Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our Christmas Miracle!


Nick helped Chris and Granddad feed the cows in his pajamas and new boots! He is crazy about his boots.

He has some chomppers!

The homecoming!

Me and Nick outside the apartment we stayed in in Moscow.

Nick at the mall in Moscow. Notice the plate. He had to carry that plate everywhere that day. The first few days we had him Nick had some object that he had to carry around for the entire day. This habit has now stopped.
More tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I lived in an orphanage last week?

Nick's been with our family a week now. His transformation has been amazing! We have been so blessed. He is one big bag of smiles and laughs. He has thrown a few good temper tantrums but they were short lived and quickly forgotten. I told him he would have to do better than that to compete with his older sister, Lauren.

He still hates to be bathed and screams the entire time. We told him he needs to get used to being bathed because that is the American way. He knows as soon as we walk into the bathroom that it is about to be bathing time. He will immediately start throwing a fit. He survives it though and as soon as he is out of the water he quits crying.

He also loves to eat. I think he would eat all day long if we would let him. I'm sure some of that is the fact that he never has eaten on demand, just schedules. There are foods he won't eat but usually it seems to be because of the texture of the food not the taste.

He is just doing so great it is hard to believe he has only been with us a week.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're back in the States

We made it back. We aren't home yet but are going to spend Christmas with my in-laws. Nick did awesome travelling! He slept about 6 hours of the flight overseas which helped that long flight. We were so happy to get to the Chicago airport. Nick's immigration went smoothly. We were the only ones there to do that so it took all of about 3 minutes. The time between our flights once we were in Chicago was only 2 hours. It was going to be cutting things very close with going through customs and immigration and getting to our connecting flight. We hadn't brought a stroller to cut back on things to travel with so my arm was about to break from carrying Nick and luggage and walking at the speed of light to get our connecting flight. We made it to our gate only to find out it had been delayed!

Nana and Poopaw (Chris's parents) were at the airport to pick us up and take us home. When we arrived at their house all the family was there waiting for us. It was a crazy and happy homecoming. It was like the paparazzi!! Everyone talking, taking pictures and doing lots of kissing on the little boy. Nick was smiling ear-to-ear! He hasn't stopped smiling since he got here. He is having a ball! It is so fun to see him laughing and having fun with all of his cousins.

Today I went out and did some Christmas shopping with my family. Nick stayed home with Chris. Nick cried when I left! We were gone a long time today and I kind of thought he would either be mad at me when I returned home or would want nothing to do with me. He made my heart stop when we walked in the door and he saw me. He got a huge smile on his face and ran to me with open arms wanting me to pick him up. It made my heart melt!

Alex forgot to bring my camera cord from home. I'll have to post pictures when we return home on Saturday since I don't have anyway to upload the pictures. Sorry for the wait.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Saturday in Moscow

Jumping ahead a bit....while we were in Kemerovo it was looking like we were going to leave there early and thus be able to complete our adoption business in Moscow earlier. We would be able to leave Russia early IF we could find a flight out of Moscow at a reasonable cost. While in Kemerovo we called American Airlines to check out availability and prices. WOW! We could find a flight but it would cost us around $5,000 to make the change. No, not rubles, dollars. That was just too much money and we didn't change our flights. Since being back in Moscow our paperwork has gone smoothly. We just kept wondering why it cost soooo much to change our flights to get back to the states. We want to go home! We decided to call American Airlines again. This probably would be fruitless but hey...it was worth a try. GOD IS GOOD! I don't know how or why but we found flights out for today via Chicago that weren't too outrageously priced to change. We are leaving in a few hours. I've heard there is bad weather in Chicago so we may get stuck there but we are ok with that. We are heading home :)

Nick has amazed us. We picked him up 4 days ago from an orphanage. Since then his attachment process has gone amazingly well. It is actually hard to believe. When we got him he would let anybody hold him and would not look us in the eye. He would smile but very tentatively. Since then....he recognizes us, won't let others hold him, smiles big huge smiles, looks us in the eyes for longer periods of times each day, searches us out if we are in another room, wants to get up in our laps (self-initiated), he will even sit facing us in our laps with direct eye contact, and teases with us. We have a long way to go but it is a great start to things.

Chris wants me to say that Nick loves his Daddy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday in Moscow

Nick is better! He woke up yesterday all smiles! We are thinking he was car sick. Today we are going to the U.S. Embassy to do some more paperwork. I think I will take some towels with us....just in case! :)

To back track in our journey a little....Following court on Monday we had a bunch of running around to do and didn't quite have the time to get the kiddos from the orphanage. (The other couple with us adopted a little girl who is just precious.) So, Tuesday morning we got up and off to the orphanage we go. When they brought Nick to us he recognized us from Sunday. At least he didn't cry when he saw us like he did on Sunday. Instead, he gave us his crooked smile. :) We played with the kids for awhile and then they took them off to eat lunch. While they were gone to eat the doctor came and gave us Nick's 3 medications and instructed us on how to give them to him. We thought he was only on 2 medications so were taken aback with three. But, we were able to get medicine to take home with us which was one of our concerns. Also, we were able to get the English names of the medications. Two of the medications we (Chris) was able to tell what they were, but the third was not distinguishable. Most of the letters where in Cryllic.

When the kiddos came back from lunch they were dressed in the clothing we had brought for them to leave the orphanage in and they were ready to go. We left all of the gifts we had brought for the doctors, social workers, orphanage directors.....etc. We said our goodbyes and loaded up in the van. We were anticipating a lot of crying on the 1 1/2 hour drive back to Kemerovo. (The orphanage was in a village named Zelenogorsk) We were pleasantly surprised by a brief cry and then both the kids fell asleep. A great start to our new life.

I will post pictures when we get home! I don't have my camera cord with me since this isn't our computer we are using.

More later.....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very early morning in Moscow

Jumping ahead a bit....Nick has been sick. Poor little guy has had the vomits since yesterday afternoon. He had his physical yesterday (23.6 pounds!) and on the car ride back to the apartment he started vomiting. He got throw up everywhere in the car. I feel for the translator/driver and his car. We made it back to the apartment with vomit all over Nick and everything else. I am glad this apartment has a washing machine! We got Nick stripped down and comfortable. This whole time he is still his pleasant natured self! He threw up a few more times and then he fell asleep on my chest. We slept that way for a few hours and then we went and got in bed. Nick is still asleep. He's been asleep for 10 or 12 hours now. Hopefully he will wake up feeling better.

Nick's personality has been a blessing. He is so good natured. He is smiling more and more. He definately recognizes us and yesterday at his physical when I had to sign something the translator took Nick out of my arms and he had a cow! Maybe he is starting to know who his mommy is! Of course, this made me happy! We have had so much fun with him. Chris and I were talking about how Nick isn't just a random little boy plucked out of an orphanage and given to us to raise. We feel like God definately orchestrated this adoption and Nick is our special little boy. He is the little boy that is suppose to be with our family. We already are so in love with him.

More later....

We're back in Moscow!

A big thanks to my oldest daughter, Alex for posting the slide show of Nick! She did awesome. The internet wasn't working at the hotel we were staying in so I didn't have any access while in Kemerovo. If there were any internet cafes around I wasn't going to spend ANY time outside looking for them. It was so incredibly cold. I have never experienced cold like Siberia has. I don't even think it was as cold as it can get there. We would walk 2 blocks from the hotel to a restaurant called the Traveler's Cafe and we would nearly freeze to death.

We arrived in Kemerovo on Sunday morning. That afternoon we got to go and visit Nick at the orphanage. We didn't know we were doing this so it was a great surprise. Nick cried at first but then he warmed up and he actually interacted with us better this visit than our previous 2. It made us really excited to get court over with and have him be ours!

Anyways...court. We weren't really nervous for court until we were in the room. I was really worried about Chris being able to hear during court with the judge and translator talking at the exact same time. Chris doesn't hear well when there is a lot of background noise and he was the one that had to answer most of the questions. So I was stressing wanting to answer the questions for him. But, of course, that isn't allowed. Another thing that was bothersome was during Chris's questioning the prosecutor kept staring at me. It made me extremely uncomfortable and nervous. It was kind of a piercing stare. I'm not really sure what all that was about but it was extremely nerve wracking to say the least. Questions at court were the usual ones that they prepared us for. But, then they grilled me about our finances and Nick's surgery. They wanted to know about our insurance and whether or not the surgery would be paid for. Also, they were curious about the economic crisis and if we were affected by it. The other couple weren't asked these questions. We think it is because we already had 3 children to provide for and the other couple didn't.Also, their child doesn't need surgery and ours does. But, we made it through court ok and the 10 day wait was waived.

There is still so much to tell but will post more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nick



Here are some more pictures of Nick! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is a SlideShow of Nick

Click to play NICK!
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He is Just adorable! :)

HE'S OURS !!!


I am Alex my mom and dad are in Russia and they told me to post some pictures, and ( i will try ) slide show of now NICKOLAS! He's ours i won't tell you the whole thing i will let me mom do that!:)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

DAY 2- MOSCOW

Well, we survived the physicals. What a joke those were. They were just a money grab. There were 5 couples at the facility to receive their physicals. It took about 3 hours to complete them but only because we did a lot of waiting around for our turn. One of the couples we met there are also going to Kemerovo with us. The wife of this couple is from Brazil. Chris was excited to speak Portuguese while in Russia.

Last night we went to the circus. The apartment we are staying in is very close to the circus so we decided to go. I am surprised more people don't talk more about the circus here. It was excellent!! I think it could be the best circus I've ever seen.

Today has been a great day. A couple that lives here in Moscow but are American picked us up this morning and spent the day with us. We are so greatful for them. We took the metro to a flea market called Izmalava (spelling?) and spent some time there. We had gone to this market on our last trip here and enjoyed it so much we asked them to take us back there. After we finished at the market we took the metro over to Arbat street. (The metro is impressive here.) We walked around Arbat street, drank hot chocolate at Starbucks and later ate dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. We enjoyed a little bit of America while in Russia.

We are back at the apartment now getting ready to go to Kemerovo. Our plane leaves at 11:00 p.m. The other American couple will also be on this same flight. It is comforting to have other Americans with us. I don't think I will have internet while we are in Kemerovo. I will post as soon as we return to Moscow! Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 1-MOSCOW

We arrived here in Moscow last night. Our plane was late arriving so I was nervous that our driver wouldn't be there to pick us up. Fortunately, he was! He said that December is very busy with adoptions. Usually they have 4 families here in Russia during any given month of the year. December they have 12 families. We are meeting another American family that is here and will also be in Kemerovo with us today at our physicals. Our physicals are scheduled for noon today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

IT'S HERE!

Tomorrow we are off! Taking the kiddos to school at 7:30 a.m. and away we go. The girls were very tearful tonight. We have never left them for this long! It breaks my heart.

Please pray for good weather, safe flights, great flight connections, an accomodating judge, safe roads to the orphanage, good transition for Nick etc,etc....I don't think there can be too many prayers! :)

I don't know if I will have a computer in Russia. If I do I will try to post. Alex is going to try and post a slide show I made of Nick of our first visit in October. She will do this after court. Hopefully, that will work out.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Is this good luck?

A storm blew in this evening. Once it passed we saw this double rainbow. We could actually see the complete rainbow. It was beautiful. Too bad there wasn't a pot of gold at the end. I could really use a huge pot of gold after this adoption process :) Is a double rainbow good luck! I sure hope so. Surely it is a sign that everything will work out great on this upcoming trip.
I've been running around like a mad woman the past week trying to get Christmas done as well as prepare for our upcoming trip. I also have had to complete a month's worth of work at my jobs in 10 days. It can easily be said that I've been stressed. Things are starting to come together though. One more day!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged by My Friend Patty!

A: Attached or Single: Definitely attached!

B: Best friend: Chris (husband), Dana comes a close 2nd :)

C: Cake or Pie: Pie! Coconut cream or Chocolate cream

D: Day: Monday-all the kids go back to school :)

E: Essential item: chapstick! I always have one with me. Chris used to make fun of me for this but now I've noticed he is also into chapstick. See, very essential!

F: Favorite color: Black and green

G: Gummy bears or worms: NEITHER--definitely not worth the calories.

H: Hometown: Seattle, WA

I: Indulgences: No doubt, chocolate

J: January or July: JULY (but I like winter clothes better than summer)

K: Kids: 3 precious girls and soon 1 boy :))

L: Life isn't complete without: Family

M: Marriage: 15 long, trying, laborious,tedious, tiresome, painful and miserable years! OK, I'M JUST KIDDING! :)

N: Number of siblings: 6 brothers and 5 sisters. Yes, that is correct I have eleven siblings. My mother is a saint!

O: Oranges or apples: Oranges

P: Phobias and fears: Heights and confined spaces. Chris likes to tackle me and make me feel confined. What a dog! :)

Q: Quote: I don't really have a favorite quote. But, I love it when Chris sings "It's Hard to Be Humble When You're Perfect In Every Way" in the shower.I'm not even sure if it is a real song but he sings it often. The girls and I just roll our eyes at him. He wants to know why he has to be his biggest fan! :)

R: Reasons to smile: Days when your kids don't fight and...when your husband buys you jewelry.

S: Season: Fall!

T: Tag three: Dana (I'm trying to get her to make a blog!), Kumi and Jen in Flower Mound :)

U: Unknown fact: I don't cry. My husband said if I were an Indian my name would be 'Stone Heart'. He's so rude :) I really don't cry much, but it isn't because I don't have feelings I'm just not a crier.

V: Vegeterian or Oppressor of animals: I definitely eat meat!

W: Worst habit: Eating too much chocolate.

X: X-ray or ultrasounds: since they are both painless...either one.

Y: Your favorite food: refer back to worst habit!

Z: Zodiac: Scorpio