Friday, November 30, 2007


About two hours ago (noon Petro time) we were declared official parents of our little man by the Supreme Court of the Region of Karelia! We are so excited!

We were told the judge arrived at her conclusion in "record time". The entire proceeding took just under two hours (typically a minimum of 3 in this region). It was a little intiminating, with difficult questions asked by both the judge and prosecuter. In the end the prosecuter explained that it is his recommendation that we be granted the adoption. After all questions were asked the judge went into her chambers to make her decision - she came back and read that she is granting our request and I was an awesome moment. It all went much smoother than any of the social workers, adoption workers and translators expected. We are going to see him shortly (we haven't been able to see him yet this trip) - we'll get to bring our daughter along and we cannot wait to watch them interact for the first time...the video camera will be rolling.

The trip has otherwise been alright - we are quite jetlagged but the adrenaline is keeping us going. Our little princess did really well on the flights but not so well on the train. She is definately struggling with the time change - she slept only an hour or two of the 14-hour overnight train ride...apparently testing our patience to make sure were ready for another one. We got here just in time to drop her off at a babysitter's and get to court. (The babysitting went very well - she stayed with a woman who spoke English and her daughter - she didn't want to leave after court!) We just got to the apartment and took our first shower since before leaving and now were getting ready for the orphanage. This city is covered in snow - really pretty and it is only light here from 10 am - 3pm!

Thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers! Hearing the judge declare he's ours was so similar to the day I heard the doctor say, "yep, it's a girl"...that same feeling, just different words.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Leavin on a jet plane...

Ready or not we are outta here in the morning. It is unreal that we are leaving in less than five hours for the airport (what on earth am I doing on this blog...why am I not sleeping?!?). We will be posting much more after court Friday (hopefully with pics galore). It has been to say the least a crazy week and I think it is a small miracle we are able to leave here at all. For now I am off to comfort a two-year-old who will not sleep because she's "too scared"... the next 36 hours may be very long, I know that light at the end of this long tunnel is coming soon.

Off to bring our son home...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finally...An Itinerary

So...we have not left yet. We have schedueled, canceled, rescheduled and rearranged flights and train rides the past few days but have finally (hopefully) arrived at our schedule. Our major ordeal has been around that we need to have a business visa this trip and that takes quite a while to prepare. We have to fly to New York tomorrow where Ryan will take a two-hour cab ride to pick up the visas and get back to JFK for us to fly out to Moscow - then we'll hop on the quickest way via train, plane or automobile to get to Petro - changing into our suits on the way and arriving just before court - hopefully in time to get all the documents notarized that we need in the region which are needed for the judge. So...UGH! We are stressed to the max and very overwhelmed. It has been an extreme rat race the past few days. We cannot keep up with everything so I apologize to the friends and family whose calls and emails we haven't responded to. Our basic itinerary is:

Depart Mpls to NYC on Wed. at 6 am, arrive in NYC at 10am and depart again at 5:45 pm. We will arrive in Moscow around 11am Thursday and somehow get to Petro by 7am the next day.
We are coming home December 20 - I will post more on times at a later date.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Hmmm...what might we be thankful for this Thanksgiving day? How about
A COURT DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's answer to a prayer (or should I say numerous prayers). We are so excited, busy, frantic and OVERJOYED! What a day to get this news. We heard yesterday that it was possible that we would know very soon but to get this news gives us the greatest reason to be appreicative today. Our court date is set for November 30!!!'s not a typo - we will be in court pettitioning to adopt our son a week from tomorrow! We need to be in our region on Wednesday! We have yet to book flights, etc. but will post more as we know it, including iternerary, etc....oh and yes - we will be able to post pictures just as soon as court is final (a few days after our arrival). For now - I'm all smiles all the way down to Minneapolis to eat some turkey and surprise our family with this grand news.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Call Me Picasso...

Our Little Man's Room!

...and of course we couldn't start that without painting a new room for the princess of this castle. We've been working on these rooms for weeks and finally finished them tonight.

We do not (unfortunately) have any new news but expect to any day. The waiting in between trips is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. We are just grateful we do not (hopefully) have an extended wait.

Thanks again to those you who've provided us with kind words, prayers and support in recent weeks...this has been one of the most trying times in our lives and we are so thankful for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Missing our little man...

I posted the song above before but it applies so much better now. ..I love it but cannot get through it without tears. I had thought the first week would be the most difficult after leaving our little guy but as it turns out the longer were apart the more difficult the waiting becomes. I cannot imagine the struggles and pain of those who have waited so much longer (for some the wait is a year and beyond). I am so anxious to go back to see him. Work, school, every moment that goes by is a struggle to focus. We were told we would hear when our release letter and other documentation made it from Moscow to Petro. We had thought that would be around the end of last week but still have not heard that it has arrived. Once that happens we will be assigned a judge who will look over our paperwork and assign a court date. Our agency and those we worked with in Russia are so FANTASTIC - we are confident we are in good hands...we just miss our little man.

In the meantime I have been a little nuts...I am doing my best to cram 6 weeks worth of grad school and work into two weeks as it's likely I will miss the last month of my final semester in grad school. I am so thankful that I have very understanding coworkers and professors. We are also trying to get a lot of Christmas shopping in early and will be spending the next couple weekends at more craft shows selling jewelry for our adoption. Speaking of gratitude....not many husbands would miss an entire fishing and hunting season to help their wife sell jewelry (or watch their daughter while their wife sells) despite a large amount of harsh teasing from his buddies. (I promise guys you can have him back next season!)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Holiday Cards for Russian Orphans and other thoughts...

I got this in an email earlier - the cards are adorable with the benefits going to a great cause:

Your purchase of these holiday cards, drawn by children who grew up in Russian orphanages,
will benefit our very successful Bridge of Hope program, which brings older Russian orphans to the U.S.
for a homestay with a host family, attendance at day camp, and the opportunity to find permanent adoptive homes. Over the past ten summers, 90% of the children participating in the program have been adopted.
Each year, we must raise $300,000 so that 75 Russian children can have hope for the future.
Every dollar of your purchase will be dedicated to Bridge of Hope.

We do not have a lot of other new news. I spoke with our adoption agency today who shared she has heard nothing yet of a court date although she did state that when we do hear it will likely mean we will be leaving in about two weeks. Our jewelry sales went well this past weekend although looking at the big financial picture is difficult still. Although our sales have been helpful it is exhausting to spend the entire weekend working to return to a 15 hour workday Monday. One look at the little man's picture though makes it all seem worth it. It is crazy how all the work, all the financial worries and all the intense emotions seems to just fade away when we look at a picture or video...his smile is so contagious. I keep thinking about the moment our plane touches down in Minneapolis with our little guy and our daughter in our arms. I cannot imagine a better moment in life!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy National Adoption Month!

November is National Adoption Month...check out for details and a calendar of events.

We are keeping busy in attempt to keep our mind off the fact that are really missing our little guy and are dying to know our next travel dates already. Last weekend we started painting his room (pics to come). I have been busy trying to get ahead with grad school stuff in case we leave before the end of the semester. Unfortunately Ryan has been busy fixing our car. While I was feeling guilty about missing trick-or-treating in class last night Ryan was busy consoling Big Bird because as they were to leave for trick-or-treating the breaks went out on our car. My poor Big Bird.

This weekend we are hitting the fundraising head on (again) as we are going to St. Cloud for another craft show to sell jewelry. Other news is that we have decided on bringing our daughter with us on our second trip. Petro does not waive the 10 days so our stay will need to be 3 weeks. I cannot imagine leaving her that long - 6 days was long enough. We are nervous about the flights and 14-hour train ride but feel that we are still making the best decision. Last weekend we showed her pictures of her brother for the first time (we did not show her beforehand just in case) and explained to her that she will be going to Russia with us next time. She does not of course fully understand yet but she is starting to talk about him more. At Target today we had the following conversation:

"Mama, I get this shirt for brother"

"No, honey. That is too much money."

"No Mama. Not too much money. Get for brother."

"Do you have money?"

"Yes Mama. In your purse."

Then we had a good ol temper tantrum when I explained that actually there is no money in the purse and that we cannot get the shirt for her brother. this may seem like a funny way of showing some acceptance for her new brother but I'm thinking were getting there!!