Thursday, November 25, 2010

5 Months Home

Wow.  Corbin... you've been home now for as long as I waited between trips.  It felt like an eternity to wait and wonder and wish and now, 5 months has passed in the blink of an eye.  You are so excited for Christmas - every time the doorbell rings or you hear someone outside you light up and exclaim, "Is Santa here?!?"  You tell me, "I hear reindeer on roof - UP THERE!!!" out of the blue - and I love that you are so excited to sit on his knee.   I have a renewed excitement for Christmas this year as I watch the traditions through your excited little eyes.  It's been a lot of years since I've honestly and whole heartedly counted down the days until Christmas morning.  I can't wait. 
5 months done and gone - you are still growing like a little weed and tonight you felt like you weighed 100lbs as I carried you sleeping inside to tuck you into bed.  We're subbing in some size 3 clothes now and handing down the smaller 24 mos and even some of the size 2.  Yesterday you turned 3 1/2.  I looked back at our trip one pictures and you have changed so much in that time.  Tonight after your bath I noticed that you have more "meat on your bones" and that your rippling 6pack is now more of a toddler tummy - I don't ever think a 6 pack in a 3 year old is a good thing so I'm happy that yours is replaced by some meatballs and potatoes :) I'm not rolling up sweat pants or pulling up a baggy bum anymore - you are stretching right in front of my eyes.  I don't see it but friends do - thank you for eating!!!
All little boy but forever Mama's baby.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Arrival of winter and PPR #1

Winter raged into town with a vengeance bringing with it the usual heavy dump of the white stuff, traffic delays, driveways to be shoveled and new fun things to explore.  Corbin begs from the moment he gets up for his boots and mittens... at -17 Mama is reluctant to comply.  I also am having trouble with the concept of Christmas... what to buy now and what to wrap up under the tree later.  As I sit looking out at blue sky and mounds of beautiful white snow that begs to be sledded on, I am caught - toboggan now or under the tree? On the flip side though, Corbin is having NO trouble with he concept of Christmas.  As we walked through the mall I explained Santa, his reindeer's, good little girls and boys and Corbin is definitive that, "Santa bring me yellow pick up truck please" over, and over, and over... it was cute the first oh say 500x lol.  We've added a few items to his wish list and thankfully I already have a small stash of stocking items on the go so I'm ahead of the curve.  Corbin is ready for ski season too.  We picked up a set of wee little skis with the promise that when it snows outside we can ski in the mountains...  well now with all the snow outside the chorus of "yellow pick up truck" is joined by "we go to mountains and ski now Mama?" 
In other update sort of news, PPR #1 is now done and behind us.  Strange really since it is to be for 6 months and we will have only been home 5 months in a few days but it is complete.  It was simple really - she came, followed the prescribed set of questions and observed Corbin and Me in our natural habitat.  She was very happy with everything and said that she couldn't hope for a child to adjust more beautifully.  The next day we attended the Adoption Month celebration at our home study agency and had the privilege of standing at the front of the room to talk about the process.  It's a walk down memory lane to go back to my seat in the crowd and all the hopes that came with that seminar.  It was apropos that when I put my winter coat on that morning, I actually hadn't worn it since trip one last winter... it had tic tac's in one pocket (pasty mouth saver) and Russian coins in the other.  I gave each of the families one as my sentiment of good luck in their journey. I can't wait to hear of their journeys. 
And finally, we spent some great time again with my girlfriend and her family including Corbin's friend Mamush who joined his family just before Corbin arrived home.  What a whirl wind of toddler activity with the boys in the house.  They had quite the experience getting interviewed at the US embassy for Mamush to get a travel visa... Not sure what an interview of a 20 month old entails but... it was a circus and it is complete.  Fun week - next week we'll ski, skate and Mama will start to do some Christmas shopping.  The stockings are found, ornaments sorted, baking lists made, menus for Christmas being contemplated and the excitement of creating our own family traditions is so wonderful. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My own Remembrance day

One year ago today the day started out like pretty much all the other ones. The day started early and my phone nearly died so when I returned to my vehicle at 12:09 (funny how time stands still and you remember weird details?) I flipped open my phone to see that I had a missed call from the area code where referral calls come from.  My heart lept and nearly pounded out of my chest... this was it... the call... The details were fast and furious - boy, young, small... do you have an Internet connection right now?  No.  Frantic calls to my sister followed and she met me at Starbucks to hit a wireless connection so that I could see this little boy.  There were tears of joy, cheers with my coffee, and even a picture of the first time I saw his face.  Calls were placed to Dr. Bledsoe so that she could review his file the following night.  He was beautiful.  I can still see his dark eyes clearly in my head. For just more than 30 hours I hoped against hope that he was the one... that finally I had a face to my dreams.  It was not to be.  Our phone call to discuss his health was short.  Within the first minute she had tenderly told me about the challenges that she felt that this little guy would almost certainly have.  There was no question that I had to decline this referral and go back to waiting for my son.  My heart broke as I hung up the phone and the numbness set in.  I remember not knowing what to do or what to say... the silence hurt.  I went into auto pilot and headed to my soccer game arriving late to a dressing room full of team mates who have known and supported me for years.  I opened the door and the flood gates all at the same time.  I couldn't even say the words... I just cried... and played soccer.  No one pushed or prodded... they were just there and continue to be.  November 11th - Remembrance day, I notified my agency that I would be officially declining this little boy. 
Beautiful baby Roman... I am sorry that I couldn't be the Mama that you need and deserve.  I think about you often and have prayed that you are in the loving arms of your family as I type this.  I brought some clothes and a toy for you on my first trip - it eases my conscience to hope that you received them... and then as I re-read that statement how shallow it seems... that a toy and clothing could somehow make up for the fact that you live in an orphanage without a family of your own...  Later, it helped me to breathe a sigh of relief when my facilitator told me that you had been referred and accepted by an American family... but I sometimes still check the photo listing and you are still there.  You will forever be in my heart, thoughts and prayers... in a perfect world, children wouldn't have to want for a family.  They wouldn't have to be without a goodnight kiss and story.  This world isn't perfect but we do the best we can.  Roman, I hope you are loved today and always... and that you are adored by your own Mother who has a perfect love for you. 
I'll never forget.
Happy Happy edit... I just checked the photolisting and you are gone... and to me, that means I can smile knowing you are in the family that is meant to be yours.  I hope your Mama loves you a little extra tonight - I know I'll love my son knowing he's where he's supposed to be too.  And they all lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seen and heard

In an effort to cut out the rhetoric that could turn this post into an entry akin to "war and peace" I'll short hand it: Seen and heard over my birthday, halloween and first day of preschool week. 
1. Corbin asked me about 10x on my birthday if I am happy... he loves to hear me say "Absolutely" and it's funny to hear him say it back.
2.  At the end of breakfast he said, "Mama... nice music, I want dance you Mama" and he picked a great song (one of my favorite things he gave me for my birthday)
3.  Auntie Karen took him shopping and he picked out my gift along with a beautiful card... my first one "from him" that says "To My Mom". 
4.  He made a grown man cry.  Watching a strong, confident, outgoing, hockey coaching, business owning grown up man cry as he thinks of his own little boy waiting in Russia made me even more reverent for the fact that Corbin is home, he's happy, he's healthy, he's mine.  Watching this mans love and pain roll down his cheeks reminds me that my own story before Corbin was home isn't that far from the surface - I can still feel it in the pit of my stomach for those in limbo.  To my friend J and his 6 degrees of separation wife R, you know how big the celebration will be with you here in Cowtown when your son is home right?
5.  Blowing candles out and singing happy birthday... 
6.  ABC's... this shocked me so of course I got out the camera :)  I've sung this to him in the car regularly and he's learning what the letters look like and say from "the letter factory" which is wonderful.  It's so cute to see him pointing out "MAMA!!! LETTERS!!!" on everything and having him tell me the letters on my shirts.  This is a new bedtime ritual.

7.  Halloween.  He was going to be a cowboy until a friend brought over LIGHTENING MCQUEEN!!!! and that was that.  Our little posse travelled together and Corbin had a blast... and I love coffee crisp :)
8.  At the haunted house on our block he ran up the walk yelling "I no scared!" and then told the man dressed up as Frankenstein at the door, "You a SCARY man!"
9.  First day at preschool.  Never looked back.  He didn't cry when I dropped him off... but did when it was time to go.  Not surprisingly I was told he was redirected for using his outside voice indoors... I grimaced a little in the knowledge that he is having trouble monitoring his volume button.  He LOVED his morning at school and told me he played with new friends.  I can't wait to volunteer next week and see just how he does in his new school.