muttered that it was because I had been dreaming or thinking about this moment for a long time. That seemed to please them (very sweet ladies) and they urged us to pick him up. Phillip wasted no time and picked his boy up. Oh the love.

Then the door opened again, and in walked a caretaker carrying my sweet Ivanna. Oh, my. She is so beautiful. I went right to her and got on my knees. I stroked her face and took her in my arms. She seemed really out of it. She was so snuggly and kind of dazed. The staff said it was because it was time for naps. I held her hands and noticed how dry they are, as well as her lips. Dehydration? Her little cheeks are also very chaffed and her eyes are a little sunken in. I do think she is dehydrated and needs a good dose of fluids. I held her close to me. I loved on that girl like I had dreamed of doing since May. I could not believe she was in my arms. I can tell her muscle tone is very low. I feel as though she may have been on her back for quite a bit, just some things I can sense. She NEEDS to come home ... soon.

It was a quick first visit. The children needed to go back and go to bed. We went over medical histories - all of which I half way listened to. We already have alerted our cardiologist and pediatrician at home, and we will get them in as soon as is possible. They mentioned how Matthew has eyes that cross, a terrible deep cough, flat feet, a slight heart problem that they tried to translate to me - but I could not decipher it. They also said that Matthew is allergic to eggs, beets, and milk. They stated how Ivanna does not show much interest in toys, can sort of walk when near walls, has a heart condition, etc. They said to not give her anything cold to eat and to not let her get cold, as it puts tension on her heart.

The children then had to go. It was nap time. We were told we could visit twice a day. Then we gave our suitcase full of donations (toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, candies, clothing, coats, mittens, hats, hair pretties, etc) Then we said our goodbyes.

After that - we hit the ground running. We ran to the apartment ... waited. Then to the notary .... waited. Then we went back to the orphanage to get something we had left and drop off paperwork of our formal application. Then we headed back to the apartment to sign our contract and get internet connected. I'll take pics of apartment later. I am exhausted. However, I wanted to leave you with what you came here for in the first place .... pictures of Matthew and Ivanna. Enjoy. You are helping us to accomplish this great task. It has been your prayer and encouragement all along the way. Look how God is answering ....

Phillip holding Matthew for the first time.

I just wanted to touch him. It seemed as if a dream.

Look at Isaac's face. It looks like he so badly wants to cry or hold Matthew.

I begin to weep.

Yup. The tears.

And then ... Ivanna.

I can't express how I felt this very moment.

Just enjoyed getting to hold them.

Me just soaking her in. Phillip must be doing the same with Matthew.

Kissing on Ivanna.


Funny faced Matthew.

We just happen to be there when Lacey's husband, Ray, was there getting Arina. They had been there before us, and now they are on their way home. Beautiful goodbyes.

The pictures say it all. Please continue to pray for our process to go quickly and smoothly. God has answered our prayer thus far. Our interpol has already been done, and court is already scheduled for November 11th. The court date is when we can announce Matthew and Ivanna as ours formally. . . . but let me tell ya - those kiddos are Brownings already as far as I'm concerned. ;)


mom26kids said...

I have been following your journey and I am so happy for you! the pictures say it all. What joy you must feel to finally hold them.

ashleypmo said...

Oh, they are simply beautiful! I'm all weepy myself! :)

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

This Mama's been waiting a long time to see these two little ones rescued. God bless your whole family, and praise Him for bringing these beautiful children into a loving family of their own.

Sherry White said...

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful moments with us! It brings back a flood of memories and emotion of when we met our little ones in an orphanage director's office. As well as memories of some death-defying rides in Serge's beamer! ;) God Bless your sweet family as you get to know your newest members. Ivanna is so much like my baby Amelia, with the low tone. She will thrive with your love and a little PT!

Anonymous said...

YAYYYYYY! So thrilled to see you all and just the love in your faces. Ivanna looks better than I imagined, hopefully mama's loves (and papa's and brothers') will be a good start on the road to recovery (along with medical attention at home) for her. So sweet. We were waiting for this post and will continue praying and looking for updates! Love you!

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I have tears of joy for you. Each day is one day closer to bringing them home where I know the Lord will really help them thrive. Love you!!
The Potvin Crew
Ps. 90:17

Mel said...

Wow... I never lose the thrill at seeing another family with their new children! Beautiful Charrissa!! I am so so happy for you!! Praying that the rest of your journey goes quickly and smoothly!! Can't wait to see more pics too! hehe

Elizabetta said...

God bless you and your family. I'm so happy for Matthew and Ivanna!

Tay :) said...

AHHHHHHHH! How long have we been waiting to see these pictures! They are just beautiful! :-)
I am taking my laptop over to Oscar's after school just to show him!
Big love from half way around the world! (Are we closer now you are there or is America closer? LOL)
Love, Taylah and Oscar

~~Deby said...

In tears here as I read and have kept up with you all....I will pray for the next days for you....and yours...knowing we serve a mighty God...
love you Brownings !
btw...after living 11 years on that side of the world...I remembering scary scary rides in cars and taxis (Turkey was the worst)...makes Washington seem so tame...

April said...

Wow, they are beautiful! I am so happy that you were finally able to hold them in your arms. Amazing that you also have your interpol clearance and court date. God is good!

Tom and April said...

AWESOME!!!! So excited to see the pics. Happy tears for you all. We all (Mary and I) :) Decided that Matthew looks very much like Jax since Jax has had his haircut :) Thus, meaning he is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE ;) Same with Ivanna. Can't wait for you all to get her home, get them gaining weight and see Ivanna's hair grown out with pretties in them. We love you and miss you so much already!!! You are truly living an ABUNDANT LIFE!! Praise the Lord for his many blessings!

Lacey said...

When Ray told me you were going down with Serge, my heart immediatly went out to you. He is the worst of all the drivers. He had me scared out of my mind! I can't imagine having my children in the car with him! I'm so glad you got to see Ray and Arina!

Kristin said...

Congrats!!!! I'm so happy for your whole family!

Looking Up said...

Tear are flowing here as well. So happy!

Jill said...

I'm so happy for you all! What a beautiful thing to have all these pictures of. So awesome you have a court date already! Praise God!

Sheri Green said...

Oh Dear Sweet Charissa and your family. I feel a great emotion as I read and look at your pictures. I relate to where you are and the experiences you are having. I want so badly to go back to my friends in Ulyanosvk. I really miss the children.

I am praying for you and thank the Lord that He is blessing you and has chosen you to serve Him in this capacity.


handstrustinhim said...

Wow....its the only word I can express right and all the tears streaming down my face. My heart is overwhelmed. The pictures say it all. God is indeed being glorified. No doubt about it. Isn't wonderful to see the Spirt of God moving and Christ being shown for WHO IS REALLY IS through this adoption. I love you all. I am praying for you. I am so excited for you and all that God is STILL going to do!!!

Jodi said...

They are so beautiful!!!!!

Love seeing the first meetings :)

Lauren said...

Oh my word! they are so very precious!

Just Me @ My Domestic Experiments said...

How wonderful that your court date is on Veteran's Day for Ivanna and Matthew have fought battles of their very own. Thanks for the wonderful pictures of your Wonderfully Made children. -Renee


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