Winter Hosting Update.
Everyone has been asking me about winter hosting!
I was so busy and miserable from this pregnancy that I wasn’t able to update while he was here. It went pretty well, but he was not a fit for our family. The good news is we found the family that he belongs to and they have already started the adoption process! He isn’t available just yet, but I believe they do have an official availability date.
The reason I haven’t posted any pictures or videos is because I was asked by the hosting group to respect his privacy. Since Ukraine doesn’t allow you to reserve children ahead of time with referrals, anyone can see his picture and info then pay a facilitator to hunt him down and swoop in to adopt him before the family he’s bonded with gets there.
And yes, this actually does and has happened before more than once! It’s not just pure caution. It almost happened to someone else we met through hosting. Their facilitator found out what was going on and the family made it to claim their previously hosted child one day before the stealing family got there. Crazy, right?
Apparently families in the adoption process desperately want “proven” children who have been hosted and shown themselves to be healthy and to function well in a family. Otherwise they will have to adopt blindly, which means going to Ukraine and picking a child while there. Not only does blind adoption take a long time–at least six weeks–it’s also risky because you don’t know much about the child you’ve chosen. The state department of adoption allows you three appointments. This means while in Ukraine you can visit three children at their orphanages. If you don’t choose one of those three children you go home empty handed and cannot adopt from Ukraine.
We absolutely fell in love with the little boy we hosted. He needs brothers though, because he’s full up on non-stop boy energy and my quiet girls didn’t cut it. He and Rosie also clashed a lot. I don’t think it will work out well for us to adopt out of birth order.
We found his adoptive family with just half a week left of hosting. Total miracle. They are perfect for him. He met them on his birthday! He didn’t know it was his birthday until we told him. They’ve already adopted a little boy from Ukraine in 2011. He’s five now and super cute. He and Igor totally hit it off! The parents are about the same age as Tyler and me, and we really liked them. They live in Louisville, just 1.5 hours from us. Can’t wait for them to bring him home forever!
We had a lot of fun introducing him to new things. He had never been to a movie theater or tasted popcorn before. He was thrilled with the park and laser tag. The hardest part was getting him to eat. The kid didn’t like any food at all. (I wonder if it was partially anxiety related.) He didn’t like typical Ukrainian orphanage foods. He didn’t like rice, oatmeal, any meat at all, or any fun American food like pizza. He didn’t even like strawberries! He only ate cereal.
Sending him back to the orphanage was so hard. The night before the final day he peed in the bed and then poured a glass of water on it and lied about it. Heartbreaking to think of what he must have been going through emotionally. It will be worth it though, considering he will now be spending the rest of his life with hope and with a family. Without hosting that would have a very slim chance of ever happening.
Ada came down with a stomach bug when it was time for him to go to the airport in Atlanta. Tyler took him back alone. Apparently he clung to Tyler and sobbed. Everyone sobbed. He didn’t want to leave.
Before leaving we took him to a Russian orthodox church where the priest translated to explain to him a lot of things. He told the priest that he had been in the orphanage for as long as he could remember. He never remembered having a family before at all. So sad! But also good because that means he wasn’t abandoned and abused, therefore not extremely traumatized like poor Tanya from this past summer.
We have to take a break from hosting and adoption this summer since my new baby is due during the middle of the hosting period. But guess what? Karina, the girl we originally wanted to host that started this whole adventure is FINALLY available. Her paperwork was fixed and she is on the list for hosting this summer!
Figures that would happen now that we actually cannot host. God laughs at my plans, I’m sure of it.
I want to make sure Karina finds a family to host her this summer. I wish it would be one close to me so that we can finally meet her, but I would be satisfied with her finding any family anywhere! Once they have her picture up on the hosting list I’ll post it here with her bio, if I’m allowed.
Oh and just so you know–I didn’t update all through January because of that horrible stomach bug! I think it was that Sydney norovirus that’s been in the news. It was so bad, we all caught it, though Tyler was barely sick. The virus involves projectile vomiting and exploding diarrhea for 4+ days, and then extreme nausea for about seven days after that. We were super miserable. I basically did nothing in January except lay around and cry in between feeling ill.
It did not go well with my pregnancy nausea either. I haven’t felt that horrible in my entire life that I can remember. I had to go to the ER to get fluids. I’m still not back to normal after several weeks of being over the symptoms. I still feel like crap! Rough virus, that’s for sure.
I now live in fear of us catching anything else like that. It would totally do me in at this point.
Sorry if this has been scatterbrained. My children won’t stop talking to me, and pregnancy has me so exhausted that I can’t stay awake after they go to sleep long enough to write anything coherent.