Saturday, May 31, 2008

Alex's Report Card

It has been a month since we got home and Alex is doing wonderful. His progress during this past month has been truly amazing. First and most important, he is HEALTHY AND HAPPY. He plays, bounces around, rolls, dances, makes silly faces, tries to repeat everything we say, has learned a lot, and doesn’t stop until bedtime.

Since leaving the orphanage I decided to keep a similar schedule as the orphanage and that was a real blessing. We are very consistent with meals, activities, bath, reading and bed time that he pretty much knows what to expect next and I think that has a lot to do with his happy demeanor.

He is usually up around 7:00; we cuddle for a while then head for the kitchen for breakfast. Once Chris leaves for work, he and I get ready for a stroll down the golf course path and we end up at the neighborhood park where we practice going up and down the slides and the small hills, check out the birds and play in the sandbox. We are following a special diet the nutritionist gave him so he is eating something just about every couple of hours. After the park we play around the house, do a little dancing (the second I turn the stereo on he starts his moves), I fix what I call his second breakfast, play some more, then prepare lunch around noon. He takes a nap from 12:00 to 2:30 then spends the afternoon playing, watching some educational videos or running errands with me. Once in a while he will get in the pool with Chris and dinner is usually close to 6:00, then it is upstairs again for a bath, reading, rocking, and bed time.

Rocking him before bed time is my favorite nighttime event and it appears to be his as well. He was never rocked before and he is sure making up for it now. I put him on his crib just before he falls asleep and in less than a minute he is out for the night. The best part of the schedule? He sleeps between ten to eleven hours a night, and other than a little cry here and there because he can’t find his binky, he sleeps all night.

So far we haven’t found anything he doesn’t like. He eats everything…meat, chicken and fish, fruits and lots of vegetables. We are following the high protein/low carbohydrate diet the Doctor recommended and it has worked. In the past three weeks he gained 1.5 pounds which is about 6% of his current body weight. At this rate, and according to the Doc, he should be on track in just a few months.

We LOVE HIM SOOOO VERY MUCH and are so fortunate, privileged, thankful, blessed and joyful to have him with us and, most of all, thrilled to see him so happy!!!

Oh Oh…just as I finished writing this I heard three sneezes in a row and just noticed a little bit of a runny nose…

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Boyz

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alex is adjusting well...

Nowadays it is nearly impossible to sit down and blog, return emails or do much else unless it has to do with little Alex. I am sure this will change but for now I am dedicating all my time to him and to sleep and rest when we are not spending time with him. Alex is adjusting quite well. Today he was even dancing to the beat of an Eagles song.

I should go back in time for a bit and share the trip experience. Flying from Perm to Moscow was not easy. I had to wait until I had his passport in order to get his tickets and when I did, all they had available was a middle seat in the middle of the plane. No early boarding either like they do here if you are boarding with kids. It took over an hour to get the boarding passes and on top of everything else they gave me a real hard time about my luggage and charged me a lot because I had one too many suitcases. Poor Roma, he had to run to another side of the airport to pay the fee then had to help me with Alex until I was able to get on the bus that takes you to the plane. Fortunately a couple from Spain, who I had met at the Perm hotel, was on the same flight to Moscow. They were God-sent and an amazing help trying to get Alex settled during the flight and at the Moscow airport they helped me with Alex and gathering and hauling my entire luggage.

In Moscow things got better once Chris arrived. The trip to the embassy and getting through security took a lot longer than the actual interview. The consulate talked to us for about five to ten minutes and the main thing we got from him was the warning about Alex not returning to Russia once he is seventeen. He will be considered a Russian citizen until he is eighteen so he could actually be handed a military uniform and drafted for the Russian Army if he were to be in Russia at that age. No way would we ever let that happen but just the thought of it gave me the chills. I will make sure he picks Colombia or Aruba if he ‘must’ go somewhere for spring break that year =-)

The flight from Frankfurt to Chicago was something to forget and never think about again. He was on top of me for about seven of the nine hours the trip took. He spent an hour on Chris and another hour in a bassinette they installed in front of our seats. Let me just say that once we landed in Chicago we felt a huge relief. Spending the night in Chicago was the best thing and gave us the chance to be rested the following morning for our trip to Phoenix. We knew that the second we landed in Chicago Alex would safely be a US citizen. But of course he was finally sleeping at that big moment and with the camera ready to memorialize this historic occasion and a foot off the runway from landing, the plane surged up in the air again, circled and landed 45 minutes later. I guess that day really couldn’t have ended any differently.We got home right on time a week ago last Thursday and ever since our lives have been changed forever.

Alex made a grand-entrance walking on his own through the front door of his new house. I still cry when I watch the video of him with a huge smile and eyes wide open coming through the front door. Who knows what he was thinking! He made himself right at home in no time. He has adjusted quite well, he got another clean bill of health, he sleeps between ten to twelve hours a night, naps during the day, eats well, dances, hugs, kisses, laughs and giggles out loud and is beginning to accept the routine and boundaries we setting for him.