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