Monday, December 7, 2009

Almost 3 months home with our Aloysha (Logan)

As we look back over the last 3 months watching some of our videos and talking with Logan, we see how much he has grown (almost 4 inches since we have had him) and how much he has developed. But mostly, we see how much we have fallen in love with our little boy.
The moments when we are so tired we can barely lift an arm and he is asking us to run down the hall and chase him just one more time, we do it or the moment when he has just thrown the entire spaghetti plate on the carpet, we ask the dog to come over or when he has put on mom's shoes (dad's are too heavy) and a big hat and glasses, we laugh with him while he giggles across the floor attempting to walk, or when he races down the hall looking at us and we are after him trying to get him to stop looking at us and watch where he is going before he runs into the wall he is heading into, we give him hugs, all in all, through laughter, new experiences, tears, and his first romp in his snow boots, we are so happy to have been given this amazing little boy.

We could not have done it without the help of Partners for Adoption and I have never been more relieved and satisfied with our agency and the people we spent a year with working towards bringing our child home.

This is a great fear and a risk with hope entering adoption and it is a heavy decision and as I look back now that we have been home for 3 months, I see it was the best decision of our lives.

Dancing Logan

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wow, have I lagged or just been so busy chasing around our little guy?!

Our experience was incredible in Russia. We were very lucky to meet other families, one of which is like family now with their two beautiful girls (Logan's cousins), hehe.

Since we have been back, it has been go, go, go with our Logan from the pumpkin patch picking out pumpkins, falling off furniture, walking backwards, running everywhere he can get too, first car seat rides (that takes time to get used to he says), stroller rides (another getting used too), lots of hugs and kisses and tons of smiles. He is a tough little cookie, endures falling in the grass about 50 times and keeps going. His balance is amazing and he practices quite often haha.

He is up to 7 words now: Dada, Mom, No, Thank you, Dog, Yah and can give the peace sign, thumbs up, high five, down low etc. (We have had some influences hehe).

He just got his new hockey set for the wood floor and a tricycle, which he rides around. He dances in circles and boogies down when music comes on. Loves big beats and the bagpipe. For some reason right now he is so into Irish jigs and bag piping. He is climbing stairs and coming down, although not without strict observation.

He cleaned up his room the other night. The only time but surprised the heck out of Mommy as she just watched.

If he doesn't get his way, his bottom lip comes out and he pouts a bit. It is kinda funny as he puts on a game and then smiles when ur not looking.

He loves apple juice, however more special loves green tea, peppermint tea and sips of Mommy's latte. Yes, just sips, nothing more, however it was good when we had to withdraw him from the black tea in the baby home hehe.

Court went really well. We were in there about 20 minutes. Simple questions and confirmations.

Transition was difficult in hotel room, a bit tiring for the parents as he had to get through the grieving of a new place, change and we of course were still in limbo at the hotel. The airplane ride went ok as from what I hear 3 hours of crying on a 10 hour flight isn't bad. Although I did cry a bit myself haha. I think it can be a bit overwhelming but with Michael taking over and walking him up and down the plane, it was a serious help! The flight attendents were amazing to and helped in anything we needed.

When we got him to his new house, it was like he knew he was home and he knew what his room was his. Since then he has been running around non stop and I mean non stop. He sleeps through the night from about 11pm to 9am. Then has an hour to two hour nap.

The adjustment once home has been great with him, however I will admit, parents be ready as it is quite an adjustment on you. I am on 24/7, which basically means I am getting used to only working when he lets me right now and I am thinking it is just that he needs extra attention as he is in the "I am so attached to you, I am not going to let you go" stage.

If you have a significant other, have a break word as it is so important for you to know when u need a break and let urself have one. You may need a few breathers and that is OKAY. Totally ask for help if you need too. I know it is difficult as I have a hard time asking for help, however the adjustment can be trying until you get into the rhythm.

Take date nights too!!!! Need them, oh my gosh, do ya.

I cannot stress enough our experience was amazing mostly due to our agency, Partners for Adoption. It is a heck of a journey as you all know and it makes a huge difference when you have the right people to help you and support you in and out of country.

I will post again, but my little one is calling.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jet Lagged

Hello All-

So much to say, so much advice, however it will have to wait a couple of days. Big jet lagged and running around after an excited little boy who just knows he is home and loving it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In Vladivostok and have our Little One

Hello All,

It has been awhile since I have posted due to the hectic journey here, court and picking up our little one. The Vlad Inn is a really great place, by the way for any of you having to travel here.

Our little one is adorable: He has had a difficult transition, however we hope with each day it gets a bit better. He is down to 1.5 hours of crying today. When he is not crying, we are walking around the hotel, inside the room, and he is an amazing little guy at feeding time. He turns "on" shall we say when it is time to eat. He said, "Hi" this week and Michael taught him how to high five and ten it. The headbutts from him are the most endearing, painful but a huge love at the same time as that is his way of planting a big one on us.

He is Mama's boy right now, barely leaves my side for two seconds, however Michael finally got him asleep on his shoulder today from pure exhaustion. He did touch the chairs, tv, tables and windows today in our room, which is a huge stride forward.

At 15 months old, 9 month old size clothing, he is doing fairly well. We just need to help him get rid of his constipation and he should be feeling better. This has been very difficult for all of us and we have tried prune juice, walking, fiber cereal and massages. Hopefully, we can get him to have a BM in the next day so he feels better.

He is seriously cute though. A real ladies man!

Well, if it wasn't for Tom and Christi, the NYers as the hotel knows them as haha, (Everyone knows their names ;), we do not know what we would do. It is so wonderful traveling with another couple. I mean it makes all the difference. We can talk, vent, and talk more about our little one's and no one tires of it! lol. They have been a huge support. LOVE YOU GUYS.

We did see our little one go down a slide today, of course with mama and papa's help but still, another step.

I will update more. Have to put in a little work while he sleeps.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Day to Go

Breathe----------- Okay, breathe--------------hold------------------9 seconds-----------------breathe.

That is an example of the mini breaks I am taking through out the day as I prepare for this HUGE transition we have been so looking forward too.

I think as a friend of mine Jennifer mentioned, when we get back, it will all sink in as to what it has taken to get to this point and bring him home.
I just got done translating our photo album and lemme tellya, it was difficult seeing the pictures of our little one. We can't wait to see what he looks like now. MISS HIM SO MUCH it hurts.

We are very excited to be traveling with two other couples. One being the Wallaces, hooray, they are awesome.
Now, if only I can get the rest of our clothes in our bag!!! HAHA. We are at 2 suitcases, one small carry on suitcase, and one computer bag and my bag (looks like a fashionable one color carpet bag).

So far, we are just about ready and we are looking forward to seeing our family who is flying in while we are in Russia to take care of the house and get things ready.

It is amazing as our family and friends have done a lot to get us through this until now. Thank you All big time. Without you, we may not have kept the sanity one so hopes to keep in this long, challenging process.

Back to packing. . .

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sitting Down Feels So Good

Ello All!

Well, I posted earlier today, however I have a few minutes while my dog stares at me hopelessly to write a couple of words.
First off, We NEVER expected to hear this news this week and we figure with all the busy things we have to do, we will finally realize the day we are packed and on the plane that we are going to see our little one who still has our heart.
I had a moment to get a small rain coat today for him as it is warm there, however raining every other day, which honestly sounds great right about now.
I also picked up a couple of soft play items for sensory development (gawd sounds so professional), heck, for some play!
I think I may need to take tonight to zone out.
For everyone who is still waiting for a court date, LISTEN UP:

Wise words from a friend: "Slow down!" For realsy, if you can and I know of all people (a person who shakes her leg endlessly to direct her energy), you WILL be able to accomplish all you need to get done.

PLEASE celebrate. My hubby and I have not done so and I am really working on at least toasting, "Nastrovia" so we can allow ourselves some sense of "hooray".

Write a list, a couple if you have to and start doing them now. For instance, you know you have to pack, so start writing those lists. Oh and I am going to repeat this advice from another parent given to me, for those coffee drinkers, take espresso beans, covered in chocolate if you have to so when you need your pick up, you got it.

Most of all, Please know, as I believe this is one of the most difficult processes one goes through in life, BELIEVE and KNOW your travel date will come to go get your loved one. Keep busy, get ready and organize.

Okay, I need to go answer all of my travel e-mails I am getting, paper work e-mails I am getting, and there are plenty, and if your THE WALLACES, just an FYI, ur blog is set to member only so I can read but I cannot post and was very curious about whether we are traveling same time.

Thanks to Everyone for their Comments

Hi Everyone,

Well, we are running around collecting the last bit of paper work we need, getting our suit cases out, trying to get the little one's prescriptions, travel has been purchased, lol, the list goes on.

We will try to update as we go along on the blog.

I have to head out for appointments.
Will put up more later.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Court Date! YAY

Wow, so unbelievable, as we did not expect the news at all. We received a court date and we leave in two weeks. We could be parents in two weeks. AAHHHHHHHH Okay, I have to go run around and then I will be back to write, too much energy building.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Had One of Those Weeks

You know when you find yourself sitting for a moment and asking, "Did I really just get through this last week?" This is the question I have asked myself today following an early morning, a hundred degree thermometer in my car, sun barreling into the windows, loud pumping up type music on, lots of slow traffic and a five hour drive to go down to the Capital of Washington to get my last updates apostilled and suddenly, "Oh no, that really doesn't say a five right? Oh no, oh no, aaargh". Following the realization of the fact that the wrong number had been placed on my paper work and I need to drive all the way home to have it re-done, notarized the second time and drive back down to the capital to get it apostilled again, well that incident felt like the cherry on top.

Don't get me wrong, it has been a good week, just one of those weeks where you are spinning so fast, it seems like no matter how much you try to get it to stop, one more thing pops up.

Also for any of those who need just a bit of luck?!
Read below:
As you all know we have been going through this seriously extensive, why we always choose the most difficult journey in our life path to adoption and as many of you know, it is exhausting, stressful, emotional, beauracratic, costly, .... only to bring home the one true love both you and your husband share.
So, as you can imagine desperate times call for various types of actions.

I have often heard if you plant lavender by your front door, it can bring you luck. Hold on to your suspenders people, because either it is a deep coincidence or the lavender surely can't hurt, however this is how the week began spinning.
With over 30 hours of work to complete in 3 days, out of town guests probably hoping they could have done more with their time (I tried), last minute medical updates for adoption, a husband going through serious work hours and stress, 103 historic temperatures in our area, no AC, stores have run out of fans, pockets of brush fires burning where one can smell the incense of wood, our 4 leggeds panting and needing consistent mistings, our fish tank having to be set up again in a timely manner, and watching two houses while our wonderful friends are away, well, all I can say is, I sit here 6 days in from planting the lavender and rosemary and realize, "wow, maybe it does work" because even though it seems like a crazy week, which many of you have had, there is a lot of good that came out of those days.

And believe it or not, if Logan was here, I would have been worrying about trying to get a hotel when they were mostly sold out and I do not think I would have felt comfortable with him being in such a hot atmosphere with no cooling so maybe things do work out the way they are supposed to even when we can't understand why.

So, I guess I've made my point and if any of you need a bit o'luck, maybe try planting lavender and rosemary. I am off to take care of more paper work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day We Met

The day we met has two stories brought together by two songs.

I remember I met Michael on February 11, 2000 online, totally random as we had a favorite show in common and were on the threads late one night.
I knew fate had intervened and a song I would not normally have thought to be a favorite followed me where ever I went, whether it be in a grocery store, on the radio in a car, playing in an airport, you name it, it came on. The song was, "I Try" by Macy Gray. It even followed Michael into a San Francisco concert, "Built to Spill" who randomly covered it one night. It was ridiculously in our face, so much so, it had to be a sign.

We were in Russia and had just left our little one in the orphanage (one of the most difficult tasks in an adoption and one, which will wear on us for the next few months), and I remember staring out the back seat of the car while the music played. It was a selection our coordinator had to put together, some in English, others in Russian.
A song played, which caught my attention, maybe it was just perfect for the moment as I had so many emotions stirring inside my body.
The artist sang,
"I love being around you, you make it easy, easy as 1,2, 1, 2, 3,4
There's only one thing to do
Three words for you, I love you
There's only one way to say
Those three words and that's what I'll do, I love you"
-The Plain White T's

I kept the song in my head for the next 24 hours or so until we got home. I knew the voice was familiar to me. I looked it up and found the artist and from there on out, the song has come into our lives, whether at a restaurant, in a store, or in the car, it has followed us and not randomly but at times when we need the song or catch it completely by surprise.

Today, was one of those days and I am sure possibly some "to-be mothers" and "those who have been through this process" can completely relate too.

So, I was walking through my little town, breathing deeply, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the wait, the lack of communication about our little one, and I picked up my iced tall nonfat double latte from Starbucks, my daily life saver and decided to say hello to my favorite local children's boutique. I walked in, checking to see if they have anything new and the owner, the sweetest, hippest lady I just adore said hello like normal and asked how I was. Out of fricken' no where tears just start strolling down my eyes like they had been doing it all along. She looked startled and said, "I guess it isn't a good day, did you hear something?" I said, trying to gain composure, "No, nothing new, I guess the wait is just getting to me or something." Next thing I knew she was coming around handing me tissue and giving me a hug. Oh man, where did that come from??
Well, within, I kid you not, one minute of my mini break down, the song began playing and I just sat there dabbing my eyes and listening to it with a bit of a smile.
I realized it came on, gave me comfort and hope.

The hope, which is all Michael and I have to live with right now. There is nothing like saying to two parents, "You need to go and bond with him, see how you do with him" then we fall in love with him and then are told, "but don't get attached, nothing is for certain".

Well, I know legally they have to tell us this, but in no way does it lend to the reality of your emotions and the ups and downs it can cause, the not knowing, the reality it could be 2-3 months still, possibly longer.
The reality we have to do more paper work over again since it is going to be such a long time.

I guess what I am saying it is strange where life takes you, down the paths you never thought you would be on no matter how worth it, it is in the long run.

Maybe all of this will be just a memory, however I never want to forget the journey it took to get to where we want to be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Can't Wait

I can't wait
to see you take your first steps on your own
to see you crawl on the floor
to see you pat the dog on the head
for you to be licked by your big, furry brother
for you to laugh uncontrollably
for you to see something for the first time
to see the crinkle of your nose when you have tasted something you don't like
to see you fall into a heavy sleep after a long day
to be there when you wake up in the middle of the night
to pick you up when you fall down
to give you a hug when you need one
to hold your hand walking across the street
to watch you look around during your first trip to Disneyland
to see you open your first Christmas gift
to watch you dance when we put on a silly song
to cuddle with you on a rainy day
I simply can't wait and yet this list could go on for the ages

The day I realized I was capable of such mushiness, I accepted the fact I am so ready.

Wrote To You Last Night

The 4th of July weekend has just ended and now we begin a new week. "I wrote in your journal last night Logan so you would know how much we are ancy and missing you."

I am currently working on the court photo album, working on including our pics with the time spent with Logan as I was told it is very important to show the judge we spent time with him.

At this point, I am just hoping to travel by September unless there is some miracle. Getting my list ready to go and shop. Let's see high chair, diaper pail, wipies and so much more.

But mum is coming in, in two weeks so I will bug her and take her out shopping.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Dossier 2 has finally arrived in Vladivostok

Privet Friends and Family,

Well, I finally found out today that our dossier 2 arrived and was signed for yesterday. This is a relief, even though I have to get over the fact it took almost 7 weeks just to get the updates and paper work officially in. I am crossing my fingers and hoping everyone has good thoughts, that R will not need more to get on the list for a court date.

It looks like we will probably have to re-do our medicals before the next trip since this has taken so long. Michael finished the dvd and I just keep watching it, feeling it tug deeply in the center of my chest, in great part due to the last credit "Back Soon". It has not been very soon, however we will persevere.

Just hoping we can bring him home at 16 months. This is our goal now. He turned 13 months two weeks ago and will be heading into 14 months soon.

If we get to bring him home, then this is ALL WORTH IT! He has no idea what is in store for him, however the fish and frog are anxiously awaiting more attention in his room.

Never in my entire life, would I ever have thought or known how a little one can turn one's entire life and path around. It is so crazy as I sit here and think about where I was a year ago.

I cannot give enough credit to my husband for choosing the perfect songs for our dvd. (I chose the last one, hehe or rather it stole me in Russia). It gives the perfect message of how we are feeling and where we are going.

Love ya my hip, modern hubby, ur the coolest, my luv.
Logan will be one of the luckiest boys ever to have a dad like u in his life.

For others who are reading this and going through this same process, HANG IN THERE. Most of the time you feel like that cat who is hanging on to dear life from the branches and u hang there feeling the same way for most of the time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Song, Which Fits this Journey Best

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true
- Pinocchio

Michael and HunterAnn's
dream come true,
Логан Александр Бят

The Little Hand That Stole Our Hearts

There is not much else I can say, the hand says it all. We miss you. We can not wait to get back to you. Time can not fly fast enough. I remember when I waited to meet your Daddy for three months, the advantage to our wait was I could talk to him every day. I just wish we could see how you were growing, watch you laugh, look into your deep thinking eyes and begin a new journey with you.

And as you soon will find out, you will see humor in your new family more often than you could imagine. Your Daddy spent an hour trying to get your new play pen up...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What we get ourselves into....

It is hilarious, last night had a wonderful evening with my husband drinking the last bit of our Russian Vodka, yummy and toasting to obtaining a court date sometime soon, hence the bottle in our pic.

Now, next day have gotten myself into a world of papers, books, shelving, a bed, exercise bike, more books, more papers, boxes, little bits of odds n' ends, which one can never find a place for so basically up to my head in work.

So, need to find out how to move all of these large items on my own, hehe. Some I have done as my stubborn need to get the guest room clean and perfect rises. It has only been 4 days since we turned in our paper work (exception of one legal document) and OHMYGOSH can time go any slower? I am still keeping busier than ever, however it feels like I have been waiting months since I turned in the paper work.

Back to work.........this is just such a great distraction ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More changes to Logan's room

Michael and I spent date night changing Logan's room and getting it ready for him to come home. Of course it was bitter sweet. We loved every moment and we also missed him at every moment but with hope, he will be home in a few months in his room playing with his blocks on the floor or we will be watching him sleep or reading him a book.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

$750 dollars worth of paper work out again

Bonjour! Privet! Aloha! Hello!

I am sitting here after a long day watching a Russian television show based almost word for word, characters etc on Married with Children. Must say the Russian version is entirely more entertaining than the one we had here.
It is good therapy after spending more money on paper work. Today's tally: $750 dollars, stamps and over night. We have one more legal document in a week or so, which must go to the capital, however for now we are hoping so hard core that the documents, which arrive tomorrow at the agency will be the one's to get us on the list for a court date!

After cleaning and organizing some of the rooms in my house, still have over half to do, I am a bit exhausted. It seems there are no vitamins good enough to help the situation.

I realized I am lacking a bit of information on our blog of details in our experience in Vladivostok. Most likely due to my paranoia of putting anything out there, however I will add in a few details here and there.

Today's details:
It was rush, rush when we were in Vladivostok. I remember the day we had to visit the MOE. It was located in the city, where we winded around into an alley. There were military guards and women dressed very nicely; long skirts, beautiful heels and colorful sweaters.
We felt like, well I did most of the time as I am so short, 5'1, I was jogging behind our coordinator. He was thin, tall, dressed stylishly, about our age and a speedy walker.
The elevators were amazingly small, like the size of a regular bathroom stall, and 4 of us squished in as it took us up four flights. I loved the elevators, I must say, old and yet quaint.
We waited for about 30 minutes in front of the elevators while our coordinator set up our interview time. The interview lasted about five minutes. We were in a small room with three desks, three women, our coordinator and interviewer.
Simple questions were asked about our lifestyle and home.
We were then rushed off to get to the orphanage, about 70 - 80 minutes away where we passed birch trees after birch trees. There was a little old woman selling beets and sitting in a beach chair. If you looked about 30 feet behind her in a patch of trees, there were seven men sitting around a small fire.
While in the car, I took video of the pretty surroundings, trees, hills and ocean. There was always something to see, even large military trucks we passed.
The baby home is located in a nice small town with posh looking cafe's, which served the most delicious coffee and Italian pizza breads. Hmm. I kept trying to pick the cheese and tomatoes off Michael's plate. It was laced with roasted garlic.
On another day we went to an American looking restaurant, which took after the Hard Rock Cafe a bit, American memorabilia, Elvis, guitars, framed photos, and old westerns running on a television. Nice restaurant, good pizza. The only unfamiliar thing I found was that the lights to all of the bathrooms are on the outside of the bathroom and there were no stall doors. Michael commented that people were looking at him strangely when it took him waaaay tooo long to find the light switch.
The director at the baby home was extremely sweet and made sure we had as much time as possible with our little one. From what we heard from others, time could be a strain, however we had 4 days, two hours each day, which we found was a good thing.

I read many other parent's blogs and I know there are many "to be" parents and I would like to mention a couple of items if you are one awaiting your first trip to Russia or thinking about adopting from Russia:

1) Russia is a beautiful place. Historically, Russia has been through so much, the people have struggled and yet they have also preserved so much of their culture, which they are very loyal and close too. It is a good idea to travel to Russia with an open heart and move with their rhythm while you are there. The saying, "When in Rome...." and this should be your utmost goal as you are their guest and they are willing to share their children with you and give you the opportunity to love and take a Russian child to your country.
2) Do not go in thinking, "I am doing a favor for Russia", think of it as a two way street, as I know most of us have been through so much to get where we are, think of it as they are giving you a child and you are loving a child who needs a family.
3) Please, if you can give your child one of the most important things in this process, integrate their culture within yours. Both cultures are something to be treasured, just like at the Disney ride, "It's a Small World". It really is.

I am not lecturing, just giving ideas and hope as I have read a couple of blogs out there and I am saddened to say, "surprised by the content".

For us, and I can only speak for us, we are waiting on our toes, sometimes get teary over the beautiful videos people have put out there of their adoptions, and we are thankful to the support of our fellow bloggers, who consistently get us through this bumpy road of ups and downs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Frustration and a Bit of Tears

A new day, a new bit of information and a new emotion surfacing.
I finally teared a bit today, surprised myself, however at times frustration can eventually let down in a bit of tearage.
So, what luck, one person is out of town, another is unfamiliar with the files here and it may take a minimum to take a look at the new paper work. Can I cry now? Been there, I guess and done that. Now, don't get me wrong, everything I posted yesterday still stands, however it is a child we are waiting for and it is one of the largest transitions EVER and since we have already met him, this makes it so much more difficult.
We thought we were a month behind and now it looks like we could almost be another month behind.
I WILL stay STRONG. I WILL continue to HOPE. I WILL keep BUSY. I WILL MAKE IT. I just may have a few rocks to step on while walking on my cobble stone path.
I will now wait and believe there is good news on the way. . . . as my husband takes charge and makes a few phone calls to see where we are at.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

3.5 Weeks back........

Well, well, well..................... 3.5 weeks since we have been back. The pic to the right is my still moment of realization.

(sigh)......I have learned so much about myself through this adoption. Number 1 item up, PATIENCE.

I never realized how much patience is required, not optioned, REQUIRED.
My mantra as some know is from one of my fav film's, "Serenity" and say this to myself about four times a day, "I am a leaf in the wind."

Why? Well, after I felt relief for about one day, following the turn in of my dossier 2, I have found there are needed updates for new legal documents plus a few dates, which should be updated. At first, I hyperventilated, well a tiny bit, then I screamed AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH in my mind and then I said, "I am a leaf in the wind" and am now working on trying to get this done with hopes that after another notary and another drive to the capital, Russia will get it in another 2 weeks.

Has this put off my court date by like a month? The answer is yes. Is it difficult to watch my little, beautiful boy on the video my dh created? YES, I so WANT HIM NOW! Am I going to follow through and be a good little patient mother to be? YES, there is nothing else to do but follow through.

For all of you who are considering going through this or are in the process, coming from me, "little ol' learned to be patient one", once you see the picture of your little boy or girl, there is no return, you would jump through a ring of fire, knowing he or she is waiting for you, so keep your chin up, breathe, and march forward, oh and talk to the girls, any girl or guy who will listen and keep you going!
xoxo all!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Week Home

Well, after watching my husband mow our yard to the left, lol, I made a rice noodle spaghetti. Wow, this whole no wheat, no gluten thing is very interesting. Have to say it wasn't too bad.
The photo to the right is one early morning in Vladivostok. It reminded us a bit of Victoria, B.C. when we would stay a weekend up there or a very early morning in Seattle. Within a few hours, it had burned off and the sun was bright again. The paper work is just about done. I just need to have it notarized tonight and then we will get down to the Capital this week and send it off. Hope everything goes smoothly as last week in itself was a tornado. Coming back, jet lagged, up 20 hours, sleeping 14, then off to medicals at 9 in the morning, and from there it was running around non-stop. If you have to do any of these things at any time, I find you have the most inspiration when returning from just seeing your possible future little boy.
I still think back, even though we were able to make him smile and let out a couple of laughs, the moment he saw his caregiver, he was overwhelmed with the smilies and giggles. I hope one day, I can see this same reaction when he sees us pop into a room.
The nice part about it all, is I can still feel his turtle like hugs and his arms hanging around my shoulder, where he would slowly take his finger and move it up and down. I had Michael take photos as I could not see his face when he was like this and he was too cute, just sat there staring up at Michael and looking around, content.
The other moment I remember so well is when he was in Michael's arms, and saw the lime leaved trees begin to blow outside. His eyes slowly became wider and then his eye brows popped up as if he had seen something for the first time.

On another note: I love all of these people but telling someone that life will never be the same and you won't be able to go out anymore and things change when you have a baby as if it is dooms day coming upon us, well I have some opinions I would like to share:

-When you have waited for over six to seven years hoping, maybe if fate allows to give you just one child, then you're willing to stay up all night for days on end, if it means rather than staring at a ceiling, you're staring at a baby boy having a difficult time sleeping, then let me at it.

-If you and your husband have watched more films, taken many walks, had many beautiful sunsets, and enjoyed nice dinners out and in, and you feel you want to share that now with someone a little bit smaller and just maybe with that we will lose the ability to jump in the car at the last minute, well that something smaller, far out weighs the white linen dinners and the Maitre D, who needs to take the time to exhale.

-And if you are anyone who knows us, traveling, video gaming, movies, writing, nothing can give us more inspiration then being able to see it through your child's eyes, even if he may be wailing in an airport and you have just become parents and look around like, what do I do?

-And since we got engaged, married, decided to have a child, and spent every birthday at Disneyland and even have our parents and friends photos in Mickey hats, well, then you know, if that is where one of our happiest places on earth is to spend a day or night, then you surely know, it isn't difficult to talk a child into going to Disneyland with you, even if it is at the resort pirate pool or taking a stroll through the holiday lit streets, or climbing into a boat at the Pirate's ride and hoping you're little one won't have a spaz attack after falling down the water fall parts or at the very least hold onto us tightly.

You see, when you have a child, whether naturally or through the mountainous climb of adoption, you learn in life to appreciate every little thing you have in your life. This adoption is the greatest challenge and we have faced many, and when you see your little one huff three times, warning you, he is about to cry because he would really rather be hugging you then, standing on his two feet, or you have been told for the fifth time, you need to run down to the capital and get these apostilled and you know you have to try to take time off, get the paperwork done correctly and prepare for another long drive back and forth and run to the mailbox place to over night it, and I could go on with AND's from here to "tim- buck-too" (sp).

There are times when I have literally put up a wall and knew I had and asked Michael to help me take it down or when I have wanted to cry so badly and the tears will only surface and retreat because it could mean spending too much energy I need or knowing deep down I need to be strong and keep going.

The thing is adoption is a climb for those who want something so badly, there are no words to express it, it is for the strong and for the survivors, it is for the one's who know they must and will commit their lives to follow through, years after the paper work is all done, it is knowing that at times when you feel like it is so unfair you have to leave a baby behind for a couple of months, who you only just met and fell in love with, and left a piece of yourself too.

As I look back now, it is not my stomach, which is empty, rather a piece of my heart is with a little baby boy on the other side of the world who is counting on me to do whatever it takes to get to the other side and retrieve the piece of my heart I left behind awaiting to make it whole again.

So, if someone says, "You're life is going to change, you won't be able to do much anymore." Well, all I can say is, "You're right, life is going to change, but it will be a whole new world, one I can't wait to embark on."

Love you all,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Running around like a chicken with his head cut off.

Hello All,

Well, nothing new except that I have some serious motivation to get ALL of the documents done for the dossier 2. I am just about there. I think I drove 90 miles in 4 hours today doing errands all over.
LOL, and I did try to drive a little like they do in Russia and it was not a success. They drivers were quite ticked off.
Not sure if it is normal or late, but I think I can get the dossier 2 into the agency by next week so that would put me at 2 weeks after getting back. Hope that is good. We are so anxious!
I keep watching the videos and looking at the pics and it is like a film of what I REALLY WANT, not just a dream now, a reality.
I wrote 4 pages in a journal for him. It is pretty cool, the journal that is. It is wooden and has a carved, wooden surf board on the front and hand made paper inside. I bought it so long ago and decided to use it to talk to him through this process for him to read later in life.
It is funny how you go through this process and once you have traveled, your whole life just feels different. I mean I feel like I am looking through new lenses. Everything seems brighter, greener, and it just seems more exciting.
Maybe it was just the long wait to get where we are.
Off to the docs to pick up the medical forms.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Back from Vlad

Здравствуйте! to all!

Well, we are still getting used to our time again. I have one saying from being back from Russia:

I left my heart there, a piece of me, I cannot wait to retrieve.

My hubby made a one minute video teaser with music and then I got teary, first time. Ugh, it was so heart wrenching but I love every second. I think the first trip video could reach 45 minutes. Hooray.

Well, we have a conference call today to talk about the paper work. We finished our medicals today. We are just about getting there with our part. Hoping the court date doesn't take too long as we can't wait to have him here with us.

The photo is of the Vladivostok port area. It is so beautiful at sunset. The people are just wonderful there and the drivers are so skilled, for real, good drivers.

Must catch up on work, will post more later. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

5.5 hours till our plane

Well, I just had a nice pedicure following Michael. He went around and shopped and now is getting lunch for us while my toes dry.

Hopefully, I can take a hot bath before the plane ride too.

So, they used this hot towel on my feet, no I am not going to bore anyone with pedicure details, however the scent from whatever they must wash the towel in, was the exact scent our little one's clothes smelled like so a whiff of fresh memories blew into me. Ahh, sighing it was nice and it was also a reminder he is not with us.

Wait, wait, wait again, at least this time I feel like I am more of a mother to be.

Well, must eat.

20 more hours to go to home

Hi all,

Well, we are still in the hotel in the airport. We have about 9 hours until we get on our plane.
Maybe pedicures, shopping, not sure yet what we are going to do.
We have been catching up on all of the world news through bbc. Very good.

Well, I am anxiously awaiting now to get back so I can watch our videos, probably totaling about 45 minutes of edited video time. Plus we have plenty of photos. It can be draining when I think about the fact we met him and had to leave but am hoping for a quick return. I do not want to lose out on so much of his growing.

I am however going to have to add to my wardrobe, lol. I think I was one of the few wearing mostly black and dark colors. Fashion is a huge hit there and it make us feel under dressed. They are beautifully dressed much like what you see on the magazine covers, red rain coats, highest of heals, while I was tumbling on a street with my almost flats, haha. Make up every day was a must in order to keep up. The city is beautiful in Vladivostok, very fast paced, and has a view of the ocean and islands. Flying into Korea was also a beautiful site as there were green islands all around bursting through the thick fog.

The Korean airport is so modern, white, prestine, and glass. Our hotel window over looks the shopping part and a couple of gates. We just had room service.

Once we get back it will be finishing paper work, doing medicals, getting the room really ready for him and buying up the necessary things we need now that we know what to get. Bring on the diapers, foods, and creating a room of use. YAY! I guess you could say that would be the fun part.

I am wondering since I have a feeling we will be having him sleep with us at the hotel once we return that he may get used to this. Trying to figure out what the limits are and how we will adjust to them. There will be so much to get to know about him and ourselves.

We are also having to get a small love seat for the downstairs. There is just to little togetherness without a small couch in our TV room. This way he can crawl up and be with us both. I also need to buy some soft soled shoes for him and get his outfits ready.

Oh well, so we will be busy when we return but at least we have a new goal now.

Obviously I am already thinking of my check list as I mention a few things here. I will also be bugging the mothers on the Russian board so I can get some more helpful hints for second trippers.

Our driver coordinator was so helpful when we were there. We were so lucky to have someone very laid back and yet very supportive. Oh what to get to say thank you to these great supporters.

Anyhow, more soon. Love to everyone.

In Korea Now

Well, there is so much information, which could be put into our blog, however to keep it some what brief right now until everything is final, I have to say our time in Russia was simply busy, wonderful, a cultural experience, and an unforgettable experience.
It has been such a long day and I should be sleeping now since I have been up for hours, however after a long bath, two bottles of water, and 20 hours of wait time until our plane for Seattle takes off, I have some time to catch up.
The hotel in the airport is so nice, it really makes this trip less stressful when you can take a quick bath and catch up on some much needed Zzzz's.
As for our little one, he cracked us up. I really am afraid he will not remember us, but I will continue on and hope for the best. I keep feeling his turtle like body in my arms and against my chest. It is difficult to write those feelings now even and not want to have some emotion. Believe it or not, no tears have been shed yet, but as most people know I put on my game face until I get home. Now, for my hubby, well he teared up a bit when the airplane took off leaving Vlad, but I mean I could relate. I wanted too. It was so difficult to take off and know our little one was being left behind. I know he is in good hands though. Our doc says he looks good too. He did get a little small but expected. The most hilarious thing was today he wanted my hubby to walk him around the carpet about 22 times and by the end I am not sure who was more exhausted. It was quite hilarious, so less snuggle time and more active time. It looks like we are going to have a seriously active little one. I am just waiting until the first time we have to say "Niet". Ooooh, it could be a doozy, hehe. I can see he may take after me in what I want, I need now.
P.S. We got lots of smiles today and a couple of laughs. Oh and I love when he puts a little three huffs as a warning that he may cry unless you do something about it right now.
Anyways, if all goes well, we will be home late Saturday night.
Lots of love to everyone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's visit

We did show him our photo album and he could not keep his eyes off of it. The little bit of something he wants to do. He is so very curious and so very sweet. He only did three huffs like he was going to cry and I just cuddled him and he lay on my shoulder looking at daddy and all around. We were told to get him used to ma ma and pa pa so we worked on that. I got great drool on me!!!! Loved every bit of it. I call him my little turtle as he is like a round ball, and then his arms are out at both sides and his feet are out and they dress him in light green each time.

We almost got a smile out of him when he burped. I tried to play peek a boo but he didn't know what i was doing.

That is our second update!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello From Russia

Hello From Russia!

Well, first off, the trip was so long........airplane to airplane. The hotel in Korea was a gift as we crashed between flights.
Most of the trip we have been starving due to our new gluten free diet, which we had to cheat a bit today because staying on this diet here can cause excessive starvation, headache and weakness. So, a little toast this morning really helped!

Vladivostok is beautiful, on the ocean and we have a view of the port and bay. I sat yesterday when we arrived just staring out.

While I write this Michael is watching our little one's videos over and over. I am sure that is the most important so I will start there. He is beautiful.

We both sat on the carpet and awaited the arrival of our little one and he is so little, I forget how one year olds are still baby's.
We got there late so they woke him up from a nap so he was groggy the whole time but every time there was a voice or noise he quickly turned his head wondering what was happening. A curious little one and a calm one. Eventually after showing us he could stand and grasp our fingers quite tightly he fell asleep in my arms, letting out the occasional sigh.

I think we both were just happy to meet him.

It was an amazing experience, he felt perfect in our arms and Michael just kept staring at him. He is SO SWEET AND SO PERFECT. Did I say that already? Back to see him tomorrow. All our love and thanks for sending us your wishes, much needed. It is a difficult road here and then when you arrive you are tired all the time, hungry a lot and just want to bathe or sleep but we are happy to be here none the less. Russia is an exciting experience and very pretty.

Michael and Hunter

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

3 days away!

Hello All-
Well, we are packing, getting our last minute items together. I bought a small frog and teddy bear for the orphanage to keep and to give to our little one. I think it is more work trying to pack lightly haha. Taken me days.
Unfortunately, I have taken a step back in having stomach issues, going to have to be on medication over the next 2 weeks and strictly going off wheat and gluten. Well, I guess life transitions happen all at once. Michael and I are used to taking the difficult path in everything life brings us, however we like to think of ourselves as getting stronger each time.
I am very happy we have a hotel during our lay overs in Korea, both ways,
giving us some time to rest before our adventure in Russia. Michael is barely sleeping and ready to bolt towards the plane and get there.
In one week, we will be rushed with waves of emotions we probably didn't realize we could feel. I am looking forward to these waves and hope our experience is positive and fulfilling.
I will keep in touch through the blog, hopefully it will be interesting, lol.
Xoxo to you all! And thank you for all of your support.
Michael and HunterAnn

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Almost to Trip 1!

Hi All-
Well, we are on countdown now to our first trip. We leave in two weeks. YAY! Now for travel tips if anyone has any. We are slowly getting things ready. Today, we go for some vaccines. I picked up some good bars to take with us. Going to go get some updated travel gear this weekend. Ahh, and what to wear? Lol, so working on lots of things this week and next. And oh my goodness, while running around, it just dawned on me, I hadn't gotten my fingerprints done yet. Aargh! Just when you think you have it all together. My Michael, Dad to be, is having a difficult time sleeping. He is so ready to go and meet his future son. I told him, "Hon, we aren't even to the really difficult waiting part, slow down."
We had a wonderful baby shower for the Canada and local group here in Washington. It is beautifully done, cocktail party, blue and black decor and the cake was fricken' amazing!!!! OMG, polka dots, baby on top wrapped in a blanket, a white sheet cover and yummy carrot cake mix.
Thank you all for the perfectly chosen gifts. I have already put the twinkly turtle constellation in the middle of his room. It is SO COOL. And I have the lamb near my bed as the ocean sounds take me to sleep, haha. Logan will have it when he gets here.
Off to my International consultation appointment!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Well, waiting, waiting....
Despite a few items I am still a bit confused about, which I hope to clear up in a couple of days, I have resorted to the fact that it is officially now a waiting game. A waiting game full of curiosity, fear, love, hope, confidence, excitement, frustration and so much more.
This is truly a path for the strong as it is testing us to the extreme, physically and emotionally.

When at one time looking at his picture calmed us, now it seems it saddens almost as we just can't bear to think we could lose him. With hope and a bit of leaning on one another, Michael and I will forge through each day keeping busy and listening to the advice from our family and friends.

We are lucky to think we have 4 sets of family and friends visiting at different times in April and the beginning of May, which will surely keep us busy and hopefully time will pass a little sooner. We also have one of our baby showers a friend is hostessing. LOL, we do spend most of our time hoping time will slow down, and now I am like, speed it up, but just for a few months hehe.

With any luck this wait will be the best wait ever!
The good part I guess is I am half way done with dossier 2, the stuff I can do early.

I will clean and watch Disney for therapy :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Official Acceptance of Your Referral

Well, today we just got back from the capital once again for another apostille. It was a long drive today as we realized just how BIG this is and just how PERFECT we need things to be to get to our little one successfully.
I have been on the phone continuously it seems the past couple of days from psychologists to accountants to agency and to medical doctors just to line up the paper work we will need.

Last night, we wrote an official letter of acceptance for our referral. We received a congratulations from our agency and then a "he won't be available for adoption for at least a month". I have to say, it scared me more than I have ever felt. It is so worrisome to know that although we have fallen in love with a little boy, tired ourselves out endlessly with paper work and trying to explain to professionals what we need, and thinking about the process over and over, nothing will be for sure until our court date, which could be two-three months away. A long time to be patient (or try to0) and a long time to work on trying to put our fear aside and look through the tunnel of optimism.

I guess for now, I will work on keeping busy, looking at the pictures, and getting what I need to done. Hope is all I can ask for right now.

I may be totally full of anxiety about flying on a 12 hour flight but I can't wait either....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Today March 25th at 4pm, I saw your photo for the first time. We were filled with anticipation. Your Dad left work immediately, ran to the bus and came home to meet you. I ran around like a monkey until he got home.

Following a couple of clicks, a picture came up and the first thing I said was, “He has a nose just like you.” Your Dad just sat there in awe. Your beautiful steel blue eyes looked so serious and still as if you had just woken up. We opened another picture of you and it was of you in the middle of laughing. Then another and you stood, standing strong in a crib grasping the side railing. Your two bottom teeth were coming up just above your lips.

“Ahh, that is our blonde, blue eyed boy, I can’t believe it.” We sat there in shock for a bit looking at how beautiful you are. Your Dad shed a few silent tears. I know he is so totally happy.
You truly are amazing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hello! March 19th here.

Well, we are not holding our breath, however we were just told we will possibly move to Number 1 tomorrow on the referral list or (slim) chance receive a referral. Bottom line is she asked us how fast we would be able to move if we did get a referral. Hmm, well I am not going to get my hopes up and take a see it to believe it attitude, this way I can just go with the flow.

Of course though, the moment we know anything, either option, we are ready to go! Maybe I will just sit back and breathe a little bit. Wow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For anyone who can relate...

I will share an experience recently as my husband and I totally broke down this week, both in tears. We almost gave up on Russia, not because we wanted to but because we have put out 25k already and it looks like with everything else, it could be another 30k and when we made this decision, it wasn't so difficult with the economy, now it is hell, let's face it.

So, we got all nervous and we could have transferred our monies to another country, Ukraine or what not but we would end up with a 3yr old etc.

Well, I made several calls that day, holding back tears and the last call that came back to me was this, "Breathe, just breathe. I know things are crazy right now but do you really want to change things as you are only 3rd on the list for boys and I am receiving referrals tomorrow, which could put you at 2nd or 1st in line. This means you have a little boy very soon coming to you."

Needless, to say I got off the phone, mouth dropped and felt like I was going to collapse in emotional exhaustion. My husband and I just looked at each other and I said, "I don't think we can give up now no matter how difficult it will be. He is almost with us and he is waiting for us."

Well, we are recovering and looking forward now and putting our minds in a different place. I guess the ups and downs are expected but WOW, they happen at unexpected times.

I give you ALL CREDIT as I think of all of you who have gone through this and are going through this as your strength, courage, is most admirable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Quick Update

I am writing as it has been a month since the last post. I have to admit, I am getting a little ancy, however I do realize this process takes time and if it were to reflect a "real" pregnancy, I would be heading into my 7th month of pregnancy, which means we still have another couple of months until a possible referral. Of course this is all in my head as I am thinking of it as our paper pregnancy.
We just finished another bit of paper work last week having to drive to Olympia once again and re-do one word in a document. I guess we will have to keep jumping through hoops. I am prepared for the hoops, however I am still a little nervous on the economic side of it. I keep thinking well, we are lucky to even be able to have this option and we can't wait to have our little boy, but knowing we have it all sitting on a credit card adding interest and we are only 1/3 of the way through financially, well, you can imagine, we keep pushing for a referral so we can see this as a real thing happening. As we remind ourselves of this, it helps in keeping our chins up. We never realized this country would be hit with such an economic burden effecting us all when we made this decision. We hope all of our friends and family are weathering through these times the best they can.
I was told a week ago, we are about four families down the line so we shall see. I have not been able to start the Life Book yet, which I know I really need to start. I did finish a personal decoupage for Logan's room. There is also a pic of the funny stroller we ended up with and the amount of clothes Logan has as I think he will be a stylin' boy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just to keep up!

Hello Family & Friends~
Well, Michael and I have been told we are just a couple of families away from a referral so we are keeping busy and making sure we have everything we need for travel.
I notice I have been getting a little nervous on the traveling bit. I think it is because I hear so many horror stories about the travel part. I am expecting the worst and maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. I know many say once the baby came into their view, it all changed and the travel experience was put aside but nerves are trying to get the best of me.
Must stay focused!
I am still doing some last minute touches on the room. Today, I am working on the registry as it seems, one of the places I chose most of the items may go out of business. What luck eh? Well, with the economy the way it is, it seems more and more places are closing :( .
We have not lost our place in the referral process, however we are dealing with a couple of paper work issues, which I am hoping the agency can sort out as it is out of our hands. We are in the "hope" mode.
Thanks to everyone for their encouraging words and kindness!