Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just Photos

Back in Russia

So trip number two.. Whirlwind trip number two. I had five days to plan this trip. It all came together sweetly! Day one in Moscow I slept. It was raining outside so no good for walking. I did not sleep well on the plane as I had an aisle seat, and took forever to get from the airport to the hotel. So what better way to spend a rainy day then sleeping in an extra comfy luxurious 4-5 star hotel room. Yeah a bit spoiled I would have to say.

Wednesday morning all I could think was wow it is already wednesday and I will be back on a plane in three days again. Off to Borovichi a long cold wet rainy ride. 5 hours in the car. Stopping at McDonald's for lunch and for two pit stops. But I slept again most of the way.

Thursday am the best part of the trip. I got to spend two hours with Little Dude. He came in and walked over to me. He looked so handsome and like such a little man. He cried a little when all the caretakers he is familiar with walked out of the room. But it was short lived and before long we were playing blocks. Gotta get this little man some blocks!! He has a cold so he doesn't feel that good. Can't wait until I can give him some cold medicine so he won't live in constant congestion. All these kids in institutions just live in constant state of congestion. They pass their colds back and forth and I bet never know what it is like to actually smell and breathe and not be snotty.

Today is court... Today will be the last entry in this blog... Today I will finally be officially and legally MOM!! It has been almost two years since I met Shelby. And now my path that started with her has lead me here to Russia. Veliky Novgorod and Borovichi... Today after court (and after my mom gets her photos!!) I am going to make this blog public. Then after I get home all the posts from here will get transferred into my original blog.

My mom has not seen photos of our little guy yet. She will be getting an email telling her to check her snail mailbox... And a letter from her new grandson via email. Her first photos will be in her mailbox as a surprise for her this morning. I wish I would have asked my dad to video tape!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Crazy, Whirlwind preparations! We had a pretty scary 24 hours waiting to see if we would get my Visa back in time. But I got word Friday that everything is a go. So Steady as she goes making plans. flight has been booked (not paid for yet). I will be flying out of JFK on Monday night at 7pm. OOOoof I really don't like driving to JFK. But hopefully we'll have better luck then my last few trips to that airport. Lorraine is going to take me up. And hopefully we will be leaving early enough that I will just have plenty of time to sit and relax in the terminal.

Friday I asked Inna if I could take gifts/donations on trip three since this has happened so quick. She did not say yes.. But she did not say no either. I take that as "you really should take the gifts on this trip!"

Friday morning the pooches three (Sabyr, Tressa, and Ruger had their appointments for vaccines for camp. We had no choice but to squeeze them in since I will not be home next Friday. Then Tressa had her Camp hairdo!

I shopped for some small toys for the orphanage (some balls, and slinky's) And snacks for me. Then hay for the horses and back home for lunch and ready for work.

Saturday I had intended to get up early enough to get a dress for court. Hmm can you tell I am dreading this court dress? Well I got up too late. I did however manage to get gifts for the orphanage workers, the coordinators, Vitaly, Vitaly's little boy.... I was uncertain of what to do but I figured it out and I just hope it will be ok. I had a gift certificate from bath and Body works from Christmas from Lorraine. B&BW's was running a perfume special, buy 3 get 2 free!! Score! And with each of the bottles of perfume I PAID for I got a free shower gel. SCORE AGAIN!! In one swoop I was able to get 5 bottles of perfume and 3 shower gels. And the icing on the cake... little gift bags that had the color coded tissue already in each bag. truly simplified! What else?? I went to Best Buy with the gift certificate from Christmas from my Brother and Sis in law. Bought three digital photo keychains. Cute gifts I think. One for the coordinator, one for the translator, one for Vitaly the driver ( I really really hope Vitaly is driving) I really liked him and actually of the three connected with him the best. I also bought his son the book WADDLE. His son is about 6 months old I believe. Then off to the dollar store where I bought some photo albums and some other stuff to stick in the bags for the orphanage workers. EAch orphanage worker (not sure how many I was supposed to do this for) Will have a little grab bag, shower gel, photo album with a few photos of Kolya from trip one, lip gloss, blush, eye shadow. I may get some chocolates and add that to the bag also. Coordinator, Translator, Driver each a bottle of perfume (men's cologne for Vitaly) a photo keychain and a 5 x 7 photo collage of Kolya. And again maybe some chocolates. The orphanage director is also getting a really nice photo album with a cute spring scene embroidered on the front. I certainly hope that will be perfect.

Hotels... I was starting to really stress about the hotel situation.. But again.. patience paid off. Started off with Kelly (travel agent) saying that the hotel prices are through the roof. Oh no!! I was really hoping to stay at Renassaince again. I liked this hotel. It was comfortable, friendly, close to shopping and had a shuttle to Red Square. When I started the first price I got was $777. YIKES for one night. NO WAY. So I looked and looked. Then went to the Marriot site to see if the rate was different. Hmmm $383 ok getting better, but still NO WAY. Just for fun I put in my Marriot rewards.. And marked use my rewards box even though I knew I did not have enough points. Hmmmmmmm.. "you must purchase more points in order to use rewards for this stay. OK how much?? $162... SOLD.. So my $777 hotel room has been booked for $162!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SCORE BIG TIME!!!!!!

Last hotel was pretty easy. A hotel closer to the airport. With a free shuttle service ANOTHER SCORE!!! So I will only need a driver for one leg of the trip. If I was more confident I would hop the Metro and get off right near my hotel.. Lets think about that.. Um NO! So still need to contact Dimitry for my drive from the airport to the hotel. Big sigh of relief.


There is still



Wednesday, May 19, 2010



Yesterday we had a conference call with our agency. Supposedly things have just started moving again. And Inna was sure that we would not see court dates before the end of June. During that call I asked reasked that question just to be sure. "so from what you are seeing the earliest we will see a court date is the end of June?" She said probably... but..... She has not heard from my particular coordinater yet. Ok.. I am so cool with the end of June. Because the overall sense of the call was that things were good. That was yesterday!

Today I had the cable company on the phone trying like crazy to get our new fanbdangled digital cable box hooked up to the new fandangled digital 50 inch television that we bought to celebrate finishing Dossier paperwork! Yes finishing a dossier for the third time was reason to celebrate!!!!!!

I did not even look at the caller ID when I was head deep in digital cable wires... But I got off the phone and saw it was the agency!! YIKES this must be important. Called back without listening to the message.. Imagine my suprise when Inna starts rattling off things about Visa's and documnents and ........ WHOA!! Inna back up I did not listen to the message...

Well long story short My court date is NEXT WEEK!!!! OMG !!! I thought sure I would get a bit more of a heads up this time. Nope!! plan this trip on even less of a time frame. So we are off to the races..

Visa---- Sent
Unbeatable Travel ---Called
Peace Travel ---- Notified
Bank ----- yeikes they just LOVE ME!!!! Can you have $$$$$$$$$ ready by Saturday??

So... Mom finally knows a name, and an age, and that Little Mr. Has red hair.. But I am going to be half mean half sentimental... She is going to get a card from Nikolas and she will have to open it on May 28th to reveal his wonderfully handsome self.

Can't wait for this next part to be over! But so excited that it is almost here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silence is not always Golden

copied from

Oh what another roller coaster April has brought to us. Emotional highs and emotional lows. So should I start at the top or the bottom? I guess I will start at the beginning. I was trying to keep a secret. But because of so many events of the past two weeks it is not much of a secret anymore. I was trying to not get hopes up, emotions caught in the middle of yet another roller coaster ride. But I am not such a good secret keeper for one, and for a second I have been thrown in the middle of yet another debacle. I yearn for the days when I can get on the carousel and ride a pony to the peacful music around in a peaceful circle. So what is my secret you may ask..... Since October Brian and I have been pursuing a concurrent adoption. Homestudies updated, paperwork re-gathered, dossier resubmitted, translated, shipped. Trip one BOOKED. From April 4th until April 10th I was in Russia. I met a little boy who I sure hope will soon be our son. I could not have been happier. I knew immediately this was meant to be. We spent two short visits together and then the long drive back to Moscow. (sorry there are still some things I am keeping a bit hushed about until we get a court date)April 7,2010 On the way back to Moscow my cell phone started blowing up with inbox messages that our dear Kyrgyzstan was in Chaos. The opposition forces and the public have started protesting in the streets. By nightfall Bishkek was literally a battleground. Public buildings burned to the ground, The white house raided, The Parliment building overtaken, Looting, A high end restraunt destroyed and the owners killed, hundreds of Kyrgyz people injured, and at latest report 84 people have lost their lives. I sent emails out as soon as I was able to get a good internet connection. I was worried about my friends in Bishkek and Tokmok, I was worried about Noodle and the baby houses. By the next day I had heard from just about everyone. They are safe but staying indoors. The President has been overthrown. A new leader has taken control. And a week later the President Kurmanbeck Bakyev has officially resigned. Leaving a new Leader in his place Rosa Otunbayeva. Our hope for Kyrgyzstan is that Rosa O. (my apologies for lack of respect. This just flows better) can lead her country to a new and better way of life. But our number one hope is that we can possibly persuade her to somehow issue a decree to release the 65 children who have been held as political hostages for the last two years.
But my story does not end there. My stay in Moscow is littered with bad publicity. On April 8th Torry Anne Hansen decided in a selfish and hideous act to put her adopted son on an airplane and return him to Russia. BY HIMSELF. I understand this little 7 year old boy was not the inocent child she was hoping to adopt. A child with severe RAD is not the angel child, the golden end to adoption dreams. And I am not in her shoes. BUT seriously. What was she thinking? Was she thinking? There is a system in place for a reason. Home studies and post placements are not just a hassle they are for the child's protection. And not only the child... If she was having issues why did this not reflect in a post placement report? Why did a home study agency not step in with resources and help. So many unanswered questions. WHY has there been not a single charge brought against her. At the very least child endangerment or reckless abandonment? SOMETHING... All that aside. I am now sitting in my Moscow hotel room in utter disbelief. I have just met this beautiful little boy. He needs to come home! I am scared that I am now thrown in the middle of not just one IA crisis but possibly two. Despite all I tried to enjoy my last day in Moscow. Red Square is amazing beyond words. Moscow is very much like NYC but cleaner, and not quite as busy.
My first week home from Moscow was crazy. Trying like crazy to figure out what this is all going to mean. So far no answers. A delegation from the department of State will be in Moscow to talk about IA with the Russian officials. We'll see what they come up with. The 65 families had a conference call with the DOS and others on April 12th. We came out of that meeting extremely frustrated. No answers. No time frames. No clear plan. And every question was answered with a skirt around the issue. When will Hilary actually contact Rosa O? A letter, a phone call. No clear plan. So we are on a warpath! A media path that this week started in full swing. More on that as it all unravels!!!!! Hope is not gone nor will it ever be. WE WILL FIND A WAY TO GET THESE KIDS HOME. We are determined we are passionate, and we love these 65 kids with all our hearts and all our souls. We will do what it takes. And one day they will have much to be proud of.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nikolai Ivanovich Ivanova

The post everyone is waiting for...A few photos and the story.. How different this process is from Kyrgyzstan. We got to the orphanage at about 1pm. We all sit around a table. The coordinater, Natasha, translater Tatianna, A representative from the Borovuchi Department of education, a social worker from the orphange, and the doctor from the orphanage. The DOE representative speaks first telling the social history. How Kolya ended up here at the orphanage. And details about his mother. Oh how absolutely insanely sad but such a gesture of love. Kolya was given up by his mother. becasue she is single and homeless at the time of Kolya's birth.
The doctor speaks next.. she tells a detailed medical history of Kolya from his birth to the present. From his prematurity and no need for respiratory support.. to ultrasounds and evaluations by speech and developmental therapists. Their only concern the shape of his eyes. And yes one eye is droopy... We will wait and see if he actually has Blepharophimosis or if he just has a slight droop to his eyes. Both are a bit droopy but the right more so. But I certainly don't care at this point. I am encouraged to ask questions. And they can't believe I don't have more. I ask about his developmental progress and his vision. The rest... well no big deal. So after about 30 minutes they ask... "Do you want to meet the boy?" Ok I just traveled halfway around the world on a plane and 10 hours in a car... Was I going to say NO??? seriously. YES!!!!!

The social worker brings in our beautiful Golden haired little boy and it is instant 100% acknowledgement of this is where i am supposed to be and this IS our son!! A very brief moment of uncertainty before I take him, but no tears, no crying. We immediately hit it off. Interacting, playing. And I cry thinking of this moment and I think I always abd forever will cry thinking of this very moment in time. Adoption may not be biological but the bond is just as strong. The moment your child is first placed in your arms by birth or by adoption is never forgotten. we have about an hour hour and a half. Of which I bring out my bag full of toys. He LOVES the stacking cups best of all. We played with the interactive book.. and looked at photos.. But he liked the blocks best! Stacking, putting them inside each other. Using them to make noise..
When the social worker leaves with him I am asked " so do you want to move forward" Another immediate YES and more tears as I never been more sure of one thing ever. YES YES YES. And the paperwork is signed!!! We will come back tomorrow for one more visit before heading back to Moscow. (not fun and not looking forward to that)

answers to WHY

My facebook status says.... " Have you ever had the feeling that the long road was hard but you are right exactly where you are intended to be! I have.." Hard to question the reason behind waiting for Noodle when today I have been handed yet another answer of why. Why are we waiting to complete our adoptions from Kyrgyzstan. God has His own ideas. And they just take us all some time to get the answers. WHY... Why is it that 65 kids are stuck in an adoption process. Let me just give a few answers. 2 years of WHy have led to several answers culminating in todays BIG answer. First, my journies to Kyrgyzstan would never hae happened if we were NOt waiting. I would not have met John, Anya, Sergei, Jengish, Kolya, Asel, Talant, Aigula and all the kids associated with them. I would never have laid eyes on Viktor or held him and hugged him. I would not now be sponsering his education. I would not have spent a night dancing with the men at the invalid home in one of the Villages. I would not have developed a lasting relationship with those associated with John.. Nicole, Hilary, Lori, the list does not end. And I would not have developed a wonderful friendship with my blog buddy Kimberly! All these things just would not have happened. I would be home raising my daughter. No time for all this world traveling adventures. No time to stop and help the one in front of us. No time..... But I was given the gift of time. The gift of wait... Patience... Although I must admit my patience wears thin many times over.. And then today. I hit wanted to hit my knees as the biggest answer to WHY was handed to me. I follow... YOU lead... And although this road is far from over I have been given answers to WHY!!!

And as an aside note... Those 65 families... many of them have now followed this same road in one form or another... A path unchosen but a wonderful path to follow indeed! And so many families who are double blessed because we Followed.