Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excitement is Building

Getting travel dates so far in advance of the actual travel has thrown me for a loop. Initially the thought of having eight or nine weeks until trip #2 sounded like such a long time...long enough that it didn't really motivate me to do much in the way of preparing for travel or for HotDog coming home. I mean, she could come home tomorrow if possible - we have a crib, diapers, bottles, etc. But knowing that we had two months didn't encourage me to put the finishing touches on the nursery, go through her dresser to see what clothes would fit/be in season, start getting my packing list ready. Now, however, I have only 38 days before I leave...38 DAYS!!! That is 5 1/2 weeks from now. That is not long at all and my mind is racing with all of the details I need to complete in the next few weeks, starting with airline and hotel reservations. Fortunately Stu has been in touch with our travel agent and seems to have a great flight for me that we are going to reserve today. Booking a hotel has been another problem; evidently there is a huge government official conference the week we will be in Bishkek and most hotel rooms have been booked for months. But I think one of my travel mates has come to my rescue and booked hotel rooms for both of us at a fairly new hotel that we checked out on trip #1. We are waiting to hear a confirmation back from the hotel. So with those two big things out of the way, I can focus on the details I've been neglecting - checking the weather to figure out what clothes I'll be taking (we are expecting new measurements for HotDog this week so I'm waiting to see what size she'll be in ***edited to add: Holy smokes, my five-month-old baby weighs almost 17 pounds!!! I better start lifting the weights now), figuring out how to pack a big donation of shoes for the orphanage (more on that in the next post), making meals to freeze so we'll have some dinners ready after we get home, scheduling appointments at the pediatrician/international adoption clinic for HotDog in the days after we get home. So much to do and 38 days definitely doesn't seem like long enough now! I wake up each night with my mind racing trying to think about what I've forgotten; I think my body will be used to getting up in the wee hours of the morning for those nighttime feedings:) But it is SO much easier planning for this trip, knowing Stu will be home with the boys so we don't have to deal with childcare/scheduling for them. That is such a relief.
So after a long journey, I am finally starting to get excited and cannot wait to hold my daughter in my arms again. Only 38 more days until the adventure begins!!!

Also, check back later this week...our 30-day after court will be over and I can finally introduce you to our little girl!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

Our family has been enjoying watching the Olympic coverage for the past week. Our Monkey, of course, loves to watch gymnastics and then tries to attempt many of the flips he has seen. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a trip to the emergency room in our immediate future:)
Chipmunk is enjoying basketball, soccer and particularly swimming. He is fascinated by how fast the swimmers are and is talking about joining the swimming team next year. It has been really neat to see Chipmunk cheering on the Russian competitors too. He has always been very interested in Russian history/culture/language and constantly looks at the pictures and video of our trips to Russia when meeting him and picking him up. He is so proud of his Russian background and we are always trying to encourage his interest in learning more about country where he was born. It has been wonderful for him to get the chance to watch and cheer for "his teams", as he calls both the Russia and US competitors. We also been thrilled to cheer for the small group of athletes from Kyrgyzstan. While there are only a few athletes from this country (and they compete in events that haven't been broadcast), two of them have won medals.
While Chipmunk has been feeling such pride in his Russian heritage, he has also started to understand that not everyone shares his enthusiasm. Over the past week Chipmunk has overheard many comments about Russia's conflict with Georgia. He first heard about it on NPR; the boys never pay attention to news radio but I guess he heard the word Russia and his ears perked up. He was concerned because he thought they were invading Georgia in the US, where one of his favorite aunts and cousins live. I gave him a brief synopsis of what was happening and he didn't question it further. Since then, however, we have had two different incidents where some adults have been discussing it and been very critical of the Russians. It is one thing to have an educated discussion about what is happening in eastern Europe; it is quite another thing to call all of the Russians "idiots", "bullies", and believe that the Russians need to "be blown off the face of the earth." I know that many people from older generations have a deep dislike of the former Soviet Union. But it makes me sad to see them passing these stereotypes down to the children and grandchildren. We were in the store a few days ago, in the school supply aisle, looking at a world map. If there is a map around, my boys have to find Astrakhan (Russia) and Kyrgyzstan on it. Chipmunk was so happy to be able to find Astrakhan without any help and shouted it a little loud. Another little boy, who couldn't have been more than 8 or 9, told him that Russia is where all the bad people lived. I know I should have tried to correct him but I did not want to get into a debate with a little boy (and his father, who looked really rough around the edges), so I walked away and tried to explain to Chipmunk and Monkey how some people aren't very happy with some things that Russia is doing, but that doesn't mean that the people in Russia were bad or mean. It is such a hard concept for a 5-year-old to understand. I know I can't insulate my boys from the opinions of some of the idiotic, uneducated people that they will face in the world; I can only continue to encourage their love and pride for the Motherland. But I was really hoping for a few more years before they were faced with this type of criticism. Sigh.....
Onto good news, only 46 more days until I leave for HotDog! I am really getting excited now!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

See You Soon!

I am happy to say that we now have official travel dates to pick up our HotDog!! At the beginning of October I will travel to Bishkek and she'll be in my arms forever. While these dates are a bit later that we had anticipated, we are thrilled to finally have an end-date in sight. It gives us plenty of time to plan for childcare, prepare the nursery, and get Chipmunk and Monkey ready for their baby sister. Up until now I think it has been more of an abstract concept for them. Now we can really start to help them understand what it will be like to have a baby around the house.
In less than two months, I will be with HotDog again!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blog Awards

I just found out that Mom to 2 Angels has given me a Brilliant Blog Award. I am so touched. She has a handsome son from Russia and a gorgeous girl from Kyrgyzstan. She has been such an inspiration to us as we've gone through this adoption.

I am supposed to answer these questions starting with every letter of the alphabet and then pass the award on to other brilliant bloggers:

A. Attached or single? Happily attached

B. Best friend? Stu

C. Cake or pie? Cake

D. Day of choice? Sundays (Stu lets me sleep in as late as I want, hence my answer for letter B.)

E. Essential item? It is a close call between Diet Coke and chapstick

F. Favorite color? Blue

G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears

H. Hometown? Bardstown

I. Indulgence? Ice cream in any form, shape, or flavor.

J. January or July? January - I so much prefer cold weather over the sticky, humid days of summer

K. Kids? 3 (i LOVE being able to say that!!)

L. Life isn’t complete without? Hugs and kisses from my boys each night

M. Marriage date? 05/13/00

N. Number of brothers & sisters? One older brother, one younger brother...yes, I am one of those dreaded middle children:)

O. Oranges or apples? Yuck, really the only two fruits I don't care for

P. Phobias? Spiders

Q. Quotes? It could always be worse. My mom always said this; I can't even count how many times I've chanted this quote to myself throughout this long adoption journey. It's become my own personal mantra

R. Reasons to smile? After almost two years, we finally have a daughter!!

S. Season of choice? Fall, followed closely by winter.

T. Tag seven peeps! (see below)

U. Unknown fact about me? I have an incurable addiction to....ice. I adore crushed ice and honestly can't pass a Sonic (hands-down the best ice on the earth), without feeling a physical need to go through the drive-through for a diet coke with an extra cup of ice. That got expensive, so now I just buy their bags of ice.

V. Vegetable? I'm a veggie fanatic. My favorites would be brussel sprouts and lima beans.

W. Worst habits? I usually start many different projects at one time, then get frustrated I don't have enough time/patience to finish them.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? ummmmm, ultrasound I guess??

Y. Your favorite food? Italian

Z. Zodiac sign? Sagitarius

Now for my Brilliant Blogger Awards:

Okay, I know I'm supposed to give this award to seven fellow bloggers. But I hate to single out just a few of the blogs that I follow. There are so many amazing families out there and I love being able to share in their journeys.
When I began this blog, it was simply an easy way to keep my friends and family updated about our adoption journey. I never expected to make so many genuine, true friendships. The adoption blog community is an amazing circle of people full of such special families. I am honored to be one of them.