Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hannah went to the petting farm

Luke, Hannah and I went to a local petting farm the other day, and if anyone goes there and the animals aren't quite right, I can tell you why. Curious George (Hannah) was definitely on high alert that day, and I believe every animal that she could get her hands on had a complete examination. Here is a list of the effected animals. All the goats were checked for teeth, ears, eyes, bellies, and tails lifted and checked, and some baby goat's hooves were inspected when Hannah could overpower them. The sheep were lucky because they were behind the fence, but she insisted we go and get her brush so she could brush out their mangled hair. Next was the horse, donkey and Emu. The poor Emu didn't see this one coming and I didn't see that one go! The Emu was sitting right by the fence and Hannah ran over and poked him right in the eye and tried to hug the scared thing by grabbing his skinny little neck. I got there right before it was ready to unfold. The donkey made off pretty good because she only put her finger down his ear, but the horse I guess outsmarted Hannah all together. This horse came inches away from Hannah and decided it was time to gave this little thing a shower. He must of thought it would scare her away, but to his dismay she was ready to come into the pen and get a closer look! I tried to stop this madness, but she was having the time of her life. Now when we got to the chickens, she wasn't that interested in them as much as the rabbits behind the cages she couldn't get to, so everyone there was fairly safe. A baby goat got a bucket stuck on his head, and I'm not sure if Hannah had anything to do with this. Thankfully, we got the bucket off and no one was injured.

This is a completely different experience compared to going there with Luke. He would never touch this much and never care about the animals' bodies. It was a wake-up for me next time we visit a petting farm! In our next adventure to the petting farm, I envision a protest of animals at the entrance with signs "Hannah please don't touch us or Hannah the word is petting!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just Thinking

I was talking with my mom the other day and mentioning all the things Hannah is doing, and I realized at one point in this conservation how far she has come in a short amount of time. We just past our two months home with Hannah, and I am so amazed at how well she is fitting right in. We thought a lot of the running around and doing this and that would have to stop, but she loves doing it all. She came from living and seeing the same place for many years not going anywhere. We go here and there and everywhere and she is in her car seat just smiling and loving it. We have taken her to big parties with lots of kids and she just jumps right in. We will go swimming, to the playground, shopping, to the grocery store, gym, zoo, petting farms, and picking berries, and she is happy to do it all, but what a drastic change for her. I hope one day she can tell me if she really likes it all!

Hannah loves Winnie-the-Pooh. This is the only video she will watch, and has decided to bring these characters alive in her own life. If she needs to use the restroom while we are out, the first thing she will say while entering the restroom is "is there anyone home?" No one has yet to answer her question. Another funny thing she does (which are many) when she is trying new food for first time and she doesn't like it she will say "Tiggers don't like honey!" One other thing that I think is so precious, if I tell her she has to go put her shoes away or bush her teeth, her comment is always the same, "Oh bother."

I am going to put some new video of her on my blog soon. We made a big switch in our computer and went to a Mac. I love it but, I'm still getting use to this computer. Thanks for checking in. I can't remember these stories when I'm talking with family or friends, so I see such a benefit to blogging these funny or precious stories. One day Hannah can read about this and realize how perfect she was meant for our family. She has definitely spiced things up around here, but not too spicy she can't handle it (food that is)!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Is it July already?

The time has flown by since we have gotten home from Russia. We have experienced scores of emotions as we have transitioned into being a family of four. For Luke, it has been a hard road, but thanks to our God who has been our rock through this time for him. It was a great way to show Luke God's faithfulness and realize we can depend on Him in our doubts and fears for any situation. I would tell Luke from the movie Facing the Giants that the Bible mentions fear over 300 times, so God cares a lot about our fears and will be right by your side, and he has seen this come into fruition.

As for Hannah, I have told many of our friends she has melted into our family like she was always here. We are amazed at how fast she has picked up English both speaking and understanding. See the E.T video to understand what it's like around our house daily because we are always waiting for her to say something new! Yesterday, Hannah came into the kitchen and said "what are you cooking Mama?". She is so funny and doesn't even know it. Her fascination with blow-dryers is still very extreme. In the morning she will say Good Morning Mamma, Papa, Luke, and blow-dryer which we have finally gotten used to it, and realize we have another addition to our family. She is still very curious about everything and loves to examine most things. She is crazy about going to the pool and even when she is purple-cold she will not get out. We have affectionally call her the Jerky swimmer because she is so twitchy to watch in the pool. We praise God for having all of her test results come back negative, so that was a huge relief for us. We were thinking she would have some parasites, but God has been watching over Hannah and keeping her healthy from the beginning. Life went from being busy to being extremely busy with two little ones and little time for anything else like posting on my blog which I hope to do more now that some things have slowed down.

As I am sitting here typing this blog, Hannah is on our other old computer doing Reader Rabbit. It didn't take her long to learn the computer. It's a very good program for learning letters, shapes and many other things, and she hasn't had any problems with it.

I have posted some pictures of Hannah and Luke since coming home, but I wanted to post some pictures of the refrigerator and tiles that many of our church family and friends donated money. The director and workers were overwhelmed that people would help them out that didn't even know them or involved with an adoption there. Again, we thank all of you for this generosity.

Hopefully, i will be blogging each week to keep family and friends updated on our family. Stop by anytime!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Interesting Spin

Well, it's been a while since I have had time to post. Life has gotten very interesting since we came back from Russia. We are still trying to transition into being a family of four and with that comes every emotion known to mankind. Luke is having a hard time with just about everything, and we are trying to help him through it, but he went from being the only child to having a little sister that walks, talks, and gets into his things. We know that it isn't easy for him, so we are taking turns and doing something special with him. He will come around, but for now we are taking each day at a time.

People have told me that having one child is easier than two or more because you always know who to blame if something happens. Well now with two, I have seen this change right before my eyes. I hear a scream from the other room and run in to find out what happened. One is telling me in Russian and the other in English, so this puts a whole other spin on having two children. Sometimes you just have to laugh at that one!

Tanya is really doing well and starting to eat lots of different food she has never had before. It's amazing to watch the world through her eyes. Each experience is new to her and she is old enough to express it. We will go into a restaurant and she will look around at everything. We took her to Red Robin the other night and the mascot was out greeting the children. I didn't see it at first but Tanya did and went running to the bird. She was good and gave it a big hug, but the second time around she found the tail and thought it would be a nice thing to grab. Luke saw it around the same time I did and we said, "she's going for the bird!" Luke was able to make the save!

Another event we decided to do with Tanya is take her to our swimming pool. It didn't take us long to figure out she thought it was a big bathtub and everyone was invited. She got in and starting washing her hair and body and looking at kids like what are you doing in my bathtub? Even though the water was freezing, she wanted to stay in until she was a nice shade of blue!

It's also amazing how much English she already knows and understands. I can talk to her completely in English to do something and she will do what I said. I think she will have it down by the end of summer.

She is a very curious child that needs to know, see, touch everything. We are trying to let her know what is ok to touch and what isn't. It's hard when you don't speak the same language, but we are trying. She is totally fascinated by the kitchen, but doesn't know hot surfaces, but she is learning. Thankfully she hasn't gotten burnt and I hope she will not.

We are starting to call her more and more Hannah, but if I really need to get her attention, I will call her Tanya until she understands that her name is Hannah. I have some friends getting ready to travel and bring home their longtime waiting daughter, so please keep this family in your prayers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Re-entry a little bumpy

We are home at last, and the flight was good but painfully long. Tanya did great and we couldn't have ask for better, so we praise God for our good trip back. We are trying to get into life again, but having a hard time with the jet lag. We hope to feel better soon, and that would help with just about everything right now. Tanya is adjusting to being an American and seems to be settling down a bit. We are still having a hard time with her eating. She doesn't like anything but Cheerios, so we hope that will change soon. Luke is also having a very hard time with having a sister and not being the only child. I didn't think this would be so bad, but like all children who have a new sibling it's hard on them. Our worship leader at church prayed for us last Sunday,and he hit it right on the nose by praying for our transition time as a family. That seems to be the hardest thing right now, but I know there will be other bumps to follow.

A funny story about ice. Most Americans are so use to having ice in our drinks, but little Tanya has never had ice in her drink, and on the airplane I thought she was going to burst when they gave her ice. She was staring at it like it was from another planet. Since we came home, she will request ice just so she can stare at it. She does like to eat it, but it's kinda like watching a love/hate relationship.

Anyway, I can not express how great it is to be back home again. My first two days home, I couldn't utter the word home without crying. It was nice to visit but there's no place like home!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Moving On

We went to the US embassy two days ago to get Hannah her visa so she can enter the USA! It was a day I needed to experience. We went there with another couple from Tennessee who just adopted three children. They were siblings and have been in and out of the orphanage many times. As we arrived, there was a long line of Russians waiting to get inside to get a visa, but we were ushered in front of the line and brought inside right away. We went through security and upstairs to a waiting area. When we got there no one else was in the room and then the room began to fill up with lots of Americans adopting. I looked around and wanted to cry because my heart was about to bust with all of us in the room waiting to take our little ones home. I wanted to kiss the ground because everyone was speaking English and it was like music to my ears. I guess that’s the same way Hannah feels when she is listening to us speak all day. Of course Hannah decided she wanted nothing to do with this event, so when we were called up and ask to raise our right hands, and I was holding her and she went right down and almost did a back flip. She has the timing down!

One thing we have found very helpful with Curious George (I mean Hannah), is if we keep her purse in one hand she can’t reach out and take-grab-touch things. She still has managed to grab a lady’s shiny belt buckle, touch a little girls braided hair, take a teddy bear out of someone’s bag (almost came home with us), and feel a woman’s fur coat. She seems to be getting used to our family because she doesn’t have as many meltdowns as the first few days, so thanks to our pray warriors… we need that so much!

I keep counting the days until we are leaving and pushing the days. I thought one day was Wednesday and much to my dismay it was only Tuesday, but today is Thursday and we leave on Friday!!!!! Now who’s on first??? Thanks to everyone for your kind messages and support. I can not express my joy I had while reading them, and with many of them I would just cry!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back in Moscow

Well, as most of you know we are back in Moscow and doing the embassy and consulate stuff to finish up our adoption.

Luke and I had a very difficult start at being a new family. I went on a downward spiral like I have never experienced in my entire life, and I think it was a combination of events. The first one being extreme homesickness and I’m not talking, “Oh, I miss home,” I’m talking, “Get me home now or I’m going to split in two.” I’ve only had this happen one other time when we moved to Germany and I recognized the feeling. The other event was lack of sleep, which I wasn’t getting much of before Hannah came to us. Luke always plays off of my emotions and we cried and prayed for several days. We called our adoption agency and talked with Kristen and found out this is very normal and 65% of all adoption moms have this problem. I guess it’s almost post-partum depression which I never had with Luke, but I had something very real that happened here. So, I prayed with Kristen and then our social worker called, and I prayed with her and our great God who loves His children heard my cry and helped me through it. It wasn’t right away, but I knew He was holding my hand with each step I took to feeling better. We are both doing much better now, and thankfully Scott was able to be a source of strength and keep our family together. I’m thankful to have that rock of support that calls us to pray for one another, and I can dial direct to our Creator and know He loves us and wants the best for us. I don’t have an answer to why it happened, but I do know I had some big shoulders to cry on.

Now I can move on to our adventure of being parents of the most curious child I have ever been around. It’s pretty amazing to look at Hannah and see her completely taken by this world of ours. She is amazed by cars, trucks, signs, people, flooring, buildings, in fact, you name it and she will be amazed by it. It let’s us realize how much of the world these little ones do not see. So, we now affectionately have nicknamed her Curious George, but with every nickname there’s a story. We decided to get out of this hotel and take the kids to the zoo, and with her this was an adventure. I don’t think she saw one animal but she saw lots of people and roared at many of them. I was carrying her at one point and realized she had someone’s balloon in her hand, and I think the woman was about to run me over to get it back. We finally bought her a balloon, and it may have been her first balloon ever, and she was so thrilled to have a balloon. She played with it all day, and didn’t care about any lions or tigers or bears. At one point, Scott was carrying her and kept hearing a strange sound, and he realized she was bonking people on the head with her balloon as they passed. When Scott told me this he was laughing so hard it made him cry! Some zoo characters are placed around the Moscow Zoo, and she was walking and decided to grab one of their tails and not let go. The person in the suit knew someone had hold of the tail and pulled with a quick jerk to be freed. We saw it all in slow motion and didn’t know who would win in that battle, but she finally let go and the tail survived.

I’m still very homesick and so is Luke. We miss our church, family, and friends, American food, reading signs, not getting lost. We will probably kiss the ground when we arrive back in the U.S.A!