Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Introducing Ivan Alexander Gemmill

We promised a picture! Hopefully we will get more posted later today.

Gotcha Day - Ivan Alexander Gemmill

Today was the day! At 1PM we picked up Ivan from Babyhouse 15. After a long drive back to the apartment we spent the afternoon with our new little boy. Unfortunately, I had to leave Meghan and Ivan for a couple of hours to pick up Ivan's passport. But, by all accounts they had a good afternoon, including some smiling and laughing. His personality is already starting to come out, he is starting to smile and interact much more than we had previously seen. The evening went really well also. Dinner was pretty easy with only a few tears during bath time. He stopped crying when I poured water on him to rinse him off, he must of liked that. Next we got ready for bed and listened to the Baby Einstein lulllabies which he seemed to enjoy. When we put him down in the crib, he cried for 30 seconds, and was asleep within 15 minutes, so far it has been pretty good. After Ivan was asleep, we enjoyed a traditional Russian dinner of Pelmini. Embassy Doc is coming to visit at 7AM tomorrow and then we need to visit the Embassy to get Ivan's visa (we think Thursday). After that, we are cleared to go home. And now what everyone is waiting for, pictures! But wait, we are having technical difficulties and after an hour of trying, we have decided that it's not going to happen tonight. For those of you with Facebook connection to Meghan or myself, we will post them there for now. We will be adding pictures to the blog as soon as we can.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

On Our Way

I have been a terrible blogger this week! It's been very busy between preparing for our little one at home and getting ready for the trip and trying to wrap things up at work for a while.

I can't believe we are actually leaving for Moscow today! As far as I know our schedule will be arriving Monday, check in at the apartment and then relax until Tuesday when we pick our little guy up for good!

We have had a few set backs in terms of the exchange of beds and furniture. We are going to use Nick's crib (which is now a double bed) and then have a bunk bed coming for Nick. The problem is that late this week we learned that the new bed wasn't going to be delivered before our trip. So we've done some improvising and hopefully the bed will arrive shortly after we get home next weekend.

Nick is super excited for his brother to come home! He doesn't really like the fact that we're leaving again! We considered bringing him with ius either on the court trip or even this one but In the end we thought it would be too hard for him.

Well I am blogging on my iPhone and we're getting ready to board our flight so I'll say bye for now.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paparrazzi at Court...but not for us

Today we had a busy day that started with court in the morning and a visit with our little one in the afternoon.

I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that the family we met on our first trip was back for court with us, so we all traveled there together is morning. It is so nice to have another family to share the experience with.

When we arrived at the courthouse there were many photographers and reporters surrounding the entrance to one of the courtrooms. It turns out that in the courtroom right next to ours was the appeal hearing (for money laundering and embezzlement) for the former richest man in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It was quite the spectacle!

Before court we had a quick briefing on what to expect. We didn't have the same judge as our first hearing and I was a bit disappointed by this but it was fine. Our judge was a fairly young man who spoke very softly and didn't smile. Bill took the first set of questions, which are generally longer and more involved than the second, and he did very well. My questions mainly consisted of being sure I agreed with Bill's responses. We were done in about 30
minutes with the final decision being approval of our petition to adopt our son.

After court we headed to the baby home to visit our son. We were able to spend almost 2 hours with him and we had a really nice visit. The eczema on his face had almost completely cleared up and he seemed in good spirits...until we put him on his hands and knees to see if he wanted to crawl. He immediately broke down in big tears. For the rest of the visit, every time we tried to sit him on the floor to play, he would cry. He would stop as soon as one of us picked him up. He must have been tired because shortly before the end of the visit he fell asleep in Bill's arms, so sweet!

It's always hard to say goodbye, but this time it's only for a few days!

Tomorrow we fly back home and before we know it we'll be on our way back.

Have a great week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Safely in Moscow

This is a quick post to say we made it to Moscow. We almost missed our connection in New York due to our first flight being delayed by 2 hours! We had to run through JFK and they had already closed the door to the jetway when we arrived. Thankfully, the nice agent let us through and we were able to board.

Unfortunately, Bill and I were not able to sit together. I got the short straw and sat next to one of the most obnoxious people I've ever had to sit next to. To sum it up there was cursing, snorting, nose blowing, snot flying (yup, I felt the spray), and random used tissues being tossed my way for about 9 hours straight.

We couldn't believe it when our bags actually showed up in Moscow. We have court in the morning and will visit our little one in the afternoon! Can't wait.

I'll try to follow up tomorrow with an update!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Almost Ready

Ok, blogger lost this post that was originally posted on Wednesday and now the end is gone, Boo!

I can hardly believe we leave in just 5 days for Moscow.  Wow, time has gone so quickly since we received our court date. 

We had just a few documents left when we returned from Moscow.  We needed our I-171H, FBI Clearances and updated medicals.  In the Moscow region medicals expire after 3 months so we had to go back to the doctors for updated physicals.  I don't know which is worse, the physicals or the fingerprints with their various expirations.

Anyway, we cut it a bit close on the updated medicals and didn't realize all our updated docs were expected at our agency last Friday.  We found this out on Wednesday and luckily we were on track to complete but it was still a bit stressful.

Other than the paperwork I have been spending a fair amount of time on the weekends shopping for the various gifts for those that have helped us in Russia.  We have the baby home director, doctor and caregivers, plus a donation to the baby home and then gifts for our agency staff in Russia.

I am a terrible shopper and not the best gift giver.  We were given some hints about what to buy which was helpful.  I ended up getting jewelry for the ladies.  I decided to go with pieces I might give to a friend and hopefully they will like them.  I bought one cute clutch handbag that is kind of dressy and very "in" right now, at least in the states.  Then for the caregivers I bought small travel sets with lotion, shampoo, body wash soap, loofah (or something like that).  For the baby home we were instructed to bring clothing.  I am happy to say we've got a duffle loaded up with new and gently used baby clothing so we're in good shape there.

Aside from preparing for court we have had Nick's 4th birthday and checkup.  Nick had a great doctors visit and was at about the 50th percentile for height and weight.  He was very good with the doctor, didn't call him any inappropriate names (like Yucky or Poopy) and he was able to do the eye chart with letters.  Yay.

If there is time I will post one more time before we leave.  Have a great weekend all!