Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Gotcha Day!

Today is Valentine's Day. However, since last year, this day will forever be remembered in a different, more special way. It was one year ago on this, Valentine's Day , that Lizzie walked out of the orphanage in Kherson forever. Today is her GOTCHA day!

After some quiet reflection, I realized that a lot of worry, hurt, anxiety and sadness suddenly disappeared on this day a year ago. I thought back to times full of fear that we would never get Lizzie registered, let alone adopted and home. They said it would never happen. They said that they would stand in the way. They told us that she was mentally ill and unstable. "They" were just a couple of orphanage workers and regional social workers. To add difficulty to the process, Lizzie's birth mom was in prison and you cannot terminate parental rights when a mother is in prison. Never mind that she was no longer in Lizzie's life and that Lizzie was a ward of the state. It seemed Lizzie would be lost forever and not adoptable at all. However, we would not give up, we kept praying, and we hired a terrific team in Kherson to get her registered and her one year international adoption clock started. We prayed, she prayed, and He heard! God made all of our dreams come true! Lizzie came home just that very next weekend! Home to her family, home forever!

A lot has happened in this past year. Lizzie is a sophomore in high school, a varsity cheerleader, a competition cheerleader, and she is making fabulous progress. Her ESL teacher feels she will no longer need her services after this year. Lizzie's grades are all in the 3.0 area and she was recently granted credit for her academics in Ukraine. this will enable her to skip the summer schools she would have attended over the next three years to graduate on time. Lizzie has determined that she wants to be a Lawyer and give back to those in need, perhaps even some work with orphans in Ukraine one day. She has had many firsts in the last year, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first family vacation (to the Bahamas, a place begged us to take her all these years).

Lizzie turned 16 last November and it was a special day as well, her first at home. She knew, also, that it was the day that she would no longer be adoptable. At 16, non-sibling tied orphans cannot be adopted by Americans. She got home with nine months to spare! Instead of the day being a sad, dreadful day for us all, it was the happiest birthday of her life!

Happy Valentines day to you all and to my family! Happy Gotcha day, Lizzie! We love you!

~ Tet'chka ~



Jo said...

I'd love to hear how it works getting her registered and rights removed. My blog is hershonsforever.blogspot.com and my e-mail is Hershonfamily@gmail.com. Thanks!

Nadia Roge said...

Happy Gotcha Day Lizka I love you :D

Jefferson Hunt said...


My son's Ukrainian mother's rights were removed while she was in jail and before we had decided to adopt him. Ukraine is quirky.

Now, what's happening with Vlad?

Erica said...

Congratulations to all of you! Your story was such an inspiration to me as I was in Ukraine to adopt my Ira a year ago. Our Gottcha day is coming up one month from today! :)

Cindy Finley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cindy Finley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cindy Finley said...

Congratulations to you ALL! :)

Julie said...

Happy Gotcha Day, she is beautiful!

Cassc said...

It amazes me to think how long I have had the honor of following your blog and how much progress you guy shave made in that time. I'm sure the journey seemed endless at times and now it's hard to believe so much time has passed! The Lord is perfect in his timing!

The McEacherns said...

Happy one year! I think even we sensed the relief on that day one year ago. I can only imagine how much weight was lifted from your hearts that day. Blessings!

P.S. How about pics from that Bahamas vacation?!

Anonymous said...

I have friends who adopted two little girls from Ukraine last Fall. While they were there they discovered the girls had a brother. They attempted to adopt him too but the father was in prison and his rights couldn't be taken away. My friends are trying to go back in June to see if they can find the father in the prison and have him sign his rights over. The girls constantly ask when their brother will get to come live with them and it is causing a lot of stress because of the current situation of the father. Is there anything you can tell me that I can pass on to them as to how to get the adoption done quickly like yours so the kids can be together again and their brother won't have to spend any more time in the orphanage than he already has. My email is aemd07@aol.com. My name is Amy and my husband and I are adopting from Ukraine as well. We are trying to learn from blogs and get some pointers before we go in July. I know my friends would be forever grateful if you could give any advice. Thanks!

Lisa Grace said...

COngratulations! You have a LOVELY family ... we are heading to Ukraine in just a few weeks and I stumbled across your blog today. I love how God works :)

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.