Day two with Jackson!

Today was our second visitation with Jackson.  It went very well and we are learning a lot about our little tot.  When we walked in today, his groupa (a group of about 10-15 kids who are kept together) was just finishing up their music lesson.  The other kids are adorable!  Well, not as cute as little Jackson, but I might be a little biased.  Jackson ran right up to Scott and jumped for Scott to catch him.  It was great to see that he recognized us.

Today we brought bubbles to play with.  When we first blew them, he kept nose diving straight into them!  He thought it was funny!  Then, we taught Jackson how to pop the bubbles by clapping them.  We also brought the Sesame Street book and the car from yesterday.

We have been trying to be consistent with Jackson when we visit him.  We’ve been trying to only feed him snacks when he is sitting in a chair.  When we gave Jackson cookies and crackers today, it only took a few times of him getting out of the chair before he realized we’d only give him more when he was sitting.

We did have a problem with him throwing the pieces that we’d give him.  It’s hard to communicate with him when he doesn’t understand what we are saying.  After throwing about 8 pieces on the floor, I did hear the nurse in the background yell at him and tell him to eat, which he did.  We started signing the word eat to him and saying the word “Please” before we gave him more.  Hopefully he’ll catch on soon!

I’m having parental spouse envy too.  🙂  Jackson ran up to Scott this morning as soon as he saw him and he enjoyed playing with Scott today.  I did figure out that since there are no men in the orphanage, it’s a hit or miss how the kids will react.  Some get really scared and others bond well.  Jackson is only used to seeing women and he has bonded with them as being figures of discipline.  So, I think that he still has that mindset with me and he is slightly more reserved.

I also got jealous of Scott because we were pointing to ourselves and saying Mama and Papa.  They do not say Mommy and Daddy here in the Ukraine, rather the nurses refer to us as Mama and Papa.  So we kept repeating Mama and Papa to Jackson and at one point he did repeat the word Papa.  We were so excited to hear him repeat what we were saying, even if he doesn’t understand yet.

Today we were also reminded of how there are many negative forces that do not want adoptions to succeed.  We have to cautiously trust people here and when they ask for money, we have to pay.  Some goes over the table and some goes under the table.  Our first taste of this has been with our driver here in Kharkiv.  We were told to budget $5 per day for transportation to the orphanage, so imagine our surprise when the driver asked for $50!  I said, American dollars, each day???  Wow!  We contacted our agency and it was soon resolved that we would share the driver with another adopting family here in Kharkiv for $25 a trip.  That was more acceptable.  The facilitator here in Kharkiv said that the orphanage is in a dangerous part of town and/or we could be robbed by a taxi driver.

So we got to meet the other adopting family today.  They are from Israel and speak English.  They have been in and out of Ukraine since the beginning of August.  They are visiting a three year old girl in the same orphanage as Jackson.  Then, the driver takes them on a 90 mile trip to another orphanage where they visit the 5 year old sister.  Every day.  And the driver was charging them $250 a trip.  Whoa!  Oh, I forgot to mention that the driver is the husband of the facilitator.  Shady…

We also heard of another family who was referred to a child and didn’t feel comfortable with it.  Their second appointment is tomorrow and they were told that there are no available healthy children, so they have to look through the dreaded blue binder.  Please pray that this family would have clarity about what they are supposed to do.  There are many kids in the orphanages, but some of them haven’t reached the 14 month wait period in order to be adopted internationally, or some of their parents still have some custody rights, which makes them unadoptable.  So, as you can see, adoption is “interesting” here in Ukraine, but Scott and I are trusting God for each step of our journey since He has lead us this far.

Okay, this is getting long and you are probably just coming to see pictures.  A few random thoughts and then I’ll give you the pictures:  The toilet paper smells like strawberries.  I’ve never played such an intense game of charades as what we’ve done trying to communicate with our driver.  There are tons of stray dogs here.  We found Ramen at the store and it costs as much as it does in the states! We are going to need to buy a can opener because we can’t figure out how to use the one here in the apartment.  We went to a pizza parlor last night for our anniversary and pointed at one to order it- total cost was $3.50!

Okay thanks for reading, here’s some pictures and video:

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6 responses to “Day two with Jackson!”

  1. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    AWWW Jackson is so cute!!! Scary about the taxi driver!!! I am glad that things are going smoothly so far and are praying for you!!

  2. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    We are praying for you, as well as the family going back to the SDA. One of our two girls came from “the dreaded blue folder” and the one that didn’t has just as many issues, and she was considered typical. It’s amazing what the love of a family can do!
    Glad to see your little man is happy to see you come each visit! 🙂


  3. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    This story tonight was more on the serious side …. We will continue to PRAY that this adoption will go smooth, and that GOD will keep you safe. Praying too, for the couple that are looking again. ….. Now for the fun part, I love his laugh, it reminds me of Scott’s. I think your right Lindsey about women being the one who corrects him, are men rare there too, if so, that would be something to consider. I love the way he looks at both of you, and the way you look at him. Jackson has been Blessed, and so have you. Love Mom and Dad

  4. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    Jackson is absolutely adorable, and so incredibly lucky to have you two. I can’t believe the videos – it’s only the second time you’ve met! I admit, I cried a little 🙂 You two have done an amazing thing for this little one, and it is obvious how much you love him already. I’m so happy for you! Thinking of you guys and your son (hehe, so cute!), and hope everything goes smoothly from here on out. Stay strong, be safe, and keep the pictures coming. It really is a beautiful thing to watch 🙂 Love you guys!!! Matthew says hi! -em
    PS – Scott, we can all go sledding at my parents 🙂

  5. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    Lindsey – he is adorable – a boy will keep you running – especially one that is all boy but they are FUN. I hope the rest of your trip goes as smoothly and uneventful as possible – Kathy

  6. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    Oh Lindsey, I am so happy for you. He is just adorable, and looks just perfect! I hope we get to meet him!! Praying for continued smooth bonding!! Love, Mel