Adoption Journey Journal

Read on for a shortened version of our adoption Journey to Daniel

February 13, 2008


Yes - after 9 long months we were finally registered yesterday in Izhevsk!! This means our paperwork is being reviewed for a referral!! We were asked for two additional documents which our coordinator typed up for us as I did not have the templates on my home email. All we had to do was print and sign. We'll take them to be notarized and apostilled and overnight them to CHI right away. The last family who was registered received a referral within 2 weeks and we are hopeful this means the same for us! Of course this is international adoption so you never know what may happen.

We are so excited and so ready to go. Troy answered our home phone when our coordinator called and when she told him the news he got the biggest grin on his face. It just tells me how excited and ready he really is!!

February 22, 2008

We got a REFERRAL!!!!!

Friday started out like any other day. I emailed our coordinator in the morning and a few minutes later we got the 'nothing new' email that I dread getting. I had put the adoption out of my mind (as if that's possible) and was working hard when the receptionist at work started buzzing my office looking for me. Thank goodness she kept on looking for me because I was in the backroom. When she told me I had a phone call from CHI I just assumed another document was needed. We went through our normal pleasantrys and then she says "I have some news for you," and that was it. I was bouncing in my chair and squeaking and some of the ladies I work with ran in and all I could do was shake my head "YES" and they knew. It was an amazing feeling. I had to call Troy who was driving home from work and he was so excited I was worried he would run off the road. I called my mom and Troy called his and then his mom called me and it was wonderful.

We spent the weekend shopping and cleaning out his bedroom, sorting thorugh all the clothes my sister in law has passed to us (thank you!) and looking at bedding and just anything we could put our hands on we looked at!! We should hear travel dates tomorrow or Wednesday!! I can't go wait to meet our little man.

My hands are still shaking and I can't get anything done and I'm all over the place, but you know what? I think I'm allowed!!

God is so good!

March 3, 2008

Okay - we finally have dates. We are leaving....dum, dum, dum dummmmmmmmmmm

Saturday - this Saturday - March 8th!!! Set to return on the 15th. Holy cow! We're in panic mode!!

Looks like we won't be spending much time in Moscow at all except long enough to get off the plane and hop a night train to our region. We may have one night in Moscow on the way back to do our medical exams. I was hoping to see some of Moscow, but maybe next trip!

The train sounds great. It's overnight, but we should get to see alot of the countryside in the morning going into the region which is something I really wanted to do. Troy hasn't been on a train before either, so I think he will like it. We used to take trains all the time when I was young.

We are so excited!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to be posting while in Russia!

March 6, 2008

Two days and we leave – how did this happen? I thought we would never get to this point and now I’m trying to figure out how we got here!! I think we are almost all set. Our Visas are coming in today – talk about last minute. I’ve already had enough panic attacks over them arriving at all that I’m all panicked out, which is probably a good thing. We have our blood work results, lots of original documents in hand and our chest xrays films are now complete and ready to be packed.

Have I mentioned I haven’t packed yet? Oh yeah – we’re a little behind. Tonight my wonderful sister-in-law, Amber, is coming over to help make sure my head is on straight and she is going to do some things around the house to help me out. Thank you, thank you! Tomorrow, my sisters and my mom are carting me all over town to pick up the last minute things and help me pack. I just know my older sister, Cathy, can cram everything we own into one suitcase – she’s good at things like that!

March 9, 2008

We Made It To Moscow

We're here!! I have to say our flight went very smoothly. We flew Aeroflot and were very comfortable. They even fed us twice and I ate both meals - now that's saying alot!! The flight was long and we were glad to land but the most improtant thing is that we are here!

We were supposed to leave for our region by overnight train tonight, but somehow we got mixed up and we are actually leaving by plane tomorrow morning to our region. While not looking forward to it, once again we will just be glad to get there.

We did venture out for a walk in Moscow and made it to McDonalds and back! We took a few pictures along the way.

March 10, 2008


Today (Monday) we made it to our region. We took a 2 hour flight and it was fine. We had heard some not so great things about the flight, and were a little bit nervous, but it was just fine. Our driver picked us up at the Holiday Inn in Moscow and drove us to the domestic airport Domodedovo. He helped us all the way through check in and as far as he could go to the gate. He was very kind to us. The flight was completely Russian and we were separated but it went pretty well. The flight had some turbulence as it was very cloudy, but all in all it was fine. Troy and I joked that when the announcements came on in Russian we would look around and if everyone suddenly assumed the position for a crash landing so we would know what to do. When we stepped off the plane in Izhevsk, our interpreter snapped us right up (obviously we stuck out like sore thumbs!!) and off we went to the hotel.

Our room is great as it is more like an apartment with a kitchenette, bathroom, living/dining room and separate bedroom. We even have a few dishes and plenty of free drinking water. Our stay for 3 nights was cheaper than the one night in Moscow. Our interpreter then pre-ordered dinner for us. Troy got a fish soup which came with a shot of vodka (I’m not sure I would eat anything that came with alcohol!!)!! He also got red fish and grilled vegetables. I ordered chicken that came with onions and red peppers on a shish kabob and the best baked potato ever. It was cut into cubes and had a garlic butter sauce that was delicious. We got two Cokes and our grand total was 475 rubles which is only like 20 bucks. I had heard food was cheap in Izhevsk, but we were pleasantly surprised!!

We also met with our regional representative today and we leave tomorrow a.m. for our appointment with the ministry. Afterwards we have about an hour drive to the orphanage and we get to meet our little guy and we will have a chance to ask tons of questions about his health, habits, etc. We can’t wait!!

The neatest thing tonight that we discovered is that our hotel has blinking lights, red and blue and flashers all over the building at the top. It seems like a happening place!

Lastly, a hint for anyone traveling – the hot and cold water is on the opposite sides than we are used to!

March 11, 2008

We Met Our Son Today

And let me just claim parental bragging rights. He is the cutest thing ever and we are in love with a new little guy!!

The day started off with a great breakfast and then a trip to the ministry where we received our formal permission to visit the child. Off to the orphanage about an hour away and we got to see our little guy right away. He sat in Troy’s lap while I talked and took notes from the director. She was wonderful. She answered all our questions.

Afterwards our little guy had to eat and nap. We went out to lunch with our regional rep and translator and had a nice time. Then they took us to Tchaikovsky’s house (great composer) and we took a few photos and then we shopped. We got some great pieces and souvenirs for 1,675……..rubles – gotcha didn’t I – I think that works out to approx. 71.00!! Like I said we got some beautiful pieces. Wish us luck packing them up!!

We got to go back and visit with our little guy for 2 more hours and it was wonderful. We played and played and played. For those wondering what toys to bring I highly suggest the Little Tykes hammer as it makes noise and lights up and was a HUGE success. Our little guy is defiantly going to either be a drummer or a carpenter.

We are over the moon tonight and just so happy. We will see him again tomorrow and then do some paperwork and then head out back to Moscow. We would rather stay here as we love our hotel and the restaurant and we’re closer to our little guy. We are already dreading leaving him.

Thanks to everyone for their support and comments during this process. We still have a ways to go, but we’re almost there!!

March 13, 2008

Day two went great! We feel like we are bonding well with our kiddo. He came right to us and we got to play for 2 hours. How in love we are with him!!

We flew back to Moscow after a busy day and today (Thursday) we did our medicals in Moscow. It was painless and we are glad they are done. Everyone was very nice to us. We were lucky to meet another adoptive couple at the clinic and talked with them in between seeing the 8 doctors.

We are free the rest of today and all of tomorrow. We plan to walk to Red Square and St. Basil’s cathedral tomorrow to do the tourist thing. We will fly back home on Saturday. We are looking forward to returning home to finish his nursery and then hurry back!!

We are taking it easy the rest of today as the last 3 days have been so busy and very emotional. We plan to watch movies that we brought with us!!

Important things we have learned for others getting ready to travel

-Keep all registration forms from the hotels inside your passport so at the airport you can prove you were registered where you stayed.
-I would suggest bringing the travel rolls of toilet paper as the hotels quality of toilet paper isn’t that great and if you get sick you’ll want them (thankfully we haven’t been sick, but I can only imagine.)
-Be sure to ask the driver to help you buy water BEFORE checking in to the hotel as the water there is extremely expensive.

Some neat things we have learned while here.

-The potholes really are that bad
-The traffic really is that bad
-Drivers put Vodka and water into their cars windshield washer fluid so when they spray to clean their windshield, it smells like Vodka (keeps water from freezing)
-Do be careful when crossing the street. Although it seems like they really don’t want to hit you they just want to come close!
-Even if there are four lanes for traffic you can expect 5-6 lanes actually running.

Hopefully we will be able to post tomorrow night with our “touristy” photos!! I’ll be catching up with blogs soon. Can’t wait to see how everyone else is. Internet at the hotel in Moscow is pretty expensive so we only have enough for 24 hours. Take care everyone.

March 14, 2008

Troy and I were totally free today and decided to walk to see the sites of Moscow. We were told by our driver that it would take approximately 30 minutes to walk to Red Square and so off we went. It actually took us 40 minutes but I think it is because we do not walk as fast as the natives do! When we made it to Red Square we were so in awe of the buildings and especially St. Basil’s Cathedral. Troy had so much fun taking pictures of all the architecture.

We ate lunch at a Sbarro and each had a piece of pizza and shared a salad. It was very good. We also located the TGIFridays we have read so much about from other adoptive couples. Maybe we will go there next time!!

March 18, 2010

We're Home!

We made it home safe and sound on Saturday. We were very tired and very happy to see my mom, my older sister, her husband and my younger sister all waiting to pick us up at the airport. By the time we arrived home, I was all talked out and extremely tired as we had been up over 24 hours. It has taken a couple of days but Troy and I think we are back on schedule and are both back at work today.

It’s funny but today has been the hardest as we get back in to the swing of things and feel almost like nothing has changed. Of course we know our whole lives have changed and our minds and hearts are still back in Russia, but going back to work and doing the every day things there really feels odd.

We just can’t believe we have a little one and that we left him halfway around the world. Our court date can’t come quick enough. Our coordinator called us yesterday to check on us and see how we liked Russia and Troy kept asking in the background if we had a court date. I finally asked her and told her Troy was being insistent that I ask and she laughed and said “not yet”! But hopefully soon.

We went into the nursery last night and just stared at it for a while. We still have a lot to do but mostly in the way of sorting through clothes that will fit him and then after our baby shower putting the bed set together etc. My older sister is planning a baby shower on the 29th of this month and it is top secret. I have no idea where it is, what it’s going to be like etc. I just know that it is evening time (8-10 pm) and that it is going to be exciting. With my sister – who knows except I do know it will be exciting. She said it is not traditional and now I’m wondering just what kind of excitement she is talking about!! I’m not even allowed to see an invitation until after the fact and then I can have one for our memory book!!

Please keep us in your prayers that we will get that court date as soon as possible and be able to bring our little one home soon.

March 19, 2008

We Got Our Court Date!!

We are completely in shock, but we just found out we got our court date already!! It’s April 15th and it can’t come soon enough!! Please say some prayers as we have to redo our police clearances and they take a minimum of two weeks. I have called the Virginia State Police and am working with a lady who seems to think we can have it back in time.

We should get official travel dates tomorrow!! I can’t believe it. We are again over the moon at seeing our angel again so quickly.

March 24, 2008

Wooooo Hoooooo!! We got travel dates this morning and we are so excited!! What an emotional roller coaster we are right now!! Travel dates mean applying for Visas, running around like mad to get everything ready, packing, cleaning, praying, praying again, and praying some more!!! We never thought we would get to return so fast and we are so thankful we can!

We leave on April 9th to head back to Moscow. I am trying to book flights now and have a zillion phone calls to make at lunch time. We are still working on having our police clearances back in time, so please send some extra prayers up on that one still!!

We cannot wait to see our little guy again. I hope and pray God keeps him safe and comforted everyday and that he knows in his little heart that we are coming back for him. We miss him so much!

March 27, 2008

We have a lot on our plates right now and I am under a lot of stress. Please pray for us as we are still waiting for documents to arrive that are out of our control. Among those are our updated police clearances and our amended I-171H showing the fingerprint renewel. Both places say we will receive the items on time, but I can’t help but worry we won’t get them as the days count down. Another big worry I have is the amount of time between our flight on the way to Russia. We only have 1 hour and 17 minutes between flights and I am worried about making the next gate in an airport we have never visited. Troy seems to think we will be fine, but I can’t help but worry about every little thing!!

We have started making a pile in our guest bedroom of items we want to take to Russia for us and for our little guy. My sister-in-law Amber has been so helpful to us by letting us bug her questions such as “How many of these would you take?” or “Do we really need this?” We managed to cut several piles in half last night!! Thanks Amber!

April 2, 2008

We have been fortunate in that all of our paperwork is nearly done. We are only missing one form and I would love it if those of you reading would send up a prayer for us-that the form we need will be received. God will know exactly which form that is!! Of course I am trying not to panic – hence the new Bible verse on the sidebar. It is very appropriate. We are so worried about not getting this document in the next day or two as we had planned to apostille everything on Monday as it is really our last opportunity to have it done before we leave. Otherwise my family will be on the lookout for it after we leave, but I would rather have it with us, in our own hands. I'm sure God is listening!

As for the packing – well – not so much. We did sort clothes for our little guy, but are finding ourselves re-evaluating everything! Hopefully this weekend we’ll sort that out. We’ve been putting things in our guest bedroom as we go if we think we might like it to travel with us. Seems to be working although there’s no way it’s all going in a couple of suitcases and carry ons.

Cleaning is a whole other ball game. Tonight we hope to finish redecorating the bathroom for our little guy. Troy’s sister Amber did most of the set up of the new shower curtain, rugs, towels etc. Last night I mounted the frog toy holder and tonight we finish up. I’ll post pictures of that and the baby’s room soon too.

April 4, 2008

Just a quick note to say that our prayers were answered! Thanks so much for sending more up for us! We now have all of our paperwork in hand and apostilled (thanks to my darling husband) and we are ready to fly. Now if only we could leave early!!!!!!!!!!

This weekend will consist of finishing the bathroom and baby room, getting together copies of the thousands of documents we have already sent to Russia (I really think there are a thousand!) and packing.

April 14, 2008

We are here. We had a crazy flight over. Our original flight turned out to be delayed and we would have missed ourconnection to Moscow so Delta had to send us to another airport pronto last Wednesday and we had to rush through to catch another flight. Delta was great and there's more to the story, but it will have to wait.

We spent the night in Moscow and then traveled to Izhevsk by plane Friday morning. Windy!! Need I say more.

We spent three nights in an apartment with a woman and her mother. All was well. No internet so we couldn't post although our rep did everything within her power to find internet for us. We finally got a couple of emails home by using a neighboring apartments email yesterday.

Court tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Bright and early - midnight eastern standard time. Please pray. We are nervous and will have to go in by ourselves and use the court translator. All should be fine, but again we are nervous.

Our son is wonderful! We have spent the last four days bonding with him and he now calls me mama and Troy papa and he runs to us with open arms and great eye contact. And when he giggles - boy he giggles and it will just melt your heart. Wish us luck!!!

April 15, 2008

What a day today!! After almost four hours of court we were finally given the decision that we are to be the parents of a very handsome, wonderful, very active, 21 and a half month old.

Not much can get better than that. Except for the fact that the judge was very kind and waived our 10 days!! What a blessing!!!

We will post pictures tomorrow once we have the official documents and return to Moscow. It was too late today to make the drive to the orphanage to pick him up. We can’t wait to scoop him up in our arms tomorrow!!!!!

April 17, 2008

We made it to Moscow with only a few minor tantrums if you want to call them that. Even the doctor today at D’s medical exam said he thought D might be better than George Clooney in the future with all of his drama!! Troy and I have to agree. Even though real tears will come it is often just the word “no or nyet” that starts them and then a minute later he is fine. We are however not looking forward to the 11 hour flight to Atlanta. We will be praying for sleep!!

Did I mention he hates having his diaper changed? Or that Troy handled his first messy diaper change well ----- well…..semi well. He got it off and ran for the bathroom with the diaper and left D sitting there so I had to run for the wipes and clean him up. It was quite hysterical! We laughed so hard and of course D cried because he hates putting on a new diaper.

We found out today that we will done here in Russia on Friday after our embassy interview at 2:00. Our return tickets aren’t until next Tuesday but we may try to change them and go home a little sooner. I will be emailing our travel agent today.

Otherwise we are doing just fine. D’s first bath went great and of course he cried when we took him out. Troy did bath number 2 and they had a blast. Dad’s are so much fun!!

Sleep is going well also. Last night was a late night due to the flight and traffic and trying to get dinner so Daniel slept in bed with us because we were too tired to get a crib. Plus the first person we asked kept trying to give us a cot. So I rocked him for a few minutes and then just as he was about out he pushed me away and crashed onto the pillow next to me. We had a few exciting moments during the night like when he got up on his knees and shook and crawled into my arms. Then a few hours later to his papa’s arms. At one point he was asleep on top of me with his feet on my chest and his head by my knees. Whatever works.

Tonight was a little different. We put him in the crib for nap and he went right down. Bedtime was another story. He played, laughed and even stood up and nose dived into his pillow. Troy and I were laying on the bed watching trying not to laugh. Then he cried and I got up and he let me hold him again and rock him until he was about out. Then he pushed me away and I put him in the crib and out he went!

We are tired, but a good tired. Of course we worry if we fed him enough, played enough, did the bath right, but I think we must be doing okay. We can’t wait to come home though and make meals at our house, have bath time in our own bathroom and lay him down in his own bedroom.

We miss everyone!!

April 18, 2008

We finished up today with our embassy interview and our little man was a show off, but not necessarily in the greatest way! He's almost two and his molars are coming in, so we think he did pretty well. We got to meet Ana & Russ and their precious Eli and several other adoptive families. It was a nice gathering!

We were able to change our tickets to come home tomorrow. While we won't have a chance to take D to Red Square or get pictures of him there, we feel like it is time for us to go home. Our family is anxious and we are also. Plus we plan to bring him back one day. We have been so lucky that this trip has been so short. We are ready to start our lives together in our own home.

Wish us luck with the long flight and longish layover in Atlanta. We'll need it!!

April 21, 2008

We made it home to the airport Saturday night at 11:36 p.m. We then had a two and a half hour drive home. We were so happy to pull in the driveway. Our little man managed to only sleep an hour and 45 minutes on the 11 hour flight and then ran us ragged for a 6 hour layover in Atlanta before finally sleeping on the 1 hour 44 minute flight to Dulles. He only threw a few "I'm almost two, cutting all my molars and I am independant" fits on the plane. Sorry to anyone sitting near us!!!

Since we have been home he has pushed his limits, tried everything and purposely goes for anything we have previously said "no" too.

He is sleeping fairly well, although not nearly long enough. He is wakingi n the middle of the night and crying very dramatically. He will go right back to sleep when I rock him but as soon as I set him down, he cries again. I spent an hour and a half getting him back to sleep this morning at 4:45 a.m. Then I had to wake the little bugger up at 8:30 because he was sound asleep!! Go figure. He's napping now, so I am trying to get laundry done and a few other things.

In the world of attachment - things are going well. He finds our eyes constantly and he knows his mama and papa. My sister Cat came over last night and I was giving D a bath and when I lifted him out I put him in Aunt Cat's arms with his towel and he immediately turned and reached for me. It was most precious.

He does have an appointment with the pediatrician tomorrow as he has a rash on his face which started when we picked him up from the baby home and has gone through phases of getting better then worse. We think it is a form of dermatits and stress triggers the rash. It seems to get worse after he cries, and when he gets hot, but we don't think it is a heat rash. Hopefully it is something we can remedy quickly.

We're so glad he ours!!

For more on our story, simply click on the "Home" button on the sidebar to be taken to our most current entries and to see photos of our precious son!!