July 4, 2014 - Just a quick update before I go to print.
As can be expected, it has been a very eventful and exciting time in the Dannemiller household.
Vanya started things off in the first week after we returned from Ukraine and rode his bike directly in front of a moving car and broke his leg. He spent the next 6 weeks in a full leg cast followed by PT and English lessons.
The language barrier was difficult at first, but fortunately for all of us, we found a wonderful Ukrainian lady in the neighborhood that offered to help tutor Vanya and help him with his homework. She even had a daughter in Vanya's class at the Henderson Middle School. In between temper tantrums and meltdowns, Vanya started picking up the English language.
After about three months, I returned to work and we put Max and DJ into a wonderful day care center out by our airport office and we started our day to day life raising three beautiful boys, living the dream in Las Vegas.
By the spring of 2011, we had processed all of the necessary paperwork for them to become US citizens and they became full fledged Dannemillers.
That summer we introduced the boys to Camp Michigania in northern Michigan - it was great to have all five kids together on the shores of beautiful Lake Walloon.
Our project in Las Vegas was nearing completion, so we started looking into where we might move to next. An opportunity came up for both of us to work on an Aluminum Smeltor in Kitimat, British Columbia so in October of 2011 we packed up the house and moved to the great white north. Part two of our adventure was coming to a close, and it was time to start part three! They shipped most of our belongings, packed the rest into storage and we started the long drive to Canada, with a stop in Montana to visit my good friend Tony at Bootjack Lake. On October 21, 2011 we took up our new residence in Kitimat.
After about a year of that, we started to question the decision to come here and we started looking for another option. Things became even more complicated when Vanya decided he didn't want to live by our rules anymore. Not difficult nor unrealistic rules; go to school, do your homework, and come home at a decent hour. Needless to say, when he refused to live by our rules, he decided it would be easier for him if he dropped out of school, leave home and live with one of the local First Nations families in town. We tried everything to get him back into our home and back into school, but he refused. After four months of dealing with the police, social workers and school counselors, we decided to take drastic action and place him into a childrens
therapeutic facility in Boulder, Colorado.
It was the hardest decision we have ever made but it was the only option we had. As you can imagine, it was equally hard on Max and DJ.
So, with all of this drama swirling around us, we decided we didn't want to live in Canada any longer and applied for a position in Perth, Australia. In March of 2013 we accepted positions working on a huge $20B LNG facility in Western Australia and moved to Perth. We absolutely love it here and the boys are doing great! Emma has said on many occasions that "she ain't moving...ever."
So, here we are - life is good and it's time to close this chapter and send it to print.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our little adventure as much as we have enjoyed living it!
The Dannemillers - Dave, Emma, Vanya, David, Jr ("DJ") and Max.
Oh and don't forget Sara - she moved to Perth in July 2013 to help us with the boys and to attend Curtin University here in Perth. And of course, a shout out to Lisa who is working hard in Baltimore!
After speaking to the immigration people at the UK Embassy in Kiev, we decided to take advantage of the "24 hour layover" rule which will give us the opportunity to stop in London for one night on our way home. Friends and family are notified and we make plans to meet up with everybody at Doug and Terri's house in Weybridge! It was so great to see everybody and introduce the boys to their cousins, and the rest of Emma's family, as well as Mike and Lucinda and of course our dear friends Sarah and Jacob. The visit was too short but I'm glad we did it. Now it's off to America and their new home in Las Vegas!!! It's been quite the adventure. Good night everybody, and thanks for your support!!!