Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First Doctor's Appointment

Christian had his first doctor's appointment this morning, and yes, he screamed the whole time. I am amazed that the doctor can hear anything viable through his stethascope when the kids is screaming.  He said that Christian is a good size coming from an orphanage and appears to be in general good health. He gave me some tips on how to get my liquids down him and how much he really needs.

He wants to check his poop to test for any parasites. So lucky me gets to scoop poop into three tiny vials and get them back to the doctor.  He is eating a bit better and actually inhaled the spinach and cheese raviolis I gave him today for lunch!  Of course the insurance company messed up my paperwork in adding him as a dependent. Now I will have to deal with getting reimbursements, which is such a pain in the butt. I called and of course was put on hold. They said my hold time would be around 10 minutes! Yeah, like I'm going to stay on hold, long distance, for 10 minutes, when it probably would be longer. So I left a message and also emailed them.  Ugh......

He is pretty much ignoring the cats, except to lean down for a little pet on the head, if allowed, and moves on.  The cats are getting used to him and when he is crying, they just look curiously then wander into my bedroom to lounge on my bed. They reappear to sit with me on the sofa when the coast is clear....when Christian goes to bed :)

Christian is down for a nap.  Now nap time for Mommy too!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Photos on Sidebar

I have posted some photos of Christian, when we were in Moscow, right before coming home. You will see them on the right sidebar, scroll down a bit.

In response to his "male model hair", that look only happens when I take off his hat :)  Soon after, it lays down flat and of course, when I want it to stand up a bit, it won't.  It's still pretty short, so I'm interested to see what it will do when it grows some.


Holiday Antics

Our first Christmas with the family went great!  Christian had a great time and got used to everyone fairly quickly I think. We stayed with my sister Beth and her family which worked great for me. She had a crib we could use, toys and two kids that played with Christian. Her husband Bob played with Christian and took him on his first snow sled ride, which he loved!  Beth and Bob helped me a great deal with parenting advice and when Christian had a fit, would give me ideas on how to handle him.  Right now I am figuring out when he is scared as opposed to being a typicaly 2 yr old and having a tantrum.  After the first day and half, he figured out most of the rules and did great after that, with only a few slip ups, which I think is great.

He did very well at Christmas Eve mass and LOVED the music.  He did a great job of opening his Christmas presents, one little piece of wrapping paper at a time, handing me each piece.  The opening took a little time, but he was so cute to watch. My nephew and fiance gave him a helicopter that has music and learning singing things, that he is totally attached to.  We got him to say "kitty" and "doggy" so far, both of which he is scared of. He finally let my two cats get close to him, as long as they were sitting still. The minute they moved, he would get scared again.  They will get used to each other quickly I'm sure.

We're headed back to my house tomorrow so we can continue to get comfortable and familiar in our house.  I'm sure the first night back at bedtime will be another adjustment. His food adjustment is coming along but the drinks are still a challenge.  Someone suggested soymilk, so I'm going to try that.  Someone also said their child was given tea, so when they came home, he was suffering from caffeine withdrawal.....never thought of that.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Home - Day 3

Well I think we are getting into some common territory.  Yesterday was a parade of meltdowns - didn't want to eat, didn't want his diaper changed, didn't want to get out of the crib, didn't want to stay in the crib, on and on and on.  He didn't drink or eat much on Sunday and yesterday he only ate some applesauce and wouldn't drink anything.  I was so worried that he would get dehydrated but people assured me the he would be fine.

So today was a much better day. He ate very well and drank up until dinner time and that was a small battle.  But we weathered the storm.  We had fun today, played, read books, danced to music, and had a short walk outside.  Christian is slowly adjusting to his new surroundings and we are working on the new food types.  He is understanding what I say in English but not saying too much yet. He babbles in his "baby talk" and just gives me a blank look when I try to get him to repeat something I want him to say. The look on his face is so funny!

At 28 mo. old, I guessed he would wear 2T clothes. I took some clothes on my court trip, held them up to him and they looked to be the correct size. However, they are entirely too big.  The shirts I can get by with but the pants won't stay up. So we made a quick trip to Walmart to get some different pants. Ends up, he wears a 18 mo. pant size.  He did really good in Walmart, just sat in the cart, looked around and took it all in. He got accustomed to his surroundings because he started pulling everything off the racks that he could reach. I would put them back and then he thought it was a game and you can imagine how that progressed.  He then let out a loud squeal of excitement, I shushed him, then it was a game. The more we went through the motions, the more both of us laughed and he kept on. His squeal sounds like he's mad so people were looking at us disgusted until they saw we were laughing and then they would smile and chuckle at us. It was funny but we were disrupting people so we had to get out of there.

Well tomorrow morning is bath time, which hasn't gone well in the past, so we'll see what happens in the morning.  I take naps when he does, which works out great, until I get back on our time zone. That 9 hour difference really knocked me off my feet. So here's to having all the meals times go smoothly tomorrow :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home and Exhausted

We made it home!!!  The time change is hard on both of us.  The mornings are good but by noon it goes downhill.  It will be much better as the days progress, we get back on a normal sleep schedule and a routine.
Made a dash to the grocery store and he was an angel. He just sat in the shopping cart quietly, looking around taking it all in.

I keep going and looking in on him sleeping, not believing he is finally home with me :) I feel so happy and blessed. I'll post more soon, I'm so tired right now.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I decided to make today our "Gotcha Day".  For those not familiar with what this is, this is a day in the adoption process that you select as your special day when the child becomes officially part of your forever family.  Some people choose their court date, some the orphanage pickup day, some the embassy interview day. I chose Embassy day, which is today!

We went to the embassy and there were about 15 other families there waiting for their interviews as well.  We were meeting each other and chatting about our adoption process stories.  The children being adopted ranged from 10 yrs old to 9 months old.  The parents were from all over the country: San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City to name a few.  Christian sat there for about 15 minutes before he started getting antsy.  He was getting vocal then wanted to get down off the chair and it progressed from there. So I broke out the puff snacks to bribe him to stay quiet like all the other children were.  An 18 mo. old girl beside us spied the puff snacks and wanted them. The Mom was like, "oh no", and had to get her own puff snacks out.....oops!  At this point, it's every parent for themselves :)  Just kidding.

So now I have a huge packet of the office adoption papers, his passport and we are off tomorrow to the airport to head back to the U.S.!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1st Full Day in Moscow

HOLY SHIT!  Yes "shit" is the topic for this blog entry. If you are offended, then read no further.
Obviously what I am feeding Christian is playing havoc with his system. He has had so many poopy diapers I have lost count. Of course wise Aunt Cindy, with two kids of her own, has valuable insight for what to do and how to do it.

Eating is not going well. At the orphanage he eats whatever they put in front of him, but not so much with me.  It will take some getting used to "our" food and then I'm sure he'll pick up where he left off, eating large amounts of food. It is so cute when it's time to eat. He sees me bring out the bib, he clutches his chubby little hands together, presses them into his stomach and squeals with laughter, followed by a few little hops before he quickly scambles up into the chair for his food.  Just adorable.

At first the poopy diapers weren't bad to change.  We just kept on as we smelled the evidence, and BOY could you smell it!  We attempted a potty try on the toilet which resulted in meltdown number 3, so we abandoned that mission and moved on.  I kept smelling poop for a few hours after one particular messy change, to realize I had some on my jeans.  Into the wash pile they went. After lunch and the afternoon nap today, I decided I needed to tackle the first bath. He hadn't had a bath in awhile and really needed one.

This caused the mass hysteria meltdown number 4, I do mean hysteria. He is absolutely terrifed of water! We tried to put toys in the tub with him but he just gripped onto the sides for dear life, shaking and screaming, as I washed him as fast as humanly possible while getting all the grime.  I then shampooed his hair which raised the volume level on the hysteria.  But we knocked it all out quickly with Aunt Cindy lending a hand so he didn't slip down into the water.  He was swiftly airlifted out of the evil bathtub into a warm towel and quickly dried off. He was still trembling and crying when I took him in to get a diaper on and clothes on.  We wrestled into the clothes and then I had to change because I was soaking wet.

Not 30 minutes after the Bathtub Battle of Dec 16th, 2010, a day that will live in infamy, did he POOP HUGE AGAIN!!!  I ask you, how much poop can one small 2 yr old boy hold???  For some reason he decided to freak out with this diaper change, when all the others had been cooperative and peaceful. He decided to help Mommy change his diaper. Yes you know before you read on, that this is not going to go well.  I had gotten the one side of the diaper undo, only to have him rip the other side off, flinging the diaper around, where a large dollop of shit fell on the floor. Now, due to the fact the we was throwing a fit at this time, his head was raised up but he put it down, yes in the poop dollop.  You just sighed didn't you....I did too.  So off the clothes come, back into the bathroom, to stick his head under the faucet for a lighting speed shampoo while Cindy held the screaming banshee under her arms.  After that, we were ALL ready for a that thankfully lasted 3 hours. The fun has just begun.....

Then he'll squeal with laughter and I forget about the shit....until the next diaper of course :)

1st Airplane Ride

Christian's first airplane ride went fairly smooth....after the mad dash to get there!
I buckled him in the seat and he didn't make a sound. Of course he had his security transition toy clutched tightly, the infamous "Farmer in the Dell" music box.  He didn't even flinch during the takeoff, and I'm thinking, this is going to be ok.  We managed to feed him and he laid down to sleep.  His bedtime is 8:00 and by now it was 9:30pm.  The drama unfolded when it came time to wake him up to get off the plane.  He slept through the landing so that worked to our advantage. We got everything packed back up and ready to deplane when we had to wake the sleeping banshee.  He went temporarily insane, I am sure of it.  He had a major meltdown, he was SO tired.  The stiff body that is hard to hold on to, the screaming, people staring, the whole shebang!  We managed to get off the plane and by the time we boarded the shuttle bus to take us to the terminal entrance, he had calmed down.

We head to baggage claim and miraculously, all the bags came out pretty quickly.  Sidenote: I spied a cat (yes a real live feline) calmly sitting on a bench by a baggage conveyor, like it was waiting for it's bags or something. It was so funny to see a cat inside an airport. When we came back around to show it to Christian, it had disappeared. Now I know I was tired, but I swear I DID see a real cat!

Into the car we went for round two of the exhausted meltdown.  He quickly fell asleep only to have the sleeping banshe awaken again to get into the apartment we rented in Moscow. It didn't take long to get him to fall back asleep, thank you God, and we managed to fall into bed around 2:00 a.m.

The doctor came to examine him at 6:30 guessed it, meltdown number two.  But it didn't last but 15 minutes (after the scarey doctor left) and we were off to playing.
So it will be interesting to see how he behaves on the 9 hour flight from Moscow to New York and then the next 2 hour+ flight from NY to St. Louis. I pray the flight to St. Louis goes smooth because we depart from Aunt Cindy in New York because she flies back to Orlando from there.  Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers sent for smooth plane rides in our future.

Pickup at Orphanage

We drove the 1 hour and 40 minutes, through snow and unplowed roads, to the small town where Christian's orphanage is located.  As soon as we got there, I felt like they were rushing us around.  I gave them my bag of clothes I brought, they stripped him down, dressed him in the clothes I brought and rushed us out the door.  We did manage to get them to pause so we could get photos of his caregivers, doctor and director.  One caregiver, who really loved Christian, had tears in her eyes when we were leaving and kept calling out helpful hints of what he likes and what to do in certain situations. She also gave me a toy chicken that is his favorite toy and a small bag of food for him in the car. I wasn't expecting to get anything from them so tthat was so kind and appreciated. I am sure Christian will be please with his toy chicken :)

Thank goodness my sister Cindy was with me, because as I was trying to hold onto Christian, in his snow coat and pants that are too big, she was snapping the photos and asking the names of the two caregivers that seemed to love Christian the most. Thanks so much Cindy!!!

We hustled him to the car, buckeled him in and off we went. He was very very quiet in the car, just looking at everything and taking it all in.  It was his lunch time, so we fed him what we could in the car from the food care package they sent with us. Then he crashed for a nap for the rest of the trip.  We had to get some more passport photos done and he did great! I was worried he wouldn't sit still but he did.  Then back to the hotel to play and wait for the adoption rep to bring us the papers and then dashed to the airport.

I am so happy that he is one of those types of children, that when they get overly stimulated, he is quiet and just takes it all in, instead of freaking out :)  We had plenty of those moments later that day and the next.....stay tuned.

Flight Snafu

Whew!  I have Christian in my hands and heading on the last jeg of this amazing process.
We had some snaffus in Kaliningrad, as has been typical in my process.  They couldn't get the birth certificate apostilled in time for our departing flight, so I had to change my flights. That was a HUGE nightmare!  They were rushing me, blaming me and generally bullying me. I was tired and upset, afraid we wouldn't make it to Moscow in time for the US Embassy interview, thus causing me to stay over the weekend and two days next week.  So I pushed them, they pushed back, and after making the flight changes and a mad dash to catch the 8:15 pm flight out of Kaliningrad, we were off to Moscow.  Yes it was thousands of dollars to change the tickets which gave me an ulcer I am sure of it.

We raced to the little regional airport, only to get stuck in traffic because of the snowfall.  Apparently they do not plow the streets here and traffic was a mess. I was so worried that after spending so much money to change the flights, I would have to again because we would miss the flight.  But we made it!
Then our bags were too heavy so I had to pay additional fees.  My driver got into a shooting match, accompanied with large gestures, with the payment window woman, who was shouting back at him. Meanwhile I am anxiously shifting from foot to foot, because we are wasting time arguing and our plane leaves in 15 minutes, we don't have the tickets printed yet, not through security yet, and not to the gate yet. The woman angrily threw the change and receipt in the window tray, I snatched it up and ran off, leaving my driver there to yell "the last word" at the woman.  We rushed through security only to have to dig out Christian adoption paperwork to prove I could take him.  We ran to the security, the woman rushed us through, ran to the gate, only to be told they were running 20 minutes behind.  Really???  Oh well, at least we got there.  Thank goodness Christian just sat in the stroller, not making a peep, taking it all in :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

15 hours to go

In 15 hours I will be on a plane for the last time to Russia and bringing home my little miracle boy!
Everything is packed, except the last minute things like makeup, lotion, hair dryer. etc. I tried to pack as much as I could in as little bags as possible but then they were SO heavy :)
So I switched some things around, will still need help carrying things (yes sister Cindy, that means you) and it will all work.
I am SO excited and probably will not sleep tonight.  My parents came to take me to the airport tomorrow, Thanks Mom and Dad!
Off to take parents to get some dinner.
Will blog during the trip when I can and I plan to blog when we return to home to let you know how our transition is going.
Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

86 hours to go

In 86 hours I will be flying off to bring home my son!  I can hardly stand it and wish the time would go faster. I am SOOOOO happy that my sister is going with me.  She lives in Florida and we don't see each other very much throughout the year, so this will give her some "one-on-one" time with her new nephew.  Plus it will be wonderful to share this experience with someone....and help me carry all the stuff I'll be lugging around :)

Based on some advice from a couple of my wonderful readers, I have stocked up on Gerber snacks for the trip. I was worried about how Christian will handle the car and plane rides, but a reader reminded me that his feeling of security is the most important thing and that if I have to hold him in the car instead of being in a car seat, then at that time, that is the best thing for him.  For his sake, I hope his isn't too scared so he's not too upset.

I am just SO excited and can't wait to get him home! I know I've said that so many times, but I just can't stop saying it.  Let's just hope he gets along with my two cats :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jet Lag....ugh

Holy cow, this jet lag stinks!  You know I'm just going to get back on my normal time and then turn around and leave again to the other time zones.  Oh well, it is ALL worth every second!
Went to the store this morning to get small snack packs and travel containers of soups, mac-n-cheese, crackers, etc for the trip.  Not sure what he'll eat and I don't want to waste money ordering stuff in a restaurant only to have him not eat it.  I have things that are similar to what he eats now and I also plan to make a trip to the store when I am there to get food he eats now.  When I pick him up from the orphanage, we stay one night in Kaliningrad and then fly back to Moscow for the final 3 days.  We are staying in an apartment, which was less expensive to rent than the hotels, and it has a small kitchenette area with a refrigerator and microwave, so that will work out great.

I'll be taking alot more with me this time; two suitcases, stroller and a pac-n-play unit so he has somewhere to sleep. I'm not taking a car seat because I bought the TSA airline approved seat strap unit thingy. Basically is the same straps in a car seat that is attached to a larger strap that slides over the back of the seat, then the lap belt slides through.  This will be great because I won't have to lug a big car seat around, the the strap unit just folds right up and can be tossed in my carry-on.  It will be interesting to see how he reacts to being strapped into a seat!

Off to take a nap and get some housework done.