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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Obsessions

Well as much as I had hoped the paperwork snafu would all work itself out and we would still be able to get a court date assigned to us next week, it looks like we will be waiting til March 9th for that chance. I can't begin to describe the creative ways I attempted to get my paperwork to Krasnoyarsk by March 2nd. It appears that FedEx is not real realiable to Kras, so my agency did not want to attempt to send it that way. DHL was my only option and I had it all worked out. A friend of a friend of a friend was willing to drive it to Ft Collins from Cheyenne. Amazing right? Well all was well until DHL said..we can't ship to Russia from here! WHAT!!!! Well not going to bore you with more details but it didn't work and so we went back to plan A which is to ship to St. Petersburg then to Kras. This creates a lag in getting the papers on to Kras so we will wait. I am bummed about it, but there is little more I can do. So, stay tuned a little longer. March 9th looks like our next chance to be assigned a court date.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Perils of Paperwork!

Well, it is hard to describe the amount of paperwork that goes into the adoption process. Anyone who has done it knows it is tedious. You check, you double check, you express mail, your agency receives it, forwards it, it is translated and then off to your region. So I thought I was right on track and then came the email. You forgot a form. And I think a pretty important one at that. It was the Power of Attorney form that must be in place for our coordinator to present paperwork on our behalf. Argh!

I sent it Friday, it is is Cheyenne, but since Monday is a federal holiday, it will be AT LEAST Tuesday before it is able to start the process headed to Russia. Nearly a week behind all the other paperwork. It would not be such a big deal, but things only happen on certain days in Krasnoyarsk. Court is always on Tuesday. Court dates are always assigned on Wednesday. So if our paperwork is not there by next Wednesday ( march 2) we will have to wait another week to be assigned a court date.

Nothing I can do about it now. It may all work out, but that is the latest update. We can only hope we are lucky and get a quick date, but we will eagerly accept any date so we can start planning on getting our little guy home with us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paperwork

Well, today we were able to send in all of our paperwork, called the Main Dossier. It is a MOUND of paper that spells out our life as best possible. It was such a relief to send it off, almost like writing your final term paper, but much larger and more at stake. If all goes well, it will be off in the mail tomorrow to Russia. We hope to hear near the beginning of March about a court date. Likely it will be in April, but I am still holding out hope that it will be March. We will make do with whatever comes our way.

We were happy to hear today that another couple who is adopting from the same region and is with the same agency went to court today and was granted "parenthood". That alone gives me hope. So now...we sit and wait. I take comfort in knowing that our little guy is being well taken care of and that hopefully he is seeing the photo album that we left for him daily to remind him that we are coming back for him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Home

Well we made it home without a hitch! No missed flights, no snafus. 2 am here. At the time of this post, it is evident that I am having a heck of a time adjusting back to our time zone, nearly 14 hours different (still awake at midnight). This might also be attributed to the massive quantity of Diet Mtn Dew I consumed today in response to not having had any for 8 days! (I am going to stick with time change as the reason though). We are excited to be home and back to work tomorrow. It is great to have Jake back around. He is such a bright happy boy. We are so lucky. He is VERY excited and has asked lots of questions and insists that he will do his best to keep him safe and teach him lots! I know he will.

Tomorrow I will try and tie up all the paperwork and have it notarized and sent in on Tuesday. Lots to do and the quicker I can get it sent off, the quicker we might recieve a court date. We have been looking back over the pictures and video of Vladimir and we smile each time. We know he won't remember us or not much of our visit, but we know he is in good hands. Truly the people at his orphanage seem to be working hard to take good care of him and the others. We had a great experience and only wish we could do more to help.

As I mentioned, we have chosen to name him Sy. I have been hesitant to officially call him that because there are so many variables out there and since at this point we are not legally his parents I am reserved in becoming too attached (although it is likely be too late!). I don't know if that makes any sense, but that is my reason. We are holding our breathe that there will not be any one out there making any ripples in the already very sensitive Russian adoption process. Each time a bad report hits the news, it effects all of the families in the adoption process. So let's hope that there will be no more of that!

I will not likely post much more until we receive a court date, so tune in and thanks for following us on this amazing journey.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Final Day! - One Last Visit

Well, we were lucky enough to get to go again today to visit Vladimir. It was so great because today he was as relaxed around us as ever. He talked and talked and talked. We only knew a few of the things he said, but it was great to hear his voice. And the shy part of him was gone. We stacked blocks, we colored, we played with the drums and xylophone (sp?), blew bubbles and put together puzzles. Today I actually had to change his clothes because he had a bit of an accident. Wow, it has been awhile since I put on a diaper!

We stacked the blocks so high that he had to have me lift him up to put them on. Each time when he was ready he would say...mama. Then he just started assuming I would lift him, so I waited and then he finally would say...mama. It made me smile for sure! He points at Dean's picture all the time and says dada. They seem to really have hit it off! We left a camera with them today and hopefully they will be able to take some pictures of him while we are gone.

It sort of sounds like it will be April before we get to come back which is a bummer. We know that we will have to start all over getting him to feel comfortable around us, but it is so nice to see his personality come out. He has so many great expressions! He is a happy boy for sure.

I learned today that there is a chocolate factory in Krasnoyarsk! Lena has said we could go there next time. I am looking forward to that. I managed to survive because yes they have M&M's, Snickers, Starburst, Dove chocolate and more! And did I mention the Diet Pepsi? That really saved me because any of you who know me, know that I have a severe addiction to Diet Mtn Dew and I knew that was not going to be an option, so I was DELIGHTED to see Diet Pepsi. Really it probably was a life saver because I have not had many withdrawal symptoms. You may roll your eyes and laugh but really it is a BIG deal to me.

Dean thinks he might have lost weight since arriving, but due to the fact that all of the above mentioned goodies were present, I don't think that was the case for me! Plus they have lots of yummy pastries and I am enjoying their milkshakes.

We have really had a good trip and besides the fact that we have to leave Vladimir here, we are ready to come home and see our other little guy, Jake. We missed him SO much. So, this will be my last post from Russia. See some of you in a few days.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day Four - Final Day MAYBE

Well today was set to be our last visit, but there is a small chance we will get to go tomorrow, IF the weather improves. It was a bit snowy today and the roads weren't as nice. So, if all goes well we will get to make one more trip. This would be good because unorganized Sara left the papers that we had drawn his foot and hand prints on and forgot to leave the disposable camera that was suggested for them to take pictures of him while we are waiting for our second trip.

But for the good stuff....Today was even better than yesterday. He hardly shyed at all from us and we had a blast with catch, bubbles, puzzles, crayons, riding the horse and just wrestling around on the floor. He even played chase a bit. It was pretty much the same routine and we had better get creative tomorrow because I think he was starting to get bored with the same old same old!

We left the toys there today as well as the blanket that Cindy Schlattmann made, since we were unsure if we would get to return. On the way out the door today, he blew us kisses. That was so wonderful. If only he could go with us now.

Our final stop today was at the notary. We signed documents that "officially" state we want to adopt Vladimir. There was a lot of talk at the notary about the latest crazy thing an American family did to a child adopted from Russia. We can only hope that it won't affect our situation.

Oh by the way, we have thought of a name...Sy. I think it is fitting of him. So he will be Sy Vladimir Schlattmann.

Thanks to all of you who are following us on this journey and for all the wonderful thoughts and prayers. No new pictures to post. We will see what we find tomorrow or this evening.

Day Three Visit

Today was a great day with Vladimir. It only took a little while to get him to settle in with us. We started quickly with the ticklish spot and that made all the difference. It was fun to watch him today as he and Dean really hit it off. He played catch for quite some time and I really was not included (which was fine). They had a blast. We bought some crayons yesterday and took that along today. He liked them quite a bit. By the end, the game was more about him collecting them all and less about drawing. We did manage to trace his hand and his foot, as that will help when we have to bring clothes back for him. Vladimir went back to the horse and really got it rocking, so much in fact that he fell off the back. The good news...he hopped back on! He was way more cuddly today then before. I held him for awhile and he put his head on my shoulder. He also sat in my lap for quite some time. He enjoys looking over the pictures we brought and seems very excited when he sees the pictures with horses in them.

I did take a picture of the outside of the orphanage. And in the back is large play area. It is hard to tell from the pictures because of the snow, but it looks like they have lots of room to run around. With nicer weather they go outside, but right now it is just too cold for much outside activity.

The room we were with him in is also their music room. One of the care givers came in to get an instrument and Vladimir's eyes lit up. There are lots of toys in the room and these cute chairs that they must sit on when in class.

Tomorrow is our last trip to visit him.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day Two



Today we were able to spend a couple hours with the "little guy". I say that because he is little, for sure. He was real reserved today and didn't want much to do with us, but started to warm up after a bit. I guess he was in play time with the other children when he was brought in to see us. We probably are not near as fun as the other kids!


We brought bubbles from home and they have been a real hit. He likes it when they pop and we got lots of smiles out of him that way. He also has quite a ticklish spot on the back of his leg and so we were lucky enough to hear him giggle for quite a while. Pretty soon everyspot was ticklish!


He loves puzzles and has been having a good time with the picture albums I brought along. I don't know that he cares much about the pictures but he loves the shiny coverings on each page. Today he also played quite awhile on a giant rocking horse. That was a hit and he was not real interested in getting off.


He is good with shapes and repeated us when we said the names of the animals from the puzzles. He is very quiet about it, but you can make it out. We will get to go visit him two more days before we return home. The good news is he is not crying the whole time and definitely loves the attention.


I took some pictures from the drive to Achinsk. It is about two hours in a really fast moving car. It reminds me of driving across the top of the Big Horns, near Bear Lodge. Same kind of terrain.


I have not had time to post about the driving yet, but it is a little bit to get used to. I had read about the driving, but you really have to experience it. Walkers do NOT have the right away, or any real rights! Look out is all I can say to that. When they pass, it reminds me of watching a Nascar event. They get real close, jet out quickly, and pass within inches of each others side mirrors! Again, one must experience it to understand what I am talking about here.


We have now ate at New York - New York and a German restaurant. Both of these restaurants have English menus, but it is still fairly difficult since the waitresses don't speak much English and of course we speak zilcho Russian. We point, we grunt, we say spasiba (thank you). I think they are probably rolling their eyes, laughing, and have no idea that we just said thank you in Russian, because most likely we said it wrong!
Well that is all for now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

First Visit


Well we got to meet our little guy yesterday. It was great. He seems to have a good personality and was a bit shy to meet us at first but loves the attention. We are headed back there today.


Here is the picture from our window at night. It is quite beautiful. I will post more later.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Exploring



Well we successfully navigated day one, or at least we thought so. Some of the people who tried to help us may not have thought the same. It is a nice place, the hotel, the city and the people. I was able to go running which was nice. There is a path that goes along the river and so I ran up and down it.


One of the great sites was the ice sculpture. They are beautiful and although they may have melted some, they were still amazing. They have a giant ice slide and Dean made sure to try it out.


I have not gone down the slide but hope to before we leave. It is HUGE!


We managed to track down some Diet Pepsi, which as many of you know, is a major part of my diet. (Actually it is Diet Mtn. Dew, but this is my second choice). So Dean will not likely have to deal with me going through caffeine withdrawals which is a plus for BOTH of us! They also have M&M's and that is a plus for me!
Tomorrow we head to the orphanage. I will post a bit more then. Wireless in the room, so that makes it very convenient.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We made it!

Well we are here! We just got in about an hour ago and we are fish out of water for sure! Tomorrow we get to go meet the little guy. We are both exhausted and hope to catch up sleep today. (It is Sunday morning here). We have already tried out Skype and are happy to say that it works and we were able to get ahold of Jake. We miss him so much already. The flights were surprisingly uneventful and went quick, if 20 hours on a play can be quick. We have seen the sun set and rise twice now, and that is weird, passing into a 14 hour time difference.

There are a few channels that we can understand. I will post more later. We are just glad to be here!