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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pulling the Story Together

I promised several people that I would send them the link to my sister's adoption story, then I realized that the saga is currently scattered across the internet and getting to all of the bits involves a lot more than one link. So, for all of you who have asked, or are curious about, these three adorable boys, I tried to organize it a bit.

Click away. Everything should fall into chronological order.

If you are looking for the truly long version of the story, snuggle up with your laptop and read straight through my sister's blog starting at The Golden Ticket (click "newer post" at the end of each post and you should work your way forward in time), but be aware that it is long, there are several stories that are about other children waiting to be adopted, and you will see lots of fund raising information. To simplify I linked the most informational posts below.

Start here: Jen answers the question, "why adopt?"

Anxious about transfers - there are many posts similar to this one, but the idea conveyed is the same. These boys really didn't belong in the baby house any more, and the alternative was horrific institutionalization ... for life. From another post:

What does it mean...


with only minimal amounts of food,
with very little attention,

with no thought to teaching basic hygine,

with little to no communication,

nor any form of education,

or any ability to age out of the institution.

They will never have a job,

never get married,

never feel the love of a family,

never blow out candles on their birthday,

never have a dad to take a thousand photos of them because of some minor accomplishment,

never catch rain drops.

The boys are promised to another family and the Demls must grieve and decide what to do next.

Traveling to Ukraine: Day 1

Finding out that the boys are still available for adoption! Unbelievable!!

Day 11 - Permission to go to the boys' location

Meeting the boys!!!

Groundhog day - aka. daily visitation

10 day waiting period - a deeper understanding of just how small the boys are for their age

Grandpa can't help with the flight home so Jen Miller steps up to help

Gotcha Day - The boys are now officially Demls!
Gotcha Day 2 - juggling more paperwork

Adventures in traveling from home from Kiev with 3 small children who neither speak your language, nor understand what is expected of them ... and the frustrating hoops that need to be jumped through.

Home and thriving! Everything is new to these boys. I watched the 4 year old reach out to grab a lightbulb this evening simply because it was close and shiny. The sweet little guy had no understanding that it would be hot. As Jennifer says, they are in all in the 2 year old exploring stage. What we take for granted is fascinating to them, and it is impossible to predict what they will do next. They are all adjusting well, and play beautifully with their new siblings.

Keep checking out Jen's blog FillingTheHouseWithBlessings to see what great things happen next for my new nephews!

Monday, March 5, 2012

International Arrivals

Waiting is never easy. Waiting with children in airports can be . . . interesting. However, waiting in an airport with children who are looking forward to meeting their new siblings is a kind of excitement that is rivaled only by Christmas morning. It was fun to see all of the sleepy happy faces and to hear them chattering about their new brothers.

You would expect that with all that excitement, the kids would be bouncing off the walls and behaving poorly. Not at all. They spent a good portion of their time in an orderly line like this:
Okay, so they were flipping up, over, through and around the bars in their eagerness, but they were being good while doing it.

Our eyes were all glued on the gate. We knew that it would take a long time to clear customs, but it was simply impossible not to look. Old middle-eastern men got the same "is it them?" glance as ladies in wheelchairs and pilots. We had to check. I don't really think any of us believed that they would arrive in disguise, but not looking simply wasn't an option.

At last, we finally heard Dad's cheerful "They're Here!" ring through the terminal. (Of course, the 4 year old needed to take a trip to the potty just a moment before, so guess where Robert was when his wife and new sons walked through the gate. Grrr... we spit on you Mr. Murphy and your law!)

I loved the way that the kids greeted each other. There was no awkward phase, skirt clinging, or shyness. They were friends from the very first moment.
They locked eyes for the first time, smiled, and Elizabeth said "Hi Max, I want to show you something!" and off the two of them ran to look at the perpetual motion machine displayed nearby.
That's it. Siblings. Joined for life. Done in a moment.

It was a good thing that there weren't many arrivals at the terminal that night. We spread out, took over, and had a wonderful time getting to know one another. Gabriel showed off some yo-yo tricks, Andrew and Amy got down on the floor to play trucks and planes with their brothers, and even Lillia went around saying "Hi, Hi!"
From all of the interaction that went on, you would never guess that these kids speak different languages. It didn't seem to bother them in the least. Nothing can stop play.

Check out that look between Robert and Jen - proud parents of 9!

And just another bad word for Mr. Murphy and his awful law. I had the entire Deml family lined up for a beautiful family photo when my camera battery died. Aargh! I guess we will have to wait for another opportunity. ~ They have their entire lives together now, so I'm sure there will be time.

I am so honored to be part of such a great family.