Thursday, June 16, 2011

First "Famiversary"

Paka Paka Babas.  The one in the blue cried and hugged him tight.  She loved him special - she love him best
Dressing my boy for the last first time

Nothing beat watching him sleep

My favorite trip II picture - he's so small
Corbin and Zhenya... sweet sweet Zhenya.  If only my suitcase were bigger.
Bath #1 - not sure if he was cleaner before or AFTER the bath in the dingy tub.  That smile... oh that smile.

Natasha the lovely

Like it was yesterday:  I had waited out the 10 days impatiently to board the overnight train from Khabarovsk to Komsomolsk and was welcomed by a hot, sticky and anxious ride.  It was quiet and tense.  My facilitator Elya (or the horned beast as I liked to call her) had quit after my court date (and collecting her money while trying to extract more from me for "extra fees") and become very elusive in providing any sort of service to me.  I was to be at the train for our 10pm departure by about 9:15 and she was to pick me up at Anna's apartment at 9pm.  At 7:45 I received a message saying that I would have to take a cab to the train station as her plans had changed.  Hmmm, that seems about right, send the foreign girl who doesn't speak Russian in a cab with all of her luggage to the train station because you are too lazy to do your job - sorry - I guess I'm not completely over it.  (BREATHING DEEPLY.  Like it was yesterday).  Thankfully I had Anna and Ole so that I didn't have to fend for myself.  We loaded into the train compartment in silence and Ole and I took the top bunks.  There were few words spoken as the final passenger joined us.  She was a middle aged woman who disembarked after only a few stops.  I found the train peaceful and safe even though the heat was stifling.  Sleep didn't come easy but the drone of locomotives wheels had a way of taking the edge off and allowing me to rest.  As the sun peaked through the gauzy curtains, I quickly rolled up the prickly woolen blanket and crunchy flannel-esque sheet placing them back on the fold away shelf.  The bathrooms were always an adventure where you figured out exactly how long you could hold your breath for and tried to avert your eyes from watching what may have flowed under the rubber mat on the floor.  We were greeted at the station by Natasha.  Natasha was... well... interesting.  She was a much more sane driver than Anton was from trip one (read: she didn't try to kill  me... not even once).  She was writing an exam that day so had arranged for some other guy who charged WAY more but at this point, it felt like resistance was futile - I just wanted to get there.  We checked into the dingiest hotel you can imagine and paid by the hour as a place to put our things and maybe have a nap in after we returned from picking Corbin up.  We arrived just after the children had been put down for their nap.  I wasn't really just a visitor in the baby home anymore - and the baba I liked best told me I could "go and get my son".  I walked through the silent halls my feet skipping over the broken tile mosaic floor to a crib with a number that would no longer be home to my son's dreams.  There he was - sweaty in his underwear, looking up at me with his big grey eyes and a smile.  He reached for me and finally said goodbye to the room full of "cra-vat-kies"  I was in such a hurry to get him out of there... in retrospect, I wish he could have hugged his little friends goodbye.  Perhaps that would have only been for me - we'll never know.  Quietly, in the directors office we laid out the gifts we had brought and I dressed him to leave.  It was about a million degrees out so the shorts, t-shirt and sandals were just fine.  You were measured and weighed one last time - 27.5 lbs and 90 cm tall.  We exchanged hugs, tears, cards and took some photos before unceremoniously piling into the van to head to our new life together.  There was a trip to the amusement park across the street with associated train rides, driving of cars, parks to play in and bottles of water to drink (you were so dehydrated and it was so so so hot) and a poo-nami followed by yet another bath.  After bidding adieu to "The Visit" hotel, we boarded the train bound for Anna's.
And the celebration began. 
Today, you have grown in every way conceivable and in more ways than I could have ever imagined.  As I sort through the first season of clothes that you wore last year I am reminded of how physically you have changed.  Last night after your bath you weighted 39 lbs and measured 114 cm tall placing you on the top half of the charts for all measures.  You came home wearing size 2 and even some 24 mos old clothing and now, I'm sadly retiring anything smaller than a 4T.  I could list all the wonderful things about you but this post would go on forever. We've grown as a family and it's safe to say we are both 100% in love.  You are my son and today we celebrate our "Fami-versary" (otherwise known as "gotcha day") .  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match.  You are the face I love to see in the morning and the sleepy eyes I tuck in each night.  You are the happy voice on the phone in the middle of my day and the flying hug with endless stories when I come through the door at the end of the day.  One moment it seems like an eternity since you've been here and the next, it's hard to believe a year has already passed.  Forever is a long time, I'm glad you are ok with that.

xoxoxo Mama.

My soccer coaches aka "the Grandpa Guys"

For every tear I cried... this says it better than a blog full of words.


Naomi said...

Congratulations on your special day! He has blossomed and I love the kissing picture! I will be away for the next 4 weeks and will be able to tell my similiar story a year from now! Hope to see you in the next 3 months. Enjoy the summer..Hugs to both of you!

Tracey and Chuck said...

Happy Happy Famiversary!!! He is an amazing little boy!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. Happy Famiversary (or Family Day as we call it). It is just amazing how much he has grown and blossomed over the last year. I love the tub picture looks just like one we have. Our little guy loved his first bath in the dingy tub.


Michelle said...

Congrats Stacey and Corbin on your first Famiversary!! Corbin has just blossomed!!

Your blog was the first blog I found...A year later, I'm "officially" starting the journey to bring my son home!