We made a little photo book for him to take back to Ukraine with him. We all signed the back cover, and Valera tried to get his favorite one of us, Tippy the dog, to sign it. No joke, he was putting the pen in Tippy's mouth before Charlie grabbed it and signed it for her.
This is his favorite page of the whole book .... all because of the picture below.
Awww - we're going to miss Valera! It's been a trying five weeks and I've learned a lot about myself. I think the good memories and blessings will far outweigh the bad. I wonder how long Derek and I will say, "Voila!" after doing every little task? I wonder how long before my kids stop dancing and singing, "Boom chicka boom chicka boom boom boom." Will I ever refer to my nephew by his given name instead of, "Big Boy" with a cute Ukrainian accent? Will I ever be able to look at a sausage again without saying a prayer for Valera?
People keep asking me if I'll do this again. Ask me again next month. It's all too fresh right now.