Monday, December 19, 2011

Week one

We've been home a whole week now, and Louba and the others are doing great. It's been a huge learning adventure for us. Yes, we have two other kids, but having one that doesn't speak your language, or really understand it is a bit of a challenge. But, we're working through it. She so funny. She'll do anything for a laugh. She absoulutely loves her brother and sister and asks for them if they aren't around. Overall, we've had a great week home. I can't wait to see how she changes as she learns more English, and gets into a better routine.

Some things she says and does:
"Be nice!" while pointing her finger at you.
"whoa Melly!" for anything, but especially when she falls down.
"Ups please"
"Come here."
She calls John David, Brat and Julianne, sistra or Jules. Emma is Yemma.
She loves to ride in the "machine-a"
It only takes about 10-15 minutes to get her to bed. She cries hard, but sleeps all night in her own room, by herself.
She is a drama queen. She can turn on the tears like a faucet and turn them off just as fast.
She loves to be tickled, and will ask you to tickle her.
She loves bananas, biscuits, pizza, cookies, apples, juice, pickles, and cole slaw.
She knows that she is cute and loves having her picture made.
Time outs seem to work (at least right now). We've only had a couple a day.
she's potty trained and will tell you when she needs to go. We still have accidents at night, but none during the day.
Upstairs in our house is her favorite and only asks her "Pappa" to go. She never asks me.
She loves to sing and talk (ALL. OF. THE. TIME).
She can name all her facial features in English.
She can count to five in English.
She gets upset if she can't do something and usually has a small tantrum.
she can dress herself.
I've gotten an "I love you" a couple of times.

She'll climb on anything.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The End of One Journey and the Beginning of Another

Day Four:
Embassay visit. We were able to get in and out of the embassay in about an hour. All we had to do was pay the cashier, listen to instructions from one of the officers (who is American), and answer a couple questions (is this your child? Will you take your child to the doctor?). That was it. We received all her paperwork and were on our way to the Russian Consulate. We made it with about 10 minutes to spare before they locked the doors for business that day.

We were also given a private tour by our wonderful facilitator Boris. He showed us all the historical sites and stopped for us to take a couple pictures out the car window. We also made a stop at Red Square and had our pictures made there with Louba. (their on the phone and I'll update later).

We found a McDonalds at the mall about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Thinking Louba might like McDonalds. She's eaten nothing on this trip besides some bananas, apples, and cereal bars. All she wants to drink in juice. I hope that once we're home things will balance out and she'll start eating again. No luck on the Mickey D's.

Day Five: We had nothing to do today. We stayed in the room part of the day, and finally ventured out to the mall for a late lunch/early supper at, of all places, TGIFridays. If it's an American restaurant here, it tastes just like it does at home.

Louba has been a joy (except at bedtime). She yells at everyone and wants them to talk to her. She talks non-stop.

Day six: I woke up about 2:00 this morning and haven't been able to go back to sleep (it's 7 now). We're waiting to go have breakfast and then on to the airport for our flight home. Finally, after almost 13 months, we'll be home with our girl.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us on this journey. Everything from prayers, to lunch, to a couple new tires have helped get us here. We can never repay all of you for all of your selfless generosity over the past year. We look forward to what the coming years hold for our family of five!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trip four! Day One, Two, and Three

We made it back to R on Monday. Day one was spent in several different airports to get here, and after almost 24 hours, we made it to the hotel in Louba's region.

Day Two December 6th, 2011 "Gottcha Day" or "Louba's Day":
We went to the passport agency around 10:30 to pick up Louba's red passport so that we can finally begin to take her home. It was actually ready to go and we were in and out in no time. Then, on to the adoption center to sign our name to take her off the registery for adoptable kids (why this wasn't done in February on our first visit, I'm not sure). Next, we made the hour drive to her city "G-K" to pick her up. She was ready to go. The baby home wanted some pictures of the three of us, but I han't printed any to give them. Luckily, I was able to log-on to our shutterfly account and e-mail them to them. I'm planning to get together a book to send them when we get home. The lady who visited the baby home and fell in love with Louba gave her a necklace to remember "R." It's going in her jewelry box til she's a little older. We changed her into too many clothes, but they thought it was needed. Of course, we didn't have any boots, and had to go buy her some at the local "mall." Malls/shopping centers here, remind me of flea markets back home. Just very different.

We drove back to Moscow and Louba colored the whole time. I was hoping for some sleep, but that didnt' happen until we were about an hour away from the Moscow hotel. No tears, a pretty uneventful day. She didn't want to eat anything but bread, and we had some bananas that she loved.

I just knew we would have trouble at bedtime, but she went to bed without any fighting. We have a baby bed in our room for her. Eric had brought her a bear, and she has held tight to it for the past two days.

Day Three: Dr. Appointment
Again, I think was a joke really. He checked her flexibility, her ears, rubbed her belly and said she's healthy. That's it. I've already made her appointment for when we return.

She talks ALL THE TIME. Of course, we don't understand a word, but she thinks we do. Daddy is still Pappa. She was able to skype with the family this morning, and just laughed at her new brother and sister. She called everyone by name (Nana, Mimi, bubba). She kept calling Shauna, Momma on the computer.

The past three days have been wonderful. I know her time of grieving is coming, but I'm enjoying the fun, lovable Louba right now. I'm sure we'll get tears when we get on the plane in a few days.

Our journey is not over, it's just beginning. Here are a couple pictures from the past couple of days.

Trip Three

ERic made his way back to R about two weeks after our court date to apply for Louba's passport. We could have both come and stayed three weeks and taken her back, but we couldn't leave our kids at home for three weeks straight. So, what we thought was a three trip process, has turned into a four trip journey.