Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's Fall!! Loving this time of year!!

We have been home with Taylor for a little over a month now and things are getting a little easier all the time. It is a handful trying to keep both kids happy all the time when they both need something, but we manage. Taylor is starting to do better at listening and obeying when we tell him "no" or "stop" but he is still getting used to all the new and exciting things in his life so it's very overwhelming for him to take all this in at once. With him being only 4, he doesn't know how to handle all the new changes so he's a little disoriented after having such a strict scheduled life up until now. We are all going through an adjustment period. He's still a good sleeper and eater. He's my veggie eater, Reese won't hardly eat any veggies. It's hard to get mad at her or make her eat them when Jesse and I don't eat many either, maybe we should start drinking a serving of V8 splash or something to get our veggies each day. But one kind of veggies they both LOVE is "Veggie Tales!" They both love to sing the theme song along with it (and without). Taylor likes to play the piano as he sings the song, and I'll hear him singing it throughout the day too, he may be an entertainer some day. Taylor is also learning a lot of English. He says "come on" to everyone, "I want down", "I want to slide", "I love you mommy, I love you Daddy", "I'm hungry", "I go potty", and a million other things that I can't remember, but he's doing great with his English. I know having Reese (who talks all the time and very clearly) helps him a lot too, to learn quickly. I also know that he can understand A LOT more than he can speak, and we are hearing less and less Russian come out of his mouth, all the time. We are so happy and blessed to have him in our family and we know God will help us work out all our little kinks because this was all Gods plan to begin with.

We had a fun weekend last weekend when Jesse's sister, Cassidy, and her family Riley and Tim came to visit. We dressed all the kids up and went around to family's house to trick or treat/visit, they all had a blast.

Our little Princess Reese, and Super man in the back

Reese posing for the camera, we did our best to make her a princess with what she had in her closet , but when Jesse asked what she was he said, "what's Reese, a teenager?" Hahaha....So I guess she could be either one....

The three grand kids (Riley, Taylor, and Reese) on Grammy's front porch in their pumpkin shirts

Fun at Organ Farms
We caught Taylor wearing daddy's hat and boots (and it looks like Reese is mad about something)

The kids talking to daddy on the phone while he's working hard in the fields

Awww...too cute!

Fun playing outside in the beautiful weather in October

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hey everyone, we are finally home at last with both of our wonderful, beautiful children!! We couldn't be happier. Taylor and Reese love each other and Taylor has already started playing the "big brother" role towards Reese. The first full day (yesterday) that we were all home, I took them out to play on the playground, Taylor's first time, they had a blast! It was so cute because they would just run around together and follow each other and chase each other down the slides. Every time Reese would fall down or trip, Taylor would help her up and brush the dirt off of her, or pet her head to try and comfort her, he's so sweet with her. After we played outside for a while, they had lunch and then it was time for a nap. Neither one of them was happy about that, Reese wanted to still be with Taylor and he just simply didn't want to lay down and take a nap. So we decided to let Reese lay with him in his bed, they got comfortable and went right to sleep, it was the cutest thing ever! Well I tried that again today and it didn't work as well. Taylor kept sitting up and tickling Reese and she was telling him to lay down and go to sleep, but then laughing at what he was doing, she's so cute. But then I separated them, he went right to sleep and Reese cried a lot, but they are both asleep as I'm writing this...whew! I was a little worried about how putting him to bed would work out, but I think right now he is easier to make go to bed. Reese is always a little difficult to get back into the regular bedtime routine after she has stayed somewhere else for more than just one night, so once we get her back into the swing of things, I don't think we'll have too much trouble...they both slept all night last night and so did we! Our first night back was ok, but we both woke up at about 5am and couldn't get back to sleep, our schedules were still off, so we were both extremely tired the last half of the day and at about 7pm neither one of us could hardly keep our eyes open, so getting a full night sleep last night really helped get us both back on the right time schedule. Taylor doesn't seem to be bothered one bit about the time change, which was another thing we wondered about, but he is doing great. Sometime I will try to write on the blog about our trip and our adventures, there weren't too many since there was nothing to do in Kemerovo during our 10 day waiting period, and by the time we got back to Moscow we were just so incredibly home sick we didn't really care to do anything but relax in the hotel and swim with Taylor, which he loves!! For now, here are some pictures of Taylor that we have taken since we got him....I have been too scatter brained to take very many of him or of him and Reese together, but I will post some of those soon too.

Taylor in his "Russian hat" we bought for him (it got quite a bit colder than we were expecting in August)

Taylor sitting in the window at our hotel in Moscow

He loved looking out at all the cars and trucks (aka "machina's", in Taylor's words)

Our sweet little fella

Daddy and Taylor hangin' out at the hotel

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Taylor is finally with us!

Hey everyone, we picked up our little man Friday, September 2nd. He did great on the ride back to our hotel which was a 3 hr drive on the roughest roads ever! He started to cry a little when we went outside to get in the van, he suddenly realized that he was leaving and it made him a little nervous I think, but as soon as he got into the van and saw some toys sitting on the seat, he completely forgot about being upset. His caretaker was so sweet, she really seemed sad that he was leaving, but she was so happy for him and kept telling us we need to be firm in disciplining him by holding her fist up. She also told our translator that she really liked us and we were great parents for Taylor, she gave us all kisses and hugs. She couldn't stop saying goodbye to him, and it made me a little teary eyed. I know it has to be hard to see these sweet children leave forever that they have loved and cared for, for so long, but they are still so happy for them. We got back to the hotel at about 10:30 at night!! It was a very long day but it ended great. We made him a bed with the chairs in our room that was really comfy but he just got right up and turned the light on, so we just put him in bed with us and he went right to sleep and slept till about 6:30, he also took a 4 hour nap yesterday, slept all night last night and is taking a nap right now!! So far we have been blessed with another good sleeper....(knock on wood)! We had fun today going to the huge playground here in Kemerovo, he had lots of fun. I thought he would attack that huge playground (since he is 100% boy!!) but he didn't know what to do with all that stuff, he's not used to seeing that many things to play on. When Reese saw him on skype she said, "Hi Taywer, Hi!" it was so cute!! Later she could hear him fussing in the background and came up to the computer and said, "mommy, what's wrong? Why is Taywer crying?" she was concerned about him, she is so sweet!! He kept introducing himself in Russian, saying, "Menya Zavut Taylor" ("My name is Taylor") over and over I don't know how many times, haha. He's such a sweety, and it seems like he's a momma's boy already. He is always saying "momma, momma!!" anytime I'm out of the room or when he is upset or sad. When we walk around and push him the stroller, he has to hold my hand most of the time unless I'm pushing him, he's so sweet!! He is always coming up to give me hugs. He does these things to Jesse too, but not as much because all the adults he ever saw at the orphanage were women, never a men. Tomorrow (Monday the 5th) we go get his passport and then we will leave Tuesday morning (the 6th) for Moscow. We will be there for 1 more week while we finish everything at the Embassy and we'll leave to come home Sept. 13th, and we cannot wait!! We miss our Reesey girl sooooo incredibly much!! We are very homesick, 4 weeks away from home and our baby girl is waaaaay too much. Earlier we put a movie on for him, we didn't have any kids movies, so the best movie we had for him was "Night at the Museum". He was soooo interested in it and he loved it. At first I think he thought it was the same thing as Skype because he was trying to introduce himself to the people on the screen again, haha! We can't wait for everyone to meet him!!
Here is a few pictures we have taken so far.

Us with one of his caretakers just before we left

The huge playground in Kemerovo with a statue of Lenin in the background

Taylor watching Night at the Museum (very interested)

Daddy joining Taylor

Mommy and Taylor Skyping family

Downtown Kemerovo (aka Kuzbass)

Us with Mary (the other lady adopting that traveled with us) and our wonderful coordinator, Anna

Eating at one of our favorite restaurants in Kemerovo "The Pretzel", we found out that this place is one of the best places to get desserts also.

the "Kuzbass" sign on the hill across the river (Kuzbass is the region, Kemerovo is the city, or it could the other way around, we're not really sure, haha)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We're still in Russia

Hey, everyone!! We passed court last Monday, so we are officially Taylor's parents!! Now we are waiting out our 10 day waiting period. There's not much to do here in Kemerovo other than walk around and look at all the over priced things we could buy. We have been sleeping A LOT!! We wish we could go see Taylor, but it is a 3 hour drive on the worst road ever, and it would cost us $250 each trip. We also decided that even if it was free, it's probably better for him to not see us come and leave over and over, but rather come one last time and take him with us instead. He got so sad when we had to leave the last time, he got a huge pucker on his face and put his head down, it was soooo pitiful!! It made us really sad, because he didn't want us to leave him. He was also so excited to see us and he gave us each a big hug when we got there. We CAN'T WAIT to go back and get him, and come home!! After we go get him, we'll bring him back here to our hotel in Kemerovo and have to stay here for a few more days while we finish our paperwork, before we head to Moscow for 6 more nights. But we are excited to bring him back here because just down the street, both ways, there is a bunch of fun things for little kids to play on, so he will have a blast!!

It's great weather here, it's been about 60-70 degrees everyday with a few rain showers here and there throughout the day. It's really weird because everyday, it will all of sudden cloud up, rain a little, and then clear up and be sunny again, sometimes a couple times a day.

Not much happening right now, but we will hopefully have some pictures to put up of Taylor soon once we have him with us. Our plane landed Saturday morning at about 5:30 in the morning, we went to our hotel to drop our bags off and then straight to the orphanage on a 3 hr drive. So going on just the couple hours of sleep we had on the plane, we were literally half asleep and didn't think about taking pictures, we only took video when we went to visit him (but we forgot the cords to connect the video player to the computer).

We will keep you updated as much as possible as our time here goes on. See you all later!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This is a BIG update

We have finally been scheduled a court date!!! We leave the USA on August 17th and we have our court date on August 22nd. We are so excited we can hardly wait to go get our son and bring him home!! Our prayer now is that our judge would waive the 10 day waiting period. We plan to request it, but they say this judge almost never waives it. But we know a God that can change the hearts of kings, so we know he can change the heart of a judge in Russia. There are so many reasons why we need the judge to waive the 10 day waiting period....for one, Taylor has waited in that orphanage long enough and he needs to be with his forever family so he can begin to thrive....two, Jesse needs to get back in case the crops are about ready to need harvesting....three, the cost of staying in a hotel for an extra 10 days wouldn't be cheap....and four, we can hardly stand the thought of being away from our little Reesey girl for ANY longer than we absolutely have to. The last trip was only a week long and we were aching to get back to our Reesey. At least we won't have to leave our Taylor man behind this time, and he will be with us for a big part of this trip.

So we need lots of prayer that we would have a safe trip, that we will pass court with absolutely no problems, and that the judge would waive the 10 day waiting period. And if anyone has any suggestions on what we can say to convince the judge that it is in the best interest of the child to waive the 10 days, please let us know!! All we can do is pray and ask God to help the judge see that waiving the 10 days is best, but even if she doesn't, we will know that whatever happens is God's will.

We are so excited and we will try to post new pictures of Taylor as soon as possible. I tried to upload one of the videos we took while we were there, but for some reason, I can't get it to finish uploading. Maybe I'll get it to work one of these days.

Monday, June 13, 2011

No Big Updates YET

Hey everyone, just thought I would let you all know what is going on at the moment with our adoption. There isn't much to tell yet, we haven't heard anything from Russia, but we have sent all of our paperwork and it is being translated right now. After they do that and give our papers to the judge, she will look at them and make any extra requests from us (we're praying that she doesn't) and then we will just wait for a court date. Our parent coordinator in Chicago seems to think it could be August or maybe even the beginning of September when our court date will be scheduled, but we're not going to worry about it, we've handed it over to God and only He is in control. It very well could be August or September, but I also won't forget the last time our parent coordinator kept telling us a later date every time we talked to her about our first trip and she was waaaay off, and we were kinda shocked to get our invitation to travel a lot sooner than what we were thinking, so we're praying that is what happens this time too. I've been praying that there would be another judge step in and take the current judge's place while she takes her vacation and then there wouldn't be any delays at all!! As soon as we hear any new news, we will keep you updated, as for now, here is some recent pictures of Reese...and some old....

Little Miss Diva wearing mommy's shoes

Mommy and Reese hiking with Papoo at Dolans Lake

A different day of hiking at Dolans Lake, the temperature dropped that day, but she still had a blast...
Our little Beauty

Old pictures...reminiscing of how little she used to be (that is Jesse holding her)

All swaddled and ready for sleepy it's been a long time since we swaddled her :(

Friday, April 15, 2011

Meeting Taylor for the first time!!

Hi everyone, our trip to Russia has been a real adventure! Meeting Taylor for the first time was even better than we could have expected. He is quite the little man and very smart too! Within just a short visit he already calls us Mama and Papa. He also has learned several words in English such as "please and thank you". We are amazed at his ability to learn new things and can't wait to come back and get him! Although it is very easy to get excited and start calling him our little boy right away, nothing is completely official until we pass court hopefully in a couple of months, so please pray that we will have a successful court date and that our court date will be very soon!

This is the big sign entering the town he is in, it says "Prokop'yevsk"

He loved all his toys that mommy and daddy brought for him.

Taylor LOVED his fan toy that grammy got for him

He loved his picture book of his new family, he had to make sure it was in a safe place at all times and he would go and check on it every so often.