The Latest From Russia…

February 16, 2010

It’s pretty amazing all that can happen in one week. I look back to our last blog and we were just touching down in Russia. Today, as I write, it feels like I have been here for so long and surprised to realize that it has only been one week.

In this time span, I have seen my little man 6 times, watched my husband stand before a judge asking favor to be the parents of the most beautiful boy in the world, said goodbye to my husband as he traveled back to the US to retrieve a necessary document, experienced a Russian awards ceremony, gone to a Russian night club, and celebrated a Russian holiday. This has definitely been the journey of all journeys, and we still have over 2 weeks to go!

My days here in Russia look pretty much the same. I wake up around 7:30am, take a nice warm shower (with my special hard water shampoo). Around 8:30am, I  go downstairs to a wonderfully prepared breakfast by our gracious host. So far, I have had all different kinds of blini (crepes), eggs, caviar, pasta with cottage cheese.

At 9:00, a driver comes to pick up Ludmila and me. Our driver’s name is Vladimir. He is seriously one of the nicest men I have ever met. He is probably in his 50s. He is a retired pilot. He is so kind and gentle. He speaks a little English, but he enjoys hearing me try and speak Russian. Every day, he sets a pillow in the middle seat for me to lean on for our 1 hour journey to the orphanage.

I feel like I know the streets now. I see the same buildings every day, the same snow-covered trees. I know when we turn at the big sign that means we have about 15 minutes left in the ride. We pull up to the big yellow building, From the outside, I look up to the third floor and see the tweety bird curtains, which is where our little man lives.

We walk in the building, up the 3 flights of stairs, hang up our coats, say hello to the orphanage director and wait in a room. After a few minutes the door opens and in walks the cutest little guy in the whole world. Each day, his smile gets brighter and brighter, realizing that I keep coming back.

Our hour is filled with goldfish crackers and an apple or bananas. Vladimir always sneaks me a piece of candy to give to him. I have learned so much about our little man and the more we are together, the more I think he understands me. I’m different than anyone else he has met.

After our hour together, the caretaker comes in and takes D to lunch. I ask him to give me a kiss (in Russian) and he gives me a big kiss and we say “paka paka” (bye bye). And then he is gone. I take the one hour ride back home, have lunch and then spend the afternoon by myself.

I’ve been doing a lot of journaling, trying to remember every detail of our time together and all that I am learning. God is showing me so much about Himself through this experience. One of the greatest things that I am being reminded of is His love for me.

I think about the words that I most wanted to learn in Russian to speak to my little man. The phrases that I have learned so far are: “I love you”, “You are my boy”, “Good boy”, “Come to me”, “Sit with me”, “Kiss me”, “Play with me.” Those were the first words I learned, and I say them to D over and over for the entire hour.

I have also learned to say “be careful” because as he grows more comfortable with me, he has begun to explore – climbing things, getting in to things, like any 2 year old would do. So “be careful” has become a necessary word in our relationship.

But the words that I want him to dream about at night, the ones that I want him to replay over and over in his mind when he thinks about me, are not “be careful” or “don’t touch” or “no”. As he drifts off to sleep at night and recounts his day, I want a smile to spread across his face when he pictures my eyes looking into his and me saying to him “di moy mychik” (YOU are MY boy).

I want him to feel warm inside when he thinks about walking into a room and seeing me with my arms open wide ready for an embrace. I want him to think about how safe he feels when he is reading his book in my lap, knowing I will protect him and not allow anyone to take it away from him. That is my heart for him.

I think about God’s love for me. I am convinced that what God wants me to think about as I drift off to sleep, are the words He speaks to me: I love you. You are MY girl. Come to me. Sit with me. Rest in me.

So often in my life I tend to make up rules and lists of things to try to earn God’s love. I follow the rules and hope he thinks I am “good”. Though there are times when He must remind me to be careful or not to touch, at the heart of it all is a God who deeply loves me. He loves us. God is love. That is who He is. That is His core.

That is where I find rest and peace and hope and joy. I hope as my little man continues to trust in my love more and more, he will find freedom and hope and rest and peace and joy.

The days have been tough, especially without Steve. But, God has been teaching me to trust in Him alone. He is stretching me beyond what I ever thought I could handle. Those who know me well, must laugh thinking about me sitting completely by myself for hours on end in a foreign country. No texting. No phones. Limited email.

God has brought me to a place of solitude as He is preparing my heart to be the mother that He wants me to be. The mom that my little man needs. The mom that is stretched far beyond her own capabilities and resting in the heart of God’s love and refuge.

Thank you for your prayers. I so need them. I have had people write me and say they have woken up in the middle of the night and felt compelled to pray for me. I am so grateful. I need them every hour of the day as we are coming closer and closer to the end of this portion of the journey and the parenthood adventure begins.

Feel free to email me or facebook me. I’ll try to respond, but I don’t have much time on the internet, but I do love hearing from so many people!

Updates:

Here is the latest schedule:

  • See D for the rest of the week, same as normal
  • Friday morning: Steve leaves to come back
  • Saturday night: Steve arrives back in Russia
  • Sunday: regroup day
  • Monday: visit D together
  • Tues: visit D together (holiday: “men’s day”)
  • Wed: paperwork in the morning, visit D’s village, bust him out!!
  • Thur: leave in the evening for Moscow
  • Fri: paper work in Moscow, medicals
  • Sat: Moscow hopefully meet up with other adoptive families for dinner
  • Sun: Moscow
  • Mon-Wed: paperwork
  • Thurs.: COME HOME!!!!!

We will be able to formally introduce our little man online once we get to Moscow. We’ll have pictures and videos that we’ll post online. Also, feel free to follow us on TWITTER.

Prayer Requests:

  • That the visa Steve is obtaining would come quickly and correctly
  • Safe travels for Steve
  • Continued bonding for mommy and son
  • Protection over D’s life: that no one would stand in the way
  • Peace for mommy’s heart

I so yearn to return home with Steve and D. Thanks so much for your encouragement through this long final chapter.

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve.

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12 Responses to “The Latest From Russia…”

  1. Madeline said

    I found your blog through others I follow. I have two children from Pskov (the big yellow building). Our son is 10 and was adopted in May 2000. Our daughter is almost 5 and was adopted in Nov 2007. I will keep you in my prayers and hope for everything to continue smoothly for you and your new family.

  2. Mom said

    Hey Baby Girl-
    Yes, even though you are now a mother (I can’t believe I can say that now), you are still my baby girl. You always have been and you always will be- that will never change.
    I remember what it was like to be in a foreign country (Brazil) and be away from everyone- an email or blog response was such a welcome connection to the land I had left behind (even though it was temporary).
    I got to Skype with Steve for about an hour today- it was so nice to see him doing so well. I asked him to take me on a walking tour of the house, to see D’s room and to check out some things in the kitchen. He showed me the rearrangement of the guest bedroom- I love it- we are gonna be so comfortable there!!!
    We talked about you- how crazy we are about you and how much D loves you guys. we also talked about how nice it will be when Steve returns on Saturday night- you will not have to go through another Sunday alone.
    It was great Skyping with you today and seeing glimpses of D- I do believe he is the cutest little boy in the world- even WITH a euromullet. I am so glad that you have a piano- I think he will enjoy learning from you.
    We are getting so excited.
    Love,
    Mom

  3. Shelly said

    Kate, I recently stumbled upon your blog. I absolutely love your unequivacable love for God, and I know that your blessings as a family are just beginning. We had just started our own Russian adoption adventure, and I am enjoying reading your past posts.
    Shelly

  4. Mama Mary said

    Tears. Joy. Smiles. Love. Hugs. Prayers.

  5. Angie said

    Kate, you probably will not remember me. I have only met you once in a Wed WELL group last year, it was early spring. There were only a few of us but you did a presentation about your travels to India and talked a little about your adoption adventure. I was looking through the Chapel website one day and came across your blog and have been following it ever since (your’s and Steve’s Zero Automatic page is in “my favorites”). I love Monday’s and look forward to your updates. Your experience is inspiring. I’ve laughted, cried, prayed, smiled and have felt frustrated with you. I feel like I know you both and D (I can’t wait to see him next week). I’m learning to trust and pray and seek God’s plan for me. Your story has helped me to realize that what I think is good for me is not what God thinks is good for me or that He has me go through a difficult time to show me His love. I just wanted to share with you how encouraging your story is to me, someone you met once, someone that does not have adoption in common with you but who is learning how to trust God through your experience. Thank you for sharing your story with us and me. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Steve and D everyday until you are home. God Bless!

  6. Jeddy said

    Katie,

    your journey is unbelieveable. We are all praying for you and can’t wait for you guys to get home safe and sound. I look forward to Caroline and D to get to play together. Enjoy your time over there.

    Jeddy

  7. jodi tucker said

    What a blessed little boy D is with his parents!
    And how much more loved are we from our Heavenly Father! Your blog rocks with truisms. Praying for you now at 7:50 PM Eastern Standard Time 2/15/09.

  8. Wendi said

    Kate,
    So good to hear things are going so well for you guys. I’ve been thinking about you all so much and saying many prayers for you, Steve and little D. I’m living vicariously through you, as we just in the room with the piano less than a month ago and played it with our little gal. The next few days will fly by and you’ll soon have Steve back at your side for the greatest adventure of your life. Hugs to you all – and be on the lookout for our little gal!!

  9. Victoria said

    Kate –

    How very brave of you to stay in Russia by yourself! You are already becoming a “mother bear” to your sweet son. Once Steve comes back, the time will fly by, and when you come back home you’ll really miss Russia. I often wonder what our driver, translator, and director are doing. They were really, really unusually sweet people. I think most people have a very distorted view of Russia. The judges are even nice! Love all your details – can’t wait to see his little face!

  10. Aunt Lisa said

    You know, I can’t encourage you anymore than you have already allowed God to do for you. Notice I said that you ALLOWED God to encourage you. That’s a valuable lesson for all of us. You may not fit that little pink flower girl dress anymore, but your child-like love for Christ is endearing and inspiring. Enjoy your journey. Sometimes it i a rough road, but you are right. God prepared it, so I know it’s headed in a great direction. A direction that brings your family to Him. Know I love you so much. I know the fullness of your heart when you look at D. I know the blessing you feel when you realize God planned this for you. I know you won’t sleep when you put him to bed in Ohio because you’ll be watching him dream and wondering what he’s thinking. I know the anxiety to push things through faster. Be still and know I am God…about one of the only verses that I committed to memory but one of the most applicable. Be still, Katie. You are loved, and I love you, too. 🙂

  11. kirsten said

    love and prayers, kate. God has gifted you in so many ways and your way with words is one of them. with every blog i feel like i am sitting right there with you. i am so moved by your experience. i am so thankful to the Lord for His sovereignty over life-your life, steve’s life, D’s life. i am so thankful to the Lord for Him placing within you a heart that longs to follow His. to God be the glory!

  12. Angie F said

    I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET D NEXT WEEK! Your blog entries always bring tears to my eyes when you talk about D, but especially when you bring your thoughts and experiences back around to God. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of our salvation, and you said it perfectly–“you are MY girl.” I think you should write a book about Abba Father. All of these posts about loving your son fiercely, unconditionally, and his timid-but-growing love for you should be in it. Praying for you and Steve and D. Blessings on your family.

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