Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The grass is greener on the other side

This morning we had not yet made a final decision on whether we were staying here or going home for the wait, but we knew that the earliest we could leave here would be Thursday so we had a little more time to think it over. So we went to visit Mia and when we walked in they motioned for us to follow them and we were led back down the long hallway and into Mia's groupa's room. We got the impression that we are supposed to pick her up ourselves from the back of the building now right from her room, instead of going through the lady at the front of the building. We walked in and picked her up and went outside. They told us we had to stay in this new area that is in the back of the building, which we have now seen is the special needs area or play ground. It is secluded at the back of the building. In the week and a half that we have been visiting and roaming the grounds we had never seen it until today. The areas we have been playing in up until now are apparantely not where Mia and the other kids from her groupa have been allowed to go. It's no wonder Mia was so interested in the playgrounds and the outside areas, it appears she probably had never been over there.

This area was much more dreary and hidden.

There were 2 little swings that were barely standing, a little pavillion, and the box playpens. The grass was definitely greener on the other side....

When we got to our visit this morning we were not sure what we were doing and Mia helped us make that decision. When we picked Mia up this morning she was different, she was very somber and quiet and we couldn't really figure out what was going on with her. We only managed to get a few smiles out of her. As we were visiting with Mia, our facilitator called and told us we needed to come meet her after our visit to sign some documents to prepare to get Mia's passport as soon as the wait is over. She told us we could outline the scenarios with her of what needs to happen after the wait and when it could all happen, if that would help make our decision.

So we finished our morning visit and walked Mia back up to her groupa and drove about 30 minutes to meet our facilitator at the notary. In talking with her we learned that if we stay here the scenario could look like this:

We could get the court decree next thursday June 9, in the evening and then friday morning (June 10) we could run around and get the passport and birth certificate stuff we need. Normally the passport would take 4 days to get but we can pay an expedited fee in this region and get it the same day (on friday). After we get all of that done we could pick up Mia from the orphanage either friday or saturday (gotta LOVE the sound of that!!) and then head to Kiev on the overnight train. Unfortunately Monday June 13 is a holiday here so the embassy is closed so we can't do her Visa and medical appointments until tuesday and best case scenario could be done with embassy wednesday afternoon/evening and then head home as soon as we can get a flight. IF this scenario pans out, we would end up being home a week sooner than we thought. So based on this new information along with the fact that Kris' work was so understanding and willing to work around him staying and letting him work some from here, and that we have AMAZING family and friends who are more than willing to keep our girls happy back home, we decided we would stay through the wait.

Unfortunately I won't get to say goodbye to my brother in person before he leaves for 2 years and I won't get to sing with my dad at his farewell and we have to miss our girls for a few more weeks, but we feel at peace with this decision and know that it will be ok. In the long run, if this possible scenario works out we will end up being away a week less than if we go home and come back. We will get to skype with my brother with Mia before he leaves though!
(Kyra and Adrie-she is clapping watching your dance performance from last year on dad's phone-maybe soon she will memorize it like Bree does)

Mia styled her own hair for us today
We love how she stands with her hand behind her back like this
And when she is sitting she folds her hands on her lap

The door in the background is the door into her groupa's area
When we took her back to her room we got a sneaky glimpse through the doorway

This playpen with a wood plank for the floor had about 7 kids in it. As we have started to see where Mia has lived, we are connecting more about the description that the staff gave us of her that first day "she is helpful and loves to clean up after meals. She helps the other children and hands them their toys when they drop them" We are beginning to see that sweet little Mia is watching over these other children and helping take care of them. Many of them are not mobile and are not able to do the same things Mia can do. She seems to be like a little mother in her groupa.

My dear friend sent me a message today that rang so true with regards to these other children

"As for those sweet little ones being left behind,
I like to think that the veil is very thin for them.
That they know completely that they have a Father in Heaven that loves them
unconditionally when no one here does. There life here may be short and lonely
but I believe they know and may even remember what it was like to have a loving
Father wrap his arms around them and hold them close. You cannot save them all,
Kec, but that one sweet little girl you ARE saving is yours and you found her!!
She knows you are her mom and dad and the happiness shows in her eyes.
I can't wait for your forever family to be under one roof. It will be here soon."

I know this is true, our Father in Heaven is mindful of all
of His children and these angels will be saved, if not in this
life than the next.I am just grateful that He chose us
to save this one, and that we listened. Even though
we were in another part of the world,
He led us to this little girl.

God knows each one of us, no matter where we live and what
circumstances we were born under.
And how He blesses us when we step
outside of what is comfortable and easy to help one another!

When we picked up Mia for the afternoon visit, it was like she KNEW we had decided to stay! It was as if she was helping us make the decision this morning by showing that she needed us here because when we picked her up this time it was completely different. We were about 20 minutes later than usual for our visit and we walked up the stairs to the room and before we could even knock we could hear her cute little high pitched voice and we could hear the caretakers talking to her and saying "Mama and Papa". When we opened the door she was literally standing in the doorway waiting for us! She had her pink phone in her hand (the one we brought the first day we met her and they asked us if she could take it with her...when we never saw it again we assumed we never would and then seeing her holding it made us think they had been letting her use it as a reminder of us) and she just BEAMED!! She started giggling and ran over to us! There were 5 other caretakers in the room with her all smiling and laughing at how she reacted to see us. She had been waiting and she KNEW we were coming through that door. She needs us here for her.

She doesn't know that in 10 days we will be taking her where the grass is greener
but she DOES know that we come to visit her each day and that we love her

and right now that is all she needs to know

Another friend's message yesterday said "Every moment of this journey has been proof of the loving guidance of our father in heaven. He will not forget you or any of your girls now through this decision or the next ten days. No matter what you decide he will either be giving your girls here some extra love and protection or your girl there. "

So now that we have decided to stay we know the extra care from the Lord will be given to our girls back home! Kris and I cried as we sat with Mia today making the decision to stay because we miss our other girls so bad it hurts, and we will miss being there to see my brother off, who I love dearly and will miss like crazy,, but we felt peace and we knew we made the right decision. We know that our girls back home have many people who love them to hug them and take care of them, but our girl here does not.

THANK YOU to our AMAZING family and friends who are willing to look after our precious girls at home!

THANK YOU for ALL of the sweet comments and the love and support we feel from SO many! I wish there were better words to express our gratitude to all who are a part of this journey with us because your kind words and encouragement are helping us through this more than you know! I want to make a journal of all the comments and messages we have received to remember this remarkable experience.

THANK YOU to Kyra, Adrie, and Bree for understanding what needs to be done in order to have our family all together again, and for doing it with a smile! We love you!

It was so different to see Mia dressed in capris and a t-shirt because we have only seen her dressed in little dresses so far.

In the afternoon we took her back over to the big playground and she was excited to try pushing mom and dad on the swings this time

One of her new favorite things to do is walk up and down the stairs holding onto this little railing...now if only we had a railing that short at home for the stairs!

And last but not least, Kris can now check off "use a squatter toilet while in Ukraine" of his list! Glad I didn't have to use it!


  1. oh just beautiful! i am so glad you are staying and that things may move quicker than expected. I cannot say enough what an honour it has been to be able to share your journey. much love xxx

  2. Kecia,
    So happy you made a decision that you are at peace with---Things may go even more quickly that you have decided to stay! I felt so badly that you said Mia was sad when you first saw her today....
    Wished NY was not so far away from you, would love to visit & meet Kareen & your other beautiful girls.
    Blessing you , still, with many, many prayers

  3. I didn't get a chance to comment after your last post! First of all... so excited for you, 10 days will go by so fast.
    The one thing I went to bed thinking about was you questioning if you should stay or come home for the wait. All I could think about was stay, and now you have made that decision.
    You KNOW that the family you have here is loving, hugging, kissing, playing, tickling and reading bed time stories to your little girls. And as hard as it it so be away, what a comfort this must bring.
    Leaving Mia would put a worry on your mind as you know that she would NOT get these things in your absence. She does need you.
    I pray that these next 10 days will go quickly and that you will find peace in what you are missing and the comfort that you are doing the right thing.

  4. So happy that you guys are able to stay and that Kris's job will allow it. What a blessing for you guys. And what a wonderful example you are setting for your brother.

    Hopefully the next 2 weeks fly by for you.

  5. Yay for staying for Mia!!! That was my vote -haha. Breaks my heart to see how 'the other half' lives. So wish I was independently wealthy and could fund others' adoptions!

  6. How amazingly proud you must be of your three sweeties at home who already know how to sacrifice with love for their newest sister. What a beautiful life awaits Mia ~ the best is yet to come.

  7. Seeing you put your arms around her in the swing makes me so happy! You are holding her, you are smiling with her and you are laughing with her. Can you believe it was less than a month ago you were only dreaming of doing these things! Enjoy it! Your girls are growing closer together through this experience.

    She is so tender and sweet and I can't wait to see her wondeful smile in person.

  8. Beautiful, sweet, poignant. Got me all choked up tonight. I really think you guys are going to cherish this time that you had with just you and Mia and know it was meant to be. When you get home, it's so hard to spend that time just focusing on your new little one like you do there. Just enjoy it all you can! And yes, that grass will be SOOO green when you get home. (Literally! We have had gobs of rain!) lol

  9. Kecia, I am just in love with this little girl! She is so beautiful! I love her smile! And seeing her in your arms is so natural...she is absolutely where she belongs. What a blessing that you are able to stay with her until you can bring her home for good! I hope that everything goes super smoothly, and that the time will fly! You will be home before you know it!! Thank you for sharing every step of this process...you guys are amazing!

  10. Now that's 1 a.m. here, you're already visiting our sweet Mia Kareen for tomorrow! Crazy! It's been extra busy at work with it being the last week of school and trying so hard to get all my seniors graduated! So, I'm just now getting to the blog! So thankful for the text at work today, so I did know a little of what is going on. As much as I miss you and wish you could be here and sing with Dad at B-Man's farewell, I too, feel at peace with your decision. You are doing the best thing. Give her hugs and kisses and tell her "I luv-a-luv-a-luv-a-you!" xoxoxo

  11. So overwhelmingly happy for you and your family! Mia is quite the beauty :D Will continue to pray for you guys!

  12. i just wanted to leave a quick comment on how much i appreciate these blog posts. i know firsthand how much time and effort goes into writing all this detail and posting all these pictures. as a famiy that is just getting their ears wet in this long process, we appreciate it so much! i read your blog, every afternoon, with tears streaming down my face as i nod my head in agreement with your sweet words. mia is so adored--and knowing that your family is bringing her home and how much she feels a part of you already is so inspiring! to be able to read about it is such a blessing to me! :)

  13. Okay, I just can't resist commenting anymore. I don't know you both directly, but I am good friends with Kecia's cousin Dani, and then strangely, a couple of years ago, I noticed through blogs that Kecia was also friends with many of my old friends (Brooke & Jaden, Tucker, and Mark--though he will probably deny it). I can't remember how I stumbled back on your blog a couple of months ago when you were just starting the adoption process, but I have been visiting this blog about Kareen frequently since, and daily since you left.

    I just have to tell you how much I look forward to reading your stories with Mia each day. Rarely does a day go by that I don't tear up as I read what you've written. Honestly, I wish I could even tell you how much you have strengthened my testimony that there is a loving Heavenly Father out there that knows each and everyone one of his precious children. I read this and I can see so clearly how you were lead to Mia because you listened to that "still, small voice." I have been thinking often how easy it is to ignore those thoughts or think, "that's too hard, I can't possibly do that." But, then I read your example here, and I think how you followed those promptings and were lead to this beautiful little soul. We truly can do hard things!

    When I read about the other children, my heart just hurt. I am in the Primary Presidency in my ward, and I pictured that room full of children, and how I truly believe that Heavenly Father knows each and every one of them. I believe that about the children at the orphanage, too. He led you to Kareen, after all. As hard as it is to understand in this life, there is a plan for those sweet spirits. I loved the comment by your friend that you were able to follow your heart to save just one child, sweet Mia. I hope that by your openness in sharing your story, maybe someone else will be led to those other souls. I wish all children could grow up knowing someone with as much love to give as you have.

    I just wanted you to know how truly inspired I believe your whole journey is, right down to the daily task of keeping this blog. I can't even count how many people I have told your story to and shared the link with (I hope that's okay...no creepers, I promise :)). Even though I don't know you personally, you are in my prayers every night that you will make a safe journey home with Mia and find everything in perfect order with your cute girls here.

    Thank you both for being wonderful examples and for sharing what you are doing. I have been so uplifted by your thoughts and actions.

    Meredith (Sager) McNett