Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Chinese Style!

What limb difference?????

Check out Marek put on his own socks and shoes! Remember he has deformities of his hands. You go, little dude!! The video is dark but you can still see what he is doing!

I have FOUR kids but I've only met two.....

       So, that statement makes me laugh yet it couldn't be more true than it is today. Mike now has both boys!
 At 4:23 AM I recieved this from my brother: "Meeting Kyle poor kid is really scared."
At 6:05AM he sent this: "Cured fear with a good wrestling match. He is a very handsome boy."
Mike sent at 5:35AM "Have boy. Coming out of shell. Doing paperwork and copies. Met foster family and orphanage crew. Foster Mother would not come up to room. Did not want him to see her cry.

Thier train was 2 hours later so they had no time to ever freshen up before they went to get Kyle. He was able to give the foster family the gifts that we bought them just in case he got to meet them. I'm so glad about that they were the only gifts I honestly cared about. I wanted them to know we would our best to give a great life. So, it was a tough exchange on mike I think because it was all so rushed. I think he needs a moment to catch his breath but guess what he's got two kids now so there will be none of that. I'm looking forward to them getting to GZ because Ithink they will have the space to breath a little. Mike said communication is a challenge but that Kyle apparently does know I little English but he is embarrassed to use because he thinks it not good enough. Kyle is full of energy, I could tell that from the two seconds I had them on the phone but I'm hoping that he just really really hyper right now with all that is going on. I think tomorrow will be a good chance sort of reset and really where he is at. The boys are getting along great together and have been playing and playing which is very cool. So, thats about what I have so far in details. They have intenet in the room!!!!! So, maybe more pictures soon. Al did send me a new one of Marek. I just got a picture of Kyle and they weren't kidding what a handsome guy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Update!

      Well, Mike's internet troubles seem to persist. So, I'll pass on what he has been able to share in the all to brief moments that we have been able to use FaceTime. Michael got custody of Marek on Sunday. The plan was for Mike and Al with the guide, Sherri to go to the Civil Affairs Office building for 4pm. Well, they had trouble getting a cab so they opted for a city bus. Marek was being driven in from the orphanage by the orphanage director and his Nanny. Mike and Marek arrived at the same moment. Marek's orphanage had prepared him for his adoption so well that he immediately knew Mike and was pointing at him saying Baba, Baba (Daddy in chinese). So, they handed Marek to Mike right there on the street corner as he got off the bus. Then they proceeded to go in a get the days paperwork done. Marek never shed a tear the whole time. He knew he was supposed to go with Mike and that it was ok. After they finished at the office they went to the store to buy some diapers and supplies. By the time they got back to the hotel Marek was drenched in sweat because they had him in so many layers of clothes. Mike decided to see how a bath would go and Marek loved it. He was able to get me on the cell while he was in the bath and I could hear him just giggling that baby giggle that kids lose all to soon as they grow. He started to fuss as he was getting cold so Mike got him out and got him dressed and he as happy as a clam again. At bed time they tucked him in and he just went to sleep simple as that.
      His favorite toys are the ones that we had packed with lights, he is all about the lights. I had bought this little toy that you press the button and lights dance around in the inside of the top of it. You can see it in the picture of him sleeping.  Well, he loves this little toy so much that he won't let it out of his hand. Somehow, I think he will be a really big fan of glow sticks. I'll have to put a bunch in his bath then turn down the lights so he has a glowing bath, I'll bet he loves it.
      I've been able to facetime with him a couple of time and the first time you could see in his face that he knew my face as well as Logan's. He really seemed to know Logan's face.  Last night Mike had him in a little snoopy sweatshirt that I had bought and apparently he loved this sweatshirt. The hood has Snoopy ears and he thought that was the best. Al said they kept catching him peeking at himself in a mirror. They were laughing saying you could tell he thought that he was pretty cool. Tonight they are on the train headed to Hefei. Its a 16 hour ride and when they get there they will barely have time to drop their luggage before they are scheduled to get Kyle. So, thats basically where we are at right now. Here are the VERY few pictures I've been able to get. In fact several of them are screen shots during our FaceTime. Ignore the awful looking me in the bottom we tend to do these when its past my bed time and I'm dead tired from the day.....

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Countdown to Marek

Well, today at 4:00 I will meet and take custody of Marek. There are so many things going through my mind. Does he know we are coming? Has he been updated, as much as a three year old can be? Is he toilet trained (God, lets hope so, makes rest of trip easier)?

I honestly must say that there is a part of me that wishes Leslie were here. I just hope that Marek does well. I know that he will have no clue what really is going on and be upset. I hope that his transition will not be to tramatic. I hope that he received the package we had sent him. At least he would have the pictures we had sent. I just erased a whole paragraph I will try more after I get the little guy.

I think its safe to say that Michael is nervous in the these last few hours while he waits.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Pictures

I am alive.

It took some time but I have Internet access, for now.


And he sent a picture!

Front Door to the Fly By Night Hostel Beijing

No Data In, No Data Out

      Well, I had hoped to have to update this blog a lot more than I am. Mike has run into problems getting on to the internet. So far he can't seem to figure out how to get the VPN to work leaving all of us me included a bit in the dark as to how things are going. I was able to get him on the phone yeaterday while he was on the train to Xi'an but it only lasted about 2 minutes and this morning I got a great connection with him but I had to leave to get to work so I only got a couple of minutes again and most of it was spent on fixing the VPN. Anyway, let me pass on what I do know. They arrived safely in Beijing, spent the night at the Fly By Night Hostel which Mike said was beautiful after his first impression of the neighborhood was that it was a bit sketchy. He got there in the evening so I think the dark made things even worse then what they were. That morning they went out to the Great Wall. They wanted to take the tram up and walk down to the alpine slide but the plans I think got lost in translation and the guide brought them to the chair lift instead. They ended up hiking up before going back down to the slide. Mike said that it was very steep and he kept misplacing his steps on the uneven ground and almost falling. He said Al told him if you break something up here we're in trouble so cut  it out. LOL Al texted me that he thought the wall was "awesome" and I'm sure thats true. They were able to take the slide down which Mike loved.
            The guide dropped them off at the train station early and they were lucky to find someone who spoke English who helped them find the waiting area. They were able to buy something to eat which Michael said was the first real meal they had since they left. (thank god, I packed tons of snacks) It was some green bean, meat and rice dish. Mike loved it and apparently it was big enough that they just split it. Once on the train they crashed pretty quickly and slept thru to Xi'an.
            Once the train arrived in Xi'an and got off the train. They were completely overewhelmed by the size of Xi'an and the sheer amount of people. Plans were that they were supposed to get to the hotel (The Bell Tower) on thier own but they were incredibly happy to find their WACAP guide holding a sign for them. After leaving the station and seeing the sheer size of the city Mike feared they really would have struggled to find their way. Not being a city guy ever in his life, this big city is quite the change for my little Vermont born country boy! They are currently safely at the hotel and were enjoying a free day today. Tomorrow they go to the Terra Cotta Warriors and Sunday at 4pm is MAREK TIME!

So that where we are at. Once we can get internet access I can get the posts that he has been writing and hopifully some pictures.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flight to a New Family

A 14 hour flight with 2 inches of leg room gives you a lot of time to think about what you are doing. Even as I am flying over the Pacific I am not nervous. We have been through a lot in our family over the past 12 years.  We came home with two special needs kids from Ukraine in 2001 and honestly did not have a clue what we were getting into. We are older and wiser this time around, and these two boys in my eyes really do not have true special needs. I have learned a lot about myself as a person by parenting and I feel that we are going into this with much greater knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I am looking forward to this journey and even more to getting off of this plane. 
More to follow

He got off the plane and hopped on another one. According to the Korean Air website, they have arrived in Beijing!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Long Day.....

       For the last couple of weeks I've had some stuff on my mind. You know, packing, planning, replanning and repacking etc etc etc..... Somewhere in there I was stupid. I forgot to remind myself of one fact of this trip and it hit me square in the face first thing this morning. The plan today was that my bother would leave his house at around 4am and drive the 200 miles from RI over our house here in NY. We would then drive the four hours to JFK in time for them to make their 2:00pm flight.  Alan (my brother) arrived on time, a little early even. We gathered up all the luggage and went to leave. That is when I hit in the face with this:

          This is my brother's car.  More importantly is that it was my father's car. It has not been in my driveway since the last time my Dad drove it here which was undoubtedly the last time my Dad was ever here. My Dad died two days before Christmas in 2008. Three months after he was diagnosed with ALS but 8 months after we all already knew what was happening to him. My mom followed him in 2.5 years later. Seeing this in my driveway literally took my breath away. I should have remembered that most likely it is what my brother would have driven over but I didn't think about it. The thing is I live 3 hours away from where I grew up where my parents lived, where my brother still lives. I don't have to face the daily reminders of them that are everywhere over there, driving by their house, my mom's church, things like that. I can neatly put all that stuff on the back burner in my head a just deal with my life here. I rarely go to RI anymore and when I do I'm prepared and I avoid certain places like their house, too many memories, too overwhelming. So, this morning in a flash I find myself a basket case of emotion because of this damn car. The day was already big enough on its own, I did not need this at all. It makes me spend too much time thinking about how much I miss things like this:

           And how much I wish they could be here for my new little guys. They would have loved them like crazy. My brother and I talked about it on the drive to the airport. Last time, they were waiting for me at the airport to come from from Ukraine. I hope they are watching. I hope they are along for the ride. This was a hard day for me, all those hours alone in the car after I dropped off Mike and Al too much time to dwell on what was. I'm glad to be home now so I can shake it off.
         Ok, on the happier things, Mike and Al got off ok. I dropped them at the airport around 11:30 and the flight was leaving as I said before at 2. I'm hoping that he is able to get a wifi connection and drop me an email or something tomorrow. No worries, he will when he can. I know he is going to handle this all like a pro. They both will. I sent two very adoption savvy guys on this mission! My brother has adopted as well. So, these boys are in good hands. The plan is arrive 8pm on Thursday China Time. Friday, I set them up with a guide for the Great Wall. I pray they get great weather so they can alpine slide down. (Mike was REALLY looking forward to that) Friday night its an overnight train to Xi'an. They will spend a couple of days touring around Xi'an before Sunday. Thats D-day or M-day, the day they get Marek! They get to Hefei on the 30th where they get Kyle on Halloween. On to Guangzhou on the 2nd. Visa's for the boys on the 6th then home on the 8th.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Next Chapter

After having waited for over a year, the time is fast approaching to leave and expand our family. Over 13 years ago Leslie and I became a family of 2. Then 11 years ago we traveled to Ukraine and became a family of 4. In under 2 weeks I will be on my way to making us a family of 6. Never as I was growing up did I think I would be a parent of 4 boys, let alone the places I have traveled to get them. I can't help but look back as we are moving forward. There have been some tough times the past couple of years, but they have prepared us for what we are about to take on. Some family and friends think we are crazy for adopting 2 more special needs children, they may be right, but it is the right thing for Leslie and I and for our family. We have received our itinerary for our trip and are ready to go. Bags are packed and repacked, fees have been paid, and we have tickets in hand. Please join us in this journey as we are about to start the next chapter in our lives.

October 23: Leave for China

October 24-25: Arrive in Bejing and spend day at Great Wall

October 28: Gottcha Day in Xi'an for Marek

October 31: Gottcha Day in Hefei for Kyle 

November 6: Consulate Appointment in Guangzhou for Boys Visas and Oath

Fly home on the 8th.