Monday, October 24, 2011

A Wink ;)

We are finished with court.  It's over.....

Anton Oleksander no longer.

A new name, for a new boy.

Carter Benjamin Gibson...he's officially ours.

We're parents!!!!!

Let me start at the beginning of our day!  A different driver, Eugene (who we also like very much!) picked us up at our apartment around 11:30.  Which was about 20 minutes after he called us.  So, we threw our stuff in our bags and got dressed for court.  That's how it goes here - you just have to roll with it!  So we did.  We moved in to our new apartment and left for court.  We got there about 50 minutes early, so Eugene took us to a cafe for some coffee.  He gave us an excellent history lesson about this city and the Russian language.  We learned many things that we would never learn on wikipedia :)

Right at 2:00p, Yulia walked up and away we went, in to court.  Originally, Yulia thought Rachel would be able to stay in the court room if we just said she was a 'relative' - well, somebody said no, that it was a closed hearing.  So we had to have Rachel sit in the hall!  This made me so nervous!  She's 100% our responsibility, and she's sitting in a hallway with a bunch of people awaiting their court hearing!  All I remember saying was "stay put - do not move!!".

Just before the judge came in, Yulia said "All you need to know, is stand when the judge enters.  At the end, you say that you want to move forward with the adoption, you want to change his name, and you want to be put on record as his parents."  So we both started immediately reviewing these 'rules' in our head.  We actually never had to say any of that.  My point?  Don't panic during court.  It will all come to you when it's supposed to :)

In the court room was us and Yulia, the prosecutor (who was wearing sweatpants and ugg boots...), the judge, two jurors, the orphanage director, and the child services representative.  When the judge walked in, we stood.  At this point, I was feeling good.  She asked Jake basic questions like our address, place of birth, etc.

Okay, easy stuff.

And then the real questions started.

Why are you adopting a child when you don't have your own biological children yet?

Why are you adopting a child with special needs?

Why don't you adopt from America?

Are you unable to have kids?

What do you know about kids with Down syndrome?

Why will his life be better in America?

How will you take care of him?

When will you have your own children?

How can you love this child as much as your biological children?

Okay, now we started to panic a bit.  Yulia seemed to be a bit nervous, too.  I think that's what made me panic.

Then they started asking about our house.  How big?  How many rooms?  A yard?  How many bathrooms?  Wait - we have a book with photos of our house!  We passed the book over, and as the judge flipped through, she paused on the photo of Carter's bedroom.

"Is this...the boys' room??"  She seemed shocked.

"Yes - that's his room."

This is when the doctor winked at me.  And I knew we were golden.

Then it was the doctors turn to speak.  He talked about our first meeting - and he told the judge that Anton  immediately hugged me, and made eye contact.  He told her that he hugged and wouldn't let go.

And the judge and jurors lost it.

They all three broke down crying.  One of the jurors continued crying through the rest of the hearing.

And the doctor winked again :)

The the doctor said "Anton?  Picture?".  Well...we didn't have a picture of Anton with us.  Luckily, Jake had the iPad - so we got it out and showed the judge and jurors photos of our first visits.

More tears.

The judge had a few more questions about Anton's biological family.  She directed most of them to the orphanage director.  He explained that they haven't visited in 6 months, and they have signed away their rights.  He told the judge that Anton's grandparents came to visit every birthday, and the judge seemed concerned that they would come this year and wonder where he was.  He said no - they wouldn't come again.

They wouldn't come again, because his parents found out this week that Anton was being adopted by an American family.

And in his words - "They were very - very positive.  They want an American family to take their child.".

It made me emotional to know that they've been informed.  They know their boy is going home.  To a family.  In America.  It was hard to hold back the tears.

So - after the doctor explained this all to the judge, they went to deliberate.

This is when Yulia told me that this judge has never done a special needs adoption before.  Ever.

I'm so glad she waited until now to share this!  I would have probably been a nervous nelly!

They all came back into the room, and told us that they were in favor of this adoption.  They all agreed that this boy would have a better life in America.  And they agreed to record us as his parents.

I cried.  They cried.  The doctor hugged us.  And that was all.

It's officially official :)  He's ours.  Our boy.

Carter Benjamin Gibson.  :)


Since we were able to move before court, we had time to make it to our afternoon visit!  We were so glad to be able to see our boy!

We arrived and he was sleeping.  Well this time, I was able to snap a photo :)

They brought him out to us about a half hour later...and for the first time, he was excited to see us.  He was laughing and smiling, and reached right out for me. Oh how that does this mama's heart good!

The Gibson Family :)

Ok, guys - can we quit taking photos?  I'm so ready to go home...

I finally have my own family!
Thanks, Rachel - for taking all the sweet family photos :)

Shortly after they brought him out, one of the nannies came back with his puppy :)  We were so glad to see that he still had it.  She motioned that he slept with it.

Sometime during the course of our visit, little man pottied on me.  He was wearing a diaper - but like everything else, it was too small for him.  So - I took him back to be changed, and I had to laugh as the nanny tried on 2 different pairs of tights, and 4 pairs of shorts before she found any that were big enough for him :)

Our only photo of Rachel & Carter together.

Let me just say - Carter is obviously feeling so much better.  The nasty cough and congestion is gone.  And when the cold left, the sassiness came.  This boy is a little dickens.  We saw a side of him today that we've never seen before.  He was loud, and laughed at everything...especially when mama & papa told him 'nyet'.  I think I've got my hands full!

Yep - you've got your own family, little man.  Life is sure going to change for you!


So that was our day in a nutshell.  Afterwards (around 7:00p), we went to Friday's to celebrate (this was the first meal of our crazy day!).   Jake & Rachel played table hockey on the iPad :)  Rachel won :)

And to celebrate this exciting day - we had dessert!!

Look - Horner Family!  I won out this time!!  Apple Crisp!!

One less orphan in this world tonight...amazing, isn't it?  What a blessing this boy is.  Thank you, Lord.

"God sets the lonely in families"
Psalm 68:6

One Thing I Know For Sure: God is so, so good.  What an incredible gift.


  1. Hi Mamas and dadas

    Is it true? really REALLY TRUE? I gots me a new brovee? I never had a brovee before!!!! I not sure what a brovee is..but it sounds fun and I LOVE to has fun!!
    I'm all bout hasing fun. Member that dinosaur and the fun I had? Was that suppose to be for my new brovee....opps...sorry bout that Carter and Nana. I want to be your bestest pal hurry home. I love hugs, snuggles and food. I LOVE Carter yous and me will plan to share our food..Okay!!

    I wuv you mamas and dadas. I am being a good boy..I sweep with unkle Ben every night. I help poppy with the chickens every day and at night I prewash the dishes for Mimi. Ant Rosie is still hiding in the closet too!

    Give my brovee a kissie from me..tell him all bout me.

    See you soon,
    Your bestest buddy Mosie

  2. Congratulations. I am crying. Like, really crying. Happy crying, but still crying. I do not even know you all, but feel so, so happy for you. I check in on this little prince multiple times a day, and could not seriously feel any happier than I do right now to know he is yours!!!! CONGRATS! CONGRATS! CONGRATS!

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I'M SO HAPPY FOR ALL OF YOU!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!! Elijah will be SOOO excited too! :-) We ALL are!

    Your court story made me cry too. I really do hope you get a chance to meet his parents. That's great they were so positive about it.

    How cool they kept the puppy with him too. Sounds like a nice orphanage. And the director too...sounds like a great guy!

    Oh, and you have to promise me one know that "helper" you have with you...she wants the REAL EE experience, not just TGIFs and McDonalds, so you HAVE to take her to the "EE" Buffet, OK? You all have to have borsch (even though the borsch there isn't the best I've had). Promise? LOL Heck, she might be able to read some of the signs for you. :-)

  4. Gosh..I have thought and thought about this day and what I would say when the news FINALLY came.
    As I sat in a quiet living room last night, doing my devotion..the word gift..magical gift..kept circling in my head. Funny that the first blog for today..was about Gifts. THIS is a very magical gift..the perfect gift from THE perfect gift giver. Carter B Gibson born 05/30/2008, welcomed with love on 10/24/2011 by such proud parents, my kids!!! and one sweet buddy named Moses who is waiting faithfully at home. Orphan no less orphan lost. One more victory over oppression. Thank you God!

    I am in awe and overwhelmed in how God faithfully chooses to bless our family in so many ways. Now that you are parents...Papa and I have officially entered a new season in our lives! The high calling of grandparenting! What a sacred throne of honor. Ecc 3:1 says TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON, A TIME FOR EVERY PURPOSE UNDER HEAVEN. Our season and purpose now will be to love a new member of this family, showing Carter who Jesus is, teaching Carter about God and his wonderful plan for his life. Carter, your life is just beginning. You are the first of our children's children, our future generation, poppy and I have been praying for! We are excited,ready and honored to jump into this journey God has placed before us. We plan on thoroughly enjoying this new season of life.
    Congratulations my sweet children. Have I told you lately how very VERY proud I am of you? We are anxious for your return!!!!

  5. Well, congrats, Ukrainian Travellers. Mission Accomplished- gettin' close to the finish line :)

    Just wanted to say that almost every single video or pic had me cracking up. praying for y'all and always excited to read something new!

    Caleb :)

  6. Congratulatons!! What an amazing day for your family, I'm so happy for you!!:) Your post has left me in tears of joy and goosebumps of excitement!! I can't wait to read more about the journey of bringing your beuatiful boy home!

  7. Congratulations! We are so happy for you and especially, Carter. All of the photos are just beautiful. I thought it was so touching how the people in the court room got emotional. Enjoy the rest of your journey.
    The Lococos

  8. Congratulations!!! I'm SO EXCITED for you. All it takes is one post like this to give me the energy to get back to compiling our Dossier. Thanks :o)

  9. I don't think I could be more excited for you and your new little guy. Following your blog has been such a blessing and encouragement to my life. One of my first activities during my down time at work each day has been to hop on and look for updates. My heart was DELIGHTED to see this one today. Congrats Mommy & Daddy! Carter is so blessed to have you both.

  10. CANT.STOP.CRYING!!!!! So happy this handsome little man has a family now!! Please give him hugs for me! :)
    P.S. Can't wait to see pics of his awesome room...and him in it!!

  11. Yes, tears abound for your new family! Congratulations! I have been anticipating this day for you and Carter so much! GREAT, GREAT, GREAT news and a happily ever after for you all...

  12. Ashley I am so thrilled and excited for you and Jake... but especially for Carter! I have enjoyed being apart of your journey and now the real jpurney begins! I hope and pray that one day I experience the joy that you have at this moment... God is awesome and he has chosen very awesome parents for Carter! Love in Christ, Stacy (from Ky)

  13. I can't even tell you how proud I am of you guys!!! Moses keeps cocking his head at me wondering, WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!, because I am balling like a fool!!! I'm glad he is the only one around... I am filled with so much joy for you guys as become parents. I can't believe that little boy you fell in love with many months ago is now YOUR very own LITTLE BOY. God has tremendous plans for this litte man's life and he has two extraordinary parents to lead him on this journey. I am so blessed to be apart of this day. I guess all that prodding and hinting that I wanted to be an uncle finally paid off!!! :) just to find an aunt... :) Love all 3 of you! Unlce Ben

  14. I love the pictures, the video, and your story had me on edge and in tears! So thankful, so happy for all of you! Can hardly wait to see the homecoming pictures :D

  15. I've been following your journey for a while now and am so happy for you! Congratulations on the new love in your life! How beautiful!

  16. CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING PARENTS!!!!! I am SO VERY, VERY, happy for all of you!!! I guarantee you.... even on your toughest days you will still always find a moment to feel so incredibly blessed, he is your son and the best gift you could ever have. I love every single picture, every word, caption, and the videos are priceless! Aidan watched with me, and he laughed and said, "He is so happy!" (meaning Carter) Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey.

  17. I check your blog regularly for updates. I am so touched to hear the story of how the officials reacted with tears and joy in knowing how well you would take care of Carter. The sight of his room obviously made it clear to them how much he is already loved.

  18. I Love Love Love this!!! congrats mom and dad!!!! Praying for save travels home soon!!!!

  19. Praise God!!! Congratulations!! I'm so happy for your awesome family! :-) To GOD be the Glory!

  20. Congratulations! I'm so happy that you get to bring that beautiful little boy home to a better life!

  21. Praise God & Congratulations!! I have been following your blog for while, and am so very excited for you. You are a beautiful family!! Congratulations again and thank you for allowing us to follow along. It has been/is a privilege to pray for you.


  22. Congrats!! So excited for you all, and especially Carter!

  23. Oh wow. I don't comment on blogs often, but I have to say... your family is adorable together. What precious pictures! Praying for a quick process, smooth transition for you all, and safe travels home.
    Congratulations and best wishes to you all!

  24. More tears here! I love reading your blog so much, and I'm overjoyed that it's finally offical! Congratulations, Ashley, Jake and Carter!

  25. Amazed at your story, saw the article in the paper the other day and have been reading some of your blogs. Praying for the right path for us to take to start a family, you are such amazing people for taking this journey, best of luck to your family!


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