Friday, July 13, 2007


and family


Going Good

So it is going pretty good around here. THe kids are adjusting really well and seem to be really happy and attaching well. We have begun to do many things out of the house. We went to Target with Auntie Britty and the kids and Walmart by ourselves!!! The first day home Joey took Jones to the grocery store and cooked breakfast before Mollie and I even woke up. It was great! Things are really fitting into a routine now. We have seen a few behaviour problems in the evening but we are working through them. I think Jones just gets too excited playing racing video games when Dad gets off work.

Today we went to Chuck E Cheese with Auntie Britty, & Emily and all the kids. We had a good time. Pretty crazy though with all the little ones to keep track of. We are having a family movie night watching Happy Feet. Jones and I are falling asleep and I put Mollie to bed a bit ago. Weird that there is a character Lovelace since that's my maiden name.

Jones and Mollie are both answering to their American names and Jones is finally trying English. He speaks new words every day and can count to 6 in English and sing half his ABC's. He is a smart kid. He knows his name but he loves to joke with my mom and call her Babooshka Jones. It is funny. Dad brought his Harley over yesterday and Jones loved that. We told him that Grandpa had one when Joey was looking through his magazine on the plane. I love when we can show him things and follow through with things we tell him and make it a reality. I feel like it clicks in his mind. Both kids are very smart. They both love to play tricks though too. We could be in trouble in the future! Ha!

We have had lots of visitors and a few play dates and it has all been great. Mollie gets a little overwhelmed at times but Jones really thrives. It is great for him to be with other kids too. I have made good cartoons available as well to help with the language. He hasn't asked to watch a Russian DVD in days. I still need to find a tutor or teacher for a few times during the week to assist with the language. Both kids are very smart and catch on to things very quickly. Mollie likes to fit thing into other things and she is very good with her hand eye coordination. Jones likes to figure out how things work and he always finds the on/off and the place for batteries. He is obsessed with batteries because he knows you need them for toys.

Well, I am seriously ready to fall asleep right now at 9:10pm so I better go. Pathetic I know. More updates later!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Are you ready for this

Last Day- Can you believe it

Today is our last day here! In fact we leave in less than 12 hours! Amazing! Today I am off and on emotions wise. Today I realized that it may not be all nerves but I think my trembling might also be excitement! The only other time I wanted to come home so bad was moving home from Virginia. Actually no,I have never wanted to come home more and have never been so excited to see your faces. I am trying to take the attitude of whatever happens, happens. There is only so much in my control. The Lord has to take care of the rest and if that is to let both my kids scream or something, then I will probably cry but have to endure. Please be praying very hard that we can get seats together. Right now we do not. I am a little concerned about that but I know the Lord has us in His capable hands. Please also pray for sleep for the kids. Neither of them sleep unless they are actually in bed so I am hoping that they will regardless. And lastly - just for smooth flights and transitions. We only have an hour and a 1/2 in Frankfurt to switch planes so we are in need of His guidance in that circumstance as well. I of course am nervous being my nature but I think God is working on strengthening me. I have had times of calm today though. It hasn't helped having so much cooped up time to think.

Today we stayed in the hotel until we had to be ready at 1:15. I worked on organzing the suitcases and carry-ons. We only have 2 big and 1 small suitcase to check and two smaller bags, stroller, and a purse to carry-on! Not so bad huh? The big suitcases are not full either! At 1:15pm we met Alex downstairs and he drove us to the Embassy. We and about 12 other adoptive families waited to swear some stuff and get our children's American visas in their Russian Passports. They told us we should be fine in Germany but if not to keep our adoption certificates near by. The kids will be US citizens as soon as the plane touches down in Portland! They will have dual citizenship until they are 18 and then must re-apply for their Russian status if they would like. We need to get them passports in America to give them extra validity and then also apply for American birth certificates. There is still a lot of paperwork, registration, and post placement reports to do after we are home. It was so nice to meet other families in the same boat. Most of them are all flying home tomorrow and some of their kids were acting up for the couple hours we were there so I didn't feel so bad. It feels good to know you are not alone and this is not the first time someone has done this. I think I will take my mom's advice and talk to the stewardess' when we arrive on the plane and make them aware of the situation. There is only one other couple taking our route that was at the embassy today. They are on the same flight to Frankfurt but then they are headed somewhere else. They adopted a much older son. I am thinking maybe 11. He just loved Mollie. He just watched her and patted her head and they made faces back and forth. She was taken with him also. She is a little flirt and he was winking at her! We all got our paperwork and then wished each other good flights and went our separate ways. I wish we could all fly together. Too bad. They need an adoption plane or something! That would be AWESOME! We were given a sealed envelope that we have to give to passport control in Portland for the kids stating their citizenship. We are not allowed to open it. Wow, TOP SECRET. So weird. These are not the first documents we have had to deliver sealed. It is really so we won't tamper with them but still feels odd.

Then we went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. It went alright. The kids were as good as they could be. Jones is getting pretty spoiled right now and that makes it hard but it won't last long! He will be blessed at home but will also not get everything he wishes. Mollie just goes with the flow except she was terrified of the restroom there for some reason. She is also terrified of this tub in this hotel. Hopefully she won't mind the one at home. She sure loved that big blue one. She is singing along with Blue's Clues right now and shoving her thumb to the back of her mouth where she is teething and chewing it to death. It is like she is getting all her teeth at once. Another adoptive family has been experiencing the same thing with her daughter. ANyway, we stopped at the grocery store and purchased some airplane snacks and came back to the hotel. I am just waiting for the hour when you guys wake up so i can talk to my family on the phone. This will be my last blog for awhile although I will probably continue to update it through the year and will try to update after just a couple days and letting you know when we are ready for visitors and such. Thank you again for all your support, love, and prayers. It has really been incredible. Keep it up if you think of us, we can still really really use them. Especially tomorrow. I will talk to you all soon.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Here in Moscow we sit. Last night was rough. We didn't sleep until atleast 1am and then the sun was up at 3:30 or 4 when I first got up. It didn't go down until 11 or 12 last night! This makes it difficult to sleep. The kids are doing alright here in this hotel room even though Mommy & Daddy are feeling claustrophobic. We had the Doctor come at 7am and examine the kids. He found a few things to have us mildly concerned due to their malnutrician. He said most are reversable. We will work on that although at times I think Jones is using eating as a control issue. He did finally eat tonight though after two hours of trying. Today he had a bagel, french fries, banana, apple, 2 pieces of bread, a chocolate egg, and 2 tomato slices. I guess it's not as bad as I thought. Mollie eats anything and everything. A few more power struggles with Jones today although he is most likely going to get whatever he wants for the next two days as we are waiting until we get home to really deal with this issue. He is excited to meet everyone but nervous also I think. Tomorrow I will ask Alex (our contact in Moscow) to explain the next days situation. We have to leave her at 4:30 am on Sat. Little nervous about that. No sleep and such. Will try to go to be early. We visited a McDonalds today. HUGE! They had a guy constantly mopping the floor the whole time, the same spot. Weird. And people just kept stepping on it. It was hard to order because there wasn't English. We walked along Arbat Street (tourist area) and it was alright. Gave us something to do but I think we are done with souveniers. We might try to walk to Red Square tomorrow. Would love to have a pic in front of the Kremlin for the kids but really don't know if we will make it. Jones is very weak and can't walk far. We may try Hard Rock and may not. I hate to say this but I really don't care at this point. We are tired and ready to get out of here. May take it easy. Have a big day - flying day coming up. We also went to a super nice grocery store today. It was beautiful. THen we just stayed here and ordered room service. I ate the best thing I have had in Russia so far. It was a bowl of chocolate ice cream (cold!) with chocolate shavings. It tasted like french silk ice cream. Everything else is kind of a blur. We are so tired and I am still having emotional difficulty which is hard to admit but of course I am an open book about it. Thank you so much for all your supportive emails. I will try to write each one back individually when I can. And Mom and Dad, thank you for your everloving support and phone calls and prayers. It does a world of good for me although I am soooooo sorry that you have to hear me like that and I am sure it is hard to hear your child like that a world away. And Ang you are right. I need to dig down deep inside and pull out every bit of strength that God has given and trust trust trust. And Steph and Em - thank you for telling me I am normal and for the advice. We will make it through, we are almost done. May have to medicate myself through the rest but we will do it.

Lord Jesus,
Be with us. I trust you I do. This situation at times especially like now has actually caused me to doubt my faith and trust in you. I will not let Satan influence me in this way. Please know my love for you and that I will choose to rest in you. Please bless my family in a special way Lord. Please comfort my children supernaturally where I can't. Please be my words when I can't communicate. Thank you for my children, and my incredible husband who has carried so much weight literally and figuratively this trip. And thank you for my friends and family who have showed incredible loyalty and committment. Please bless them ten fold in their lives and let our family be to them what they are to us. And Lord thank you for you. For the hope we have in you.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th Everyone

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO EACH OF YOU! I wish I were home in the USA. Today was the hardest yet. First of all, the luggage is exhausting and as so many of you know, with kids it's doubly as hard! But we got to the airport and the kids went crazy waiting. We had already been in the car and hour before that. Then we boarded and were delayed. I am not sure but I think we arrived an hour late. The plane ride was fine at first. Neither kid was scared and we had all the snacks and toys ready to go. We weren't sitting together but then someone traded. Thank Goodness. Well when it was time to land-Jones would not put his seatbelt on. He always has to have the last whatever. If we buckle, he unbuckles. If we tell him not to pretend hit, he has to do it again. If we tell him to be quiet, he has to say it one more time. Actually both kids are a lot like that and I am telling you when we get home that is one of the FIRST things we are working on. They feel that they are in control. Truth is, right now, they kind of are and it SUCKS as the parent! Anyway, he would not put it on so we held it on. Then he started hitting Joey which is does in frustration, not usually hard but definately with anger so I held his hands so he couldn't do anything. He got really frustrated and I would not give up. Then we stopped and he did it again. Well, at this point honestly I am sick and tired of being the disciplinarian. Joey is like the play guy and he disciplines but in a soft way and not a lot of follow through. I am much more strict. But Joey does have a point and I am respecting that. Both kids have only dealt with female caregivers and discipline. I am so exhausted with it though and feel like a big meany. I am going to stick with Joey's advice from now on though especially after today.

So I told Joey he had to hold his hands because I couldn't do it anymore. Well, Jones freaked out even more and he cried and cried and wouldn't let Joey near him the whole way down. I mean FREAKED! He was crying so loudly. I thought I would die. I kept praying Lord- this is my breaking point, THIS IS MY BREAKING POINT! ANd of all the comforting and bribes, nothing could stop him. So 30 minutes later we touched down still crying, passengers irritated. I feel awful. We had an angel of a man (I really think he was an angel, we didn't see him after!) in front of us. He helped Joey find the seats and talked to the kids and tried to calm Jones down. He even offered to help with our carry ons! He spoke both languages. So nice. I wonder...who could he be. THen we had to wait forever until they open this gate when the baggage arrives and you are herded in like cattle to collect. We went to the wrong area of course. When we saw another adopting couple we met on the plane get their luggage we found the right place. Poor couple. In Kaliningrad they took their ticket coupon for their Moscow to Atlanta flight and they might have to buy new tickets. I am praying for them. That would be terrible. Hoping to run into them at the embassy on Friday to see how that situation will play out.

So we are here at our hotel now. It is 1:30 am yes and JOnes is just going to sleep. We have a pack and play here for Mollie so that is very nice. She went right to sleep around midnight the first chance she had. Poor kids. And we need to go to bed. We have a Dr. coming at 7am and Alex at 8:30 to complete our embassy paperwork and then we have a free day. We are going to go back to sleep after that hopefully and then have a great day together I am hoping. THe hotel is near many things. Hopefully we will have exciting news tomorrow. Then on Friday we just go to the embassy at 2pm and we are done. Then we fly out sooooo early on Sat. 7am. We are going to have to be up so early. Please pray for our rest. We really need it. All of us. And please pray for the flights. I am TERRIFIED now! I really don't know how I will do it.

On a good note. Moscow is cool. The city is GIGANTIC and puts Vegas to shame. No offense to those that just got back and those heading there. I love Vegas. But the lights here are amazing. Okay, not to shame really. But this city is HUGE too! Huge, huge huge! Excited to see more of it tomorrow. We just ate room service. It tasted pretty good. More American like. Gotta go. I love you all. Mom & Dad- I will try to call tomorrow if I do not hear from you. Love you all. Keep praying please! Never knew how much we would need it!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Confined Spaces

Today started off boring, rough, and stressful. We had three adoption appointments. We had to go to the marriage palace to sign for the kids adoption and birth certificates. That took awhile. Then we made a lot of other stops (not sure what for)and then we went to the Ministry of Education to say thank you and let them see the kids. The man in charge there is so nice. I wish I would have got a picture. And the lady is so sweet. She was just adoring the kids. But we were in the car for 3.5 hours! Well except for about a 1/2 hour when we were inside. It was very hard. The kids honestly did pretty well given the situation but Mollie really wasn't havin' it after awhile. I don't blame her. I could barely sit still myself. Thank goodness that is over! Just concerns me a bit for the upcoming plane rides! We fly to Moscow tomorrow! Our independance from Kaliningrad (thanks Aunt Lisa for the reminder) and America's Independance! Woo Hoo! Wish we could be home to celebrate. We hope you all have a great day with tons and tons of fireworks!

The rest of the day went pretty good. The kids had lunch and went down for a nap. Schedules have been messed up for a few days so it's been a little harder, but... schedules will be messed up for quite a few days more anyway with all the transition. I am so excited for Moscow but actually a little anxious inside for the big change, mostly for the kid's sake. We played a lot and Joey gave Jones a toy motorcycle he had been saving for him. We also got (is got in the dictionary yet? I have been waiting because I sure use that word a lot :)out a magnetic fishing set and he loved it! He used it in the bath and then we talked him into watching Finding Nemo (Russian version) for the first time. He was so hesitant but then once he was into it, he literally did not move until the end. He started breathing really funny though near the end. He raises his shoulders and takes in a big breath. He acts like nothing is wrong but I am pretty concerned. It is not normal. It seems like asthma or something. Anyway the evening was very good and the kids behaved and had fun! It is so funny to watch Joey. He thinks the kids are so funny and just adores them. I think that is great except he laughs and thinks they are so cute when they misbehave as well. Mollie is such a little definant stinker sometimes but I love her. Jones and Joey walked to the store and bought some of the last few things we need. Unfortunately we are going to have many groceries left over. Oh, well, we will see if Tatiana wants it. I can't believe we are actually flying tomorrow!

So not too much exciting to talk about today but the kids are continuing to grow and change everyday. We do have a few prayer needs if anyone has the time to continue praying. It feels so much safer in any situation even little ones to be covered with prayer especially when you are in a foreign place. Our prayer requests are: Mollie's cold & rash, Jones' breathing, the plane ride, ease of Moscow transition, and that we have a great time there! Thank you so much. We are so thankful. Talk to you tomorrow night my time from Moscow!

P.S. I don't know how many internet minutes I have left so I will just keep writing you as long as I have them but don't know how to get more in Moscow so if I stop writing or something that is probably why. Mom & Dad - you have our contact info right? We will be at the Belgrad or Belgrade Hotel in Moscow. We fly out of here at 6:20pm tomorrow on Aeroflot. In case of an emergency call Tatiana 89114627700. Britt, I know you keep trying to call and the stupid phone card isn't working but I love you and I miss you. I hope you guys have a safe flight home on Thurs and I can't wait to see you on Saturday! Not long now. If more calls don't work. Just call me from home on Thurs. I am glad I got to hear your voice for a minute.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Za Park

THat is how you say the Zoo in Russian. I think. That is where we went this morning. We woke up and got all four of us ready and headed out the door at 10. We had to go get the kids passport pictures taken first. They both did really good and at the picture place we were finally able to pick up a battery for Jones' remote control car I brought. He loves it and now it doesn't work. Great. Money well spent. Funny thing is I actually brought the batteries. It said 3 triple A's so I that's what I brought, well it didn't tell me that the remote required a 9 volt! So it has taken this whole trip to finally find one and guess what? It was right down the street! But of course we would have never known. We also bought the kids each a play camera which ended up being a great move!!!

We arrived at the zoo and started taking pictures immediately. Jones had to be just in the right spot to take pictures with his "camera." He loved it until he didn't listen at one point and accidentally dropped the batteries into the rhino cage! Oops! He learned that lesson. Listen to Papa! He reinacted the entire scene later for Joey to try to explain that he wanted to play with the camera again. The zoo went pretty well. I don't know how much fun Mollie had but Jones sure had a good time. It was a decent size zoo and very cheap. All of us were admitted for 180 rubles which is about $8. Crazy! After that we went to the restaurant next door which was really nice and really good. The bathroom was not really good. It was clean and nice and I went to go the toilet and it was on the floor! Literally a recessed pink toilet! It was installed one step up from the floor! Is is for squaters or what! I said forget it! I am holding it. I painfully did. Then we had about 45min to kill while we waited for our ride. The kids were good but that was not very fun. We knew what time he was coming but we just got done early.

We came home and tried to give the kids a nap but it wasn't really working. One of us needed to go to the store to get baby wipes which was soooooooo hard to describe to Tatiana. She didn't know what I was talking about. Finally the successful translation was "toilet paper for babies that is wet to clean their bottoms when changing their diapers." She said "Oh, we can get you those!" So Joey watched the kids and I got to go out this time! I was really nervous both to go out on my own with just our driver and also to leave the kids. But Joey told me to so I did. We went to the grocery store and I checked the diaper aisle and couldn't find anything! So we went out to the car and he called Tatiana. She talked to me and said for sure they have it. She said her father would ask. So we went back and of course they were on the other side of the aisle on an end cap. Duh, Erin! I was in too big of a hurry. But yeah! We got them! My next step was going to have to be wet paper towells. I called Joey to see how things were going and he said good, couldn't really get MOllie to sleep though. She has been sick with a cold and really struggling. (Please pray that she is better before our flights!) Anyway, then Alexander took me to purchase some amber jewelry. 99% of the worlds amber comes from Kaliningrad so that is definately the souvenier to take plus I hear it's value is going up and it really is pretty. I picked some pieces for me, some special people back home, and some for the kids future. It was on a boardwalk type area with about 20 amber vendors, handmade jewelry. I am pretty proud of myself for being bold and communicating and such. I did well until the last lady tried to rip me off. I stood strong (and only let her rip me off a little-ha!)

I got home and everyone was awake and happy. We fed the kids an early dinner and started bath time. Put Mollie down at 7:30. She should sleep a very good night. Poor girl was so tired she was practically falling over and would not stop crying. She is really a pleaser. YOu have to smile at her and give your approval after saying No, no so she knows everything is okay before she can go to sleep. I kept saying no, no pointing to her mouth to try to tell her to quit whining. I think she just doesn't feel well. So I rocked her a bit. Yes! I did! She actually let me for about 5 minutes! And then she peacefully went to sleep. Jones on the other hand is pretty hyper tonight. He keeps going through the picture book and memorizing all the family and our house. So I showed him more pics on the computer of family and friends. He loved it and started cracking up laughing at some of the silly pics of Mollie. He was pretty cute tonight. He is growing and changing more everyday. He really is a sweetheart. A TALKATIVE sweetheart! I think he may finally be asleep. Joey and I are hanging out in the kitchen. Woop! Woop! Yeah, I know. Lots of fun. I am blogging and emailing and Joey is playing Suduko on his DS. We are going to be early. We are so tired.

We thought we would take it easy tomorrow because the kids have had some overwhelming days with many more to come soon........can you say........MOSCOW! But Tatiana called and said we have 3 appointments in the morning that we all have to go to and it will take about 2 hours. Oh. That will be difficult with two kids (one little one especially) who does NOT like the car! That's it. I am bringing the DVD player this time! I hope it works. Pray for us if you get a chance. Also for the upcoming plane rides. We need an immense amount of God's grace and mercy for that.
Well, we are going to hit the sack. Talk to you tomorrow. Love each of you so much.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Busy busy day

Can you believe it? It tis true. We had a busy day. Morning was usual but in the afternoon we decided to take a long walk far far to the park with the black gate. It was pretty cool. It had all kind of amusements and kiddie rides including pony rides. They had all kinds of food vendors and balloons, etc. It was really cool and a really big pretty park too. Jones did not want to do anything, too shy I think so we just bought him an ice cream cone (which it took him FOREVER to eat like everything) and bought him a balloon. Spiderman in a heart was his choice. The lady knew we didn't speak Russian but I think it confused her when he did she just kept talking and talking to us. The kids had a good time but it was a long walk back and I think a bit too much stimulation maybe. I don't know. We had company this evening too. The other American couple- the Johnson's arrived today and they came over and had pizza for a few hours. That was nice to speak English with someone. Bob knew Russian so he also talked to Jones. Jones was a little too hyper but it was a very big day. Mollie is having one heck of a time sleeping. WE put her down an hour and 15 minutes ago and we have been taking turns. She can't really breathe because of her cold and she has been crying so I finally am just typing this blog next to her waiting for her to fall asleep because I can't just lay here anymore. I am going to see if it works. It is not like this page is really exciting to her or anything and who knows maybe the sound of my typing will soothe her. It is a late crazy night for us. I think Jones will have a hard time falling asleep too. Joey and I are going to try to calm ourselves down with talking in the kitchen (where we are now limited to), taking our showers, and maybe watching a short bit of a movie. The Shrek 2 we bought for Jones in Russian also comes in English- WooHOO BONUS for Mommy & Daddy! An extra movie for us!

Tomorrow morning we are supposed to be picked up at 10am to go to the zoo. I hope the morning goes smoothly after such a rough night. It was very cute tonight though. We were visiting with our guests and I peeked to see what the kids were doing and they were playing together in the bedroom and reading together. It was sweet. I haven't seen much of that togetherness yet except after their nap. You will never believe it. I had to crack up. Hope you find it funny too although it is a bit disgusting. Joey and I were in the living room with the door shut trying to be quiet while the kids napped. Well, at 3 I went in to wake them up and I noticed they were not in their beds. I went in the bathroom and there is Jones peeing and there is Mollie with her hands on the seat just observing how it's done! Okay, pretty gross, I washed her hands in VERY warm water and said "NO NO" but inside I had to smile just a teeny bit because it was one of their first togetherness moments.

Oh, one other moment I forgot to mention last night. Tatiana called to check on things and we let her talk to Vadim (who was previously afraid of phones and cameras) and he actually had a long conversation with her. Then she said he said "Everything is wonderful, I am happy. I watched a movie and I am eating dinner, etc...." We were so happy. We thought he would talk about his time out and how frustrating it is to have parents who don't understand! We were very pleased and it was confirmation that we are handling things just fine. Our guest Bob tonight said he is a clown and will surely be the class clown. I don't know what we have gotten ourselves into. It seems we have 2 huge personalities. We are excited to watch them grow and we will be sure to train them in the way they should go. Of course with help from the ONE and only who planned it all!

Family Dinner

Jones really does smile a lot I promise

Just another laundry day

Bathtub update

My PJs are too small