Saturday, August 11, 2007

The journey Home

Well, it's now Saturday, 4 days post K countries. I'll have to say, of all the trips we've taken this jet lag has really gotten us. Yesterday was the first day neither of us had a headache or felt nauseated upon waking. We ditched the melatonin in order to respond to our baby. We aren't following the normal rules about letting the baby cry, our son for the 1st 5 months of his life had no one to attend to him, and we want him to gain the security that those first months robbed him of. Steven Curtis Chapman who himself has adopted 2 babies from China wrote some very enlightening advice regarding this, we are so thankful to our friend Terry who has let us know about this. Michael is doing very well, getting used to the smell, sounds, and sights of his new home. We just love having him as a part of our family. Our dogs also love him and attend to his needs with us. He seems to be growing at an alarming rate, our arms are tired! And he eats like a horse, 8 oz about every 2 hours. His little tummy is also doing better and his cough less frequent. He still doesn't know about this bath thing however, but loves the head brush. As far as attaching goes, this little guy knows his Daddy and Mommy!! And we just can't believe how much we love him!!!

It was great to get home. We were spoiled rotten by our small group, gas in the car, a hot meal at home, roses from our housesitter!!! Our neighbor bringing us a gift. We are so blessed by so many of you. It is extremely encouraging to hear from those who are adopting, finding our blog, and sending us messages of love:) We are so excited when we read others people's experience. I can't wait for our little son to realize how many people love him already and are so excited for him.

We have a lot of pictures and when we have time, I'll post a slideshow to share the many feelings and emotions that you can view by pictures. Thanks Mala, for having that on your website. I've learned so many things from reading other sites about blogging, it's great fun!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Quick update in the USA

Michael meets the puppies!
Yeah! Home safely, through immigration without a hitch!!! Extremely tired and jetlagged. Baby Michael doing much better than his parents even with a nasty cough!!! I will post more when I get a chance. We have a boxful of mail, dust everywhere, and ugh, more papers to fill out! Can you believe it? Post adoption forms, registration forms, and I need to find our translated documents!! Look for pictures back here after I get a chance to write a longer post!
Hope you are all well.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Good-bye Central Asia, Hello Minnesota!

Well , the time is almost here to leave this fascinating land. We have thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. It has been nice to kick back and have nothing to do but enjoy our boy. Michael is enjoying blogging with me. We are so sad that he has caught our cold. However, we are happy to report that he has formed stool!!!! Yeah!!! Now my husband is stooling more than Michael. (John added that comment) I took the dive and switched him over to the Enfamil lipil I brought with, had I brought more he would have gotten it sooner. I was of course trying to wean him slowly with whatever he was on but it didn’t work. Guess I need to learn Russian. Next time I’m bringing my own. He is eating his 32 oz with gusto!!! It just goes to show that you can never be totally prepared with little ones. We are so glad he such a flexible, happy guy. He is thriving on the affection and we are overjoyed to give it to him.
We leave at 720 am tomorrow morning. We hope we have a smooth transition with all we have left to do. We tried to get everything right and our facilitator is really fantastic at what she does especially as things change fast around here. I won’t blog until I return home, getting ready to leave with all the stuff we have and loving our son will be all I can handle. It really has been a wonderful trip. Your messages to us have been very uplifting. John especially liked the advice about the animals going in the front, it saved him during the midnite diaper explosions. We have gone down to once a nite, and last night, Michael slept through! Picking up a son halfway around the world is an incredible, tear producing, humbling journey, but certainly one Fantastic Journey!!! We can’t wait to do it again.
We are counting the hours when we will see you all and will post when we get back. LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Scouting out the city...

It’s Sunday here and we went out to scout the city. Last nite we went to a friend of a friends house and had a good time singing, sharing our baby, and hearing encouraging words!!! Also, we met families who have adopted from Kazakhstan and compared our stories.
Today we went looking for hotels for when we come back to pick up a girl. We are amazed at where those who went before us have stayed. Our helper asked us, “how you find out about these hotels?” On the internet, I said, she said jokingly, quit looking at the internet! It seems no one knows where the streets these hotels are on. We were pleased to report we found a beautiful spot, not so expensive, where we can see the mountains, and not be caught in smog. She was also pleasantly surprised. And it was fun to get out on the town.
We’ve learned about how they get tickets here. The police stand at the side of the road and wave an orange flag when you’ve violated a law. You get out of your car and then you talk to them. So unlike the US, where you stay in your car or else you are searched with your back to the law enforcement. We don’t know if it’s us but everyone who has driven us except our taxi driver in Kyrgyzstan has gotten flagged. We can’t fully blame us as we are often in the back seat and the windows are tinted. We love the cultural education we are getting.
We found out all boys are shaved at 40 days as it is good luck and they also think that it makes the hair grow back thicker. We had wondered what had happened to our baby’s beautiful head of hair, and were told that it maybe fell out. We were relieved to stroke his head and find out that for sure his head was shaved from the stubble. It is starting to come back, faster in some areas than others. He’s still so adorable.
John has caught Montezumas on top of his viral crud. I have a cough and I think little Michael has caught it. He seems to be doing well however. Other than that we are doing well. We have our embassy appointment Monday at 3 pm and then we get to leave on Tuesday am. We miss our little puppies and our home and our friends. We can’t wait to see you all!!
Below is a picture of Michael’s first swim and his beautiful little faces

Friday, August 3, 2007

A trip in the city

There’s a haze in the city that has been keeping us in our hotel room. The industry here seems to be putting out quite a bit of unfiltered output as well as the tobacco users. It is almost unbearable to take a walk in the city but that didn’t stop us. We had to get more diapers, how can a little 12 lb man use 112 diapers since Monday? Using the good old lonely planet we ventured out in the city. John wanted to do a meandering walk but soon changed his mind after discovering he couldn’t read Cyrillic and didn’t have a clue where he was going. The 12 block walk to the store soon became a test of will and a challenge. After walking about ½ hr we started to see people with grocery bags and breathed a sigh of relief. Basically, we got there only by divine intervention. It’s a good thing that the universal language is baby and the people feel sorry for you and are able to deal with your inadequacy of your language illiteracy. Many smiles later we were able to purchase our diapers, baby wipes, “mineral” water, some juice and bananas. We’ll have to venture out again to get some chocolate although the hotel has a tasty bon patisserie with some high price treats.
John has been an incredible father and it has been a joy to parent team with him. He now understands why teenage moms bring their babies in the emergency room because they won’t stop crying. He is fast learning the “baby cry.” Michael has a heart wrenching painful cry that he uses when he has gas but is also incredibly hungry. We are hoping to fix that once we get home and I can read the ingredients on the formula can. When we went to get the formula at the store they didn’t show us the formula; they just said Nestle’. Tomorrow I’ll share with you what we were told his feeding schedule was. Anyway, there are about 5 kinds of Nestle’ in the Beta Store. I also cringed at some of the ingredients that our facilitator read to us and was frustrated that I couldn’t read the can. When we gave him the full strength one with comfort proteins which was also the “premium” one he had massive runs. Then we tried the “organic” more natural one and he seemed to do better. We thought we would halve them and put them together and it seems to be working better. However, I still don’t think this is the fix. We don’t want to experiment too much since we can’t read the can and he needs the dha/ara in the premium formula. I really think I’m going to try breastfeeding him as he is a natural, he almost immediately tried to suckle when I first met him and I wasn’t even trying to do anything about it. It will only help him and it is funny how you will do anything for your son.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Our adventure continues

We made it to Almaty!!!! After a 4 hour hot car ride experiencing race car passes on the roadway, we got to our hotel. It is a far cry from the Almaty I visited in 1995. It has grown tremendously and is very cosmopolitan! There are still some interesting fumes in the air however. Even though the room costs us a nite the equivalent of a 4 nite stay at the Hilton, and we didn’t have much choice as all was full, we are relaxing and enjoying getting ready for the long trip home. John had a fever in this morning, and has developed a cough. He has slept most of the day. I have a sore throat and am very tired. We are only hoping our little one will stay healthy between the 2 of us.
We have the cutest little passport of him, John was cracking up at the baby passport that he has never seen before. G whipped it out at the border crossing. An adventure itself. We got to cut in front of everybody because we had our baby. Our little boy is so fantastic!!! He is sooo alert and curious, responsive, has the greatest giggle and biggest smile for us. He has taken to us tremendously and loves kisses, and hugs, and cuddling!!! He is also very smart and learning things very quickly. Like when he is hungry and sees us making a bottle he quiets right away. It has been so much fun learning his different crys, for a gas bubble to a wet diaper, to a give me some food!!! He adjusts well to the different surroundings and only complains a wimper when the “lab doctor” takes blood from him. Michael had to go to the SOS clinic to have his medical clearance exam. He is a flexible, happy, “talkaltive” little guy. He is easy to put down for sleep, and has gone to only waking once during the nite with an atomic diaper.
We have so enjoyed reading the comments and support from you all. We love to check our blog to see anything new. We found out about the 35W bridge today by 2 UPS pilots in the elevator of our hotel. They were admiring Michael. We were shocked and saddened by the event and praying no one we know was affected. Gen’s brother was the only one in her family that was in the city and he emailed to let us know he was okay
We hope to meet up with someone who knows a lady in our parenting class to give us a briefing on Almaty. The only thing we have left to do is to get the visa on Monday and then take off on Tuesday early am if all goes well!
As we were tired, we splurged on a 17 dollar hamburger, fries, and coleslaw. It was actually pretty good. We have yet to sample the gelato however. It looks fantastic!!