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.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Random fun.

Tonight at Karen's apartment, about 8:45PM, fireworks started going off outside her window for absolutely no reason. It lasted about a 90 seconds. What the....? Some of you will recognize the sign outside the window. That's about as random as it gets. Today was almost as random as I found myself navigating the METRO, and not just in a straight shot. We changed stations and stops and went in diverging directions and still got to where we wanted to go. You know you've been somewhere to long when you start understanding the names of the stations, can read the maps, understand the announcements and laugh at things at the same time as the kids on TV or DVD's. It's actually kind of weird. I have a slight understanding of how the language develops. Watching all these shows in Russian, especially cartoons actually starts making sense, although very little. We went to the War Memorial Park. I've posted a lot of pictures on FaceBook. It was a blast, most of the time. Mood swings are amazing. There were about 3o of them. Guess which one? The other one chased the pigeons, mostly to impress mom back home that he was fast. He was flexing in the mirror this morning with his new hat and coat(along with some dance moves). It was classic subliminal,"I'm having so much fun I forgot how much I want to play video games". Not wanting to admit it, they both were somewhat in awe. If you learn to ignore the words and watch the body language, it almost doesn't matter if you can't speak Russian. Looks and movements say a lot more. This actually applies to life in general, not just international adoption. My first good decision was making all of us walk back to the apartment and change in to something warmer. Oksana left dressed in pink mini-skirt, high socks, small t-shirt and light jacket...sort of like "Cindy Lauper meets Catholic school uniform". We dressed for the conditions. Vlad LOVED his new hat and coat, "...me cool...". Oksana thanked me later as we froze walking home. On our way to the War Memorial Park, we passed the largest Monastery in Kyiv. We then walked through a park that contained some war references and a monument to survivors of famines, all kinds of things. We hit the Monastery on the way back. You've got to see this place it is amazing and absolutely huge. It even had the bonus merchant and religious gift tents set up on the outside and inside as well...didn't Jesus have something to say about that when He got to the temple? Just wondering? I realized today that what is so difficult for me here is what I call, "Architectural awareness". In the states, we recognize places, stores, facilities because the architecture is recognizable. We all know what McDonald's looks like, or: Home Depot, Taco Bell, a grocery store strip mall, government offices, etc. Here, everything could be anything. It's all in buildings that look primarily the same. A pharmacist looks like an attorneys office or a shoe store or a small grocers. No wonder we struggle. Our minds are telling us to look for those familiar American structures and then, oh yeah, "I'm in Kyiv, or Kharkiv, or Mariupol, or Ismail, Kherson, Crimea, or wherever." Also, seriously; learn the alphabet and the sounds. Put a little effort in to it so you're not a pathetic, helpless, moron. Some words and letters are similar to, or exactly like English. Of course conversational Russian won't happen, but simple words and sounds can make the difference between complete ineptness and less anxiety. Places like: banks(BAHK), pharmacy(AHTEKA), attorney(HOTAREYC), groceries(PRODUKTEE), etc. The "H" is the "N" sound and I don't have cyrillic on my laptop, but because you don't even know the alphabet, I don't even have to explain-just do it. The picture above demonstrates just how huge Vlad feels since leaving the orphanage. The War Memorial Park is amazing. Ukraine schools teach the kids that WWII was won by Ukrainians and there resistance. We may question that until you realize just what this country went through during that time. Vlad asked for $.50 to sit in the seat of a Russian MIG. He loved it and came out wanting to kill something. :) He also got to go into a Russian transport aircraft and watch a short video. On the way back to the METRO, we went through as much of the "Lavre"as we could-its massive and spread out over a large, large area. The church grounds are crawling with activity and people going everywhere. We arrived too late to go in to the underground caves(4PM), but the rest of it was worth it. On our way home, received a call from Valentine, our facilitator(who, by the w ay, is the best)that passports arrive tomorrow. We sent a last second E-mail to the US Embassy requesting our intake appointment be tomorrow and it was granted. This means we should receive Visa's on Wednesday. We purchased return flight tickets for Thursday to arrive DIA at 4PM on Thursday. Non-stop from Frankfurt will make immigration and customs a non-issue. This process, for the second time, has changed me for life. Aimee's vision and determination are second to none. It's not easy and you are a fool to romanticize this process. I commented on a blog once that, "...this is not resort adoption...", it's front line warfare. I've also commented that Satan throws everything he has at this process because it takes souls he thought he had and helps redirect them upwards. I stated, "...thought he was dragging them to hell on the rope of circumstance...". I also said, "...you do not let go of that rope now that you have taken hold-YOU DO NOT LET GO!". Life would be so boring without doing things that matter. Home soon....


  1. Good post! Right on with so many things. The architectural awareness piece is fascinating. I don't want to go back to all of the strip malls and signs and such. I kinda like the mystery of what's where here. You are doing a great job with the kids! We hope your day goes smoothly tomorrow and travel is as hassle free as possible!

  2. I fall into the pathetic, helpless, moron category - thanks, Matt!

    Can you FB message me your flight numbers and times so I can put it out to the group.

  3. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel now! Just a few more days! That's so exciting! I hope all the traveling goes well!

  4. Amen Brother!!!! Keep preaching the message! We are praying for you now and the days ahead. God is STILL in the business of performing miracles if we are just willing. I praise God that we were all willing.

  5. I think your reflections on this process are right on...it is not for the feint of heart...what a rollercoaster...one step at a time...:)