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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Leaving on several jet planes

Good morning!  Yesterday morning was spent completing the last items on the trip one to do list.  The notary made a special trip in to the office (everyone is shutting down for Christmas here and, like everything in Russia, you can get things done if you know the right people. Fortunately for me, my facilitator and her mother have many excellent connections with the current operator (Director) and with the notary so it was no problem to get this done.)  Next, it was on to the 8 doctor medical. First stop - 2 doctors.  In and out in under 5 minutes... an advantage of going to get this stuff done on a day that everyone here is shopping for gifts or wrapping things up for the year - not going to the doctor.  Elyas mom (our driver) laughed out loud when we came out so quickly from the first stop.  Next, another clinic where I had to see the other 6 doctors.  Everything was smooth... one or two questions... take your shirt off... close your eyes, touch your nose with your finger, breast exam (worst part... yuk), and I did have to get blood drawn because a new rule came into effect that the syphilis test is only good for 30 days.  For those of you who are headed to / back to Khab, don't worry.  It was even more diligent than at home in terms of sanitation. She used about half a bottle of rubbing alcohol and I watched her take the new needle from the sterile package.  It didn't even hurt.  That was it for the check list.  I then checked into my hotel and exhaled... for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks I didn't need to do anything, rush anywhere or complete anything.  I felt a little out of sorts and am having a hard time shutting the motor off inside.  My heart still races pretty much all the time... just running on adrenaline.  We went to do a little shopping (bought a matroyoshka set and a few things) and then to dinner.  After dinner we took some pictures of the Gold church which is beautiful and brand new... I guess it's the third largest in Russia (trivia for you).  From there we went to the square and took some pictures / video of the Christmas tree and ice sculptures.  It was very beautiful but VERY cold.  Some men stopped me to ask me some question which I thought was "Are you Russian" to which I responded "no"... turns out they wanted to take a picture with us... and I said no... lol... anyway, I'm sure they are over it. 
Yesterday was ok in terms of missing my little boy.  I get that this is part of the way things happen... it has to be done.  It also helps that I know he hasn't grown 2 inches from yesterday and hasn't started doing long division so he is just as I remember him which won't always be the case.  It will be harder as the days pass imagining how much he has grown or what new things he is doing.  Today, the hard part is just wondering if he is confused and sad that I didn't come back.  I hate that things just keep happening to these little guys - things they don't ask for.  They didn't ask to have parents who couldn't / wouldn't take care of them, they didn't ask to be taken away, he didn't ask for me to come and make him laugh and bring him fun toys and teach him new things, he didn't ask for me to kiss him and love him and pray he would reciprocate... I just showed up... and then I left. That is the only thing that makes my eyes water right now.  Two weeks, a month, two months... four months... other things will sting, but that's what does it for me today. 
I have a job now.  My job is to do everything in my power to get the paperwork done so that I can come back as quickly as possible to bring him home forever.  There are new paperwork requirements by the Canadian government that will take more time.  So that means that I need to be fast and efficient in getting things done now.  I have a feeling it will be a challenging interaction with my homestudy agency in terms of having them do things differently than they might be used to but EXACTLY the way the need to be for Russia.  It is a good thing that I feel like I have an ally in the provincial government director of adoption who will advocate for me and has the authority to tell them to just do it. 
Anyway, those are bridges to be crossed when I get home - see what I mean about not being able to shut off??? Question for Heather and Michelle - did you have to sign papers indicating his new name or anything?  I have not been asked to do that and am a little concerned.  Anyway, Heather, we can talk about all of this on Friday - I am there for work Thurs/Fri and asked for a late flight home so will have time for dinner and debrief of our trips :)

See you guys soon and thanks for being my long distance cheerleaders while I've been gone.  I'll leave you with one last thing: one of the big things I worried about going alone was that there would be no one to take pictures / video... well I didn't need to worry. Elya loves taking pictures and I have probably 300 pictures and 100 videos of my visit.  There should be enough to get me through... hopefully :)

Paka~!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Paka is a hard word to say

Today was everything... terrifying, white knuckling, mario andretti driving, blowing snow, joyful, sweet, beautiful, enduring, hopeful, enlightening, educational, sickening, disdainful, heartwarming, heartbreaking, sad, thrilling, loving, sad, humbling, empathetic, hard....

I watched again as my little boy became more at ease and comfortable with me.  He started being more of the boy I watched with his groupa when he didn't know I was there.  His laughter is etched on my heart, his million kisses linger on my lips, his smile reamains in my soul and the promise that I will return will echo in the words of a letter the wonderful babushkas promised to read to him in between.  He likes me... seems strange to say but it's the best thing that we PAP's can hope for in a first visit.  He talks more when we are alone - the problem with that is that there is no one there to tell me what he is saying.  The whispers return when others are in the room.  He learned 2 english phrases while we were together - one is functional... "turn it around" in response to either a car or a puzzle piece.  The other I could only dream of but it came true... "give me a kiss"... I have it on video... he did it a million times today.  I also got unsolicited kisses which absolutely melted me.  Saying goodbye - you know it's going to be hard.  We go into adoption knowing the "drill" and that there is a period of time that we will be apart... it's so hard none the less.  Grisha and I were alone in the visiting room and I told him everything I wanted to say - he just looked at me with his huge blue eyes and hugged tight to my shoulder.  One of his caregivers came in and spoke to me in Russian - I understood only "don't cry" "it will be OK" "we love him"... I took him to the front and we stood at the playroom door giving final instructions on disposable cameras and the photo album with my bedtime letter.  They told me that they could tell he already love me - he woke up from his nap today and cried saying "good-yeh mama, mama, mama..." over and over - they told him I would be right back.  Elya told him today as he clung to me that I needed to go home for awhile to get more toys for him... he astutely pointed down to the bottom of the Christmas tree by the door and the 2 boxes that were there and said, "toys there... she doesn't have to go". 
I hate to leave... and can't wait to get back.  I might not have good interenet for the next while so this might be the last for a few days.  I head back on the train tonight to Khabarovsk to have my medical and see the notary tomorrow.  At noon the following day (I think it's the 31st???) I fly out through Moscow to Amsterdam (overnight) and then home on the first. 
Sleeping in my bed will feel amazing... but I'd sleep on this rock hard bed for ever if I had to...
Better get a move on - trains in Russia don't wait. 
SJT

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 2 Visit 2

I have tried to be pragmatic and sensible and careful in this "process" but this afternoon... I threw my heart right over the fence.  I know every adoptive parent who goes through this likely feels exactly the same (and we all should) and from the outside looking in I think that others likely temper our enthusiasm knowing it has been such a long time coming and likely a bit overstated... and maybe this is... but...
This afternoon we walked up to the baby home and Grisha was in the window looking out with another boy.  He broke out in a big smile and ran to the door.  He took my hand once we were inside (we didn't even have our boots off) and walked me down the hall to the visiting room.  I picked him up at some point and carried him and he just melted into me.  His caregiver came and she said, "that is all he needs and wants... he just wants to be loved and held".  I can do that :)  We just started playing... going through the puzzles and the stacking games.  I pulled the bubbles out today and at first, he wasn't all that interested in them - wanted to go back to the books.  Later, Elya got the bubbles out again and he decided that he wanted to learn how to make bubbles.  It was absolutely amazing to watch the excitement on his face when he blew and saw his first bubble... then he didn't stop.  This really got him wired up and he started chattering a bit more (albeit still very quietly) - I have some amazing video and photos of this that I can't wait to share.  He has not been interested in eating anything that I brought until today.  He WOLFED down a nutrigrain bar and a bag of goldfish... he opened his mouth up so wide he looked like a little baby bird lol.  I got more kisses today and at the end of our visit I got to watch him back in his groupa.  There were two tables with children about his age around them during "quiet time".  They were each given a book to "read".  Grisha decided he wanted a different one and went to the other table and said to a little girl, "give me yours please" - they exchanged books.  He talks so much more when he is with the group - he was very vocal and funny.  We dropped some ballons off that we had been playing with in the room and he ran like a mad man to claim them (or at least one of them) as his.  He yelled out, "my balloon" just to make sure there were no mistakes.  One of the care givers that I hadn't seen before came while we were cleaning up and asked Elya what I thought of Grisha... I told her that I think he is perfect and would very much like for him to be my son.  She smiled a big smile and told me that he will miss me when I go and was so sad to hear that it will likely be for months.  I then asked Elya - what does she think of Grisha?  She told me that compared to others his age his is very bright and interested in EVERYTHING.  He asks more questions and figures stuff out more than the others.  He is very vocal and the care givers love him very much.  He doesn't have any special friends but plays well with everyone.  He is a nice boy.  I could have stayed and watched him all night from the doorway... The children were so cute and I told Elya that the one little girl would fit perfectly in my suitcase just for you Carala :) 
That's enough for now.  Elya and I will be celebrating her birthday over dinner and I hope to be in bed early because I am so exhausted... in a most excellent way.
Spa-coin-a   nochey
Stacey

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 2 visit one

I am so very fortunate to have free wifi and be back at the hotel between visits.  Today was another great visit with Gregory (Grisha).  He was shy again when we first got there and we had a bit more of a quiet day with some coloring, stickers, puzzles, and cuddling.  He love love loves puzzles - for those of you waiting to travel I found the most AMAZING puzzle set at winners (surprise surprise lol).  They are a "Mellisa and Doug" brand toy - they make many wooden type / organic sets.  This is a set of 4 puzzles that slide into a housing unit made of wood and each puzzle is wooden with 4 pieces.  Hard to explain but I'll show pictures of it - it is Perfect for a traveling puzzle set.  He did wonderfully at them and had to slow down long enough to actually LOOK at the piece and then was fine... but he was just so excited that he would try and try but you could tell he was just hurrying too much... Elya would tell him to look at the piece and find the one that matches and he would listen and do it.  He only will talk in a whisper to me... lots of "dye" which is "give" when he wants something.  He will often say things that I hear but Elya isn't listening so she doesn't know what he says.  She left the room for a few minutes today and we were alone together... he started chattering away and I had no idea what he was saying.  We colored today and he followed instructions and would draw a single line next to mine and then scribble happily away.  He also LOVES stickers.  We played games where he would put them on my face and arm and he'd laugh. We got video of him giving me my first kiss today as well as laughing when I gave him "zurburs" on his tummy.  Great news... I didn't get pee'd on today lol.  I did find out that I am the very first foreigner to come to this baby home to adopt a child.  That is so very sad to me given that it is an old building that must have seen hundreds if not thousands of children who likely never came to know a family of their own.  I am so very very lucky to have this opportunity.  I took pictures of the baby home from the outside as well as down a street or two as an example of what this town looks like... right out of the 50's - clap board houses and all.  Anyway, better run along here we leave in 30 minutes for the second visit.  It is Elya's birthday today so I am going to take her out for dinner and get some cards to take to the care givers at the baby home so they can write a letter to Gregory so that he will know that he was loved and taken really good care of by the babushkas. 
Another great day :)  oh yeah - one more P.S. for parents waiting to travel??? I HIGHLY recommend getting a "net book" (I got one from Costco just before I left) for the trip.  Its small size makes it great to travel with and mine came loaded with skype which has been wonderful for calling home (I have excellent wireless access - wouldn't be any good without it!) for pennies a minute. 
Paka!

I'm here... he's amazing

I made it... and it is so worthwhile.  I'm hungry, exhausted and so very very happy.  I don't have the energy right now to re-type the whole day but the parts that matter are these: He was extremely shy to the point of tears when I arrived on his scene (which is the saddest, most desolate, run down, destitute place I have ever seen - I will try and take photos tomorrow after the first visit) - let me clarify that - the town of Seliheno is... the baby home however is clean, comfortable, doesn't even smell weird and full of love.  He took about 10 - 15 minutes to come out from his babushka's skirt after me brandishing out endless noisy, flashy, crinkley toys from my bag of tricks and treats.  He would feign interest and return to her skirt and cling for dear life.  The winning ticket was the orange, soft, stuffed lion that I brought for him.  He smiled the smallest, sweetest smile and started to thaw.  Soon, he was blowing balloons with me, lookng out the window for sabakas, racing cars around the floor, peeing on me (yup, I'm christened!), and smiling the sweetest smile I've ever seen.  He's smart (stacked blocks and shape sorters like he was blindfolded) followed instructions, answered simple questions, learned what the strange lady who obviously doesn't know how to speak properly means when she says "turn it around" with the associated hand gestures (in reference to the toy car that only goes when you zoom it forward not backwards), loves to be hugged, cuddled and read to, is inquisitive and neat (put everything back into my bag at the end of our visit, and melted my heart when he took my hand to show me where he sleeps so that he could put his lion and new blanket into his crib.  Things couldn't have gone better today (OK could have done without the KGB road side check point - my heart almost came right out of my chest - another story for another day, getting pee'd on but I guess that means my boy was that close I'll take that too... ).  I will see him 2x tomorrow and then again 2x before leaving on Tuesday (or whatever day it is... I have no idea really???).  No worries about the airport security thing on the way home... A) I don't care... the hard part will be over and they serve free drinks on KLM  and B) I don't fly through the USA so hopefully it won't affect me at all and C) it will be nothing short of a miracle to begin with if I make my connection in Moscow on the way home.  (did I tell you how much I LOVE that city already??? Can't wait to spend another night there grrrrrrr.  I'll be going through Seoul on the next trip and sending a courier to Moscow). 

Good night from Komsomolsk from a very happy Canadian girl. 
P.S. did I tell you he called me Mama on the way to his crib... "Mama... Pashlee" (Mama... follow me)...
Smiling... a really content happy smile :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Made it to Komsomolsk

Hi Everyone!  I have covered the planes and trains portion of this journey to Gregory (or as I learned today "Grisha" (and roll the r lol) I arrived in Khabarovsk with no trouble - the shuttle went directly to the terminal "D" and I followed a lady from the hotel who was also going to Khabarovsk.  I was only allowed one 50lb bag... so my "purse" and my carryone accounted for another 50lbs which was heavy to haul around.  I was greeted at the airport through the glass window by Elya who recognized me immediately.  We checked in for a few hours at the hotel so that I could shower and put a bunch of stuff from one carry on into my suitcase (which now weighs a full tonne).  Elya and her boyfriend Kiril took me for pizza and then after collecting my things we went to the train.  Oh yeah - don't worry, my bank card and visa work just fine here so I don't know what the issue was in Moscow.  We boarded the night train... and I felt like I was in a Charles Dickens Christmas story... literally standing in the snow, between two tracks waiting for the doors to open so that we could climb up the ladder onto the passenger car (which was cause for some entertainment with my monsterous and heavy bag).  We got on and settled into our cabin - we had top bunks but no one joined us on the lower ones.  Elya and I chatted for awhile about the region, the changing of the administration, the children and of course Gregory.  I found out his birthday is May 23rd.  Sleep didn't come as easy as I would have liked but I did konk out eventually none the less.  Thismorning, we arrived in Komsomolsk and checked into our hotel.  After breakfast, I packed my things up so we could go and meet the social worker.  We were not clear on when we would be able to go to the baby home - turns out we can go at 3:00 to be there for 2 hours.  I got some additional information on Gregory - all "nice to know" sort of stuff but nothing earth shattering.  So, for now, I am waiting in my hotel room for lunch at 2:00 downstairs with Elya and then we will go to Seliheno to meet the little guy.  I was right, the baby home is tiny - only 20 children so that is a good thing.  Can't wait to post an update but given the speed of this internet I may not be able to email photos until I am home :(
Paka!
Stacey

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Moscow

Hi everyone,

Well, there was a bit of a snafu in my travel plans.  My flight from Amsterdam to Moscow was delayed by over 2 hours which made my connection time in Moscow improbable to make... I met a really nice mother and daughter on the flight and they helped me with some logistics and some emergency notes written out in Cyrillic.  Note 3 "I'm going to miss my flight, would it be OK if I went ahead of you?" got me to the front of the cue at passport control which was about a million people so I thought my luck was going to change... NYET!  Which is exactly what the officious Russian lady said while pointing to my passport visa.  She grunted something about Moscow... da... Khabarovsk... NYET!  She looked up long enough to point to the back of the line and yell GO!!!  I was stunned... I said where?  GO!!! she didn't care where just go... I asked for my passport... she yelled for the last time GO!!!  NYET!!!  I sulked back with my 50 lbs of baggage towards the back of the room where there was a phone.  I thought now might be a good time to call the cosulate.  My card didn't work in the phone.  I saw 3 people standing by some benches on the back wall receiving their passports back from an official so I went there.  Which is where I stayed, and waited.  Eventually, this smug, American businessman who told me in Amsterdam that I wouldn't make my flight came in.  He snickered and said, didn't make it huh?  I didn't really answer... He rambled some story about having done this for 18 years... loitered for awhile and then smugly added as he left... "Merry Christmas" and with that, I started to cry.  Up to that point I was trying to be stoic... just be patient.  I'll figure it out... now... at 11:02pm I was crying.  Ironically, this got the attention of the people in blue who started milling about to figure out what to do with the bawling lady traveler with Canadian flag tags on everything.  They were pointing at their watches and doing their best but I couldn't understand.  Finally, a man in a grey suit came down the stairs and spoke to me in English.  He (I found out later although he never did tell me his name) works for the Russian Consulate.  He took care of me from there.  Turns out that my travel visa was imprinted with the 25th as an entry date and exit on the 31st but my invitation has an open date on it so they didn't match.  They didn't want to let me in until 12am or the 25th.  This got resolved but it was pretty much midnight by the time I passed through an empty customs area... no one asked me a single question - I just walked through.  The man in the grey suit met me outside the doors and |I told him no one was there, he said "that's ok... that's good... unless you have bombs or drugs in your bag....... you don't do you?  I managed a snicker and said, "No... not even citrus fruit" which I don't think he understood.  He called Aeroflot and rebooked my flight for later today (9:40pm so I lose a day) got them to cover my hotel and meals for today and ensured that I knew where I was going to for the flight tomorrow.  He also highly encouraged me to head into Moscow to Red Square and St. Basils just to experience it... I think for now, I'll continue to experience some safety and comfort at the hotel.  This man also kindly called my facilitator for me and explained the situation and told her when I would arrive.  Elya and I spoke briefly and she told me not to worry - she would make arrangements.  I can see the terminal I need to be at later outside of my room window (I will take a picture).  While waiting at the Aeroflot "irregular traveler" terminal I also met another young woman who spoke excellent English and she escorted me to my hotel as she checked in as well.  She is from St. Petes and is living in the USA married to a man in the military.  She was coming home for a vacation and they lost her luggage.  She emailed her parents from my computer last night, I emailed my SW and mom and had a much needed shower and turned in.  So, with that, I am here, in the first floor restaurant of the hotel eating my complimentary lunch (Missed breakfast and slept from 3am until about noon - thank God for sleeping pills and gravol!!!).  The chicken noodle soup and red warm tea/beet juice will be as close to turkey and cranberries as I get but I am safe and I am one flight and a train ride away from meeting my boy.  I woke up this morning and looked at his pictures and reminded myself that he is the reason and it will all be a crazy story and so worthwhile in the end. 

So, merry Christmas - have an extra serving of turkey with stuffing for me and an extra bite of dessert.  I didn't see Santa over the North pole so I guess you were all on your own merit this year in terms of what he brought - no last minute requests were delivered.  For now, that's it.  Tomorrow is another day... that hopefully will involve a train ride to Komsomolsk.

Merry Christmas from Moscow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GOOD TO GO!!!!


So the FedEx "Guy" wasn't a guy... and I didn't kiss, hug or otherwise infringe on her personal space but Idid let her know how relieved I am that it is here.  Well, it's last minute things, I may not get to say good-bye but know I'll have plenty of time to think of you all on my Christmas installment of "planes, trains and automobiles!"  This is really happening isn't it?  Will post when I can, skype when I can (if I can) and otherwise, you will be waiting for good news and it will come I promise!

Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for your love and support!

Stacey

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the Race is on... Go FEDEX GO!!!


I am surprised that I can put together a coherent phrase right now so forgive me that this is short.  After several bobbles by DHL (do you wonder why they aren't a household name?) and some devine intervention and calling in every favor of everyone with any influence I could think of... this looks like it will happen!!!  A wonderful offer of a favor by Cam, Jo, and Cori to have a Russian Law student from the firm intervene on my behalf to ask for updates and deliver (allong with some sweet talking in Russian I imagine) a return FedEx pkg so that it will be here by 9am.  I might just kiss the driver... At last account, the contact person at the consulate told the student to bring by the pkg that he was working on my visa and that it should go out this afternoon.  (insert HUGE sigh of relief).  I will keep you posted.  For now, I have a lot of loose ends to tie up and about 10lbs of luggage to edit because I'm overweight... my luggage... not me... stop laughing.  And don't stop the good thoughts and prayers... it's not here yet...

I can tell you this: a good stiff drink, followed by some gravol on the plane will be the most peaceful I've felt in a week!  All that and a middle seat for an eternity.  But it will be worth it :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day lost to Courier error


It will all still be OK... It will all still be OK... If I say it over again it both gives me something to do and something to believe in.  I tracked my package all day today... Sparing the details, it ended up on the wrong courier truck and the consulate is only open until 12:30 on Fridays (and maybe every day).  There was no time to attempt delivery later after the error was found.  So my application got a scenic tour of Nepean, Ontario and will stay in a cold dark DHL warehouse until Monday morning.  I cried on the phone with the customer service agent and then spoke coherently to his manager explaining the urgency of this package and the magnitude of their error... while she offered her apologies and sympathies for the situation, there is nothing that can be done until it is delivered first thing Monday morning.  They will send an email noting their error and the resulting delay for me to pass on to the embassy via email but things are completely out of my hands.  I don't believe it takes long to process it... it just depends on where it lands in the pile of applications.  There is still a chance it could be done Monday and in the courier for delivery Tuesday... or if it sits in a pile for a day it could still be delivered on Wednesday in time for my flight later in the day.  There is still a chance... it could still happen... but there is also a chance it might not.  I am numb and strangely trying to be at peace with whatever is meant to be.  I know the courier manager... he feels personally responsible for this error... he hand delivered it for me to the depot... and then things went wrong.  If there is a way that they can fix it... I am sure he will find it.  For now, I continue to pray... and feel numb.  I am so nervous... and anxious... I don't know how I'll make it to Monday.  Here's to good news from the consulate and answered prayers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wing and a prayer


What an amazing whirlwind the last day has been.  I have just finally sort of stopped to try and let it sink in.  So many things to do, so many things already done(ish).  Thanks to everyone for their support and cheers.  Everything is in order except for the nail biter of a wait that it will be for my travel visa.  So, between now and then I'll pack, find a video camera, clear my photos off of my memory card on my camera, write email addresses down and do a lot of praying that the blessed piece of paper arrived on time and before I go insane.  Once that ticket of gold arrives (or at least I know it will get here by the magic of on line tracking), I will be puting my blog to private to keep me out of hot water.  If you have emailed me, I probably told you what the password will be... if not, email me. 

I spent some time just getting used to the idea of it all... and it really hasn't sunk in yet... too many things on the to do list... but it will.  I feel a good cry coming on - but I'll need time for that.  It's been a lot of years since I've counted down sleeps... but it's six more... It really is Christmas isn't it???

Nothing happens then EVERYTHING happens


So it happened... Monday... I "made the call" (as I weirdly said in last post) but it turned out that I had to call the provincial director for some information regarding what their holiday hours are and how they would handle a referral over Christmas and she chuckled and said, "well, hopefully that won't matter since I'm looking at your referral on my desk!".  I was dumbfounded.  Fast forward two whole days, 3 IA doc opinions, 1 zillion phone calls, 28 heart attacks (or it just feels like my heart is going to pound out of my chest), hours looking up far away (no... not Russia far away but way out in the boonies in Russia far away) places, 2 flights investigated, 1 flight booked, Visa application couriered on a wing and a prayer (needs to be back for my flight Wednesday night YIKES!), and half a heart beat being hopeful (who has time for that when there is so much to process???).  Only this morning I was happily making my way to Lethbridge on my last Christmas run when my SW called to say that the photos had arrived and asked if I had seen them... not yet - thank goodness for wireless at Starbucks.  I would see them in about half an hour.  She paused... and asked... "I have a question for you... do you think you could travel before the end of the year?"... I blurted out that I COULD go but that logistics probably wouldn't allow for it (and the fact that it would be a small mortgage to get there over our Christmas and at short notice) but I'd call.  Miracles, angels, fate and good old good luck kicked in and I'm on the milk run through Amsterdam, Moscow and then on to Khab but arrive on Christmas day.  Details will be hammered out but I will make my way to Komsomolsk from there.
 
When I find a moment between panic and disarray, I remember the beautiful face of a little 2 1/2 year old blond haired, blue eyed boy who looks healthy and is developmentally on track :)  The caretakers did a good job of having him do different things like sit on a fire engine type wheeled truck with a dolly, stand on a slide, and just generally look adorable.  The referral started out with one fuzzy photo and not much info... now, a little more info and 5 photos in total... he is very sweet. 

I have to get some sleep... I have so much to do and not much time.  Packing list advice, questions to ask, fire away... I may not have time or access much once I'm gone but know I will do my best to keep you posted.  Lots of prayers that my documents make it on time and that the trip goes smoothly.  I am looking so forward to 2010 and a new day for both of us.

I'm scared... really scared... but anything in life worth doing takes your breath away.  Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year...
I certainly plan on it!
xoxo

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some people get "the call" others make it...


Cryptic... yes.  Protective... absolutely.  News to follow... prayers needed now. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight...


I find myself here often.  Thanks for always being here when I need you most.  This is where it all started, and where I find you still. 

XOXO
Kid

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Home - out of the frying pan into the deepfreeze


I packed up my sunscreen yesterday afternoon and tucked it securely into a zip lock baggie in my luggage and headed for home. 28 degrees celcius there... minus 9 with a wind chill making it feel like minus 9000 here at home. I was welcomed by a 4 foot high snow drift on my driveway... and I laughed. Thankfully the awful weather made it the best option for my brother in law to stay over which allowed for assistance in the shoveling department :) Today was spent avoiding unpacking and catching up with life that went on for the last week. Nothing new on the adoption front. It's been a month since declining and no contact again since then from my agency. There was a referral from Khab last week, but sadly, the child had to be declined for health reasons. I feel for the family as they now wait with me for referral number 2. Well, since it takes 3 weeks from accepting to travel, 2009 will close without me meeting my son. In the mean time, I have skiing plans for NewYears, will be at my sisters for Christmas eve and then back in town for Christmas day with my inlaws and have a few more vacation days to burn between now and then so the year is winding down.

For now, I'll get back to the business at hand which is finishing the vacation book, shoveling snow and going tomorrow to pick up Lyric (my dog). Oh yeah, and since it's so cold out, it makes a good excuse to dip into my duty free purchase of baileys caramel... and hot chocolate... or milk... or coffee... or maybe just on ice. I've got one more day of "vacation" I'll see how many I can sample before Monday morning :)