Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Update and One Year!!

We hope everyone had a nice Easter!! We had a very, very busy Easter weekend. It started last Friday when I picked up my nephew who's almost 3 and a half and kept him and Daniel together for the day. My mom came over and we started working on our vegetable garden. The last few years, I've only planted tomato plants, but this year, in an effort to grow more vegetables ourselves, I wanted to expand our garden to include green beans, lettuce and onions. My mom is a great gardener so she came over to help me.

The boys had so much fun. We had to first rake all the leaves out of the garden area. We don't rake in the fall because we have so many trees and forest around us that we found ourselves re-raking everything in the spring anyway. Daniel loved jumping in to the piles of leaves!!

I even got brave and sat the boys down to color Easter eggs and then decorate them with stickers and stuff!!

The boys discovered earthworms. I discovered I could pick one up without freaking out too much. Wow, being a mom makes you do weird things. They also played and played and played while we worked! We all got nice and dirty - you should have seen the bathwater from the boys afterwards!!

Saturday my older sister Cathy and her 5 month old son Eli, picked up Daniel and I and we drove to Nashville to visit my grandmother. The last time I'd been able to go I got there only to end up at Vanderbilt having my gallbladder removed. Some of you may remember that well! I am happy to announce that I was hospital free this trip! It was a very short trip as we drove all day Saturday, visited late Saturday and all day Sunday and drove home Monday. We really wanted my grandmother to meet her great grandsons!!

On the way to Nashville, we did stop to meet Carey and her two children, one of which is also adopted from Russia. It was great to visit even if we only were able to spend a short time with them. We took lots of pictures of the kids together and even managed one of the moms! I wish we could have stayed longer to meet up with other families, but maybe next time!!

We stayed in a nice hotel with an indoor pool and I was able to take Daniel swimming twice. Daniel was so cute. He loves to jump to me and we are working on kicking and doing your arms at the same time. He is also able to go under water now. He would say "hold you breath mommy" and I would go under and then I would say "Daniel hold your breath" and dunk him under. He never came up sputtering! The cutest thing was that when I would come up he would wipe my eyes for me!

All in all it was a great trip, although way too short. Both boys did excellent in the car, although by the end they were both a little grumpy!

Here are some more photos of our very busy weekend.

Today is most importantly our anniversary for Daniel's adoption. We spent four hours in a courtroom asking to be Daniel's parents. While the length of the court process seems really long, it was relatively painless and every one was so nice to us. We had an unusual situation in that Daniel had been placed in a hospital to await our return due to a chicken pox outbreak so we had to wait for arrival of a doctor from that hospital to sign over guardianship. All in all we were exhausted when it was over a bit disappointed that we couldn't pick him up the same day, but we celebrated with peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and barely slept, awaiting the arrival of the next morning!!

Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to my closest family and friends one year ago today!! I am sharing the email and not the post from my blog as this was much more detailed of the events and also because I wanted every one to see how kind the judge was to us. Read on...

We are proud to announce that after 4 hours of speeches (by us, the social worker, orphanage director, children's hospital doctor) and being questioned by the judge and prosecutor that we are the parents of a very active, 21 and a half month old little boy named Daniel McQuin Williams!!

Today has been very emotional and we are exhausted. We tried not to cry when the judge finally announced her decision that we had satisfied the Russian courts and we were to be Daniel's parents. She also approved our motion to waive the 10 days as I (Rachel) gave a speech and then the social worker and the orphanage director supported my motion. This means we can return to the US on the 22nd as planned.

After the judge read her decision she came down to stand before us and said she wanted to talk to us not as a judge but as a mother and grandmother. She said to love Daniel well and let him be the light of our lives. She said he would certainly bring us much joy. She said she hoped when we were older he would return the favor and care for us as we care for him. Then she congratulated us and it was done.

We were then rushed to the vital statistics office and we have a new birth certificate listing us as his parents and a formal adoption certificate. Unfortunately we are not able to pick up Daniel today as it is after 5 pm. Troy and I will be celebrating with peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches as we ate out a big lunch during a break with everyone and we are just plain exhausted.

We will pick Daniel up tomorrow in Votkinsk and then come back to Izhevsk to fly to Moscow. Wish us luck on the almost 2 hour flight. Love to all...


Kristine said...

Congratulations on ONE YEAR!!!! Wow has time gone by quickly. He is growing up so it time for another one yet? :)

Glad you had a wonderful Easter.


Kim Abraham said...

wow, how it could possibly have been one whole year!?!

I love the photo of Daniel with your grandmother. It sounds like you had a great trip. Next time you're in our neighborhood, I hope we get to visit with you too!

Carey and Norman said...

I'm so glad we were able to visit on your drive through. It is so nice to visit in person and catch up outside of blog world. Your sister was really nice and I so enjoyed meeting her too.

Sounds like your Easter went very well. I enjoyed all the pictures and am so happy we are all home celebrating with our children this year!!

Jenny and Randy said...

Congratulations on your adoption anniversary! Isn't is amazing the difference one year can make for everyone?! Sounds like you had a great Easter, and I am envious that you and Carey got to meet each other!

Carolynn and Steve said...

What cute pictures! I love the one of the guys rolling in the leaves!

I'm also amazed that it has been a whole year--and so glad to see that things are going well. Good luck with your garden--it sounds like a fun family project.

Happy Easter, too! (a bit late, but still heart-felt!)

Jane and Jim said...

Congratulations on your 1 yr. anniversary!
It looks like you're as busy as I am - it's all fun though, right!?

Amy said...

Happy ONE Year! I can't believe it's been a year. I started following your blog just after you were home -- so WOW! A year! Congrats!

Jackie said...

Rachel! WOW! It's been one year since you were declared his parents! How awesome is that??? Doesn't time seem to fly by fast?? I know it does for us. :-)

I loved reading what the judge said to you after court was over. I am sure that memory holds a special place in your heart. It definitely is somthing to treasure!

If you ever get down to nashville again and you plan to stay longer, let me know.. I seriously would consider driving up! :-)


Kami said...

Congrats on your one year anniversary! He is absolutely adorable in those sunglasses!:) I loved reading your e-mail and I am so jealous you were able to even find peanut butter and jelly in Russia! :) We ate these ramen noodle type things that I would literally get nauseous eating! Even to this day, I can't stand the smell of ramen noodles! LOL! I loved reading your e-mail about your court date too! Happy one year!

Old DAN AND Little ANN said...

That is so cool, what the judge said to you. Those woman judges over there seem to have very big hearts toward the orphans. I hope it is true. Your Easter weekend looked so nice. Out of town get-aways are so wonderful. I love staying at hotels with pools ... such a treat for the kiddos. I bet Daniel was adorable enjoying the water. Happy court anniversary!

Rich and Jolynn said...

Congratulations on your One Year Anniversary. Daniel is such a cutie pie, he has a great smile. I love your blog and check it quite often. Thank you for sharing.


Teresa said...

Hi Rachel,
Congratulations on 1 year for the adoption!! That is so nice that you got to meet up with one of your friends - Those are wonderful pictures - Daniel and the other kids are so cute! It looks like you all had a great time.
Have a great weekend! Teresa