Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rockin' her skinny jeans

Out of all our visits, only the last 2 from yesterday have been inside. Normally when they bring her to us they just say 'outside' and away we go. Since we had our facilitator with us on our visits yesterday she asked if we would like to go out or stay in. We opted to stay in so that we could play on the floor with Ivy and have a chance to see her in action. She can't get down outside so although we were told she crawls very fast and walks holding on to your hands, we hadn't a chance to see it yet. Plus the room is a little more private with no nannies wondering around watching.

With the privacy I felt more comfortable to try on some clothing to get a better idea of her size. The day before I held up her jeans to her and it must have been the position she was in but they looked like they would be huge on her! I was slightly freaking out because everything I brought is 12-18 month size and so is most everything at home for her. Alas, my instincts were correct and 12-18 months fits her perfect. She weighs all of nothing though so we definitely need to put some meat on her bones!

We finally got to see her get down and play and move! She does crawl very well and loves to practice her walking by doing laps around the room. She has a mind of her own and knows which way she wants to go. If you try to steer her any other way she protests with some squeals and grunts. She is also very observant and loves to watch our facial expressions. She loves to see herself in our video camera and smiles and points at herself. Definitely need to get her a mirror!

I'm happy to see she is eating solid food. We were told we can bring her bananas and cookies. So far she loves both! We love to watch her eat cookies because she nibbles so cute on it and when she gets to what would be the last bite she flips it and nibbles, flips and nibbles, until there is just a crumb left. I was worried when she got near the end she may try to shove it all in her mouth and choke but she does quite the opposite! I haven't got a real good look in her mouth but she seems to have several teeth on top and just a few on bottom.

She really is as happy as she looks in all her pictures. I believe she has been well taken care of and has bonded with some of the workers there. A few times she has seemed a little agitated but is very easy to calm down. Getting to know her has been so fun and I seriously can not wait to bust her out of there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ivy Cuteness

This girl couldn't get any sweeter! Today was our first day with 2 visits and how I loved getting to see her twice! Tomorrow is their independence day here so we wont get any visits. Thursday we should resume with our 2 daily visits. We are hoping to hear on Monday when our court date will be. They are warning us that it could be many weeks away so we need lots of prayers for a speedy court date!

Today's cuteness!

So lucky to have a grandma who makes gorgeous headbands!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meeting Ivy

I've read these posts many times and know you all just want pictures first. And I cant help it either, she is the cutest!

The moment we dreamed about has finally happened. All we had known up until this point was her birthdate and down syndrome diagnosis. We had one blurry picture and no information on her health. None of it mattered though because God clearly showed us she was meant to be ours from the beginning and whatever else was just, whatever. Of course we wanted her to be healthy and happy, but that isn't always the case. We are so happy to learn her medical and family history with no surprises. She has a hole in her heart which does not require surgery at this point. That is her only health concern but obviously we will have her checked over well at home and go off that information.

She is an absolute ball of sunshine! She is very playful, full of smiles, and interacted well with us. Rob was playing with her and touching her nose. She really liked this and would laugh and then put her little head out and nose up so he would do it again. If we are tickling her or making her hands clap and she wants to do it again, she will move our hands in place so we will repeat. Today we had our first official vist and got to take her outside. We were allowed to feed her a banana and she gobbled it right up. She seemed a little fussy after that so I'm not sure if maybe she was upset that she didn't have more? After a few minutes of walking around with her she became very relaxed and snuggly. She had the drunk look, half opened eyes, and smiling/giggling at everything. It was really cute.

She is super tiny! We were told she weighs 8kg which is around 17 lbs, but I'm thinking more like 15. Its hard to tell what size clothes she wears - 12 months would be best but if its a range I'm not sure if it would be 6-12 or 12-18 months. I brought all 12-18 and took some with us today to hold up to her but didn't get a chance since we were outside the whole time. I did try her 12-18 month shoes from Old Navy and they were just a tad big but fit ok. That makes me think 12-18 months clothes would be ok too with some growing room.

So now we settle in to our visits and get to know Ivy. We get two 1.5 hr visits per day mon-fri and one on sat. mornings. We are so thankful for God's provisions and blessings. This journey so far has been incredible and we look forward to watching Ivy blossom and become all God created her to be!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 3 - SDA Appt and 2 new pictures of Ivy!!

Our appointment was not until 2:00 pm today so we had time to have a lazy morning. I woke up at 10 am and skyped my bff. It's so nice to be able to see and talk to family/friends back home. Definitely helps with the homesickness. A skype kiss isn't the same but it's better than nothing :o) I should clarify, I didn't skype kiss my bff, I was referring to with the kids lol.

After getting ready we walked to the bakery down the street. This was our actual first time buying/ordering without help or the worker speaking English. I just pointed to what we wanted in the glass so no communication necessary. We got something that was big and stuffed with powder sugar on top. We had no idea what was inside but figured you cant go wrong when powder sugar is on it. We also got one each of three little things to try out. Turns out the stuff in the middle was apple and it was yum! The pastry dough was really good and fresh, better than home.

By the time we were done eating it was time to change for our appt. and wait for the driver. We met Serge at the SDA and were told to get in his car. He went over any questions we had and explained a little how things work. This guy is quite funny and really sweet. You can tell he really loves helping these children find families. He took us in a side entrance, up some stairs, and in to a little room where a lady was sitting at her desk. We gave him the picture we had of Ivy and he went and switched it with a pic from her file. He handed me this:

Is this not one of the most beautiful babies ever or what?!? And she is standing all by herself!! She looks like a little happy ball of sunshine.

The lady also gave me another pic from when she was younger. I was surprised by this since we did not ask for it and we had nothing to exchange it for. These are blessings to have and we are so thankful we got 2!

Seeing these makes it even harder to wait to meet her! It looks like we may not be meeting her til Monday because our facilitator in that region will be busy with another family on Friday. We are so ready and excited, Monday can not come soon enough!

The appt. in general was very easy and relaxed. We were given information from her file and then told a little about ourselves and shared the photo album we made. That was it and we were done within 10-15 minutes. It is 4:00 pm now and we are just waiting to skype the kids before they leave for school in one hr.

Day 1 and 2 - Travel and sight seeing

After 24 hrs, 3 flights, and a new time zone - we are here!!

Our last picture as a family of 5.

We left Fresno at 2:30 and arrived in LA at 3:30. Our flight to Germany did not leave until 9:05 pm so Rob's parents(who live in LA) picked us up and took us to dinner. So thankful we did not have to sit in the airport for 6 hrs. They dropped us off at 7:00 pm and we waited to board.


We were able to skype the kids while waiting, which was really nice. I think leaving them has been hardest part so far! Our flight left LA on time and was uneventful - thankfully! We flew through the night for 10.5 hrs and were served breakfast just before landing. Funny thing is, it was 5:30 pm in Germany and when we boarded our next flight at 7:00 pm it was dark again. It was two days of night, weird.

In Germany - so beautiful there!

Our last flight was delayed a bit due to some dark clouds so we landed just a little bit late. At 11:10 pm local time we touched down in Ivy's country. To be in our daughters country was a bit emotional and surreal. After months and some uncertainty, we were here. We went through a passport check and picked up our bag that we checked in. Our driver was waiting for us, holding a sign with our last name. He took us to exchange some money and then to the grocery store to buy some food. Some things in the store were easy to tell what it was and others - not so much. I didn't really know what to get and felt rushed since it was so late so I just grabbed things that didn't make sense. The next day we ate potato chips and bread for breakfast.

Our apartment is on the 7th floor of our building. It looks ok from the outside, run down in the entry/stairs, and has a scary old elevator. The inside is nice though with a small living room, king size bed, and nice kitchen. We even have an air conditioner and internet, which aren't always common to have.

Living area

View from our window

Tuesday we walked around on our own and also had Eugene our driver take us on a historic tour. Lots of history and information to take in. Beautiful sights, old churches, parks, and souvenir shops.

Our first "foreign" meal :)

Part of the city from our walk

Beautiful old church

For my Zander who loves turtles

At a view point over looking parts of the city

We ate dinner at TGIF, watched a movie, skyped the kids, and called it a good second day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We are rushing around like crazy people trying to get everything we need done, and get packed. Word of advice, do not wait until you get your SDA appt. to get the new bills you need to take. It could be short notice which will leave you scrambling. And I am making lists and scratching nothing off - I don't think that's a good sign, ha!

We will be flying out Sunday afternoon and reaching our destination Monday at 10:30 pm their time. Pretty much 24hrs of travel with one very long lay over. Ewes. We will have all day Tuesday to get situated in our apartment and do some sight seeing. Wednesday will be our SDA appointment where we will be shown Ivy's file and officially accept the referral to adopt her - sealing the match between us. It takes 24hrs to process the paperwork from that so we will pick it up Thursday sometime. That night we will take a 12 hr train ride to the city her orphanage is in, arriving Friday morning. I am not sure if we will go to our apartment there first or straight to meet her. Either way we should be meeting her that day. We will continue on with our visitations once daily except Sunday's until we are given a court date. Generally it takes about 2 weeks until we will go to court. Once that is over we have the option to return home during the mandatory 10 day wait or we can stay and continue our visitations. We haven't decided which we will do yet. There are pros and cons to each so we will just have to wait and see what feels right when we get there.

Prayer request's:
Safe travels for us.
Safety for our children at home.
A quick, smooth process.
That Ivy will bond with us and adapt to all the new changes that are about to happen for her.


Monday, August 8, 2011

August 17th

We got our travel date this morning!! Our SDA appointment is August 17th which means we will leave probably the 14th or 15th, officially accept her referral on the 17th at our SDA appt. and most likely meet her on the 19th!! Definitely a little quicker than I was thinking and now I'm slightly freaking out. I will post more details as we know them!