Monday, August 31, 2009

Adoption Baby/Memory Book?

Hey Bloggers,
Do you know where I can find a cute baby book that has spaces for adoption related events? I've looked, but I'm not finding anything I really like. I want the kind that records adoption story, "forever family tree", doctor visits, weight/height, etc. If you have advise, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Court Dates!

I think we can squeeze one more little girl right in the middle, don't you?

We have our court dates! We leave Saturday, Sept 19th, court is on the 21st and we will be home on the 22nd. Quick trip! On the morning of the 21st we'll visit our little girly and have an apt with a doctor about her. Then, that afternoon we will go to court to officially say, "Yes! We want to adopt this little girl!" We have heard a lot of terrible stories about families going to court. Please pray that everything goes smoothly and that the judge is feeling gracious on that particular day. Favor, please, Lord!

I feel pretty good right now. I have some court paperwork to get together, but I think most of it is repeat or fairly simple. Well, as simple as Russian adoption paperwork can be.

I've been going through Audrey's 3T and 4T clothes. Good memories in those little outfits. I'm so glad we get create more memories in them! Soon, oh so soon, we will be able to have that girly home. I'm just so ready to move on. I want to get started with all the challenges that are ahead - language, adjustments, routines... It's getting to be more of a reality everyday. Nervous? Yes. Ready? Yes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Silly Kids

Just a few silly things that happen at our house on any given day...

It isn't everyday that a life-sized Barbie and a skeleton man get married. This was a pretty rare event! Good thing I got it captured on film.

Audrey gives her first haircut - with permission. The "Kelly" Barbie doll had gotten her head popped off in an unfortunate free-fall from the top of our stairs. By her brothers I might add. But, we made the best of it. We just duck-taped her head onto her neck and played beauty shop.

Hopefully the boys didn't enjoy it too much. There might be more flying Barbies in the future. They got some male Barbies and had them waiting in line for their haircut. We stopped it at one.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Moscow - Red Square

Here are a couple pictures from our one free night in Moscow. We had a busy, busy trip. But, this was a beautiful night. It was a one hour walk from the Radisson Hotel to Red Square.

These crazy "guards" made me pose like this! Funny!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ahhhh...It's Good to be Home

Well, we made it back to the US with no travel problems! Praise the Lord for that! As far as our luggage - ended up it spent the week in Munich, Germany. It was delivered to the airport in Moscow Friday morning at 4am. Our flight home left at 7am. (three hours later) So, we checked it all "out" at customs (hassle)then walked right over and turned around to check it "in" at customs (hassle), put it on the plane and then left Russia. Besides the fact that Rob looks like a mountain man for not shaving the whole week and my hair-do was major spazy for lack of hair products, we are not too bad off!

Oh, I wish I could share some of our pictures of little chickie-po, but we can't until we've had our court date. They are kind of estimating we will go back to Russia for court the middle of September. Then, the next trips will fall close in behind those. They're still thinking we'll have her home by October.

Surprisingly, the weather was beautiful. I imagine Russia as cold and gloomy. But, it was sunny and about 70 degrees everyday. Perfect fall-ish weather. On our one free night we walked to "Red Square" and the Kremlin. It was about and hour walk away from our hotel. Part of the walk was in this, sort of, "art district". Very interesting. We saw three guys rapping in Russian and break-dancing, an odd looking girl who was dancing with strings and appeared to be a little drugged out, and my favorite - a old Russian woman with a monkey and a sign that said, "Monkey Photos Here".

We walked to the big red brick walls of the Kremlin and took pictures of the "Pokrovsky Cathedral" at Red Square. I'll post pictures soon.

But, man, it is so nice to be home! It just smells good. Nothing like the smell of home. I missed our kids so bad! We are so thankful for our parents and my sister for staying with them while we were gone. It was pretty much life as usual for the kids. School, football, gymnastics and dinner around the table. We are incredibly blessed.

It was so cute. When we got home last night Audrey walked around with the video camera watching the videos of her new little sister. She went to her room and laid on her tummy on her bed and watched it all three times! I made a very simple photo album for our little Ruskie-baby which thankfully I kept in my backpack so I was able to leave it with her. In one of the videos I am pointing to each person in our family and she is repeating me, "sestra" (Russian for sister), "Audrey"... Such a cutie pie! Of course all three of the kids loved hearing her talk in Russian!

Sorry I couldn't post more while we were in Russia. Between lack of WiFi access, little battery power and scarce time, it was impossible! Hopefully the next trip will go a little more smoothly. Rob and I just kept reminding each other while we were there that it was not a vacation. It was a "business trip". Praise the Lord we accomplished what we set out to do. We got to meet our new little girl and the court paperwork is moving forward. Good deal!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We're in Russia!

We're here in Russia!! We've had a crazy few days...
We left our house Sunday at 10:30am. After bad weather in Chicago, three missed flights we arrived in Moscow at 10:45pm on Monday! Then we found out ALL our luggage was lost. We arrived at our hotel in Moscow at 2am Tuesday, with no luggage! We left that morning at 6am to drive to Vladimir. Yes, that's 4 hours later!

We droved three hours to Vladimir. When we got there we met our cooordinator who is wonderful. We signed some paperwork and left for the orphanage. We met our new little cutie pie at 11:00am on Tuesday, August 18! Man, what an entratnce she made! They had us sit on a sofa in a big room with toys and a table. She came skipping in with two of her "care takers". She had two big bows in her hair and a cute little dress. She had a gigantic smile and was singing some peppy little Russian song. Now, that totally discribes her personality. ENERGY!!! She giggles at everything and has awesome fine and gross motor skills! Threads tiny string into beads, goes up and down stairs one foot at a time, etc. We got to visit her three times. One time we played outside with all the other kids at the orphanage, too. That was an experience, let me tell you. Rob got the brunt of it - after he taught them to "give him knuckels" they all thought it was appriopraite to punch him. 15 little pre-schoolers just wacking him and cracking up. A little out of control! But, they were sweet. It was so sad to live our little baby girl today. She, however, just hugged us and waved "paka" then ran off to have lunch! (Goodbye)

Because we have no luggage we have no electrical converters, so we can't recharge our computer. We plan to Skype our kids tonight - finally!! So, I have to go to conserve energy. But, I'll blog again when we get home.

Oh, and by the way - we have learned that you really can get by with only a few clothes, 6 granola bars, a toothbrush and deoderant while in a foreign country. We're trying to look on the bright side!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We Leave Tomorrow!

These are some of my sweet friends and family who celebrated and prayed with me as a little "send off" party. They also donated gifts I am taking to the orphanage. What a blessing!

I can hardly believe two days we will get to meet our little girlie! I am going to have to hold myself back from just running over and squeezing her! Man, what in the world will she be thinking when she meets us? I pray so much that we'll make her smile. Her sad little world will be full of happy silly-ness soon! I have all these fun things to play with her when we get there. I've tried to think of all the senses. Oh, pray that she just has fun with us. And, gosh, at three-and-a-half she might remember this moment forever. Just amazing.

So, I'm all packed and ready to head out tomorrow morning! But, oh my goodness, I am going to miss my sweet kids at home. That is the only part that really makes me sad. I praise the Lord for Skype! Hopefully all goes well, and the WiFi is up and running at our hotel! At this point our kids are not sad. They are excited for their grandparents to spend the night with them! Hopefully that excitement lasts all week.

The next time I post it will be from Russia! Pray for safe travel and for our connecting flights. Chat with you soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fresh From Our Backyard

Look at all those veggies - freshly picked from our garden! It's so amazing to plant seeds and with a little tender care, they become delicious things to eat! As the little old farmer in our country nursery said, "A person can plant a seed, water, and weed and get a vegetable. But, remember, only God can make the seed."

Getting Ready

Well, we mailed our applications for Russian Visas yesterday! We paid to have them expedited and if all goes well, we will have them by Friday. Which is pretty freaky considering they will be completely in Russian and will have to be translated. Plus we are leaving the US Sunday - just two days later! I guess people have done it before. I'm just praying that I filled in all the zillion blanks correctly! Perfectionism is not exactly my speciality.

We have also booked our flights from KC to Moscow. EAC will take care of the arrangements once we are in Russia. They'll have our car, translator, hotels, etc all ready when we get there next Monday. We leave KC Sunday and arrive in Moscow on Monday.

I checked the weather in Vladimir. This week it will be between high 50's to low 70's. Rob says, "perfect!" I say, "burrr!" I'm packing in "layers". I'm really not packing a lot anyway.

As far as our three kids here - life is normal. I am trying to spend as much time as possible making their last few days of summer fun and relaxing. Praise the Lord we will get to be here on their first day of school. That would be really hard for everyone!

We're all excited!!! My sweet girl says she plans to have her new little sister sleep with her every night. Sounds like a good arrangement! ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First Trip Travel Dates!

Yeah! We have our dates for our first trip to Russia! Praise the Lord! Everything is moving very fast. We leave next Sunday, August 16th! Lots to do... lots to do...!
I'll write more soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Have a Referral!

Hello to all! Did you think we fell out of the adoption world? We have made some changes in the past month. I am so excited to share some news...

We have a referral! She is three-and-a-half. We will be traveling to Vladimir, Russia within the next few weeks! Oh, God has blessed us so much!

What a testimony we have to share about God's providence and plan. During all the waiting, I just kept declaring that I will choose to praise God, even when I don't "see" Him. There are some things we can already see that show us He was working in the unseen places. Other things we might never know or understand. This has been such a great learning experience for our kids, too. No matter how long or difficult - if God calls you to something, don't give up. The Lord is there to strengthen you, if you'll just trust and rely on Him. This we are sure of - God holds time in His hands. He is so faithful and has blessed us more than we could have imagined.

We are excited for the weeks ahead and hope to get our travel dates soon. We'll let you know...