Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home one week

We've been home about a week - sometimes it feels that we just got off the plane and sometimes it feels as though he has been here forever. He is doing better that we ever expected. Cole loves his big brother and sister, he runs around like he owns the place, and has the cats and the dog on high alert at all times. He is picking up english - Come Here Mama!! is the most often heard phrase. He does it with a full arm beckon - you can't help but respond immediately. He and his papa take long walks every morning to the playground. They talk about sprinklers, trees, mailboxes and then they come home to report on all of the wonderful things they did and saw. Next, is a skinny dip in the pool. I guess he regards it as a giant bathtub and sees no need for clothing. We will worry about that another time. He claps and cheers on Maddie and Kel's dives and then tries to imitate them. Such an incredible joy to watch him with his big brother and sister. They are absolutely awesome with him, and such an incredible help to Sean and me.

Eating is a non issue. He eats all vegetables and fruits, loves yogurt and cheese, but hates milk and most meats. He eats until he is full and then he is done and ready to play again. We really feared gorging and hoarding would be big issues, but they have not come to fruition.

Our biggest obstacle is sleep. Whether it is fear, time zone change or simply being a toddler, we can't be sure, but he really fights sleep at naptime. When we finally get him down, he sleeps for at least 3 hours, so it is evident that the naps are needed! Its quite the drama each day, but nights are somewhat easier. (thanks to melatonin!)

We are amazed every day by him. His laugh is contagious and his devilish grin is intoxicating. Each day his new world opens a little more and we are so thrilled to be on this ride with him.

Pictures later...I have to find time to download, but for now I hear Come Here Sabaka (d0g) so I am off to save our lab!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Memories from Court

We are home and everyone is getting adjusted - Cole, the other kids, the cats, the dog, momma and papa....I wanted to take some time though to write about our trip before it all blends together.

We arrived in Smolensk the day before court and got about a 2 hour visit with Cole. He saw us and immediately did a u-turn to go back inside! Not sure if he remembered us or not! Papa coaxed him with some goldfish and juice, though. It amazed us how much he had changed in 2 months, hair had filled out and he had gained at least 2 lbs. I began to worry if the clothes I brought would fit! He acted differently as well. Hitting, hyperactive - we wonder if he knew what big changes were coming. Here are a couple of pictures from the first trip and the second trip. The one in the hat is trip one in June. The second is from two weeks ago:

After our visit we did some paperwork and sat down to prepare for court. It went exactly as our translator told us it would. It was about 1 hour long. The judge read through our petition to adopt, asked if we had any questions and if we had any applications. We asked to have the ten days waived. Then the proceedings started. He basically read through our dossier - focusing on the homestudy and financial statements. The prosecutor, social worker and orphanage representative all retold Cole's story and asked us a few questions. Most of the questions were either about why we wanted to adopt or financial in nature. Nothing difficult or unexpected. The judge then left to make his ruling. While he was gone we showed pictures to the others. They oohed and aahed and told us we needed to come back for a girl very soon. The judge returned in about 10-15 minutes, pronounced us parents, waived the 10 days and we cried. It was then off to do a lot of waiting at government offices for paperwork to be done. Our facilitator was excellent and was able to get both the adoption certificate and the birth certificate done in one day. Each office told her it would take 2-3, but she worked through it! We didn't get to pick up Cole that day, but we knew that would be the case. So, it was a nice dinner at a restaurant in the Fortress Wall and then off for what would be our last full night of sleep to date.

More later...I'm off to enjoy a cup of coffee while Cole and Papa are at the park!

Friday, August 03, 2007

We are parents to Cole!!

A healthy, funny, beautiful 35 month old boy. There is so much to tell, and that will come, but wanted everyone to know that we had court on Wednesday and took custody of Cole on Thursday. He is overwhelmed, but doing well. It was a whirlwind 24 hours - 3 cars, two hotels, a train and a dr. appt. Luckily the weekend will be slow and we can spend some time just getting comfortable with each other. He talks a mile a minute and we understand about 1% of it, but he is forgiving of us.

More to come later!