Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gotcha Day!!!


Andrei Vladimir Fritsche

It's been a long ten days not having Andrei with me at the baby home. I visited him three times during the ten day wait. But today was the day! Another new dad and I did all the running around downtown with Irina today, beginning at 8am. We visited the notary, the courthouse, a couple of different vital statistics offices, and the passport office. When the ten days are up there is a lot of busy work to do, lots of signing. Basically we signed for birth and adoption certificates and applications for passports. We made it back to the VMI about 1:30pm.

My mom arrived this past Sunday morning. It's been great having her here. She waited at the VMI this morning during all the running around. but she wasn't about to miss the final excursion to the Artem Baby Home #2 to see where two of her grandsons have lived AND to pick up her latest grandson. We made the hour drive to the baby home. Thankfully there wasn't much traffic. I went wit Irina to the orphanage director's office. We visited for a few minutes and she congratulated me about adopting Andrei. I gave her a donation from Clarion and me to help the children at the orphanage. She was very thankful and explained that the funds would assist them in preparing a room for an additional group, allowing them to keep groups as small as possible.

Then it was time to see Andrei, get him dressed, say goodbyes, and make the journey with him back to the VMI. Andrei didn't cry when they brought him in. His lower lip stuck out for a minute or two, but then he eased up. We got him dressed and ready for the journey. He didn't cry when we got into the car. He wanted to sit on Papa's lap. Cool with me! He did quite well in the car. he didn't cry. He didn't get sick. He just wanted to watch everything.

At the hotel we spent a few minutes in our room holding him and playing with him. But since he didn't get to eat after his nap, we figured he might be ready to eat. We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant tonight to celebrate. Well, Andrei didn't open his mouth for any of the food we put in front of him. We tried mashed potatoes. Nope! We tried a bit of bread. Nope! We even tried some raisins. he wouldn't have any of it.

Back at the room after dinner, we had bath time. He was a bit scared of the water, but didn't cry. He was shaking during most of the bath, probably because he was cold. So we kept bath time short tonight. We got him into his jambes afterwards. We thought we'd try once again to see if he would eat. So my mom mixed up some of the night time baby cereal that I bought a few days ago at the baby store. Score! He ate the whole bowl. After that it was cuddle time. Andrei is a very good cuddler. After some time snuggling, I layer him in his crib and played some Russian bedtime stories. After a few minutes, those were done, so I switched to "The Essential Yo Yo Ma," which he seemed to like quite well. He layer in the crib fairly still for a few minutes, then I noticed that the rocking began. Many institutionalized children learn to rock themselves to sleep. I watched him doing the rocking and was just amazed by how these little ones learn to cope and adjust to their lives in the orphanage. We look forward to growing together as a family and watching Andrei learn what a joy it is to be part of a family.

Here are some shots from Gotcha Day...

That's all for now. Time to call it a night. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is our last full day in Vlad. We'll be picking up Andrei's passport and having dinner with Irina, Lana and the other family from our agency before making the flight across Russia to Moscow on Thursday. I don't know if I'll post again before Moscow. If not, paka paka until then.



  1. Congratulations!
    Andrei is so cute!
    Best of luck to you all!

  2. So excited for you guys! I can not wait to hear how the meeting of the brothers goes. Please tell Irina and Lana that we are thinking of them and that Boston and Blake are doing great. If you could give Sasha a big hug from me too that would be awesome.

    Such a neat expereince for your mom to get to see where her THREE grandsons are from. So special. Safe travels to Moscow!

    ~Heather O.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm so excited for you and your growing family. God is so good!
    Blessings on smooth transitions for Andrei and the other four of you.
    ~Beth (Royuk) Pester

  4. How awesome. I have enjoyed following the journey. Thanks for sharing with us!
    Susan B.

  5. Congratulations! What a blessing to have your babe with you. He looks like a sweet boy.

    Like your son, mine was very quiet as well. I didn't hear a peep from him until I turned on the water and suggested a bath...then the screaming began. Took about a week to get him comfortable with the water.

  6. Congrats! Very excited for you. That is amazing that all your sons are going to be related. That is awesome that they were able to connect them all!

  7. Absolutely AWESOME! Congratulations! Andrei is darling. What a miracle. I have been blessed by following your story and I rejoice with you, Clarion, and all 3 of your boys!

  8. Well worth the wait, wasn't it? So glad that Mimi could be along to experience this. I'm sure Clarion is beside herself with joy & anticipation!
    God's blessings to you all. Travel safely home.

  9. Congratulations! He's adorable.

  10. Congratulations!!! We just celebrated our 1 year Gotcha Day :o) Its so heart-warming to see another on leaving Artem with their forever family.....LOVE IT!!! such a sweet, handsome boy. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. Congratulations! Love Andrei "Vladimir." Can't wait to hear more about your journey and couldn't be happier for you!

  12. Congratulations!! He's so precious!! Love the green stuff on the face - Daniel had pink stuff all over him!!! What a doll!!! (Rachel)

  13. Hi!! I recognized your little boy immediately! We adopted from the same orphanage in July and our son was in the same group as your son! He actually has on several of the clothes/hats in the pics that AJ wore in several pics we made! I loved reading your blog......AJ rocks himself to sleep as well, and I too, was amazed at a child's ability to adapt! We stayed at the VMI as well, our court date was June 30th and we returned home July 20th....didn't think we would ever get home.....I know you understand!! I have a quick question if you don't mind.....how were you able to locate your sons brother in order to make a return trip to adopt him. We were told our son has two older siblings and one younger sibling and were wondering if it is possible to locate them as we were told they would be in the orphanage system as well. Would love to chat via email and share Vlad stories, you can contact me at kacyday@gmail.com Congratulations on your newest son, he seemed like a real sweetheart when we were visiting! Kacy Lemons