Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy birthday Jack!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ma-Ma, Da-Da

We're getting there! Jack has learned to say those two words!! Those two ultra-important, life-changing words - Mama and Dada! Now we just need to get him to understand what the two mean. I was sooo excited the first time he said, "ma-ma." (which is more like "muh-muh") When I was about to give him a bottle yesterday he said "mama". I was excited. Then, I fed him the bottle and he looked up into my eyes, smiled, and said, "Dada." He thinks "ma-ma" is food! He now says it EVERY time WE feed him. And he calls Erik and ME "dada." (LOL) We're definitely still going to work on this....:)

Anyway, our computer likes me today! It's letting me post the entire video we made for Jack to document his homecoming!(The one that includes scenes from the 'delivery room'-ha! ha!)See the top of the right sidebar.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Trip Two Photos


Highlights from trip 2! To view photos, click here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Attaching

We started this blog because we wanted family and friends to understand what it’s like to adopt. Once we decided we were adopting, we found that there were people who were curious and asked us all kinds of questions. Then there were also people who wanted to ask about it, but were afraid to or didn’t know where to start or what to ask and so they just said nothing. They seemed uneasy around us all of a sudden. We also didn’t want to bombard uninterested people with our story and so we wanted a place where people could go check out what was going on if they wanted to.

Adopting is such a weird way to become a parent. Everyone understands the pregnant way, but the adopted way….well that’s just strange for some people. Throughout our travels today we had two different sets of people tell me how much Jack looked like me. I just smiled – I mean I guess he does, we have the same coloring. But it was the next comment that made me uneasy. After they said he looked like me, they added “You’d never know he was adopted.” I had to bite my lip so I didn’t respond with, “Why? Is that such a bad thing?” Another conversation happened tonight when a woman, whom I just met tonight btw, asked how old Jack was and then some questions that I couldn't answer. I explained that we've only been together for a short time, that we just brought him home from Russia. The lady proceeded to tell me about other people being infertile. Why is it always assumed that adoption is second best or what people resort to only after they can't have their own? Even with regard to work, technically if it wasn't summer vacation, I would've had to go back this past Monday. My time would be up. If I actually gave birth, I'd have an additional 2-4 weeks paid to spend with Jack. How can this be seen as fair?


I’m finding that adoption has a stigma. Maybe people automatically think about the poor baby whose mother gave him up and feel sorry for him. So many people have told us how lucky he is to have us. He is. But we just as lucky, if not luckier to have him. Adoptive parents have the same feelings towards their children as biological parents. I remember the first time I saw him like it was yesterday. I was in my classroom, the class was gone, and myself and another teacher were leaning over my computer. I remember moving the mouse to click on the picture. But once I saw it, I knew. Erik says he did too. Just like biological parents know the moment they first see their child that their child belongs to them.

The biggest difference, I think, is in the bonding process. When you’re pregnant I think you feel your baby moving and start to attach to that little thing inside. It causes you to stay out of harms way, make better choices, stay safe, and eat healthier when you are pregnant. When the baby comes out, you might even recognize some of his or her movements and remember when he or she did that inside of you. I could be wrong, but I think that the bonding process for biological mothers begins during pregnancy. After birth, you are all the baby knows and he looks to you to continue to supply him food, etc. She recognizes you voice, your smell.

With adoptive children, especially those who have lived in an orphanage, they have been fed by many people. Jack had an entire 11 months of life experiences before joining us. Because of this, there are special measures that have to be taken to assure bonding and attachment takes place. These children have been cared for by so many different caregivers, that many of them have trouble forming attachments and this can lead to many behavior issues later in life.

That’s why we’ve been venturing out slowly. The pediatrition yesterday stressed to me again that's it's most important grandparents stay away because they will want the baby to bond with them. They’ll do things like try to feed him and want to walk around holding him. Jack needs to see us as his sole providers. This has been hard for our parents, but we are so happy they are respecting this need that we have. It makes it harder on us too, because unlike biological parents, we cannot have help from our parents. Not now, anyway. Not yet.

I can see Jack is starting to bond with me. He looks for me when I leave the room and just wants to be held or even just lay down together. He’s different than many other kids his age in this way. He can spend an hour just sitting and having Erik or I rub his back. After our day yesterday, he didn’t want to have anything to do with Erik once he came home from work. I know that Erik felt bad, but this was actually a very good thing. His screaming and crying when Erik picked him up and walked away showed he is attaching to me. It shows that Jack IS ABLE to attach. This is important.

I like our little routine we have going. The past two days Erik has fed him breakfast and played with him while I got a little extra sleep. Jack goes back down around 7:30 for his morning nap, so I get up at 8:30 and can relax and have some coffee, get ready for the day, before waking him up at 9:30. Then we eat and play and go to the gym.

I didn’t plan on going to the gym and using the daycare this early, but I think it’s important for both Jack and I. I need a way to deal with the stress of this adjustment and Jack needs to be around other children. He so misses other kids. The moment I walked in there, he saw the kids, the toys and had a big smile on his face. He also needs to know that I can leave for 45 minutes and that I will always come back. He’s only playing with kids, and not bonding with adults during this time. I don’t leave them any bottles or food for them to feed him. We eat before the gym and after the gym. Anyway, it went so well yesterday, that we went back today. He was more than excited to see the other babies – there can be up to three others in his little room. He was equally as excited 45 minutes later when he saw me walk in. I think it worked out well for both of us. Erik and I watched the old video - the one when we first met him tonight. Both of us commented on how that baby - the baby in the video- Alexander (Jack) in the ophanage - the one that we thought was SO happy even at the orphanage looks sad in comparison to how he looks now. We must be doing something right.

So anyway, we do welcome visitors. It makes the adjustment easier to talk to other people. Grandparents, we’re not ready yet. Sorry. We need him to attach to Erik and be sure he’s attached to me for a little while before he can attach to you. You guys will in time be very important in his life, but for now, well you know.

Once we’ve established our routine a few more days, we’re looking to venture out to other people’s houses/different places with others. Let us know when we can come visit or when you can come visit! We ARE looking forward to seeing you!

Also, I haven’t forgotten about getting that other video up. It shows how we started to become a family in a hotel room.

How American Can I Look!?

So I just put little Jack to sleep. Things are going well today. Yesterday, well, it started out a little rough. It was my first day ALONE with him!

Poor Jack woke up teething and with a rash on his butt! The same rash I had on my inner elbow. Right where he sits when I pull him up out of the bath. Who gave it to whom??? Who knows? But I freaked a little thinking it was poison ivy (where he’d get it, who knows…who still thinks grass is creepy!). Anyway, I started to run the bath, set him on the floor, and looked over at this little person with a big smile and puddle surrounding him that was getting bigger and bigger as I starred at him. I guess now we had two reasons for that bath!

The afternoon went much better and I we both made it through. Went to the doctor and Kinkos, the gym and Kroger. Which also made me wonder, will I forever be this nerd who sings as she drives because her baby is crabby? We sang, “Let’s Go Krogering!” the entire time at that the grocery store and then I even made up some song about Kinkos. All I cared about is the baby in the back seat didn’t cry when I sang. So I did! He’s the only person in the world that enjoys my singing!

The doctor’s office went fine. The purpose of the visit was to see if Jack is up to par for his age developmentally. He is for the most part, but as expected, he is small for his age. He’s in the 5th percentile for weight, 55th for height. This is common for children who have spent a significant time in an orphanage.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day 2007

Happy Father's Day, Erik!


Adjusting


We've finally had two jet lag-free days! Yea!! Jack is sleeping well. Two naps and through the night! We finally set up his crib yesterday and he seems to feel comfortable in his new room. The aquarium lullaby toy that ties to the side of the crib is wonderful! Jack loves it. He watches it and falls asleep. There used to be maybe 2-5 minutes of crying/whimpering when it was bedtime or nap time. Now there's none. He loves that thing!! He adjusted to having his own room wonderfully. We were expecting it to be hard for him to fall asleep alone, but he seems content as long as he has a fan. He loves a good breeze. :)

We had quite a scare yesterday. We set up his room and introduced Jack to his new crib. He sat in it for a while while we put some clothes away. Then we took him downstairs for lunch and when we went back up for his first nap time in the crib, we found out that the ceiling fixture had come smashing down on the crib and there was glass everywhere. Boy, were we lucky! We were shaken up and at the same time so happy no one was hurt.

We've started establishing our new routine now that the jet lag has worn off. Jack is such a happy, easy baby - however, because this is our first, this has still been a big adjustment - for us. It's been a good adjustment though and it's fun to see the signs of Jack bonding. He now looks for us when we leave the room and leave him with someone new for a minute, he lays his head on us and likes to be held, reaches up to be picked up by us, etc. We can really tell that he enjoys being the focus of attention. He eats up any attention either us give him. Vistors are welcome - we're just not quite ready to venture too far away from home just yet.

Also, Archie and Leroy have finally come to realize Jack is staying and are starting to at least be in the same room as him. :) Jack loves to watch the cats and if he gets to touch one of them, he thinks it's hilarious!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jack is Home!

Trip Two Highlights! This is only the second half. I'm trying to get the part from court and Ark to load.......pictures and first half (fingers crossed) to come soon!

(Movie moved to top of sidebar)

Also, visitors are welcome if anybody wants to come and meet him!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One Full Day Home - also What Happened in Moscow

Made it through one full day. Still a little jetlagged - Jack still took two naps and we're all adjusting.

Some of you guys have asked what the heck happened in Moscow. Why couldn't we leave? We couldn't leave because Jack did not have the proper visa to allow him to travel through Dusseldorf, Germany. Dusseldorf has a small airport and no transit area. Other airports in Germany such as Munich and Frankfurt allow Russian citizens to fly through them without a visa. The adoption agency did not inform us of this rule and did not get him the proper visa. They had our flight arrangements well before we left and they said we wre fine. Dimitry said our arrangements were fine. This is why we are fighting to get the $3300 we had to spend last minute to get a second set of tickets home. There was no reason we should've needed TWO SETS of tickets for the SAME DAY to get home.

So needless to say we were a little freaked out and my phone would not work in the airport. Thank you to everyone who offered to help us and make calls for us since we only had access to email. We really appreciate that and are so glad that we are home!!

Yea!

Now this is what I call a toy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Goodnight From Home :)

Almost Home

Touch down! I'm American!

Love Lufthansa Baby Row!

He's sleeping! We're reading and sleeping!

Feeling MUCH better!

Frankfurt

We made it this far. Jack is finally sleeping. We've all been up since 4:30 because Dimitry picked us up at 5:15 for our 8:30 flight. Our new flight did not leave until 1:30. Jack actally fell asleep as the wheels hit the ground as we landed. Before that he was up the whole time. Our next flight has a baby row with basinets. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get some sleep?

On My Way

Still Coming Home Tuesday

Mom, Dad,
We will be flying in Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. Through Lufthansa. We had to buy all new tickets. The agency better pay for these. Everyone in this airport knows a Russian citizen can't fly through Dusseldorf. Why didn't they? Or Dimitry? We leave at 11:00 a.m. Moscow time. Glad to get out of here. I can't call you anymore because my Russian Russian airport SIM card doesn't work in this airport even though the lady I just bought it from said it would and my U.S. one only works in certain areas. Jen

Monday, June 11, 2007

Help!

They won't let us leave. Mom and dad don't pick is up. We'll get more info. Later. Russia sucks. Someone please call Ingrid or mom and dad, they don't check their email often.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

24 Hours 'til I'm Home

Goodbye, Russia. I'm Going Home.

So we made it this far. I think we’ve also all finally just adjusted to this time zone and new routine. Tomorrow will change all that! It will be nice to get home though – grill food, sleep in our own bed, let him crawl around on a clean floor…. IF we make it home. He won’t go to sleep tonight so far. We are all sitting in the dark – literally – wondering how tomorrow will go.

We’re very glad we decided to stay here for a little while longer and see some of little Jack’s country. He has Russian books and toys to share with his cousins. We have lots of pictures for him and artwork for him to keep when he’s older. For the most part Jack was a trooper. He’s pretty content just riding around anywhere in the stroller. He lasted about 45 minutes at the circus before getting squirmy. Today he had his first taste of cotton candy and had his first balloon. There are many more firsts to come … for all of us!

We are starting to figure things out. For instance the happy baby needs TWO naps or else NO orange juice. We’re unsure which. At the circus, we gave him some juice and we’re thinking that may have given him heartburn. He screamed the whole way back in the street – he was like a horn saying “GET OUT OF MY WAY” to everyone in front of us. Erik and I just looked at each other like “oh sh*t!” People starred at us. Once we got back to the room we gave him some medicine and put him in his crib and he was sleeping within about 10 minutes. He goes down pretty easily (on every other night but tonight)….but he could’ve been tired just the same. He only had one longer nap yesterday…he had two today….who knows!! Hard to tell with babies who can’t just tell you what’s wrong, I guess. P.S. I think he just went to sleep!

We’ve also learned that he stores food in his diaper, which explains the undigested ham and goldfish that we’ve found in there. We’re trying to get him to eat a little slower than in the orphanage. We know that he likes to have goldfish hiding in both of his hands and then tries to eat with his mouth. It’s like he doesn’t want to ever be without food. I think that scares him. He eats REALLY fast. Faster than we can break it up for him.

Dimitry is picking us up at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow. We’re all packed. Jack Alexander Fritz Reis is coming home! Funny thing, by the way, Natalya and Dimitry both thought that “Fritz” was a funny name. They said that during World War II, “Fritzes” was a derogatory name for the Germans that Russians used. . But what do Russians know?? Dimitry also said that there is a five month wait for a Ford Focus here because it’s the hot new car everybody wants! J

So he’s still sleeping! Five hours until we all get up. Hope “somebody” is able to do some sleeping on the plane too!!

Gorky Park

Last day!
He thinks it's weird to crawl or sit in the grass.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Looking at the Fountains

Time for bed. It's almost 10:00!

Just Trying to Walk Around Red Square

Made it to Saint Basil's!

Good Morning

Happy birthday again, Babushka Joyce!

Marriott!

And we have another crib!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wonder Is This Could've Happened to Jack's Birthmom

http://tc.m.yahoo.net/tc/1181342434_301tfn0qah4or/www.themoscowtimes.com%2Fstories%2F2007%2F06%2F08%2F003.html?tc-img=n
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

I Still Love to Bounce!


...and I'm not sick anymore! :)

Also, Happy Birthday Grandma! I know you want a real dog, but Papa Mike said you can only have a plastic one. :) Anything else you want from Russia?

Best Invention EVER


This morning we got a C-R-I-B! And it is THE BEST invention EVER!! We highly recommend these for everyone with children. You know, you can put them in it and they don’t fall anywhere, they stay put. You can put them down for a nap and LEAVE the room and actually have a conversation with the other parent. Cribs are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope our hotel has one tomorrow. Tonight we are so excited! He went to bed an hour ago and we can actually watch DVDs and have a beer. J Also, tomorrow we do not have to get up for a doctor or plane ride or a meeting with a translator or with a Minister of Education or even to go to court! We get to get up whenever WE want to. (As long as it’s before 11:00 to checkout and it’s when Jack wants to get up.)

Coming to America! (Tuesday)


Went to the embassy today – and we’ve got a visa!! I feel bad for the other family we traveled with. Natalya said they didn’t get an appointment at the embassy today and now they have to stay until next Thursday. Apparently Tuesday is a holiday and many Russians are working on Saturday so they can take Monday off, but the embassy people have decided to just take off Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.

We are free to leave except the only problem is Northwest wants $500 to change our tickets and Aeroflot wants $100. So we’ll be staying. The hotel we leave for tomorrow is free courtesy of Erik’s dad. (The agency originally told us to stay until Tuesday just in case we couldn’t get an appointment at the embassy today.) We would’ve stayed at the free hotel these past two nights but Dr. Boris wanted to come here so he could see the families together. As it turned out the other one wasn’t even in Moscow yet. Anyway, long story short, if we were staying at a hotel that we were paying for, we’d leave because $600 would be a draw. Now we just think we’ll stay and try and enjoy ourselves. Maybe go to the Moscow Zoo and Gorky Park?

Dr. Boris

Dr. Boris came today at 7:15. He said everything looks good. Jack started feeling better last night. Figures…. J Anyway, there is nothing on him preventing us from bringing him into the country. Although yesterday I must at admit we were a little nervous. We changed his diaper and honestly thought he had a growth. We both starred at it. It turned out to be a chunk of ham on his lower stomach.

Jack did finally fell off the bed last night. He looks has rug burn on his forehead. He now looks like Gorbachev with a big red blotch. The doctor is still going to let us leave with him. :)

He's still a happy, easy going baby. He didn't like putting on his coat today and started to squirm. I said, "nyet" and he stopped right away. I know he's still figuring out how to work us, but for now that's kinda nice. :)

Moscow - We Made It!











We made it! We are in Moscow and are so relived to be near society with signs and prepared food and McDonalds! There’s even a grocery store – a nice grocery store, like the new Papa Joes in Rochester! You can get about 100 different kinds of salami. A sign of culture here. J Dimitry was very surprised when we told him we could not bring any knives on planes. He said, “But, how do you cut your sausage?” J They are infatuated with sausage. When Erik was with Dimitry at the bank in Arkhangelsk, they were looking at some old dollar bills during the Khrushchev administration. Dimitry said Khrushchev’s goal was to make ballistic missiles like sausages. Just crank them out one after another.

Jack was great on the plane. He was exhausted but great. He started to get crabby as Natalia and Dimitry drove us to our hotel. Keep in mind the poor kid did not have an opportunity for a diaper change for six hours. (Erik wants me to add that that diaper was a heavy one. J ) The flight was only an hour and 20 minutes and about 15 miles to our hotel. From the airport, it took us TWO and A HALF HOURS to get to our hotel. Traffic was at a standstill. Cars were on the side of the road – broken down. Semis were pulling over. Then about 2 hours into the drive, the lanes started moving. No accident, no construction, no lane closure, no reason – just a “cork” as Dimitry and Natalya call it. A “cork” is what we call a “bottleneck” in traffic. Only thing is their corks happen everywhere and all the time for no reason.

We checked in and immediately went to McDonald’s! So good to eat beef! (Never thought I’d get that excited about it, but seriously it was the best hamburger ever.) And us being new at this had no idea what to order Jack. We know it’s not the most nutritious food, but thought he’d really enjoy a good American meal. Erik asked, “So how many nuggets should I get him?” J Just so you know the baby with four teeth could eat ½ a nugget broken up. We gave him formula when we got back.

Still no crib. We asked for one and they said they would send one up. Some lady knocked on the door with a COT. Yep, that sure helps. Doctor and visa tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Moscow

Dimtry just called Erik down to the lobby. We just found out that Jack's paperwork is in order. Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. we leave for Moscow. Can't wait to get that hotel. We hear it is around shopping, McDonald's, Red Square… Weather in the 70s!
 
In Moscow we need to get to the embassy so that we can get Jack's passport and visa so the U.S. will let him in. J We're excited to see Moscow and get back to public transportation and food! After we see how Moscow is in comparison to where we are now and if we can get into the embassy on Friday, we'll be able to determine if we'll be home Saturday or Tuesday.


Jen


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Uncle Dad and Aunt Mom

Erik is right, this is difficult. I think he's extra frustrated because I am sick too and that's not helping him as he's been like a single dad for part of the day while I slept. Last night I was up until almost 4:00 sick. It was weird too. At 3:00 a.m. it was as bright out as 11:00 in the morning. It made it even harder to sleep. I miss darkness.
 
Like Erik said though, Jack has been really, really good. We gave him some Benedryl today and it makes him just sit and watch CNN. J He loves to play and is equally as good at entertaining himself and for the most part and when we say "nyet" (no) he stops what he's doing. (And that's usually we only have to say that if he's trying to put shoes in his mouth – something like that)
 
This is such a weird process. Being stuck in this room with a baby. We love Jack but don't feel like mom or dad. I'll say "Go to Dad" or Erik will say, "Where's Mom?" but I don't think either of us have referred to ourselves as mom or dad. A friend who also adopted (and I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this) said that her husband accidentally referred to himself as "Uncle Dad." I can tell you that's exactly how we feel! Somewhere in between. J For instance, Erik now says "Come to me" instead of "Come see Uncle Erik." I guess we're making progress…
 
I think that things will continue to get better once we enter some sort of normalcy and have a routine. I'm sure it will also help when Jack and I are better and we can leave the room and Erik and I can eat something besides salami or bacon flavored chips again. I've come to realize that this whole period that is set aside for the bonding process is obviously meant for the parents just as much as the child. Companies really need to give adoptive mothers the same amount of time as biological mothers.
 
On the other hand, some of my maternal instincts have kicked in (don't eat the plug, I'll hold you tighter as we pass by the creepy man going to the grocery store, stuff like that) But for now we still feel like Aunt Mom and Uncle Dad. 
 
Hopefully in a little while, our new family can make it outside for a little fresh air…. I think we all need some.


Jen


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Yep, this is fun (Right)

Here we are in the hotel, basically prisoners because we were told to lay low. The baby is the easy part; everything else is what's hard. Imagine taking a Russian person that speaks no English at all, dropping them in the middle of Flint with no McDonalds or readily made food anywhere - even in a grocery store! That's basically what we have here. No taxis or any way to get around. Jen and I have these meal choices: salami on bread, pizza, or a ridiculously expensive meal from the restaurant in the hotel. (Think: $35 for two chicken breasts.) Compound this with the fact that Jack is sick and his Russian medicine is giving him diarrhea in the amount of what you'd expect from an adult. So far we've thrown away three pieces of clothing because the Russian diapers leak. It would be easier if we had a microwave but at least we have a refrigerator.
Jack is really good and is handling most of this really well. The other issue is we have to sleep with him so we have to make sure he falls asleep before we can leave the bedroom so he doesn't crawl off the bed. It's very difficult for two adults to get out of the bed without waking him up. We could be in Thailand, anywhere in Europe, even Brazil and everything would be 10 times easier.



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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Gotcha Day! June 5, 2007

Introducing the Reis Family!



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I'm a Stud!





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Signed, Sealed, Delivered - He's Ours!

Court was this morning. A babysitter came and watched Jack (who we are now calling Sasha-Jack for a while) and we left with Dimitry to go down to the car. Dimitry then motioned for the car to go and waived "GOOD BYE" to us! We were a little freaked out because we were expecting Dimitry to come to court with us! He's the one who explains everything. But nothing happens as you expect it in Russia! J
We got to the building and Anna the translator was outside having a smoke - we almost didn't recognize her because her hair was blonde yesterday and a bright shade of orange - not reddish orange, but ORANGE today! We were relieved to see a familiar face! She is very nice and answered a few last minute questions .She made us feel very comfortable and told us not to worry - it will all go fine.
We were then led to the court room with Olga - who I think is the social worker from the orphanage, Anna, and Sergey, the guy we met with yesterday.
The courthouse is interesting. It seems like an old building and the halls are all painted that shade of minty green as the orphanage. We're starting to wonder if it's the only color they used in government buildings during the Soviet area - or if it was at least popular - because it was in a third governmental building as well. The court room was very tiny with a few lines of benches. The only people allowed in with us for the proceedings were Anna, Sergery, Olga, the prosecutor, and the judge - Judge Nina Something - who had the same bright orange hair as Anna! J
Anna translated everything to us and like a Catholic mass; there was a lot of standing and sitting over and over. Erik did a good job reading his speech with Anna translating. The only question the judge asked Erik was "Why did you change to new job?" Erik explained that one company was bought out. After Erik sat down, I stood up and said that I agreed with everything my husband said. The only question for me was how long I plan to stay home with the baby. The translator told Erik to say that he had enough money in the bank for me to stop working - so I said until he's 5 or 6 and can go to my school. So maybe a little fibbing there, unless Erik secretly won the lotto and is saving it for a surprise for me when we get back, I'll be going back sometime in the fall! J
Olga spoke on our behalf and said we were good with the baby. Sergey spoke and said we had no infections or diseases and a good house. (I almost piped up to say we have two houses for him!) J The judge then asked Sergey "Why no Russian peoples want to adopt Alexander?" Sergey said that adoptive parents are required to travel to the orphanage in Kotlas and perhaps they are too lazy. He also said that Russians don't like to adopt babies with red on their face. (Alexander has rosy cheeks.) Olga was asked why his mother does not take care of him. She said that the mother had no family. We did not realize this before, but his birth mom also lived an orphanage her whole life without ever being adopted and never had a family of her own. Perhaps to her, this was just a way of life for Alexander...
The prosecutor said it would be good for Alexander to have a family and then Olga, Sergey, and us all asked Judge Nina for a positive decision and for a decision as quickly as possible. You see, there is a 10 day waiting period that can be invoked and we'd have to stay here an extra 10 days….the judge said she needed to go think. We expected to wait at least 15-20 minutes for a decision, but...
About 5 minutes later, Judge Nina came back very serious and said she made her decision. She said that she would change Alexander's birth certificate to say "Jack Alexander Fritz Reis" and that we would be listed as his parents on it! The 10 days will be waived. The city of his birth is being changed to Archangelsk (for some reason) and then she very somberly said, "Good luck" and got up and left. Everyone was happy and excited and said "Congratulations" to us. The prosecutor looked at pictures and said that he looks like me. She was a really nice lady in a military looking uniform with red-burgundy hair and rhinestone glasses. J
Dimitry was waiting for us outside of the courtroom. He seemed as happy as we were. We came back to the room with Olga so she could say, "good-bye" to Sasha. We gave her the carry on with all the donations of clothing and toys. She was very, very appreciative! I tried to explain how the lively links could be hooked to the crib so the babies can't throw the toys on the ground, but I'm not sure if she understood because there wasn't anyone else in the room who spoke Russian - however - she was VERY happy to get all of the donations from you guys!! J
This afternoon Dimitry took us to get Jack's new birth certificate which he needs to get Jack a passport tomorrow. We also went to a pharmacy to get Jack some medicine. Poor little guy is sooo sick. He cried a couple of times today (for about a minute each) when we laid him down because he can't breathe on his back. We've been in the room playing with him all day and haven't left because we don't want to bring him back out into the cold. Hopefully this medicine will start to kick in. Dimitry had to tell us the dosages and which stuff to give him. Both boxes of meds are completely in Russian except for the word "childrens" on them. The cold medicine from the U.S. just isn't working. I think he needed some type of cough medicine. Something must be going around the orphanage because the other kids are sick as well. I'm so glad we get take him out of there...
Erik went to three different grocery stores today looking for prepared food for us since we can't go to restaurants, but couldn't find any. Finally tonight after living on Twix bars today, we broke down and ordered room service. Jack tried some of our fries with his spaghetti-Os and loves them both. Fries and goldfish were his favorites from today. He still ate EVERYTHING we gave him regardless of being sick. We haven't found a jar of baby food he doesn't like or a bottle/sippy cup/adult cup he won't drink from. He's eager to take it all in!
None of this has totally hit us yet...Now we just have to work on getting him OUT of the country!



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Monday, June 4, 2007

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Jen


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On the Beach - (It's Still Cold Up Here)

...and 12:25 a.m. right now and perfectly light out! (Picture was taken 5 hours ago.)

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Erik and Jack

Now if he could just stop calling himself "Uncle Erik." :)



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Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, and Yes Sir, One of Those

It really is a boy!

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BLUE - man BLUE



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