Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Updates


I got new pictures today from a couple who recently visited their little girl for the first time. We can see how much she has grown based on the top she is wearing. That sounds silly but, we have a picture from this past summer that she is wearing the same shirt in and now the sleeves are short. It actually is a significant difference which makes me a little sad because I've missed all that time. It looks like she is doing well with stacking blocks. This tells us that her dexterity is developing. It also means that she can build things with her brothers. They were afraid she was going to be all girly baby dolls and tea parties. I think I have to find her a purple dump truck!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!


While we missed having Jyly home with us this Christmas, the children still had a good day. Being of the video game generation, the family got Rockband. With Alex on the drums, Camden playing guitar and Jeremy on Vocals, they created their own band. Until it was time to switch. Apparently, we need more components to get the entire family in. Keegan took over the drums and Keith played the guitar in their own band. At one point Jeremy stopped singing which made us all happy since he's a little rusty as a soprano. I sure hope Jyly can sing!
After loads of Rock bonding and food, the kids tossed the ball around outside and then headed off for the traditional Christmas day movie. An enjoyable day was had by all but we look forward to next year when we will all be together.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The More The Merrier

You might have noticed that I added a few more links to my blog. We are growing quite the Kyrg adoption family and we hope to one day bring all of our Kyrg Kiddos together. Today Jamie and her Hubby are off to bring home Baby "Z". While Jamie was waiting for her flight, she got tagged by Gen and fulfilled her obligation. You see, if you get tagged you need to write 8 interesting facts about yourself on your blog. On your hundredth post, you need to write 100 facts about yourself. I can tell you right now, I am not that interesting. Anyway, now I'm it so here goes.

1. I met my husband when we were 5. I went to preschool with his cousin(my friend) and we have been married for 21 years.

2. When Jeremy got out of the Navy in 1998, I got an honorable discharge. I think it was for the 7 times we moved in 12 years.

3. In 1998, I met a wonderful man and agreed to be a surrogate for him. After 2 invitro attempts, Success! Now we have an incredible little boy.

4. Over the last 13 years, we have hosted 6 exchange students. 4 of them stayed with us for the entire school year and 2 for short summer programs. One of our students from Germany just had her first child so we now have a Grandson.

5. We were one of those crazy couples that took 5 kids to Disney. If that wasn't crazy enough, a year later we took them to Vegas.

6. In my spare time (like I have any) I remodeled my house right down to laying ceramic tile and building kitchen cabinets.

Boy this is getting harder!

7. A year ago, I didn't know what a blog was. Look at me now!

And FINALLY

8. Jeremy and I decided after our 2nd son was born (16years ago) that we would someday adopt and we always knew that we would have a little girl. In less than a month, we will fulfill that dream.

Ok, that was a challenge and I guess it is now my turn to pass it on. Janiece, Michelle, and Suzanne, TAG YOUR IT!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Up Up and Away

As you can see, the count down is on. We had a few changes in dates due to Embassy closures but it all works out. My sister Renae and I jet off to London on January 12th and arrive in Bishkek in the wee hours of the morning on the 14th. After a little bit of sleep at the Asia Mountain Guest House, we head to Tokmok to retrieve my little angel. We will spend the next few days bonding and doing the necessary stuff at the embassy in Bishkek. Then it's off to Almaty. We haven't heard many stories about pleasant rides and easy border crossings but it will be late at night and hopefully Jyly will sleep. In Almaty, we get Jyly's medical exam and finish all the immigration stuff. We make the long Journey home on the 20ith. I sure hope I can keep Jyly busy and quiet on the flight home. I will have toys, and DVDs and Bush's Rescue Remedy. I so can't wait to get her home!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Soon to travel

Ok, so I should have had travel dates by now. We have to be in Bishkek on January 10th. Our exact travel dates are going to depend on when we can get flights. Can you believe the bargain I just found? I can get to Bishkek in 56 hours for $15,000.00. OMG! Thank goodness for discount travel agents.
As soon as I actually book my flight, I will let everyone know and I'll get one of those fancy counters going. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweet Memories

As I sat folding laundry this morning, it reminded me of something that happened when my second child was born over 16 years ago. I know folding laundry wouldn't remind most people of giving birth but I promise, there is a correlation.

My oldest son was almost 4 when my second son was born. Up to that point, he was still my baby. It wasn't until I felt the difference between the skin on his hands and that of my newborn that I realized he wasn't a baby anymore. Well, he turned 20 yesterday.

So now the link to the laundry: I finally bought tee shirts and underwear for Jyly and laundered them before I packed them. As I was folding these tiny little panties, I realized just how small she is still and how it has been such a long time since we have had clothing that small in the house, much less a child that small. I can't wait to bring her home. Yet, we still haven't got travel dates.... Maybe tomorrow!

Monday, November 26, 2007

IT'S OFFICIAL

We got the official word that we are now the extremely proud parents of a beautiful little girl. We are so excited! I don't know if my cell phone bill is. I'm sure I've used up all my minutes just in the last 4 days.

We should have our travel dates by Wednesday and then I can put up one of those fancy countdown clocks. Jeremy thinks this month is going to drag as we wait to leave. I think it's going to fly by. I still have a few things buy for Jyly. Then I have to try to squeeze everything into 2 suitcases. It's a good thing they are both expandable.

Wow! It's really happening.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Unofficial Word

We got third hand unofficial word today that everything went well with court. We won't jump for joy until it is confirmed on Monday. Thanks for all your good vibes. It looks like they just might have worked!
Our next step should be getting our travel dates so that we can get our visas and airline tickets. Then I have to figure out where we are going to stay. Our agency has an apartment in Bishkek which is nice but it costs a little more then Asia Mountain with no amenities. Asia Mountain includes breakfast and we can order other meals if we wish. There is also computer access. We brought the laptop last time and couldn't use it at all. Jeremy and I walked to the Beta store for food and we went to the Internet places but, he isn't going this time. My sister Renae is going with me and once we have Jyly with us, I don't think we will be as adventurous. As for our stay in Almaty, I have no idea. I am going to wait to see if our agency any special arrangements there. The cost of hotels is more than double the cost in Bishkek.
Then there is the packing! I am just like Jackie. She had her daughter's things packed ahead of time but nothing for herself until the day she left, I think. It all worked out for her and she should be with her baby in a few days. I have had Jyly's bag packed forever. I could care less what I have for myself as long as I have my little girl.
So listen real hard on Monday because I am going to be shouting from the rooftops when I get the official word and everyone is going to hear me!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jeremy to the rescue again!


About a month or so ago, Jeremy rescued 4 baby bunnies after a rain storm collapsed their nest and their mother abandoned them. Unfortunately, even hand feeding them they died one by one. I told him that it was natural selection. So today he was at work and got a call from the gate guard that a family of dogs was on site. That wasn't a problem until he saw the Mother and Father dog pacing back and forth at the edge of the pond. It was immediately obvious that the 2 puppies had fallen in. By the time Jeremy got to them, all 4 were in the water. He got them all out of the water and tried to get them into the plant to dry off and warm up since it was snowing but only one puppy went in and the others ran off. Thankfully, the owner had put a tag on the puppy with his phone number on it. Guess what! He's away for Thanksgiving. So the plan was to bring the puppy home for the night and a relative would come get him in the morning. It gets better, the other puppy shows up just as Jeremy is getting ready to leave work and we end up with 2 guests for the night. It's a good thing that our 2 dogs aren't territorial or we would have a big problem! Picture 4 dogs trying to drink from one bowl.

For those of you that don't know us that well, this is the way of life for us. We always have extra animals or relatives or exchange students living with us. Adoption just seemed like the next natural step. We thrive on chaos and love every moment of it. By the way, we haven't heard anything about court. No news is good news!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Confession is good for the soul!

OK, I have a confession to make. I am an ebayaholic. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to a cure. I'm just not sure that I can be cured. After 20 years of dressing boys, I am going to be able to dress my little girl. Don't get me wrong, there are some great boys clothing out there but it's just not the same. I am a little concerned about Jeremy. He spent a week in Colorado on business and came back with an outfit for Jyly that matches the color scheme of her other outfits perfectly. Then he told me that he found the "Janie and Jack" store at the mall. If you have never seen the clothing from there, I've added a link. I think we are in trouble!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Things to be Thankful for....

This year, I am thankful for my court date. Yes, we have our court date and it is Thanksgiving day! As most of you know, the court date does not mean that it is over but, if you have been following our journey you will realize what a great victory this is for us. This has been an incredibly long 10 months for us and although we will still have about 6 weeks before we can travel, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just need to keep our fingers and toes crossed that everything goes off without any hitches in court.

A few of our Kyrg adoption friend's will be making their second trip to bring home their little ones over the next few weeks. They have all been so kind to offer to check on Jyly if they are allowed. Now they can tell her that Mama and Papa will be coming back for her soon. She won't really understand but, I will feel better. I hope that she still has the blanket that we made for her. If I didn't tell you before, we made a blanket with all of our pictures on it and put it on her bed during our last trip. In my heart I know that she doesn't understand all of this but, I have this dream of walking into her room and her running into my arms for a big hug as soon as she sees me. I can dream can't I?

Keep sending those good vibes and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today is a bittersweet day. It's Jyly's second birthday and I am sure there was no cake to celebrate in her little orphanage room. Our friend's want to have a shower for me before I travel to bring Jyly home. I think we will just have a fabulous belated birthday, gotcha day, homecoming party when" We" get back.

On a much happier note, we should hear back on our request for a court date soon. Another family was about a week ahead of us with their request and their court date is tomorrow. I sure hope ours moves as fast. It looks like we won't be traveling in time for Christmas but it's alright. It would probably be overwhelming for her to come to a new country and a new family and then Christmas. She is going to be spoiled enough, don't give us another excuse!

Jeremy is already planning our first family trip for February. He wants to take the boys snowboarding in Ruidoso, NM. I told him that I thought Jyly was a little young to learn but if he was insistent I guess we could get her out on her first snowboard. No, I am just joking. She just started walking. I think we still need to work on the basics. Besides, we can have some real girl bonding time while the guys are on the slopes.

Cross your fingers and send us good vibes for a speedy court date! We need to get our little angel home.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Waiting for Condoleezza

I know I posted earlier but I found out this afternoon that we are waiting for Secretary Condoleezza Rice to return from her trip to the Middle East to sign our documents. I hope they are on the top of her pile!

The waiting game

It has been a while since I last posted. That is mainly because there hasn't been anything new to tell. We haven't even had any updates from Kyrgyzstan since our friend's returned in early September. Needless to say, the wait is difficult!
We are truly hoping for an incredible Christmas gift this year. For those of you that don't know us, our boys are all getting older which takes the magic out of the holidays, if you know what I mean. Having a toddler around again and seeing the excitement on her little face after a visit from Santa will be wonderful. I would like to think that even the boys will enjoy that. I just have to figure out how to control Jeremy. Daddy hasn't had a little girl to spoil in a long time!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm a big girl now!




The day we found out about Jyly, she was 14 months old and we were supposed to have her home in just over a month. I was so excited that I rushed home and took the crib out of storage. Then I found the perfect bedding set and got busy putting it all together. Well, Jyly is now 22 months old and has outgrown the crib before she even got to sleep in it.


I had made up my mind to put away the crib and find a toddler bed after I saw the sleeping arrangements in the orphanage. Jeremy wanted this Dr. Suess looking bed from Ikea but getting to Ikea is a challenge and they wanted $300 to ship a $150.00 bed. I decided to try ebay and I found the perfect little bed from a company in PA. Now my little girl has a big girl bed waiting for her when she comes home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Generosity from strangers

I got a call the other day from a clothing company that I sent a donation request letter to. I knew that they generally had some misprint product and I asked if they would be willing to donate what they couldn't sell. I thought that I would end up with a small box of clothes that I could check on the plane when I return to Kyrgyzstan. Imagine my surprise when the representative told me about the pallets of clothing that they were going through for us. They are even willing to arrange shipping. I never in my wildest dreams anticipated such a sizable donation. I hope that we can use a little PR to make others see what a difference this can make. We live in a society of perfection. We will throw away a perfectly good item just because the logo is upside down. These children don't care how it looks as long as it keeps them warm and comfortable. My next challenge is to find a shoe company that will make a donation.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A little help along the way



In my quest to find out more about Kyrgyzstan, I stumbled upon a Yahoo message board for people who are adopting or have adopted from Kyrgyzstan. The information that I have received from this group has been invaluable. I have also made a lot of new friends who have allowed us to be involved in their adoption journeys.

As families go over to Kyrgyzstan to meet their children or bring them home, they take pictures of Jyly and give me updates on her progress. It was from another families trip that I learned that Jyly's diagnosis of hearing loss is very likely incorrect. From what I have been told, a family wishing to adopt a deaf child had the referral for Jyly. After they spent some time with her, they did not feel that she had a hearing deficit and they turned down her referral. Their loss is my gain!

I got some new pictures today from a family that just returned with their little boy. I am so happy for them and so greatful that they would take the time from their special trip to think of us and take pictures. When I bring Jyly home, we are going to get the kids together.

Love at first sight


This was the very first picture that we received of Jyly on January 30ith. One look and she had my heart.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Day 3 at Tokmok


To make a long story short, we started our adoption journey a little over two years ago. My husband Jeremy and I chose Moldova for personal reasons but after submitting our dossier we hit a brick wall. We just kept hearing that there were no children that fit our criteria.

Our Journey to Jyly began on January 30ith. Our agency contacted us about a beautiful little girl from Kyrgyzstan that they were trying to find a host family for. They wanted to bring 4 children to the states for medical evaluation. They told us about this 14 month old little girl that was born premature and had a suspected hearing deficit. One look at her picture and I was sold (and in tears).

We started the paperwork process and expected to have our baby girl by early March. She was to be with us for 6 months on a medical visa and in that time we could process her adoption. Due to politics, the medical program was denied and by April we were full force into the adoption process. We were not going to lose this little angel.

Our homestudy update took forever. We had to start from ground zero recreating our entire dossier. This also meant re evaluating our finances because the fees for Kyrgyzstan are higher and just gathering all the documents again is costly. I have to say that the money issues did slow us down and everytime we thought we were on track we would get hit with another curve ball.

We were initially told that Kyrgyzstan was a one trip process. Then the new Minister of Education changed that. For those of you not familiar with international adoption, the rules change constantly. The last week of June, we found out that we had to go to Kyrgyzstan for a bonding period. We decided that we would both go. By both of us going, we fulfilled the requirements set by the USCIS (Homeland Security) meaning that Jyly would be able to become a citizen upon entry to the US. If just one of us had gone, we would have to readopt in the states.

After booking our flights only to find out that Aeroflot had cancelled their leg of the trip because they did not agree with the price that Continental had given us, we were off. July 12th we flew to JFK and spent the night with friends. On the 13th we flew Turkish airlines to Istanbul. That was a very nice 10 1/2 hour flight. We had about a 5 hour layover before we were off to Bishkek.

At 1:30 Sunday morning we arrived at Manas Airport in Bishkek. Our facilitator Chinara met us with our driver and took us to our apartment. Chinara told us to lock the door, get some sleep, and she would be back in the afternoon to take us sightseeing. Being that it was Sunday, we couldn't go to the orphanage until Monday. We slept for a few hours and decided to be adventerous. We walked a few blocks to the ATM and withdrew 500 Soms. That turned out to be about $13.00. Then we went to the Beta store and got some bread, juice and water. By the way, you have be careful when buying water because some is spring and some carbonated.

Chinara arrived around 3:00 with our translator Ksenia. We went to the Central Department store to buy some things for the nurses at the orphanage and some things to take home for the boys. We went to a local restaurant for a late lunch early dinner. We all had Logmon which is a traditional Kyrg dish of Mutton, vegetables and noodles. Then it was back to the apartment. We fell asleep until about 9:00pm. The National Geographic channel is not very entertaining and you can only watch so much Sponge Bob in Russian. Because of the time difference, 10:00 at night made for a good time to go to the phone and internet place to email and call the boys.

Chinara and Ksenia picked us up at 8:00 Monday morning to go to Fatboys for breakfast. It's an American cafe. We had a quick breakfast and then took the Silk Way to Tokmok. We had to be at the orphanage at 10:00am. We met with the doctor and she took us to the playground to meet Jyly. As she carried her to me, she told her "this is your Mama" and she said "Mama". My heart melted as I took her into my arms.

For the next 2 hours, we played with all the children until they had to go in for lunch. They have a very strict schedule that they have to adhere to. After lunch, the children went down for their nap and we said our goodbye. We spent the next few days continuing this same routine of visiting with the children and bonding with Jyly. Then we would go out to lunch, shop and go back to the apartment. By our last day with the children, they were a little out of control and Jyly would not stay in her seat for lunch but we had a great time. We loved all the children and wish we could bring them all home. It broke my heart to leave my little girl behind but I know that she is being well cared for.

Jeremy got sick on the last day. Be very careful of what you eat in foreign countries and always bring Pepto. With all of our flight times and layovers it took us 44 hours to get home. Jeremy was so happy to be back in his own bed.

Now we are dealing with the authentication portion of our documents. Once we are done with this, we can finally get a court date. Keep your fingers crossed that everything moves quickly. We still have a month and a half wait after we go to court to bring Jyly home.