Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Over the Christmas weekend we ended up with about 12 inches of snow. AND it's still snowing today. What a perfect Christmas break for the kids. We've played outside in the snow every day. So fun!

Snow ice cream! Tess could not stop eating it long enough for me to get a picture of all four kids looking at the camera. ;) She just kept says, "Ummm, yummy!"

That snow-drift was three feet high!
Sisters! Doesn't Audrey look big?

We made a snow ramp in our yard to sled down with a bump in the middle to make you pop into the air. Lots of work, but totally worth it. We worked on it for an hour. It goes between our fence and a cluster of trees. So, I had to make edges on the path to make sure the kids flew in the right direction. But, I love that kind of stuff. I didn't get any good pictures of it because I was the one doing all the work and when it was totally done, the kids were ready to go inside for hot chocolate. You know how that goes! I'll try to get some pics tomorrow.

When I asked Blake what he wanted for Christmas he said a black-face hat. It looks a little freaky, but he says it's warm.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Oh my goodness! We had the best Christmas! I just got a chance to download some pictures. We have around 500 from the past week. Making cookies, opening presents, playing in the snow, etc. How to choose? I'll post more as time allows! In the mean-time, I'm enjoying the kids being home from school!

Tess has a thing for glasses. She says, "Oh no! Tess's glasses!" And she runs to find them. Apparently she can't see very well with out them - just like Audrey. Go figure!

Lots of sugar cookies to share with our neighbors!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Tess

We are having FUN this Christmas! Oh, I just love having Tess here. She is so much fun. She can tell the whole Christmas story. Maybe I'll post a video...humm I'll see if I can figure that out. She says, "Angel told Mary, ganna baby. Mary happy! Go Beth... (lots of mumbling). Mary rode donkey, Joseph walk. No place to stay! Barn, cow, donkey. Baby Jesus born! (then she sings Away in a Manger). Angels, shepherds, camel...1,2,3! Presents! (then she sings Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus)."

I am totally serious that she says all of that!!!! She is amazing. Of course, obviously, I talk about the whole story constantly. We read LOTS of books, LOTS of times, over and over. She's a book girl. But, really. To remember all of that with only 8 weeks of English? We are so so so so blessed with this perfect genius baby girl! Praise the Lord forever and ever!!

I just love it when she gives her sideways glances! She uses those big eyes, that's for sure. Tired, angry, happy, sweet - she's got all the eye expressions down!

Look at Tess's black eye! We made a fort in the basement. We turned out the lights and had flashlights. Tess was laughing, running and looking the wrong's all fun and games until someone looses an eye! ;) She's painting a piggy bank Blake won for her in a game at school. What a good big brother!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Forgotten "Gotcha Day" Pictures

These are some pictures I never got to post. Time went by very quickly...

Our "gotcha day" pictures are almost non-existent. When we left the orphanage Tess was screaming (in Russian) "I don't want to go!" She cried and cried. I had to carry her to the car kicking. It was very traumatic for her. The only pictures we got were when she finally settled down and was in the car seat drawing on the magnadoodle. It was fascinating to her. She fell asleep pretty quickly after that. She was seriously exhausted from sadness.

Some people have asked us if it was exciting, sweet, fun to finally get to take her out of the orphanage. For us, it was really different. We knew it was going to be very hard for her. I would say our emotions on that day were more anxious to get it over with.

Daddy's girl on the airplane. How do you like that cute shirt Tess is wearing? I found it at Baby Gap. It was her "going home" shirt. Tess calls those dolls "ma-to-ths-ka" because she has a lisp. I can't even remember how to say it correctly! We bought one for her while we were on our first trip to Russia. She still takes it apart and puts it back together every night - 7 weeks later!

And finally, a US Citizen!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tess & May

Just a quick story. Our dog May has had some, ummm "gas problems" lately. So, from listening to our conversations about our little pooch, this is what Tess did...

May was in Tess's room while we were reading books. Suddenly a smell drifted our way and Tess stood up and said, "May toot. Yucky, stinky." Then she went to her bedroom door and pointed out into the hall and said, "Open the door. Get back, May. Yucky! No Tess's room." I had tears rolling down my cheeks I was laughing so hard. Then, Tess came over to me and cradled my head in her arms and said, "Awww, Mommy cryin."

May the tooter

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Star Wars Symphany

Rob and I took our boys to the see Star Wars in Symphony at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It was so so good. I can guarantee there have never been more males at a symphony performance ever! It was so sweet to watch my boys' faces. They loved it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Many Words In Six Weeks!

Today Tess has been home six weeks!

Because I use this blog as a journal - somewhat - I decided to think of all the words Tess knows in English. Six weeks ago today she knew NOTHING. Also, as of today the only Russian word she uses is "etta" (that). Isn't that amazing?! Well, I think I'll keep coming back to this list throughout the day and add as Tess and I play together. She'll probably say something new today anyway! ;) Don't feel like you need to read the list, it's really more for me anyway! So, these are the words she says on her own with no prompting after living in the US for six weeks.

Here we go...

Tess, Mommy, Daddy, Blake, Will, Audrey, May (our dog), Grammy, Aunt B, Grandpa, Papa, Grandma, Baby Nate, Uncle Joel (Rob's twin brother - we've drilled on this one. Even when they are sitting side-by-side she calls them both Daddy ;),eye, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, ear, arm, hand, fingers, fingernails, paint nails, leg, tummy, belly-button, feet, toes, knee, hair, bow, socks, shoes, jammies, undies, pants, jeans, shirt, jacket, coat, boots, "Mommy help" (used often), zip, tie, button, snap, on, off, ouch, hurt, fall, down, up, out, good girl, sorry, yes, no, wow!, up-stairs, down-stairs, tv, outside, inside, cold, burrr, hot, no touch, open, shut, laundry, chair, table, cook, water, drink, eat, carrot, grapes, banana, juice, yogurt, orange, strawberry, pineapple, apple, pizza, tomato, broccoli, snack, plate, napkin, fork, spoon, knife - ouch, scissors, glue, cut, paper, makers, pencil, fan, lamp, bed, pretty, sweet, mean, happy, sad, crying, laugh, dirty, clean, wet, dry, truck, car, bus, potty, boy, girl, (Tess no boy! Tess girl!)bath, soap, mermaid, polly pocket, baby, sleeping, shhhh, bottle, open the door, shut the door, stay back May, toot, stinky, yuck, snow, hat, mittens, book, kitchen, flower, bumble bee ouch, dinosaur, bug, stop, go, wait, come-on, music, toothbrush, brush teeth, (she count 1 thru 10), pink, purple, yellow, green, blue, black, orange, red, all-gone, full, empty, big, tiny, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, angels, shepherd, wisemen, blanket, happy birthday!, wreath, Christmas tree, snowman, presents, uh-oh, wow!, swing, slide, bike, walk, chalk, circle, cut, paint, line, ball, kick, throw, flip, bless you, I love you, thank you, amen, pray, sunshine, tree, and her favorite - bandaid!

animals - makes all the sounds to go with them... frog, turtle, dog, cat, rabbit, rooster, lion, bear, cow, owl, chicken, chick, whale, dolphin, zebra, sheep, camel, penguin, snake, seal, mouse, worm, donkey, hippo (then she shruggs her shoulders because hippos don't make a noise), giraffe-long neck, monkey,

Okay, it's about time to go get the "big kids" from school. Oh, I forgot, she says "kids school". See, I'm going to keep remembering things! But, I have to make myself stop! Isn't she amazing???? She's stringing these major sentences together. For example, she threw a ball inside and it knocked own a picture frame with her picture in it. She said, "Oh no, Mom! Ball, picture, Tess, fall down, ouch. Sorry!" Oh, I love her so so so much!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The girls painted some beautiful pictures this weekend. When they dried I hung them on the wall in the kitchen. Since that time, anything Tess draws she sticks on the wall with little stickers. So funny.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sleepy Girl

Tess falls asleep in the car every afternoon when we pick up the kids from school. I took this picture while we were at a stop light. Two seconds later she was out cold. Couldn't you just kiss that sweet face!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flipping Around

Now, why in the world do my kids love their daddy so much? Probably because he does crazy-fun airplane flips to them! It hasn't taken Tess long to figure out how much fun it is to be turned upside-down and tossed around.

Tess has the tinest little 4-year-old body. When she came home three weeks ago she weighed 25.5 pounds. Now she weighs 28.5 pounds. In just three weeks!

Laughing hard and upside-down!

Audrey's turn. And, Tess? She's comin' back for more!

I have to follow up on the kids' "Tess show-and-tell day". She did great. For the most part Tess performed well for them. She sang "Jesus Love's Me" with the classes. And Blake, Will and Audrey did a lot of, "Tess, say..." Then they would give her some random Russian word to say. When she repeated them the class would laugh like it was the cutest thing! Sometimes she's like a little puppy dog doing tricks!

I took her to the "Infectious Disease International Adoption Doctor" that is at the Children's Hospital near us. Of course everything checked out great. They did some lab work called "titers" to check the levels of the immunizations they gave her in Russia. Sometimes in Russia they use expired or half-dose medicines that don't really do much. They're also checking to see about her iron level. The Russian doctor told us she was anemic. Of course this is the same doctor that "weighed" Tess by picking her up under her arms. He said in his deep Russian voice, "24 pounds. No less than 23. No more than 25". When we brought her home she weighed 25.5pounds. Oops - should I report him to the Russian authorities? Everything has to be so perfect on the US end. Yet, when it's coming from Russia they just make it up as they go along. Don't get me going on that hypocrisy! I'm sure all you adoptive moms could write a book on that stuff!

Tomorrow we're putting up our Christmas tree! What in the world will Tess think of all the lights? We can't wait!

Burning the Cat-tails

For some reason - every fall my dad burns down the cat-tails that grow along the edge of their pond. There might be a real reason. But, personally, I think he just does it because the kids think it's cool!

Blake really got into the blow-torch thing!

Will's turn. Audrey did not want to try it. And my mom took Tess inside for the whole ordeal. With her personality, she'd probably want to try the torch, too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Family Photo

First family picture! What a shot. I set the camera on the piano bench, clicked on the timer - and got this. I think seeing mommy running like a nut to get into my place before the blinking stops makes everyone smile.

Things get better everyday with our little Tess. We had four great bedtimes, but last night she cried again. It's totally a different story now with the crying. She's crying, "Maaamaaa". Now what do you do with that? Of course you go in and snuggle. Time will work it out.

Sunday night was her first ever outing away from our house. After 16 days I was ready! We went to my nephews 2nd birthday party. She did really good considering all that was going on. There were lots of kids. She pretty much stayed the opposite place the kids were. If they were in the basement, she was upstairs with the adults. If the kids were upstairs, she was in the basement playing with all the toys. I just sort of hung back and watched her. We played together a little bit, but she really couldn't focus on just one thing. Her brain was going a mile and minute.

She freaked out twice. Once when it was time for dinner and everyone else was already in the kitchen ready to pray. I brought her up from the basement and when we came into a room of silent people who turned to look at us, she became a limp noodle, slid to the ground and started screaming. I took her into a different room and she settled down real quick.

The other time was even more sad. Rob went to out heat up the car. Blake and Will ran out into the cold with their boy cousins. I looked down and she was completely panicking trying to get her boots on. She was saying "shoe, zip, shoe, zip". She thought we were leaving her. Poor baby girl.

Today I am taking Tess to the kids school for "show and tell". They are all so excited. I asked them what they were expecting from Tess. They said they want her to talk in Russian and hug their teachers. Hummm, good luck with that. I'll report back on that one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Four

Here's the four best, sweetest, silliest, craziest, happiest kids in the world! And, I'm serious. I even checked in Russia. These are the best ones. ;)

This is the only decent picture I took for our Christmas Photo Shoot Take #1. None of them truly represented my kids' personalities. Like, take Will for example. That is not the face of Christmas joy. That is the face of strain because Mommy's said 15 times, "just a few more!" Christmas Photo Shoot Take #2 went better. Those are the pics I'm using for my Christmas cards. Tomorrow is Saturday. I'll try to take some better candid shots of the four of them. It is tough getting everyone within the view of the camera lens at the same time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tess's New Haircut

This is her hair before. Uneven and a little stringy.

The haircut

Is this cute or what?

This is a face Tess makes often. She does this when we don't understand her or she doesn't understand us. It always feel like the scene in Finding Nemo where Marlin is with the sea turtles. The tiny, darling baby turtle explains how to exit the Current. He has that happy, squeeky voice. But, Marlin says, "You're really cute, but I don't understand a word you're saying." Poor Tess.

Tess's 4th Birthday!

The birthday girl!

Getting a closer look at the yummy cake. I have not given her sugar, except for the sucker on the plane and one sucker on Halloween. So, just the smell of the sugar made her smile.

Blowing out the candles like a pro! We blow dandelions outside, so maybe that's why she did so well? They told us at the orphanage that she had never had a cake with candles. At any rate, Rob is very happy that I taught her to blow by spreading weed seeds all over the yard.

Tess with Mommy and Daddy

Tess had a very fun 4th birthday! We didn't know for sure if we should have a house full for the celebration. But, with Miss Spunky-pants, we decided she'd love it. So we had some of the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents over. About 20 people including us.

I want to give a quick update. I haven't posted in a while. Tess and I have been getting to know each other better. I have only left this house two times in the past 13 days! She has only been in the car once to go to a neighbors house to take Christmas pics. (We had to take advantage of these warms days!) I'm so glad we have been together non-stop. She really loves to snuggle up with me. She says, "Hold you." when she wants me to pick her up. Something I LOVE to hear!

Anyway, our little Tess...
~dressed up for Halloween, by her choice! She wore Audrey's pink bunny costume from when she was three.
~Loves to wrestle with her bros and sis. They have taught her to do somersaults, sword fight, go off the slide backwards and spin around until she's dizzy and falls over, then play like she's dead. You know - important things for a 4-year-old to know.
~Still cries at night. Last night was the best night ever. The night before was the worst. You just never know.
~Has fewer and fewer fits. She's starting to understand that if I'm trying to help her turn a puzzle piece the right way I really don't want to take it from her.
~LOVES to sing! Sings Russian songs, makes up songs and sings song I've taught her. Wheels on the Bus, Jesus Love Me, Away in a Manger and a ton of others
~Finally has let her guard down and will go around the house without shoes on. She was even wearing them with her jammies!
~likes to ride a bike with training wheels
~could swing on the swing set all day! She says, "swing outside".
~loves taking baths with Audrey. They play for an hour. I have to refresh the water with warm because they're in so long it gets old.
~is awesome at puzzles! 80 piece puzzles. Not baby puzzles.
~takes her turn very well when we play games. Likes Animal Bingo, Oh Rats, Duck duck goose...
~loves playdough! She got an "ice cream shop" for her bday. We "eat" pretend ice cream cones for hours!
~loves to play in our little play kitchen. Likes to bake pizzas the best. :)
~likes sidewalk chalk
~recognizes her name spelled out. We're working on "T"
~Can name most of her body parts. eyes, ears, neck, foot, etc

That's all I can think of right now. I could write forever, but that gives a rough idea of what we've been doing the past 13 days! I am having so much fun with her. She's a little love-bug. I have to say though - it's all on her terms. But, that's getting better, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Square and Adjusting in the USA

So much to tell...

Tess and Daddy. Doesn't get better than this.

Traditional Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral pictures taken by a fellow tourist.

Just taking it all in.

Tess's angry face. Pretty cute, but watch out. She ain't kidding!

Running to Daddy with a huge smile! (Blast those wretched yellow lines!)

Prepare to be amazed...Tess has gone to bed the past two nights without one tear! I have a discovered that (like my other kids) Tess likes routine. If we follow the schedule, things go great. So we brush teeth, read same Bible, point and name same animals, sing same song, and she falls asleep and I leave. Is that a miracle child or what? Praise God!

Our main struggle is that she absolutely cannot accept the word "no". If she wants to do (or not do) something she has the biggest screaming fit. I'm telling you, mouth open wide, shaking her head, rolling on the floor, kicking and screaming at the top of her voice. It has been hard to know what to do. I definitely cannot reason with her. I don't want to yell or get angry, that just makes things worse. So, what I have done the past two days has worked incredibly. I pick up her writhing little self, set her on the toilet on the bathroom (somehow she doesn't fall off with all the fitting she's putting on), squat down and say in a deep authoritative voice "No screaming. Are you done?" I put out my hands, she shakes her head, I leave for about 1 minute. I come back, with my hands out, "Are you done?". It takes about 3 or 4 times. Then she snaps out of it puts her arms up and says, "Done". And, we go back to whatever we were doing. Today it was a puzzle that had a piece that "wouldn't fit". Because I tried to help her turn the piece the spaz-out happened. After the Jeckle and Hyde routine, we returned to the puzzle and finished with a smile.

Language - Keep in mind she has only been in the United States of America for 4 days! She just gobbles up anything I say. Her re-call is incredible. She can sing (more like mumble the tune and throw in various words) Jesus Loves Me, Away in a Manger, Father I Adore You, Wheels on the Bus...just to name a few. When she wants something I tell her what it is, she repeats me, and she remembers. She can say "drink, eat, outside, swing, more, all done, help, shoes on, brush teeth, coat on/off, Amen." She says all the kids names, Grammy, Grampa, May (our dog). I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of right now.

Before we left Russia, a woman came up to us and started talking with Tess. We asked her what she said. The lady told us that Tess said, "I like your beautiful red coat." So, we know she has a major grasp on words. I think that's why she's moving at record speed. It's so sad. If she jabbers to us and we just stare at her blankly she shrugs her shoulders. She's probably thinking, "poor fools".

All in all, she's doing amazing! She hugs me, sits on my lap, holds my face and kisses me. It just completely blows me away. Thank you, Jesus - right, Ana?
God has brought this little girl into our family. Everyday she fits just a bit tighter in.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home! Home! Home!

Just wanted to say real quick that we are HOME!!! The 22 hours of travel was AWESOME! Tess was incredible. She only slept one hour. She just played, watched a DVD and ate lots of snacks. She's very easy to please. We had one melt-down. A new trick I highly recommend - I could since the fit coming on, so I got an emergency Tootsie-roll Pop and as soon as she opened her mouth and threw her head back, I popped the sucker right in. Sugar must be a universal language! ;)

We've been playing, playing, playing today! Having so much fun! Blake, Will and Audrey are so sweet with her. Praise God.

The low point was bedtime last night. She screamed her head off. I slept with her in her bed for a while then on the floor in her room. Pleasant. Hoping things are better tonight. We're NOT giving her a nap. The plan is that she'll just be dog tired and go right to sleep. Will she follow the plan? We'll see. I'll post pics when I get a chance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Picture You've Been Waiting For

Here she is...Tess Katerina Knight!

What a cutie pie, hu? She's small for her age. But, she's a big girl at heart. Very independent and happy - most of the time. :)

Rob, Tess and I walked to Red Square this morning and had a "photo shoot". So cute! This picture is when we were leaving. We took almost 200 pictures! So they are going to take me a little while to go through! This was one of the last ones we took. Easy to find. I'll post more when we get home.

So, I've had lots of blog friends aking questions about bedtime. To be honest - it has been a mess. The first night she cried for an hour. I sat on the floor and held her and rocked her. It was good that she wanted to have me hold her during all of it. When she finally stopped crying and somewhat fell asleep I just laid down on a mattress on the floor with her. She slept all night. Bedtime #1.

Today was our first time to put her down for a nap. She always naps at the orphanage from 1:00 -3:00. It was about 2:00 and she was very tired. So, I tried laying down with her in our bed. She still cried - more like screamed - for about 45minutes. It probably sounds mean to let her cry like that. But, she was so tired, and it was kind of a ridiculas cry. No tears, not scared - just plain not wanting to go to bed. I kept my arm around her and kept saying real quietly, "It's alright, Mommy's here." At one point she had a little pathetic sob and said, "It's alright, it's alright." Maybe she thought that's what we Americans say at bedtime. ;) Bedtime #2

Well, before I tell about bedtime #3 let me explain something...

Tess and Rob have made a very sweet connection. It was seriously of God what happened yesterday in Vladimir. Rob and I are always on the edge of being confused here. The interperters will tell us something, we think we understand, and then next thing we know we're getting out of the car somewhere and doing something totally different. They're saying, "Hurry get out and come with me!" We rush out the car with our coats half on. Then we go into a room and they tell us to sit and wait while they dissapear for half an hour. Then they come out and say, "Let's go." Anyway, that's just a little explaination backdrop.

We asked seveal times what the plan was yesterday. The order of things. Just trying to understand. Paperwork, different paperwork, more paperwork, then the orphange to get Tess. They have told us over and over that we should have an outfit for her to go home in. So, Audrey and I thoughtfully picked out this darling, funky dress - purple with big daisys on it, cute tights, matching purple shoes, little purple bow. And I mean little - no more mega psycho bows they like the girls to wear in Russia. I'd say they're more like a bow you'd put on a large Christmas package!

Anway, all of a sudden we find ourselves at the orphange. The interperter says, "Rob, get the girl's outfit and give Angela your passport. We need to hurry. She will finish the paperwork and you will change and get the girl." So, we're totally frantic! What about the cute pictures I was going to take to make memories for her?! Plus, Rob just said, "Oh, man. Moms are better at this stuff." I tossed him our little Canon Sure-Shot camera, the outfit and a handful of balloons and he was whisked away. I told our interperter, "Wow, we didn't expect that." She said, "We must hurry. You will be there when we pick her up." Well I hope so for goodness sake!

Okay, they had told Rob we'd be back in an hour. And 2 1/2 hours later we got back to the orphange. I was worried he was out of things to do. BUT, to my most pleasant surprise, as I was walking in I could her Tess laughing. Rob and her were playing like old friend! What a sweet moment. He came over and said, "We had a lot of fun together." God is so good. If I would have been there I would have dominated the playing. I know I'm like that. I try not to be, but I'm a first born, what can I say?

Another thing that happened as I walked in, Tess looked at me and said, "Peesit, Mama" (pee-pee). Then she wet the biggest truck-load all over the place! Fortunately Rob had not changed her clothes into her trendy little dress. He knew it was going to be sad for her, so he was holding off as long as possible. The cook or maid - some lady with an apron on - took us to a big bathroom with two tubs and a shower. She handed us a towel and walked out the door. Welcome to our family Tess!

We stripped her down, put her in a tub, turned on the cozy warm water and Rob sprayed her off - in fun Daddy style. I collected the wet clothes and got her new clothes all ready. I took her out of the tub, dryed her off and started getting her dressed. The whole time I was smiling at her and talking really sweet, but she was screaming her head off. The maid lady came back in told her something that made her stop crying and finished getting her dressed. Oh so cute, topped of with the bow.

So, since that time, Tess has had the two bedtime episodes, wet herself again (with a pull-up on), hit me in the face three times, (by the way, I got my point across the third time that was not acceptable and she hasn't done it again - if you know what I mean). So, what is Mommy? The disiplainarion. What is Daddy? The super fun person that's like an amusment park! Of course that's what Daddy's are for. ;)

Okay, the ending to my very long story - bedtime #3. Rob and I decided that he would put her to bed tonight. He said he couldn't handle the crying for an hour so if it got out of control he'd call me in. We braced ourselves, Rob said, "Tess, spawt" (sleep) She stood up, walked across the room to him smiling, and passed me with a defiant look and went to bed. Not one bit of fussing. She just went in and laid down - that was it. Rob came out 2 minutes later and we started laughing like crazy (quietly). Maybe because we're tired half out of our minds.

Needless to say, we're going to have some Mommy issues to resolve when we get home. But, I'm up for the challenge. Bring it on, Girlfriend. ;)

Well, I'm heading off to bed now. Sooo tired. Sorry this post tured into a novel. If you got sleepy and had to read it in two installments, you haven't offended me! Ha!

I'll post more pictures as time allows. P.S. my spell check is not working - sorry for any crazy mis-spellings!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today, Tuesday, October 27, 2009 our little Tess Katerina was placed in our arms forever! And, what a moment! Do you think she was filled with joy? Did she wrap her arms around us? Nope - she cried the saddest, mornful cry. Poor baby. We knew it would happen, it was just so sad to see. She was crying in Russia "I don't want to leave!" Man, that was tough. But, I brought lots of distractions and it didn't take too long before she was playing in the car seat as the van left Vladimir.

Right now Miss Busy-buns is opening every drawer and door in our apartment. She's also playing with Daddy. Balloons seem to still be her favorite. So, a little exploring, a little balloons and so on.

I could write so much more about our day and the things we been through on this trip. Things like Tess wetting her pants two times w/in a hour, flight delays, wrong hotel, etc. But, I'll save that for another time. Or maybe I'll just skip it altogether. No use re-visiting. ;) I'll see if I have time to write again when she goes to bed. Now, that is an interesting thing we'll be tackeling for the first time in about 1 hour.

But, really, things are great. She's a doll baby! So silly and funny. Can't wait to get her home!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Trip To Bring Tess Home

The fun never stops with my sweet kids. The other day we made a volcano out of baking soda and vinegar. It doesn't matter how many times we do that, it's always amazing!

It's finally here!
We leave tomorrow for our last trip to Russia (Sunday, October 25th). The schedule is: Sunday leave 1:30pm, Monday arrive Moscow, Tuesday 6am drive to Vladimir & pick up Tess from the orphanage, Wednesday US Embassy am, Thursday US Embassy pm, Friday fly home.

The past week has flown by. As anxious as I am to get Tess here, I feel sad that it will not be just my three kids. It's a strange mix of emotions. Rob reminded me that I felt that way before the births of each of my kids. I specifically remember being big and pregnant with Audrey and rocking Will in his room when he was 16 months old. I remember telling him, "I'm so sorry." But, then little Audrey Jewell came. Oh man - our love GREW, not divided! I know that will happen again.

Anxious is the best description of how I feel. All of the unknowns and what-if's. I think more than anything else, right now I have that horrible flight from Russia to the US in my mind. Honestly, I hate that flight. What in the world will Tess think of it? I have packed so many toys and books and DVDs. It's hard because I don't know what will entertain her. I'm just planning on the worst case scenario - she throws up on me, cries the whole time, runs up and down the isles, throws food on the people sitting around us, bites the little girl across the isle... Now if I plan on that, surely I will be pleasantly surprised with a "peaceful" trip home! Don't you think?

Anyway, we're all packed and ready to leave. This is the beginning of the next chapter of this story. Please pray for God's protection and wisdom to surround us. I'll blog again from Russia...