About the Garrett family

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Matt and Aimee have been married for 9 years now. We have 5 daughters between the two of us. Three who are still living at home. Jasmine is 17, in her junior year of high school. Haley is 14 in her freshman year of high school. Anya is 18 in her junior year of high school. Anya was adopted from Ukraine in 2008. Taylor 18 is a senior in high School living in Thornton, Heather 20 Married living with husband Chad and thier baby Ezrah, he was born in Feb 2011. We are in process of adopting siblings Oksana 13, and Vladik 10 whom we met on a hosting program this past summer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We are flying home tomorrow

Hi All, Due to all of Matt's ramblings on his post, and his constant humor and sarcasim, some of you may have missed the last part or as some have emailed to me thinking he is joking. No he is being truthful. We had our appointment at 10am today and as soon as we entered we could tell it was not right. Oksana & Vlad will not be able to be adopted until mid February. They have set us a new appointment for Feb 21st at 10am. The SDA kept our dossier as long as possible and gave us this appointment only because that was the only legal way they could keep our dossier in line and allow us to have the referal when they are available. This registration think is really out of control. I am sad, Oksana and Vlad are sad, Matt is angry, and worried about how we afford to come back and start over again in 3 weeks. We have no choice. We were told our only other option was for us to take another referal for some other children, which will not do. As part of the continued games we had to have several files of children shown to us during this appointment, and sign the books saying we do not want these children and will return for a second appointment in February. Neither Matt nor I really even looked at the children, I was too busy crying, Matt picked up one and quickly tossed it back down again. We have paid our change fees and got on the 5:35am flight to Frankfurt and then the same long layover and into Denver 3:45pm on the 28th. Matt and I will return to work for two weeks and then get back on a plane and travel back for this appointment. We have not booked this flight yet, working on that next. Valentin helped translate and explain this to Oksana who explained it to Vlad. Oksana said she will try to be OK and not disappointed. When I talked to her about an hour ago she was sounding better there with her friend Elena again whom I had to talk with again,the girls were playing around like we normally do on our conversations. She said Vlad is not good, he is very, very sad and disappointed. She assured me he does understand that we will be back. I could not call him because Oksana has a different phone carrier and calling her has used up all the phone minutes. I will call them when we are back at home. Please keep him in your prayers. Valentin told both children to stay out of school on February 23rd because we will be there with them that day. She was very happy about that part. Not sure why this is happening, God knows, one day we will too, for now it just hurts. Only a month right I can do that, as the tears began again while I am typing. I need to start packing and figuring out what to leave here. Valentin will keep any luggage that we don't need to bring back such as the donations to the orphanage from UOO and probably some of our clothing and personal items so we can lighten the load for the return trip. I am keeping the faith, and trusting because I know nothing more to do, none of this makes sense in my human heart and mind.

Blind Sided!!!

Last night Aimee & I watched, "Blind Side". What a great movie & it really spoke to me as to why Aimee & I do what we do-regardless of the set backs, chaos, changes & cost. The most interesting & enjoyable aspect of the movie, for me, were the parental characters; their behaviors, relationship & how they interacted with each other were almost identical to Aimee & I. To be sure, there were some subtle differences, but Aimee IS almost exactly like the mother character! The passion & determination are traits not only to admire, but survive, embrace & then set out to provide a solid, reliable platform upon which to launch & execute those dreams.
This being the 2nd time here for me, I did notice that, "Premium", or, "V.I.P." parking in downtown Kiev consists of putting blue, plastic milk carton carriers in the spot on the sidewalk you want or intend on occupying. It's always the little things...
It's frickin' cold here & I learned last night on the way to Independence Square that I can, indeed, snowboard...& wearing shoes on a slight down hill grade, along with the huge holes & bumps in the sidewalks that double as moguls is really all the elements you need...& it didn't come with a hefty lift-ticket price.
I also discovered that if you tell no one from the time you go through security in the states 'til the moment you walk through customs in Kiev, that you have approximately $20,000.00 on you, NO ONE CARES!! I also walked right through DIA security with a bazooka duct-taped to my ass and didn't even get patted down! It wasn't until I couldn't get it to fit in the over-head compartment on the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt that I was even questioned-& then that was only to tell me I should have checked it along with the bags. Fortunately, the row behind us was empty & it fit nicely across all four seats.
Aimee has brought her, "Snuggie", she received as a Christmas gift. She's actually wearing it. She loves it. When I see her in it, it gives me a permanent "softy"! It's like a giant, "fuzzy-prophylactic". It could actually be used as a foundation for providing an alternative to, "Roe v. Wade".
Our apartment is totally cool! 7th floor views of surrounding Kiev skyline with a spectacular shot of St. Sofiya's-not even 2 blocks away. We had some concerns when the elevator almost chopped off our facilitators arm, twice, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with a full, frontal body assault. Even better was when I hooked up a power strip to the one outlet and switched it on and every light went out. Thank God for the light on my cell phone that allowed me to find the breaker box. All I was trying to plug in was an electric toothpick-how much power could it draw?
We saw the Roge's last night & ate at (that's right) McDonald's. Feeding off each other's, "Man-Humor", Felix & I apparently became unbearable as time went by. Oh, really??
I was informed by a reliable source, that some find my writing, positions, opinions or humor to be somewhat offensive-get over it or don't read it. It's a coping mechanism. I've often been told that when you pass judgment, you assume a position you're not qualified to fill. If I were to write on a blog about other things, issues, other countries, my own country, etc., I would find the same absurdities that life throws at you and poke fun at them as well. If you're that uptight, maybe try an international adoption to loosen things up. It'll humble you and open your eyes...maybe even give you an appreciation for where you're at and what you have.
Oh, we had our SDA appointment today. We were told they had misinformed us about the availability date. We're flying home in the next day or two only to have to turn around and come back for a February 21st SDA appointment, $4500.00 down the drain.........blind sided!!! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Friends in far away places

It is about 10:30pm Wednesday night. We got in about 1am, and to our apartment by about 2. Matt is sleeping again, Jet lag is not his friend. I slept about 3 hours on the Denver-Frankfurt flight, and then about 3 more on the bench in McDonalds of Frankfurt airport during our 10.5 hr layover, not doing that again. Matt did not sleep until about 3am after we got to the apartment, not a wink on the flight or in the airport. So I feel really great, I really think the Homeopathic Jet lag Prevention pills Selene and Clay gave to us helped a lot! Thank you so much Selene :) I tried to get Matt to take them too, but he said no. So all you fans of Matt blogs will have to wait another day for him to post. Our apartment is wonderful, I posted photos on the picasa link, we are truly blessed to have such a great clean apartment again, very comfortable, warm, bright, hot water, internet, close to downtown, the square and SDA, we could not ask for more. Thank you God for all of it! Waking up today having a shower after all the travel, finally getting to enjoy my Vanilla Coffee, and read my Bible while looking out the window and seeing beautiful snow covered rooftops and amazing view of St Sophia's was great. It has finally sunk in we are here again really doing this. After Matt woke up and showered we decided we should go out for a while, because the day light is very short here this time of year. We needed to exchange money and get a new SIM card and purchase minutes for our Ukrainian cell phone. So we bundled up and headed out, a short walk to the big court yard by sophia's and down the hill to independence square, stop at the Bank. After waiting for about 15 minutes, the lady who does speak some English tells us the exchange is closed for a while. Oh OK, that is odd. She returns less than 5 minutes later and directs us up the stairs and says now you can exchange up there, ok good that was short lived. So we get the grivna and just outside McDonalds purchase the SIM and Minutes from the outside vendor. He is very nice, limited English but helped us get exactly what we needed and he even set it up did all the little codes and got it working and we were off to eat. You know so far this trip has been awesome, people are being friendly, no delays or issues with the flights, great place to stay, only thing I would change was the lay over that was tough, but Matt was wonderful to stay awake and watch me and the luggage so I could sleep. So we get into Mc Donalds, not the same one I got locked into the bathroom last time, but the other smaller one, still a little PTSD began when I walked in, no not really,but I did not even think of going in that bathroom. Matt went to order, and I saved us some seats and called Heidi and Felix to see if they were still in Kiev, as they picked up there referral today and will be leaving on the train to Khearson soon. Heidi answers and they are walking around about a block away, that is so cool. They meet us at McDonalds. Felix forces Jordon to go and order for them, Nyet Spasiba, Da, but in the end she lucked out and got the English speaking lady with the picture menus, nice try dad. It was so great to be with them here. Matt and Felix were coming up with many blog ideas I am sure they will share later. The two of them you know they really need to be seperated in public :) Heidi makes a call and brings us a wonderful Surprise, Nadya! I can not believe it, awesome to see her again after the 2+ years since Anya's adoption. You know she is still laughing about our favorite American Woman!! She can not even look at Matt with out laughing :) If you are not aware Nadya was our translator last adoption, read the other blog if you want the detail about the American Woman. Anyway she is just the same, like the sister I never had, but always wanted. Another unexpected blessing. After a bit the Roge's have to go and catch the train, so Matt and I head out to find a grocery and go back to the apartment. The weather is a little cooler since the sun went down but still very tolerable, I would guess about 30 degrees. As long as you have a few warm layers and some thing to cover your ears, it is fine. We walk the same way we went passing one closed grocery and stoping at another and finding nothing on our list. The third one is OK, could not find the right water, nor deoderant for Matt, which he forgot to pack, but we get the other items on our list and move on. Valentin can hopefully help us find a bigger store with more tomorrow. We have gotten a little off, maybe a bit lost, we back track a block or two, and then stop to compare the photos we took earlier to figre out where we went wrong, and as we decide to go one way up the street, Matt stops and looks at the building across the street, he asks is that our apartment? So we cross over take a closer look and yes there it is, we had walked past it on the other side of the street twice, hey things look a different in the dark! So back at the apartment, I finally get through to Oksana on her phone, which she tells me is broken, and she had borrowed a friends and put her SIM in it. Both her and Vlad are so excited, you can here it so clearly in their voices, that is the biggest Praise God moment of the day!! I explain to Oksana that we may not be in Izmail until Monday, discussion is still going on with Valentin as to our departure date due getting our referral docs on a Friday, and the weekend, and if we will drive the entire way from Kiev, or take a train to Odessa and then taxi from there to Izmail, depends on the weather, who knows at this point. Anyway Oksana is fine with it, she is just thrilled to know that we are actually in Ukraine, she gets a little teary for a moment and projects that to me, telling me Mom it is Ok don't cry, which I am not. I then get to talk to Vlad, he can hardly hold in his screams of joy when I tell him where we are. I tell him three days and we will be together, and he lets out a big YEAH! Then ask me in fairly good English if I will take photos of Kiev for him. I then tell him that Heidi and Felix are here too, but will go to visit Lizzy tonight, and he shocked and asks, Felix? Oh good me like Felix, me too I say back. He is such an awesome little kid. Then Matt talks to them both for a few minutes and we tell them goodbye and that we will call tomorrow with more news on the travel. After about 10-15 I love you's back in forth we finally hang up the phone. It has been a pretty great day. I am going to try to contain my excitement, read a bit and try to sleep. Valentin will be here at 9:30 for us to go to the SDA appointment. Our Ukrainian phone is 380 99 706 1890 if calling from US dial 011 then the number.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Goodbye Mr Wonderful, Hello Oksana!

Hello all, Sunday I talked with Oksana & Vlad again. I could tell as soon as she answered that something had changed for the better. Oksana was very upbeat and happy. When asked about her friends she said she only has the two Elena and Roma who are friends in her orphanage. Roman who was Mr Wonderful her boyfriend, and the real reason why she decided against the adoption, was no longer her friend. Thank You God and for all of you that have been praying for her this is the answer we had been hoping for. Oksana went on to say that she has been practicing her English again because she says her people do not speak it and she is forgetting. Vlad does not remember but a few phrases, Hi Mom, I love you, Me too, and Dad and you Ukraine soon. Also his English numbers, he understood when I was telling him we should be with him in 12 days. Other than that Oksana had him on speaker and would tell him how to respond to me. I am over my fears for the most part and ready to get started on the travel part of this journey. Felix said it well when he told us fear is the opposite of faith, we are doing are best to keep focused on faith. God knows all of our needs and will be faithful to give us all that He knows we can handle. We would really love to have our 10 day wait waived, has anyone out there ever got this to be done? I know we all ask, but do they ever say yes? It would be great then Matt could avoid the second trip and we could all go home together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Getting ready to travel...

Matt & I will be flying out on January 24th. Our SDA appointment is scheduled for January 27th at 10am. Adopting again and returning to Ukraine is something I had never imagined I would do. I have mixed emotions as the date gets closer. I am of course excited to see Oksana and Vlad again after 5 months of being apart. I am also very afraid of Ukraine. I have been there so therefore I know what to fear, such as people who don't smile, never knowing why these same people seem to be yelling at me just because they know I do not understand a word of it, heavy bathroom stall doors with no windows that don't open from the inside, never knowing what I will receive when I order food or what surprise I will find in the middle of my bread, the list goes on and on for me. I have to stop listing these fears as I feel PTSD setting in. Matt see things very different, Imagine that! He has been there so therefore he knows what to expect. He is not going to allow Ukraine to take him by surprise not this time. This time around he will not wait until week four to wad up his money and throw it at the taxi driver, or begin pushing his way to the front of the line, he won't tolerate any assistant orphanage director demanding he buy reams of paper, boxes of fruit, chocolates, or champagne. This time he will introduce himself as an "American Man", not that former "American Women who speaks very little Russian" he is ready and going into this angry disgruntle adopting American from day one! So yes we are different, we see things different, feel things different, and this is good. Thank God for his plan to make us different. We fit together well, just as God knew we would. Stay tuned all you Ukrainian adoptive blogger fans, Matt will be online soon, and the old battle of the sexes will follow soon, I am sure of it.