Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tick tock ....

One more hour till we go pick him up!

We have been up since 4:30. Good thing for the portable DVD player and JK Rowling's talents. We watched Harry Potter this morning before heading out for breakfast.

Thanks so much for all of your comments, we can definitely feel the love!

Phil, nah, I will leave the "Gringo Spanish" sessions to you!

Frank, yes we need to have a play date. I imagine Nick will miss his little friends from the Baby House.

Matt & Carla, thinking of you guys and hoping for time to fly.... same goes to the Horners in Nebraska.

Karla & ET, we will definitely be by to visit mid February.

Grandma & Grandpa, will pass along the hugs, we also can't wait for you to meet him.

Again, thanks everyone for the comments on the blog... we will continue to update it as much as we can... although, there's a little someone who will have all of our attention! We leave for Moscow tomorrow morning. Will check in from there.

He is ours!

At 10:50 AM today, the family court judge at the Kemerovo Regional Court, in Kemerovo Russia, granted our petition to adopt Nick.

Court went extremely well! She asked questions of both of us, then questioned Bill and then me. The entire proceeding lasted about 35 minutes. Even better, our 10 day waiting period was waived. So we will be picking Nick up tomorrow morning.

Our coordinator will be here at 9:30 to take us to the Baby Home. Bill then has to go back to Kemerovo with the other coordinator, to pick up Nick's passport. As originally planned, we will go back to Moscow on Saturday, and home on Wednesday.

The other family also had a succesful hearing, and will also be going back to Moscow on Saturday.

We got back to the hotel just a couple of hours ago, but were famished, so yes we made you wait a bit! After court, we had to run around and sign some papers, finalize his birth certificate, adoption certificate, and apply for his passport. I am sure there some other documents signed along the way, all in all, a very loooong day... but one of the best of both of our lives!
Now, I will leave you with a couple pics of our little man! We took these over the past two days. He is still a little camera shy, even in his passport mugshot he looks so serious! Also, I have uploaded a montage that I had prepared after our first visit. Until now, I had not been allowed to share it electronically, but now that he is all ours... enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One more day....

... till court.

We had a great time with Nick today. We got smiles, giggles, and babbles... what else can one ask for? He is slowly coming out of his shell and thinking he can trust these two strangers making the goofy noises and silly faces.

Our facilitator is finishing up some documents that we need for court, so we skipped the shopping today. Maybe Friday, if not I will try in Moscow.

Mely, it is cold! Our translator told me it was -27 this AM. That is Celsius though.. but I **think** it translates to about -15F. That's a rough guess though.

On that note, better go bundle up. We are going next door to have dinner, and then make an attempt to get some sleep! We have to be up at 5:00 AM. We leave here at 6:00 AM and need to make a 3 hour drive to Kemerovo, that is where court is held. We are told that we need to wait a few hours after court ends for documents to be issued before we drive back. It will be a long day, but oh so worth it!

Can't wait for you all to meet him, in the mean time, I have posted a sneak peak! ;-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Checking In

Good morning!

After a good night's sleep we feel pretty good this morning. Just had breakfast and are hanging out at the hotel with the Palmer's. Once we finish our visit today, we are going shopping at the local mall for a baptism gown. Bill is in awe at how I manage to fit in "shopping time", or find a mall, no matter what country I am in.

All we can do it talk about and think of him, and the little things we noticed yesterday. Of course we are most taken by the fact that he is walking, and how cute he does the "waddle walk" as he strolls down the hall holding his caretaker's hand.

We have been people watching from our hotel window too, its pretty interesting to watch the everyday life that we have been following through the web cam.

Of course, I was also glued to the TV this morning, as they had a cooking show. Today's featured recipe: French Onion Soup!

I will check back tonight and post a couple pics of our hotel view of the city. Would do that now, but didn't think of bringing the camera.

Katie, Olga has the cameras and she knows what to do. She will be taking pictures over the next two days and will return them to me on Friday. Rest assured, I will send Bill to the post office to send those to you as soon as we get home ... :-)



Nick Sighting Today!

We saw him!
We saw him!
We saw him!

We were pleasantly surprised when we were told that we could visit the Baby Home today. We came in a day ahead of our scheduled time and were prepared to have to wait till tomorrow to visit him. Ecstatic doesn't even begin to describe our reaction when a smiling Olga stopped by to tell us to be ready at 12:30!

He has put on a bit of weight, and is walking! He walked in the room holding his care giver's hand. The big brown eyes darting from side to side, and the chubby cheeks are still there. We are also told that he can do stairs when assisted... uh-oh... we are going to be on the run at home. Good thing for those baby gates.

We had about an hour to visit with him today. I am not sure he remembers us, but we will have lots of time to get reacquainted. We will visit with him one more time tomorrow before we go to court on Thursday. I can't wait! We took some pictures today and will post those when allowed. We also have some short video.

We are staying at the Novokuznetskaya this time, it is just 10 minutes, if that, from the Baby Home. Met a few other couples, one of them with our agency; we just had dinner with them. They had court today, and got their ten days waived. They are going to Moscow a couple of days ahead of us, but it looks like we will all catch up there. Lots of new families in Moscow this weekend.

The flight from Moscow was smooth as silk, although for the first time in my life, I couldn't sleep on an overnight flight. Must have been a combination of anticipation and excitement; or the fact that I was just too tired to sleep. By the time we landed in Novo, we had been traveling for 36 hours. Bill, on the other hand, was able to sleep some on the way here.

We are going to try and rest now. Got the morning free tomorrow, then the Baby Home and some shopping. Will post more tomorrow.

Good night from Russia!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Greetings from Russia!

After an uneventful flight from Indy on Sunday morning, we landed in Russia this morning (Monday, approx 2:40 AM EST). We were finally able to get in the business lounge at Domodedovo aiport to check email and give you all an update. I believe we have been traveling close to 24 hours now.

We are here with the Palmers from Missouri. They are going to court with us on Thursday, and have the same schedule going back to the US a week from Wednesday. We have of course spent the afternoon sharing pictures and adoption related stories.

Weather is very windy and snowing, not too bad as far as temperature, probably mid 20's when we landed.

Our flight to Novokuznetsk is currently delayed till 11:53 PM, at least this time we know ahead instead of sitting on the runway for hours!

This is all for now, will check in again from Novo on Thursday after we finish court.

Bill and Monica

p.s. Don't mind the staggered pictures, is the best I can do with command prompts in cyrilic.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We are ready.... I think

Thanks to my mom and her packing skills, and the greatest invention, space bags; we are good to go! We have more stuff than I originally thought we would. Bill always commented about how kids come with accessories, I guess I know what he meant. It is a good thing I talked to Shannon and she helped me cut down from my original list. I would have had twice as many suitcases.

This really has been a challenge. You have all have heard how we managed to trek through Rome for 9 days in 2005, with just two backpacks... yes the same backpacks you see in this picture.

Still need to call around a few places, like our credit cards, so they know is us using them in Russia. Good thing for 24 hour customer service, yes?

I suppose my child would like some room to play once he gets home, so I better go tidy up! Oh, and yes, try to get some sleep. Oh, we just checked the weather in Novokuznetsk. Low on Monday night is -2F, high for Tuesday 12F. Since we land at 6:ish in the morning, I would say we may be just above zero.