Finally have internet!!
I don't even know how to begin to explain this amazing day. It couldn't have been more different than Zoya's gotcha day (where we had not a single farewell). The assistant director really loves Mila. Through our translator the assistant director said they could not believe how big Mila has grown since she met us. They were so amazed and in disbelief that they weighed her and measured her and could not believe just how much she had grown! A true miracle with no explanation other than PRAYER and LOVE and GOD. She said that Mila is getting healthier since meeting us and it is almost as if she was just waiting for us to come. She said on the 10 day wait she thinks Mila missed us because every morning at around 10am (which is when we used to visit her) she would start "talking." Hearing the director's words and seeing the tears in her eyes and heartfelt smile made my heart so incredibly happy. People here in Ukraine are slowly starting to "get it." Things have changed so much since our adoption of Zoya....but that is for another post. Knowing Mila was loved here means so much to me. The assistant director wanted so badly to ensure a smooth transition that she really went out of her way. She prepared all 3 of Mila's heart medications in daily doses and divided them into envelopes, she gave us a bottle and nipple freshly steralized, formula that she is on, baby tea that she drinks, wipes, a bib, and even printed out packets of information about all the medications she is on. If you remember, during Zoya's gotcha day, she was handed to us in a diaper and they walked away not saying a word. So this experience was just so different. They were happy to see Mila going home, even though they were teary-eyed as she left. I will miss this place. They care. They are making a difference. They do their best to take care of the orphans in hopes that this is just their temporary home.

After getting the court decree, tax ID number changed, passport/visa photo taken, birth certificate, and finally the passport, we went to bust Mila out! They took us back to her room where she was having her last orphanage bottle. As the caretaker took off Mila's orphanage clothes, the symbolism was not lost on me. She was being stripped of her old life, preparing for her new life. I had to choke back my tears because it was such an emotional moment. Together with her caretaker, I dressed Mila in her new clothes, symoblizing a new beginning. She laid there unknowing of all that was about to take place. The beauty of it all is that she will never know her life as any different from the beautiful life she will live with us as her family in America. Although I am sad I couldn't share this moment with Shawn, I am thrilled Mike got to be there. He has been an integral part of this trip. He said to me later that night, "You know, I thought you were crazy for doing this....and I still think you're crazy, BUT I GET IT NOW!" Wow. That is the change I try to show people through my words on this blog. I want people to see that WE ARE CRAZY....but moreso I want them to see it's fabulous to be crazy! If crazy is following God's calling no matter the price, no matter the fear, no matter the circumstances, then I hope you all want to be crazy too! I see more and more people starting to understand this crazy love, and I see people being changed, here in Ukraine, and at home in America. It is a beautiful thing.
Mila's EMPTY bed!

Mila's room in the infirmary

Mila's last bottle from a caregiver instead of a mama or daddy!

Taking off the orphanage clothes

This is a size 3 diaper, maybe the orphanage didn't have any smaller ones? LOL. Mike was excited because it had a fire truck on it! haha


Ready to go in her "gotcha day outfit"

Light shining down from Heaven as Mila was handed to me.

On our way out...

Assistant Director on left and Head Director on right.

Violetta....our super fabulous translator who might as well have been the facilitator! She rocks!

Dasvidayna! (goodbye)

This is a 0-3 month snowsuit...where are her hands? Does this picture remind you of A Christmas Story?

We have a doll bigger than her!! LOL

We had a rough first night....Mila who slept so much in the orphanage just wanted to snuggle and be held throughout the night. I didn't mind but that means I only slep for 15 minute intervals for about an hour last night! I'm exhausted and getting a cold. Mila seems to be getting sick again, I'm hoping it will hold off until we are home. She definitely has some sleep apnea or something going on as she stopped breathing a few times last night and scared the pants off of me as she woke up gasping for air. With all the changes I expected her to have a little difficulty adjusting, but other than last night she has been fabulous. She did amazingly well on the flight from Lugansk region to Kiev (about 1 hour and 45 minute flight). We noticed she breathes loud and labored in the cold air and also at times when she is sleeping. Mike has been checking her pulse and breaths/minute so we have a baseline to compare to on the long flights home. I so can't wait to get her home and have her checked out head to toe! She LOVES the car and instantly falls asleep as soon as we start moving. I've decided that "holding a baby in the back seat of a van with no seatbelt or carseat while Nico the Nascar driver dodges dogs and cars" should be a new olympic sport!

So today after we arrived back in Kiev, we hit the ground running as we were 20 minutes late to our embassy appointment. Traffic here is horrific. Thankfully they squeezed us in and we got done quickly. Then we went for Mila's medical exam. I was very worried about this. There is one doctor here who has given some families a very hard time. I was so worried we would get her. When Nico pointed at the door and I looked up and saw her name I almost fainted. I just prayed my heart out right there. She looked at Mila and kept saying "Why HE so small?...Oiy HE so so so small." I told her Mila was a "she" and I guess she is small because she needs her heart repaired. Then when examinig her she said "He looks like little frog." Hmmm, that one made me almost laugh out loud. She asked me tons of questions, listened to hear heart and said "big murmur" and "very fast." Thank goodness her lungs were clear when she listened to them! She kept calling me "mah-der" (mother) and I found it comical how God gave me humor during such a stressful time! Mila passed her medical exam! Praise God!  Our only obstacle between Ukraine and America is getting the visa tomorrow. The embassy's system crashed this week and as of today it was up and running again but the guy felt the need to tell me "hopefully tomorrow it will run too." Oiy. Please pray! One more thing to stress about but God is good that twice during this trip at the most stressful times, the song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" came on! He is good like that!

We are so close I can almost taste it! Mila has been asleep for almost 2 hours, which is the longest stretch yet...praising God and GOING TO BED! G'nite :) Love to you all!


  1. Oh praise God! So excited for you and Mila!!! She is so adorable!

  2. You Sweet Momma!!! This is the BEST POST!!! I Love every word!!!! The pictures are AMAZING!!! Okay - I can't stop crying!!!! Love You All So Much!!!!!

  3. I have been waiting, checking, waiting for this post! Praise our God, He is great!! Mila is so beautiful and fortunate to have a new family. And you and your husband are so beautiful and fortunate to have a new daughter. Congratulations and prayers for a safe, uneventful return trip.

  4. PRAISE GOD! Thank You, Sweet Jesus! Love you, Girls! Hurry Home!

  5. congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    praying for safe quick travels :)

  6. aww sweet pictures? that wall in the backdrop. Is that pictures of kids that have come home I see as well as others?

  7. LOL Don't Worry, Be Happy, what a great song to come on to show you that everything is under control. God has you covered.

    Just beautiful, I love this write up and can't wait to share it with everyone I know. :)

    Praying for an easy time with the visa guy tomorrow. Praying for God to continue to cover you with his glory. Miracles for Mila!

    She's Beautiful, You're Awesome & a little crazy I guess! :)

    Thanks Mike you definitely rock!

    Love to all of you!

  8. YIPPPPEEEEEEE!!!! And CRAZY FOR CHRIST!!!!! I bet I am not the only crying as I look at the pictures of Mila being "prepared" for her NEW life! Amazing to think that she is now YOURS!!! Thank you God!!!! But prayers continue for the days are so close to having your daughterS home together with you and their daddy!! Oh I can't wait!!! (((BIG HUGS)))!!!!
    Anne B.

  9. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh! So good to see you and Mila and read the story of Gotcha Day! Can't wait to really see both of you this weekend!
    Love, Liz

  10. I cried like a baby reading this! Sarah, you are so beautiful!!! And holding Mila makes my heart melt! I did giggle about the snowsuit, A Christmas Story! Sending so much love and positive thoughts your way! And that heavenly light that shone down on you and Mila... miraculous I tell you!

    I'm so happy that people there are 'getting it' and that minds can be changed :) xx

  11. Tears of JOY!!!! GLORY TO OUR GOD who is a GOD of MIRACLES, who prepared you all the open doors the last days to bring SWEET-MILA HOME ASAP!!!
    PRAYING for the visa and for a good rest at night for the baby and for Momma!!!
    BE BLESSED!!!Love, Christina

  12. Praying to get a Visa tomorrow!!! Can't wait until your whole family is home together!!

  13. She is so beautiful. Congratulations!!

  14. Congrats!!! She is soo beautiful. You can seriously see her love for you after looking at the photo of the caregiver feeding her and then the photos her looking at you. Serious love, sooo awesome!!!! I do have a question for you in the photo of you with the directors on the wall behind you is that kids that have left the orphanage and been adopted out? That is what I am praying those photos are, anyway. Again congrats!!!!


  15. SHE is so beautiful! God is good! Praying for you.

  16. So HAPPY sweet Mila is truly on her way home with her mama! It's wonderful to know she was taken care of --and cared about in the orphanage but, there's nothing like a mama and daddy and sister's love, the love and security of family! LOVE that photo of heavenly light shining it's blessing upon you--wow!!
    Can only IMAGINE how awestruck Mila must be at all this--already sooo many firsts. I wonder what she is thinking, lol. I hope you BOTH get some sleep tonite and I pray that the visa appt. will go smoothly so that you can be on your way HOME! Zoya, get ready to meet your new little sister--and have your mama back lol! I'm sure Shawn is anxious/excited to have his family home together! God Bless!

  17. Gotcha Day and then in no time you will be home! What a blessing! You did it, Sarah, you did it!!!! Well God helped alot too but woo hoo!!!! So happy for your precious family, so very very happy!

  18. She's beautiful! I love the picture of her checking out her new tights ;)

    Hoping the rest of your trip homes goes smoothly & safely!

  19. Yay!!! Glad she is finally in her mommas arms. Those striped tights are too cute. She is a living doll. Praying for a safe trip home.

  20. So glad you have internet again! I was twitching for an update.

    So glad you had such a great gotcha day, with all the love and care from her caregivers.

  21. What fantastic news, and such beautiful pictures!

    Sarah, I have been following "Angel Eyes" since the arrival of my own chromosomally-enhanced princess two and a half years ago, and always loved reading about Zoya. I have followed this blog avidly, and it's fabulous to see such a wonderful outcome for you.

    Best of luck with the visa, be assured that even all the way over here in country South Australia, people are thinking of you, and hoping all goes well.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey xx

  22. Hey that is the orphanage the girls came from!!!! I didn't realize you all were adopting from there!!!! I am so happy for you all!!! Congratulations!!!!

  23. Whew! We continue to pray!


  24. Happy, Happy tears are flowing!!!!

    Those are the sweetest pictures yet!

    I have been praying and praying for a smooth transition for you guys. I hope Mila sleeps more tonight and that you get some rest to fight off that cold. The Embassy's system WILL be working just fine tomorrow. Don't worry, just be happy you have your jelly bean forever Mama!

  25. I am so happy for you - and Mila. How good it is to know that she was loved at the orphanage, too -that shines in the faces of the director and assistant director and caregiver, who are all clearly delighted that Mila has a family now.

    I hope all goes well as your journey home gets underway - can't wait to see Miss Angel Eyes' reaction to her little sister!

    Very best wishes,
    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from Mila's country

  26. Beautiful post! Beautiful baby! We'll continue to pray until you are all safe at home and can begin your life as a family!

  27. I checked this blog 100 times today waiting for an update! Prayers come your way for safe and healthy travels. Also prayers that you don't get a cold or it waits till you are back and Mila stays healthy and sleeps on the plane! Can't wait to see what this new beginning brings!

  28. Thank goodness for facebook or I never would have found this! Oh Sarah She is precious! I am so happy for you and really excited that you have done this mighty and great thing for another of the least of these...take care of yourself and one more is praying you you so much! Cathy...marina's mama.

  29. So happy to finally read that you have Mila in your arms forever, cannot wait to hear that you are on your way home!!

  30. YEAH! She looks precious in her outfit. Hope you are getting some sleep.


  31. I'm very touched and happy to hear about how Mila has been well loved in the orphanage, and how they could see such a change in her!

    I will hope for safe travels for you!

  32. So very happy for you. What sweet pictures and a sweet girl. :-)

  33. So very happy for you. Prayers to you guys for everything to work in your favor and get you both home. Can't wait to see the pictures of Zoya meeting her little sister. Hope you feel better too!!! God is wonderful!! He will be at your side the whole way home. Don't worry about anything just enjoy every minute.


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