Saturday, July 28, 2012

Finally an Update!


Hi everyone!!! Well it’s been awhile since I blogged and I figured I should give an update on how life is going since we’ve been home. We have been home for almost 3 months and it honestly feels like forever...I guess the best way to describe it is a lot like having a baby.....you know when you leave for the hospital with just one child and come home having two kids...life didn’t stop it just keeps going and the new baby just fits right in...well that’s how it’s been for us...although I didn’t give birth to Misha it feel like he’s been with us forever. Some days have been tougher then others but that’s mostly because this mama doesn’t really ever stop and take a break. I think if I did stop, I’d end up sleeping for six months!! Haha.. Overall life has been great and busy for us.

Since Misha has been home he’s experienced many “firsts”....his first ride in a car seat, his first (of a million) trips to Target, his first baseball game, his first swim in a swimming pool (yeah, didn’t go as smooth as I had envisioned in my mind..haha), his first over night trip to Grandma’s, his first McDonald’s chicken nugget (which he LOVED and ate 6 of!!!), his first time feeding himself, and of course TONS of many firsts with foods.... I don’t think everything is new to him but I do believe that he was not exposed to much more then soup, bread, veggies, and fruit....he’s also has his first bedroom that is his and only his and of course he has toys that are just for him and only him for the first time in his 3 years of life. So as you can see we have been busy experiencing many “firsts” and we have been enjoying every minute of it!!

We have started the process for getting Misha into therapy and when school starts in just a few weeks he’ll be headed to the special education preschool that is provided through our school district. We have watched him blossom like crazy since he’s been home and I can’t wait to see what he will do once therapy and school starts!!:) So that’s about it...we have been taking full advantage of summer and enjoying every minute of it and trying to give Misha the “all American summer”!:) 
We hope you all are having a wonderful summer and thanks for sticking around even though I haven’t been so great at updating since we’ve been home!!:) 
Before I go I’ll leave you with some pictures!! Enjoy!!:)

Misha’s first baseball game...


Giving the camera smile while watching Ryan’s baseball practice...

Ryan loves being a big brother!!



Relaxing with dad in Grandmas backyard after a BBQ!:)



Three orphans no more....so lucky to be able to watch these three grow up together!!


I could watch him sleep forever!


His very FIRST trip to Target!!!



He’s one cool kid!


Happy 4th of July from the Chellson Boys!!



Feeding himself his favorite food... Mac & Cheese!!!!!




P.S. I'm still working on the welcome home video...hopefully I can get done this weekend!!!:)

Friday, May 18, 2012

1 week of freedom!


HI everyone!! I just wanted to check in real quick and let you all know we made it home safely!!! A week ago I took Misha out of the orphanage forever, we flew home Sunday and have been enjoying our first week at home. Our travel home went much better then I had expected and Misha did amazingly well....he only had a little meltdown right before our last flight home and honestly I was expecting it to happen way before that point and it wouldn’t have taken much to send me into meltdown mode at that point either. Overall travel was great and the flight staff on all three flights were AMAZING!!! We were met at the airport but our family and a small group of friends and it was the perfect homecoming for us. On Sunday it will be one week that we have been home and it all seems unreal still. We are all adjusting well and still getting caught up on sleep and the time change. I am working on collecting homecoming photos and will post them all soon. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and will post pictures soon!!:)

Friday, May 11, 2012

GOTCHA.....


HERE IT IS.......ENJOY!!:)



 Thank to everyone who said a prayer, donated and supported us emotionally! Without all of you we would have never been able to make it through this journey. And thank you to my amazing husband...you are my best friend and I am so lucky to have you walk next to me on this journey. Our kids are so blessed to have you as their dad...I love you forever and always!!! Thank you again to everyone....Misha and I are headed home on Sunday and I am so excited to share the next chapter of our lives with you!! 
Love,
    Melissa

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TWO.....


TWO....only two more nights that our little boy will sleep in an orphanage alone without the love of his family!!! And only 4 more nights of being here in Ukraine!!! I can’t believe this journey has come to an end...my feelings are so bittersweet about our going home...I will have lived in this country for exactly 6 weeks once I get on that plane headed back home and, although there is a MAJOR language barrier I can say this has become home for me and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. I have also had the privilege of spending these last (almost) 6 weeks with two people I am so happy to call my family now. Beth and Lee, I am so honored and grateful that we have been able to walk this journey together. We are forever bonded from this journey and I couldn’t ask for better friends for life!!:) Thank you for showing me the picture of our sweet boy almost a year ago and getting me in touch with the Ray family. God truly placed all three of our families together for a reason and I know these ties will never be broken!! There is a special place in my heart for the Herrington and Ray family and for the country that has named us the parents of our beautiful boy! And as this chapter of our journey is coming to end and I am so very thankful for all of you who have clicked on the links and followed our journey. Without that support and encouragement we wouldn’t be where we are today. So thank you again for reading our blog and following our story, it means a lot to us!! 

Before I go and share pictures....on friday keep your eyes out for a special video about our gotcha day!!:)


Looking at where he should start with the removal of the toys...

Still looking...

He loves to make the curtains move....and this mama already has an idea for how to create this safely in his room!:)

Trying to get into the cubby hole....

Still trying!:)

On the move...I'm going to be in trouble at home!

Having a staring contest with the horse!:)


Monday, May 7, 2012

The count down is happening!!


The count down is on!!!! After today we have been we have the go ahead to by tickets home and buy tickets I have done!!!:) This means that our liite boy has only 3 (maybe 4) nights left in the orphanage and only 6 days until we come home!!!!! What a wonderful Mother’s Day present for me!!:) I can’t wait to be reunited with my boys at home along with our family and friends!! I have had so much fun while here in Ukraine and I am a little sad to be leaving in 6 days. But I do have to say I am so excited get home and back to my life. It seems like forever since I left and I'm excited to get our little guy home and being our life as a family of 4!!
Last Friday started the beginning of the end as we started our “paper job” as our driver Nicko refers to it. Friday we got a TON done which put us ahead of what we thought our timeline for coming home would be. And I can honest say that on Friday someone was looking out for us. Everywhere we went things went faster then expected and the biggest thing was we arrived at the tax id office after the scheduled hours and a amazingly someone was still working and willing to do our paperwork!!!!! So today we (Myself and the Herrington’s) only had to take the kids to the passport office. At first I was a little nervous....I’ve heard many different stories about kids getting sick in the car or being stuck sitting in Nicko’s van for hours and many other different stories. We stopped by the office to hand them our paperwork, so they could get working on the paperwork they needed to fill out...while they did that Nicko took us over to the orphanage where we waited for the kids to be handed to us. And let me tell you it was the cutest thing ever....Olivia, Beth and Lee’s daughter, was dressed up in what I would call her Sunday best...they put her in a sweet little dress and tights and the cutest little scarf hat thing...and then Mykhaylo came down stairs in the cutest little outfit (none of which matched but I really didn’t mind) he had a blue shirt and shorts on with purple socks and sandals that were clearly to big for him...but for the first time in all our visits he wasn’t wearing tights and he was so happy and content it didn’t matter to me!!:) Once we got in the car he clung to me like crazy and was clearly very nervous! (The only time he’s ever been in a moving vehicle was when he was being taken to the hospital for cardiology check-ups and he rode in a ambulance for that...so his experiences may not have always been the best in the car). After a few minutes he warmed up and I put him in the seat next to me with the belt across his lap (no, they aren’t really big on carseats here) and he LOVED it!!!!! As soon as he was sitting on his own he was playing with his toys I brought and looking around like crazy! The passport office was a totally different experience..he was not digging the set up they had...they had him sitting on a stack of books in a chair so he would be tall enough for the camera but the second I set him down on the chair he lost it and wanted nothing to do with it. Thankfully Beth and Nicko made LOTS of noise to distract him and we got his picture!!:) After that we returned the kids back to orphanage and I called it a day. I have forgotten how tiring waking up early is since I haven’t really had to over the last few weeks!! I guess I should get use to it since I’m headed home in a few short days and it means early wake ups again!
So that has been my last few days here in Ukraine! I am hoping the next few go by just as fast. Wednesday is Victory day here and I am excited to see all the going ons of the city! We have been told there will be concerts and parades and shows of all kinds! Sounds fun and a great way to head into the last few days of being in this amazing country!!:)
Now for what you’ve been waiting for......Pictures!!!!:) 
  

Love this face... 

trying to see from under one of the many hats they have put on him!

Trying to get some food from the footless spoon...

Holding tight to me in the beginning of the car ride.

Playing in the car.... 

Such a big boy in the seat with a seat belt!:)

Here is a little Video I took on my phone on ride in the van...
P.S. he LOVED seeing himself in the camera!:) video



Monday, April 30, 2012

15....


15 Days.......in 15 days I will be surrounded by the loves of my life, my husband and sons......in 15 days I will be sleeping in my own bed....in 15 days I can take a shower in the comfort of my own bathroom.......in 15 days I will be able drive my car to Target (or wherever I would like to go).....in 15 days I will have a closet full of clothes to choose from and not just 3 shirts and a pair a of jeans to rotate through.....in 15 days I will be making Ryan’s lunch for school and loving it.....in 15 days I can go to Starbucks and order the biggest black ice tea possible.....in 15 days I will be able to drink water from the tap again.....in 15 days I will be back in a country where I can understand the language...in 15 days lives will be changed forever....... All of these statements are so true and I could be sitting here dwelling on them for the next 15 days, but I’m not...... You see in 15 days I will board a plane to American with our son and he will become an American citizen and his life will be changed forever (and so will ours).... So even though there are many comforts of home I am looking forward to upon our return...the biggest and most grand thing I am excited about is our son Mykhaylo Aaron Chellson will finally know the true meaning of a family....he learn just how many people are at home patiently waiting to meet him....he will finally know what love from a mommy and daddy feels like....and he will know what its like to have a mommy sing him to sleep...he will know what it’s like to have mommy’s magic kiss for making his boo-boo’s to feel better....he will know what it means to have a daddy who kisses him good morning/night everyday....he will learn how to wrestle with tough guys in the house......he will know what it’s like to have a big brother look out for him and love him unconditionally...he will learn how to play baseball from one of the best big brothers around(according to Ryan)...in just 15 short days a door will close on the life Mykhaylo has known for the last 3 years and we will say goodbye to his wonderful orphanage and this beautiful country that has allowed us to be named his parents....so you see in 15 days we will be beginning a whole new adventure in this adoption journey.....The road to get here has been long and filled with surprises but I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it....So even though I miss my comforts of home I am so truly humbled by this journey and so very excited about the journey we are about to travel on once we arrive home!!:) 
Ok now that I have rambled on about the next 15 days....please enjoy some pictures of our beautiful boy from the last few days!:)

They went from winter hats and coats to fishing hats and shorts...all within a day!!


Couldn’t help but take a self picture of us while I was visiting!!:)


His smile lights up the room...ok we were really outside but you know what I mean!!;)


Sitting on the bench like the big boys do!!:)


He LOVES this A.L.F stuffed animal....


PLaying with A.L.F.....I think this is one of my favorite pictures!!:)


Again..he LOVES A.L.F....


Having a quiet moment with another stuffed animal!


No shelf in our house will be safe..he LOVES to empty eveything off of it....hhhhmmmm...kind of sound like another son of mine!!:)



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love and homesickness....


Hi everyone, I hope you all are having a wonderful week. I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so you all can get to the best part...the pictures!!!:) We are 3 days into our 10 day wait and it’s been 2 days since david left. Things around here are going well but I can feel homesickness creeping back in.....my heart aches for my husband and son back home, and I am also missing my friends and home like crazy too but I know soon enough I will be home with our sweet little boy and life with be crazy busy once again. Each passing day gets me closer to coming home and at the end of everyday I truly feel blessed by having this special time with our little boy who I am so crazy in love with! Each day he does something new and his little personality shines through more and more and I am LOVING every second of it!!
So nothing new has really been going on just the daily grind and counting down the days to breaking our little guy out!!:) Hope you all are having a great week and enjoy some new pictures...
Always full of smiles when I visit!


This is a face of a boy who is going to be keeping me VERY busy when we get home..


This is his proud face.....he was so excited to walk up the little ramp thingy (of course he was holding my fingers but I made him work for it!!!)


Blossoming right before my eyes...


Standing all by himself!!:)


Simply beautiful......
I love this boy like crazy!!!:)




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catching up and court!!


Hi everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a great start to you week. I know we sure did! This past weekend was one of the busiest we’ve had since we’ve been here. We went to both visits each day, so David could get in as much time as possible with our little guy. Then yesterday we woke up early and our day was filled with applying for “Aaron’s” passport....(we had to do this since David went home this morning and will not be coming back)....and then we headed over to the court house for our appointment with the court (more on that in a second). Then we had a wonderful evening visit where I let David enjoy most of it with his little buddy! And we finished Davids last night here with a wonderful meal at the Irish pub right around the corner from our apartment. David left this morning at 3am to head back home...if we could have it our way he would stay for the whole trip but Ryan is missing us like crazy and David has to get back to work. So this means that I’ll be here finishing out our trip on my own but thankfully I’m not truly alone....I have wonderful roommates (Beth and Lee) to keep me company until we all leave in a few weeks!!:)
So not that I’ve gotten caught up, let tell you about court! It was not at all what I expected and thankful that we had nothing to be nervous about since Beth and Lee went through it on Friday! We got to the courthouse a little early, so Nicko (our driver) took us over to a little coffee shop where we were able to enjoy a cup of coffee/soda before going into court. Then at 12:30pm we were whisked into courtroom. And this is the part I was expecting to be different.....for some reason I envisioned a big courtroom like we have back home but really the court room was more like judge chambers....In the judges’ office the walls were lined with chairs for everyone to sit in and the room was packed!!!! The judge began reading our petition to adopt and things got rolling quickly. Each department representative agreed that they supported our petition and then the spotlight was on us. David spoke first and told about our journey to adoption. He talked about EVERYTHING from our struggles with infertility to how we found our little boy...thanks to a mix up with the Ray family and for Shelly sharing a picture with Beth who shared it with me!:)......next it was my turn I spoke about my knowledge of Down syndrome and about my little sister and then let them know since I was a stay at home mom I would be able to provide for any and all of “Aaron’s” needs......next it was the director of the orphanage turn to talked, he spoke about the birth parents and the struggle they have had with having children and that his was the second birth for the mother. The direct also told how they left him at the hospital after test came back stating that he had Down syndrome when he was only two days old. For awhile they visited him and brought him toys and diapers and things but upon the birth of their 3rd child their visits have stopped and his biological father comes every now and then. He stated that his biological parents know he is being adopted and will be going to America to live and they are so grateful that God is watching over their son and they know his life will be so much better in America with us.....this part was bittersweet for me but it confirmed what I have felt all a long....WE were meant to be his parents and this is why we have journeyed across the world to make him part of our family! After the director of the orphanage finished we were asked to leave while the judge and jurors made their decision.......not even 5 minutes later we walked back in and the judge began reading....this is the moment when everything stopped for me....I don’t remember what she said but I do know she approved our petition to adopt and we would be named the parents for our son and his name would be changed to Mykhaylo (Michael) Aaron Chellson!!!! And that was it....all done in about 35/40 minutes!! 
It’s crazy to think that months of paperwork came down to just 35/40minutes of talking!! Court was simple and easy and I am soooooo happy it is over, now we have 10 days of waiting and we should be home sometime in early May....no exact date but once I know I’ll keep everyone updated!!:)
Now it’s time for the good stuff...PICTURES!!!! 

He loved this bike toy!!

listening to music on my phone...he absolutely LOVES music!!

Daddy giving him tickles...

Loving on daddy...

Mommy and her new son!!

Daddy and his new son!!

 Love this kid....but this is right before his hat came off.....

And this is what we found under his hat!!!!!!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Rainy Day.....


Well today is day three of not being able to visit our little guy....he has had a fever for the past few days and the director just wants him to rest and get well. As much as it stinks to not be able to hang out and play with our little guy, we are totally fine with him getting rest and getting well. We also know he’s not the only one sick, our facilitator called the director to see if we could visit this afternoon and he informed her that he was still under the weather as well as a few other kids in his groupa are sick too.... So for right now David and I are just hanging out and enjoying the relaxation of having nothing to do. Once we get back home we will both be hitting the ground running, so getting a little time to relax is just fine with us! Hopefully tomorrow we get see our little guy and spend some time together before David goes home next week! So please say a little prayer, cross your fingers, or just keep us in your thoughts that tomorrow we can start visiting our little guy again! 
We hope everyone is having a great week and hopefully tomorrow there will be a post with pictures from our afternoon visit tomorrow!! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Futbol..Colds...and LOTS of pictures....


Hello again everyone!! So I am again sorry for totally slacking on the blogging. This last few days have been a little slow going. I experienced my first professional futbol game and I must say I am officially a soccer fan!! We only got to watch the last half of the game because the ticket line was CRAZY long and took FOREVER but the wait was so worth it!! Here are some pictures of the game....

 Here is the amazingly huge and beautiful stadium 

 This is the view of the ticket lines as we walked up...crazy long and full of TONS of ticket scalpers!

 This section had super cheap tickets and we didn’t know why until we got inside and we quickly figured out why...it’s where all the SUPER enthusiastic fans sit!!

A picture of of the actual game... 

A different picture of the same crazy fans but this time they all had their signs and scarfs waving.... 

The other crazy fans across the stadium who set off flares and almost started a small fire!!!

And finally no soccer game is complete without fans running onto the field only to be tackled by security...I’m being totally honest when I saw this was so AWESOME!!!:)

  So as you can see the game was absolutely wild but sooooo.... fun!! And the crazy part was the stadium was only a 1/4 full...it can hold 80,000 fans, and it was nowhere near sold out which makes me wonder what a sold out game looks like! We will definitely be attending more futbol games when we get home!!:) As much fun as the game was I could tell I was coming down with a head cold, by the time the game was over my nose was running like crazy and I was sneezing up a storm...so I spent most of the rest of the weekend in bed taking some Ukrainian cold meds and watching movies on my computer. 
  Sunday was Ukraine's Easter so it was a fairly quiet around our neighborhood and I only got out of bed to go to our visit Sunday since I spent the whole morning and afternoon sleeping and was feeling better and was missing our sweet little guy. Monday was a typical day of a visit and doing homework for me and celebrating Beth’s birthday.. 
  Today I think has been the hardest day for me yet....we arrived at the orphanage around 9:45am to find the nanny and doctor/nurse (not sure if she was a Dr or nurse) talking near “Aaron” in the playroom for his groupa...and I immediately new we were not getting our morning visit in. (The last few days he’s felt warm when we’ve had him and hasn’t been as playful as usual so I have been expecting this.) So the nanny who is so sweet wrote down “T” with a degree sign and then an arrow pointing up to let us know his temperature was up. So we asked if we should call before we came for our afternoon visit and she said yes. So long story short we asked our facilitator to call for us and she was told by the director of the orphanage that he wanted “Aaron” to rest for the rest of the day.. Which is what made it so hard, normally at home if Ryan isn’t feeling good we'll lay on the couch and snuggle and just hang out and today that’s what I wanted to do with our little guy but since he’s not “officially” ours I don’t have a say in getting to snuggle.....So today instead of our visits we did a little bit more exploring off of another metro stop and then hung out at the apartment. 
  I know you all are waiting for some fun stories about our visits but the last few days have been kind of quite and boring...sorry no exciting stories today..hopefully I’ll have some tomorrow if we can visit our little guy. But before I go here are some pictures of Saturday's visit!! Sunday and Monday pictures are still on our camera!!:)

               Books and Blocks...what more does a boy need..?? 

           Giving loves to the picture book we brought for him...

                    
    Playing with the little fox stuffed animal we found in the room..


          Playing with daddy and the fox toy...love his little smile!!

    Holding tight to the fox..he was loving on it!!


I know you can't see it but he has a HUGE smile and is laughing at daddy.....have I said how much we love this kid!!!!:)


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! More posts coming soon!!!!:)