Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Friday, May 20, 2011

Playing with our girl

Visiting with Mia (Kareen) today felt so similar to getting to know any of my newborn babies. We just stared and watched in awe at each thing she could do and each facial expression and noise she made. Everything was new and miraculous to us

These are a few of the things we have learned about our girl in just a few hours.....

She knows how to kiss her MAMA!

She loved the photo album we brought of our family. She even pointed at the pictures and said Papa (Dad), Mama and Bree pretty clear and she tried saying Kyra and Adrie. We were told that calling me Mama is confusing to her because all the caregivers at the orphanage are called that by her so we will start saying Mommy for me to set me apart from them.

She loved looking through the bag and getting each item out and setting it next to the purse. When we first tried to put the necklaces on her she wanted nothing to do with them and she had no idea what they were, but it only took a few times and she was hooked to the jewelry as well.

She is OBSESSED with phones! Seriously LOVES the phone! Her little voice is so cute to hear her say "Hallo"

For our morning visit they had her in the same outfit as yesterday but with this little hat on instead of the fancy hairdo.

She is totally a daddy's girl! Not 2 minutes after going outside with her today we pointed to him and said "papa" and she tapped him on the chest and said "papa"

when Kris would tickle her she would tickle herself

She likes the purse we brought with all the toys in it.

Serge had to be on his way to help other families so we had to say goodbye. What a great man he was....very entertaining!

Mia (still having trouble with not saying Kareen...we are calling her all sorts of names right now;Mia,Kareen,Susha) loved Serge's fuzzy hair
She hasn't figured out how to look at the camera yet when we try to get her attention. I am sure she has no idea what the camera is.

She does not really like sitting on laps. She doesn't know how to sit or cuddle on your lap, She just sits for a minute and then scoots off....I assume she has never really been snuggled and held on a lap too often. She likes to be held when you are standing though, just doesn't last on your lap very long.

She LOVED the slide! We had her full on giggling going down the slide!

Her eyes are more intriguing and incredible in person than they were in her profile picture!

This sweet girl is pure beauty! Pure Beauty that was locked away from the world for 4 years. Pure beauty that was deemed worthless by her society. Pure Beauty that would have been taken from this kind baby home and placed in an institution already had we not found her when we did. Pure Beauty who without SO many prayers, donations, love and support from all of you, we would not have been able to get to in time to save her. Pure Beauty who was already changed our lives for the better. Pure Beauty who thanks to each of you who have prayed for us ( and her), each of you who have advocated for her, each of you who have donated, each of you who have loved and supported us from day one, is now going to be pure beauty that the world will get to enjoy! THERE.ARE.NO.WORDS.

When we went back to visit her for the afternoon visit she was dressed in play clothes. She looked so sweet! I SOO wish I had my video camera on when she came into the waiting room because she was walking holding the nurses hand and when she saw us she let go and put her arms high in the air and ran (picture a brand new walking toddler letting go for the first time with arms high in the air to keep their balance and wobbling across the floor as quick as their little body knows how) to Kris in her wobbly run! We about died! Here this little girl has seen us 2 times and is already excited we are back. SHE KNOWS already that something is different and that she wants to be a part of it. SHE KNOWS we came here for her!


Don't you just LOVE the little knee highs and the red shoes?!!
She started to understand the idea behind peekaboo

She would walk from one side of the little bench area to the other to set up each toy where she wanted it to go.
We are not sure what she thought the magna doodle was but she kept trying to eat and lick it and then write with it. Oh and when a car drives by she does the cutest sound with her lips

We had so much fun just watching her explore on the afternoon visit. She is so mellow yet very curious!

The orphanage grounds by where we go to play during the visit.

She started cleaning up each toy and placing it in the bag all on her own. She will wipe off the seat next to her and wipe her hands if she touches dirt. I don't think they go play outside or get dirty very often.

I don't think she really has any sense of her own picture or realization that it is her. But really why would she because I am sure she doesn't see pictures of herself.


She sits straight legged and walks with her one foot facing out so she will need some good physical therapy for walking when we get home. I am sure trying to keep up with her sisters will help!
Who knew a plastic bag could be so fun?

She fell down on the pavement and totally skinned both knees and didn't make a peep! Then she wanted to keep wiping it off with a wipe.
Aunt Caitlyn- Mom taught me how to brush my hair today but I look forward to having a styling appointment with you when I get home!

The visits today went so fast and we were so sad to have to send her back inside. It makes it a little better knowing they are taking good care of her there though. After the afternoon visit when the caregiver took her from us, Mia turned around and totally reached for us leaning out of the caregivers arms as she walked away! She wanted to come with us!

The entrance to the orphanage.

After the morning visit we found this restaurant inside a hotel that had an english menu and we really enjoyed the food.....minus the RAW egg served on top of my pasta, it was really good food!

THe chocolate cake was just what I needed for this trip! It was DELICIOUS! It had hot chocolate in the middle! We will for sure be going back there!
Our apartment is not close to any restaurants or stores so we needed to get some food before we headed home for the night but that is difficult when we don't speak the language. Our apartment manager had set us up with this college student, Lusha, to drive us to the orphanage and her spoke a little english so we asked him if he wanted to be our driver when we needed. He said he would when he could. So we asked him to take us to McDonalds and he said "No no, not McDonalds" and then he proceeded to drive somewhere else. We get to this supermarket and he shues us inside and motions that he will wait outside. So we go in and decide to grab a few things. When we go back out we try to tell him we still want McDonalds and that we will buy his dinner and he says "No I not like McDonalds, it's american food!" But he did kindly take us through the drive through anyway....which was good because we couldn't tell them what we wanted. This adventure keeps us on our toes and somehow we are managing without knowing more than 5 words! It is quite comical at times.
We felt lucky that we got 2 meals today! The McDonalds actually tasted really good tonight!

More video of these visits later but for now we are off to see our girl again! YAY!

(Oh and seriously we LIVE for reading all the comments each morning when we get up! So thank you thank you!!!)


  1. Ooooh I get to be first!! I love love love all of the photos!!! And, you are just GLOWING, both of you!! Can't wait to see more pics! :)

  2. This is seriously the most incredible, exciting, and sacred event. To know that God is aware of this little girl, so far away, that belongs to you, and making it possible for her to finally get to your family, is a miracle. I love reading how she is warming up to you so fast. And the picture of her smiling at her Papa - HEART MELTING. It's also comforting to see that she has been well-cared for, and I love how they dress her up cute and do her hair when you come to visit. Thank you for keeping us posted. This is a journey we are all enjoying.

  3. This is the greatest ever! I could look and these pictures all day long. They make me smile, laugh, and cry! It's so great that you get to just play for with her hours! I can't wait to to experience so many "firsts" with her! Give her a big kiss from her aunt Lindey! Love you guys!

  4. Tadd and I love to just scroll through each picture and give each one a few seconds of attention to study her facial expressions, her actions, and your words just trying to capture even a little tiny bit of what you are experiencing! I can't even imagine the magic you are feeling right now!

    I absolutely died seeing the pic of her combing her hair and CANNOT wait to get a little one on one time with her for a special hair appointment!

    Give her millions of hugs and kisses from all of us!

  5. Oh! I forgot...my friend, Ashley, served her mission in Russia, and would LOVE to talk with you guys when you get home and discuss the culture etc. She is so excited about all of this! She even went through the video you posted and translated what the caregivers were saying, and then sent me a bunch of Russian songs (even a simple birthday song) that we'll all have to learn!

  6. 1:45 a.m. Texas time and I got out of bed to see if there was anything new....I almost woke up my husband I was so excited to see all the pictures! She is absolutely angelic. I cannot wait to be where you are. :)

  7. So glad I stayed up late so I could read this. Better than any movie I could watch or book I could read. I really can't express how much it means to me that you guys are willing to share such an amazing journey with all of us. So wonderful that you will have this blog to look back on in the months and years ahead.

    Just be careful that you don't make it look too much like a fairy tale or everyone will want to travel across the world to adopt an orphan :)

    Maybe even my husband.

  8. She is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for letting us read about your experience- it is incredibly inspiring!

  9. Oh that smile melts my heart. Love looking at every picture and imagining what you are feeling as you sit there holding your little girl that until yesterday was just a picture! She's really yours! Oh how loved she is already by so many! Thank you for sharing her with us! I can't wait to meet her!

  10. I too like Lindey could look at her pictures forever! There is something that just pulls you in, she truly is so dainty and beautiful! I now look forward to lucy's feeding around 5 am, yes i know i need to get her sleeping through the night, bc I study your blog, pictures, details and memories your making! Your an amazing writer, I feel like I'm there getting to know her too and I love reading the days adventures! Love you guys!
    Bree was so confused about calling her Mia she kept saying no Kareen so I started saying it's Mia Kareen, she's catching on fast! Your girls love for her is so neat, they love looking at the blog and always get the cutest facial expressions and make the cutest comments about her! I'm sure it's sureal to them also!

  11. Pure Heaven on her face as well as both of you!
    We are praying & loving to see the pictures, from New York!!


  12. Kecia,
    When are you du to go to court?


  13. Oh my word...I LOVE HER! It was so exciting to wake up to this huge post with so many wonderful pictures. The three of you are moving hearts and changing minds...I hope you know that. What a beautiful thing to watch unfold...I am honored to have played a small part in your journey to your new little girl. She's going to fit in perfectly with your family. I am so happy!! Love and Hugs, Lisa

  14. She is like a beautiful flower opening before your eyes! I love how you wrote "she knows" ~ love has no language barrier. Thank you for heeding His call and rescuing her.

  15. Oh, she is such a precious, precious girl..I LOOOOOVE her and I have never even met her!!

  16. Just like you look forward to all the comments, I look forward to your posts and check my computer way too often! I love all the pictures! She really is beautiful and just looks so sweet! You can tell by the pictures just how curious she is and also how loved she feels! I love the board book you made her! You seriously are the best mom!! Mia is so lucky!

  17. And on a total side note, you look adorable! Love all the cute outfits!

  18. oh my goodness! i remember seeing her on Lily's blog and praying for her to have a family. she is so precious and i cannot wait to follow along and see her progress and become part of your family.

    seriously can't get over how cute she is!!!

    hope ya'll have a safe rest of your trip there!

  19. Your are so blessed and so is Mia. We have been praying for her since Christmas and her ornament is still up...my girls said we should keep them out! They look forward each day to finding out all about Mia and her old life as well as how her new life will be!

  20. Oh my I have no words...she is just beautiful, and your post about pure beauty and getting to her in time made me tear up this morning. Last night, I watched the video, and when I went to bed I kept thinking about it. The looks on you and your husband's faces, I can only imagine how it feels to finally finally see your child in person. Thank you for sharing this with us, it helps me to keep pushing forward..to just keep going, no matter how frustrating and scary, because to have that moment is worth anything. Also, my husband watched the video with me, and thank you for putting that look on his face! He was a little reluctant in the very beginning (I'm very lucky though, because he wanted to move forward after only 1 week of being unsure) so to see him smile so big, and see the excitement on his face, was awesome.

  21. I just love reading about Mia and seeing all the pictures. she is beautiful and amazing. I am so happy you guys are giving her a family. I knew she would feel your love immediately because I can feel it so strong. So happy for all of you. Anna H.

  22. Kris & Kecia - Congratulations!! I have been following all week and the range of emotions I've felt sitting in my own family room are overwhelming. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. "You are the salt of the earth" and Mia is so fortunate to have a mommy & daddy and a family that loves her. So many special memories already captured from kisses with mom and hugs with dad, but one of my favorites is her carrying the purse over her arm with the phone up to her ear and wearing her new necklaces. She's going to adapt just fine and LOVE her new life. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  23. I'm seriously in tears reading this. What an amazing story. What a beautiful gir! I can't wait to read more!

  24. I have a grin from ear to ear with tears rolling off my cheeks! This brings me PURE JOY to watch all this!!! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us!!!!

  25. I love the picture with her holding the purse, talking on the cell phone and all decked out in necklaces... looks like she'll keep up with her sisters just fine! What's the mic on your shirt all about? I am so glad that she is in a nice orphanage, it looks clean and she looks well taken care of. I love watching her bond with you and yes Kecia... SHE KNOWS!

  26. Kecia, congratulations! Your story is amazing and Mia is absolutely beautiful!

  27. First thing I do each morning is run to the computer to see if you have new posts up! Once again, I started off my day by smiling and crying tears of joy and amazement! She is beautiful! She is adorable! There's not a much better feeling than to feel 'adored!' To know that she is loved, cherished, and adored - what a blessing!

    Please give her hugs and kisses from Mamma and tell her that
    "I luv-a-luv-a-luv-a-you!"

    Can't wait to see pictures of today's visits!


  28. Crying sweet tears of joy, LOVE LOVE LOVE that she knows you already and wants to come with you. YEAH! Enjoy, we will continue to pray for your journey!

  29. First of all- THANK YOU- for taking the time to upload and post so many pictures!! I'm sure you guys are exhausted, and probably jet lagged, so it is wonderful that you're taking the time to share pictures with everybody!
    Second- I was actually doing okay not sobbing my way through the photos today, until I got to your paragraph about PURE BEAUTY. Oh my gosh, Kecia, that was beautiful. Mia Kareen should be the "poster child" for RR with that paragraph underneath.
    Third- I LOVE how she arranges all her toys on the bench! That is so sweet! And how she wipes her hands off every time, and wanted her kenes cleaned- just so precious.
    And last- that is the sweetest thing ever how much she wants you guys already. Really, it is just beyond beautiful. I'm sure it is so hard to leave every day! It is obvious she is well taken care of, maybe they are not affectionate with her? I mean that wouldn't surprise me, but isn't it odd that they would dress her up so sweetly but not have her sit on their lap, etc.?
    It was so much fun "chatting" with you on FB yesterday- the kids came in the room and said "are you talking to Kareen's mom?!?" So funny, it didn't feel like you were halfway around the world!
    I agree with what Lisa said on the last post- we can't get enough of that video! I think we've watched it twenty times. MORE PLEASE!:)
    Thank you again for sharing your story with the world- I bet you just inspired a hundred families to adopt!

  30. I am so happy to see her beautiful eyes light up more and more each day. The little twinkle in them seems to get brighter and brighter. Love CAN change the world and there is beauty all around.

  31. That looks so fun! My big question is, When do you get to bring her home?

  32. You can really see her personality coming through more and more in these pictures! Gorgeous smile and AMAZING eyes. It is so hard to think of this vibrant girl going to an institution. It really is a miracle that she will have such an awesome family and you get to raise this precious girl. A win win for everybody! Thanks for sharing the pictures! We can't wait to meet her hopefully soon!

  33. Our computers not been working so finally today we were able to catch up on pictures, she looks so sweet, we all watched the video together, not a dry eye around! we are so excited to meet her, watch out they put those eggs on everything even pizza, gross

  34. Oh this post totally choked me up. So precious! She has no idea (well maybe a little) what a grand life she has ahead of her with your amazing family!

  35. For some reason the pictures of her in the play clothes kill me. So cute!! She looks like such a sweetheart. It just looks so natural to have you three in a picture together. Love it.

    Kris - I've told Kecia often how amazing she is but I thought you should also know that I think that you are an amazing dad! Really. You are so open and loving and accepting. It is obvious that Mia/Kareen/Susha can tell that you truly love her and will be the best "Papa" ever for her! So happy for all of you!

  36. Oh my goodness! She is so cute and even before I got to the close up pic of her eyes I was exclaiming over how beautiful they are. Plus, she has a great smile too. Yep, Pure Beauty is right :)

  37. Kecia I love seeing all of these pictures! I couldn't help but tear up when I saw the ones of you with her. I can't imagine the emotions you are feeling as a Mom! You can tell she knows! she is glowing in these pictures today just like her mommy and papa! I will keep you guys in my prayers! I am so happy you found her it shows in your faces that this was meant to be!

  38. Amazing:) She is just beautiful!
    I really like your pictures book, too. May I ask how yo made that?

  39. Every time I get on here and look at your pictures or videos of this event, I just cry with happiness for you. She is going to love being part of your family. She is so charming and you can see that she belongs with you. Thank you so much for sharing this very beautiful story. It is so precious. I can't wait for you to get to take her with you. I am so glad you saved her. Truly inspiring. I felt stirrings within my heart with this, and have felt like maybe Mike and I should really look into getting a sweet little girl of our own. In the pictures, you all three look like you have always been together. I am so very happy for you!!

  40. I love trying to get to know are sweet little niece through all your pictures. She is so beautiful! Her eyes are gorgeous! I love checking your blog everyday and finding more pics. So cannot wait to meet her! Have fun with all the one on one time you get with her. Oh and mcdonald's for Romanians was like a really special date, so if you guys went there, kris must be really trying to impress you. :) love you.

  41. I love that in the early pics Kris is wearing a necklace!!!! A perfect dad for little girls. I also love that towards the end, Mia has the beads, the purse and the phone! Perfect little lady!

  42. This is awesome and very encouraging!!!

  43. No doubt about it she is a Daddy's girl. I was amazesd how she looks like you guys. Who couldn't be swept up into those beautiful big eyes. Praying for you that All the red tape falls into place and you get to bring her home quickly

  44. We are so happy for your family!!! Your posts are so uplifting! They gave an update today in church today & it was fun to hear about your new little girl! She's so cute! We will keep you in our prayers for a fast court date!
    Shane & Myra