Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17th

Today has been an uneventful day.  Micah got up, she was her wonderful self in the morning.  She is so sweet in the morning.  I got her all packed up and ready to spend the morning at Mammother's house.  We picked up Tristen and headed to Mammother's house.

Tristen helps me each Friday mow my parent's yard.  It works well for both of us.  It speeds up the process for me and it gives him some spending money for the weekend.  Micah loves Tristen.  He is so good with her.  So while we were working, Micah played with Mammother and took a wonderful nap up in my old crib.

Tristen and I went to pick up Micah's US passport and got some lunch.  Neither one of us were feeling very well but we got Wendy's and headed back to pick up Micah.  I wasn't feeling well because I didn't have breakfast and then proceeded to work outside on a yard for four hours.  Tristen wasn't feeling well because he stayed up last night past 2am and got up early to help outside.  At least he had breakfast.  =)

Micah is down for her nap....IN HER CRIB!!!  YEA!!!  It has to be more comfortable.

When I picked Micah up from my Mom she said that she was so good; just played, talked and had a great time.  Micah really is a pretty easy baby.  She loves to play and will occupy herself.  But she will come over to you wanting a hug and to make sure you know she is still in the room.  If she gets really quiet you know she is into something she isn't supposed to be in.

As I drove home and then watched Micah play a little bit longer at home I started to think about how she was in the baby home and how she is now.  I feel like she is so happy all of the time.  She laughs so much, talks all the time and is very social.  So I called my Mom to ask her for her opinion on the subject. She agreed.  She feels like she has just blossomed so much in the short two weeks that she has been home.  Micah is loved by so many people.  So many people are praying for her success and my patience.  haha!  But I have no worries about Micah just conquering everything she wants to.

I get into moments where I think about how different her life will be here.  I have no doubts that she would be okay in Russia going through the system.  The caregivers and orphanage directors love each and every one of those kiddos that they care for.  But I then think about would she have gotten the right guidance, motivation, and positive teachings?  I hope that she believes in herself as much as I already believe in her.  Each day brings more and more discoveries and more growth.  I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15th

"How is motherhood?"

I can't tell you how many times I get asked that a day.  I guess it is common for new Moms...I don't know.  BUT I have had lots of time to think about my response and there are moments throughout the day that just light my heart up.  So for all of those that are wondering the answer to that question here it is:

What I love about motherhood:
1.  Waking up to a beautiful smile and two arms reaching to be held
2.  The snuggles as she wakes from her naps
3.  The random "Ba"s that explode out of her mouth
4.  Little socks that trickle out of the laundry basket
5.  The smell of freshly bathed Micah
6.  Watching her figure out her puzzles and toys
7.  Watching her toddle and explore every place she goes
8.  Seeing her many expressions throughout the day
9.  Bathtime
10.  Seeing her get so excited right before I let go of the swing at the park
11.  Looking over my shoulder in the car and see her give me a great big smile accompanied with a chuckle
12.  Her excitement after she has gone poopie in the potty
13.  Her little cheeks as they bulge out when she drinks from her bottle
14.  How she holds the sides of the book with me when we read
15.  How she just looks at me when we rock and sing before nap and bedtime
16.  Her love for "Pat-a-Cake"
17.  How she sways to music
18.  Her intensity in everything she does
19.  When she talks with the dogs through the backdoor
20.  Her bright eyes and adorable dimples

.....  The list could truly go on for pages and pages.

Little Micah has brought such a peace to my world.  I am sure that as time goes on I will be calling friends to baby-sit so I can go see a movie but for now "Life is Good."

As I watch her play it still blows my mind that she is finally here.  I have been praying for her before she was even born.  I fell in love with her before I even knew who she was.  As the last sentence in one of Micah's favorite books, "How I Love you," says  - - "I love everything you are and everything you will be."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 8th...very early

I have fallen off my blog in the frenzy of traveling.  Currently we are HOME!!  Moscow was fantastic.  Micah really enjoys being out.  They say that most adopted babies don't like it because of the crowds and loud noises and such but she is a social girl.  Even now she has a much better day if we have one small outing a day where there are other people.  The Embassy was an interesting experience.  They had four different families swearing in at the same time so it was really fun to meet some other people and see how they were adjusting with their kiddos.  I became pretty well acquainted with one family from St. Paul, Minnesota that had adopted a 6 and 8 year.  They were the sweetest kids to Micah.

We weren't sure if it was going to happen so I hadn't mentioned it on the  blog, but there was possibility that I would have finished on last Friday and would be able to travel with my Dad back on Saturday.  And it happened!!  I think my Mom really wanted to see more of Moscow and such but I was ready to get home.  So she agreed to go back early.  So I have actually been home since late Saturday night.  It's been nice to lay low and get things adjusted.

Now the question EVERYONE has been asking me.  How was the plane ride?  It was not bad.  She did really well for the first 6 hours.  Of course the flight was delayed almost three hours so Micah was able to get a nap in the airport and now the worry was whether or not we were going to make our connecting flight in Atlanta.  At about 6 hours she was so exhausted and just couldn't get to sleep but finally, with a little bit of help from our local pharmacy, she was out the rest of the plane ride and did very well.  (It was the deepest sleep I had ever seen her in and I turned to me mom and said, "Please tell me I haven't killed my baby."  =)  Made it through immigration and got her green card and we literally ran to the gate where my parents had gone ahead of me.

Where are we now with things?  Well, she eats like a champ, she loves her walks and to swing, she is exploring the house, her toys, the dogs, she LOVES bath time and she loves company to come over or to go over to someone's house.  She is struggling with liquids, she won't drink water or milk at the moment, only watered down juice so we are working on that.  She is having a hard time sleeping in her new environment but as I am typing at 6am she is sleeping soundly so maybe that has started to iron out a bit.  She has two horrible ear infections that have really been bothering her the last couple of days.  I have had to only call my mom a few times to say, "I know this will pass and she is going to be okay but tell me I am doing what I am supposed to be doing."

The adoption agencies and case managers warn you about so many things that you will face and you intellectually know them but to experience them is somewhat different.  For instance, she was playing and I opened a coke can and it scared her to death!  The next time I opened one I truly listened and sure's pretty darn loud!  The sun is our biggest challenge right now, well other than naps and bedtime.  She only feels like she needs to where her sunglasses when the wind or sun is bothering her eyes so they are constantly coming off and on. Yesterday we did the baseball hat and so far that has worked the best.

Today Micah will be spending time with Mammother while I do some work.  I haven't had a chance to even touch my pictures but I will start posting more within the next week as things are slowing down a bit.  I am finally getting caught up with e-mails and life a bit.  Thank you to all of those who have called, texted and e-mailed to check in on me!  Now that her sleep schedule might be leveling mine is all messed up!!!  Ha ha!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2nd

We are in Moscow!  Yea!!!  The final leg of the trip is here.  I have loved my time in Russia but I am ready to be home.  Micah has been such a wonderful traveler.  Beginning from picking her up at the baby home.  I went in with all of my papers, some last donations and her new clothes to leave in.  Natasha said she "is a modern girl now."  =)  She looked absolutely precious.  The nurses, I believe had mixed emotions.  They were so happy for her but they teared up when she left.  They have been so wonderful to her and Micah has been a bright spot to them.  Micah has a smile that make anyone's day brighter. 

We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up some stuff for her (she was just catching a cold of some sort) and also something for my ears.  Back at the flat she had a great time playing and exploring.  Then amazingly enough she right to sleep in her little sleeping pod/tent.  (See pic below.)  She loves it!  (As a matter of fact we have the pod IN the crib right now where she is sleeping soundly because she cried and cried just being in the crib.)  While she was napping we finished packing and cleaning up the flat.  When she woke up it was lunch time and to the train station.  Natasha picked us up and we had to take two cars to the train station because we have SO much luggage.  I am going to have to figure out how to get it all in one less bag before I leave. 

I was worried about Micah and the train but she LOVED it. She played at the table, she played on the bench, she walked up and down the corridor and she liked to sit on the railing and watch everything go by.  And then when it was bedtime we setup the pod on the bottom bed across from mine, put her in it and down she went!  She has been great!  We arrived here in Moscow at 6:00am where Dimitry picked us up and took us to our hotel.  They saw all of us and they said they would like to upgrade us to a junior sweet for no charge!  Whoo-hoo!  They brought up a crib which she would NOT sleep in so we just put the pod in the crib and she was fine.  She took a GREAT nap and then we hit the town.

We decided to hit the famous Arbat street and head to the Kremlin.  We took at pit stop at the Hard Rock Cafe since we hadn't eaten yet and yet again little Micah was wonderful.  For the first 40 minutes we were waiting for our food she played with some toys at the table while sitting on my lap.  Then she and I went walking around and then she ate Cheerios as we had our food.  Just as sweet as could be.  My parents were pretty shocked that she let me put her sunglasses on her and that she kept them on.  She looked so stylin'. 

We finally got home 6 hours later!  Micah missed her afternoon nap but was doing great.  It was actually pretty hot in Moscow today so when we got back to the hotel I stripped Micah down to her diaper and shirt.  She played with her feet the entire time she was eating.  I hadn't thought about the fact that her whole life her feet had been covered by socks in the orphanage.  They don't LET those babies have bare feet.  Even when they are sitting on the training potties they have socks on.  So that was cute.  Then it was bathtime.  Her first bath...EVER!  In the orphanage they have so many babies to cycle through they mainly just run them under the faucet and scrub them.  She had a GREAT time.  She wasn't sure at first about it but then she got the hang of it and made an adequate amount of mess in the bathroom.  =)  It was pretty adorable.

After her bath my dad went to get us Subway sandwiches and I put some drops in her nose, found her pacifier, fluffed the blankets in her pod and lay her down to go to bed.  She was out in less than 5 minutes. Big day for such a big girl.  Tomorrow Micah and I will go to the Embassy and hopefully finish EVERYTHING that needs to be done.  I can't wait to get her home to meet her friends and family and start her life in America.  =) 

Hopefully tomorrow I will have some great news about Micah's American Visa/citizenship.  =)
 The famous Pod....she LOVES it!
 The "modern girl" getting her new toys.
 Playing pat-a-cake with Mammother on the train.
 Ready to take on the big city of Moscow!
 Chillin' and takin' it all in!!
So excited about her first bath.  (She had a very boggy diaper...poor thing it was sagging almost to her knees....what kind of Mommy am I?)  =) 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31st

The day has finally come!!!  I have the adoption decree in hand, the paperwork for the American Embassy in hand AND Micah's little passport.  Tomorrow morning, first thing, I will be at the baby home getting dressed in her little outfit that Mammother has given her and I will carry her out of there for good!  Then we will come back to the flat, get a bath (usually only gets one once every two week so she is due,) hopefully take a nap, have some lunch and then head to the train station to go to Moscow. 

It's a bitter sweet ending here in Glazov.  Today was Natasha's birthday and she had her closest friends and their families, as well as her own, out to BBQ on the outskirts of town.  It was not only a celebration of her life but also a congratulations party for me.  They are such wonderful people.  I wish we Americans would celebrate one's birthday as they do in the Russian culture. It was just amazing.  I videoed part of the party so others could hopefully get a glimpse into their traditions.  I had  fantastic time!  And hopefully I can begin to incorporate some of these traditions in our family that Micah and I are starting. 

I am sorry this is a short blog but I am EXHAUSTED and I am dying of allergies here.  There are SO many dandelions that have now turned into white puff balls.  It truly looks like snow flurries but it's dandelions seeds!  I can't breath out of my I am welcoming the city of Moscow and all it's concrete!  =)   LOL  I will miss our little town of Glazov, Natasha, her friends and now our friends, Helena, Alexander, Nina, and Tatiana (and of course their families), Natasha's sister and brother-in-law and their most precious baby girl, the baby home nurses and doctors who have welcomed us and made us feel right at home with Micah Sveta-Lee and our little flat.  It has been a home away from home.  Tomorrow will bring the beginning of a new chapter of my life....I can't wait to see how the story develops! 

Micah's Russian Passport.
 The adoption decree (in Russian of course.)
Little Miss Thang at her first birthday party!  Cookies, presents, bubbles & balloons (which she has tied around her wrist.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28th

Nothing like writing an entire blog and then your computer freezing....ugh!  So it's been a couple of days.  Thursday evening Natasha brought over three of her English pupils (9th & 10th form/grade) for their final lesson of the school year.  They were a little shy at first but soon opened up.  They were very sweet and curious about the Americans and excited to mess us.  My dad stayed in the kitchen while my mom and I played host to the students.  We had chai/tea and sweets ready, which is how the Russian culture greet their guests.  We all enjoyed sweets and chai. 

Yesterday I went to buy the train tickets to Moscow.  It brought to reality that the last leg of my journey here in Russia is almost here.  We will be getting to Moscow a day earlier than originally planned but it still works out alright.  Tomorrow will really be the last day to shop, go see the village and do any other "touristy" things we would like.  Monday there is a possibility that Natasha and her brother-in-law will take us site-seeing in Izhevsk for the day since every time I have been there it has just been to do adoption business.  Then on Tuesday a driver and I will head BACK to Izhevsk to finalize all of the documents at the courthouse and sit and wait for Micah's Russian passport.  Hopefully all will go just fine and I will be back in Glazov that same evening.  Then on Wednesday morning I will go first thing in the morning to the baby home to get all of Micah's records and have the director release custody to me. From there Micah will either walk out or I will carry her out of there. =)  I haven't decided which one.  That same day we will all board the train to Moscow.  PLEASE keep us all in your thoughts and prayers...poor bitty will have to be on a 16 hour train ride to Moscow.  Welcome to the real world! 

Tomorrow they are letting us bring some Gerber baby food and fruit to see how Micah will take to it.  She will be needing to take formula for a while just to catch her up on nutrients, calcium and such as well but we won't test that until the train ride.  Lots of transition in such a short amount of time.  She had a small outing on Thursday to get her passport  and visa pictures taken and she did wonderful.  As long as I was holding her she was fine.

So her new trick of the day...  She has discovered that if I have her hands she can climb her way up to me and I always wear a belt so when she gets to my belt she stands up and gives me a hug.  Well, today she discovered that if she climbs about to my thighs she can lean back and hang upside down. THEN after a few times of that she discovered she could flip herself over.  Little miss thang shouldn't be doing that at 1 year but it sure was cute.  Not sure how much I will let her do it in the future.  =) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25th

Today was Micah's first birthday.  Of course it was just like any other day for little miss thang but we brought a bit of a celebration with us today.  This morning I was maybe 5-10 minutes later than usual and she was all upset with the nurses.  They said that she knows we are coming and she won't do anything until we get there and today she was a bit upset.  She calmed down after we got to playing and such. 

Then we met Natasha for a sort of graduate celebration at the school she used to teach English.  It was very interesting.  Of course I could not understand anything unless she let me know what was happening or if I leaned over and said what are they talking about but it was a mini show and recognition of the "seniors."  But living amongst the townspeople in a flat, shopping with them in the market and getting to know different people in the community has truly given me a better idea of what Russia is made up of and their traditions as well as the traditions of Micah's little town. 

After that fun adventure we went to a store to pick up balloons, bubbles and then some cakes for the nurses. (We got the cookies for the babies yesterday.)  When we got there she was on her walk.  They passed her through the window so I could change her diaper and say hello.  Then we headed back out to catch up with her buddies and blew bubbles outside for a while.  They LOVED the bubbles, especially when my mom would catch them on the little wand and let them pop them.  It was also nice to sit and have cake and tea with the nurses.  They are always so busy.  One of Micah's most favorite nurses is actually retiring after 23 years on June 1st.  She has worked in that same room for 23 years.  I told her Micah/Sveta was extremely lucky to have had a caregiver who gives the children so much love.  She replied, "I love these babies like they are my own grandchildren."  =)  It just warmed my heart that know that for the first year of her life she has been shown and been given love and care by such people as this one nurse. 

But at any I told my Aunt on the phone...I can get a bit long winded in my blog but I don't have much to do than to watch sports with Russian commentary and blog.  =)  Tonight was my night to cook.  I made Russian "Shake-n-Bake" chicken, with rice boiled in a bag and frozen broccoli.  HA!  And if I do say so myself, it was one of the best meals we have had.  (The Russian frozen pizza wasn't too bad either.)  Tomorrow will be another adventure.  After each dinner my dad says, "Another successful meal." Well, except for when we attempted to make spaghetti.  Russian noodles and tomato sauce = not so great. 

Tomorrow I will take little Micah to get her picture taken for her Russia Passport and American Visa.  That should be an adventure.  It will be the first official trip outside of the orphanage gate with her.  Hopefully she will do okay.  We are pushing close to nap time so she may get fussy.  Everyone keep their fingers crossed!