Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3 days and Counting to Vladivostok

I am running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done, however wanted to stop in and update the blog quickly.

We leave in 3 days to Vladivostok for our Court Date.

It is 37 degrees right now at night so I am glad I had a difficult time packing before as I would have had to re-pack the entire suitcase.

At this point, Cordelia's room has 3 suitcases awaiting organization. As much as I try to go smaller, then it gets colder and I need to have jackets for the kids, hats and warmer clothing than what we originally had prepared for late summer.

In fact, now that I think about it tomorrow is the beginning of Autumn already! WOW, time flies.

Today I pick up my sister who will be traveling with us for the first 10 days. I have not seen her for 7 years! Since we are in Vlad for almost 24 days, it was a bit long to ask anyone to stay for that length of time.

I am printing up photos of our little one's to put into the Vlad Photo Album.

We received confirmation of our Korean Transit Hotel room today on the way there. Love the airport there, so much to do and a Starbucks! Last stop for a Starbucks for the next 24 days or so. I advise VIA, I have had some and a girlfriend recommended taking a whole bunch.

Travel visas arrive today or tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Orphans At Play Family Kits

Family Kits are now available in our Orphans at Play Store.

The Family Kits make an excellent gift for an adoption baby shower if your sister or friend is waiting for their beautiful child from Russia or if you simply want to surprise the family with a coming home gift to say Congratulations. Nothing is more special than saying we are so happy for all of you with a package representing their child's heritage and culture.

Our Orphans at Play Kits come packaged in a gift box with a special note to say Thank You. The kits include a T-shirt, Baseball Cap, Stationary and the choice of a Necklace or Key Chain. Choose between 2 designs: The Orphans at Play Design or our Popular Matyroshka Design. All kits are available in either white or black (add $5 for black).

Coming soon, we will sell each item individually.

Family Kits

5 Days and Counting

Just 5 days away to waking up and getting on an airplane to complete our adoption of our 17 month old baby girl, Cordelia Anya.

Of course the list is huge in between but each day we have been doing a good job at knocking down the items one by one.

My biggest challenge right now is finding out what to wear for 39-43 degrees at night and 65 during the day. I had all of my summer clothes picked out and now I am layering and grabbing the sweaters.

I do love Autumn though and have never been to Russia in Autumn. So far just spring and summer.

There should be about 7- 10 days of rain while we are there so I have packed the dvd's, music and toys, which will be ready for Alexei.

My sister comes in on Wednesday to fly with us on Saturday and she will be with us a total of 10 days there, which should really help us and give Alexei someone more exciting during the down times ;)

It will surely be busy but I am hoping for some vacation too in between our work days, court date and concluding business.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You will be missed... an amazingly sweet kitty.

Our life has been a crazy roller coaster with adoption tasks, knowing our daughter is waiting for us, having to pull things together for extra paper work for the judge, re-doing medicals (I have over 70 pages of paperwork now, like a dossier 3), however it comes down to the incredible emotional ups and downs that have hit us in between this adventure. Between Michael's father still being in the hospital, doing better though but at 8 weeks still in hospital, it takes a toll on all of the family, poor guy and now we have had to deal with Michael's kitty, who we have had for 11 years together.

His name is Xerxes and I remember him rolling his head around on the open stairway peaking at me through the stairs. He was young then and frisky, most of all one of the sweetest personalities. In fact, he is still this way, except for one factor, due to either being exposed to plastic or ceramic dishes, he has a tumor in his bottom jaw. A tumor that took hold of him only a couple of months ago. We took him into the doctors and they said he is probably allergic to plastic. Okay, well he didn't get any better.

I took him in a couple of weeks later after the previous diagnosis and the vet said, this cat is extremely sick with cancer from the tumor and he will not make it before you leave for Russia. You may want to put him down.

For the last 2 weeks, I have watched Xerxes walk around, eat like crazy and yet the tumor grows literally over night. We have now come to the fact that it is closing up his airways. Most would think why haven't we put him down yet? Well, because you would never know he had cancer if it wasn't for his face and jaw. He is so happy, so lovable, purring and follows us all around. I took a flash light in last night and noticed we had very little time left before he wasn't going to make it and I didn't want to see the tumor close his airways.

I have to pick up Michael from work today, notarize two papers and run him home so he can take Xerxes to be put to sleep. It is a very sad day and incredibly sad when you think you have to put your cat in a carrier to the vet to never return home. The thought of that kills me, however it must be done. Timing is never great as we are trying to keep our strength up and our energy to make it to Russia next week.

Having said this as I go through some of the grieving process today is that, Xerxes, I have never met such an amazingly sweet kitty and although my kitty, your bff died 7 years ago due to be scared to death by a bengal that followed me home, I hope you both can meet up again on the other side. We will miss you but know you will have some peace and I am so very sorry that at this young age, you have had to go through this aggressive cancer and not be ready. As it makes me think about the people we have lost and animals due to similar circumstances.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pack Early: Good advice and I am glad I did.

Last night around midnight when the house was finally quiet, I decided to put our little girls clothes into the suitcase so one family member could be packed.

What I found out was this:

We did not have ANY sweaters, cardigans or otherwise for this little girl!! That's right. Nothing to go over her shoulders with all of her cute little dresses or shirts.

It is a good thing I started to pack early as Russia would not have liked me bringing her during the start of the Autumn season having nothing to keep her warm :)

I am off to find a sweater or two this week as when we return back to Seattle, it should be plenty cool outside just in time for the pumpkin patch and wheel barrel ride. I cannot wait to take these two wild kids to the Halloween pumpkin patch.

School Supplies for Kirovksy Home Marathon 12 Day Fundraiser a Success

Orphans at Play is proud to announce we have reached and surpassed our goal for the Kirovsky School Supplies 12 Day Fundraising Marathon. Thank you to all of those who gave support in this speedy marathon. We have raised over $300 dollars to bring paper, pencils and various other school supplies to the orphanage. Michele Philips Baransky will be matching all of your donations and we will be bringing the donations over to Vladivostok in two weeks, just in time for school.

This has been a proven success and we hope to bring future marathon fundraisers for various baby homes in the Primorsky Krai region.

Kirovsky Goal Reached

Friday, September 9, 2011

Court Date!

We have a September 29th Court Date!

It doesn't feel real yet but with all of the paperwork we will be flying around doing the next 1.5 weeks, it will keep us busy among other things. Just hoping it will all be good and ready for court. Maybe it is because we have so many things hanging over our heads with the paperwork this time, it feels more nerve wrecking. Oh well, a date is indeed what we needed and we have it.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vacations Galore....... Equal Slower Adoption Process :(

I have finally decided to write a bit about how frustrated I feel at the moment when normally I am pretty relaxed and patient. I can wait 3 months and be fine knowing there is a travel date coming up but thinking about the fact that there may not be a court date until the corning of our 5th month waiting since I have seen our daughter to be, well, I am slowly unraveling.

In the midst of this long wait, suddenly there is a rush of paperwork to be done. I am a problem solver and started solving a couple of the areas right away thinking, okay I can do this. Then I find out that our medicals must be re-done as well. Spent the evening in the hospital getting labs done and now I am finding out that the medical doctor is going out of town for 1.5 weeks and will not be able to sign the entire form, however another doctor can fill in the form for one lab test. Crossing my fingers this is going to work as they both work in the same office and I have obtained verification letters now for both doctors too.

Through verification I have had to plead with the state board as their personal went on vacation for 2 weeks LOL. I am hoping that there is someone we can find in the meantime.

Then I speak with agency and find out there are two more people in the arms we need to get things done that are on vacation. It is September and we waited all of August hearing each week, "Russia is on holidays." All month, same message. We get into September, find out we need more paper work, also to re-do paper work and now half the people to help us do this are out of town.

It leaves me in the end of this blog almost speechless.

Adoption is one of the most stressful things to go through with a huge reward at the end of the tunnel and I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, however it is an extremely rigorous process where one needs so many levels of support, ability to vent and just be in a time when that often feels impossible.

As I sit here answering calls, making calls, sending e-mails, sending faxes I also think about what do I prepare for? When are we going? When should I pack? What will I need? How cold will it be? How much will my daughter have grown? How old will she be? What has she been doing all of this time? Has her smile faded at all when we have seen her from photos?

As I end all of the office work today, I will then go to return all of the 12 month size clothing as she will most likely be almost 18 months by the time we bring her home.

What amazes me is that we have a healthy 3 year old boy from Russia who we are bringing with us, I wish this would account for something since even a recent post placement has gone in explaining everything about who we are and our lives and yet I have to worry right now about a psychologist putting in more about our personalities.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Exciting News: Orphans at Play Store is Now Open!

Check out the new custom designed necklaces. These are perfect for showing your Russian adoption pride, bringing awareness to children in Russia and supporting Orphans at Play's Grandma Mentoring Program. Proceeds will directly be given to our Grandma program and helping the children of Vladivostok who are waiting for families.

Interact in play. Support Through Love. Increase growth and development.

Simply put: Play. Love. Grow.

New products will be released throughout the next few weeks. Need a special birthday gift? Thinking about the perfect present for a family coming home from Russia? Or a baby shower gift? A wonderful teacher? These special designs come with a ribbon tie necklace and a special note to say thank you for helping us give back.

We will be releasing the rest of the designs in the brochure throughout the week!
Orphans at Play Store

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mission Accomplished 100 Diaper Creams!

Orphans at Play would like to thank you all for the support we have received towards our Helping Hands program. We made our 100 diaper cream goal!

This is incredibly exciting and we would like to show you just how easy it is for anyone who would like to donate diaper cream to the baby homes and hospitals in Vladivostok. A couple of jumbo plastic bags easily found in your local grocery store will hold them well at the bottom of your suitcase.

The current bags we have going to Vladivostok will be going to help baby hospital #3, baby home #3 and baby home #1.

A big thank you to Jody who organized the diaper cream deliveries to go to traveling families. If you would like to join others in our Helping Hands program, contact Jody

as she is ready to accept more Jackets n Hats for our Annual Winter Drive.