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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Russian Speaking Part 3

While we now wait for a court date, we'll go back to the language thing.

As can be seen, Katie and I aren't the only one's learning Russian. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Life is made up of all the little moments that waste away while we're sitting around waiting for the big moments to happen….

For over 140 days, I've watched the countdown clock tick down each and every day reminding us that we were one step closer to bringing our son home. We did NOT, however, stop living for the precious moments that we had been given. We enjoyed the blessings we DO have. We soaked in all the wonderful events that we were able to share with our first 2 children. We continued to live and love, and chose not to dwell on the bad. (most days)

The way I see it, I've got maybe 50 years left to live…. (big maybe)…. That calculates to approximately 18,000 days. That means that if I chose to mope and worry and be bitter during our mere 140 days of extra waiting, I would have successfully wasted 0.78% of the only life I have left. (Almost 1%).

My point is this: For those of you waiting for something, (whether it be adoption related or anything else) don't let life and the little moments slip by. All of life's lemons should be turned into lemonade….

For us, this lemon was a major lesson in patience and humility. In the brilliant words of Evan Almighty, "If you pray for patience, do you think God will just give it to you - or do you think that he'll put in a situation that will teach you patience?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

More first impressions

Due to overwhelming demand, we recorded a version of Katie's Russian as well.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

First Impressions

I've been anxiously anticipating our reunion with our son. I imagine lots of emotions, lots of tears, but I also anticipate better communication now that Katie and I have learned so much Russian.

I have actually practiced my first few sentences that I plan to say to him during our first few moments.

Katie and I filmed a practice run tonight (with the camera being Zac's perspective)

Let me know if you think this will freak him out....

Warning: You are about to see what a dork I can be.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Don't rock the boat

This past week, I'm afraid of "jinxing" anything relating to the databank removal and our pending court date. Of course, my religious beliefs don't really leave room for superstition and jinxing, so I guess I should stop worrying.

Nevertheless, I even find myself afraid to blog for fear of ...... whatever.

I check the Russian databank several times per day to make sure Zac doesn't get "taken" by someone else. Every now and then, he'll move positions on the online databank. Each time this happens my heart temporarily stops while I conclude that a Russian family has adopted OUR little guy. Then I find him a few moments later and my heart starts back up again.

I'm thinking that can't be good for my health...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Dear Zac,

I think about you all the time.  Everything I do seems to somehow relate back to you.  Today, I was purchasing milk and when I glanced at the expiration date, I noticed that it was AFTER you are released from the databank!  You may not know this yet, but milk has a tendency to spoil quite soon after it hits the store shelves.  Therefore, we are getting REALLY REALLY close to bringing you home.

I hope you'll one day come to realize just how much we love you.  I hope that you'll come to understand how difficult this wait has been for us.  If it were somehow possible to harness the emotional power that has been emitted during our adoption process, you would see something that shines brighter than our sun.  Indeed, you are loved more than you'll ever know.  From the moment our eyes meet again to the rest of your days on this earth, your mama and papa will be here for you.  

Ya tebya lublu.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


As a parent, we have G.P.D.'s and B.P.D's.  

Reader's Note: G.P.D. = Good Parenting Day
B.P.D. = Bad Parenting Day

Today was most definitely a G.P.D.  For the past few months, Hallie and I have been working our way through the Narnia books, and today, we went to Border's to buy The Magician's Nephew.  (We seem to be reading them out of order).

Anyway, we made our way home around 2:00 in the afternoon and (I'm not kidding) we've spent the majority of the rest of the day reading that book.  After several hours reading out loud and discussing many concepts and explaining vocabulary words, we've already pushed away through the first HALF of the book.  

Now that Hallie is 5 years old, I've noticed that her affection is not automatically given to me.  It is something that I must "earn".  I have come to realize that this will most likely become even more pronounced as she becomes older.  It's not her fault.  It's just part of growing up.  We all do it, don't we?  But I share this thought, because today, Hallie really really loved me and showed me affection.  We snuggled on the couch together and read and read and read ALL DAY LONG.  It's such a wonderful thing, as a dad, to have your little girl look at you and hug you as if you were the most wonderful person in the whole world.  (I'm thinking she won't always feel that way...)

As a parent, we know that there are days where we secretly reset the clocks forward so that we can hurry and put the kids in bed and get on with our own lives.  Today was NOT one of those days.  Today, I wasn't hurried.  I wasn't distracted.  I had nothing "more important" to tend to.  I was just able to be a dad.  I realize that I need to have more of these kind of days.  The glow that I feel is too good not to have these more often.  Not to mention, we'll be adding another kid to mix soon.  It may be a good idea to go into this with "a good attitude"...

'Twas a G.P.D.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Down to a dozen

As we tick down past the teens, I feel obligated to post something.  But we really don't have much to say.  We've got all our paperwork and signatures updated.  We're waiting for the official databank removal.  And then we'll wait for a court date.  (end of March?)

In the meantime, we stare a lot at his pictures.  For the hundredth time, I would like to mention how WONDERFUL Zac's baby home is.  The large majority of his pictures involve him doing something.  Reading, writing, dancing, changing his own clothes, playing with toys, wearing costumes....   It's truly a blessing for us to see during this painfully long wait.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A much better day

Two great things to celebrate today:

1.  We got everything apostilled today.  No problems this time.  Could we possibly be done with that part?

2.  We got another round of Zac pictures today.  (Thanks Monica!)  We are so thankful to have these pictures, and yet we felt a little different than we did with the last batch.  Last time, we were so giddy to have tons of pictures showing how healthy and active our little guy is.  This time (although he still looks great - happy and healthy) we really felt ourselves getting choked up.  It is time to bring him home.  Pictures are great, but we would much rather have the real deal.  He needs a family, but more so, we need him.  


It seems that during this ENTIRE process, our very own State of Nebraska has been the biggest stinkers** to work with. For the 3rd (or maybe 4th time) our friends at the capitol have sent us away empty handed. It's not worth sharing all the details, but the end result is that we must get a few details cleaned up and try again tomorrow.


**The reader may choose to substitute "stinker" with an expletive of their own liking.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Done with the paperwork..... again.

Today, Katie is heading down to Lincoln to get our updated paperwork appostilled. Several months ago, you may remember Katie blogging that day and telling the story about how she cried in the government office because it was the "last piece of paperwork". Well, here we are.... again. This time, I'm more confident that this really is our "last time", and yet I think at this point, we are permantly guarded. Until Zac steps foot into our house, it ain't over till it's over.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good ideas

I appreciate the feedback on the last post.  We had some good suggestions.  I forgot to mention that we've learned poo-poo (ah-ah) and pee-pee (pees-pees).  Seriously, where in the world does ah-ah come from?  I'll have to be careful not to say something like "ah-ah-ah! Don't touch that".  He'll look at me like, "what in the world did you just say?"

I like the idea of "where does it hurt?".  Of course, having a physician assistant armed with her own stethoscope and otoscope will help just a tad.... (for those that don't know, I'm talking about my wife Katie)

I also thought that it may be helpful to learn the Russian for:  "The truth?  YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"  for when we are in court.  Just kidding.

20 more days!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Learning the language

One of the results of having to wait an extra 6 months for a court date is that Katie & I have learned bits of Russian. The following is a list of words and phrases that we have learned (for one reason or another). We are very proud of our accomplishment and think this will come in handy next month. (when we travel...hopefully)

NOTE: I'm only listing them in English. Although I know how to SAY these phrases in Russian, I can't really spell them.

How are you?
Thank you
You're welcome
I love you.
I will always love you.
You are going to live with us
We will take good care of you.
Don't worry
Don't be afraid
I am your mom
I am your dad
You are my son
This is your sister
This is your brother
This is your cat
This is your grandma
This is your grandpa
Do you want a drink?
Do you want to eat?
Do you want a snack?
Do you want juice?
Do you want milk?
Do you want more?
Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Let's go.
Good Morning
Night Night.
One. Two. Three.

Let me know if you think we're missing any that we'll need for ABSOLUTE SURVIVAL.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Here we go

Wow.  In the past week, things are really picking up on the adoption front.  It seemed for awhile that time was standing still and we were in "forever wait" mode.  But now, as the clock ticks down to the 20's and we're starting to get more calls and correspondence from our agency, it seems like we're finally getting there.  Certainly, Zac has consumed our thoughts this past year, but now he is REALLY consuming our thoughts. I don't think we go more than about 30 minutes without some sort of comment like:  "I wonder what Zac will think when..."

During those first few days, I wonder if Zac will be terrified of us.  I wonder what he will be thinking during the moment when we take him from the baby home and put him in a car.  (never to return to the only life that he's ever known)  I wonder what he'll think when we hold him and sing to him.  Will he like it, or will it just annoy him?  What will he think of me?  (considering that during his entire life he he has only been cared for by women)  

I think about a lot of different things...