Introducing Baby P #2!

It’s been nearly a whole year since I posted anything….nothing much going on except a new home, pregnancy, 6 children in foster care, a new church home, 10 year green card… you get the idea 😉

Most importantly we want to welcome our newest Baby P!

Lev Hariton PerekotiyDSC_0525

February 20, 2015


7 pounds, 8 ounces

19 inches long

His birth was incredible – so full of the Lord’s presence! I will write about it another day.

Chambers is adjusting to his role as Big Brother pretty well! He spent the first few days with Grandy (my dad) & then came home to us. It’s been a bit of a tough transition as he figures out who “baby” is, how he can help & how to be gentle.


I’m having a harder time healing this go-round, so the kitchen is a wreck & I’m sitting on a pile of laundry! Very thankful to have never been put on bed rest during pregnancy, but trying to enjoy the downtime now.

I truly hope I can find time to recap the last 23 months – it’s been the best year yet!

12 months = 1 year!

February 14 – March 13, 2014 | Chambers’ First Birthday


this month you:

picked a flower for Mama

started walking on March 1!!! you’re going EVERYWHERE now!

discovered pinecones – pokey & fun

went to Birmingham & stayed with MeMe while Mama & Papa went to a conference at Brook Hills

had your first birthday party!

played with bubbles from Grandy/Randy/Randad… (or whatever his name will be)!

learned how to put yourself to sleep – we like to watch you plop down in your crib when you know you’re tired!


you love to:

eat strawberries & scrambled eggs [but not together]

play with the bath crayons from MeMe

swing at the park

walk on the beach & feel the sand squish in your toes

your first birthday party was at Homewood Park on Sunday, March 9th. we had Steel City Pops & you smashed a coconut zucchini cake!

you are one. 365 days have passed since your birth. our hearts have grown  exponentially since you came to be, & we are grateful to God alone for His grace in our lives. the only way our family is held together is by Jesus. we love you so much!

green card appointment

it’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Yura’s “alien situation” as he calls it.

Yura got his green card February 6, 2012. it was valid for 2 years under conditional status, meaning that it his permanent residence status is dependent on our marriage.


he can work, travel, pay taxes (yay 😉 ) & leave the U.S. however, he cannot leave the U.S. continental borders for more than 6 months at a time. if he did, his permanent residence status would be permanently revoked.

in January we sent in the application to remove those marital conditions, which will hopefully change only two things: if approved

  1. his new green card will expire in 5-10 years instead of 2 years
  2. his travel restrictions will be lifted, meaning he could leave the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time

in February we received notice that his current conditional status is continued for one more year (through February 6, 2015). we also got a letter asking us to appear at an interview & provide fingerprints at a biometric appointment.

we thought that the appointment might be in Mobile or Pensacola, MAYBE even Montgomery. but no, NEW ORLEANS! how fun is that!? could going to a USCIS appointment get any more fun?

why yes, yes it could! the appointment is tomorrow, on my birthday!

last year i was in labor before, during & after my birthday, so i didn’t fully recognize that i turned 24. that’s why tomorrow will be great – a whole day with my hubby, celebrating what God is doing in our lives & His provision through this crazy immigration process. (Chambers is staying at our house with his Meme!)

please pray with us for a few things:

  • safe travel to/from the appointment
  • Chambers as we are gone all day
  • favor with the appointment – that all questions would be answered & that the restrictions be removed
  • guidance as we navigate the next steps for our family (in the coming 2-3 years) regarding moving overseas to share the Gospel of Jesus

praising Jesus for His leading thus far on this journey!


11 months

January 14, 2013 – February 13, 2014


this month you:

were discharged from the hospital – praise God!

started Mother’s Day Out at Preschool Park [much to your Mother’s dismay]

visited Meme while Papa & Mama celebrated Terra & Zach’s engagement!

hung out with Brittany & Patrick [& Baby Nolan] & David, Casey, Leah Grace & Elliana

watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi

got your first stomach bug… & shared the love with alllll of us


you love to:

drink smoothies – your fave so far is kale/avocado [we got a Vitamix Blender & it’s revolutionized our kitchen!]

try to hold two things in one hand – no matter if it’s possible or not [like a spoon & a pot]

eat avocado & other squishy foods with your fingers – messy fun!

color with crayons

play “drums” with pens & pans

eat books… apparently just like your Mama when she was little! your new favorite is Little Blue Truck

Chambers we are so thankful, humbled & blessed to be your parents. this time last year we couldn’t wait to meet you & now we can’t imagine life before you! we love you, snuggle buddy! one more month until your birthday!

*there are affiliate links in this post – read here about how we’re saving up for adoption!

10 months

December 14, 2013 – January 14, 2014 | Happy New Year!


this month you:

busted your lip for the first time

celebrated New Year’s Eve at 8:30pm – what a champ!

visited Meme’s over Christmas

tried to play Settlers of Catan with your uncles, but were too sicky

got some sort of virus that made you very not yourself

celebrated Christ’s birth at the Brook Hills evening service

opened lots of fun Christmas presents like new shoes & a musical shaker

after getting over the virus you were ill again, this time with a big hospital stay [i’ll make another post with all the details – CT scan, X-rays, an ambulance ride, surgery…]


you love to:

play the guitar – it used to belong to Big Randy & now it’s at our house

tickle Mama’s feet

play Patty-cake [thanks to Randy!]

ride in the wagon & play in the Ronald McDonald Room at the hospital

watch clothes swirl around in the washing machine


9 months

November 14 – December 13, 2013


this month you:

went to Samford Homecoming outside Mama’s belly

saw your first Christmas tree in our apartment – the lights are so pretty!

had your first real diaper rash – Lavender Essential Oil to the rescue!

visited Moms & Pops for Thanksgiving

started using your Cars walker all the time [thanks Meme!]



you love to:

picnic on the beach for lunch

clap your hands & play Patty-cake [thanks to Randy!]

growl at EVERYTHING!

do pull-ups on the shower bar after bath time

swing at the beautiful Orange Beach Park!

8 months

October 14 – November 13, 2013

what a month! we wrapped up our trip to Ukraine at the end of October. then we moved from our house to an apartment [still in Orange Beach].


this month you:

met your Babushka & Dedushka, Uncle Ilusha, Aunt Yulia & Uncle Vlad for the first time

played with Christian & his Mama & Papa [Brian & Dasha] – you wondered why he could crawl everywhere!

explored the bazaars in Lugansk

visited Bilorichenska Orphanage & all our wonderful teachers & friends there

were added to Papa’s passport as his official son!

went to Мост Надежды [our home church in Lugansk – on the 7th floor of the Lugansk Hotel in the 7th Heaven Chinese Restaurant!]

ate lunch at Aunt Natasha’s home – she is our best friend Yegor’s mama & the best cook we know!

took your first international flight! & did so well!

got your very first fever the day before we traveled back

went to PARIS! & saw the Eiffel Tower

got your 5th tooth in [on the bottom]

moved into our new apartment – just up the road from our house

started to crawl! Army style

IMG_5959you love to:

eat pears from the trees in Papa’s old backyard

walk while holding onto someone’s fingers – freedom!

play with pots & pans in the kitchen while mama clean & cooks

shake everything – especially things that make noise!

“brush your teeth” with a big boy toothbrush

here are pictures from the remainder of our trip to Ukraine – mostly time with family & friends in Lugansk!

this was taken the day before we left Ukraine. little did we know that this beret-wearing babe would be in Paris the next day!


finally, here are the pictures wrapping up a very exciting month for the Perekotiy family!

7 months old [in Ukraine!]

September 14 – October 13, 2013


this month you:

had your 6 month check up on September 16 [22 pounds, 28 inches]

pulled up all by yourself for the first time!

got two more teeth! now you have 2 on top & 2 on bottom

visited Aunt Marina Noelle at UAB ICU

went to the chiropractor with mama – you get adjusted every week & it helps so much!

learned to drink out of a straw- now you love water!

grew a little more hair – it sticks up on top like Alfalfa from The Little Rascals!

held your own bottle for the first time

took your first international flight! & did so well!

rode the train from Kiev to Lugansk


you love to:

watch Veggie Tales

make a fuss when in your pack ‘n play for too long – i think you just get bored!

stand up – on us, the couch, the bed… anywhere!

eat bananas & yogurt

play with Papa in the living room – even thought you got a pretty rough carpet burn!

IMG_5353IMG_5228IMG_5229new favorite part of the doctor’s office: paper

IMG_5234the WORST carpet burn!

IMG_5253nights are pretty much like this… one lost sock, crying, rocking…

IMG_5256your new favorite toy – the basket!IMG_2055game time! GEAUX TIGERS!IMG_5294IMG_5247FOUR TEETH!IMG_2018 IMG_2039IMG_2057IMG_2060 IMG_2072IMG_5265IMG_5362who needs a swaddle when you can have a toga, cape and Statue of Liberty costume??IMG_5360the sweetest.IMG_5351he loves Banilla yogurt – banana vanilla!IMG_5279

you can see the pictures from our trip to Ukraine below & in this post. these are from the first few days in Kiev & continue in the next post with travels in Lugansk!

Chambers, this month we have been praying for you to have a calm & kind spirit. to know & love the Lord. to serve Him one day with all your heart! we love you – these past 7 months have been the best of our lives, & i can’t wait for more!

how we pack

a lot of people ask me how i’ve packed for international trips in the past. so i thought i’d share a tidbit of what goes on in my brain to prepare for a trip! [disclaimer – things have gotten very color-coded/listed since having a baby, mostly because i can’t afford to forget anything for him!]

i start by editing my packing list – i made the original when i was about 16 [in retrospect it probably makes a whole lot of sense that i made a power point presentation at age 9 called “Why I Deserve A Later Bedtime” … oldest child, much?]

now, brace yourself – it’s a bit crazy looking. but there’s a method to the madness.Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 9.16.37 AM

there are sections for clothing, handy things [like baby-friendly hand sanitizer & travel toilet paper – trust me, you need it in Ukraine], travel & electronics, toiletries, supplies & comforts [peanut butter – am i right or am i right?].

in the item column i put the item – duh. if it’s highlighted a different color, it means i need it in my carry-on bag [see the last note below].

then the amount – i really try to estimate a reasonable number & stick to this because if i don’t, i’ll just jam a bunch of stuff in the bag & end up with an overweight bag, which equals $$$.

next is the “Have?” column – i check that off when i’ve either laid eyes on the particular items or bought them. if i’m really ahead of the game, i’ll color that square yellow to remind myself that i need to find said item or buy it!

the “Packed?” column feels great to check off! it means i actually, physically put it in the bag. done!

the last column is for any Notes – like “travel size” to remind myself that i can buy big-sized shampoo in Ukraine, or the number of that item i would need in my carry-on. for example, i don’t need all my t-shirts with me on the plane, just 1 in case my check baggage is lost!

i also have separate sheets on the spreadsheet for my boys – one for Chambers, one for Yura.

the last sheet is a checklist for the weeks & days before departure, as well as a trip budget. there are lots of things i’d forget to do as we are rushing around if i didn’t have this list!

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 9.25.52 AM

typically i print my lists out about 2 weeks before we leave – it gives me plenty of time to sort & collect items, as well as buy anything i might need. after carrying it with my everywhere & marking as i go along, the list ends up looking like chicken scratch, but it works & i feel so accomplished every time i cross an item out!

this is what our guest bedroom looks like as we pack…


not to bad, though, right?

i want to take this moment to apologize to Mary Chandler, my college roommate, who, for the last 2 years at Samford, put up with me packing in a not-quite-so-organized fashion about 6 times. no lie. love you Mary – sorry i left the room a mess & didn’t follow my packing sheets 🙂

that’s pretty much it! i’ve tried lots of packing apps, but none have met my needs like my beloved spreadsheets! we are about ready to go this week to Ukraine – i can’t wait to get on that plane, although i’m sure i’ll be ready to get off just as quickly. happy travels!