Glory! Hallelujah! And pass the offering plate. We have everyone in the bed and it's 9:30p. I'm so excited (and ready for bed myself) I can't hardly stand it.
Let me begin by getting all you late arrivals up to speed on what is happening. We are NOT adopting. We are HOSTING. New Horizons for Children (NHFC) is an orphan hosting program that brings Eastern European kiddos to the states twice a year - during the summer and during Christmas. (They are also opening a China hosting program and that crew will come for the first time in Feb. Yay!) And before you get worried, let me explain that these kids would be travelling during these seasons anyway and going on some sort of holiday. Coming to the States is just in place of another institution, camp, or European destination. Now Denys (our handsome fella) is available for adoption and if you are interested in that please talk with us and let us know, but under NO circumstances is anyone to say anything to him regarding the "A Word." It's off limits. Period.
*Just checked on this awesome kid and he is snoozing! Yay! I told him lights out & video games off at 9:30p and he complied! Wow!*
If you saw my earlier post I want to explain that I in no way meant anything negative towards NHFC. They have done a fabulous job putting this program together and because of international flight delays, that were completely out of there control, have nearly 230 eastern Europeans at their expected destinations (among nearly as many families) in under 24 hours. That's outstanding work! My intent was merely to share how overwhelmed I was feeling. NHFC has done a superb job preparing us; there's just no way to not be overwhelmed when a 14-year-old who speaks no English joins your family!
The good news is that he's eaten everything I put in front of him thus far. He did choose the pizza (fresh deli pizza) for lunch. Dinner was BBQ chicken (NC style) with roasted potatoes, peas/broccoli, and bread. He also had some Southern sweet tea! He cleaned his plate and, when offered, did not choose seconds.
Funny food story - I was teaching him to put his plate in the sink when finished eating and he thought I meant for him to wash it!
As far as the kiddos go, Jonah, Millie Grace, and Anna Ruth love him already. AR follows him around saying, "Hey, Denys. Hey, Denys. Hey, Denys." The highlight of my day was to the oldest 3 in a Nerf gun battle all over the yard (anyone want to donate Nerf bullets??) They had a BLAST. Even when MaMac (my grandmother) came to visit she was "talking" with Denys and suddenly Nerf bullets started flying. He light up like a Christmas tree and ran off to find his gun and fire back!
And just in case you didn't know, 14-year-old boys from Ukraine smell much like 14-year-old boys from the States! He has not been nearly as excited about the American underwear I bought him as he is about his new (in the package) underwear he brought from home. I put it in his drawer anyway. I hope by the time the 3 pair he brought get dirty he'll figure out that the others are necessary. He was, however, excited about American deodorant. (Yay.)
Oh, did I mention we decorated the tree? It was fun and Denys never missed a beat - getting the back of the tree covered as nicely as the front. And we only suffered one ornament casualty in the melee!
As of now he's not used to lots of hugging, but between the 5 of us and FBC Tallapoosa he'll get over that pretty soon. Family story time seemed a little awkward for him as well, but he sat patiently while I read about Mike Huckabee opening all his Christmas presents early.
The best God-moment of the day was when I sent the kids to check the mail and Jonah came in with a package. I had ordered a Richard Scarry book in Ukrainian/English from a publisher in Canada several weeks ago. He mailed it ahead of receiving my check payment and it came today! A small event orchestrated wonderfully to coincide with Denys' arrival. Thanks to this silly little book we won't have to run to the computer every time we need to say something. It has also given me the chance to make sure my kids hear words in Ukrainian and he hears lots of specific words in English.
Whew. I think that's enough for tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and I have another 17 hours or so I've got to figure out how to fill for a house full of kiddos. Keep us in your prayers. Pray specifically that we have peace in our home, that our communication grows stronger and easier, and that God graces us all with a special love for each other.