Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snippets of Conversation

James: Patrick, computer .....
Patrick: James, it needs charging, it's low on batteries. BAAA-TER-EEEES.
James:Paaaatrick, computer!
James: Patrick, you owned!
Patrick: No, YOU owned!
James: Patrick pookala [pass gas]. POOOOO!
Patrick: No, James pookala!
(These last two you can play on a loop as long as you like)

Rosie: Julie -- McKenzie and I are going out sledding. Wanna come?
Julie: No. Julie, Mommy.
[Julie's sentences resemble addition word problems, where she strings together a bunch of words as though adding them all up]
Julie: Mama? Julie, Mommy, macheena, storya. Yes?
Me: No, Julie, not right now. Nee see ches.
Julie: Mama? Julie, Mommy, help, mmmmmm, oojin? Mmmmm, dinner?
Me: Yes, Julie, you can help me make dinner.
Julie: Owww!
Me: Julie, maybe if you give Mom some space (gesturing like a crazy person), I won't step on your foot when I turn around.
Julie: yaneepaneemyou [I don't understand].

Friday, January 23, 2009

Public vs Private

I posted a month or so ago that I was going to be switching this blog to private, and many of you gave me your requests for being kept on. What I've decided to do instead is to keep this blog open and active, but also start a new blog that will be kept closed/private (mostly for family members), so I can have a place I can feel free to post more personal family details, photos, etc. I will occassionally cross-post an entry to both blogs, if it's something that pertains to the adoption, say. Hope this suits everyone OK. And regardless of whether I see you following along on this blog or my family one, thanks for all the support and interest!

School on the Run

Seemed like a simple plan when I made it. Clear the morning calendar. Make a nice space in the dining room for ESL (English as a Second Language) lessons. Every morning, get the other kids on the bus, then sit down with James and Julie and proceed to teach them English. Follow each well-taught lesson with a trip to the barn together for chores, and then a stroll down our country lane, pointing out the English words for familiar items such as fence, tree, goose. Throw a few bluebirds twittering around our heads and you get the picture.
Yeah. Well. That's happened all of like, twice. More commonly, we're picking one of the kids up from school to run them to the doctor or orthodontist, going to the grocery store for the third time in a week, schlepping out to the social security office for more paperwork, or any one of the myriad of things that keep popping up to fill these new gaps in my calendar.
So usually we have school on the run, as we listen to ESL CDs in the car or I point out things while we're driving around, like truck, bus, train, etc. Skojit "hobo". One drawback to this method is that I'm about to lose my friggin' mind. If I have to listen to this Bryan Adams wannabe and his cheesy accompanying musicians sing "What's Your Name" or "Supermarket Sally" one more time I am going to leap out the window and start playing in traffic. But the kids love it. "Mom, Mom, What's Your Name. Please? What's Your Name." OK. One more time ....
Another occupational hazard to being in the position of ESL teacher is that I've come to resemble a silent movie actor in my manner of speech. As I point out a new word to them, I am striving with every nuance of my facial expressions and body language to convey its meaning. Imagine, if you will, my melodrama as I teach by charade the words happy, or angry. While it seems helpful during the lessons, it's gotten to be a hard thing to switch on and off. I might say to someone, "I like your shirt (sweeping my arm up and down across my torso to indicate shirt). It's pretty (with a stupid happy face on). It's red (might gesture to several red things at this point)". They just look at me and I know what they're wondering. Where's her 'special helmet'?

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Monday, January 19, 2009


Things we're lacking
dry mittens (forget matching)
clean spoons
ice skates in current foot sizes
vertical and horizontal spaces to hang or lay sopping, dripping, muddy, frozen winter apparel of every imaginable sort
complete decks of cards

Things we are in no short supply of
dirty socks lying about
mud and drippings
dishes piling in the sink waiting for the d/w to be unloaded (whose turn is it, anyway?)
dog hair in the corners
"Iloveyouuuuuuuu"s from Julie

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 1 Down

Well we've surpassed the one week mark, and things have been going remarkably well (my own personal tragedies notwithstanding). We've had our issues, to be sure, but so far nothing I can't handle:
I guess it's a girl/boy thing. Julia (now going by Julie) is very attuned to facial expressions, body language, gestures, and just picking up context in general. She is remarkably savvy about knowing what we're talking about. James (Borya has decided to go by James as his nickname), typical for boys, needs more of a literal word-to-word translation and seems completely incapable of inferring meaning from gestures. There have been times I've actually gotten Julie to "translate" for me, as I can gesture something to her (combined with a few words in Russian) and she'll tell James what it is I need him to do. Kind of like some bizarre game of "Operator". In English comprehension, I'd say Julie is leaps and bounds ahead of her brother. In terms of speaking the language, they are both catching on about equally. They can say, hello and goodbye, I love you, how are you, they can sing some of the ABC song, dog, cat, friend, soup, cereal, school, bus, sleeping, thank you, you're welcome and a few others.
The first couple days they were here, they ate very little, just picking at their food. Now there's no stopping them. They eat everything I put in front of them with relish (gusto, not the condiment), and usually ask for more. Typically they have hot or cold cereal for breakfast, soup and crackers for lunch, and whatever I cook for dinner. Plus they snack throughout the day on apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, strawberries, yogurt. The first time Julie had ice cream for dessert her eyes just opened so wide with her first bite it was comical. So far I have not seen any hordeing of food, and they seem to be asking before they take anything, which is how I'd like to keep it, at least for the time-being.
At first they were afraid of the dogs, Julie more so than James. But by showing how to make the dogs do tricks, how to give them treats, and how to brush them, they are now the dogs' biggest fans. I quickly learned they were going through dozens of treats in a day, b/c they thought it such fun to see Sunny leap up to catch them mid-air, so we had a lesson in asking me if they could give them out, and then ony giving one at a time to each. Of course, Julie was needed in translating this lesson to James. They have fun feeeding our guinea pig Daisy veggie scraps, they were amazed at how soft the bunnies' fur is, and they are intimidated but awed by the horses, especially big ol' Jasper. The goats they think are hysterical, and love feeding them table scraps from the deck.
We learned after the first day that these kids needed a course in Bathroom 101. They needed to be taught to use TP. To put TP in toilet instead of trash can. To flush, and of course to wash hands. Luckily for us they were pretty quick learners. The shower thing they picked up pretty quickly and as long as I remind them every couple days they will happily comply, though Julie still wants me nearby when she's showering. No problems when it comes time to pacheesty zoobie (brush your teeth).
They are fantastic when I take them out. I mean fantastic! I've never seen the like. Bella, when she first came home, had to touch everything she saw in the store. Wait, what am I talking about, she's still doing that 5 1/2 years later! All of my "early kids" are horrible to take to the store, wanting everything and not above whining to get it. These two are gems. They stay by me, they don't touch anything, they don't ask for anything. Not even in the candy-laden check-out aisle! I've taken them to the grocery store several times and it's always the same. The other night we had a girls' night out and I took the three girls to the movies and then to the mall b/c they all three needed pants. Julie passed the test with flying colors! A couple times she saw something she wanted that I thought she didn't need and she would whine just a bit. But I would tell her no whining and that would pretty much be the end of it and we would move on. I don't know why and I don't care. I just love their behavior and I'm not gonna question it!
Family and Friends
So far so good. Daniel's had a little trouble with personal stuff boundaries, ie James has played with Daniel's toys w/o asking first. This one can be a little hard to deal with in a household with so many kids and soooooo many toys, but it hasn't been too bad. Most of the toys and games fall in the category of "everyone's junk" anyway. But for the things that do belong to just one kid, they feel stongly about being asked first. For kids coming from orphanages of 200 kids where everything is community property, this can be a puzzling concept. James and Julie have played very well with friends that have come over and everyone seems to like them. James can play kinda rough with Patrick and I have to watch this. But since Patrick has had trouble restraining himslf from playing too roughly with others all his life, it's actually good for him to be on the receiving end of things for a change. Obviously, I will keep a close eye to keep anyone from getting badly hurt, but I really think this could finally help drive my point home with Patrick. It's shameful, I know. They had their first meeting with extended family a couple days ago. My sister and her soon-to-be-husband came for a visit and the kids enjoyed "Tatia and Dodia" immensely. Aunt Ronnie painted dozens of nails, blew bubbles, and took them shopping for small treats. Uncle Jamie played football and basketball and arm-wrestled. There were big hugs and kisses when it was time for them to say goodbye.
Those of you in the adoption world will be familiar with this term. It's kind of like bonding, but attachment speaks to the parent-child connection. With adopted children, especially older ones, attachment issues are always of utmost concern. So far what I'm seeing is all good. Great eye contact. Loving demonstrations of affection. Good respect of my boundaries and rules. Appropriate display of both positive and negative emotions. And most importantly, wonderful ability to bond with new family members (that do not live close by), but then be able to say goodbye and resume life-as-normal immediately.

So life is good. The kids are adjusting extremely well. They are learning English and learning the ins and outs of their new home and family. They enjoy ping-pong and Pixter, basketball and bunnies, soup and skating. They've cuddled on the couch with us to laugh at the American Idol auditions. And they've started each new day in America with a hug and a "Good morning-how are you-I love you!" proclamation. They are suiting up as I write this to go ice skating on our pond again, along with the rest of our brood and a couple friends who slept over last night.
I think they're having a good time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to me .....

I like to think I don't need a big fuss over my birthday. If I get a couple cards, a call or two, if my kids remember to tell me happy birthday, I'm a pretty happy gal. And if I don't have to cook dinner. But my birthday yesterday had to be the worst in my ever-expanding history.

You're probably thinking, how can she complain about her BD when she had the two best gifts anyone could hope for arrive a mere 4 days earlier? Well let me paint you the picture of how my day unfolded .....
Poor Me ...
To start, Fred called me from work the night before to say he had to take an unexpected call night. Since he usually initiates card-making with the kids, they didn't think of it on their own, so I awoke on my BD morning feeling a tad not remembered. No cards from Fred or the kids, and most of the morning getting the kids ready for school went by before BRosie, bless her, realized what day it was. At that point I got lots of sweet hugs and well-wishes and my spirits lifted.
Midnight Sun Has Set
However, later in the morning, things took a serious downturn. I went out to the barn to check on my pony. I had been concerned about him lately. He had been dropping a lot of weight, despite my efforts at preparing a slurry of warm water, equine senior feed, dried beet pulp and corn oil. He was pretty old, and his teeth were in really bad shape, so it was hard for him to get the nutrition in. He also had something else going on, which we couldn't pinpoint, and the bloodwork we had drawn months earlier hadn't shown anything. So when I got out there, I found him down on the ground, and he couldn't get up. I covered him up and went in to call the vet. He arrived about 1/2 hour later and examined him, but couldn't find anything obvious, but he said he saw evidence that his liver was failing him. He said we needed to act pretty quickly, as he was in distress. I had to make a decision whether to start treating him aggressively or put him down. Since I knew he was old (around 30) and I knew that whatever we could "fix" on an emergency basis wouldn't change the fact that his teeth were so bad he couldn't take in enough nutrition, I decided to have him put to sleep. So there I stood in the cold on my birthday morning as the vet shaved Midnight's neck, found the vein, and injected the mixture that would ease him into a peaceful death. The knowledge that you're "doing the right thing" and "easing his suffering" somehow fails to make you feel better as you watch you beloved little pony of 15 years die before your eyes.
From Bad to Worse
But as bad as it was watching him die, it was possibly even worse when it came time to get him on the trailer. I had made a few phone calls and was able to find someone to do the job of trailering him to New Bolton Vet Hospital, where they would do a necropsy. Since the trailer was pretty big, it was determined that the best way to get him on the rig would be to take him through the backyard and up the driveway to get him to the trailer. How do you get a dead pony through the backyard and up the driveway? You put him on a tarp and drag him, that's how. So I'll say it again, on the morning of my birthday, with the help of two other women, I am dragging my pony's body across my driveway and out to the street. Of course Borya and Julia are there for the whole thing. They didn't have a chance to get to know him, but I think they were sad that I was sad. Sweet Julia gave me lots of hugs throughout the day and Borya tried to cheer me up in his own way, too. Later I did my best to communicate to them to not tell the kids. I didn't want them telling the kids as they got off the bus, "Po-nee" and then pantomiming his death by rolling their eyes back in their heads and lolling their tongues out. They finally got what I was trying to tell them, to keep it "secret" and let Mama tell.
Running the Hamster Wheel
I finally settled enough to give them a little "schkola" time to work on some English. That helped pass the time for me. Once the kids got home, they all played for while till it was time for our crazy-busy afternoon/evening schedule. I took Rosie and Daniel to CCD, then got home and heated up leftovers ("leftovers, whaaaaaaah!") for the four at home (Fred still wasn't home yet). An hour later, I was ready to leave to pick up Rosie and Daniel. The plan had been, I would take Rosie to our once-a-month Mother-Dtr Book Club at the school, and Daniel would come with and just hang out. Fred would take Patrick to the school for the Geography Bee he was in, and he would have the rest of the crew with him. However, when I told Borya and Julia I was leaving, that they would go with Papa to the school, Julia was very upset. She didn't throw a tantrum or anything, but she seemed quite traumatized by the idea of me leaving w/o her. So I changed the plans last minute and took Borya and Julia with me. I picked up Rosie and Daniel, got them some Mickey D's on the way to the school, and got there without further incident. Everyone was delighted by the two new additions to my family and I happily and proudly answered all their questions. Julia seemed a bit overwhelmed but did fine, sitting by me in the circle during the meeting, while Borya and Daniel played with blocks in the back of the room. When the meeting ended, some of the kids were drawing on the chalkboard and white board while the Moms gathered up their things. Coat in hand, I had told my kids to erase what they had drawn and come along so we could go down the hall to see how Patrick was doing in his geography bee. At that moment, Rosie came screaming across the room, eyes shut tight, saying Borya has sprayed dry erase board cleaner in her eyes. I dropped everything and ran her to the sink where we started flushing her eyes. I asked someone to grab the bottle and read me what it said to do if it gets in the eyes. Poor Rosie is crying, everyone is fluttering around, we're both soaking wet, and I'm just thinking, Oy. Borya keeps telling me in Russian he thought it was "vada".
SO after flushing her eyes for what seemed like three hours, we finally dried off a bit, gathered our things (again) and went down the hall to the auditorium. I saw Fred and gestured for him to come out so he could assess Rosie's eyes, which he said seemed OK. Julia at this point had simply had ENOUGH and was glued to my side. Rosie chose to stay so she could sit with her Poppy and watch the rest of the Bee, but I took the others and headed for home. Got everyone to brush their teeth and hit their beds, but Julia was not happy about it and kept crying. I consoled her best I could, but kept firm that it was bedtime. Then Bella pops in front of me all bright-eyed reminding it's her night for "special reading" (each kid gets one-on-one time once a week and it was her night). Exhausted, I just about cried at this point, and told her we wouldn't be able to do it tonight, but I would try to make it up to her. So she hung her head and dragged her feet down the hallway to her room, all sad.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Fred finally got home about 9:30 and we got the other two kids to bed, then he heated up the last of the leftovers and proceeded to eat dinner (he was pretty much starving at this point). He had a beautiful card for me and a gift card for a spa. Perfect gift or what? Then I got to relive my misery as I recounted the tale of Midnight's passing, as this was the first chance I had to tell him all day.
A Smile at the End of the Day
Finally the day was over and we headed to bed. I found a beautiful posterboard card that Rosie had lovingly made for me after the end of HER long day, and gotten anyone who was still awake to sign. She had also turned down my covers, and put my book, booklight, and reading glasses on the bed for me. So at the end of a long day filled with more downs than ups, I got into my comfy bed feeling exhausted, but also fulfilled and loved. And what more could you really want on your birthday?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas in January

It was Christmas all over again here at the Kimball household, as it was the day we had set aside for Borya and Julia to open their Christmas gifts. We honestly didn't know what to expect in terms of their reactions to all the attention and the presents. I had several scenarios of how it could possibly play out running through my head, none of which ended up as reality.

When they saw the tree with the gifts underneath, and two shiny bikes beside, they didn't really react. They just kind of looked at each other and all around, probably not realizing that all of that was for them. We had them sit down and then the kids brought them their stockings. Borya just looked at his and put it on the sofa next to him, with his back to the tree and not much expression on his face. We had to gesture several times for him to understand that he was to open the gifts within, and take out the candy and things. That everything in the stocking was for him. He slowly worked his way through it, but still his expression was changing only incrementally. Julia was a little quicker, it seemed, to grasp the concept, and had a good time reaching in for the next thing and placing each of the gifts in a box.

Stocking dissection complete, the kids took turns bringing Borya and Julia their gifts from under the tree. Though some of the gifts were more practical like the Eagles shirt for Borya (a must-have 'round these parts), plush pink robe, slippers and PJs for Julia, backpacks with school supplies, etc, most of it was fun stuff. For Borya, a remote-controlled car, a pair of Nerf guns, a huge disgusting remote-controlled spider, a few other things, and his big-ticket item Nintendo DS and a couple games to go with it. For Julia, a baby doll and stroller, a couple pretty outfits, a play cell phone, a teddy bear, few other things, and her big-ticket of a digital camera. As they opened the gifts and realized that they were for them, their reactions began to change. Where they initially opened the wrapping very gingerly, by the end they were ripping the paper and letting the tissues and ribbons fly. Smiles would spread across their faces, even Borya's, as they saw the contents of the next bag or box.

Now, a couple hours later, Borya is running around the house in a manic Nerf Gun fight to the death with Patrick. He is smiling broadly, and even occassionally laughing (don't tell him I told you). He is hiding behind doorways and jumping out in ambush. Julia is walking around like a movie star in her pink robe and slippers and playing with her doll, taking the occasional call on her cell phone . Though they were clueless when Christmas morning dawned, they now seem to have become quite expert at being kids. They're quick studies.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Introducing the new clan

Taken Friday night at the Philadelphia Airport. This is the very first picture taken of our new family. Incidentally, we are standing in front of an artistic display of the Declaration of Independence. There's a message there, don't you think?
From left to right, Rosie, Daniel, Anne, Bella, Julia, Borya, Patrick and Fred.

Life as usual

Seems funny that this day, the first full day with all six kids under one roof, should seem so .... ordinary. I don't know what I'm expecting. Ticker tape parade? Sparklers and streamers? News reporters banging on my doors and windows? Instead of that scene I have this one: Patrick and Borya, my 13 yr olds, playing x-box. Duh. Daniel asleep on the couch while Bella's eyes are glued to Tom and Jerry on the TV. Another big duh. Rosie and Julia still sleeping at 9 on a Sat morning (need I say it again?). Again, I'm not sure what I thought our first morning home together as a family of 8 would be like, but after all the angst of the last three months, the year-long paperchase to prepare the doc-oo-ments, the three years spent writing to Borya and hoping and dreaming and praying to find a way to bring him home, and the two years prior to that of trying to track him down after he left the Detsky Dom, I guess I just thought this moment would be more remarkable looking from the outside. You know, God light streaming in the windows, Mormmon Tabernacle Choir music filling the air and all of us floating through the house glowing from the inside. That kind of thing. Not ordinary people going about their morning doing ordinary things without a speck of introspection going on. But then again, maybe this scene unfolding about me on this Saturday morning is the holiest of all. When you come right down to it, all of the "holiness" in our lives is made up of the small, I'll say it again - ordinary - things that take place time and time again without notice, without any kind of fanfare. We look at the big things in our worlds while failing to notice the small, seemingly insignificant things happening all around us.

New Year's Resolution? Notice and live for the "small things".

Friday, January 9, 2009

Home at last, home at last,

Thank God Almighty, they are home at last!

Touchdown, spike the ball, funky endzone dance, the kids are in the house!

When we got in the car in the airport parking lot, Fred briefly looked over the papers he had been given by the escort and said, "I don't know if we have the [such-n-such] we were supposed to get". I said, "Drive. Just drive. I just want to get these kids in our house and anything else can be straightened out later"!

So we've been home with them about three hours now and they're doing great. We got home late b/c their flight was delayed. But we had dinner waiting in the crockpot, then gave them an abbreviated tour of the house, and showed them their rooms. They are reacting completely as I had expected: Julia is all excited and bubbly and looking from one thing to the next, where Borya is wearing more of a shell-shocked expression. As is typical for him, he is taking it all in quietly, scarcely saying a word. Julia loves her room, and get this, had a poster hanging on her walls within two hours. Oy, preteens. Daniel has been busily introducing Borya to each of his stuffed animals. Borya sat down and quickly drew an amazing picture of Puss-n-Boots that he presented to Daniel, and Daniel just about fell to the ground in worship. He showed it to me and told me he would file it with his "special papers". Tomorrow I will post a picture. The first ever picture of our family of 8, taken at the airport. But tonight I'm exhausted (not much sleep last night, like a kid on Christmas Eve), so I'm afraid uploading and downloading will have to wait till daybreak.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Eye, eye

Just wanted to let everyone know that Bella's surgery went well. She woke up very sweetly and w/o too much discomfort. I think I needed sedation more than she did. See, I have a funny thing about eyes, they just creep me out. But I have to sit there while doctors and nurses explain to me about swelling, "bloody tears" (I kid you not), drops, ointment, etc. I think I'll make a full recovery.

Anyway, like I said, she's doing great. Certainly hasn't affected her appetite as she's been eating like a horse since she got home. She goes back for a follow-up tomorrow at 1, and then we pick up Borya and Julia at the airport at 4:30, yay!

Last phone call

Spoke to the kids by phone again last night. For the last time. B/c tonight when I would normally call, they'll already be in the air heading for home. Still can't hardly believe it!

But today my mind is occupied elsewhere, as Bella is having eye surgery over at AI duPont this morning. So everyone pls say a quick prayer that she does well with that.

Updates soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tues night phone call ....

"Hi Mama (giggle, giggle)"
"Hello, Julia, how are you, kag delah?"
"Goot (giggle, giggle)"
"Mama will see you in three days in America"
"I love you, ya tibya looblue"
"I love you too, (giggle, giggle)"

"Hi Mama"
"Hello, Borya, how are you, kag delah?"
"Horrahshow. I am goot."
"I will see you soon in America."
"I love you."
"I love you, too. Bye, bye!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All legal-like

Passports and visas are now in hand -- my kids are set to come home! Unfortunately, with the timing of the flight schedules, they still have to wait till Fri, but at least all the pieces of the puzzle have been put together now.
Court approval ..... check
Adoption decree .....check
Medical clearances ..check
Passports ...........check
Visas ...............check
Here's Lori's latest account of her most recent path-crossing with my little "immigrants":

Those pesky kids were with us again today at the American Embassy. seems they are approved to travel to the US. Your little immigrants are ready to roll! Both kids were once again awesome. They were genuinely excited to see my little girl again and Julia and Borya both played with her in the car. Then at the Embassy they were my little babysitters. I was really surprised to see how much fun they are having. Borya is smiling all the time now and Julia is often in a full out giggle. Today Gratch bought Julia a hat at the Green Bazaar. Julia was so pleased with it and Borya was getting silly putting it on and having me take a picture of him. (Yes now he asks me to take pictures.) I asked Gratch if the kids were excited about going to America and he said yes. They told him that all the other children at the orphanage are jealous and they want to go to America too. They really have no idea what they are in for but man o man are they happy. They look like different kids from just a few days ago. I can't imagine a few months from now how they will blossom. Remember when I joked I would escort the kids home? Well I should have done it. I was sad when I realized I wasn't going to see them again. I got a big hug and kiss from each of them (seriously could they get any sweeter???) and we said our "bye byes" in english. So here are my last few pics of the dynamic duo. Can't wait to see posts of thier homecoming. It's been a long time coming for you and them.

By phone last night, but face-to-face Friday

Got to speak to my kids on the phone last night. 10pm our time, 9am their time, I called Gratch and spoke to him a bit about how the process is going and what they've been up to. He tells me they went to the circus yesterday, and today they'll go see a movie after the business of the day is behind them. At one point, Julia figured out it was me that Gratch was talking to, and I heard her get all excited and ask to speak to Mama. So he put her on the phone and she said "Hi Mama!" She still can't say much in English, but I think she can understand just a bit, so I talked to her about coming home soon, coming to America, seeing Mama and Papa in a few days, etc. Then she put Borya on, and we repeated the whole process. Gratch tells me they've been good, but I just know he's gotta be lying to me b/c I'm sure they must be busting out of their skin with excitement. So close for them, and yet still so far away. Hard to be in that predicament when you're 10.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Clean Bill of Health

Borya and Julia went to the clinic for their medicals yesterday, in Almaty. As usual, my friend Lori kept a maternal eye turned their direction and sent me a report and another photo. This is a picture of Borya and Julia with Gratch, the man who is escorting the kids back home for us (also he is the dh of our stateside adoption coordinator):

Today they were very relaxed, many more smiles from Boris which was nice to see. Sweet little Julia played peek a boo with Nina the whole ride to the clinic.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One Step Closer to Home!

Just received word from Lori that my kids survived the flight from Ust Kamenogorsk to Almaty and seem to be doing fine. Now they just need to spend a few days running about taking care of business with the coordinator before they can board the Lufthanza flight that will take them home. Can't come soon enough! Here's the word from Lori, as well as some pictures:

Anne, the kids arrived safe and sound in Almaty. I am not sure if I will see them again but I was very glad to see them both in person. Julia is charming and seemed excited about her airplane adventures. Borya was much more serious. He stayed close to his sister. I felt like he was protecting her a bit. here are a few pics we snapped of them. I wish I could have gotten more but we were in the last row of the plane and they in the second row (you can see where the Printy's rate).
They are having a great adventure though. Julia just kills me. She is so wide eyed and tickled with all of it. I can tell she is loving it. Borya reminds me of my oldest. He is very sharp and always aware of what is happening. I actually had to tell him to smile in the picture by the baggage cart. I teased him by saying "I'm going to America" and that's when I got the smile. As wild a ride as this must be for them you can tell they are very excited to be heading home.
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