Monday, May 23, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Greetings, Blogger Friends, Fellow Adoptive Families, and everyone else who lands on this page! What a day! It was a good day, mostly. I put the picture at the top on this post, so you can pretty much see what I was up to today. I had 23 documents apostilled in Springfield, IL. I dropped them off a little before 10am and they were ready a couple of hours later. It gave me time to do some shopping and have some lunch at the Cozy Dog Drive-in. Those docs will be off to our agency tomorrow. Between getting back to work, getting re-adjusted to Central Daylight Time and working on documents, this is pretty much what we've been up to.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
After another enjoyable visit with our little one, a bit of lunch and a nap, here we are sitting down to recount the events of the day. Today is Wednesday here in Vlad. We were to be picked up at 8am this morning. Of course, by experience, we know that that means more like 8:30 or even 9am. So it was again this morning. Lana, our interpreter, was delayed by the horrendous traffic heading into the city. We feel for our two dear ladies here in Vlad. They both live on the side of town more toward where the baby home is located. They each drive all the way in to our hotel to pick us up, then sometimes we go right back in the direction from which they came, or we keep heading onward into downtown, both of which take forever. Honestly, without traffic, you could be downtown in 20-25 minutes. Instead it's about three times that because of construction and traffic. The ride to the baby home should really only take about 35-40 minutes, but is more like an hour. Anyway, Lana arrived about 8:45 and we began our drive to the baby home.
We arrived around 10:15 this morning. We picked up the social worker who serves the Artem area. She is a really nice lady whom we met when we adopted Slav and Sergei. She was excited to see pictures of the boys and how they've grown. She met with us at the baby home and gave us the latest update on the boys' birth mother. Needless to say, it is sad. I'll just leave it at that. We took some notes while Lana translated everything for us. Then it was time for our little buddy to enter the room. His care giver brought him in once again. This time he cried as she left him with us. It was just a bit of fussing though. I (Joel) started playing some Russian nursery rhymes on my iPhone. That seemed to calm him down and put him at ease a little bit. It was another good visit. His disposition was about like yesterday. We are strangers to him and it will take time for him to warm up to us. So once again today he really didn't smile or make any sounds. We tried to get him to laugh and react to things. Mostly he just continued to stare at us with a look that says, "Who are you people? Where is the lady who takes care of me?"
We spent about an hour with him today. We played on the couch, on the floor, standing up, sitting down, riding in the little car, etc. Nothing really sparked a reaction. He ate some animal crackers and drank some apple juice. Nevertheless, we still consider it a positive visit. He didn't run away from us or anything. He just needs time to warm up to us. Unfortunately, the way things work here with us having to leave on Saturday and not see him for a few months, just as he warms up to us, we'll be out of his life for three or four months until we return for court and to bring him home. So we'll just enjoy the time that we have now. We have a photo book with phrases in Russian (Thanks, Nadya!) that shows him our family. We hope the caregiver will read it to him. We haven't shown it to him yet, perhaps tomorrow and Friday we'll tell him our little family story.
At the end of our visit his caregiver showed up to take him back and he just lit up. He was all smiles for her. As they were leaving Lana says "He really loves her." Ya think? We're glad that he is so loved and has learned to attach to people so well. It will be difficult for him to leave the baby home when the time comes but it will pass as we become a family. Thank you for your prayers in his and our behalf. We're praying that we can get paperwork wrapped up as quickly as possible when we get home so that we can get back here soon and bring him home. Lana says that the average wait between trips is 3 to 4 months. We're hoping more for the three!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Greetings from Vladivostok!
Well, we met our boy today! It was quite a day. We spent a good portion of it in traffic. Before going to the baby home in Zavodskoy outside of Artem City, we had to go to downtown Vladivostok to the notary office and sign a document. From there we proceeded to the Ministry of Education to get official permission to visit the little guy. By the time we finished all of that and made it back to the hotel it was about 1:15. We would have a short rest then head out at 2:30pm for the baby home.
The weather was crummy yesterday, cool and rainy all day long. The drive to the baby home was just as we remember it from all those visits in 2008 when we adopted Slav and Sergei. Although there is a lot more road construction along the way. Combine that with the rainy weather and it makes for a pretty "sloppy" drive. Anyway, with Lana behind the wheel we're in good hands.
They took us up to the familiar, infamous room with the brown couch. There we were in the same room where we met Sergei in February 2008. We visited with the director of the orphanage for a bit. She went over our little guy's medical information with us. There were no major surprises. Poor guy had three colds in 2009 after he arrived at the baby home, ten colds in 2010 and three more so far in 2011.
A few minutes later his care giver brought him in. It was definitely different than when we met bubbly boisterous Sergei in that room. His little brother was much more sober and subdued. He almost started to cry when his caregiver left the room, but he didn't. He held it together as he checked out the three strangers (us and Lana, our interpreter) who were now hanging out with him. Bless his heart, he never cracked a smile during the 45 minutes or so that we spent with him. He wasn't even very interested in playing with toys or with snacks. That's ok. He's definitely a cuddly guy. He preferred to be held and loved. FIne with us!
We're heading back at 8am this morning for probably a longer visit. We'll be visiting this morning during his play time, so that might put him in a more playful mood. We ope to see him smile and laugh a bit. Who knows, maybe today or by the end of the week.
Here are some pictures from yesterday's meeting...
We'll post again after tomorrow's visit! Paka paka!