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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More news

We got another update from the agency. The gist was that they have more details and they think that we'll be traveling closer to the END of the March, not the MIDDLE of March. Darnit.

But really, the Mid-march thing seemed almost too fast. So I guess now we'll hold our breath for the end of March.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More pictures

Today was a "big adoption day". It started with more pictures from our agency! I tell ya, a person cannot have enough pictures when they've waited 7 months (and counting) to get back for trip #2.

After today's new pix, we now have collected 40 pictures of Zac since AFTER trip #1. In other words, this does NOT count anything that we took during trip #1. I think that may be a world record. Can anyone beat that? 40 pictures? Please let me know, I'm curious.

After thinking about it, Katie and I have finally decided to bite the bullet and post one of the pictures. We've been saying over and over again, that Zac is THE CUTEST kid in Russia. It's time to let the rest of you know what he looks like. Here we go:

Isn't he great? We think so.

Here's the other piece of big news for the day. Our agency mentioned that they think we could be traveling as soon as Mid-March! That's in 6 weeks!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Of course, we are cautiously optimistic, but we can't help being really excited too. There is not one fiber in my being that is nervous or hesitant about going to get him. I JUST WANT TO BRING HIM HOME. Period. The end.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Take a Pillow?

Two things:

1. I'd like to send our prayers to Tricia who is traveling to Russia for her courtdate! Very exciting stuff.

2. I had a thought today. Follow me if you will... I have learned by experience that when I travel, pillows play a very important role during my trips. If I'm at a hotel with lousy pillows, I usually sleep lousy. Conversely, if I have good pillows, I sleep well.

But NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING beats bringing my own pillow. If I have my own pillow, I may as well be sleeping in my own bed. And as we know, after a long trip to.... say.... Russia, sleeping in your own bed feels really really good.

So what about Zac? When we get home and are able to enjoy our pillows, he will be stuck with some lousy OTHER pillow that smells funny. So here's my thought: I am going to try to purchase his pillow from the baby home when we leave. I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING in life is negotiable, and that seems especially true in Russia. Don't you think that will help him at night? To have the ability to close his eyes and feel and smell like he's still "at home" during long lonely nights? Certainly, this will help a tiny bit during his transition, I'm thinking.

But, I'm going to set my price limit at 1,800 Rubles. I have my limits afterall...

NOTE: 1,800 Rubles is approximately $75. For that kind of money, I can get him a Temperpedic Pillow for cryin out loud!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snow Ball Fight

We hope everyone is enjoying the cold snowy days of winter.  We certainly are.  The other day we video'ed a good old fashioned snow ball fight.  Even our cat, Warren, joined in!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New habits

Well, what do you think of the new picture at the top? I'm having fun learning the ways of the blog....

Here's my thought of the day:

When Katie and I traveled to Russia, there were times when we would observe how they live and think to ourselves, "Hey, They do it better here than we do." One of those moments was at the grocery store. Most Russians (and Europeans) bring their own bags to the grocery store. No plastic. No paper. Just their own reusable bags each and everytime. This makes so much sense when you think about how many bags you use each and everytime you go the the store. (I'm guessing we use 20-30 bags a month..... at least!)

So starting last month, Katie and I bought some reusable bags and we've been bringing them to the store each time we shop. It's a hard habit to get into, but we're getting there.

I'm going to save the world!!!!! (You can thank me later).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's next

Some of you may be wondering, "What all do you need to update now that you've been doing nothing for the past 6 months?

Our agency called and gave us that list on Friday. As I've mentioned before, updating paperwork actually gets us excited because that means we're actually getting somewhere!

Here's what we need to do in the next 38 days:

1. Update homestudy (we already did this 2 weeks ago)
2. New employment letters (same employers - not difficult)
3. New letter from bank confirming account (not difficult)
4. New medical reports (Katie is a PA for our family's doctor - This really really easy! We don't even have to make an appointment!)
5. Police Statement (This requires a trip to Lincoln, but we've done it so many times that we know exactly what we're doing)
6. Update from Psychologist (I hope I'm still sane after all this waiting!!!)

So there you go. Let the paperchase resume!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Quick post today:

1. Apparently, animals DO make different noises in Russia. Thanks to everyone who set me straight. Who knew?

2. A few have asked "how fast will we get our courtdate after Zac is released from the databank?" The official answer is "Yea right. Like anything is predictable with Russian adoption".

The unofficial answer is: "maybe a month? "

We're down to 40! 40 days - Isn't there some reference in the Bible about 40 days? A flood? Time in the desert? A courtdate?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Animal noises

One of the things that we've gathered from others is that teaching animal noises will be one of the easiest things to teach Zac first. This only makes sense as this was one of the first tricks that our first two kids learned too.

Additionally, animals make the same sounds no matter where you live, right? It's not like a cow says, "Mooska" in Russia, do they?


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Never give up

On the coat tails of my "this sucks" post from yesterday, I'd like to express these thoughts today:

It seems as if many of my friends and aquaintences have recently commented on how long and difficult our adoption appears to be.  From their perspective, we have been going at this for over a year and nothing has happened.  On the surface, this may be true, but I'm telling you that within myself, a tremendous amount has been accomplished.

Indeed, life is a series of chapters and experiences.  While adoption may not exactly be the quickest and easiest way to have a baby, it is certainly the most "soul building" thing I've ever done.  This last year has been one of the most emotional years I've been through so far.  It would be easy to conclude that an "emotional year" must have been a bad thing.  

"Really?" I ask.  Is the object of life to avoid as much emotion as possible?  Should we go through our days trying to prevent any and all feelings of sadness?  Are any "bad vibes" seen as something to avoid?  Is life supposed to be one big continuous feeling of happiness and bliss?  I'm thinking we'd be missing something if that were the case.  

I'm not, for one moment, ever going to regret this experience.   After experiencing the best year of my life, I'm here to declare that adoption is a blessing.  Some of you may be adopting out of "need".  You may feel like you've missed out.  Please don't.  I think that it's the other way around.  

My message goes out to ANYONE who has ever considered adoption:  Do it.  Do not be afraid.  Do not worry.  It's a crazy & wild adventure and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Gettin there

Is it just me, or is that countdown clock actually getting somewhere?

We're cruising through the 40's and I'm thinking to myself:

1. We've got about 6 1/2 weeks left until he's off the databank. I almost get excited and then I remember that they originally told us that it would be 6 weeks in between our 2 trips. Holy smokes! This wait has been FOREVER. I know that I've vowed to stay positive during this whole thing, but may I be candid for a second? This wait has really sucked! There. I said it. Now I feel better.

2. This thing is getting real. We're actually going to be adopting Zac soon! Katie and I joke that "he's going to be harder to parent once he comes home". Right now, he just sits there and smiles at us. He never cries. He never fusses. He quietly and politely sits on our wall with a nice frame around him. What a wonderful son he is!

3. I dream about him all the time now. It's about 2 or 3 times a week. Last night, I had another dream but it was very fuzzy. All I remember was that rather than speaking English this time, he was fluently doing sign language. Not just baby signs, but full blown sign language. Once again, I was able to translate it flawlessly. (Just how many languages can I speak in my dreams?)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jake had a Breakthrough

The world is such a scary place. There are some things in life that you hope your kids never figure out on their own. As a parent, situations like these become very difficult.

We ask ourselves, "Do we warn our children about the world around them, thus exposing them earlier than necessary? OR do we keep silent and hope they never run across the horrors that threaten them?"

Today, Jake figured out something that we were really hoping to avoid. I'm afraid that life as we know may never be the same again.

See below:

He speaks English?

I had another wonderful visit from Zac last night. (A dream, that is...)

We were in Russia for what must have been our second trip. In addition to Katie and I, my mother-in-law (Nannie, as we call her) was there with us. Katie and Nannie were off doing something else while I was holding and talking to Zac. At this point, I should have known it was a dream because there is NO WAY that Katie and Nannie would have been "off doing something else".

Anyway, I began to talk to Zac in Russian. Counting to three.

I held up one finger and said: "AH-din"

And he repeted me! "AH-din" he said.

Then I said it in English. "Now say, One"

"One" he said, in a cute little gurgly voice that really didn't sound like his real voice.

Then I held two fingers. "Dva"

And he said "Dva"

"Two!" I said. "Two!" he repeted.

Wow! This kid is really figuring it out!

Then I moved on to three fingers.

"Tdee" I said. "Tdee" he said, with no problems.

Then I said, "Three..... ttttthhhhhhrrrrreeee" Trying to emphasis the TH sound.

At this point, he looked right at me and said. "It really doesn't matter".

"Woah." I thought. "This must be dream."

And it was. Darn it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cold Day

One of the many ways I hold little Pasha in my heart is via my cell phone. Not only do I have the current Omaha weather programed into my phone but I also have Novokuznetsk weather. It's fun for me to glance down at my phone and see what his day is like as I go through my own day.

Today, I looked at my phone and I noticed that it is currently -27 F. (Yes, that would be a negative sign in front of the number)

Yesterday's HIGH was -17F. (Yes, that would be the high)

Man, that is seriously COLD. (Even for a tough Nebraska boy like myself... )

(where would I be without parentheses?)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Doing something

Well, today we went to Lincoln to update our fingerprints. (For those who are counting, I believe this was the 6th time we've done prints) This one was to update our homestudy. Just like many who have gone before us, we're having to update our homestudy b/c it's been a year since we've started everything. A homestudy is only good for 1 year.

But believe it or not, I was very happy to do fingerprints today. We've been waiting for SO LONG and doing absolutely nothing, that it was very exciting to be doing SOMETHING today. With a mere 56 days left, we're starting to think about getting a courtdate again. We actually have a handful of paperwork things to get organized in the next two months. Did I say 2 months? Why, yes I did.

Very exciting stuff!