Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The final piece of the puzzle

After 32 days here in Ukraine.....today we picked up the final piece of the puzzle....

Miss Mia's United States Visa !

It has been a wild couple of days finishing up all the paperwork

Tuesday we had our Visa appointment at the US Embassy and there were 3 American families here with our agency all doing the appointments together. We couldn't all fit in the driver Eugene's car a the same time so there was a lot of running around and waiting.

After we turned in our paperwork at the Embassy we had to go over and get the medical exam required to get the Visa. This was QUITE the experience! We walk into this building and are told to wait in this long tiny hallway filled with people. There is really no rhyme or reason to how it worked...a door would open and people would try to get in to that doctor. Our driver/translator was running around jumping in front of people trying to get us all in to doctors. We finally got in to see the doctor and she explained what we pretty much already heard at the orphanage although she referred to Mia as being diagnosed with "deep" Down syndrome....what is that supposed to mean? We were trying not to laugh. She proceeded to talk about how significantly delayed down syndrome is and were we aware of this. Then she went on to examine Mia....who did so good with behaving through it all.

She seriously has been the best little trooper the last few days as we have dragged her to all these appointments all day.

The english translations at the restaurants are often very interesting! We had a good laugh about this one today....
Pasta with marine products.....YUM!

Or look at the fabulous choices for sauce for your pancake....beet with horseradish.

We went to brunch this morning at the Italian place Celantanos we found that has YUMMY pancakes (although they call them pancakes they are more like crepes but REALLY good). Mia knew how to through down her big bowl of oatmeal all by herself!
Look what we found in Kiev today....who knew?! It must be brand new because there was not a single item of sale clothing.

After the exam we had to get a chest xray and then we went to eat in the little ukrainian cafe while we waited for our driver to come back for us.

Tuesday night we met up with a bunch of the RR families for dinner at TGIFridays. It was fun to meet people in person who we have gotten to know online.
Some of us are at the end of our process and some just starting.

Lindy House and Levi -one of the two boys she adopted

Carol Miller and Mia. Carol is on her way to meet her little guy Quinton

Our apartment this time in Kiev is close to the TGIFridays so we have eaten there a lot this week....
Mia is my girl....she loves her some chocolate brownie and ice cream

The HUGE hill we had to climb each day to get to our apartment after going to eat. It was a great workout after a meal...then at the top of the hill we got to climb 5 flights of stairs to our apartment.
Gotta work off that brownie dessert somehow right?

Today we were supposed to go back to the Embassy at 2:00 to pick up the Visa and all 3 families we were with yesterday were also at the same time. Well at 2:45 we still hadn't been picked up yet and we get a call from our driver that he was coming but had had car problems and of course he used the famous line here "It's ok, we will be ok at the Embassy even if we are not there at 2"

We were all thinking "we sure hope you are right". So we finally all get picked up and there are 11 of us in this van with no air conditioner, no windows (besides the front 2) and we are stuck in traffic that is not moving for over an hour. We were sweating to pieces by the time we finally made it to the Embassy! Not to mention since there are no carseats we were all wrestling anxious children on our laps in the heat as well!

When we finally arrived at the Embassy they rushed us in and apparantly our facilitators had called them and told them we were coming so they waited for us.....they were supposed to be closed! Thank heavens they agreed to wait! So we had our interviews and then all waited in the waiting room for another hour and then walked out of the Embassy with our Visas for our kids!!! As soon as they touch american soil it is officially complete!!!

A van full of VERY happy Americans ready to take our kids and go home!

We are FINISHED!!! The last documents we needed to get on that airplane and go HOME are in our hands!

As we sat in the Embassy waiting for our Visas I looked over at the American flag in the corner of the room and got emotional. After 32 days of being in a foreign country we are going HOME!

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here but THERE"S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!

After 32 days of being away from our other girls, we have completed our process and we are heading home to finally be together under the same roof!

Our new little family of 6 is finally going to be together!

For the past 6 months I have gone from being home with my 3 girls there and worrying and praying to be united with Mia, then I was finally able to hold Mia and be with her, but I had to leave the other 3, and now we are finished and we will finally all be together!!!
Now all 4 of them can wrestle their dad!

This has been an incredible journey and I am forever grateful for this experience! We are forever changed because of the miracle we have been a part of! We have been humbled time and time again at the goodness of all of you. Our gratitude for the love and support we have felt from so many can never fully be expressed in words! Our hearts are so full! To not only have been blessed to be able to find this little girl, but to also find so many amazing people along the way, and witness miracle after miracle.... it has been pure joy for us!
One of the biggest things I will miss about being here is that Kris and I have been able to be together all day every day for the last month and it has strengthened and changed us and made us love each other more as we have gone through this side by side. I couldn't have asked for a better partner through this crazy ride.
Kris says I am going to go through withdrawls from reading all the sweet comments and emails and messages from everyone each day! That is seriously what has gotten us through this last month (that and skype) and we often have gone back and reread them again and again! It has meant so much to us! I wish I would have had time to respond personally to each and every comment but know that we read all of them, along with emails and messages, and we have been greatly enriched because of you!

We are off to bed for our final night in Ukraine. We leave here at 5:45 pm (9:45 am at home) and stay the night tomorrow night in Paris. Then on home friday!!!!

Only 2 more days until the reunion we have been waiting months for....

and Miss Mia has been waiting 4 years for......

a forever family together at last!!!!


  1. Excellent!! I have an ear to ear grin!!!

  2. oh just so precious. the last 2 pictures of her made me catch my breath and the stripy red dress on her, isnt she beautiful! how i wished to be in that van with you all...even if hot and stressy! cant wait for you all to be reunited with your other beautiful girls. xxx

  3. Wow! That sounded like an exhausting trip to the embassy! YAY for being done with all the paper work! I am so happy for you guys! Your story has been such a thrill to watch! I am so excited for you to be together as a family and come home!!

    I'm so bummed that I can not make it to the airport to welcome you guys home because I would SO be there if I could! What a fun CELEBRATION!

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and experiences with us on your blog! Your words have brought me so many happy tears! :) It brings me true joy knowing what you guys have done for that little girl! She is adorable is EVERY WAY! Thank you for letting us get to know her through the blog, she is so much loved! Which she totally deserves!

    I'll be thinking of you coming HOME! Best of luck, and HAPPY REUNION!!

  4. Although I'm sure it's been frustrating and lengthy and overwhelming, everything in this journey seems to have gone so smoothly for you - yet another indication that she is meant to be with you. Hope the travels home are smooth!

  5. 32 days? Wow - time flies when you're in your comfy bed in Utah :)
    Can't wait to see you all Friday!

  6. Kecia.... I honestly have no words! I love you guys and little Miss Mia from the bottom of my heart and I thank you for walking so eloquently on this journey before us. We will hopefully be traveling in a few short months and I can't wait! You and my very dear friend Jen Sanchez have been my inspiration from the beginning. Jen and I were talking last night how it would be so awesome to be at the Airport on Friday to greet you.. Wish we all lived closer. Travel safe and I so look forward to seeing you home!

  7. I've been following your blog for awhile now, I have a sweet little boy who happens to have Down Syndrome, and that is how I found you in one of my searches, I was so excited when you announced your adoption plans ( I love Reeces Rainbow)! So of course I've been checking in everyday and have to tell you the video of Mia and the birds had me sitting at my desk sobbing!!! Such beauty, joy and wonder in her sweet little eyes!! And all because of you!! Bless you and your family, what a beautiful, inspiring, amazing story!!!

  8. Yes....we LOVE LOVE LOVE you guys SOOOO much! Have a wonderful and safe and uneventful trip home and I can't wait to see you reunited with your girls and your family complete!!!!

  9. Oh my goodness, you must be bursting with excitement and joy!! Your girls have been such troopers waiting for their newest sister and Mom and Dad to get home. I'm sure this has been a trial in patience ~ so glad you're at the end of the journey!

    Ironic that there was even a "Eugene" in this "tangled" story.

  10. Wow! 32 days? That's amazing :) Praying that your long plane ride home will go really well! Wish we could be there for the reunion, although I'd be a slobbering mess :D So happy for all of you! God Bless!

    Elk Grove, CA

  11. I can't believe it's been 32 days! Following your journey has been such a wonderful experience and I've been so inspired by you! I'm thrilled that Friday is almost here for you all and can't wait to see pictures of the reunion. Hang in there! :)

  12. Yay!!! So happy for all of you!!!

  13. YAY!!!! Congrats, so happy for all of you!! :) I hate that I was so wasted from the trip that I didn't even take one picture at Friday's - I'm glad you got a good one of the group at least, lol. Our SDA appt is tomorrow, woohoo! So great to meet you - prayers for a smooth trip home, I can't wait to see pics of your whole family together! :) :) :)

  14. I just want to thank you all for brightening my days this past week. I stumbled upon your blog through RR and while my family is not in a position to adopt, I am overjoyed to witness and celebrate with your family as you take Mia to her HOME!

    May God bless all of you and I look forward to reading more about your joy and the growth of your family!!!

  15. Cant wait for you guys to get home. So exciting! So very happy for you guys! Mia will just love her sisters.

  16. I can't speak for everyone else, but I am the humble one and the one forever grateful to you and Kris to open up this experience to us all. I have learned so much from you both, thank you for showing me how to love a child that didn't arrive like your other 3 daughters - but eternally is yours!!!! I will miss the addiction I have created from this experience. So excited for you to be home again, 32 days is a long time away. Thank you, doesn't seem enough to say to you, but Thank You!!!!

  17. Oh how I wish I could be there when you guys getboff that plane! So here I am waving mt virtual "welcome home" banner! That was a long haul for you guys, but in perspective of how long Mia was in the orphanage, not long at all to wait for her freedom! Congrats!!!!

  18. Wow, what a journey! I hadn't realized that it had been 32 days already! I have loved reading all your posts and I know that when I get to meet Mia (hopefully soon!) It will be even more awesome than meeting a celebrity (does she know she is now famous with a hug following of fans? Be sure to let her know ;) and how cool is it that she will become an American just in time for the 4th of July! you are such an inspiration to me for being so brave for following your heart. Prayers for a safe and easy journey home!

  19. Pretty sure that is the same dress I had Bree wear today to the MTC. Well it was different colored stripes, but that dress. Even half way around the world we were on the same page.

  20. And your commenters are going to go through withdrawals from reading your posts everyday! It has been an inspiring and miraculous journey all the way around for everyone (your family, Mia, donators, readers, EVERYONE)! Thank you for sharing your lives with us and I hope to see you in a few weeks if all works out!!

  21. YAHOO! So happy for you all to be heading home. We hope our time is as quick as yours. Totally understand your feelings on being humbled and that this is a life changing experience not just for the kids we are bringing home but for us as well. We totally agree!
    Happy homecoming, can't wait for the video of all 4 girls together!

  22. Yay!! I am so excited for you guys to finally be on the actual home stretch! What an amazing experience this has been...and I cannot say enough how insanely grateful I am that you have shared this journey with so many people! Be safe in your travels! I cannot wait to hear how the reunion goes! I will be out of town or I would be at the airport myself! Love you guys!

  23. This has been a most wonderful journey! I am truly going to miss reading all the posts and comments. I think we will all be having withdrawals! I feel so humbled and blessed to be a part of it all! I continue to pray for angels to be around you in all your travels, and to bring you safely home to us all! God be with you till we meet again - tomorrow!!!
    Love you, Kecia, Kris, and Mia Kareen! xoxoxo

  24. I'm easing out of withdrawal symptoms by running my 100 favorite Mia photos slideshow. She really is a star, as is the whole family. Dying to see pictures of her with the other girls. I wonder if she has ever even seen older children before? Hasn't her world been all little ones and adults?