Friday, January 6, 2012

One Final Thank you ...

I would be remiss if I closed this blog and didn't thank the one person who shared this journey with me ... my best friend in life ... the man who has brought me so much and been with me every step of the way ... my husband!

Stephen ... who knew when we first met each other in the fall of 2000 that we'd share so much more than apple picking and pancakes! You have been my rock on this journey of becoming parents. Who knew we'd experience so much as couple just trying to become parents and there is no one else I would have wanted to share this with than you!! Your strength, patience and above all else .. YOUR LOVE is what made it possible to get out of bed on the worst days and to keep moving forward on those days that seemed so rough. What a journey it has been ... there were some very, very LOW moments and then there we some EXTRAORDINARY HIGH's ... and through it all we shared it together!! I love you more than this letter can ever express and I thank you for standing with me and beside me through the past 7 years!

I love you!

"the pretty lady"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final Letter to Roman and Maxim

I began this blog in Spring 2008 as a way to chronicle and share the journey Stephen and I were beginning to become a family. Writing this blog and recording our adoption experience became a labor of love and also connected me with so many new and amazing friends!!! It's funny because when you begin the adoption experience one of the questions you get asked by your agency and social worker is how you will talk to your children about being adopted and the journey you went on to become a family ... all I can say to that is "START A BLOG". This has been a great adventure in writing about not only our experience to become a family but it also tells the story of our family life since we all arrived home on November 14, 2009! Two years ... AMAZING ... these boys were meant to be ours and this is the journey Stephen and I were meant to take to become parents ... just like a puzzle ... the pieces were there and just needed to come together to make the family we are today!!! I have enjoyed keeping this blog ... the friendships I know have with other adoptive Moms is a treasure I will always be grateful for ... the friendships span the entire United States and I don't think you could get that out of Lamaze class!!! I will continue to post on Facebook pictures and stories of life with Roman and Maxim so if you aren't my FB friend and want to follow along ... please let me know!!! One of these days I will make our blog a book for each of the boys so they have a keepsake of our Adoption Journey and the first two years as a family. This is on last letter to them so they know how much love they give us each and every day and that we are so blessed to have found them and become their Mama and Papa!! Thank you for being a part of our journey and for all the love and support you have shared with us!!

Christine and Stephen

Dear Roman and Maxim:

It's been 2 years since we stepped out of Baby Home #6 in Yekaterinburgh, Russia at approximately 4:30pm. It was a chilly night, snow was on the ground and it was getting dark and we were headed to the airport to board a plane to Moscow and then back to the United States to begin our life as a family of four! Roman, you were so talkative on that ride to the airport! You talked about everything you saw out the windows .. the houses, the cars on the road and the people walking! Maxim you were our silent observer, just looking with those big, brown eyes of yours at everything we passed ... you never said a word ... you just took it all in! Papa and I were so anxious to begin the next step in our journey with you, our dream of bringing you home was finally coming true!!!

You have brought so much joy and happiness to our lives! You are amazing little boys with defined personalities ... Roman you are our on the go, little energizer bunny. You are constant motion and don't like to sit for long periods of time! You are always affectionate and give hugs and kisses freely and let us know that we are "best friends" and will always be friends because we are family ... a quote from you on one of our drives to school!!! Maxim, you are such a happy child! You are always singing and you can be stubborn. I'm not really sure if you will ever learn to blow your nose or button your pants and I guess with that cute little smile you have, it will be okay. You are also constant motion ... there is a song in your heart or your head because it is seldom you aren't singing about something. You also share hugs and kisses whenever possible! Both of you are very loving little boys and I hope you never lose your kind spirit and willingness to help other people!!!

Roman and Maxim ... thank you for bringing the sunshine into our lives and making every day an adventure! We have truly been blessed to have you as our sons and to be your parents ... the receivers of your hugs, kisses and smiles! Thank you for making my dream of being a Mama come true!!!

Always know and remember that we love you ... BIG BIG!!!

Mama and Papa

Pictures of our life as a family:

First "official" family meeting - October 26, 2009

First Ever Family Photo - November 14, 2009

Family Photo - October 2010

Our Family Today - January 2012

Christmas 2011

We had a great Christmas this year ... each year gets better and better and the boys are getting more and more excited as each year passes!!! We were able to get a picture of the boys with Santa ... not sure who was more excited the boys or me!!! The boys also had their school concert just a few days before Christmas ... Roman sang at the top of his lungs and Max was our shy one ... although you'd never know from the way he sings in the car!!! Our favorite songs this year are Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!!! The top toys for this year .. Buzz Light Year and Woody and of course the Hess trucks ... Santa also left a bouncy house in our basement for the boys for cold snowy days or rainy summer afternoons!!!

Winter Fun .... 2011

This year we did quiet a few things leading up to Christmas ... the first started on Thanksgiving Day when the boys looked through the toy fliers and catalog and began making their list for Santa!!!

Even the bigger kid in the house started to make his list early!!!

We went to a few Christmas light exhibits around our area to get us all in the spirit of the holiday season!! The boys had a great time and began to get really anxious for Santa to arrive at our house!!! Here are a few pictures from our trip to see Eggbert! This is something Stephen used to do when he was a boy but the business who sponsored this event stopped doing it for awhile and it was brought back this year so we brought Roman and Max!!!

Of course we had to get our own house ready for Christmas so here are a few shots of the tree decorating and I have to mention the biggest "elf" to help us get ready for Christmas ... our very own Elf on the Shelf ... Jake!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where has the time gone ....

I can't believe that it is December and Christmas is a little over the week. I have seriously slacked in keeping up the blog and posting about Roman and Maxim!!! We had an exciting October with our SNOWTOBER storm and I can't remember the last time we did trick or treating in the snow or had a snow day for school but this year will definitely be remembered for some time!!!

Pumpkins ... Trick or Treating and Snow!!!

November came and went just as fast as October and this year we got celebrate our 2nd GOTCHA day with the boys and our 2nd Family day outing!!! We are trying to mark every GOTCHA day with a family activity and this year we decided to travel to Brighton Beach, NY ... also known at "Little Russia by the Sea". We had a great day and for a short time felt like we were back in Russia ... the smells, the language and the food were so reminiscent of our time in Yekaterinburgh while we waited to bring the boys home!!! We ate in a "true" Russian restaurant and when our waitress brought our soup, Stephen and I were both transported back to our baby home visits and the smells that would greet us as we walked in to the building to visit with the boys!!! We walked in and out of the little shops and smiled as we heard all the people speaking Russian ... we still remember the basics and people seemed genuinely pleased with our attempts to say "hello" or "thank you" in Russian! We stocked up on our favorite pelmini's and at the end of our trip we had a great Family Day with our own two exhausted Russians!


December arrived and this year the boys are very excited for Santa to arrive! We began a new tradition on Thanksgiving eve ... Our Elf on the Shelf arrived from the North Pole! After much deliberation the boys named their Elf, "Jake" and each morning they excitedly look to see where Jake has landed that day! Maxim was very excited to see Santa this year and for the first time both boys agreed to visit with him and take a picture with Santa! Stephen commented while we watched, he didn't know who was more excited for this .. me or the boys!! ME ... I've waited for this day ... to take my boys to visit Santa and have them tell their wishes and tales to the jolly man in red!!! Roman and Max told Santa all about Jake and Santa promised to look for Jake that night when he returned to the North Pole .... he also requested a few cookies for him and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve and both boys happily agreed to leave them out for him!!

VERY, VERY Excited to speak with Santa!!!

It's been a busy Fall and even busier Christmas season for all of us!! Roman and Max are getting so big and continue to surprise, amaze and make us laugh on a daily basis!!!

I recently made the decision to close the blog at the end of the year! Life with the boys is certainly and adventure and doesn't leave much free time for posting! I will post some of our holiday happenings over the next few weeks and on December
31st I will close the blog with one final letter to the boys who have blessed our lives and bring us so much joy! Thank you all for following our journey to Roman and Maxim and for being a part of our life over the last 2 years as we have become a family!! We have loved all the comments left for the boys and hopefully one day when this blog becomes a book for them to read they will feel all the love that has been shared with us over the past few years!!!

I will post about Christmas and I'm sure there will be lots and lots of pictures to share so keep checking back to see how Roman and Max enjoy Christmas this year!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall means ... soccer .. apple picking and the Big E!!!

Fall is here in New York and the Pupek's can tell just by looking at our calendar and seeing that weekends are busy with something from September - November!!!

Roman and Max began playing soccer this Fall! It's so funny to watch ... they should call it magnet ball because once the whistle blows and the ball goes into play ... no matter what team they are on all the kids run to the ball and chase it!!! They only play for 6 weeks so our first time playing soccer will end just in time for Halloween! Roman really enjoys the game and Max is having fun!!!

Fall in New York also means Apple Picking ... YAY!! We went early this year to get the best selection of apples .. Cortlands, Macintosh, and Red Delicious! The boys love apple picking and they really enjoyed the home made apple pie we had for dessert that night(my first attempt at making the dough from scratch) YUMMY!

Taking the wagon ride out to the orchids

Roman helping our friend Jason pick some apples

Getting a ride from Daddy

I love this pose ... all done apple picking and heading back to the stand!

Fall also means a trip to the Big E in Springfield, MA!! For those who don't know the Big E is the New England State fair and it's such a blast! I couldn't wait to share the GIANT slide with Roman and Max and they LOVED it ... now we can't wait to again next year!!!

Stephen made some new friends in the dog area!!! This boys name is Hunter cute!!

Roman and Grammy making a new friend!

Here comes Roman and Mama on the GIANT Slide

Max's first ride on the GIANT slide with Daddy

Hanging out with Grammy

The Big E Cream Puff ... a must have!!! So good!!!

The end of day ice cream cone!