Monday, April 11, 2011

Trip 1, Return Home;

It has been a struggle to get through this past week. I am so tired from the jet lag and my schedule is completely turned around…what was the middle of the night there is the middle of the day here, so I am tired every day and wishing for a nap. What was the middle of the day there is the middle of the night here…but my body wasn’t getting it and both Joe and I would be up half the night! Also, no appetite during the day, but at 2am…starving!! I am just getting turned around.

Mommy Kisses
Holding Daddy's Hand
The last day we were in Russia, we felt so sad. We had to leave our precious baby behind. Before this trip and for the past 1 & ½ years, I was the one who would tear up whenever I would think about her- living in an orphanage without a mommy and daddy to cherish and love her. I was also the pessimist who was concerned we would be referred a child who we were unsure about medically-things we were not prepared to deal with. So after leaving, I’m actually doing better. I am reassured. She is beautiful. She is perfect. She is healthy. She is not in an ideal situation yet, but she will be very soon. The baby home is old and does not have a lot of resources, but it is clean and the women who take care of the babies seem to care about them. Joe is the opposite. He was the one consoling me for the last 1 & ½ years. Now, he tears up whenever he thinks about her or talks about her!

Anyway, when we were leaving and driving to the airport, it just felt like we going to the baby home again. But, no. We were headed home. The first part of our big adventure that we had been planning and anticipating for so long was now about to be just a memory.

On the way to the airport, we got a phone call from my sister. It was 1 pm, Saturday afternoon in Vlad, but 10:30 pm Friday night at home. Kami was watching our dogs, 3-pound Zoey, a Chihuahua-yorkie mix and 25-pound Coco, a miniature pinscher and fox terrier mix. Coco and Zoey scrapped and guess who won? Zoey was bit on the head and her little eye popped out!!!!!!!!!! They were rushing her to the emergency vet. For anyone who doesn’t know me, Zoey is my little baby. Chihuahua’s tend to bond to one person and I’m that person. When I am home, she is my constant shadow.  I was beside myself. She had surgery that night and they put this little dog on 5 different medications. Kami ended up staying up all night Friday and Saturday until we got her on Sunday morning. We had arrived home at 2am Saturday night after our plane landed, we got our luggage and drove home.  Joe had to go back to work Sunday (and fly back to Amsterdam) so I was alone with poor little Zoey, with her eye still sown shut after the surgery. She was not eating or drinking and just did not look good. Kami came at 10 pm to help me give her night time medications. We almost took her back to the emergency vet, but after calling them and our friend Cory, who is our vet, we were reassured. I took her to see Cory on Monday and even by then she was doing better.

Since I also had to work all week, I took Zoey to my parents for doggie day care.  She had one of those cone things on and she could not eat or drink with it. She also needed meds during the day. She has been there all week at this point. (I took my sister’s dog, Daisy, while she was out of town and they kept Zoey for me. Daisy could stay home all day by herself, but Zoey could not.) In an effort to get her to eat, they gave her whatever she wanted…so this week Zoey had roast beef, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs with ham, toast…and she ate it all up! She is going to be sad when she gets home and has to eat her Iams dry dog food again!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update soon

We will be up dating the blog very soon. Lots to tell on our return home, also going to up date the site. Make it more enjoyable.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trip 1, Day 5

The big news today is we went to the notary in Vladivostok. Vladivostok is the major city nearest to our orphanage. Going to the notary was interesting. We parked behind an old building, went in a back door after Svetlana (our interpreter and today our driver) announced us via intercom. It was dark in the stair well that we walked into. Walking in was like out of a movie. It was a very old building, the cement chipping off the walls; it was painted a garish green color.  I trust Svetlana, but I have to say it was creepy.  We walked up a flight of stairs—think dilapidated building, turn of the century. We came to a 2nd floor landing, and opened a door which looked 1940’s-ish style and 1 foot inside that door was another door to open. Huh? I began to wonder what we had gotten our selves into. Do they really need that much security---or are they hiding from something? However, the office we walked into was warm and bright. Huh? Didn’t see that coming. The walls were a light peach color, there were desks with computers (!), big windows with plants in them and 3 nicely dressed ladies to help us. One read over all of our paperwork and we officially signed the paperwork, first asking that Sweet Pea be taken off the Russian Orphan Database, which meant she would not be offered to anyone else and the 2nd paper stated we knew about her medical history and still wanted to adopt her.  (Not a problem!) And so we have made our official request.

Signing the official paperwork at the Notaries

We then drove out to the baby home, from Vlad; with the traffic it took 2 hours and 40 loooonnng minutes. She was a little crabby today again. She still had her runny nose and felt warm. We did our best to comfort her, but it was obvious she did not feel well. We were able to change her into some of the clothes we brought. I had a onesie and sleeper from Carters, size 6 months. It fit her perfectly, so when we see her next, I will bring 9 month and 12-month sizes. I also had a 12-18 month Gymboree shirt which was way too big, I didn’t even put it on her—but it was probably be a little better in June (when we hope to come back for our court date).

We also had a bag of new clothes to donate and we donated all of the blankets and toys we have been playing with the past couple days.

All of the clothes we bought to donate. I only brought 1/2 this trip
It was very hard saying good-bye to her today. We know we will not see her again for about 3 months. We were told 8-12 weeks, but everyone here keeps saying 3-4 months—so we’ll see. We got to take her down to her gruppa—her room with her 9 little roommates. So sad to see all of these babies here. The caregivers do seem to care about the children and they do the best they can. But 2 caregivers to 10 babies is tough odds.  We handed Sweet Pea over, gave her kisses and they went and stood her in a crib with another baby. She just looked back at us and gave us that  “hey, where are you going" look. Uggg.

We left some things with her to remember us. First was a blanket we slept with for the past couple weeks—to get our smell (good smells of course).  Then one of those little tiny blankets that has a character head (ours was a bear). It has a satiny ribbon border around it . We also left a Build-a-Bear Bunny. We did not get clothes for it—but did add a voice box that we recorded our voices on so she can hear us while we are gone. We forgot to tell the caregiver it is there—hope they figure it out. (Thanks to Amy for that idea). Also to future PAP’s, we recorded ours in English and didn’t think about this until it was too late—we should have done it in Russian so she would understand it.  Duh!! We also left 2 disposable cameras. Hopefully they will take some pictures while we are gone so we do not miss this time with her. We gave them back a little baby today and in 3-4 months, she will be 1 year old and probably look different—maybe even walking 

We returned to the Inn, ate awesome 3 cheese pizza for dinner (mozzarella, fontina and feta) , huge “side” salads, and Russian beer (have to numb up a little bit after that good-bye). We are half packed and exhausted (it’s 9pm here, but the middle of the night at home—still can’t get used to the time changes). Ivan picks us up tomorrow at noon.
We will post pictures of Vladivostok when we get home. 
Leigh Ann and Joe