Introducing our budding family. We hope you will enjoy watching us grow... and everything else under the sun. ;)

Hayden's Happy #8!

A brand new bike!!!
On Sunday, we celebrated Hayden's 8th birthday with family and friends. We all headed out to one of his favorite places to play games and eat pizza, cupcakes and ice-cream. Though the weather was windy and chilly, we were glad everyone could make it to spend the day with Hayden!

On Tuesday, he was tickled pink to have his principal announce his name over the loud speaker at school (some kids would be embarassed, least I would have been). He also got to hand out treats to his class and to the other 2nd grade classes in his school. Once he came home and told us about his day, he helped choose what he wanted for dinner; he picked strombolli and mac n' cheese. After dinner we had some quality family time. First we both watched, then I watched, Hayden and Daddy dance to songs (I video taped some for blackmail later *wink*).

And to continue on with our busy week; Hayden proved how much of a big brother he already is. He completed his adoption physical yesterday with Michael and I by his side. He did a TB test, peed in a cup and gave two vials of blood. He was very brave!

It has been two weeks since we received our packet of adoption paperwork and it seems like we are almost finished completing it. Once it is all finished being previewed, we will get it notarized and apostilled and then send it off to our agency. It won't be long after that, we hope, before we receive word of a court date and we get to see Little D's beautiful face again.

We want to send Happy Easter wishes to everyone. May you have safe travels if you are visiting family.

~Mel 0 comments

Where Do We Go From Here?

If you have one that we can borrow, bring it on over!

We have been crazy busy this past week. And it has really blown by - I can't believe we were just in Russia last Sunday meeting our daughter! How time flies...

With that, many people have been asking "When do you go back?". And we would surely like to give you an exact date. But unfortunately, as we well know by now, adoption is unpredictable. However, we were told to get our paperwork in order while our little one's medical is done in-country and they do things on their end. Our in-country coordinator said she needs a least a month... and that's what we are banking on when it comes to a deadline for our paperwork.

It has been nuts getting our court/dossier paperwork started. We need to complete medical forms (getting a physical again). We need to get a copy of the deed of our home, mortgage papers, a Realtor or a mortgage broker to fill out a real estate verification letter, a letter from a congressman (are you kidding me?) and a list of our finances again. And so much more!!! :)

So after we finish our paperwork (it gets notarized and apostilled), it will be sent off to our agency. And like usual, translated and sent to Russia for approval. Russia will then set a court date for us to return. Once we are in Russia for court, we will get to visit little "D" for a few days and we will then meet with a judge. We will also undergo our 8-doc medical during this trip. After we finish all that, there is a waiting period... usually 10-14 days. We can either stay in country or go home (which we would rather not do to save money on highly expensive over-priced airfare). Technically Russian adoptions are done in 3 trips, but if you stay in between the 2nd and 3rd trip, you can count it as 2. So after we finish the waiting period, we need to travel to Moscow with little "D" to get her visa and tie up lose ends before flying home with a toddler - Yikes!.

Now, I'm no expert on this... so this may or may not work out as planned. If I only had a crystal ball...

Regardless, we are hoping to be Forever Home by early summer. Wouldn't that be grand?

Happy Spring,
Melissa 0 comments

Saying goodbye...for now, but we'll be back!

Thursday was our last day with Little D.  But first, we did some sightseeing around town, taking pics of beautiful St. Petersburg with our son Hayden's traveling bear. I highly recommend visiting, it is rich with history, architecture, art, and it has 2 IKEA stores! Then we did some Russian souvenir and gift shopping in the shadow of the Temple of the Savior of Spilled Blood.  A great place to do souvenir shopping in the winter, we bartered down the prices, a "game" the shopkeepers enjoy.  Mel had a traditional Russian lunch, Borscht and Russian style raviolis (sorry not sure of the Russian name).  But our interpeter told us that the ravioli meal was popular with families, they would make the dough, the meat, another layer of dough and cut, pinch, boil and viola dinner for several days.  Plus, her brother would always make one with peppercorn and they would enjoy seeing who was the unlucky one to have that ravioli.

Finally, our last ride, for now, to the orphanage to visit with Little D. We were back in the room that started it all.  Today she had star pants and a top with beaded birds. She enjoyed showing off to us as soon as she walked in with a cute pony tail on top of her head.  So cute!  This time we let her choose which toy she wanted to play with first.  Her choice, the Disney Princess puzzle cubes, which she enjoys building towers of two.  She did build a large tower with them all, and this time she knocked them all down, we enjoyed a good laugh.  Her favorite part of the toy, the clear plastic piece, which she used as a mirror to look at herself, so we quickly dubbed her a Princess.

While she played a little more of that, Michael took out the new toy we bought for her (and Hayden) at the market...a wooden pink bird whistle (Hay's is a blue bird whistle).  Her first attempt succeeded in a clear whisper and we were presented with one of her classic cute "aha" looks.  Soon she was a one woman band, blowing on the whistle and playing the xylophone.

Her next choice from our "toy" bag, was her baby doll.  The "moment of the day" occurred, shortly after Michael helped blow her nose, she took a kleenex to blow her baby doll's nose and then deposited the tissue into her pants pockets, such an observant little girl.  Then she wanted a new kleenex to do it all over again, Mel and I tried tricking her by pretending to give her a new one, when in fact we gave her the same one...but no fooling her, she knew we were sneaking it behind her back.  Her imagination showed with that single piece of kleenex, it was then used as a towel to bathe her doll, then a blanket for sleeping, and lastly a bib for eating.

And before we knew it our visit was over.  We did get to walk her up to her playroom, we were allowed to let her keep her baby doll.  As soon as she entered the room, all the kids ran up to her to see her new toy.  All the girls wanted her doll, one girl "stole" the potty, and Little D showed some spunk and took it right back.  The caretakers were quick to let the kids know this doll was Little D's.  We also asked them to go through the picture book with mom, dad, Hayden, and the kitties, which they said they would.  All the kids once again were oohing and aahing over the kitties.  Lastly, we left the donated clothes that some friends gave to us to donate to the orphanage.

The look in her eyes as we left...set our hearts aching,
But have no fear Little D,
We will return.

Michael and Melissa 2 comments