Mina is a precious little girl recently rescued from an orphanage in Eastern Europe who is now finally home with her forever family! She had been without a mother or father to love her & care for her each day. No one to rock her, kiss her gently or tell her she's loved. She is blessed with an extra chromosome known as Down syndrome, which for her that meant a life of being viewed as worthless in the country she was born into & a life without hope. Because of this her parents gave her up at the age of 6 months when they found out the diagnosis & from there her life progressivly went down hill. We are the Gower family residing in OKC who recently adopted this little angel. She was extremely malnourished and unable to do just about anything when we first met her. She will be 2 in January & is the size of a 3-6 month old weighing 14lbs. She continues to amaze us at how quickly she is progressing with love and nutrition. She has learned to sit up, roll over, feed herself finger foods, hold her own bottle and loves to interact with toys and other children. Her life has changed so much in such a short period of time and will forever be changed! Thank you Lord for putting a burden on our hearts to rescue this little blessing and making her apart of our family!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mina is officially ours!!!

Well not officially but she will be after the 10 day wait!!!

Court went great! It was the most nerve racking thing I think I've ever done. It was about an hour of questions.  The questions wasn't the most nerve racking part it was the fact that we had a 2 year old to try to keep quiet and on her best behavior for an hour.  Thankfully she did quite well.  We gave her a page of stickers and a bottle of milk and only had to tell her to be quite a few times.  Thank you all for your prayers!

The social worker was there, as well as the head nurse, and Yulia (our translator.) There was also a man sitting across the room, another lady sitting over by us, and 3 additional people with the judge.  Not sure what everyone's role in everything was exactly but the social worker, nurse and one other lady had to stand up and say that they agreed to us adopting Mina.

The judge was worried about us being so young and what if we have other children of our own~ will the adopted child be loved as much or receive less attention. She said that Mina is so young that she probably doesn't no or understand to make such a big trip and enter a new world and doesn't know if that would be best for her. She said she hopes we won't regret our decision.... which of course we know we won't. She asked if our families are supportive and would be helpful and loving towards Mina.

The nurse from the orphanage explained to the judge that she thinks Mina will really benefit from being apart of our family and that Mina has been doing much better since we got here and have been spending time with her. She said that Mina smiles and reaches for us when she sees us and she does recognize us and that Myla is very good with her and always shares her toys with her. She also told the judge that Mina entered the orphanage in June 2009 and that she has not even been visited once since.  She explained that she has been in the orphanage for over  a year and that no family members, grandparents, relatives of any kind or any ukranian citizens have come to even see Mina at all since she has been there.  That brought tears to my eyes cause it is so hard for me to imagine that.  I just know that if anything ever happened with anyone in our family we would be there loving, visiting, caring for that child and it's so hard to think that she has been completely left with no one even caring to ever visit her.  I know it's expected and typical for these children it just makes me so sad to think about it. I can not imagine how hard that must be to have loved and cared for your child for 6 months and then no longer see them, or know at all how they are even doing.

Mina has 2 brothers... which the judge asked us if we would mind if the brothers down the road ever wanted to get in contact with Mina.  Of course we wouldn't mind... that would be wonderful and we would be very supportive and encouraging of that.  If Mina ever wants to learn more about her birth parents, brothers, or other family we would do everything we could to help her find them and meet them. I'm hoping we will be able to get enough information or possibly going to see if we can get her parents names so that when she gets older she will have that information if she ever is interested in finding them.

So at the end of court and the many questions and concerns the judge granted us as parents to Mina. Of course Mina is not her real name it is actually Margarita but her new name on her birth certificate will now be:


Mina is her name given by RR so that is what we have known her as and called her since day one, and we think it goes perfectly with her sister Myla's name.  Actually it is pretty funny because when we were looking through some dossier documents that were translated into Ukrainian Myla actually was spelled and looked like Mina.

The middle name we went back and forth on a lot.  I am really big into name meanings and wanted to give her a name that has an awesome meaning. Mina means love so that helped make her first name be a keeper :)  Out of all of the names we mentioned Bella stuck most with Myla.  She started walking around calling her Mina Bella and I absolutely love the meaning of the name Bella.  It has amazing meanings in several different origins:

  • Origin: French  Means:  Beautiful
  • Origin: Hebrew Means:  Devoted to God
  • Origin: Hungarian Means:  Intelligent
  • Origin: Latin  Means: Yeilding to prayer. Beautiful, loving, lovable, graceful
  • Origin: Spanish Means:  Beautiful, Devoted to God

So there you have it Court went great, we are officially Mina's parents and now just have to wait out this 10 day wait period. It will actually be a 14 day wait period unfortunately which I am a little disappointed about but glad that court is at least over.  Our 10th day falls on Friday so on the 11th day is when you can go to get the birth certificate. Unfortunately since that is on Saturday the office is closed on Sat, Sun, and Mon and then Tues (the 24th) is there Independence day holiday so the office will be closed then as well. So now our 10 day wait has turned into a 14 day wait because we won't be able to go get her new birth certificate until the 25th of August.  Once we have her birth certificate we can go get her out of the orphanage and we will take her to get her passport picture taken and send off passport paperwork.  That usually takes 4-5 days and then we will leave for Kiev.  Once in Kiev we will be there approx 2 days to go to the US Embassy and take care of paperwork and take her to have a medical exam done so that we can head back home.  It is looking like we will probably be flying home August 1st or 2nd which is sooner than we thought so that is still exciting.  To bad that 10th day fell over the weekend we'd prob be leaving 4 days earlier then that. We asked if there was anyway they could do the birth certificate on the Friday before the weekend and she said absolutely not because it is counted as the 10th day and you have to wait till the 11th.

Missed seeing Mina this morning.  The other family there said that she was laying down when they went to pick up there kiddos for visit and that she was ready and waiting for us.  Makes me so sad. Of course we had no way to tell the orphanage we wouldn't be there that we had court this morning but we will get to go see her this afternoon.  Looking forward to that!!! Will post some new pics of her as our official child this everning :) 


Charissa said...

Wonderful! Congratulations!

Sarah said...

Congratulations!!! Things are going so smoothly for you all! I know the 14 day wait stinks but if you're home a whole week earlier than planned and only have to be there 4 weeks that is AMAZING! Our entire time from arriving in Ukraine to bringing Zoya home was about 6 weeks. So glad things are going so well especially with having sweet Myla there!

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

Awesome news that everything is going so smoothly for you! And I do love that name ;))

Tracie said...

Congratulations!! So happy for all of you.

Lisa Llewellyn said...

Such a beautiful little girl. She has blossomed in the last week! I would love if you could sneak some pics of Toby this week. What a cutie! (lisamichelle@gmail.com)

Devon said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a wonderful day for you all. I love the name Mina Bella... very beautiful for a beautiful girl. I am so excited for you guys. I know that feeling of when they are officially yours and it is one of the best feelings in the world. Congrats Gower family of 4!

Melissa said...

Brings tears to my eyes!!! So happy for you guys.

Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

WOW! How did you get a court date SOOOO soon? What a miracle! Just so you know, our 10 day wait was 14 days because in this region they only count business days. :(

Congratulations on your beautiful new daughter!!

Amber Feld said...

Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you!

Kelsey said...

Just got caught up with you guys again. :) I am so thrilled for you! I can't wait to meet your precious girl.

Jamie McClain said...

Missy, Jim & Myla,
I have been reading daily about your trip and everything you are up to. Thanks for spending all the time to keep everyone informed of how things are going. I am so so so excited to meet little Mina, she is such an angel. It is so heart warming to see her smile and laugh with her new family. I can't wait till I can love on her too. :o) I am glad you all are enjoying yourselves. It looks like Myla is having so much fun! I was laughing while watching her on the phone with papa bo and oma. I miss her! I am glad that the process is going smoothly. Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know we are thinking about you and praying for you. Give Myla and Mina kisses from their aunt Jamie and uncle Chad! oxoxox

Love and miss you all so much!

Rhonda Sloup said...

Congratulations!!!! I'm so happy for you guys. I hope the 14 days fly by. Two beautiful daddy's girls...what a lucky man.

Mel said...

She really does seem like a different little girl since the first pics you showed us!! Congratulations to your family!!! congratulations to Mina!! God is good! You are so blessed!!

thedickinsonfamily said...

So very happy for you guys! I remember meeting you at Ruslana's banquet then having dinner together as couple's shortly after. It doesn't seem that long ago. You have come so far. Congratulations! I'm so glad you guys live so close & we'll be able to meet your precious daughters soon. So happy for you! Enjoy the journey. It's absolutely life changing!

kiwicpk said...

Hope you are happy we follow along with your family too, Big hugs to Mina :-)