Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WE ARE HOME!

We made it home safe and sound about 9:30 PM last night!! It was a trip to remember and nothing I want to do anytime too soon. But we all made it and are home together as a family. Thanks for all the prayer! I will update about our trip later.

I am so happy to be home, but at the same time so sad to be missing my sister's wedding today. :( I can't believe I won't be there. But, I am so excited for her, Bobby, Kyndall and Megan. I am so happy they will all be together as a family!

Monday, December 29, 2008

To God be the Glory!!!

We got a call at 8:15 AM this morning from M saying that we weren't going to be able to get our Embassy appointment today! One of us has to stay an extra day with Vera. M said that there was no one high enough up at the Embassy toda to give approval for us to have our appointment today, they were all on vacation. The person that M spoke to said that it wasn't worth us going to the Embassy personally to plead our case because there was no one to plead it to. So, Ryan starts checking into what our options are. Our flight out of Russia is through BMI and they don't have a 24 hour phone line, so we really couldn't do anything until 4 PM today. So, we both needed to go to the Embassy to fill out a Power of Attorney form giving each other the ability to make decisions for the other. We weren't sure yet who would be staying with Vera.

We had to get ready right away. It seems there are only short periods of time that you are able to do things at the Embassy. We had to get our power of attornies done, so M could submit our paperwork by 11 AM. We wake Kiara up, thankfully, I had already fed Vera. We get everyone bundled up and we are off to the Embassy. About a third of the way there, I realize I didnt' bring my purse with our passports in it! So, Ryan goes back to get it and the girls and I keep going towards the Embassy. We wait in M's car until Ryan gets back and then go inside the Embassy. We get in line and ask for the form and then sit to fill it out. Ryan has a question about the form, so when he does that he also asks who we would talk to about our appointment. The man is off to find out who. While he is gone, we sign our forms in front of another man, Christopher. He asks how our adoption process is going. Ryan said fine until you guys weren't open yesterday. He explains that the Embassy wasn't open basically because President Bush gave everyone the day off, which we already knew. We start probably talking jibberish to him and he says, now explain to me what you are trying to do. So, I do that without crying, which is a miracle at this point. He says let me go look into that. He comes back 10 minutes later and says you have an appointment today at 2 PM! What! I really thought it was a lost cause to say anything, but thought we had to try! Ryan is the man!

I will write more later, but wanted to update everyone! We are all 4 coming home tomorrow!! Praise the Lord!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008...


We all slept well last night. Ryan was up for 4 hours, but got plenty of sleep, hours wise. Vera slept from 9 PM to 9 AM. I have been telling people she is so easy to put down to sleep, but I think I might have spoke too soon. She was fighting it tooth and nail today for both of her naps! I think now that she feels better she isn't as tired and I think she feels a lot more comfortable with us. All in all, she is a joy! She has the sweetest smile and I love it when she reaches her arms up for me. I can't wait for everyone to meet her.
Today we were around the apartment until after Vera's second nap. Ryan took the girls to the other apartment to do laundry and so I could do some Body Step. What a great husband! Time by myself and he is doing laundry...you can't beat that!

After Vera's nap, we headed out for dinner and a little shopping. Ryan had seen a restaurant on Old Arbat that had a picture of Uncle Sam. I even found their website on the internet, it is called the Uncle Sam Cafe. This sounded pretty American friendly! We got there and it is a pretty small place. There is basically one booth right as you go in and then you either go downstairs to the bar area or upstairs to more seating. Since we had the stroller, we just took the first booth right inside. Our waitress came and I asked if they had an English menu. She said that they didn't! What? You are the Uncle Sam Cafe and you don't have an English menu...that makes no sense to me! She did go and get a big picture menu and it did have English on it, so I guess that is okay. We ordered chicken fingers, french fries and the Super Sam pizza. It was all very good, I would recommend it if you will be in Moscow. They have 2 or 3 other locations in Moscow and I think those places have bigger menus.
Then, we stopped at a sovenior shop and bought Vera a nesting doll. I bought a bunch of them on the last trip, but didn't ever get one for her! Ooops! We also bought a set of 3 Christmas ornaments that have famous buildings in Moscow painted on them. I bought each of the girls an amber bracelet that I plan on giving to them when they get older and can appreciate them more.

Next, it was off to the toy store. There is a toy store in the basement of where we went to the grocery store on our first trip and we had always wanted to check it out. It was a lot bigger than I thought and it had everything. It was like a Babies R' Us. Then, off to the fancy grocery store at the other end of Novy Arbat that I had heard about from many people. I had to check it out before we left Moscow. You go into this really nice looking department store, I really felt like we didn't belong, and go to the basement. The store was beautiful. It even has a fountain thing in the middle of it. It seemed more like a specialty store. Every section seemed to sell specialty items. They had some staples, but not like the other grocery stores. I was panicking a little when I didn't think they had any soda, but Ryan found it for me!

Vera was a trooper through the whole night. She was in the big snowsuit and in the umbrella stroller. When we were in the sovenior store, she was being so loud! When we were at the toy store, a lady stopped Ryan and wanted to take a picture of Vera. Then, she gave her camera to her friend and knelt down by Vera to get a picture with Vera! She was really nice, but it was so strange!

Tomorrow, we are going to trek to Red Square to get the famous picture in front of Saint Basil's. Let's hope everyone is in a good mood!
Here is a picture of 2 of my favorite things in Russia! I don't know what they are called, but they are soooo good! I am going to bring as much of each of them back with me as I can, so maybe I will share a few if you want to try them!

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 26, 2008...

Not much happened today besides my previous post. Vera and I got up at 8 AM and I fed her and put her back down for a nap at 9:45 AM. The other 2 didn't get up until 10:30 AM! We all had a great night of sleep last night. It is so nice that we all got one on the same night. Vera only took an hour nap. I fed her lunch and then we all headed over to the other apartment to do laundry. Vera took another hour nap while we were over there and I worked on my Body Step routine. Then, it was back to the apartment for me to shower and Ryan made dinner. Vera took another hour nap while we were at the apartment.

After dinner we headed over to our friend's apartment for dessert. They graciously fed us cookies and hot cocoa. The boys and Kiara played the Wii. I think they might have got Kiara and Ryan addicted! They had a lot of fun. It was good to get our of our normal routine and do something different. Vera enjoyed her time, too. She was loving all the people and commotion and was even contributing to it. It was so nice to be able to meet their new son and for them to meet Vera. He is absolutely adorable! I think he helped teach Vera how to drink out of her sippy cup! Yay! She really hasn't drank much at all, so now she is downing the watered down juice. I am expecting a very wet diaper in the morning!

Houston...we may have a problem!

M just called and said that for some reason the US Embassy here in Moscow just decided to take an extra day off! M had asked them personally if they would be open on December 26th and I had sent them an email and this is the response I got:


Mr. and Mrs. Wolland,

Thank you for your inquiry. Please be advised that the US Embassy Moscow will be closed only on December 25. We will be open on December 26, and December 29.

Sincerely, Immigrant Visa Unit US Embassy Moscow, Russia
www.usembassy.ru

M will ask the Embassy on Monday morning if she can present our papers right then and we can have our appointment on the same day. Typically, the papers are presented the day before the appointment. If that doesn't work, Ryan will go there personally to ask. So, pray that they will have mercy on us so that we don't have to try and change our airline tickets.

I think Ryan is going to write our US Representative in case we need a little help convincing the Embassy. I feel like I should be shocked that this happened, but I really am not surprised. Nothing in this process surprises me anymore. You can prepare as much as possible and things can still not go right.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Very, Merry, POOPY Christmas!

Oh, yes...Vera has made it a very memorable Christmas in more than one way! It has been great that we have been able to spend this Christmas with Vera. I thought we would have to wait to spend Christmas with our second child until Christmas 2009, so it has been a blessing to have her for this Christmas. But, she has made this Christmas even more memorable than I could have imagined...

Vera slept much better last night and so did Ryan. She did wake up twice, but once was because she had fallen asleep on me after the first time she woke up and I was trying to lay her back down.

We had been told that a doctor would come to examine Vera this morning between 8 and 8:30 AM. Well, at 7:45 AM the front door phone is ringing because the doctor is here and buzzing us to let him in! Ryan is still in a towel. I have just gotten up and Vera has just woken up. Kiara is still sleeping. So, I grab Vera and change her diaper and Ryan puts some clothes on and runs down 4 flights of stairs to let the doctor in. He was not at all what I expected. I thought it was Geraldo Rivera plus 15 pounds! Plus, he had this long haired fur coat on, it was just the funniest sight.

By now, Kiara is up and we use her magic bed to do Vera's examine. It was a pretty normal once over like a child would get at a well child visit. I have read several blogs that have used this same doctor and it was funny to me because he said a lot of the same things to me that others have said he said at their child's visit. He said that Vera must have been one of the favorites at the orphanage because she seems very healthy. He also told Ryan he will need to get a shot gun and put it by the door to keep the boys away. I think he must say these same things almost every time! Vera hated the whole thing and basically cried through the whole experience. But, no more than 20 minutes later, he was out the door.

So, Ryan fed Vera and I got the Christmas stuff ready. Kiara could hardly wait! I had gotten each of the girls a small stocking and one gift. Santa is visiting our house on New Year's Eve this year since we were out of town. ;)
Next, Ryan had to leave to meet V & C to go pick up Vera's passport. So, while he was gone, I put Vera down for a nap and gave Kiara a bath. Shortly after he returned, they came to tell us they aren't going to be able to fix our washing machine before we leave. So, we now have the key to an apartment right across the street and will go over there to use the washing machine.

Vera took a 3 hour nap and woke up without a temperature even after her medicine had worn off. This morning she still had a temperature of 101 degrees. I was so happy that she felt better. We fed her lunch, played a little, and by that time you could tell that it was time for her to have another nap. So, down she went for another hour. Ryan ended up sleeping during that time to on the floor in the living room! Vera got up and I gave her her first bath. She did pretty well. She didn't love it, but she didn't cry much. It was funny because she didn't know what was dripping from her head, she kept trying to grab whatever it was! So, once we were done with that, we woke up Ryan and got ready for our Christmas dinner.

Here are my cuties in their matching Christmas outfits.
Where do Americans who are in Russia on Christmas eat their Christmas dinner....McDonald's, of course! We made our first trek out in Moscow with 2 kids to eat at the golden arches. Our cheap umbrella stroller on slushy Moscow streets isn't the best combination, but probably better than carrying the bundle of joy all the way there and back! So, I have to back up a little. Vera had yet to do #2 since we have had custody of her. For lunch, I fed her about a half of jar of prunes to help the process along a little. After her second nap, we were yet to see any progress, so I fed her the rest of the jar of prunes for her snack. Can you see where I am going with this??

So, back to Micky D's...Ryan goes up to order and me and the girls find a table. A nice employee comes and asks if I want a high chair for Vera, which I was surprised they even had. So, we tried that out and she sat well in it. We eat our dinner and I give Vera a few Gerber Puffs that are broken in half. (For those of you out of the loop on baby food, these things basically melt in your mouth.) Vera proceeds to cough a little when she eats one. She eats a few more and then basically sounds like she is coughing up a lung! She scares the begebbers out of me, so we are done with Puffs until we get home! Ryan comments that he thinks everyone is looking at us because we have a baby at McDonald's. I haven't seen another baby there any of the times we have been there. I said that I would be looking at us too, if someone's child was coughing like that, I don't think it was just because we are Americans or had a baby with us!

Now it is time to put Vera back in her snowsuit and make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home. I pick her up out of her seat and....you guessed it, she waited to have her first bowel movement until we took her out in public and of course it is a blowout! H & C, you are very lucky that lady brought us the highchair, or I would have still had Vera sitting in the umbrella stroller not all the way out of the very cute snowsuit you loaned us! I am so grateful that the snowsuit was spared! At this point, I am not sure if I can even get Vera to the bathroom without getting it all over me. It smelled putrid! So, I grab the diaper and the wipes, hold her under her arms and head for the bathroom. In Russia, they don't have the convienent changing tables that we have in America, so I go into a normal stall. Luckily, the stall walls go closer to the floor than I am use to and it already smells horrible in the McDonald's bathroom. I use all the wipes I have but one. Luckily, they have toliet seat lids, so after I get most of the poop off of her, I am able to sit her on there to put her diaper on. I throw away her socks and pants. It was her Christmas outfit that matches Kiara's, but at least I took a couple pictures before we left the apartment! There is a trash can in the stall, so the poor person who chooses to use that stall! So, I take her out of the restroom in only her top and diaper. I am sure all the Russian people were looking at me like the worst mother in the world since they bundle their children up SO much! But, luckily, we brought her in a warm snowsuit that even has booties, so she is still toasty warm for her ride home. And, she was kicking her legs all the way home, so she probably felt a lot better! I had thought earlier in the day that she would probably wait until we went out to poop, but I didn't imagine it would be that bad! At least it wasn't on the airplane, I can't imagine that smell in an enclosed space. Pray that it doesn't happen on the plane!
She does look like she is concentrating awfully hard!
After the blowout!

Once we get home, I give Vera her second bath and finish feeding her dinner. We call our families to wish them a Merry Christmas and then it is obvious that it is time for Vera to go to bed. She feels a bit warmer so I want to take her temperature. We have just been taking her temperature with an ear thermometer, but she absolutely hates it! We have to hold her down to do it and she gets so worked up! Her temperature was 100.2 degrees, which is up a bit, but not as high as it has been. So, we give her Motrin and she is off to bed. The 3 of us left awake played a game of Old Maid and are now trying to recover from the tramatic exerience! Oh, what a night!

After all that happened, I totally forgot to get a picture of the 4 of us together on Christmas! :( I guess we will have to do that tomorrow and count that as our Christmas picture.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008...

Sorry, no long post today. :( Vera still has her temperature, but slept relatively well considering. She is in a good mood when the medicine takes her temperature down.

M came to do the Embassy paperwork with us.

We stayed in all day except for Ryan going to get us pizza at Sbarro for dinner.

Vera keeps me on my toes! She gets into everything! I don't remember Kiara being like that.

Tomorrow around 8 AM the doctor comes to our apartment for her Embassy physical. Then, Ryan is leaving around 10 AM to go pick up Vera's Russian passport. It will be a Christmas like no other, that is for sure.

I wish everyone a wonderful and memorable Christmas. We are missing our families, especially today and tomorrow. We love you all and will see you real soon! Don't forget the Reason for the Season! Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

GOTCHA DAY!!!!!!!!!!

It finally happened! Vera is in our arms forever! It makes me want to cry just typing it! She has been wonderful! I am amazed how happy she has been.
But first...back to the beginning of the day. We knew that our driver was taking the family we had dinner with the night before to pick up their son before he came to get us. They had estimated that he would pick us up around 11:30 AM. We have been having problems with people in Russia being able to call us, so we called him at 11:30 and he said it would be half an hour. Then, Ryan called to tell our apartment people that our washing machine wasn't working. They said they would send someone to our apartment. I had forgotten someone was coming when our doorbell rang. A Russian woman comes in and goes over to our washer. She knows no English. I think she thought that we thought that the machine was suppose to dry our clothes because she was pointing to the drying rack. She did a few things and then moved the machine away from the wall a bit and out drops the belt. Oops, maybe that was what happened when the machine smelled like it was on fire! So, she knew what the problem was then. She made a phone call and then said she was going to clean our apartment. We waited a little longer an called M at 12:15 PM, he said 15 more minutes. I would go between being extremely nervous to extremely excited. I just wanted to get this process going! So, M got here at 12:30 PM and we were off. It was the quickest trip to the orphanage we have had, I think it only took 30 minutes!

We all go into the orphanage, put on our booties and wait in the orange room. M is gone for awhile and then has us come into the next room to sign something. It was like a ledger thing and Ryan and I signed in the same box. I noticed that the lady had dated under our signature 12/24/2008. So, we sit in the orange room again. There are a bunch of ladies in the next room talking loudly and I notice Vera's doctor come in and out once. I was worried something was wrong, this wasn't like anyone else's experience I had heard about picking up their child in this orphanage. M comes in and says that Vera has a cold and they are trying to figure out if we will take her today or tomorrow. WHAT?! I was like, okay, we have gone by your rules, now it is our turn! She is legally ours! Do you not think that we can take care of our sick child? (Don't worry, I only said that stuff to Ryan.) M came back again and said that they are giving Vera medicine and we need to wait 15 minutes until it takes her temperature down. Okay...we can breath again...but, I wasn't going to feel okay until she was in my arms.

Anxiously waiting to get Vera!

Quicker than we thought, they brought her down. The lady wanted me to change her clothes. I had always heard that the caregivers change their clothes, so I was very nervous trying to get Vera's clothe off with the lady looking! As soon as I had her clothes off, she took them and was gone. So, I put her into the outfit I brought, which fit perfectly. It was an old one of Kiara's and looked adorable on her. Then, I had to put the required snowsuit on her, poor thing. But, thanks to H and little C, we have the cutest snowsuit around! M took our suitcase full of gifts and gave them to someone! Who knows what person got what! Oh, well, at least I have an empty suitcase now! In Russia, they don't open gifts in front of you, so we wouldn't have seen anyone's reaction to opening them anyway.
Next, as we go out the door, I notice Vera's doctor is in the hallway watching us leave and I can tell she looks sad. So, I stop to let her kiss Vera goodbye and I tell her thank you. I could tell she cared for Vera very much. We took a quick picture in front of the orphange and we are in the van. It was emotional for me as we drove away from the orphanage. We are taking Vera away from everything and everyone she has ever known.
By this time, it is Vera's nap time and she looks tired and probably doesn't feel well. She is so good and just sits there. She isn't as wide eyed as I thought she would be, but she is probably too tired to care about this whole new world she is seeing. I eventually take her hat off of her and she is sooo sweaty. I should have taken it off earlier. We stop to get her picuture taken for her passport and the US Embassy. We go in the back of this building and go down these narrow stairs and there is a room that deals with pictures. I don't know how anyone knows to go there! The photographer sits a box on a chair and I hold her up there and he takes her picture. We wait less than 10 minutes and they give us 4 black and white passport pictures and 3 color pictures for the Embassy. So, back on the snowsuit goes and we finish our trip to our apartment.
Pictures taken for Vera's passport.

We get to our apartment at about 3:30 PM. So, nap time is basically out of the question. Ryan gets a bite to eat and then he is headed to meet C & V to go apply for Vera's passport. So, it is me and the girls. We play a little and I have Kiara get the Gerber Puffs out. Since I am super paranoid, I still break them in half. Vera loves them. Next, we change the first diaper and that goes well. Then, I mix up some rice cereal with formula and Vera loves it. I put her in the umbrella stroller to feed her and she is fine with it. The whole time she is very happy and showing us all her tricks. Kiara loves to feed her and does well at it. Notice the "I Love My Big Sister" bib.
Now, Kiara and I need something to eat. Kiara wants to push her around in the stroller, so I let her and she ends up in the bedroom with her basically entertaining her. It was so cute! Kiara has been great. She wants to help with everything, which for the most part is good. Let's just hope it stays that way! So, I make some soup while Kiara entertains Vera. We eat dinner while Vera sits on my laps and eats some more Puffs.

Next, I let Vera down on the floor with her stacking cups to kind of see what she will do. She throws and bangs them and then chases after them. She can crawl very fast! She loves all the cords around...that is not going to be fun! My mom and sister called and were able to see Vera on the webcam.
Shortly after that, Ryan returned. He also brought some food that Vera is use to. So, her first meal in our apartment was half a jar of Rice, Carrots, and Veal and a half jar of applesauce. It was amazing, as soon as she was done, she would shake her head no. So, next we got her ready for bed. We have this little blow up bed for her to sleep in. I lay her in it and lay my head on the side of it. She figits and moves around and basically fights sleep, but finally gives in. She sleeps on her stomach sucking her thumb. So, we got her to sleep by 7:45 PM on the first night!

I was just thinking, this couldn't be any easier when I hear her crying. I go in and she is really hot. We take her temperature and it is 100.8 degrees. I was nervous to give her any more medicine because I wasn't sure what they gave her at the orphanage and how long it lasted. Obviously, it has worn off now and I give her some Motrin. Ryan lays with her and gets her back to sleep. So, I don't see much sleep for me tonight. Either Vera will be up, or I will be up worrying about her! I guess it isn't much different than the first night of sleep when you bring a newborn home!
Thanks for everyone's thought, comments and prayers! I will post more tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 10 of the 10 day wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is the last day!!!!!! We are so excited that Vera will be with us forever starting tomorrow! I can't believe it is finally here!

Well, Ryan got A LOT of sleep last night and today. He went to bed at 6:30 PM last night and didn't wake up until 4 AM! He stayed up until 8 AM, but then slept until 2:30 PM! I woke him up then and he probably could have slept a lot longer. So, it will be interesting how he is able to sleep tonight.

Kiara and I spent the day trying to be as quiet as possible so that Ryan could sleep as long as possible. I just tried to get caught up on anything that needed to be done around here like dishes, boiling water to drink, and cleaning up, so that we can focus on Vera when she gets here.

We met a couple for dinner that we had met on our first trip here. They are on the exact same schedule as us, except that they went home during the 10 day wait. We met at our favorite spot, Hard Rock Cafe. They have their 2 boys with them this time, so it was great to meet them. Kiara had a great time and enjoyed the dad because he would pretend like they were up on stage and introduce them and then she would perform part of one of her Singsations songs.
So, on our way home we needed to make a few copies for applying for Vera's passport tomorrow. I don't know why they waited to tell us that we needed these copies less than 12 hours before we needed them when we have really not been doing much for 10 days! Oh well, we found a copy place right by the Hard Rock and Ryan was able to communicate using gestures and our little yellow dictionary. Then, a quick stop at the grocery store.

Once we got back to the apartment, I put together the gifts that we want to give the people at the orphanage that have taken care of Vera for the last year. Ryan investigated the problem with our washer, and he thinks that it doesn't spin anymore. So, we probably won't be doing too much more laundry! I am not sure if it will get fixed before we leave. I think we have enough clothes to get us through and I can always do some handwashing. Fun, fun!!

So, the plan for tomorrow is for us to be picked up around 11:30 AM and then we will go to the orphanage to pick up Vera. We will then go to the grocery store and our driver will show us the type of food that Vera is use to eating. Then, off to get her passport picture taken and back to our apartment. Ryan will then go with V and C, who we had dinner with tonight, to apply for Vera's passport. So, I will be alone with 2 kids right away right during Vera's nap time, so say a prayer for me!
This is a picture of the view from our apartment if you look to the right. We believe that this building is called the White House.
I can't wait for tomorrow's post! Hopefully, I have time. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 9 of the 10 day wait...


One more day left without Vera!!! I can't believe how close it is now. You will have to excuse my appearance above. I just couldn't find the energy to put on my makeup today! But, the picture of Vera was too cute not to put on the blog.
Ryan had a horrible night of sleep. He woke up around 2 AM and was never able to go back to sleep! It seems to be every other night for him, so hopefully he will get a good night of sleep tonight. He is going to take some Tylenol PM since we don't have to get up for anything tomorrow. Kiara and I got about 8 hours of sleep, but for some reason I am really worn out today. I am tired and my body aches, especially my thighs and feet. I was in pretty decent shape when we got here from doing so much step aerobics the last few months, so I am surprised I feel it in my thighs. So, needless to say, it hasn't been one of our best days here since we are both very tired and worn out.

Today we made our last trek to the orphanage. The trip to the orphanage was great because there are so fewer people out on a Sunday morning. It also seemed to be the coldest it has been, so I am glad we are done doing so much walking. I am just very grateful that it never rained on any of the days we went to the orphanage. I can't imagine making that journey soaking wet! I guess the Lord knows how much I can handle because I don't think I could have handled that!
We got to the orphanage nice and early today since they came and got her so early yesterday. So, they brought her down to us at about 12:15 PM. She had the orange outfit on again and she had 4 layers of clothes on today! I can't wait to dress her in her new clothes, the girl won't know what to do with only 1 or 2 layers on. She cried just the tiniest bit when they handed her over. We gave her a sippy cup with water in it today. She wan't too sure what to do at first, but she got the hang of it. I think it surprised her when she got some water out of it. She really didn't want anyone to help her with it, so I think we have a stubborn one on our hands.
video
Kiara wanted me to put this picture on the blog that she took. It is her animal friends that she plays with when we are in the orange room at the orphanage.
After awhile, it was kind of hard to keep her happy. I think she wanted to be down and crawl, but she would pick stuff off of the dirty rug and try to put it in her mouth. She would have been fine crawling on the wood like floor, but I didn't want to get in "trouble" again for having her on that floor. I think she was getting tired and I think we are all just bored with that room and have run out of things to do in there. So, I guess that gave me a good taste of what it could be like starting Tuesday!

They came to get her 5 minutes earlier than they did yesterday, so I was glad we had gotten there early. She was sooooo happy to see her caretaker! I think she was done with us for the day, and to be honest, I was glad it was time for her to go back to her room. There is only so much you can do to keep a 1 year old happy in a small room. We aren't going to the orphanage tomorrow so that we can rest up before Tuesday when we go to get her. So, that last visit will make it a little easier not seeing her tomorrow. It will be so much better when we have more options to keep her happy!

Before they brought Vera down, one lady was trying to talk to us. We think she was asking when are we taking Vera home. At first, I thought she was asking if it was cold out today because she would cross her arms in front of her like she was cold. But, I think she was asking when we were taking her out of the orphanage.
We stopped at My My(pronounced Moo Moo) to eat on our way home. It is kind of like a Russian cafeteria, where you take your tray and point at what you want. Kiara had been looking forward to going here. She had seen the cow that they have out front and seen other chidren with balloons from there. We were a little worried if she would be able to find something she liked to eat since it is all Russian food. But, it turned out pretty well. She got a BBQ chicken kabob and ate some of the potatoes Ryan and I had gotten. I also found an English menu, so that is nice to have. I wish I had found that on the first trip.

So, Ryan turned in for the night at about 6:30 PM, hopefully he will sleep through the night. Kiara and I are trying to be quiet, so hopefully we won't wake him up. I am hoping we all sleep until noon tomorrow.

My mom's side of the family is getting together for Christmas this afternoon. We are sad that we aren't there. I am sure everyone will have a great time. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 8 of the 10 day wait...

Well, we are almost there! I can't believe in a little over 2 days, Vera will be with us forever! Tuesday can't get here soon enough!

Well, Ryan still woke up in the night but had a 5 hour and 3-4 hour stretch of sleep. So, he is doing better today. Kiara and I both didn't fall asleep until 1 AM, but slept through the night. I can't wait to get home to my bed and my chiropractor!

Today it was interesting to watch the people on the Metro since it is a Saturday. I can see differences between the weekdays and the weekends. The old ladies that ride on the weekend are serious about getting a seat to sit down in! One lady even went over to a young man and tapped him on the knee and he got up and gave her his seat. During the week there are more people on the Metro, but no one is real pushy. I feel like people were a pushier today even though there were less people to contend with. When we ride during the week, as soon as Kiara and I get on the train, it there isn't a seat a man usually jumps up right away to give us his seat. On the weekend, people were a lot slower to give up their seats. The train was usually moving by the time a seat was offered to us. It is just interesting to see the differences.

When we got to the orphanage, the Cyrus couple was in the orange room, so we stayed out in the hall. We were contemplating what to do, when a lady from the orphanage motioned for us to come into the orange room. They had moved the other couple into that exercise/play room we were in the other day. So, then I went upstairs to get Vera. I knocked once and didn't get any response. I knocked again and heard someone say something loudly. So, I went in because I wasn't sure if she was telling me to come in or not. I peeked my head in and Vera was sitting at a low table with another child and the woman was feeding them. I hadn't seen this caregiver yet, she must be on the weekend shift. I could tell she told me that she would bring Vera down to me. Vera didn't even see me because she had her back to me.

First, the boy for the Cyrus couple was brought down. He is such a cutie, but each time we have seen him he has been in a purple hat that has a heart on the front of it in sparkles! Poor guy! Very quickly after that they brought down Vera. Ryan took her from the caregiver and she cried just a bit. But, after she saw the phone, she was all smiles again. I think it must take her a minute to register who the caregivers are giving her to. They had her in a yellow and green hat today, which really made her look like an orphan! We took that off after a couple of pictures. When I tried to put it back on when the caregiver came down, she pulled it right off!
It was another good visit, but it went really quickly today. We didn't get her quite as quick as yesterday and they came to get her at 1:45 PM instead of 2 PM. :( We weren't expecting that. She remembered "crazy baby", I just have to say "crazy baby" and she starts shaking her head. I also taught her how to do "So Big". I was surprised how quickly she caught on. She also laid contently on her daddy and played with her hat.

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We didn't take as many pictures and video today, partly because the time just got away from us. And, the pictures start looking that same after awhile, especially when they keep putting her in the same outfits. The outfit she had on yesterday was under the orange one today.

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After the orphanage, we got off on the Metro stop that is closer to the grocery store we frequented on our last trip so Ryan could get more Mt. Dew. We also went into a kids store that is like a smaller version of a Babies R' Us. They had these electronic carolers in the window that Kiara wanted to go in and see.
This is a picture of the high rise we stayed in on our first trip.
So, after our trip home, I made dinner of chicken vegetable soup and crackers. Now, I am updating the blog and Ryan is doing the dishes, what a good man! So, it will be a quiet night in the apartment. I will work on Body Step a little and I think Kiara will be taking a bath.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 7 of the 10 day wait...

Here are my 3 cuties!

Last night was nice because we had more time in the apartment since we didn't eat dinner on the way home. We played a few games of Go Fish and Old Maid and just hung out as a family of 3 for one of the last times. Unfortunately, Ryan got another bad night of sleep. He woke up after 3 hours of sleep at 2 AM and couldn't go back to sleep and was then up until 8 AM. He was able to go back to sleep for 2 hours before he needed to get up to get ready to go to the orphanage. So, Ryan and Kiara turned in earlier tonight in hopes that Ryan gets more sleep!
We had probably our best visit with Vera today so far! She was so fun! Once we got to the orphanage, Ryan and Kiara waited in the orange room and I went up to her room to get her. I knocked on the door and I could hear the clinking of spoons. I started to open the door because I thought they might be busy feeding the babies when one of the caregivers came and she motioned to me that they were eating and I asked if she wanted me to wait downstairs by pointing down. I was hoping I could wait for her while she ate to see how the whole process works, but no such luck. So, not long after they brought her down and she again cried a little when they gave her to me. Then, Ryan and Kiara took out the phone that we always bring to play with her and she sighed and had a big smile, it was so cute. After that it was all smiles! Too bad she doesn't do that when she sees me!!
She looks so big when Ryan is holding her like this!

Vera was very active during this visit. She is getting louder, too, so I think she will fit in with the other 2 in our family. I feel like I am always telling someone to be quieter! I would shake my head and say "crazy baby" and she would do the same. I have quite a few videos from today, so get ready for some major cuteness!!
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In this video, she would stand on my lap and bounce up and down. It looks like I am making her do it since I am holding her, but it is all Vera.
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Here is the best part of the day! Vera will kiss me. I really think she is and it isn't just me hoping she would. See what you think. She did it several times. She is probably thinking, maybe if I kiss that lady, she will stop kissing me so much! LOL
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And here, we got her to giggle, it is so cute!
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If there was still any hope of us getting Vera early, then it is shot now! The deputy director, the one who won't give us custody early, came through our room and at that time Vera had been crawling around on the wood like floor. I don't know exactly what she said, but I could tell she wanted us to have her on the rug because the hard floor was too cold. Oh, my, I am sure the 3 layers of clothing weren't keeping her warm enough! I can't wait to get my baby home!

So, they usually come and get her around 2 PM, but they never came! So, at 2:30 PM, I took her back up to her room. We could tell she was getting tired. Today was great because we had an extra long visit with her, we had her for 2 hours today. By the time we usually get her, we only have 1 1/2 hours at most and usually less.

Since we really don't have anyone to take a picture of the 4 of us, here is the best we can do.

I have been forgetting to tell everyone that Vera's cold is much better. She kind of feels like she has a slight temperature at times, but I am use to Kiara whose normal temperature is below normal. The last couple of days it has been colder here. It is now in the 20s instead of the 30s. We only get flurries every once in awhile. It sounds better than the weather back home!

After the orphanage, we planned to meet a couple from our agency that is here for court. We got off one Metro stop before we normally do and found our way to the Courtyard Marriott. The Metro station that we got off on is one of the fancier ones. Below is a picture, but it really doesn't do it justice. Thankfully, we found the hotel without any problems. We were early so we just made ourselves comfortable in the lobby. It felt so good to be warm and just be able to sit.

K & B met us not long after we got there and we ate at the restaurant in the hotel. I am so happy that I have been able to meet so many other adoptive parents on these trips. It was great to talk to them. I think K and I have been emailing since probably at least July. They are also adopting a little girl, but from a different orphanage. At the Courtyard, they have a play room for kids. So, we went in there for a bit. It was nice for Kiara to have some new things to play with. K and Kiara built the Kremlin and the Kremlin wall out of Legos! Can't you tell?