Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Few Pictures Logan's Room

We have everything we need for his room besides him.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Few of My Favorite Comments

Here are a few of my favorite comments that people have said or say, I find them very strange. I thought I would address them here, please, no one take offense, I have just been bothered by these comments and I wanted to put it out there on how they make me feel, so here are a few of my favorites.

"Don't get attached to him until you get that court date" First of all it is way to late, I fell in Love the moment I touched him (actually the moment I saw his referral photo). I find that comment very strange, would one say to a pregnant women to not get attached until the baby is born because anything can happen, I DON"T THINK SO.

"After what happened to you guy's last time I cannot believe your doing this again" Would you say to a woman who had a miscarriage that you can't believe she would try again, NO, at least I HOPE NOT.

Another good one is "As soon as you get that baby home you are going to get pregnant because you'll be more relaxed and focused on something else" I really hope that does happen, it would be great but we have been trying to have a baby for 4 1/2 years and it hasn't happened yet. I will be very surprised if it does, I know that it has happened to many but ADOPTION DOES NOT CURE INFERTILITY, there is only a 5% chance of that happening, about the same as when we stopped our infertility treatments.

"What's the story with his real Mom" just because one gives birth does not make them a REAL MOM, We are his REAL parents and that is a very personal question that I feel only Logan has the right to know.

I know people do not mean any ill will and they are just concerned for us but
COME ON, think before you speak. This process is very trying, We need positive comments and support, instead of saying, I hope it works, change that comment to I know things are going to be just fine for you guys and if you can't muster that then please say NOTHING AT ALL.

I know a lot of people do not understand adoption but Jeff and I ARE PREGNANT, we are just not carrying our baby but he is VERY REAL and so is our love for him. We still have concerns (maybe even a little more) and cannot wait to have our baby home with us. It is as if I gave birth, spent a few days with him and now we are not allowed to see him for a couple of months. The waiting is getting a little harder every day, please say prayers that we will be re-united with him very soon.

A Few Photo's

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Our room in Novokuznetsk

These maps are great, if you look in the center of the map for Russia and go down to the south you will see Novokuznetsk.

23 days!

Well it's been 23 days since we met Logan and let me tell you every day is getting a little harder. I know that means we are 23 days closer to bringing him home but man is it hard. I talked to Kim (she is one of the families that we met in Moscow that are adopting with our agency) yesterday for close to 2 hours and I think we are pretty much feeling the same way, we want our boy's home. I told her I wanted to go and do missionary work at the orphanage and she said she's in, if only they would let us we would be gone tomorrow :)

I pray that God is going to give me the best B-day and anniversary gift ever and that is going to be our release letter and our court date. God hear our prayers and get us back to our son soon, AMEN!

Monday, July 24, 2006

I Miss Our Babies

OK, our 6-8 weeks are now down to 4-6 weeks, it sure has been a long 2 weeks. I hope these days start to pick up. I cannot believe it will be almost 2 months before we see him again :( Now that we have actually held our son in our arms the waiting is so much more difficult. I could watch our video every day, Logan is just perfect and we cannot wait to go and get him.

I have been keeping myself busy, I worked almost every day last week. I have went and bought a few rompers that will be perfect for our long journey home with Logan, snaps from head to toe. I got a really great deal on a cool Peg Pergo stroller that was on clearance. I was going to wait and buy a stroller until after we got home and just make it with the cheap umbrella stroller I got for travel but I just couldn't pass up the deal :). I bought a great baby sign-language book, I think that will really help Logan with the language barrier and be very good for his development. I also ordered a couple of books, one is on attachment skills and the other is for our friends and family to help them understand why it is so important to limit his care to just Jeff and I for a while. My friend Shannon described it the best she said "He (Logan) needs to seek Jeff and I out for help before anyone else".

I had all of these things that I wanted to do but of course when they brought Logan into the room all of my senses went looney. I wanted to trace his feet and look and see what size he was wearing and I didn't do any of it, so now it's a big guessing game. He is tall and lean so I am guessing between 12 & 18 month, I think 12 right now but by the time we get there maybe close to 18.

I miss Baylee also, it is really strange not having her meet me at the door when I get home or rubbing her head and giving her a kiss good-night.

I hope to be able to post good news within the next week or two. Please pray for us to go and get Logan soon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 9th, Back to the good old USA!

Our driver Dimitri showed up at 1:00 pm on Sunday the 9th to take us to the airport for our flight out of Moscow into Amsterdam where we would be staying the night to catch our flight back to Detroit on Monday the 10th. Wow, it sure was hard keeping all of these dates straight with the time changes and all of our layovers.

We stood in line to check into our flight and then through customs for about 2 hours. I was getting nervous that we would miss our flight. Customs at the SVO airport in Moscow is a joke, it's like the lines at Cedar Pointe, never ending. They had hundreds of people leaving to different parts of the world and about 7 people checking passports. There is a company that offers a VIP service kind of like a line-hopper at Disney, they cut you through to the front of the line. When we bring Logan home we may use this service, it is kind of expensive but I am sure it will be worth it. We did get through and had about 20 minutes to board and leave Moscow.

We didn't do much besides get a bite to eat in Amsterdam, I was just exhausted so I wanted to get some sleep. We left Moscow right on time just like all of our flights and we landed in Detroit about 10 minutes early. Thanks Tania for picking us up :)!
I have to give a shout out to Northwest and KLM, we got all of our luggage and all flights left and landed on time or a little early, WAY TO GO!

Please say a prayer that we get our court date to officially adopt Logan and bring him home soon, please pray for all of the children and families that are waiting also. I will keep updating as we find anything out. We think we should be going back by the end of August but as I have learned the hard way, this is International Adoption and anything goes.

July 8th, Moscow Here We Come!

We woke up and got ready to go to the Airport and of course when we walked down-stairs there was Alyona and Alex right on time again. They were great! We got to the airport, if that is what you want to call it. I think it really is just a small building little security and a run way, pretty scary. I suggest if you are ever in Novokuznetsk airport to not use the bathroom, it is really disgusting.

Jeff and I boarded that little tube of a stink-fest and had our 4 hour journey back to Moscow, thank God we had all 3 seats so we had a bit more room on the way back. We had the whole day in Moscow before we departed for Amsterdam and then back to the US.
We got to Moscow and of course we were met by our translator and driver, they took us to our hotel, The Courtyard Marriott, a new hotel and it was very nice. We ended up running into another family that was adopting with a different agency in the lobby at check in. I had chatted with Danette a few times on line and it was funny to run into her and her husband Dave. We had plans with another family from our agency to meet for dinner at 6:30 so we invited them also.

We decided we would go to McDonald's for some American food, it was so tasty.
We then walked around Red Square, took some great pictures and did a lot of people watching. It is funny, women in Russia wear 4 inch stilettos to walk around town, OUCH! It was great to watch them try and walk on cobble-stone streets, LOL. We decided after a couple of hours to go back to our hotel and get some rest, well Jeff took a nap I went and worked out, that really helped take some stress away.

We met Danette & Dave and Kim & Lance for dinner at 6:30. We just stayed at the hotel and talked for an hour before dinner, shared some pictures and stories then went to the Flat Iron Grill in our hotel. We all had burgers and the guys had a couple of beers, I think they were all happy the other one wanted a beer :). It was really nice meeting all of them, we had a great time. Thanks guys!

Here are a few pictures from Moscow.

Logan's First Steps, July, 7th 2006

It was 4:30 am when Jeff and I woke up with so much excitement we were not able to go back to sleep so we just talked about our first meeting with Logan. We both felt that it went great and couldn't have gone any better. Logan is just beautiful and healthy. He is a little shy but at 16 months he should be Leary of us, after all we are complete strangers and I am sure we sounded funny talking to him in English :). I learned a few Russian words but boy is that a hard language to learn.

Our hotel was great we upgraded to a 3 room suite and all 3 rooms had air (we were definitely spoiling ourselves after that very rough 2 days of travel). Our other option was a shoe box with 2 single beds, we didn't want to go there. Our hotel was nice, it had everything that we needed right in it, 2 different restaurants, internet, a casino, a hair salon and a place to purchase air line tickets. I would stay there again if we needed to, Hotel Novokuznetska.

Alyona told us that her and Alex would be there to pick us up at 9:00 am so we got ready went and had some breakfast then we went downstairs to wait for them and of course they were right on time. Our ride took about an hour to get to the baby-house so we talked with our translator and took some pictures and video along the way. The driving in Novokuznetsk is something I would never want to try and I consider myself a good driver. To say the least passing someone at 90 MPH with barely enough room is a common practice there, SCARY!

We got to the baby-house at 10:00 and they told us they had to wake Logan up so it would be a minute, it was actually about 15 but who's counting. They brought him in and he looked so tired, his beautiful blue eyes were a little puffy. I went to take him and he got a little upset, it took a whole 5 seconds for him to be OK. He really did not want to do anything, no playing, babbling or smiling so after about 45 minutes of that I decided I would get him up and see how his walking skills where.

Logan can stand up perfectly straight and has great balance but he did not even know his little legs could move. I started putting my feet under his and lifting them up, one foot in front of the other, he was so cute he kept looking down and looking in the mirror it was like he just couldn't believe that they moved. It took only about 5 minutes and he was holding on with only one hand. Jeff decided it was his turn to try and after about 2 times around the room our little guy was ready to let go and that he did, he let go of Jeff's finger and took his first 3 steps into my arms, AHHHHHH MOTHERHOOD, that is a moment in time I will never forget. He wanted to keep going so we let him he was up to about 30 steps by himself, this really broke him out of his shell.

Logan was getting very tired so Jeff picked him up and we started to play
peek-a-boo, he loved it, the video is wonderful. We have him laughing, smiling looking for me and loving every minute of it. He is such a love, he wants to cuddle and be held, something of course they really do not have the time to do with these babies. I guess the baby-house he is in there are 400 children looking for families from age 9 months to 4 years, I am thankful we found each other. Logan started to babble a lot, we have him saying DA-DA, Jeff thinks he said DADA I think he said Da-Da, DA means yes in Russian and I was saying MA-MA to him so I think he was just agreeing with me ;). He started to tap on me when I was saying MA-MA and tap on himself when I said Logan, I was really working with him on that. The video we have is great and I think I could watch it everyday.

Of course we finally got him to open up to us and our visit was over, it was very hard to say good-bye to him but that means we are that much closer to court and bringing our baby home. We gave his care taker some disposable cameras to take pictures of him for us while we are gone, a photo album we made for him so hopefully he will recognize us when we return for him and we also asked them to please start calling him Logan instead of V, all of which they were happy to do. We gave our baby a lot of kisses and then they whisked him away.

The rest of the day we spent eating, checking out the city a little bit and getting some rest. I packed all of our stuff so we were ready to go in the morning. Our flight left Novokuznetsk at 7:00 am so Alyona and Alex were going to be there at 6:20 to pick us up. Of course we sent more pictures home and let everyone know how it had went. What an exciting day it was, my gosh our baby's first steps :). We just couldn't believe we had such a wonderful experience this time. All of translators and drivers were fantastic, the director of the baby-house and the lady from the MOE really care about these kids, what a difference from last time we traveled to meet a baby. Thank you Baylee for watching out for your Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July, 4th, 5th, & 6th, A Long 3 Days!

We traveled out of Detroit to Novokuznetsk, Siberia, Russia on Tuesday July 4th and landed in Novo at 6:10 am on Thursday, July 6th. I figured it out today that it was a grand total from the time we left our house until we got to our hotel to sleep was 35 1/2 hours, WOW what a couple of days. I was so extremely emotionally drained that I wasn't sure I was going to make it but I took long deep breaths and focused on V. Jeff was great and kept telling me it had been so long and this was everything that we had worked at for 2 years and I could do it :) he's great. Jeff had a little bit of claustrophobia on our last plane ride to Novo but he pulled through like a champ. The Siberia Airlines Plane was a joke it was like a long skinny tube at least 90 degree's and you were just stuffed in there on top of each-other, not fun.

Our driver and translator in Moscow and Novo are wonderful. Oksana picked us up with our driver Dimitri and took us to a hotel in Moscow to take a shower and stretch out, we had a 7 hours lay-over there before we departed for Novo. It was the best thing in the world to be able to relax before getting on the 3rd plane ride, we had about 2 1/2 hours in the hotel before we had to leave for the next leg. Siberia Airlines was an experience in it's self. The airport in Novo was a small building where I had to pay 5 rubles to use the bathroom, my first Russian souvenir a receipt for the toilet, LOL.

Our Translator Alyona met us at the airport with our driver, Alex. Alex is a crazy driver but we made it, Thanks Alex. Alyona was wonderful and spoke very good English, we did not have any trouble understanding her. Alyona teaches English to adults mostly and some children. They took us to our hotel and then came back for us about 1 1/2 hours later to take us to meet V. When we got to the baby-house we had to wait about 30 minute for Dr. Lubmilla, she is the director of the baby-house and she really cares about these children. In the meantime the lady from the MOE was there and started telling us a little about V so when Lubmilla got there she only had to go over the medical with us. V is just perfect and healthy just typical Orphanage delays. He is like a bud waiting to bloom that will open once we get him home.

Dr Lubmilla got there and started going over V's medical right away, after about 10 minute of going over the medical the office door opened and they placed this little guy down in the middle of the room all by himself. He just stood there staring at all of us so I asked if I could go over and they all said of course. I walked over to V and started talking to him, he got a little upset so I picked him up and then he was fine. It was a moment I will never forget getting to hold OUR SON for the very first time. Jeff and I thought he was adorable in his referral photo but he is sooooooooooo much cuter in person.

They took us into a different room where we got to spend about 2 hours with him. He is so reserved and was scared at first but he did start to play with some of the toys we had brought for him. Alyona finally got him to smile almost at the end of our visit. It made me feel really good that when his care-taker came in for him he didn't want to leave my arms, AHHHHHH what a feeling, he just wants LOVE. Before we left they asked if we wanted to adopt him and we said "yes, of course". There were 2 other families that came while we were there one of them was Tracie and her husband who I have emailed back & forth a few times, it was nice to see her and the translator form Kemerovo. They would be able to take our paper's with them and they would go to the court on Friday so we signed away and sent them, that made us days closer to that court date.

We left the baby-house so excited and couldn't believe that we had just met our son who we decided to name Logan, so V is now Logan. It was all worth it, every last second spent trying to get to him. We were so exhausted so we stopped and got some water and pop, went back to our room and slept from 2:30 to 9 pm. When we got up we decided to go downstairs and take some pictures outside, went into the internet room in our hotel and sent some emails and pictures to our family. We went back to bed at about 12.

That was the end of our first day in Novo. I will write another post about our next visit later, I am still trying to recover from some jet-lag, so off to bed I go.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

July 4th, What a day!

Today I said farewell to the most beautiful, best dog in the world, my beloved Baylee, she was 13 ½ years old (85 in people years). Last night when I was dropping her off at my Mom’s she started to bleed so I took her to the emergency vet, they informed me that she had a ruptured tumor and they needed to operate. I got the call at about 12:30 that her surgery went well and she was recovering nicely, then this morning they called me back telling me that she had taken a turn for the worst but she was OK. Jeff said we should take a ride to see her just in case something happened while we were gone. We went to the vet and they took us into a room to tell us that just a minute before we got there she had passed away. This day is definitely bitter sweet we left on a plane at 4:05 pm to go meet V the little boy we hope to adopt and at the same time I cannot stop the tears for Baylee.

It always seems like nothing in my life ever comes easy, it seems like there is always a give and take. I know Jeff and I have a great life and Baylee was going to go sooner or later because of her age but gosh today of all days, I was not prepared for her parting us at all. When we got to my Moms you would have never known anything was ever wrong with her she was running around like a puppy but I guess her old heart could just not take the surgery and it was her turn to go, I just wish I could have seen her one last time before she left us.

I will always have a special place in my heart for her and fond memories, she truly was THE BEST DOG IN THE WORLD!

Monday, July 3, 2006

24 hours to go!

In 24 hours we will be driving to the airport to get on that long plane ride to go meet V. I cannot wait, the anxiety is getting to both of us a little. I cannot even begin to explain the feelings I am having, Love, stress, anxiety, excitement and the list can go on and on, 2 days with him is just not going to be enough. We will take lots of video and pictures to get us through the next couple of months until court and we can go and bring him home. I am still in AWWW that in just 3 days we will get to meet V, I cannot wait to hold him, I hope he likes us :).

We do have all day on Saturday to spend in Moscow, we have a room there and are going to try and do some sight-seeing. A couple of the places we are going to try and visit are Red Square, The Kremlin and St Basil Cathedral. I wonder if we will be able to do all of that in a day. We are going to meet another couple from our agency in Moscow for Dinner on Saturday night, they come in when we are leaving. They are going to meet a 9 month old little boy who is just a doll, I hope things go well for them. They have been trying to adopt almost as long as Jeff and I and have had a pretty miserable experience also.

Any ways, I am not going to say much more because I would just be rambling. I will try and update while in Moscow, if I can't I'll see you all when we get home.