Body-slam Hug

This is how Bruce described Nathan’s greeting for him today!  It makes me teary just envisioning it.  When Bruce arrived at the orphanage he headed up to the playroom to find Nathan.  His good friend, Jason, was lying on the floor watching something on TV.  When he saw Bruce come in, Jason jumped up and ran to tell Nathan.  Bruce said that Nathan ran to him and hugged him with his whole body!  What a greeting!  They were so happy to see each other again.

They had a wonderful day together at the orphanage just hanging out, taking pictures (Bruce put Nathan in charge of the camera) and spending time together.  Bruce also had him try on some of the clothes I sent back with him.  While I was still in Ukraine, I traced around Nathan’s foot onto a sheet of paper.  I cut it out before I went shopping in the States, so it was like having his foot with me while I shopped for shoes for him!  I found some that I thought he would like and the paper foot seemed to fit them perfectly.  Bruce reported that they fit perfectly in real life too and that Nathan really likes them – SCORE!  I found a jacket for him that is similar to the one he has been wearing at the orphanage.  His favorite color is green and the jacket is mostly gray with some green accents.  Bruce said that Nathan liked it immediately, so I was really pleased to hear that.  I also sent some jeans (at Nathan’s request) and they were a little snug – even on his skinny body.  I had purchased too different sizes and was going to have Bruce bring them both along, but decided to leave the bigger ones here to make room for bringing some items back for another one of the families.  He’ll be okay until he gets home.  I also sent several different Star Wars Lego’s t-shirts and a Mario t-shirt that I knew he would love.  I included a Mario shirt in a couple of the care packages that I sent over the months while we waited for our invitation to travel to Ukraine.  He always liked them a lot, so I knew that would be a big hit.  It gave me such great pleasure to pick out clothing for my son.  It gives me joy to know that he liked it.

Our dear friends, the Ritzman’s, had a big day today as they received their court decree and Jason was released into Jeanne’s custody.  We celebrate and rejoice with them and can’t wait until we’re all back in the Cities where the boys’ friendship will continue and our new friendship as families will be nurtured.  I cannot get over the blessing of these two good friends (Jason and Nathan) being adopted by families who live in the same metro area.  Their Lucas (almost 8, like our Katie) also connected well with the rest of our kids, so this relationship really is a huge blessing in our lives going forward.  God is so good, way beyond our imaginations.

Another big praise for us is the grace that Bruce has experienced at his work.  His supervisor, his co-workers, his team, and extended colleagues have been amazingly supportive throughout his absence at work.   Before returning to Ukraine, he spoke with his supervisor and an HR rep about how to handle the remainder of his time away.  They discussed the possibility of  utilizing the Family Medical Leave Act, but Bruce said if he is not being paid he will be unavailable during that time.  They said they would rather work with him on this and that he could continue to work part-time from Ukraine and use sick time as well as the remainder of his vacation time to make up for the hours.  We are extremely grateful for this provision.  He has been working from 8:00 until midnight every night (1:00pm – 5:00pm Minnesota time) and this seems to be working pretty well.  It is good for him to be available by cell phone and email and he has also been able to participate in important conference calls via Skype.  So modern technology has really been a blessing too.

Since I’m writing this on May 5, I know the future.  But as of May 4 and much of the day on May 5, they were waiting for the court decree to be printed and signed.  Stay tuned…

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