Friday, February 24, 2012

Time Flies…

This week last year, my dear friend Rhonda and I were tromping through the snow filled streets of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Tromping through the snow to meet this little face!  (You can read all about our adventures here…)


Where has the time gone?  In some ways, it feels like Alex has been home with me forever.  In other ways, this year has FLOWN by and I can’t believe it’s already February again.  Day to day, I don’t see the changes in my little “Baby Soup”, but I know he’s transforming in front of my face from a baby to a big boy… and here’s some proof! 


He’s still got a killer smile, and he continues to amaze me everyday with his flirtatious attitude and spunky nature.  Words are still coming, he desperately wants to talk (and tattle on his sister) and one of these days, I’ll be sorry that he’s finally picked it all up!

Happy Metcha Day, Alex!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Girl Lost

I lost my daughter today for approximately 5 minutes.  5 of the worst minutes of my life.  We're all fine, but I hope it never happens again.

This weekend, to escape the dull drums of winter, my mother and I decided to get two hotel rooms down in Port Huron (the nearest big city) at a hotel with a pool.  Tatiana is such a fish and obviously here in the north our swimming opportunities during the winter months are slim to none.  Alex isn't much of a pool fan still, but everything was going well.  

Tatiana and I snuck out on Saturday afternoon to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D.  We had dinner at Red Lobster (Tatiana and my mom's favorite) and generally relaxed during the first snowy weekend of the year.  

After breakfast in the lobby this morning, Alex, Tatiana and I started heading back to my room.  It's important to note that our rooms were on the first floor, 2 rooms off the lobby - so not far.  I asked Tatiana to go back and help Gramma (my mom) who has a fused ankle from a fall years ago and will probably permanently be on crutches.  After a couple of minutes I heard my mom's crutches near my room and so I opened the door to let Tatiana in.  But, she wasn't there with my mom.  

I asked my mom where T was -- and she said, "I don't know, she left".  So while I was annoyed that my mom didn't know where she was, I headed back to the small lobby where breakfast was.   But, she wasn't there.  The people in the lobby said she had been there, but had left.  This is a SMALL hotel.  There's not many places for a child to go.  But yet, she was gone.  

I started yelling her name.  Nothing.  I yelled at my mom.  It didn't help -- she was still missing.  I ran back to my room, had she snuck in without me seeing?  Not possible, but logic wasn't exactly my strong suit at this point.  Full on panic was setting in.  As suspected, she wasn't in my room.  By this time some of the staff had heard my panicked yelling and had come out to help.  I checked the pool area which is just off the lobby and thankfully she wasn't there.  Or not thankfully, as it meant she was still missing.  I think the hyperventilation started about now.  

A staff member went to check another floor and nothing.   I think it was this point that I threw the books I was carrying on the floor and yelled for someone to call 9-11.  All I could think was the someone took her.  She was gone.  I felt like I was living my worst nightmare.  Another guest was telling me that the best thing was to remain calm.  Which surely was the best advice, however, in my full on panic, I could NOT see this.  

I am not sure what prompted her, but my mom went into her room - which I will note she had NOT opened with a key at this point.  And there was Tatiana.  My mom's room door didn't lock properly and could be opened without her key.  Apparently Tatiana when helping my mom ran ahead into Gramma's room and was able to get in because of the key issue.  

I may have squeezed that girl harder than ever before.  Scariest 5 minutes of my life - that felt like 5 hours.  

In other weekend news, the media is reporting that the Foreign Ministry in Russia is again calling for a ban on US Adoptions of Russian children.  I truly hope this is just political posturing for their upcoming March elections and not something that is headed our way.  I would hate for the thousands of future Russian adoptive families and kids to never know the love that caused me such panic and pain this morning.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Updates

So it's officially February.  The longest shortest month of the year.  Usually, during February, I start to get a little stir crazy.  The cold weather tends to keep me inside more than I'd like.  This year's weather has been vastly different to say the least.  We've had next to NO snow.  Literally, as I sit here typing this on February 8th, my driveway has not yet had to be snow-plowed.  The little snow we've gotten has melted typically within 12 hours and isn't enough to really plow anyway.  

Since I have resorted to talking about the weather, you'll probably detect that there's not much to report as far as updates.  But alas, I'll do my best to entertain you for a few minutes more.  

Alex's passport arrived on wait day 9.  Not bad!  Even better was that all of the original paperwork was returned on day 11 (I knew from getting Tatiana's passport that they'd likely be returned separately).  Watch out world -- have passport, will travel!

Check out this big boy!

In other Alex news, my baby is no longer a baby!  Last fall, when Tatiana transitioned to a "big girl bed" (single bed vs. toddler bed), Alex moved from the crib to her toddler bed.  But the crib remained in his room.  This past weekend the crib was dismantled and returned to it's owner.  A little sad, yes, but if the next step can be no more diapers, I am ALL for this growing up thing.

Speaking of growing up, Tatiana is having a good year at school.   I am still debating our plans for school next year.  Each report card that comes home essentially says the same thing - and confirms what I already knew:  she's whip smart, catches on super easy, but struggles in the department of maturity.  Curses to the late fall birthdays!!  And 2.5 years in an orphanage doesn't exactly help matters in that department either.  She's reading now and amazes me each week with what she's learned.  I ADORE her teachers.  They're awesome.  

Showing mama the funny Groundhog for Groundhog's day on Starfall

 This girl loves to read -- Sunday morning surrounded by books!

We're still counting down to our big trip this spring, but in the meantime, we're planning a quick trip locally to a hotel with a pool.  Like me, I think Tatiana starts to get a little stir crazy mid-winter, so hopefully this will help clear out some of the winter blues!