Dennis & I have created this blog to share with our family and friends as we begin our journey to Russia where we hope to add to our wonderful family.







Thursday, October 25, 2012

One Month update

It is so hard to believe it has already been one month home for Angelina & Anthony.

I started this post at one month and then another with pictures - so I am combining the two and posting together!!

So how have we all been doing?

Pretty terrific.

I will admit the language barrier for about the first 5 days was tough, tough tough but slowly they learned that we are good, their needs were being met and everything got better & easier for both them & us every single day.

Angelina & Anthony are very happy little children.  They are learning English pretty quickly and understand most of what we say to them even if they can't speak the language, they do understand  - this is huge for all of us and the transition and everyone is doing well!

So far we have had many doctors appointments and everything is checking out fine.

We have had evaluations and so far it looks like speech for sure for Angelina - she struggles with annunciation. Anthony might get speech as well if they can work the #'s but he is doing amazing and picks up works quickly, they learned alot of their body parts - Anthony can count to 10 Angelina to 5.

They are doing great - Anthony's walking better &  is able to kick a ball now.  Angelina likes to run after/with Nicholas......they can now both peddle a tricycle ........the only TV they like is the Wiggles...........no Elmo, or Scooby.


Here are some pictures

Our House before leaving for the airport



Nicholas made this sign at school

Big brother waiting at the airport for his brother & sister to arrrive
                                        
                                           
                                             First morning home

Well that is it for now I want to post this and not keep delaying an update.

DND

Monday, September 17, 2012

HOME

Very quick short update:

Angelina and Anthony and Dennis arrived home on Friday night..........Nicholas and I met them at the airport.............everyone was pretty much a mess coming off of that long, long plane ride. 

Dennis said he would never do that again & WOW this is great, great news since we don't plan on doing this again!!

Anyway they did survive all the worse for wear but they are home................

We anticipated the challenges of adopting two children who don't understand us and that we don't understand them but we can & will admit it is TOUGH!!!!!  Tough for all of us.....................the kids talk to each other a lot and I can only imagine what they are saying to one another? 

Dennis arrived home not feeling well and was pretty much shot on Saturday, a bit better on Sunday but today needed to go to the doctor.  Hopefully it is only a sinus infection and he will recover soon!!!  Love him and all and want him to feel better but this is really no time for doing the whole single parent gig with three kids (LOL!!)

Anyway we are getting by..........Angelina is a very picky eater and I'm not having much luck with her and eating...................Anthony is very determined and cannot be left unattended for ONE single second........our only savior is I happened to buy booster seats with straps and man on man what a Godsend.  I mean it - I don't think I could do this without them - if only to keep them with me while I attempt to prepare food or give them baths and such.  The kids have no interest in TV which is GREAT and I'm a big believer in not putting kids in front of the TV HOWEVER it would help if we could keep them still for even just a few minutes and not only that but it will help with them learning the language!!

They desperately need haircuts and on Thursday they have their first doctors appointments.  Now my plan was for them to see our International Adoption doctor however when I went to schedule the appointment about a month ago to see the Russian speaking doctor in the practice I couldn't get an appointment until mid October - way too long to wait and although I could bring them to Nick's pediatrician I really felt it might be important to have them see a doctor, intitallly anyway, that speaks Russian and I was successful in finding one very close to us and think that it might be comforting to the children to be seen by someone who can speak with them.  I was and I am concerned about making sure we get all areas covered in respect to all the  shots and blood work, parasites, etc and will tell them what I think is needed if they are not sure.  I also will need to bring them to all the pediatric specialists, heart, neurologist, opthomologist, etc.  I guess the second time around is easier since I have been down this road before!!!!

Nicholas is doing great.....................adjusting to the new dynamics and I think having the twins take some of the heat off up so he is happy!  The twins look up to him and if we (Dennis or I ) take them for a walk with Nicholas they flat out refuse to hold our hands and will only hold Nicholas - pretty cute!  He is a trooper even when he doesn't want to be - like tonight he told Dennis he was moving out only because they want to follow him and kiss him and be around him and he is five and isn't so much into two little ones who don't understand him !!!!

That is all for now - wow longer then I thought!

No pictures yet as they are not downloaded (GET BETTER DENNIS)!!!

Thank you all for you love and concern..............

Love to all,
DND 

Friday, September 14, 2012

HOMEWARD BOUND!!!!!

Today is the day - YEAH!!!!


Dennis, Angelina & Anthony are finally, finally coming home!!!!!

Dennis just called from the airport and wow the kids were jabber jaws in the background.........he said they were in awe of the airplanes and were just so excited to be seeing everything going on at the airport.

Dennis said Anthony did cry and cry when they dropped the caregiver off at the train station so much so that he cried himself to sleep in the car ride to the airport...............Angelina followed suit and fell asleep as well for the car ride & I'm sure it has to do with the motion of the car moving.

Dennis has checked in and they are just looking out the window watching the planes and jabbering away - wish I understood what they were saying but I'm just glad they are happy and excited and not sad or crying.

I am off today and will finish up lots of the last minute things that I need to tend to - food shopping, cleaning, all the last minute details before they arrive home.

My plan is to pick Nicholas up from school and head to the airport.............I'm sure we will be waiting awhile for them to finally come out of the arrival terminal and know Nicholas is super excited.............Nicholas is such amazing little boy.......  I was talking with him last night saying you know it might be hard for a few days until everyone settles in, things like that and that  we need his patience and understanding and such and he said "are my brother and sister going to get all of the attention when they come home?"  Now we have never spoken to Nick about such things and always say we will need his help since he is the big brother................he amazed me with this question/comment and I told him no but it will be tough sometimes and we then agreed & made a pinkie swear that if at anytime he needs us to stop and give him some special attention he just needs to let us know and we will make special time for him.  He was fine with this idea and shortly thereafter while brushing his teeth for bedtime he advised that he needed some attention...........just testing the waters I guess to see if I'd listen!!

Here are some photos of the kids last day in Moscow




So they are almost home & what a long, long journey this has been.

Fingers crossed and many prayers that Dennis & the kids will have a smooth, smooth flight!!

DND





Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MOSCOW

Dennis, Angelina, & Anthony arrived in Moscow on Tuesday morning!!!

Dennis said Angelina fell asleep pretty quickly and that Anthony told Irina (the Russian nanny along for the trip) that he didn't want to go to sleep!!  He was very excited as it was his first train  ride..........WOW we are so thrilled.  Yesterday I was so concerned on how they were doing on this long leg of the journey and couldn't wait to hear from Dennis on how the trip went..................I had an email when I woke up that they arrived and another saying they had to wait in a hotel lobby because they could not check in to the apartment until noon time......................on a side note I cannot begin to tell you how much our Agency has given us so much misinformation that it is past annoying.  I will get back to that another time.

In the meantime I spoke with Dennis briefly as they just got into the apartment when I called - he said the 5 hours waiting in the lobby of another hotel until 12:00 was pretty rough & after a few hours the kids were getting antsy and that they needed to regroup.  So the great news is they arrived, kids did great on the train (THANK GOD)!!! The medicals were done already - more about that later................... Dennis was heading to the market to get food and such and I will speak with him later on this morning again to get filled in on things.

Dennis said they gave cakes to the Doctor and the Director and had sweet treats and such for the kids group.  He did say that the caregivers joked how they will miss Angelina as she is a sweety but Anthony not so much (jokingly I do hope) &  that Anthony is a tough little boy - Wow this so shocked Dennis & I  because if anything our preception was that Angelina was the tough cookie and Anthony is the sweetie................well we can only hope that since it seems that Angelina is going to be a daddys girl in everyway that Anthony is going to be Mommas little man and is just waiting to for his Momma to bring out his sweetness!!!  I think between my two little men - Anthony & Nicholas Momma is going to have her hands very full!!

Dennis did tell me that he did receive the babies Christening outfits from the orphanage....this absolutly brought tears to my eyes................I am so touched that we have such a special keepsake for them & this makes my heart happy. 

Here is another adorable picture of the kids

That's all for now.

DND

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twins Third Birthday

Angelina & Anthony did get to celebrate at least part of their birthday with Poppa.

Dennis celebrated with some chocolate chip cookies.

I am hoping this link will work??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H838Bxp5TE&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Angelina & Anthony's 3rd birthday 9-9-12


Just as the visit ended today and they were heading back to their group Anthony got sick and vomitted.............hopefully it is the overindulgence of the cholocate chip cookies and not something more serious!!


Here is another cute picture of them copying their Poppa snapping away.



Today Dennis will pick up passports, shop for cake and sweet treats for a small going away party with the children at the orphanage.

He will then  pick up the kids at 8:00 this evening to begin the trip to Moscow with the 10 hour overnight train ride. We are hoping for a smooth train ride for the children.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday they have various appointments and Friday is the day they will be flying home.

We are both hoping Dennis has WIFI in the apartment in Moscow so that he can keep me updated & keep sending me photos.

That's all for now.................fingers crossed all goes smoothly and according to plan!!

DND

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Good thing Dennis likes Rollercoaster rides!!

Dennis is so ready to get out of Russia I can't begin to tell you......think Wilson soccer ball, video tours of his room etc.

Anyway it seems that Immigration wasn't coming for him!!!!  They said he could go see the children on Friday & that they assured Immigration he is not fleeing (leaving) Tambov until Monday with this kids and that it was OK for him to visit with them????  None of it makes sense but then again none of any of this has made sense at all throughout this adoption process and this was just the icing on the cake or better yet severe, very severe labor pains of twins!!!

The schedule is the passports will be picked up on Monday, Monday afternoon he will have a party at the orphanage for their final day & Monday evening they leave to go to the train station.
WHEW...........hopefully no issues at the train with Dennis' Visa but let's not go there!


Now onto some very heartwarming and heartfelt happiness & gratitude from me.......................it seems the amazing people I work with planned a shower for me for the arrival of our twins..............I was and am totally blown away by this very grand gesture - I was totally shocked when I walked into the cafeteria and all of this awesome people where there to celebrate our twins arrival - just writing this brings tears to my eyes...................look at this cake - it is AMAZING.




What an amazing cake and WOW I am surrounded by such amazing, caring and loving  people!
Along with the cake we received three cards,
one for Angelina,
one for Anthony &
one for big brother Nicholas - it was so thoughtful and very special



In addition we were given the most amazing, amazing gift that just has blown me away. They felt that a gift card would be most helpful and they were so generous - it really just blows me away.

I am deeply touched and know I am such a lucky person on so many levels. I just read somewhere that if you focus on the positives in your life you have no time to think about the negatives.........
and this is so, so true.

I am truly blessed and do thank God everyday if not once a day many, many times a day.

I have the most AMAZING husband who is the most AMAZING father who will do anything for his family and we have the most AMAZING son who is the light and love of our lives.........we will soon be blessed with two AMAZING children who will complete our family and our lives will be blessed.

Thank you GOD for giving us such an AMAZING life.

DND

On a side note we cut around the cake and I have frozen the picture portion of the cake so that our family can enjoy together!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

3rd Trip PROBLEM

Dennis is doing very well while in Russia with visiting the kids and having fun with them....he did send me 2 videos - not sure I can figure out how to attach them but will give it a try.

Now onto the problem - while attempting to process the paperwork for passports for the twins it was discovered that Dennis' Visa was not done correctly.  We found out later that the travel agency decided that just listing Moscow would be sufficient - guess what it is not - in theory Dennis is now in Tambov illegally.  Immigration is not happy - the hotel got called as well and they will most likely be fined for allowing him to register at the hotel with an incorrect Visa. 

Our concern was bigger - they did not let him apply for passports for the kids with this error. The long short story of it is that if they couldn't straighten this out he would have needed to get a new Visa - that would take well over a week - I was so so upset however the next day after going back to the police department and getting some type of letter the passport office accepted the applications and they will be processed.  We also found out that penalties will be given to not only the hotel but to us......GREAT  although our agency is stating that the fines should be paid by the travel agent since we completed the Visa forms correctly.................

WHEW I was super stressed..........Dennis was cool and reassuring & hopeful it would all work out.....................in the meantime he is not allowed to leave the hotel since technically he is not in Tambov legally.  So he must stay in the hotel (they did say he could walk outside for short periods) but this also means he cannot visit with the children.  Seems Immigration is coming to ask why his Visa is not done correctly and he must be at the hotel .   As far as the Visa goes - since it is all in Russian how the hell would we know it is not correct??? When Immigration comes he will need to call the translator who actually understands English to assist with this interview.  Hopefully this all goes as expected and my husband will not be thrown in jail - I joke but hey you just never know!

DND