Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Martian Child

I mentioned in an earlier post that Roman had the chicken pox... they have a unique way of treating skin disorders over here ... they put "green stuff" on everything ... sort of like iodine or neosporin except it's green ... a little weird but it doesn't detract from the cuteness of this little guy!!!

We weren't sure that the hospital was going to let us in to see Roman or spend time playing with him.... we were prepared to just see him through the glass of his room and then hear his medical reports since he went into the baby home.... SURPRISE... we got to the hospital and went to the building for infectious disease ... Svetlana went in and came out to say no problem. The gave us a little room to spend some time with Roman in ... they even got him dressed up for our visit. He came in very happy .... saw 2 strangers and stopped in his TRACKS!!! It took a few minutes but we came prepared with toys and Stephen's watch and in no time he was laughing and having fun with us!!!

The hospital staff asked if we'd like to feed him lunch... couldn't pass that up .. it was more then we could have hoped for!!! This little guy sure can eat... he feeds himself and even wanted to share his bread with his new Papa... very cute!! I am not kidding ... this kid has an appetite and he is going to give Stephen a run for his money!!! He even drinks out of a little cup ... tea cup sort of thing... and the liquid in side was warm tea!!!

The hospital staff said we can come back Thursday for another visit!!! YES!!! We will get to spend 2 days with each boy!! They are great!!! We got Roman's medical information from the baby home after our visit at the hospital... looks like he is totally healthy .... 2 healthy boys... well one looks like a little Martian but we'll love him no matter what!!!

We can't show the photo of him so trust us ... spots or no spots he's a cutie!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our morning with Maxim

This is us ... waiting to meet Maxim. We got to spend our first day going to the Ministry of Social Work to hear the actual referral for the 2 boys. We also heard a little about their older brother Ivan, he's 4 and with a foster family but they did ask if he became available at any time if we would take him as well... the answer was of course YES!!!

The attorney of the baby home, Helen, brought Maxim in and handed him to ME!!! I couldn't belive it... for the first time I was holding MY child... he just sort of looked at me ... like who are you but he was fine with it. We got him all to ourselves for about an hour. Svetlana and Helen were nearby on the couch talking and every so often Maxim would look over and then Helen left and Max was fine. Stephen and I took turns playing with him.... this little boy is a man of few words but that's okay ... we know another little boy that used to be like that and NOW he talks our ear off!

After about 20 minutes or so.... Max's personality just bloomed, he started giggling and chewing on the catepillar toy we brought him, he's teething. We also brought a beach ball so after awhile this became a big hit!!! We got some great pictures and some video of Max laughing .. what a giggle he has!!!! I promise to post the pictures once we get home and we have accepted the referral. They will probably only be up a short time so keep checking!

After spending time with Max we then met with the docotor and got his history, both personal (why he's in the orphanage) and his medical since birth! Since his mother's parental rights were terminated we learned alot! Max is a very health one year old ... if you need proof you just have to look at his chubby thighs and his fred flinstone feet.... I think he's going to have big feet!!!! He is very healthy -we didn't see any red flags medically so going with our gut ... he's ours ... we will still send Dr. Skurkovich the medical information to review just to follow up!

We will see Roman tomorrow.... under different circumstances, Roman has the chicken pox so he's in the hosptial! We don't know how much we will get to interact with him and tomorrow may be the only day we get to see him since he's in the hospital but we will also get his medical information tomorrow and can have Dr.S do that review and then we should be set!

Not bad for our 1st full day in Russia!

Christine & Steve

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We made it!

We have arrived safely in Russia!!! We left New York (JFK) at about 12:00am - our original time was 10:45 but there was a delay with the plane so once we boarded we then sat on the plane for a few minutes until they got us moving! We flew economy ... YUCK ... we were smushed in a 4 person row and we had the middle two seats.... basically no room for stretching out and we both got little sleep but we managed! We will be taking the tip from other families to fly Buisness class on our 2nd trip back and when return with the boys!!!!

We did reserve a hotel room at the Sheraton at the Frankfurt Airport ... best idea we had.... nice room .... we used it for about 4 hours but it gave us a chance to get a nap and a shower .... ahhhh to feel human again!!!!

We took off from Frankfurt for Yeakterinburg at 7:25 on 3/29 and arrived in Russia at 4am on 3/30 ... what a crazy trip wit the time difference!!!

We have unpacked and are just relaxing before we have breakfast and then met Svetlana at 9:20am to go to the Ministry of Social Work for 10am to get the referral!

So that's our update. I will post pictures later this week!!!

Christine & Steve

Friday, March 20, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

We got our travel dates today!!! WOOHOO!!!

We will be leaving New York on Saturday, March 28th so we can be in Yeakaterinburg on March 30th. We will get the official referral that day and then we will get to meet one of the boys. Because they are not in the same baby home we will get to see one of the boys each day until we leave on April 3rd. OMG this is really happening - we are going to be traveling in a little over 1 week to meet our boys!!!

Funny thing of note ... if you check out our time line we are leaving one day before we attended the information meeting for Wide Horizon for Children last year!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Maxim

March 19, 2009 - today is Maxim's 1st birthday!!! We hope he had a special day with his friends and caretakers at the baby home. We aren't really sure how or if they celebrate a child's birthday but we do know that the celebration for his 2nd birthday will be different! Next year he can expect a party in his honor and he'll have cake and presents and be surrounded by family and friends who are their to celebrate his turing 2!!!

We can't wait to meet you Mad Max and get to know you!!! We hope today was a special day for you!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Paper Chase - Round Two

We talked with Vica (our case manager for Yekaterinburg) yesterday and we are hoping to have our travel dates next week. In the mean time she sent us a list of documents we will need to request, notarize, county seal and apostille for our next step for the judge in Yekaterinburg. Here's what we need so far:

1. Letter from your Town Hall/County Hall confirming the ownership of your residence 2. Letter from the Town Hall/County Hall with description of your house or a copy of property residence card
3. Letter from a CPA listing your assets and liabilities
4. Copy of the CPA's license
5. State verification of the CPA's credentials
6. State verification of Jennifer's SW license
7. State verification of Maryanne's SW license, she was the co-signer on our HS report

Can you believe it ... and this is only part 1!! I have no idea how many parts there are but on the advice of another Yekaterinburg family we have requested the medical information to get a jump on making appointments for when we return. Keep in mind that each and every document cost us money and then we PAY to have them county sealed and apostilled. Thank heaven for Penny - our notary -- she doesn't charge us!!!

So here we go .. more paperwork ... we are getting good at these requests and writing letters to different offices and states .... it WILL be worth it in the end when the house has 2 more people in it!!!

Oh... and speaking of paperwork ... we did get an email from Vica today telling us to begin the Visa paperwork ... that means we are getting closer to leaving for Russia and meeting the boys for the 1st time ... WOOHOO!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's BOYS!!!!

I know many of you keep checking the blog so I'll post a short update just to announce ..... WE GOT THE CALL TODAY!!! We have been matched with 2 brothers -- 11months and 2 years old!!!

We are so excited ... we like their Russian names so we may just keep them and give them middle names from the family!!! We can't wait to meet them ... and make this referral "offical"!!! It looks like we may travel as early as the end of March or the first week of April!!!

What a HAPPY HAPPY day in the Pupek household!!!