Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Well it's been quite a week! Overall Robert has been doing very well and I think he's really bonding with our family. He seems to get better everyday.

Oleyssa was with us for three days and she left on Sunday. It was nice having her with us and I think she enjoyed her time in Pensacola. We took her shopping, out to eat (a lot) and to the beach. She loved the beach. Of course, we love it, too, and so did Robert. We were really surprised that Robert took to the sand and water so easily. He wasn’t afraid of the water as long as someone was holding him closely. I really thought he would be more hesitant about the beach.

Robert has had a lot of firsts in this past week. He’s gotten used to going to restaurants and he loves riding in a car. He doesn’t mind the car seat at all. He’s a pretty good shopper, too. Well, that’s not counting the Walmart experience! Oleyssa wanted to go to Walmart so we went on Friday. We had been there about an hour and one-half and I was just waiting around the cash register for Oleyssa to meet me. Well, Robert saw the bananas and really wanted one. However, they sell them by the pound and I knew that if I got them he would want it right away before I could get to the register to have them weighed. Robert let loose with a major tantrum. Everybody was staring at me like I didn’t know how to handle my kid or like I had done something to him. I would have just picked up and left but I couldn’t find Oleyssa anywhere. He finally settled down after I got him interested in some crackers.

The whole tantrum thing is new to Chuck and me because Russell has never really had a tantrum. We’ve just been trying to ignore him when he has a tantrum and that seems to be working. His tantrums have gotten much shorter.

Bedtime is still a challenge. He definitely throws a tantrum when we put him down and he usually wakes up several times during the night screaming and crying. We love it when we go out to eat and he falls asleep because he usually stays asleep and sleeps much better through the night. We might just have to continue to eat out a lot.

Robert and Russell are having a great time at St. George Island. They both love the pool although it’s a little too cold for Mom and Dad! Robert had his first boat ride last night. We all went on a sunset and oyster shucking cruise. The boat didn’t even faze Robert and he even fell asleep on us.

He continues to get more comfortable with the dogs. He’s completely fine with them unless they come right up to him. They can be standing right next to him and that’s fine as long as they don’t show any interest in him. I’m very relieved that he’s okay with the pets. The dogs are with us on vacation , too. Five of them! That includes Mimi and Poppee’s dog and Susu’s dog so I guess he had to get used to them.

Another thing that’s still a challenge is food. He definitely likes to eat but what he’ll eat is very limited so far. Everything is so strange to him because all they have in the Baby House is porridge-type food. He loves oatmeal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh yes, and bananas!

It’s really been fun to watch Robert this past week. He’s a totally different child than he was at the Baby House. He loves to laugh and talk. I would love to know what he’s saying. He’s already saying words in English when prompted so I’m hoping the language will come quickly for him. One day he and Russell where going upstairs and Russell said, me first!” and then Robert said, “me first!” I couldn’t believe it. He definitely likes his big brother and vice-versus. Russell has been wonderful with Robert.

We all head home on Sunday and then it we’ll try to get back to a normal schedule. I still can’t believe we’re the parents of two toddlers!

Best, The Youngs

Thursday, September 13, 2007

He's Here!

Our day finally arrived yesterday. Robert joined our family! He and Oleyssa arrived around 9 p.m. last night after a long trip. Oleyssa said Robert was very good on the trip and he loved the plane. He was a real trooper at the airport. He let Russell hug him, A LOT, right away, and after a few minutes he let Chuck and I hold him. When we were getting ready to leave the airport he did break down in tears, but who could blame him. It’s so much for a little one to take in.

When we arrived home we put the dogs and our cat in the bedroom because he was scared. Our dogs and cat are a little overwhelming. Oleyssa said he was a afraid of her cat but not her dog when he spent the night with her.

We tried to get him to eat but all he wanted was a little yogurt. Of course Russell was talking to him the whole time trying to get him to play. We had to keep explaining to Russell that Robert just doesn’t understand us yet.

Then it was time for bed and he started crying. We all decided it would be best if Oleyssa didn’t help put him to bed so he wouldn’t get too attached to her. He eventually cried himself to sleep. I slept upstairs in the boys’ room in case Robert woke up. He woke up crying four times. The first three times I was able to get him to go back to sleep but the fourth time he was really screaming and crying. I think it was because it was about five in the morning and he was just ready to get up. By the way, Russell slept through all the crying. Of course, he slept through hurricane Ivan, too!

When we got up we took him outside with us while we took the dogs out. He was a little leery of them but now he seems fine as long as he’s sitting up away from them. He’s actually looking at them and smiling and laughing right now.

He and Russell where laughing it up this morning after breakfast. They were really having a good time. Robert went with me to take Russell to school and they both handled it just fine. Now Robert is chattering away at me and I have no idea what he’s saying. Oleyssa is still asleep. I’m sure she’s worn out.

I can’t believe the day we’ve waited on for over two years has finally arrived. We can now start our true journey with Robert as part of our family. Thanks to all who have helped us out in the very many ways and thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. I’ll update the blog about once a week for a little while to let you all know how things are going.

Best, Nancy, Chuck, Russell and finally Robert

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We had our excitement for the day. After our video chat to home this morning we headed back to the apartment to watch a movie. As we were watching we heard a huge crash and looked out our window to find a fancy sports car had careened across the sidewalk and drainage canal into the side of our building. The driver and passenger climbed out unhurt. A guy called up to us and I think he asked us to call the police so I just pointed to the woman in the next window who was also watching. I hope he understood that we didn’t speak Russian!

We met up with George and Michelle and went to the museum store to buy another rug. We don’t know if we’ll ever be back here so we might as well take advantage on the good prices of rugs. After our rug purchase we ate at Firenze one last time. I’ll miss the food there!

Coming back into our apartment stairwell we met up with a feral cat that was scared to death of us. Instead of it heading down the stairs it went all the way to the top landing were we needed to be. We stayed back but the cat kept trying to get away from us and it was jumping up and scratching the door to the apartment next to us and crying loud. It finally got the nerve to run past us and wouldn’t you know it right when we got to the apartment door that the cat had been scratching a woman opened it to see what was going on. I assume she asked us what on earth we were doing and I tried to explain it was a cat. I found myself meowing at her and making scratching motions. She either understood or thought we were completely crazy because she closed the door on us. She’ll probably be glad to see that we leave in the morning!

Our driver is picking us up at 4:30 a.m. to take us to the airport and we arrive home Sunday night. I’ll update the blog again when our little boy finally arrives on September12! Best to all. Nancy, Chuck, Russell and Robert!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Whooooo! Hooooo! We got a favorable court ruling! Our petition to adopt Robert was accepted this morning. The hearing was only about 20 minutes but I was a nervous wreck because you just never know what will happen. Everything went fine and the judge congratulated us on becoming parents… for the second time. George and Michelle went in right after us and they got a favorable ruling, too.

After court we had to stop at the notary office to get yet some more paperwork done. Then it was off to the Baby House to deliver presents, donations, and cakes and juice for the children. When we pulled up outside the Baby House the kids were outside so we had to wait by the car so Robert wouldn’t see us. The orphanage representative who had been in court with us told us that Robert runs to the gate every time he sees someone pull up to see if it’s us. She said he asks about us all the time. That makes us feel good and bad at the same time! We did catch a glimpse of Robert as he was going inside.

We then all went into the director’s office (see photo) for our exit interview and to give the gifts and donations. I have to share a little story about the bag of clothes donations for the Baby House. When the bag was delivered to us in Pensacola I was going through it to wash all the wet clothes. I found an Altoid box full of Crayons packed in with the clothes. I asked Chuck if he had put it in there and he said no. We asked Russell if he had put it in there and he said he had because he wanted to pack a little surprise for Robert when we came over here in June. I definitely think Russell is looking forward to having a brother!

It looks like Robert will get to come home on September 12 as long as everything works out right. That will be perfect because we have a family vacation scheduled September 16 that we really want Robert to be able to go on.

We’re off to dinner with George and Michelle in a bit to celebrate. I guess we better not celebrate too much because we need to start that college fund!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Your getting apartment pictures now since I can’t get any photos of Robert!

We headed to the Internet CafĂ© about five this morning for our video chat back home. Russell loves school and of course, he’s having a great time with Mimi and Poppee. We both fell back to sleep when we got back to the apartment and only woke up when we got a phone call at 11 a.m. from our interpreter, Oleyssa, saying she and Aigul, our facilitator, would be at our apartment in 15 minutes with paperwork for us to sign. We hustled around trying to straighten up the apartment. This jetlag stuff is no fun.

They said we need to be at the courthouse for a nine a.m. court hearing on Friday. That’s 10 p.m. central time so keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We also found out that Oleyssa will be the one who will escort Robert home and it looks like they will be coming around September 23. Unfortunately, they also said the director does not want us to see Robert at all because it will upset him when we leave again. We can go after court tomorrow and watch him play without him seeing us.

We went to Firenze, one of our old haunts, for lunch. After lunch Anastasia picked us up along with George and Michelle, the couple we met last time from Ohio, and we headed to the U.S. Embassy to do paperwork. The paperwork was easy enough but we did run into a rude American who announced he was going to cut in line because he was in a hurry. Now I see how Americans get a bad name!

We then headed down to the Green Market for Michelle to find something to wear to court. Yes, they lost her luggage.

We’re off to the store to buy cakes and juice to take to the Baby House tomorrow for a celebration. Of course, we don’t get to celebrate with Robert and his group, but they’ll have fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We made it! We arrived in Almaty around five this morning. Our trip was pretty uneventful with the exception of an aborted landing in Almaty. That was a little scary but they later told us it was just because of strong tailwinds. And surprise, surprise, our luggage made it, too! We had a seven-hour layover in Amsterdam so we weren’t too worried about our checked luggage.

We’re in a different apartment this time. We’re just about one half a block from where we were last time. We didn’t have hot water when we first arrived, but we took a little nap and the hot water had magically appeared when we got up. The apartment is on the top floor. That’s five flights of steps. At least we’ll get a little exercise. We’re on a very busy, loud road so I doubt we’ll sleep well. No A/C again, but we do have a working fan this time. Well, it works if you rig it right. It’s a little warm. The apartment is nice but it’s a bit of the handyman’s special. All of the window handles fall off when you open the windows and the sink faucet in the bathroom has a broken cold water knob. And the toilet seat, well it’s not exactly attached. It’s got character, I guess.

Now for the disappointing news. The director of the Baby House doesn’t want us to come see Robert while we’re here because he was very upset when we left last time. We thought we’d be able to see him every day but it looks like we’ll only be able to see him for one visit. She doesn’t want us to visit him for four days and then be gone again. Hence, no picture of him today. This is something we really didn’t expect but if it’s easier on Robert then I guess it’s best.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Here we go again. We leave today for Almaty for our next leg of our adoption journey. It’s been a whirlwind since we got home and I can’t believe it’s time to go back. The final piece of luggage, the one that was suppose to go to the Baby House in Almaty, was delivered to Chuck’s office last week! All the clothes in it were wet so everything had to be washed and packed again. This time we have lots of luggage to check because of donations and gifts, but we’re carrying our clothes onboard with us.

Russell celebrated his fourth birthday on Friday and he started Pre-K today as you can see from the picture! He was very excited and a little anxious, too. So was Mom! Russell did fine when we left him and Mom held it together. Dad was a proud dad! Russell will be staying with Mimi and Poppee again with Susu helping out.

We’ll arrive in Almaty on Wednesday so hopefully we can update the blog then.

Best to everyone!