Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mr Green Waking Machine

Headed out the door of the orphanage.
Good Day, friends!!!
Well, we didn't get one of those who sleeps all nite but our medical instincts tell us that Mr Green Michael is having adjustment issues to the formula. Of course we gave him what they told us they were feeding him but his little tummy said nuh uh!!!
I made the mistake of having a good dose of coffee prior to sleeping so I was up anyway and the fumes in our room didn't help. He woke up with tummy pain every 1 1/2 hours last nite... we also miscaluculated the number of diapers he needed, he went through 10 today so it was off to the beta store again. The joys of parenthood. We haven't been scheduled much so today we were able to bond more with our son, He is being stubborn and is cautious about taking a bottle with John, I say they just have a conspiracy against me. We still have high hopes that he will sleep thrugh the nite as he just needed a little tummy time, some tummy drops, and a clean bottom, and he would drift off to sleep instantly. We had a great time celebrating at dinner with friends last nite and off we go tomorrow to Almaty to get Michael's visa. One more hoop to go through. It's been hot here, the locals keep telling us that Michael's feet are cold and we should put socks on him. His sweaty little body tells us otherwise...
We'll post more in a day or so!!
We're exhausted!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

What a Feeling!!!


We can't believe it, we are finally parents. Michael Ermek Collingham was presented to us July 30th, 2007 0915 Bishkek time. We can't express the joy we felt as we picked up our little boy for the first time. All the hard paperwork and waiting and worry, and the agonizing went away. He is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!! We can't believe how remarkable he is. We are in awe of an incredible God who gave us this gift of a child. He just went down for his first nap very easily after his first bottle. We'll have to take him out in the middle of his nap cycle to pick up his formula and what the orphanage was giving to him. Enjoy these pictures as we enjoy our little son.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


We're here! We made it, no delays, no loss of luggage, and no problems at customs!!The only bummer was our video screens didn't work from Detroit to Amsterdam so we didn't get to track our progress with the little plane. John actually got his to work and he watched a hitchcock movie. Thanks for all the coverage. Today, after popping a melatonin to get us to sleep, it was 300 pm our time by the time we got to the hotel and ready for bed which was 400 am Kyrgyzstan time, and we slept so well from the pill we got up late for our 1000 am tourist appt. We slept like babies:)
We are staying at a place called Asia Mountains Guesthouse and it is a great deal, breakfast and a nice clean air conditioned room for 48 a nite. Well recommended to future travellers. John and I found it after doing a bit of research as the usual place to stay was booked up. We went into town first thing and exchanged some money and then went to the mountains for a little hike. FABULOUS!!! After that we went back to Bishkek and got hot while doing the tourist thing and walking around the government monuments and going to the museum. We found it interesting as there were a lot of Lenin statues and a bit on the revolution. We brought along those little battery operated fans and those kept us cool in the 95 degree weather, at least there was very little humidity.
So now we are ready to greet our little one but that is not till 9 am tomorrow. You know that song anticipation... We went swimming in the pool, or should I say dipping, it was a little cool as they don't heat it and it is not covered at night so it cools off. We will try a little borsht tonight at the guesthouse.
We are loving it here, and are feeling so blessed to be able to see this part of the world and a wonder that our son was born here!! We will get to meet with friends from our church tomorrow nite for dinner and share our new addition.
Can't wait till 9 am tomorrow!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

And away we go!!!!

So the room is pretty ready, thanks to my niece Sarah who sewed the bumpers for me.
The long awaited day is finally here:)

We're raring to go, amidst many emotions. We are so thankful to God and the people who have prayed for us, and blessed us with showers of love, help, and advice.

Next time you hear from us we'll be in Bishkek and hopefully holding our little guy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Consider the cost...

Our nieces and nephew!

As we consider all that's going to happen in the next 48-72 hours we are counting the costs. Not just monetarily but the costs of being in a family. Steven Curtis Chapman writes a beautiful song called "Consider the Cost" as it applies to our lives here on earth. But the sacrifice we entail to raise children and to remain in a family can never be valued. Even creating a family starts out heftily.
Natural Childbirth uncomplicate delivery 5000-12000, add a c-section 12000. Thank God for insurance!
An in vitro feritilization 35000-100000 depending on the no of cycles and that's giving you a 35% chance of viablility.
Domestic Adoption 15,000-25,000 not including if you need to take care of the birth mother and then she may change her mind.
International Adoption 35,000 to 45,0000 per child which may increase depending on the number of times you have to travel to the country.
All can bring the cost of heartache and sorrow, but we know it's worth it.

How much do we value a child? More than any monetary value.
Therefore we endure and look forward to the Joy and invaluable price of a child's smile!!!!
Gen's family in Florida July 2006

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Photos that go with who we are!

Our silver salmon catch in Valdez, Alaska

Our beloved Sydney and Tazzie

The Sea of Galilee

Snowshoeing in the BWCA at Christmas with John's family

John skijours with the puppies in Alaska!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Who are we?

We are a couple in our 40's, one born in Minnesota & grew up in Washington, one born in the Philippines & grew up in Minnesota, and by the hand of God met in Alaska when both sets of parents had given up on us ever getting married. We both lived in Fairbanks and worked for awhile and finally settled back down in the midwest. We love the outdoors, we hiked 1100 miles of the Appalacian trail as part of our "year off" when we got married, have both travelled extensively, and now are ready to somewhat settle down with children. We love leading canoe trips up into the BWCA and of course we just love our dogs!!! We also are privileged to know a wonderful God & were blessed with going to the country where God's son walked this past March!!! Countries one or the other or both have been to include Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Rwanda, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Kenya, England, France, Australia, Panama, Israel, Phlippines, Costa Rica, and of course our neighbor Canada. What did we do there? Some tourism, but mostly to tend to the needy, do mercy and visit the widows & orphans in their distress. WE are so excited now to add to our visited country list Kyrgyzstan, pronounced kear-gis-stawn', in Central Asia.

Friday, July 20, 2007

WHERE is Kyrgyzstan?

No worries, until John and I started looking at adopting from Kyrgyzstan it wasn't on the map for us either. Only one person we knew, Chris Peck was geographically literate and could even name the capital. Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet state, part of the CIS countries which gained independence after the wall fell on Dec 25th, 1991. It is often known as the "Switzerland of Asia" as it is surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. It is where the "silk road" goes through as it was the exchange road for spices introduced by Marco Polo. It has many outdoor attractions, and reminds us of our beloved Alaska. It is a great melting pot of many nationalities and we are incredibly excited to explore our son's birthland.

7 Days and Counting

Here we are, 7 days to the start of our fantastic journey, and I'm finally posting a blog for our friends and those interested about our story to pick up our first child. Born on Feb 23rd of this year, we will travel approximately 10,000 miles and 33 1/2 hours to meet and add to our family a little baby boy who was handpicked for us!! Who are we? We are John & Gen, along with our prancing papillons Tazzie and Sydney, dreaming about the children we will call our own.

We are going to Kyrgyzstan in 7 days to meet our BABY!! We first heard about him when he was just 2.5 months, and he was a whopping 7 lbs!! We're happy to report he's gained and at just past 4 months he is now 11 lbs.

We started the process back in September by attending an adoption orientation where we learned about attachment issues, adoption political correctness, and cultural sensitivity. All very interesting. We invited a social worker into our home in November to be scrutinized as approvable parents, and were written for a positive homestudy on Jan 8th, 2007. Just as we were filling out our paperwork, we decided to switch the country to adopt from, and finally got our paperwork in after being notarized and apostisealed sent on Jan 22nd, 2007 to be translated and legalized by the department of state and then the Kyrgyzstan embassy. Then we waited to hear about the child destined to be ours. On May 8th, we got a call and YAHOO, we had a little boy to consider! On May 11th, we decided to accept him and now just 11 weeks later, we are going to pick him up!!!