Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 31st Gothcha Day!

In the adoption world, the day you actually get physical custody of your child is known as “Gotcha Day”. Not terribly eloquent, and I have no idea who originally came up with it. But after 2 years, hundreds of pieces of paperwork and thousands of dollars, Sweet pea--we gotcha!!!
Just like last Friday, we woke up bright and early at about 0400. We still have not acclimated to the time change. Vlad is 15 hours ahead of Michigan. Just like last Friday, we made the 2-hour trek to Ussyrick. I was not as nostalgic this time. We had a relatively smooth trip, little traffic, but I am done with this drive. Last Friday I took about a hundred pictures, today I took two.
Sweet pea is doing much better. She feels better from her earlier pneumonia. She even looks better, a little more filled out. They had said she gained a kilogram (2.2#s) while we were gone for 5 months, but I thought last week she looked thinner.   I am glad we decided to leave her here. We are anxious to be her parents, but this place and these people are all she knows. I’m sure it was less stressful for her to recuperate here. 
She is again excited to see us. She is in the front crib by herself, but has graduated from having socks on her hands. She is actually dressed in pink, which looks very pretty on her. Not sure if I mentioned in the past, they don’t really follow the pink and blue rules for baby girls and boys here. Whatever is grabbed is what you get.
While we wait for Ivan to finish all the detail work, we play with Sweet pea and get to feed her again. More pureed meat/veggies/bread stuff. It is not really very appetizing, but probably very healthy as it is all fresh foods—and not a preservative in site! She also gets warm tea in a porcelain cup. After lunch, all the other children are put done for their 3-hour nap. Not Sweet pea, although she looks very tired. She is going with us. We begin to change her, but the caregivers want to wash her first.  They come and grab her. They are treating us like we have never seen a baby before. I want to dress her in a beautiful lavender and green dress from Janie and Jack. I got it 50% off and it is still the most expensive piece of clothing I have bought for Sweet pea.  I also bought the little lavender coat to go with it, but it is too hot today. Who knew it would be 80 degrees here? The dress has straps, so I did not want to put a onesie t-shirt under it. The caregiver tried her best to communicate to me that I needed one. I feigned ignorance until she went to grab an old one from the cupboard. I had to give-in and ran and got a new one from my bag first. Doesn’t she know it’s 80 degrees out?! So now the dress looked stupid and Sweet pea is tired and irritable. She is ready for that nap. Did I mention she also had to have tights on? Yeah, I know, it’s 80 degrees out. I anticipated this and brought the tights. We tried to take the obligatory caregiver pictures, Sweet pea is sobbing. She has hit the wall. We take 2 bad shots; grab our stuff and head out the door. The medical director, Tatiana sees us off and gives us hugs. Sweet pea is still crying. No, at this point I am not wondering “what have I done?”. I understand the value of a good nap. I am certain Sweet pea will pass out in the car and the world will be right again afterwards.  And as expected, she is a new girl when we arrive at her home for the next week, the Vlad Motor Inn.
When we are walking in to the Vlad Inn, Clarisse was carrying her. She put her down in the hall to let her walk by herself while Clarisse held her hands. Well, Clarisse wanted to stop, but Sweet pea just kept going! She was walking by herself!!! I yelled out “Stop her!” because I wanted to tape this momentous event. I had seen her take a few steps in her crib, but not like this. I did not really expect her to be ‘stopped’ but Clarisse said just for a second she almost reached out and pushed her down. Luckily she realized that would be wrong and didn’t. We had a good laugh.
The first thing we did was go to eat. We brought food into the restaurant that we had bought for Sweet pea to eat and she did great. No complaints. She even took to the bottle right away. We returned to the room and just played. She seemed very happy and went with the flow. She had a great time playing with the toys while we made fools of ourselves trying to get her to smile, which she reward us with often.
We had asked for a crib and they brought us a white Jenny Lind crib, the kind that has the front side rail that goes up and down (the kind that is now apparently illegal in the US). Sweet pea’s schedule said  she went to bed at 9pm and she was getting a little cranky. At first we tried to get her to go to sleep by rocking her and carrying her. Since she is not used to that kind of closeness, it just made her uncomfortable. Finally, I just put her in the crib and covered her with her blanket. We braced ourselves for the crying…but after a loud effort…that lasted maybe 10 seconds- literally- we put her fingers in her mouth, rolled over and went to sleep. She slept the whole night. Hallaluyah!

Sweet Pea's last day at the baby home

Showing us how to dress a baby...

Not a happy baby!

Back at the Vlad Inn


  1. Thanks for the very detailed posts! We're following with peaked interest because our little guy (just referred) is from Usseryusik also. In fact I recognized the dinosaur on the wall, and the crib that his picture was taken in from your photo captioned "Showing us how to dress a baby". Once you get home and settled, if you don't mind, can you please post a few more of the orphanage photos? We're eager to see more. Also- did you have a choice about taking Sweet Pea with you during the 10 day wait? I kind of gathered that you did. Thanks for the response, and safe travels to you all. Sherry

  2. Thanks for the pictures,we are waiting an a referral from Vlad and have enjoyed following your journey.It helps me know what to expect.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your journey - makes me nervous and excited at the same time. We are just starting our journey to bring home our new daughter and your blog is inspiring.

  4. The "Gotcha Day" thing is cute! One of my sorority sisters was adopted when she was little and she always celebrates her "gotcha day" with her parents. She says its like having two birthdays!

    4 MORE DAYS!!! :D

  5. By the way.. that last comment was from Mallory. :) I am only able to post anonymous comments.

  6. Congrats on your gotcha day, can't wait to see your new baby!!! I noticed that you are possibly from am I!! Would love to connect sometime in the future. I had one homestudy visit and am very anxious to get things moving so I can bring my little guy home!!! Congrats again and have a safe, non-exciting trip HOME!!!! =)

  7. Our kids were born in Spassk also! Congrats to you! By the way.....Spassk babies are beautiful!