Who wants to hear more about Marat? Anyone…..anyone…???



Some more information about our process and about our incredible kid.

  1.  Our kid is amazing. I know I keep saying that , but I think it even more than I say it. A.ma.zing. In some ways, he has experienced far, FAR more than his 14 year old self should ever have experienced, but in some ways, he is such a little boy.And it is apparent that God has put us together. We are incredibly humbled, grateful, and so stinkin’ excited that we get to be this boy’s parents that I can’t even put words to it.
  1. Marat rarely stops moving. We were told upon our arrival that he was characterized as “active and communicative.” That barely scratches the surface. He is a BUNDLE of energy. He loves, LOVES “football” and he plays for HOURS. I am NOT exaggerating for effect. Hours. He is the first one outside to organize a game and when all the other kids are tuckered out and done, he finds a new set of kids to play. He is wearing his papa out, and apparently, I am going to be a soccer mom. He is also interested in martial arts (I can’t imagine that he has had a lick of formal training, but he’s got a mean roundhouse) and boxing, and can do a RIDICULOUS amount of push ups (palms down, palms up, fists, you name it). He doesn’t walk anywhere, he RUNS, and if he can do it dribbling a ball, all the better. Holy cow – we are going to have to find outlets for this energy and FAST. It is non-stop.
  1. He is very competitive, but he’s a good sport. He’s a leader and he is always finding ways to include other children and encourage those who aren’t as good at things as he is.
  1. As we were, until today, staying on orphanage property, Marat is beginning to feel more comfortable coming and going with us. We’re totally okay with him going to play with his friends and do not expect him to be with us 24/7. He needs to gradually spend more time with us and he needs to get all of that energy out. Yesterday evening after dinner, he was restless (sitting for 10 minutes is a huge chore, people) and Joel got his phone translator to work and said “it’s okay if you go play with your friends!” HUGE relief on his face. “Sank you” he said, and he literally ran out of the dining hall.
  1. He eats very little – to the point where we were worried the first couple of days. I think it was partially nerves, as his appetite seems to have picked up, but he’s still not a big eater. The power of Italian food, however, is worldwide. My child’s favorite food? #1: spaghetti. #2 pizza. He was more than a little excited when we told him about Chicago pizza. You should have SEEN his eyes when Joel showed him a photo.
  1. This week, it has been about 60 degrees and intermittently rainy. A couple of days ago they showed the kids a cartoon movie during the late morning, and as that would involve sitting in one place for more than a few minutes, that was NOT something in which our boy was interested (nyet) and so he asked us “I learn English?” and we spent about an hour learning English words and phrases. We had been informed before we arrived that he was incredibly bright, and the orphanage director confirmed this, but also said he was that if he’s not interested in or doesn’t care about something, he just won’t do it (sounds like an adolescent boy to me). But boy is he MOTIVATED to learn English. He has a rudimentary understanding of our alphabet (for those who do not know, Russian and Ukrainian both utilize the Cyrillic alphabet which has many more letters and individual sounds) and we used iPad apps to help him draw, name, and make sounds of individual letters and words that began with that letter. Basic first year foreign language type stuff, but he worked HARD and every time I asked if he needed a break or offered to play a game or do another activity, he said “NO – I learn English.” Okay, buddy, you learn English.
  1. The morning before we left for Ukraine, on a whim, I pulled out my iPad and walked through the house and did a video tour. Excellent decision. Marat has probably watched it five times in the last couple of days. He LOVES seeing our house and his bedroom and he smiles from ear to ear as he watches it. I love to watch him watching it!!!
  1. I do not work for Apple and I don’t know if this would be everyone’s experience, but I can not stress enough how helpful the iPad has been for us. We knew it would be nice to have, but we had no idea what an incredible tool it would be. Translation apps, interactive games, English learning. All in one place and so portable. I know they are expensive, and I know there are SO many costs associated with adoption (believe me, I know!) but if you asked me, I would absolutely advise you to bite the bullet and get an iPad.
  1. We brought along some clothing for him (and the mystery boy) in various sizes and yesterday, before leaving the orphanage, we pulled some out to show him. He for sure knows what he likes and does not like. Everything he did not like, he would point to and say “Nyet – my bruddah.” Bahahaha! He is already giving his brother his hand-me-downs. He also has already picked out which bed he wants in the bedroom, again, reserving the other for his “bruddah.”
  1. Marat has made it very clear to us that he very much wants a brother, and as you all know, we have planned to adopt two children. Last night, we returned to Kyiv to request an appointment with the State Department of Adoption to pursue the adoption of an additional boy. Unfortunately, upon our arrival, our facilitator was informed that the rules have changed (not uncommon) and even families who are currently adopting, must have their information sent to another office for review before being issued an appointment. This could easily set us back several days, away from Marat, not bonding with our second son, and stuck here in Kyiv (though I like Kyiv, I just want to be with my kids and wrap this thing up as fast as possible). They are saying that Monday is the soonest we will be seen. PLEASE PRAY for this to be expedited. We very much want to be back with him tomorrow night and, and honestly, if we are not, will probably go back to the orphanage anyway and then return to Kyiv for the appointment after the weekend. PLEASE pray that there is an opening and that they are willing to squeeze us in.
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11 thoughts on “Who wants to hear more about Marat? Anyone…..anyone…???

  1. Lori

    Thank you Kristen for this wonderful update and details about Marat. He sounds absolutely awesome! I am praying for this 2nd appt to come through quickly for you. Way to go Mom and Dad! Hang in there! You’re doing GREAT!

  2. Diana

    Wow! love hearing how Marat is getting comfortable with you guys and how excited he is to have a brother (that will give you and Joel a chance to catch your breath). Can’t wait to hear news about the brother and will be praying for an amazing time meeting him too. And for a squeeze.

  3. Michael

    So great. Love hearing stories even more now that we’ve been through it. Praying for you guys and pulling for that second son. You’re crazy ;) but you will be blessed and so will they!

  4. Christi

    Love reading about Marat. Will continue praying, especially that the process can be expedited. Like Diana, I can’t wait to hear about Marat’s brother.

  5. Bob Nokes

    The Nokes family are praying for all you and those involved in the whole process! Also praying for peace during this time.

  6. As they say, “All good things come to those who wait upon the Lord”. Marat you have waited and received and I am confident that your next child will come to you as well. You
    and your husband have been faithful to your mission of Faith and your reward will be that
    your two boys will return with you. You’ve come too far and waited so long to feel defeated
    in any way. As many words of comfort come to you and all of your family, friends and acquaintences pray for you to receive your 2nd child this is the waiting upon the Lord that
    will make your endeavors come to fruition. We all send our wishes to you for strength, continued courage and a Faith that will claim your victory. God blesses all of his Faithful
    and I know you know that. Never doubt that His works will carry you through. God Bless
    Marat and his new family and be sure that Marat will have his “bruddahh” soon enough.

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