Thursday, March 31, 2011

I am now a mother of...

Court was successful! We got a yes, and the 10 days was waived. This is one of the few regions that waives the 10 days. The plan is to finish paperchasing tomorrow for her new birth certificate and passport, then we pick her up from the orphanage!!!
Saturday we head back to the capitol city, then hopefully we do her medical and visa, and we could be leaving to go home as soon as Wednesday!!
Shhh..don't tell my kids yet, I don't want to get their hopes up if something happens.

More pictures tomorrow, I PROMISE.

Oh, and a little funny. Our lawyer today told us we are more than welcome to stay here longer instead of going back to the capitol (we are renting a room from her)
What she said was translated by our translator to say "but Serge says you are boring here, so you want to leave"

Haha, I don't think I'm boring, do you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Court Tomorrow!

We have court tomorrow! Thursday at 2pm.
I'm feeling very emotional tonight as I realize tomorrow I will be given a precious gift from God, to be entrusted to be Alanna's Mommy.
Whew, and how the heck did I become a mother of 4?!? Hehe, just kiddin, kind of!
The plan as of now is to have court tomorrow. Then Friday will be Gotcha Day. They encouraged us to wait out the weekend, but we are really eager to get back to the capitol city where we can walk everywhere and not have to pay a driver to go every little place. Our region is wonderful don't get me wrong, but boredom takes it's toll!
I'm sorry I have no new pics to share. She has been sleeping through most of our visits, I think they fall during nap time and then with the time change here this past weekend it has really done her in.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things....

My name is Alanna and my favorite new thing is my Mommy and Daddy. Everyday they come to see me. Me and my Mommy have a tradition now, as soon as she gets me we sit down. Then I look at her right in her eyes (I didn't used to do that). Then I get a little grin on my face (I didn't used to do that either) Then I remember that all I have to do is lean my head to the side and Mommy blows raspberries on my neck!! It makes me smile so big!! I love it, and I remember every morning now, and that makes Mommy smile. After we do that I lay my head on her chest and cuddle for a couple minutes.

Then she hands me over to my Daddy. If I look at my Daddy real cute (which is easy for me) Then he will give me belly pats, or my absolute favorite a back massage!! He gave me 30 minute back massage yesterday. I just lay there real still.

I hear I have a sister and 2 brothers waiting for me at home. I can't wait! Tell them I like kisses and back rubs!


I had forgotten what we were told last time we adopted about tipping over here. It's kind of good to know when you go and pay the bill, what is expected. Especially since you will probably frequent certain restaurants that you are comfortable with.
I guess the bottom line is that tipping is not expected, 15% is normal when you do tip.

Doesn't really make sense, but it gives you a guideline. But let me tell you, I enjoy tipping over here. It is a great chance to really bless someone, and make their day, with only a couple dollars. We tipped the girl almost 20% at one of the nicer resaurants here. We sat at her table a long time, using our computer, and we ordered refills on our "colas" GASP she was super sweet and patient.
The girl blushed so hard when she saw her tip! Made my day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Days 4 and 5

I guess our groundhog days have officially started, you who have adopted from here know what I'm talking about. At first we were told our court would be Monday or Tuesday next week,now they say Thursday/Friday next week. Enough on that before I start a pity party. Hehe, really I just miss home and more than anything my other kids.

Yesterday Alanna was very tired during our visits. We saw her cry for the first time. During our afternoon visit she started crying about 10-15 minutes before it was time for them to come get her. It was a screaming cry, like something was wrong, but we did not have a clue what. I couldn't believe they didn't come sooner, because she was LOUD! And it was heartbreaking!

But today she was Miss Content again. We tryed to tone down the stimulation a bit, I think she is getting too much of it and she is overwhelmed. If any of you have ever seen Gary play with kids, you know this is hard for him, but he has learned quickly. We have noticed she stimms quite a bit, but we are finding things to replace this, like taking her hand and massaging it, etc.... Half way into our morning visit she fell asleep on me. She went into a deep sleep, thumb fell out of the mouth and everything! They had brought her to us 15 minutes late so I think the caregiver was trying to be nice and let us keep her later, but we had to meet with city council and we needed to leave. So at 15 after we carried her down to the front office, and they called her caregiver to come get her.
I think she must have stayed asleep because she was not tired during our afternoon visit. We had to sit in the hall and wait for the visiting room. A mother walked out smelling strongly of smoke and perfume, I think it was a birthmother visiting her child. Then they came and got her 45 minutes early, They explained, that there was another Mama and Papa that needed the room. Umm, I know they have other room, but we had a little over an hour with her, so we just kissed her goodbye and off she went.
This orphanage allows us to come on the weekend so that is great!

A note about city council: this region works a little differently. One of the things is we have to meet with the city council, they review our paperwork ahead of time, ask us some questions, 5-10 mintues worth, then vote, yes vote, like raise your hand if you approve of this adoption. They questioned us for not even 5 minutes, then voted, all positive!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 3 in Region

Yes, I'm running a day behind. We had great visits on Wednesday. Everyday we visit from 9-10 and
1-3. We could tell she was somewhat sleepy. I mean just imagine she has never had so much one on one attention in her life.
So, I think I mentioned she can pretty much sit up, falls over once in a while (we catch her)
I have layed her on her belly and she pushes up on her hands and looks around. I thought that was pretty good, we really weren't even expecting her to be able to sit up. Yesterday I put her on her belly away from her toys, and the girl army crawled to them, FAST!! And she gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth.
She has a pincher grip with her right hand, not her left though, that I've seen.
She puts weight on her legs and will stand with us holding her hands.
She leans in for kisses now. I do this thing where I make a sound with my lips then I give her rasperries on her neck. She loves it! Now when I make the noise she tilts her head to the side and just waits.

She truly is amazing. What child spends their life in an orphanage from the time they are a month old and has hardly and delays? Determined she is! Yes I know that will probably get her into some mischeif later on.
And yes I let Gary hold her..... for a little bit

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 2 in Region

Our visits have been moved to the small visiting room. Thank goodness we have some toys with us. And she loves toys! She can sit up, and even dance while she's doing it, but if she reaches for something she falls over. For our afternoon visit she it looked like they had to wake her up. She was still sleepy. She kept sucking her thumb and laying on us then she would sit back up trying to keep herself awake! She is very busy, if there is something within her sight she is going to try to get to it!
Eventually she gave in and fell asleep on me...bestill my heart.

Day 1 in Region

Sorry for the wait everybody! We are staying in a very nice home, but we couldn't figure out how to get the internet to work. We got the cable internet to work in one of the other bedrooms and since it is vacant we are using it for now. I will say shortly, do not hate me other adoptive parents. We are staying in a VERY nice house. Very custom, just remodeled, and very comfortable. It is a house made to service probably 4-5 families at a time, but we are the only ones here right now. I don't like not being able to walk places, but it is a short cab ride to anywhere we need to go. And one of our most humorous luxuries is ice cubes, yes ice cubes people, made from bottled water, individually wrapped, no joke! And...there is a the joke again.
More on that another day. Oh, and more on how we go to the region another day too, most amusing/scary it will have to be a post in and of itself!
After arriving in region we were taken straight to our lawyer's office, in this region, you must have a lawyer, Serge and his team do not charge extra for this, but they do pay her! Since we arrived in region several hours later than expected we had to rush. We waited shortly once we got to the orphanage then we were taken to the director's office. She had no time to ask questions, but I could tell she was very kind, and so was everyone else. There were several other people in the room including a regional translator, again we were not asked to pay her. The doctor sat down to read her file to us. As soon as that happened a caretaker walked in with Alanna and sat down across the room with her. I kept looking at the doctor, trying not to be rude. Finally Serge says, you can go get her!! Kiss her!! Hug her!! Oh, thank goodness.
She is soo precious, she kept putting her hand on my mouth so I was kissing her hand and she kept doing it. After everyone was done giving us info., they let us play with her in one of the playrooms for about 10 minutes. The first couple times we handed her something it fell right out of her hand after a couple seconds. The translator said "they said she can reach for something but not keep hold of it" PSHH.. I showed her once by putting my hand around hers and shaking it so it would rattle. Problem solved. She now holds things for as long as she wants to, reaches, switches hands, etc... As a matter of fact there is little we can keep away from her. We are head over heels in love with her.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So Close but yet so far away!

Well, it's Thursday night here. We should be trying to sleep, but sleep was pretty unsuccessful last night so we gave in and took a nap today.
Our SDA appt was this morning and was a success, no unexpected hurdles, whew! We got a new picture of Alanna and man is she just so beautiful. It seems like the days are just dragging, due to how the system works here. We had our SDA appt today, but we can't pick up the paperwork giving us permission to visit her until tomorrow afternoon, then it's the weekend. So we will be leaving here very early, like 3-4 am early Monday to drive to her region. I'm not sure I've ever felt so impatient in my life!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We are here

It's around 1 pm here. We arrived last night, late. Niko picked us up and took us the grocery store, then to our apartment. I will try to make this blog as informative for other families as possible
. As soon as he picked us up he took us to a grocery store to get some food/water and exchange money. Have around 150 dollars to exhange so that you can get some food and pay Niko for the ride from the airport and the minutes on your phone. That was 290 Grivna's. Niko speaks some English and he is very kind and informative. We got water, meat, cheese, chocolate, of course, bread, and yogurt. We made sandwiches last night since we hadn't eaten. It was good, we did not get sick from the change in food or anything.
Our apartment is fine, not as nice as we had for our last adoption, but it will work.
I would def suggest brining a queen fitted sheet. Waking up to find the flat sheet they use as a fitted sheet has shifted and you are no laying on the mattress is kind of gross, no matter what country you are in.
Our kitchen has a stove, fridge, and even a microwave.
It also has a handy dandy water warmer thing. I brought Starbucks via with me, which although is a little pricey, it is worth it, not having to go walking for coffee. It is already lightly sweetened so I brought those and individual powdered creamer.
The interenet we have is the cable kind, we had to turn off the modem and turn it back on to get it to work. They left the password for us. Works fine!
We slept from aroudn 2 am last night to 12:30 pm here. I took melatonin and slept great!
When I logged into the computer another RR family who is here was on facebook, so I chatted with the wife and we will meet up with them later!How cool is that.
The stinky part is since our SDA appt is not until Thursday and we don't pick up our referral until Friday, we have to stay in the capitol till Monday morning, then drive to meet Alanna. It seems like a forever wait!!
If you think of any questions just post them in  the comment section!!
Off to shower and go walking. We have all the windows open, it is beautiful outside!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

8 Days!

Not that I'm counting. We are spending our days nesting, Getting ready for a baby and a long trip, And soaking in our kiddos, we are going to miss them like crazy. Alanna is getting some great older siblings, and man are they excited. I do however want to apologize ahead of time for the fact that her brothers immediately decided that "Alanna the Pirana" is soooo funny, and it rhymes and they say like hundred times a day. They are 7 and 10, so they will not forget, I'm sorry but it will probably stick.

Everything has come together. When we first decided to start this journey we doubted our ability to gather money, childcare, etc... Well, it has all come together! Our friends and family are awesome. Some of them may still feel apprehensive, and although that saddens me, I cannot wait to see them fall in love with our Alanna!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In 12 days.....

We are leaving for you-know-where!! We are so excited. And running around like crazies trying to get everything ready! Whew lots to do. When you only have a month to prepare for the arrival of a baby!
Oh, and for you adoptive mommy's looking for timelines, We were submitted on Feb 17th and our SDA appt is March 17th. We will leave here on the 14th, so that we can be there by the 15th, in case of any delays in flights, better safe than sorry.