Monday, October 17, 2011

The Quarantine is OVER!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011
The Quarantine is OVER!!

We were so HAPPY to see our little man again today! And, we are happy to report that he was just as THRILLED to see us!

We were so afraid that we would see some regression after not being able to visit with him for a week, but much to our surprise he was his charming little self. We missed him so much and it was AWESOME to be able to love on him again. We missed him so so so much!

Um, yea - I'm not attached or anything...

He was SO HAPPY today. You can see from the pictures we got lots of smiles.

This is my FAVORITE Sterling face BY FAR. It totally melts my heart!

And when he giggles he just throws his head back....

And lets it go...absolutely precious!

He has figured the Bumble Ball out - we think!

And he now loves books! But he still has a short attention span!

He still explores everything with his mouth. Today Brian put Sterling's hand on his goatee so Sterling could feel it. His vision isn't great and he is still very much a toddler so he learns about things by putting them in his mouth. He has never been around men much - so he has never seen a goatee. Much to Brian's surprise (and so glad I got a picture) this is how Sterling "explored" Brian's goatee. And YES that tongue landed! It was NOT a kiss and it was HILARIOUS!!!

As we neared the end of our visit we started putting things away. Brian zipped the backpack up so Sterling couldn't take everything out. Sterling then decided it was time to get his back and go...only he couldn't lift it. Imagine in this picture the sound of much grunting and groaning!

Yes - his shirt today said 9-12 months (and yes for the most part it fit fine...) Don't go out buying clothes this little. He fit into our 2T and 3T shirts fine.

For those wondering this is what "boy's tights" look like. They are standard over here. And SUPER cute!

Daddy was so surprised (and excited) he was wearing a pair of Air Jordan's today! LOL!

Our hour visit flew by and before we knew it, it was time for us to return him to his caregivers for lunch. We THINK tonight is his last night in an orphanage EVER!!! Praise God!

According to one of our facilitators our day tomorrow should go something like this:

"So, my understanding of your schedule for tomorrow is as follows:
your first step is to get court decree from the court. (probably Tatiana is going to pick it up without you on the way to Sumy - I do not know).
Then you go to Vital Record Office to change original BC for post-adoption BC.
Then you need a Notary to certify the copy of new BC.

You need to go to Tax office to change identification number for post-adoption name.
Then you go to the orphanage to submit court decree and a copy of new BC, to sign lots of papers and pick up the boy. (The child is staying with you from then.)
You go to Passport Office to scan the picture of the child and submit the paper-work.

On Wednesday Nikko will pick you up and bring to Kiev. Then you may move your Embassy appointment or to submit all the documents on Thursday and wait for passport in Kiev.

All mentioned above is the prospective schedule for tomorrow, and you need to realize that it may be changed or delayed depending on different circumstances. I really hope you will be able to fulfill this plan tomorrow. Good luck to you!"

As you can see our day tomorrow will be pretty packed! We are pretty stoked about the part in green!
You can also tell from her response that there is no guarantee our passport will arrive on Friday for us to be home on Sunday. We will need lots of luck and prayers for that to happen.

So, tomorrow you SHOULD see pictures of our Gotcha Day!!!

One funny thing for today, we finished up our chocolate shopping. Now that we are done I can tell you we are coming home with 82 bars of chocolate. I'm sure it's a record of some sort, but we won't be able to get it again (unless we ask people who are coming!) Here is a picture of our stash!

I promised another top 10 today. Today Brian and I collaborated on what we mill miss most about being here.

The Hinz Family Countdown of the Top 10 Things We Will Miss About Living in Ukraine!

10) Having a Cleaning Lady - it's been fun for sure, but it won't be happening at home...sadly

9) Celentano's Pizza - Seriously it is very good and the toppings are fresh.

8) Sleeping In - Yea I'm pretty sure that life is over. Brian is a great husband though so maybe he will let me pull it off every now and then.

7) The Inexpensive Cost of Food - Being here made us realize how much we spend (and waste) on groceries. We will be much more mindful at the grocery store now.

6) Having the Ability to Walk Everywhere - We have missed our cars. But it is nice to not need one. No gas. No distance constraints. If we wanted to go somewhere we just walked. I like the end result of the weight loss too. Life here is so much "simpler" than back home. We really do take a lot for granted.

5) The People - Really they have been so nice. The ladies at McDonald's, the restaurants and the stores have all been pleasant and have tried to communicate with us. The ones that do speak English (broken) have been really patient with us.

4) More Specifically We Realized That We Will Miss Alexei - Despite his not speaking English and his (at times) crazy driving, I almost cried today when I realized we might not see him again. He has kept us safe and delivered us diligently to our son. We wish him many blessings.

3) Spending Time Together - Being together 24/7 has its challenges but it really has helped us to grow closer. When we started this process we, at one time, talked about Brian going back during the 10 day wait and me staying. We are so beyond happy we didn't do that.

2) Having Time to Read Devotionals and Really Grow Closer to God - I'm sure some will argue that this should be number one. But we CAN do this at home. It's been nice readin devotionals daily and reading the Good Word. Without the hustle and bustle of life going on it made it easier to focus on taking time to do this.

1) Being Sterling's Birth Country - It really nice that we have had this time to explore and take pictures to share with him when he gets home. I want to take some pictures (With the good camera!) of him in Sumy tomorrow or Wednesday before we leave. They belong on his walls.

I'm all teary eyed after writing this. We so badly want to come home but at the same time we are sad to be leaving here. It is a beautiful country with an amazingly deep culture and history. You can't often point to a building and say it's over 1000 years old. And you can't do it in America at all. I am so very glad we got to have this experience and that God chose us to be Sterling's parents. It really is too much for words.


  1. Im so happy for you guys, Erin. You'll be home before you know it!

  2. It is a bittersweet moment...we couldn't wait to get home with Lil man but then you look back now and miss aspects of it! Good luck tomorrow. Praying for a speedy few days! Keep me posted about travel home, Bryce and I would love to head to the airport!

  3. He looks FANTASTIC!!! I'm so glad the quarantine is over -- and wow, things are going to be hopping from now on!! Can't wait to see that little man walk out & never go back :)

  4. Can't wait to see him once he gets home! I so understand the "missing the birth country" too. Take pictures, then more pictures and just to be sure, take even more! See you soon!

  5. Can't wait until you have him forever. I hope tomorrow's "to do" list becomes reality. Prayers for safe travels.