Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day Five

Casey, Lexi, and I on our first meeting;-) She is hugging Mama and Casey just couldn't resist joining the love!!! How cute;-).
Then she let go of me and grabbed big brother for a hug and picture....sweet sweet sweet!!!
Sitting in her Mama's lap. She just didn't want to do anything except love on us and we ate it up!!!
Look how slender she became during that year and a half that she grieved for me!!! Poor baby...but, she looks very happy now. I think, from many of the things she told me, that she had inner arguments every night at bedtime about me returning for her. She told me that some times she would think that it would be too wonderful to happen in her life. Then she would not feel very well. She would get very sad with those thoughts in her mind and really did not want to eat, bath, or go to school. Then she would make herself stop thinking that way and she would make the pictures in her mind of my eyes watching her with love in the playroom. Vika would tell herself that Mama would be back for her. She battled her own mind for all that time!!!!
First visit of the day....
October 23, 2009: Casey and I popped up out of bed very early. Several hours before the wake up call was due!!! We were so excited to see Vika that we slept very lightly and Casey left the curtains open for the first sign of daylight to wake us. But, the sun did not rise early, it did not come out until around 9:00am. This was not what, woke us up early, it was our strong desire to see Vika!!! We automatically awoke at 6:00am. Casey looked so sharp in his light blue dress shirt and his navy blue dress slacks. he looked freshly pressed and wore a soft smelling aftershave. He was so dolled up with his hair combed ever so carefully and full of hair gel;-). He was beautiful...LOL!!!

I had on gray dress slacks with a black turtle neck sweater and a short sleeve gray and black sweater as a jacket over the black turtle neck. It was very nice!!! I topped off the look with very pointed (Russian style) black patent high heal shoes. I made sure that not a single hair was out of place on my head and it was a great hair day;-). I think my make-up was quite nice as well.
We went to the restaurant downstairs and ate our breakfast.
I love their buffet breakfast. It is pretty good and is included with the room. To save money, we only ate a big (free;-) breakfast, and got something very cheap for dinner off the street vendors (only a few belly aches...LOL). So, quite a good deal. Anyway....Following our breakfast, we went up to the room to get some of the gifts we wanted to give her and get the pictures for her to build the photo album we had brought for her to put together. When we went to the lobby of our Hotel, Yuri and Tatiana were waiting for us. We all got into his car and zoomed away for the Ministry building and our 9:00am meeting.

Once we arrived at the Ministry, we went to an area to check in our coats. I took my purse with me, as it had the pictures that I wanted to give to them. They were pictures of Katie Aunna when we got her referral and some of her presently. Boy, talk about night and day between Katie's referral picture and her presently. The lady at the ministry gasped when she saw Katie's referral picture next to her present pictures. She just went on and on about how wonderful she looked.

I also showed her pictures of our friend's daughter who was adopted at the same time we adopted Katie Aunna and she was amazed. I also told her about some of the things their little girl could do given her physical limitations. The Ministry lady almost cried and just could not believe me. She was not only amazed, over the other little girl but, could not believe how wonderful and happy Katie Aunna looked.

She was so pleased to know Katie's arm was healed now and that she has glasses that are repairing her slight strabismus. It was very pleasing for her to hear that Katie Aunna is now a very healthy, happy, and developmentally on target little girl. She was also amazed at how quickly Katie Aunna learned to speak English and that Katie is reading now!!!! I played some videos on my camera of Katie reading and she smiled from ear to ear throughout the entire video;-)

She remarked that there is such a dull look in their eyes in the orphanage and now their eyes sparkle like twinkling bright stars. She also said that she loves seeing follow-up pictures because it shows them that they are doing the right thing for the kids!!!! She said they seldom see photos of the children they place!!! The Ministry lady immediately went through Vika's file with me and told me about her older half sister who is in an orphanage for unadoptable children.

I won't go into detail, but Vika's older sister has many many many issues both mental and physical. Vika and this child, never lived together, as Vika lived in the Murmansk baby home with Katie Aunna and another little girl we'll call "A". Then Vika, Katie, and "A" (who was also adopted the previous year leaving only Vika and Katie to cling together) were moved to the older children's orphanage there in Murmansk. "A" also lived in the baby orphanage with Vika and Katie Aunna. Vika's older sister lives in another region and they have never met.

Following this discussion, with the Ministry lady, she got out a paper and filled it in. She made several official stamps on it and asked me to sign it. The translator, Tatiana, translated the document for me. Just about that fast our meeting ended and we were on our way to see our darling girl!!! We all got into Yuri's car and zoomed away to the orphanage. My heart was pounding in my chest all the way over there. I just keep wondering if Vika would look badly, as I had received an email from Katie Aunna's step sister who, at my request, went to the orphanage to visit Vika. She knew Vika when she used to visit Katie and Vika was always with Katie. She told me Vika was depressed for me and had lost a lot of weight and she was no longer chubby. That worried me!!!

As we drove up to the building, it brought back so many memories, those times that I began our adoption process of Katie and the day we met Vika. It was definitely familiar ground that I was going into. I felt unusually comfortable. We immediately went into the director's office. She had Vika's file and began to read things about her.
Things like information about her parents, grandparents, an aunt who also lived locally. But, none of these people were willing to take her and they signed relinquishment documents forever releasing any rights to the child. This happened a long time ago. But, the grandma would still come to see Vika on the "sly" to speak and for the lack of a better word. They were unofficial visits not documented by the orphanage.

Next, we were taken to the doctor's office and she went over her medical file on Vika. When she had her last vaccinations, her last doctors check up, the optometrists results for her, and the orthopedic doctor for her leg length difference. She was scheduled to do another, however, they will not do it now and they expect the American doctors to do it. That was a relief. Next we were led to Vika's classroom where she sat at her desk looking like my princess!!!

Vika was so darling in a brown and cream colored silk shirt, jeans, and a matching bow in her hair. It was a huge bow that is traditional for the Eastern European orphanages to put in their hair for special occasions;-). The most shockingly delightful thing about her was her hair. I had ask them to stop chopping it off back last spring. Lo and behold...they had stopped cutting her hair and it was quite long. Considering it was braided, it went to her shoulder blades in the back, and no more bangs (thank goodness). So, if her hair were taken down from her braid, it will be several inches longer. She has thick beautiful light brown hair that I feel certain will be dark blond in the summer sun!!! I am so excited to doll her up in some of the beautiful clothes I have bought for her!!!

When we first walked into her classroom, as she saw us, Vika sprang to her feet and came over to me. She buried her head in my bosom while wrapping her arms around my waist looked tearfully into my eyes and said some things that blew me away. "'s really you!!! What took you so long to come back for me after you left with Ana?" I almost cried and gulped it down and replied "Honey, there are many things that have to be done and lots of papers, too. I brought pictures of those papers."

Then she said "Mama, I knew you were going to come back for me. When we were in the playroom with Ana you looked at me a lot with a smile and your eyes said you loved me!!! Mama...I've loved you every day." Then she smelled me visibly and looked into my eyes while continuing this big bear hug. I sat down in her school chair and she was all over me. I felt weak in the knees because of my love for her. She came up beside me and just hugged and kissed and smelled me a million times!!!
Vika then asked about where Papa was. I told her that "he could not afford to miss his work. We really needed to make money for the bills and for her adoption. Plus he is taking care of her brothers and sisters while I am here." She seemed satisfied about this and began to take me around her room showing me her artwork that she had painted. She is really very gifted. I took a picture of one the paintings she made and she gave one to me as a gift she had painted over the last year while she was waiting for me to return for her. Even though she had no confirmation of my return she made this gift to give to me!!!

The care givers said they never told her we might come back and said nothing when we were coming until the day before we were due to arrive!!! She just believed in her heart and she didn't care that different people would say that we might not return. The director told me Vika would correct anyone who said I "might" not come back for her. To that she always responded with "Mama loves me and will be back for me soon". They said her faith was astounding and her courage unwavering. She did lose a lot of weight over the last year and a half as she would have days of discouragement and not eat...awe!!!!

After Alexi and my initial discussion with her, we were taken to a playroom with her, so we could visit in private. She sat down in my lap and started to ask me questions. "How many are in our family? Where will I sleep? Do we have any pets? Will you take me home soon or should I wait for a long time? Do you have clothes for me to wear? If not, then what will we do about that?" It was really cute all the questions she had for me. She also adored Casey Jay and had so much fun making jokes about his attempts at Russian and he had a blast getting her to say English words.

Next, I got out the pictures of the house and the family. We looked through them and I named each child. She was amazed and very pleased that she had siblings to play with!!! I gave her a photo album so she could arrange the pictures however she wished. She enjoyed putting them into her album. I also bought her the cutest little ladybug watch and a 14K crucifix. She put it on right away and was very proud of her new gifts. After this, we left for her lunch time and returned in the afternoon.
Afternoon visit of day five.....
During this visit I visited with her about her new American name. I asked her if she liked her name and she said yes. I said is this name your Russian name (duh for me...LOL) and she responded with "Of course it's Russian". I told her it was a beautiful name and it is important that we keep her beautiful Russian name. Her heart belongs to Russia and America would be her beloved home. But, she needs another name, a second name. She said "But, mama, I have two names already". Then I told her that in America, girls and boys usually have two names, in addition to their last or family name. She was listening very intensely!!! I said "you will need an American name as well as a Russian name".

It was so cute...she asked me if I had a name in mind for her. I said I did and it is Alexis Viktoria
Gartner. Then she asked me the funniest question..."Do all girls in American have this name???". We all laughed lovingly. I said "of course not sweetie. This is your special name and although there may be some girls whose Mommy's like this name and their daughters have it...many girls have different names. But, you will be the only person in America, most likely, that has three names of Alexis Viktoria Gartner".

She asked me to write this name in English and Russian so she could learn her new name;-). Then she said "I will take this American name and yours and Papa's family name. But, you are not spelling Viktoria the right way"....HaHa!!! I told her that we would keep her Russian name exactly as it is if this is what she wanted. She smiled and I made the correction. Shortly after, the translator called Yuri, who was out gathering paperwork. He was waiting for me to talk to Lexi and get her opinion. Tatiana gave him Lexi's new name and the proper spelling for it!!! Now how cute was that?!?!?!

Lexi paused and thought about this information for a while. Then she said she wanted me to know that she loved her new name and would practice writing it for me until I return for her. Her next question was when would I return to get her. I said Yuri says about one month. And she was thrilled!!! She also wanted to know if Papa would come then and I said "yes". She was extremely happy. I did not tell her about the ten day post court wait as this, I felt sure, would be a stress and heart ache for her. It is actually 10 business days and there will be two weekends that fall in that time frame. That's if there are no Russian holidays!!!
I am thinking if I could somehow, by miracle of God, find an extra $2000, then I could rent cheap apartment I could clean up (live cheap..feed her and ration me) and get regional custody of her. This would allow me to stay with her in this flat (apartment) so we could bond. Duane would fly back to the UA after court to care for our children and keep our income going during these hard economic times. Then, two and a half weeks later after I process her out of the region, he could fly back to Moscow (where Lexi and I would meet him) for three days to get us processed out of Russia and through the American immigrations.
If your heart feels Lexi separation anxiety and God should whisper this request to you....please donate so we can save this money and Lexi would have Mama with her as she waits. I already have $500 that people have donated so I might make my goal if we work together and not have to stress her out by leaving her for another three weeks while she hopes I come back for her!!! God will bless you ten fold if you can walk by faith and help this sweet little girl. We are only $1500 short. Please, help us do this for her!!! I never have asked people for help and this is a greatly difficult for me to do. But, love is a strong motivator for a mother ><> May God touch many hearts for Vika's mental health and her inner peace. She has waited so long!!!

Okay sorry.....back to Lexi darling.....We then sat down, to look at the pictures a little more, so I could show her the house, kids, and a picture of all the dossier documents laying on my kitchen table. It amazed her that so many papers were needed for her. She really got wide eyes when I said that more papers were still needed from Russia and just a few more from me. It wowed her that she was actually that valuable...LOL!!! We closed our first day of visiting with much love, many kisses, and big bear hugs. She has the greatest innocent love inside her golden heart and the most super sweet personality I have ever seen in a little girl. What a darling little girl and I can not believe that I am lucky enough to have her as my daughter. God has truly blessed us with this darling child!!! May God bless you...Trisha

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day Four

We got dressed early and decided to take the shuttle to the airport and find breakfast there. Once we checked our bags in to Aeroflot Russian Airlines we had the opportunity to look around the airport. It really is not a very difficult airport to navigate at all. In fact, I like it a lot better than many I have been in. We found a great little breakfast buffet and ate before our flight time.

The flight to Moscow seemed to go quickly since we were sort of rested from the night of sleep. I still felt like I was in motion when I woke up but, this was a great day as we would fly on to Murmansk from Moscow. We arrived without incident to Moscow and took a taxi over to the Hotel Novotel to wait in their lobby where we were met by the Frank Foundation representative, Irina. She loaded us up in the van and we went to the domestic airport.

There we boarded another plane and flew about four hours to Murmansk. Yuri was there to meet us and gave a big bear hug. He had a new translator, which pleased me greatly, as I really did not like the translator we used during Katie Aunna's adoption. This one...also named Tatiana, was very pleasant and sweet. I liked her right away. The strangest thing happened as we all stood there chatting.

One of the airport police came up to us and asked to see our passports. She said we were foreigners and wanted to see our visa. This was odd as it is doubtful we would have made it to this point without one. But, she was insisting we did not have a visa to be in Russia!!! I asked to show her several times before she and Yuri along with Tatiana began having a loud Russian discussion;-).

Finally, I was able to get my passport and I flipped to the visa in mine and then showed her Casey's. she wrote down everything on her little pocket notepad!!! I kept thinking how crazy this was, but, whatever made her happy was thrilling to me so we would be allowed to get our bags and leave. We checked into what was the Zori and now is known as Parkway Inn. Yuri said we would meet with the ministry official at 9:00am and then we would go to visit with Vika...YEAH!!!!

Day Three

We landed in Amsterdam exhausted after flying for ten and a half two hours before that with layovers. I made my first mistake on this trip!!! Casey went through passport control first. When I went through I did not see him waiting for me. Panic set in as I looked everywhere and did not see him in the busy baggage retrieval area.

I began to walk around searching for him and thinking how I was going to tell Duane that our boy was missing!!! My heart was pounding as I walked around. So many people and the door to the outside world was just right there and accessible. Although, I could not imagine how someone could get Casey to willingly go outside. Of course, there are lots of scam artists in this world and lots of ways even adults are abducted and killed. So, that demon went through my mind as I searched.

Just as I was getting ready to cry I spotted him talking to a woman across the hall. I immediately went to retrieve him and he saw the look on my face as I approached. He began to explain that this lady needed some help getting her baggage. I just patted his back and told him to come over to get our bags. Boy did I give him a piece of my mind when I got him aside!!! I told him that he could not trust anyone and not to do that again or he would never travel with me again. He was very apologetic and assured me it would never happen again. I thought to myself..."Right, buddy, cause I'm going through first from now on."

Once I collected my mind and our luggage we went outside to wait for the Hotel bus. It was 9:30am and our bodies felt like it was bedtime. We saw a McDonald's on our way to the Hotel and decided we would get a cheeseburger. The man at the counter looked at us very oddly as it was breakfast time for them;-). We left our luggage at the Hotel as our room would not be ready for about thirty minutes. So, this was the perfect time to get some food. When we returned we went straight to our room and took a bath.

Naturally, Casey and I wanted to go to bed!!! However, I knew this would do nothing to get us adjusted for "Vika" time. It was around 11:00am when we got into our beds. I was thinking that time seemed to be slowly moving by at a snail's pace. Then Casey said; "Mom, does time seem to be passing unusually slow?" That just cracked me up laughing and I told him that I had that exact thought only moments ago. He began to flip through TV and found news in English. We watched for about an hour and then he found animal planet in English.

It was so hard to stay awake, however, we managed it for another hour....about 1:00pm. Then I told Casey we should take a two hour nap. I called for a wake-up call at 3:00pm. I looked over at him and he was almost immediately sleeping like a little lamb;-). I also fell asleep quickly with visions of Vika dancing in my head!!!

It was so difficult to wake up at 3:00, but we managed and got dressed for some dinner. We went downstairs and ate wonderful lasagna. It was delicious!!! It was so easy to get back into bed and fall asleep very early that evening. This helped immensely with our adjustment to the time difference. Early the next morning we were off to Moscow and Vika!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day Two

Walking like an Egyptian at 30,000 feet;-).

October 19, 2009: Casey was so extremely excited to be going on this trip. He hoped to learn many things about people and he was very anxious to meet his new sister first!!! He had worked his tail off last week to do two weeks of school work in one. His goal was to go to Russia homework free and he was successful. I had hopes he would have a great trip and be a wonderful traveling companion. Thus far, he had filled the picture perfectly. He loaded luggage into the car, unloaded it and checked it in at our first flight from Amarillo. I love that he held doors open for me and was a very pleasant young man.

Our flight to Houston was perfect and timely. We had four hours to burn there and so we looked in the shops and just had a great time walking around the airport and talking. He was so excited and happy. It was really sweet to see him enjoying my undivided attention. It was nice for me to have one on one time with him. He is so intelligent and such a kind person. Casey gave me a number of belly rolls during our trip.
After a few hours or goofing off we went into a sports bar/restaurant to have some food before our flight and watch some Sunday afternoon football. I had a couple of vodkas in preparation for our next flight...LOL!!! Guess I was sprouting some wings of my own. But, it was good for my nerves, as I was beginning to get anxious. At long last my Vika was waiting for me to arrive and I knew she was feeling as anxious as I was.

Our big airbus pulled to the dock and we boarded for a ten and a half hour flight to Amsterdam. This was our overnight flight to the European side of the world. Casey was very excited and I dreaded it;-) on one hand and adored it on the other. It was my passage from mother of nine living children to ten. I love even numbers and she represents that and the end of adding onto our family. A final step in our life and yet a happy beginning to the state of fulfilment.
During our long flight Casey and I watched a lot of TV and had many interesting conversations. At one point, I had a stress out, and so Casey took over and found a comfort zone for me. He noticed one of my favorite comfort movies (Wizard of Oz) and plugged me into a safe place. After it was over I was just fine and ready to continue with my heart's desire. What a sweetie pie he has been and quite a world traveler. Neither one of us slept on those flights to Amsterdam!!! We were just way too excited;-).

Day One

Loaded up and ready to fly out for Russia;-).

October 18, 2009: Casey and I rushed around like crazy people getting things packed and re-packed. I reorganized at least one hundred times...LOL!!! I wanted to have one carry-on and two checked bags. We actually started with the DVD player with DVDs in it's case, my briefcase full of dossier papers, flight schedules, hotel reservations, and maps, and my purse filled to the limit.

I had made a reservation at the new Holiday Inn in Amarillo for that Saturday evening in the hope of a good night of rest before our long journey. Finally, we loaded up and said our goodbyes. Kisty, Shane, DeeDee, and Lil' Trish came over to wish us a safe trip. Then Duane came home from work and we made our family prayer circle to pray for safe travel and wonderful memories.

John was thrilled to see Kisty. He knew he was going to stay with her during my absence. John-John kept rolling his Spiderman suitcase all over the house. Just chomping at the bits to go with Kisty for some baby time from big sister;-). When they came into the house he gave Shane a high five and jumped into Kisty's arms...ready to leave with her!!! Shane's sister would be coming on Monday to be my substitute teacher while we were gone.

Casey and I loaded up and left mid-afternoon. On the way to Amarillo, I had this idea to put the dossier folder (very thick and heavy) and the DVD case in one rolling suitcase. We stopped in Amarillo and bought a cheap rolling bag for the carry-on. We went to dinner and then checked into our hotel room. I slept very well somehow!!! Casey did not, as he had never flown out of the country, and was quite nervous. The next morning everything went smoothly and timely. We were on our way to see Vika!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Girl!!!

We are home safely and feeling the jet lag!!! I caught myself dozing off this afternoon and so got up and did some cleaning. But, I find myself fully awake now. Perhaps I'm on Russian time!!! I can't believe the house was as tidy as it was when I got home. Karissa told me that on Sunday afternoon Daddy told everyone to clean up quick because Mama would be home Monday evening. Further, he told them that I would have his hide if I saw this house like it was...HaHa...little Miss Tattle-Tail. I wanted to put this picture of Lexi on just for now. I kept a journal each day in Russia and will get it posted tomorrow. For's My Girl;-).

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Just wanted to write a note to let everyone know that we have completed our time in Murmansk and are now in Moscow. Casey and I walked around today and looked at Red Square. We were actually able to get in to see Lenin. It was a bit gross considering he will be preserved...forever!!! His hair and finger/toe nails continue to grow and peridocally they have to be trimmed....YUCK!!!! But, Casey and I found it interesting enough. I have a lot of beautiful pictures to post once we are home. We will leave for the USA on this Monday. Vika was so darling and I was sad to leave her. Soon we will come back to Russia and she will be home with her forever family. Take care and many blessings...Trisha and Casey

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Visits With Vika

Yesterday we began our visits with Vika. The ministry meeting went very well and they were happy to allow her adoption. She is a delightful little girl!!! I have to tell you that she was so happy to see me and is especially fond of Casey whom she calls "Sasha". Today they played with the gameboys it was ever so entertaining to her. There is much illness here and her orphanage has been closed to visitors. However, we are the exception. I am keeping a journal so that I may write every little detail once I get back home. Since I do not have my laptop with me I am having to buy computer time. I wanted to post that she is very happy and yesterday the first thing she said was "Mama, what took you so long to come for me???" Now how cute is that??? Today she told me that she knew when we took Ana (Katie) that we would return for her. She remembers every detail of this meeting last year and recalled it to me perfectly. God Bless...Trisha, Casey, and Vika

Monday, October 19, 2009


Hi...We are safely in Amsterdam and enjoying the sights. I am a bit stressed...mainly yesterday when I was so extremely tired. We checked into our airport hotel and then walked to a nearby McDonald's;-). We then returned to our room and took a wonderful...needed...bath!!!! Aftr eatin a bite we then got into bed for a little rest;-). After a two hour nap we were feeling much better. Neither Casey nor I slept on the flight from Amarillo...Houston....Amsterdam. We were hooting like two little owls...LOL!!!! At this time we are checked into our Moscow flights and I am certsainly a Mama on a mission now. Casey has been such a wonderful little man!!!! Talk to you once we are in Murmansk tonight. Much love and many blessing~Trisha and Pal Casey

Friday, October 16, 2009

Count Down to Vika

Well tomorrow we leave for Amarillo. We will spend the night and leave on our first of many flights to Murmansk!!! There God's greatest treasure awaits our arrival....a child who wants a family and a family who wants a little girl....coming together at last!!! I had such sweet dreams of her last night and enjoyed my sleep. Usually I don't remember my dreams. However, it was so wonderful that my mind carried the vision into my day today.

We are packed, passports with visas are in hand, money from the bank is together, and now we prepare to travel. I want you to know that as we travel to Murmansk (Sunday through Tuesday) I will not have access to a computer. So, do not be alarmed!!! You will get information regarding our travels and our meeting with the Russian Princess. I will also attempt to post pictures!!! Talk to you one more time before we go tomorrow. Many blessings...Vika's Mama!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two More Nights and Two More Days!!!

I can't believe we are leaving in just two short days!!! I have several appointments tomorrow. Unfortunately, the stress is catching up to me. I have this tiny cough developing and I feel that I may be coming down with a cold. But, in the morning I have an appointment with our nurse practitioner so hopefully she will hook me up with some Z-Packs.

I have very delicate ears that seem to get flyer's ear even without any sinus drainage. But, this does scare me. I don't know what I will do if our nurse practitioner does not prescribe antibiotics...urg!!!! So, say a little prayer for me!!! If I am sick they will not let into the orphanage. Oh how awful that would be. Guess we will see how I feel in the morning as I also have some runny nose, pressure in my left ear, and a mild sore throat.

***Special note to Tammy...Remember when I said that I thought we would be flying on the day you were. Only you are going home with your son and I am going to my daughter??? I read your blog and see you are flying back on Saturday!!! HaHaHa!!! We are driving over to Amarillo Saturday afternoon to catch our Sunday morning flight out to Houston, Amsterdam, Moscow, and on to Murmansk where my darling little girl is waiting for me. So...yes we are two ships passing in the night;-). Big congrats on your precious little boy!!! He is a darling angel!!!

Okay...just for the record. I am 90% packed with about 8 pounds to spare. We are checking two small bags and will have two carry-on bags. Casey is excited beyond belief. We have been adopting since 2002 from overseas and this is the first time Casey will accompany me. I believe that it will give him an entirely different perspective of his own life and how very lucky he is to live where he does. Also, he is thrilled to be the first one to meet his new sister. I do wish Duane could go with me on this trip. However, he needs to continue to work and keep our income steady and secondly the children will need his parental care!!!

Guess that's it for tonight. I will make two more posts before I go. One Friday and one Saturday. Once we reach Russia I will update our progress and post some pictures of our little girl. I know you are as anxious to see her as we are. Many of you have made personal donations to this adoption as you know how much we need the funding and most importantly "you all love Vika"!!!! How lucky we are to have such wonderful people following our journey and praying for us. You are such a blessing and God will be chasing you down to bless you for your love of this little Russian orphan girl. Although, soon she will no longer be an orphan girl!!! She will have her forever family!!! Many blessings and thank you all so very much for your support and prayers. Trisha (Vika's Mama)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

We have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and we're off!!!!!! We are flying out of Amarillo to Houston on Sunday morning early. So, we have decided to spend the night in Amarillo Saturday evening. After we get to Houston we will be flying to Amsterdam. Once there we will spend the night and then continue on to Moscow. In Moscow we will take the next plane out to Murmansk. Then we can relax for dinner and get a good night's rest. On Tuesday morning we will have the Ministry meeting and will be allowed to see our little girl. It is so awesome that in a matter of moments her future will change forever and so will ours!!!! Many blessings...Trisha (Vika's Mama)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The World Has 142,000,000 Orphans!!!

Starving girl in Guatemala waits for her orphanage ration!!!

Many starving children in an African country and many are homeless.

This baby languishes in an orphanage without mother or father to quench his desire for love and comfort.

Boys in a Russian orphanage who just need a family to guide them into God's Will for their life rather than left to their own devices for survival.

Orphans inside a cold and poorly heated room. They need the warmth of a mother's heart!!!

Orphan's shower room where they often hose off in cold water just to feel a little clean and comfortable!!!

Orphanage bathroom which doubles as a storage closet. Not even a roll of toilet paper for personal hygiene!!!

Sinks to wash dirty little hands and faces in cold water!!!


I am getting so excited as we have 7 days until we travel. I never count the day that we travel as that is a day of haste;-). Then to make it seem even closer, I don't count the day we are in as it will pass in a matter of hours;-). So, I am in Friday, and have Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday to wait, and we have lift off!!! That's eight nights and eight days until we start the journey which will once again change our lives forever.

It will also change my family unit and throw us all into a state of transition and we will be adjusting to an altered family unit. A brand new cohesion of the family unit. Some of my family will transition well and some will have difficulty. I may have difficulty or it may be smooth as glass for me. It can not be predicted!!!

So, A little girl sits half way around the world. This child has no awareness of what is about to happen to her life as she knows it. The adjustments she will contend with in regard to a foreign country, living with people she only slightly knows, who poorly speak her native language and vaguely understand it. A place where the food is strange and the customs are different.

Even the daily care of herself will differ greatly as she will have a mother to care for her when she needs assistance and to constrain her when she has been use to living without anyone with expectations of her performance for her needs. A mother to tell her that she must do things this way, or that way, when she is accustomed to being alone with her decisions. She is used to an institution's daily routines and taking care of herself all alone and with only the bare minimum.

If she didn't want a bath or shampoo her hair...okay whose to tell her otherwise. No clothes or furniture or space that belong to her. Many things will be different for her when she walks into her new life. But, for now she has no mother and no father. What family she might have in Russia is far too poor to care for her regardless of whether they love her or not. So, they might as well not love her, as it does no good for either one to love her. She is unloved due to her own physical limitations and the economics and social restraints of where she has been born.

Even if her family decided to try to take care of her, they would suffer great social stigmas associated with her physical handicaps, that would bring shame and degradation to her family. In Russia, less than perfect children or adults, are unacceptable and both the disabled person and their family are treated very poorly. Her future is likely to be a life of prostitution, begging on the streets, starvation, social abuse, unemployment, and eventually suicide from total despair.

This week is orphan week and I want to give my readers complete awareness in regard to these 142,000,000 orphans who are facing these very odds that my daughter-to-be is facing. Although, she does not know I am coming to give her hope and a future, at this point in time she knows only the things I have described above. In addition to her physical disabilities she is an older child. Unfortunately, her age also becomes another detrimental factor for her demise in her home country.

Vika's next stop in life, at age 10 years old (without us), is that she will next go to the institution for permanently damaged people. This institution houses children through adults for life or they can run away from the institution and become street rejects. Sound like a pleasant blog post??? Well, it's not...welcome to "orphan reality 101 class". But, do not despair, as Jesus has other posts to show you which will greatly satisfy your soul with joy.

At the moment that I write this post let's go to Vika's side.....Vika is sitting in an orphanage knowing that she is slated to go to the institution for damaged children. She probably is wondering why she has not been transferred yet. I can only assume, that at this point she would not dare to dream that a family is coming for her. She awaits her fate like a murderer would wait the death sentence on death row. She knows that the mortality rate in the institutions is 80%.

She also likely knows that she is a virgin at age 10 years old and that she will certainly be repeatedly raped and sexually abused once she is in this next institution. How would you feel as an adult....think of it...she's a 10 year old child thinking these things. It would be maddening to think of this fate as an adult...but, as a child!!!! I am so sorry this post is so straight forward. It is needed to help everyone pray precisely for this child and for those children left behind without parents. We can not save all the children like we are Vika.

But, perhaps through your awareness, other children will be saved, if not by direct adoption, then through sponsorship. Because, even though I can't save ALL the children, and make a huge difference in their lives. I can save this one child and make a magical difference in her life. is now eight days and eight nights before, one little girl is brought down the hallway of her orphanage, and will see a woman (me) standing before her to say "Privet, dara guya dochinka. Ya tibya lu blue. Men-ya-za-vout Mama." or in English..."Hello, dear darling daughter. I love you. My name is mama!!!"

How will she respond??? I can not say for sure...but, I think her hearts desire will be met on that beautiful and special day. Please be there with me through the blog. Look at her darling face and see the photos of her attaching to Casey and Mama!!! Please, pray for the other 141,999,999 orphans still awaiting their fate!!!! Forgive me the boldness contained in this post. Happier posts and thrilling days are forthcoming!!! I love you all and therefore wish you many blessings and much love in your lives...Trisha (mom2Vika)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Airline Tickets...Check

I made the airline and hotel reservations. We are ready to travel and see our darling. Duane will not travel with me on this first trip since we already met with Vika last year. I am relieved to know that the children will have Daddy to watch over them in my absence. A family member will be the substitute teacher during the day while I am in Russia. This is also a tremendous relief to know that the children will continue with their school work. Now, all I need to do is pack!!! I am so excited to see Vika soon and I know it will be the surprise of her life when she gets her heart's desire....a family who loves her!!! Many blessings...until next week...Paka-Paka;-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dates Changed

Just got word that we will not be able to go on the 13Th as first planned. However, I am not too disappointed as we are confirmed to travel on the 19TH. Airline tickets and Hotel reservations are made and now I just have to pack. I doubt I will post pictures while in Russia as I am not taking my laptop. I do plan to post to the blog. So, keep those prayers going!!! Step by step...we are getting closer to our precious little girl. Many blessings!!!