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.


Dan and Holly said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Wow, what a scare that they almost didn't let you take her??? I know a family who's son was in the hospital for a cold and their 10 days were up and they STILL couldn't take him out of the hospital! That's weird that you had to dress her. I'm surprised w/ it being so cold out and the required layers and all--lol! The snowsuit is adorable!!! :)I hope her fever is down now so that you can relax. It is like a newborn because you don't know them yet and what's normal for them. If she won't stay on the mattress (there's no way Cassi would have!), maybe they have a pack n' play or crib you could use? Anyway, I'm so very, very, very happy for you all!!! Finally, a family of 4!

Diane said...

Yeah!!! Congratulations! We can't wait to meet her. Hopefully things go smoothly over the next few days. Have a safe trip home and have a Merry Christmas!!!! See you soon.

Nicole said...

Yay! Congratulations! How wonderful that she is finally yours and with you! I hope the rest of the time there goes smoothly and that you are all sleeping soundly right now as I type!

Amanda said...

praying for you tonight Nichole!! YEA!!! She is yours forever, what a day. Merry Christmas!

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! So happy she is finally forever yours! Hope she feels better soon!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Ryan, Nikki, Kiara and Vera!!!!!! What a Christmas present! She is just adorable and how lucky she is to have you as her family. Oh the fun you are going to have. I'm very happy for you - keep the posts coming.

AbbyMel said...

Wow, I am just sitting here reading in amazement at your journey. God has brought you so far, and guess what that part is over! Now you can just Love on Vera FOREVER!! I am so thankful and inspired by your families journey. I can just see Kiara entertaining Vera and having this loving sister bond. We both know the love of a sister! I am so happy for you all. Give everyone a kiss and a hug and have an amazing day. MERRY Christmas!!!

The Gibbs' said...

CONGRADS!! We are so happy for you, cant wait to meet her.

natenjoyrug said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I can't believe you finally have her. Hope all was well with your night. Merry Christmas!

NCHLSN7 said...

Wow, what a great Christmas present! She is so sweet. I hope she is feeling better...the story about the doctor touched me. I know exactly how you felt. The caregivers are amazing people and devote so much love. We felt so much emotion and grief leaving China for the same reasons, taking Luke away from all he knew. But, God has a plan for all these little ones! Safe travels and Merry Christmas.

Dani said...

Yippee Skippee!!!! Vera is so cute even with her head sweaty! That picture...poor girl! I'm praying for you guys...at least you have a few days to get her temp down before getting on the long airplane ride home! Home...that sounds awesome, doesn't it?! Just wish I was there to see you all too!

Sandy Forney said...

Ohhhhhh Happy Day!!
What is left? How long does the Passport take? This has truely been like Birth Labor! Can't wait till you are home safe and sound!!
Love you all and can't wait to see our new baby Vera!
Aunt Sandy

Coles Mom and Dad said...

Thank goodness! Soo happy for all of you:) And happy that you will all spend Christmas together! Merry Christmas Wolland family!!!!

Wonderfully Made..... Psalm 139:14 said...

So happy and crying right along with you. Can't wait to meet her.

Wonderfully Made..... Psalm 139:14 said...