Wednesday, June 1, 2016

5 years ago today

5 years ago today I met this beautiful, wonderful, intelligent child.  She is the best part of my daily life.  She makes me proud to be her momma. 
From the moment we saw her, we knew she was meant to be ours.  We just prayed GOD and the Russian government thought so too.  It took a long time to get everything together that Russia required to get a court date. 
We were extremely joyous to finally get a court date.  Russia said she was ours, to come back in 10 days.
Happy Adoption Day - Court date was 11/15/11 - Officially adopted on 11/28/11
We came back and played some more.
We brought boots for her - she wouldn't take them back off. 
She played on the slide with daddy all day, while waiting to be released into our care.
She was finally in our arms forever on 12/2/11.  This picture was from the day we carried her out of the orphanage, like we were smuggling precious jewels.  She is our most precious gift from GOD.  For no one else could have moved all the mountains of paperwork so we could be together.
Here is a picture of her sleeping the first night we got her.  It was rough getting her to sleep and the hotel was HOT.  We had 3 twin beds pushed together. 

AND from then on ---- She has been our precious gift.
First day of Preschool

First day of Kindergarten

1st day of 1st grade
Her most recent photo.
She is now getting ready to enter 2nd grade.  She loves to read.  She loves to learn.  She isn't too crazy about math, but is happy to play at recess. 
She is getting smarter and more beautiful every day. (daddy is getting his guns cleaned)  She is my joy and my happiness. 
She is in "skip school"  to try and join the JUMP COMPANY USA club/team.  She is progressing.
She doesn't remember the orphanage (thank goodness). 
She is happy and healthy.  We couldn't ask for more. 
She has all our love forever.
For those who ask why we adopted from Russia and not the USA - my answer is - Because that is where my daughter was.  God put this child in my heart.  He lead me to her.  We were meant to be together.  She is my world, my everything.

I could go on and on, but I have other things to do today.  Like play with my girl. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Olesya is 7!  How can that be?  It seems like just a few days ago that we were in Russia visiting her for the first time.  She was so tiny and sweet and we fell in love with her immediately.  It was all in God's timing.

I can't remember life before her. She is my life, my everything, my best friend. GOD IS GOOD!

Without her life sure would be boring.

I wish I were there the day she were born.  I wish I had those memories to share. The memories I do have are when she was just a little over two years old. June 1, 2011, She seemed happy and content but very shy.  I was told she was one of their favorites. Which probably means that she was well taken care of. She took to Steve right away they were like two peas in a pod. We enjoyed every minute of the time we spent with her in Russia.  It seemed to go by so fast yet so slow as well.  Just hard to explain.  We only got to see her two days and made the decision to adopt her.

It took quite a few months before we finally got to go back for our court date. And then 10 more days later after that to go get her to bring her home. December 2nd 2011 is the most important day of our lives. It was the day she was finally in our arms. We hurried out of that orphanage,  Olesya in our arms, as fast as we could and we never looked back. We kind of felt like we were smuggling a rare gift.  We were, of course.  We did enjoyed our time with her in Russia although we were excited and relieved to finally land in the USA back in New York City on December 8th 2011.  This was the biggest and best adventure of my life.  It took 2 1/2 years from start to finish.

The first few weeks back home were pretty rough.  We had to learn to communicate with each other. And she had to learn a new language.  Within a month she was speaking English very clearly and full sentences. She is very smart and picks up on things very quickly.

She is a smart, beautiful, happy, healthy, curious, opinionated, joyful child. She wants to please everyone. Poor Steve, she always takes my side in every argument.   She is full of questions and wants to know what everyone is doing.

She is doing well in school and is continuously making new friends.

She seems to not remember anything from her two and a half years in the orphanage.  Of course, she was so young.

We have made contact with 3 of her 4 siblings.  The oldest, a sister, keeps in contact with us weekly through  She is happy Olesya has us.  She seems to be doing well.  She is in school studying accounting and about ready to graduate. 

We hope one day that they will meet.  When she is much older, of course. 

We love this child more than life itself.  She is ours and will continue to fill our lives with joy and happiness.   


Thursday, February 18, 2016


Hello everyone,
It's been awhile since my last post.  We have been busy with school and life in general.  She is doing well in 1st grade.  Mostly A's and B's.   She has progressed to 2nd grade sight words and is in an accelerated reading class.  We are very proud.  She is doing fine with Math, although she doesn't like it.  She struggles with subtraction, but is getting there.

I wanted to update everyone with what's been going on with Little "O". 

We have always known she has an under-bite.  Dr. McCarthy suggested we go see Dr. Eckle's Orthodontist.  So we did.

They saw her a couple of times, then I noticed her two front teeth were separating.  So I scheduled another visit.

They performed a 3-D scan - where you can see all the teeth up into her teen years.  Here are the results:
1.  Deep overbite
2.  Upper and lower spacing
3.  Missing 2 upper and 3 lower permanent teeth---- 5 TEETH!
4.  Bite is off.

Recommended treatment is as follows:
1.  Placement of braces on the upper front teeth
2.  Placement of a lower splint base to assist with opening the bite so the top front teeth can move out over the lower front teeth
3.  Placement of upper protraction headgear to assist with the bite correction
4.  Adjustment appointment every 8 weeks
5.  When the correction is complete we will place an upper retainer - worn fulltime for 6 months and then nights only.
6. monitor growth and development
7 a second phase of treatment will be recommended in the future

So last Monday, February 15, 2016 we went in and they put "spacers" (little tiny rubber bands between a couple teeth) in her top teeth to prepare for braces next week the 22nd.  Her teeth have been a little sore but Children's Tylenol has seemed to help.

So next Monday we go for top Braces.  She is excited.  I will try and post a video soon.

She is happy, healthy and thriving!

Olesya's mom

Monday, June 1, 2015


Hello to all my blog followers.

Today is a VERY SPECIAL day for me.  On this day 4 years ago, we had traveled over 4000 miles and over 20 hours to get to my little girl, Olesya.   This day - 4 years ago.. -the first day we met her she was so innocent and shy.  She came running into the room and I picked her up and put her on my lap.  Stephen was grinning like he had just won the lottery.  I was excited and nervous.  I put her down on the floor and she walked slowly around the room, finding toys to play with.  Stephen got down on the floor and played with her while I took pictures and video's.  The doctor who had taken the train from St. Petersburg, looked her over and checked her heart and said she was fine.  She translated some of her medical records for us while we played.  The first morning visit was quick and didn't last very long.   She was so tiny and precious.

We went back to the hotel and waited for our next afternoon visit.   When we went back in the afternoon, she had changed her clothes and they were outside the orphanage trying to stay cool in the playground area.  We took more pictures and videos.  Our translator took our first family portrait.
Stephen and I are so happy.

The day went by really quickly.  It was really hot and she was really fun to play with.

here she is running from me... she was so rotten (is so rotten)

We left this day knowing that tomorrow we would sign papers requesting to adopt her. Who wouldn't? 

The next morning we got up and got ready to visit with her the second day.  The morning visit went smooth.  Before we left they asked us if we were ready to sign papers.  Of course we were.  So we signed papers requesting to adopt her.  We were excited and more than ready to be her mommy and daddy!
The second afternoon, we played some more.  I had brought along a dress, to see what size she is wearing.  Here she is wearing an 18 month dress at age 26 months and it was a little big.

It was the end of our second day and first ever visit to Moscow and Tambov, Russia.
We said our goodbyes and I was determined she wouldn't have to wait long for our return.
Our second family photo (1st visit for Tambov).
It took months after we came back home to finally get all the requested papers together and get our court date (November 15, 2011)  and finally in our arms (December 2, 2011) and finally home to the USA (December 8, 2011!).
We love her more than we could have ever imagined.  She is the BEST part of my day.... The first person I think about each morning and the last person I think about each night.  
She is happy and healthy and smart and beautiful.  She is friendly and loving and caring and ornery rotten and she loves the little boys.  She already has two marriage proposals in Kindergarten.  She says they both want to marry her, but she tried to kiss another little boy.  Stephen said he thought he would have to chase the boys away... but it seems he might have to keep a close eye on the rotten little girl as well.
She starts 1st grade in August!  Are you kidding me - why does time have to go so fast?  If someone could please slow it down, that would be great.   We have had so many first with her and she has had so many first with us. 
We missed a lot those first couple years (32 months).  She doesn't recall any of it as far as we are aware. 
GOD.... Prayers.....Family....Home......Dream......Happiness... Joy......Peace......Love.......Hope.......
I couldn't be more honored or proud to call her my daughter! 
The proud mommy of Olesya!
Tamra Lewis


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November is adoption month!!!!!

I haven't posted for awhile, so I decided that since it is Adoption month, I should probably post and relay our story to those who haven't yet heard it.

23 years ago, my husband and I married.  We wanted children, but for some reason, they never came.  We went through many test.  We even did in vetro in 2003 and 2006, but nothing worked. 

We decided that if we were meant to be parents it would happen.

In May 2009, I had this intense feeling to look into Russian adoption (we had looked into it before, but for some reason, I felt drawn to it again).  I went home and told Steve we have to adopt now.  We talked about it again and I convinced him to sign the papers on June 1, 2009.

There were home study reports, fingerprinting, background checks, verification of birth certifications, marriage license, drivers license, passports, etc (the list goes on and on).  Each month something new needed completed.  After we had everything done, it was submitted to Russia for approval February 2010.

Months go by, a year went by... our paperwork expired in Russia - we had to redo it all.... we did and resubmitted it all... of course nothing changed it was just the process.  skip forward to May 2011. 

We were anxious to hear something... anything.  It had been almost 2 years since we started the adoption process and we were worried this wasn't going to work out either.

May 2011 - an email - they have little girl... . are we interested.  YES.... we are..... she is considered SPECIAL NEEDS due to heart condition and FAILURE TO THRIVE.... we take the leap of faith and say "YES".... June 1, 2011 - We meet Olesya for the first time (2 years to the exact date we signed the papers--- some call this coincidence - I believe it was GODS doing!)  She is available for adoption starting today June 1, 2011.  She was born April l0, 2009.... GOD knew she was there and we were here and waited until the exact time she was ready and the exact time we were ready.  We fall in love immediately..... we were in love the moment we saw her photo... the moment we knew she existed... our daughter...clear across the ocean.

June 2, 2011 we sign papers to say YES - we will adopt Olesya. Our visit was over in Russia and we returned to the US

Lots more of paperwork to be completed (5 months worth) before we finally got a court date.... November 15, 2011.
We returned to Russia.  We visited with Olesya for the time we were there.  The courts approved our application to adopt.... we returned home for our 10 day waiting period.

November 25 we return to Russia to get our girl.  We visit her in the orphanage until Dec 2, when they tell us they are full and don't have room to keep her, we can take her today... Dec. 2, 2011 she is ours - in our arms.  We are excited and nervous.  We are in the hotel for a few more days until her passport is ready. 

We board a train to Moscow, then stayed in an apartment until her VISA was ready.  We were there until Dec 8, 2011.  We left there and because of the time difference we landed Dec. 8, 2011 in NY, USA. 

It has been almost 3 years now.  There have been good times and bad, but we got through them all.  She is a happy, healthy, wonderful, loving little girl.   She is THE BEST!  We couldn't have loved her more if she had been born to us.  She is ours and has changed our lives and the lives of our family for the better.

So if adoption is in your plans, take that leap of FAITH.  Listen to your HEART.  God will lead the way.

People ask me  -why did you decide on Russia - my answer is ---- Because that is where my child was. 

Now she is home.........Our journey continues.......

Who wouldn't love this beautiful child!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Our Olesya....

May 10, 2014,

Three years ago today, I received an email that changed my life forever.  After waiting almost 2 years we finally got a referral for a child. 

(Now go back 2 weeks)Two weeks before this referral.   I started crocheting a pink blanket.  Stephen said what are you doing?  I said – well you never know – we could get a referral for a girl.  I was smiling and had this “feeling” that something was about to happen.  He just grinned and left the room.   I really felt like God was telling me to be prepared for a girl.

What was the referral for, you ask?  A GIRL!  I had always thought I would be a mother to a girl.
It as another 7 months before we had her in our arms forever, but it was worth it.  She is the BEST thing I ever did.  You know how sometimes you wonder what you are meant to do with your life.  Well, I know what I was meant to do.  I was meant to be Olesya’s mom.  She was over 4000 miles away, but that was where she was.  I believe it was all God’s plan for us to be together… for her to be ours. 


Steve and I discussed adoption for a couple years before we decided to take the leap of FAITH and on June 1, 2009 we signed the papers to start the adoption process.

“The Adoption Process” is not for the faint as heart.  It is a lot of work with TONS of paperwork, lots of fingerprinting and doctor visits.  Emotionally and financially draining but worth it all!  There’s nothing like seeing your child for the first time.  Holding her and opening your heart to all the possibilities.   HOPING that it will all work out and that your dream of a family will finally come true.  That feeling of LOVE from the first time you see the photo.  The leap of FAITH you take when you say “YES” we will go and meet her…. “YES” we want to adopt her… “YES” to the court in Russia.  It was an adventure of a lifetime. 

Keep in mind, while there is JOY in this adoption process.  There is also sadness.  Sadness, that most likely she will never see her birthmother, she may never know who her birth father is.  She may never meet her other family members.  This is really sad because she is the BEST little girl and they are missing out on all the JOY and LOVE she gives to us all every day.  One day when she is much older, I will tell her all I know of her story. 
My girl turned 5 last month!  She is so intelligent, caring, loving and beautiful and I couldn’t imagine our lives without her.  I thank GOD every day for blessing us with this child.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Olesya Turns 4

Well, Olesya is 4 today!  I can't believe how much she has grown and learned.  She has grown over 8 inches and gained over 6 lbs.  She knows her ABC and 123's (to 12) and sings nursery rhymes and talks... boy can she talk!  She has had a good teacher!  She is an amazing little girl, who everyone falls in love with.  Just look at these pictures.. no wonder..she is a charmer!

She loves to be outdoors and she loves animals.  She has a heart of gold.  I just couldn't imagine her life or ours if we hadn't gone on our adoption journey.  We are so very proud of her accomplishments.  We couldn't be happier!  Every day is a new adventure.  You never know what she is going to do or say next.  She is very imaginative, loveable, ornery, smart, and beautiful!

Everything happens for a reason.  For those that are struggling with infertility, there are other options.  You just have to open your mind and heart and GOD will lead you where you are meant to be.  Just look at what we have now!  The most beautiful little girl in the whole wide world.  Children all over the world need families.  If it is in your heart to adopt, then don't let anything hold you back.  If it is meant to be  - it will happen.  (You know who I am talking to - Katie and Kim)

I thank GOD every day for her and for the joy she has brought into our lives and the lives of our friends and family.