Saturday, September 30, 2006

Our Trip Home

Well, we made it! It took us 2 different planes and about 19 hours to get home but we all made it in one piece and with all of our luggage, amazing. We flew Delta this time and Jeff and I both preferred Northwest. The nice thing is, is that Delta and NW are sky partners so we got to transfer our miles to NW so we should get a free flight out of all the travel we have did over-seas now.

I think for everything our little chicken man has been through in the least week he did a great job on the planes. We had one melt down and that is when we started to descend into Atlanta coming from Moscow, the poor baby was asleep and his ears popped and he woke up scared and in pain. I did everything I could to get him to suck on a bottle, nook or his thumb but he was not having any part of it. He finally got startled by the kid behind us and took a deep breath and popped his ears open. I felt so bad not being able to comfort him but as soon as his ears opened up he fell right back to sleep. He fell asleep on the way home from the airport and slept the whole night from about 11 pm to 8:30 am.

We were on the plane and I was up waiting for the rest-room and I looked back and there was Jeff standing there holding Logan and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I couldn't believe there was my great husband holding our son. This man had taken us over 5000 miles to find our son. We have been trying to start a family for almost 5 years now and it was really something to see my family right in front of my eyes, it truly was a WONDERFUL SIGHT!

It is great to be home with him and it all feels so surreal still. I will update while he naps (if he naps) he does not like to nap, everything is so new and he does not want to miss anything. We have limited his toys and no TV, he gets overstimulated so easy because he had such a simple life before.

We are family!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Moscow, The Last Stop

We are in Moscow until Thursday the 28th. Today we had our last legal bit of paperwork to do at the American Embassy. Nothing that bad just a few signatures and we had to be sworn in. We had our appointment at the Embassy for 2PM with about 15 other families adopting from different agencies but because of the little chicken man they wanted us to come at 2:45 after the rush. It worked out to our benefit because we got right in signed our papers got Logan's entry papers and Visa and we were off, a total of about 25 minutes.

I was going through all of our documents and there really is a lot of cool stuff in there. We have a new Birth Certificate that has Jeff and I listed as the parents. We have a lot of info on his Birth-Mother for him, I think it is great just in case he wishes to find her one day. I know a lot of people ask questions about why he was given up for adoption and we have decided that is pretty personal information that only Logan and us have the right to know, so we will not be sharing that info with anyone. Also, it is funny to me when people say, were are his real parents, well that would be Jeff and I, the only REAL family that he will ever know. It takes more than just giving birth to be a parent, believe me I know a lot of people that have given birth and should not have custody of the child/ren.

Today before our Embassy visit the Chicken Man and I went for a walk while Daddy took a shower, Logan loves it outside and was getting very restless. He sits in his stroller just looking around and kicking his legs, he also gets very vocal. He does not say a lot, he has learned how to say Mama and Dada and yesterday he learned how to say hi. My mom wanted to say hi to him so I put the phone up to his ear and now he walks around putting his hand up to his ear and says eye (hi), it is just to darn cute. He will be strolling down the street just waiving hi and saying eye, love him!

After our Embassy visit the 3 of us walked down to K,L&J's and we took a stroll down Old Arbat street. It is really cool, a lot of local artist, musicians and shops and of course out of all of the great restaurants all of us Americans wanted McDonald's, there is nothing like a quarter pounder w/cheese to make you feel at home again :). The guys went into this store where Daddy found his boy a Russian hockey jersey and this lady came walking out telling Kim and I congratulations on our adoptions, she said she knows that it is a difficult thing and she was very happy for us, we were very taken back by this because this is not the normal feeling around here. Who knows maybe she once placed a child for adoption but she was very excited for us, it really made both of us feel great. It is strange here nothing is kept cold, even the milk and yogurt can be bought warm, ugh, that's just nasty. Tomorrow we have our last day here and no appointments so we are going to take a walk to Red Square to get some pictures of Logan, I just want to let him run around the park on some grass, I cannot wait to see the look on his face when he touches it for the first time, of course it is nothing like the carpet his Daddy keeps at home but it will do for now.

We have really been trying not to over-stimulate him, which is not easy to do he has had such a structured life and very little activity so I am sure just walking down these busy streets are a lot for him. We have kept his toys to just a few board books, stacking cups and a musical toy, he loves music. The T.V. and radio have been pretty much off. We are having some poop problems so tonight we changed his diet to some very blan things, oatmeal or rice cereal mixed w/apple sauce, banana, Cheerios and he is taking some soy formula, no more apples juice for him, I know he will be upset about this because he loves his juice (even though it really is mostly water), I pray it works.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Little Chicken Man

Poor baby, our little guy has developed the Chicken Pox. We had been told that there was an outbreak at the baby-house but had not seen any children with the Chicken Pox. We did get very lucky to get him out of the baby-house before he developed a rash or we would not have been aloud to take him. I guess they put the children in a 21-day quarantine, could you imagine, Jeff and I being pronounced his parents and then not being able to take him for 3 more weeks. I think we would have died, we would have had to leave Russia and come back for a 3rd trip, YIKES!

We are heading back to Moscow on Sunday and are supposed to do our medical exams on Monday. I think we may have to wait until Weds because they are not going to allow us to take him out of the country with the poxs. My Mom called us and she looked them up on the Internet, she said they are actually only contagious for the 2 days before the rash and only if you touch an oozing blister after that, I never knew that it was an air-born illness. Thank God I packed the Caladryl, I am not sure why but I am sure glad I did. I am bummed because we have to keep him inside and away from Jackson, we really wanted to let them play together but we do not want to get him sick.

Well, I got thrown into motherhood with a sick baby and I think Jeff and I are doing OK. Despite him not feeling very well and being taken away from everything he knows he did give us some smiles and laughs. He ate well, but don’t let anyone tell you an orphan will eat anything he tried everything but he did not care for the Apple Cinnamon oatmeal I brought but ate up the meat and potatoes baby food I bought here. He is still on pretty much all pureed food so we will stick with that until we get home. He did not gorge and stopped eating once he was full, good thing because I have no idea how much to feed him. J

He played with some toys and of course got a little over-stimulated so Mommy (that would be me J) picked him up and took the toys away and we just talked well, I talked and he listened, he is not very vocal but I am sure having a mommy that talks as much as I do will change that. I rocked him to sleep and he took a nap for about 2 hours. Now bedtime was a little different. He of course was scared and really did not want to go in the playpen to sleep, he wanted to just lay on me or sleep in the bed next to me, I let him fall a sleep on me then I tried to move him and he woke up, he did finally fall to sleep hard enough that I got him in the playpen and that is were he still is. I put him down about 9:30 and it is 7:15 so he is doing pretty well. He sleeps like a Tornado, he moves around so much, just like his Daddy.

I still cannot believe we have our baby, someone pinch me, I think I may be dreaming!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

After suffering from what I thought was anxiety for 2 days it turns out I had the flu and I was down until the day we left, I spent the last 3 days before we left for Russia in bed. I had things that had to be done like packing our clothes, last minute things we needed for our trip. I did manage to get most of them done but I didn’t get the house cleaned like I wanted to, oh well, it could have been worse. I did forget a few things but nothing of importance more just for convenience. I wanted to bring some movies to pass the time but I forgot my DVD case that was lying right next to my suitcases. I forgot panty-hose to wear with my skirt for court. It could have been a lot worse, at least I remembered everything that I wanted to bring for Logan beside the lovie I bought for him a while back that I have been sleeping with.

It was funny when we were checking in at the airport in Detroit we started talking to these older women in line in front of us and they asked if we were going for a vacation or work and Jeff told them we needed to pick someone up to fill our stroller. One of them got it right away and the other it took her a second but it was very funny, leave it to my witty husband J.

We met up with Kim and Lance in Kemerovo on Wednesday morning, we did see them for about 15 minutes in Moscow but they had to take a different airline to Kemerovo because Aeroflot was full. We had thought we would meet up with them in New York and fly to Moscow but the ended up getting a direct flight from Atlanta. WOW, that flight from New York to Moscow was soooooo long, Jeff and I decided we really liked flying to Amsterdam having a short lay-over and then on to Moscow it really just breaks the flight up nice 11 hours straight is really yucky and on the way home it is going to be like 13, YIKES!

When we landed in Kemerovo on Weds. morning our translator Svetlana was at the airport waiting for us and Kim and Lance came in about 30 minutes behind us so we just waited for them. While waiting I started asking questions about when we will go and see our boys, we had hoped that same day because our flights came in so early but we just were not sure. Svetlana said not until either after court on Thursday or Friday morning if court took to long. Well there was no way that we had just traveled that long and not seen them for 11 weeks that we wanted to wait until Friday so I started to beg to please take us today. Well she pulled it off, THANKS, Svetlana!!!!!!

On Wednesday afternoon they picked us up and we drove for 3 hours to go see our boys. Last time we came to meet Logan we stayed in Novokuznetsk, this time we had to stay in Kemerovo because that is where court is and it is a long drive. Novo is a city in the state of Kemerovo, like Detroit is a city in the state of Michigan. When we got to the baby-house after a very bumpy ride we just could not wait to see them. They brought Jack in first, that is the K & Ls son, he is just a cutie, of course I was dying to see Logan and a few seconds later they opened the door and there he stood holding the finger of his care taker. It was great to see him walking by himself. Poor baby, he took one look at us and got all scared, like who the heck are all of these people. He started to cry so I just picked him up and loved on him, after a few seconds he stopped crying, he knows that in the baby-house crying does not get you any where so why bother, well we hope that changes fast.

Dr. Lubmilla only let us spend about an hour with them because she knows it is a long drive back and she wanted us fresh for court Thursday morning. None of us cared at least we were with our sons and able to love on them for a few minutes, 11 weeks is a very long time to not see your baby. Logan didn’t seem to be feeling very well but he warmed up to us much faster than last time. Once I started tapping on my chest with his hand and saying Mama a light turned on and I think he remembered me, after that he was smiling and laughing very easily. He is so darn cute. I think he may have lost a few pounds since our last visit, I know once they learn to walk they usually loose a few and I think maybe the Chicken Pox may have gotten him also, poor baby.

Our visit with the boys went fast but it sure was great to hold them, the 6 hour round trip drive, 16 hours in air, 14 hours of layovers and the 12 hour time change seems like nothing, he is definitely worth every once of jet lag. J

Ready For Court?

All we could do was be our selves and try to be as honest as possible and it worked. We had court on Thursday September 21st at 10:00 AM along with K&L. Of course our agency didn’t care who went first so the only logical thing to do was flip a coin. We both wanted to get it done and over with, you see, both of our families have been trying to adopt for 2 years now and this was it, it was going to be over after court. Jeff flipped, Lance called and they won, bummer for us but there court proceedings lasted a whole 25 minutes and they were pronounced the legal parents of their son and then it was our turn. It has been so wonderful being here with them, we met them on trip one.
Kim and I had chatted a few times online and made plans to meet up for dinner in Moscow on our way out of Russia as they were coming in. We had a feeling we would be traveling back together and that is exactly what has happened. Kim and I have talked on the phone at least once a week since we got home and I know we have built a lifelong friendship, besides our boys are from the same place and it will be nice for them to be able to share that growing up.

We walked in nervous as hell, although we we’re well prepared by Svetlana, the outcome of our families future was in a judges hands who we could not understand, Svetlana did an awesome job of translating everything for us. The courtroom consisted of the judge, a prosecutor, the court reporter and the social worker we met on our first trip that both of our families have affectionately nicknamed Stinky, J she actually is a very nice Russian woman with some really bad BO and a lot of gold teeth, we are told in Russia that is a sign of power, I would rather not have the power and stick with the white ones. J

Any ways, court was quick and painless, it lasted about 20-25 minutes and they pronounced Jeff and I the legal parents of Logan Vladimir Jarema. They waived the
10- day waiting period because of a Chicken Pox outbreak at the baby-house. What does that mean? Well, Jeff and I get to go pick up Logan first thing in the morning on Friday along with K&L. Ours and our sons life is going to be forever changed at about 10:00 am on Friday, September 22, 2006.

Look, there’s our lucky number 22 again.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Leaving On A Jet Plane!!!!!!!

I can't believe it we finally got the call and so here the story goes.

I had just went to bed and about 10 minutes later I heard the phone ringing at 1:00 am I seen a 415 area code and I new either it was good or very bad. Well it was GREAT, Elina was on the line telling me that our release letter has arrived and she asked if we could be in Russia for a court date on the 21st, I said of September and she said yes so I replied, of course, yes we would move heaven and earth to be there to get our son. Well that is only a week away and in order for us to make it we would have to leave by Monday. On Thursday September 21st Jeff and I will be the proud parents of Logan Vladimir Jarema, DOB March 13, 2005. I wish I could attach a couple of photo's but it is against Russian law so I will wait just a few more days.

I could not fall a sleep so I started making calls to the airlines and got our tickets book. There were still Visa's, airline tickets needed in Russia and a hotel/apartment. I got it all done, by 6:30 pm I had all of our stuff booked Passports in the mail to get our Visa's. We did an urgent Visa and they are being shipped Fed Ex so please Fed Ex don't screw anything up. I just got our air tickets in the mail so that is all set now but please pray that our Passports are back on Saturday.

Of course I was so tired, I had only slept from about 5 am to 7:10 am. I took a sleeping pill at about 6:30 Thursday night and slept from 7:00 pm until 5:00am Wednesday morning and the race was on again. I have to do laundry and get everything ready for our son and us, we will be gone about 10 days. Thank God I did get most of the house ready for him while in my nesting stage (the last 4 1/2 years, LOL). I will try and update our blog while in Russia but we may have our hands full with our adorable little guy.

We leave Detroit on Monday September 18th arrive in Kemerovo, Russia on Wednesday the 20th at 5:50 am. I think we will get to go see Logan that day and then we have court on the 21st. I pray they waive the 10 day waiting period so we get out of there on time if not we may not be back until sometime in October. As of now we should be home on September 28th. Everyone please say prayers that our 10 days gets waived and we can pick Logan up right after court.

Jeff and I have been through so much tyring to have a baby, I just cannot believe we are really going to be parents, WOW. Did I mention just how adorable he is, if not he is just the most beautiful baby I have ever seen :)

Monday, September 4, 2006

OK, I know I have not posted in a while but it's because not much has been going on. Jeff and I are both moody and really want to go get Logan. It has been 8 weeks since we signed those papers petitioning the court for the adoption and it feels like there is no end in sight. I was told at the begging of August not to expect court until September and now of course it's September and I was told most likely not until October. I am not sure how much more of the waiting I can take, I just wish our baby was home with us getting all the love and nourishment he needs. I just wish they could give us a court date even if it is not for 6 more weeks, at least we would know something, this not knowing is for the birds:(

Ally, at our agency asked me to DHL (I know not UPS but UPS does not go to Russia) the last of our Dossier over to Kemerovo, they have started to translate our documents so that is good and I really think our letter will be back in the next week. The only thing they need from us is our medical, we had to wait to last minute because it is only good for 3 months, so please pray hard that they do not expire because if they do that means it would be like 5 months after our first visit and I will seriously have to be put in a rubber room to bounce off of some walls for a while if it takes that long for us to bring our baby home. This is all so unfair for the children to have to sit there and wait for their families to come back and bring them home, how is this for the best interest of the children, have someone come and love you for a couple of days and then not see them again for OH LETS SAY 4 MONTHS.

We met a couple in Moscow, Kim and Lance who are adopting from the same baby-house and they had one document that has to go also so we are splitting the cost, which is nice because it is so darn expensive to ship over-sea's. Kim and I have become friends and try and talk once a week, we know exactly what the other is going through, we are at the same point in our journey, waiting for court. They went to Russia to meet their son Jackson as Jeff and I left the country. I really hope and pray that we all will be traveling together, most likely we will.

Any ways, that is the last that I heard, not to expect court until October, it has to be then, if not we will fall into the Holidays and we probably would not get to go back until after the first of the year and I know my heart or mind could not take that. As soon as I know something I will post it. I hope everyone had a great Holiday weekend, until next time.