Monday, June 29, 2009

Travel conference call

We had our call last Friday with our agency. The call was basically to explain to us what we were to expect during the week in Russia. A driver will meet us in Moscow at our layover, and take us to a hotel if we decide we want one. After that, he will take us to our terminal and hand deliver us at the check in counter.

When we get into Vlad, our driver will pick us up outside of baggage claim. At this point, we may or may not go direct to the MOE to receive a formal invitation to meet the little giant (as he has become known in our house). So, later this week we should get word on where we go after our flight from Vlad. We will be tired, but would really like to go to the MOE that day AND meet the little giant that afternoon if at all possible.

I will have one or two more posts between now and Friday night to keep everyone informed. Our cell phones will not work while in Vlad, so more likely we will just leave them home!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

$200 win!

We went to see Bill's family this weekend in Maryland for a special occasion (that is a later post), and we attended an Aberdeen Ironbirds game Saturday night.

When we walked into the stadium, Bill was approached by a Personal Trainer from a local gym and asked him if he wanted to win $200. Of course, we were skeptical of the actual prize money - but Bill willingly entered a competition to ride a stationary bike for the entire 4th inning of the game and compete against 2 other people.

We went up at the 3rd inning and Bill stretched and sized up his competition. The lady was a runner, had a perfectly fit physique - and just happened to have running shoes with her. The other competitor, was 4 beers in - nuf said.

The competition started, and seemed to go on forever. Competitor #3 finally slowed down after he broke a sweat and started on beer #5. The female was peddling her heart out, and it didn't look good for Bill. After 20 minutes (and Bill begging for someone on the field to strike out) the competition ended.

Bill won by around 3/10 of a mile! He peddled almost 10 miles in 20 minutes for an actual $200 prize! He did a great job, and is considering winning the Tour de France next...look out Lance Armstrong!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fundraising Update

We received information on our fundraiser today, and raised a total of $305! We want to thank each one of you that donated, we truly appreciate your support. Yesterday, the check was mailed to our agency and will go towards our fees.

Thanks SO much!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 days and counting!

All is well in Curran land. We have booked our hotel in Moscow, and have tied up a lot of loose ends in the last couple of days. Friday we will have a conference call with our agency where they will explain to us what to expect while in country.

My blogger friend Kim arrived in Volgograd today, she met her daughter and is thrilled! Please keep her & her family in your thoughts as they bond with their little girl this week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cutest bag ever!

I went shopping again today! I needed to buy Bill a back pack for his carry on that we could keep everything organized in. Well, much like my last several shopping spree's, I found something for the little guy. Look at this back pack! Isn't it the cutest thing ever? Of course, we won't take this on trip 1, but just like Dad he can have a back pack carry on (filled with good stuff) for trip 2!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

7 lists

Yep, I have 7 'to do' lists going on at the same time! What we have, what we need, things to pack, things to follow up on, things to buy, gifts...etc, etc.

So far we have some balls you can squeeze, squeaky stacking blocks, a tonka (soft) car that rolls, and a few other things to take to the little guy. We want to take things that the baby home can use vs something they will just throw away (like a stuffed animal). Of course, we also need to see how he plays with these items. If any experienced Adoptive Parents want to throw some ideas our way we are all ears!

We have some snacks to take to him as well. Gerber graduate puffs and yogurt treats were suggestions from my friend Susan. We do not know if he has teeth so we need to be careful with what we bring. We also have some nutritious drinks but we are not sure if we are allowed to give him beverages or not. The goal is to get as much nutrition in him in a week as possible!!!

It's official - I have drank from a sippy cup! I never thought it would come to this, but it has. I felt like a giant weird-o standing in the kitchen, but I had to do it. As you know, Bill and I are not experienced parents - therefore we didn't know how fast the fluid would come out of the sippy cup. Again my friend Susan passed some advice my way and said "drink out of it". Well, I did - and much to my surprise I had to drink pretty hard to get the fluid out. Now I know!

We had a panic moment earlier when Bill couldn't find a UPS form I had sent. Of course, I am out of town with work so we are coordinating this in 2 different states. He felt so bad, and just couldn't figure out why he lost the form. Finally, I found the UPS # and tracked it - and guess what? It isn't scheduled for delivery until tomorrow!!! Poor Bill! Tomorrow he will send a FedEx with several documents (and some $ of course) to our agency.

I guess that's the last of the updates for now. We hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tick tock tick tock

The Visa's were 'officially' sent off yesterday afternoon! Woohoo!!! I know this is a big stress for many families at this time, so hopefully we have allowed enough of a lead time.

Today we picked up a few things for the trip. Bubbles, a toy or two, some snacks for the trip, etc. We have the idea of taking 2 identical blankets with us - 1 to leave and 1 to bring home for the dogs so they can get used to his scent. I am not sure if this is going to work but its worth trying.

Bill located our medical packet this morning to take with us, it was buried in a pile of paperwork that covers a table in stacks about 4' x 2'. It took him awhile, but he was victorious.

Hopefully, we will know a total amount that was raised by our fundraiser soon. The Coordinator just adopted a little girl and has had her hands full lately with 3 kids! We will post an update once that is complete, several people have asked how we did!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Moving in the right direction

Our flights ended up not being booked last night - long story, don't ask! However, today they were officially booked and confirmed!

Also today we confirmed our reservations at the Vlad Motor Inn. We wanted to stay at the hotel closest to the baby home (I get car sick), but this information is confidential until we are in country. Therefore, the VMI it is.

We worked a little on the hotel in Moscow for the layover - but didn't get it booked yet. The Novotel Sheremetyevo is an option there - more on that next week.

Our Visa applications were received this morning in Seattle. Apparently, our invitations have been requested from Russia. As soon as the invitations have been received, our application will go out.

This weekend we are going to finish our photo album that we are taking, try to figure out how to make a video that is small enough to send via email, and shop til we drop for toys, snacks, etc.

I did receive confirmation today that we are "paperwork ready" to travel. Our homestudy agency is working on an addendum now but that luckily isn't required prior to traveling for trip one.

Off to revise my to do list, question list, shopping list and packing list!

Who would have thought...

That booking a flight was so time consuming? The only word I have for that 'to do' list item is - WOW!! I think that we are booked as of late last night, but it hasn't been confirmed yet. We will fly out of TN on the 4th of July, arriving on July 5th. On July 12th we are back at home.

Today we hope to get the hotel booked as well as find a hotel in Moscow because we have a 1 day layover there. We have 1 free hotel night at Sheraton, wonder if there is a Sheraton in Moscow near the airport?!?

More to come!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Do List!

Visa application sent via FedEx - check!
Medical appointments scheduled - check!
Fingerprinting scheduled - check!
International travel form notarized - check!
Emergency information filled out - check!
Bought nutritious snacks for the little guy - check!

The flights are hotel are next on the list :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We have dates!

Looks like we will be in Vlad the week of July 6th - July 10th. We are working on flights/visas/medicals/background checks and about 982 additional forms (that's a lame attempt at a joke, kind of)!

So much to do, so little time. When experienced Adoptive Parents say it is hurry up, then wait, then HURRY...they aren't kidding!

Monday, June 15, 2009

We accepted!

Today we met with the IA Specialist and have decided to travel to Russia to meet our referral. We are very, very excited and will keep everyone in the loop on the details as we move forward.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So there I was....

Running around like a chicken with my head cut off Friday. Every task had a follow up task, then a follow up issue, then a follow up emergency...etc, etc. I left work around noon to run over to visit a Realtor and take her some information about a possible house. After spending 45 minutes with her, I find out that she basically has to take our information to 'another' Realtor but more than likely will not be able to do that until the first of next week (even though the documents needed to be time stamped). At this point, my 1 hrs lunch break was gone and I was irritated. I kindly told the lady that I am slammed at work, and its her commission so she should have made arrangements to come pick up our information vs me taking it to her to begin with. To add insult to injury, I now had to extend my lunch hour and run to a different town and drop off our information AGAIN. My 'cranky' side came out even more when she couldn't figure out how to sort all the documents. I took the documents from her, sorted them myself and left. I called (poor) Bill and was giving him an ear full about the incompetence of this agent and how can she expect to make any money in this economy and be so lazy...etc, etc... you get the picture. Poor Bill did too.

So I go to the other town, drop off the information to learn that the correct information was never communicated the 'real' Realtor. I met with her for a short time, gave her my business card and drove quickly back to work to attempt to meet my quota for the week end and not sit there until midnight. (Poor) Bill got another call, and I was still livid. In true hubby style, he said a lot of "wows", and "that isn't good" but of course was super calm.

Finally, back at work after a 2 hr lunch break (not to mention a bank visit I left for earlier because the 'fake' Realtor told me I had to have a Cashiers Check but then the 'real' Realtor refused to take it), looking at about 14 hrs of work sitting in front of me that I need to get done in about 2 hrs for my customer. All the information I was looking at wasn't right, and I just felt super frustrated.

Then, Bill called me. Bill doesn't ever call me at work unless its a true emergency. Occasionally he will e-mail me, but he doesn't ever call. My heart dropped and I was really worried. And then he said:

"Honey, we have a referral - they left me a voice mail".

OH MY GOSH! WHAT????? I checked my email and there was a message from the Director requesting our phone #'s because she needed to call us. Our regular Coordinator is off work for a month, and I guess she didn't put my new phone # in the database. I tried to call her and she was OUT - oh no!!! I left her a voice mail. This is such a surprise, it was supposed to be around the August/September time frame for a referral!

About 30 minutes later, I called her again. I couldn't handle it anymore!!! I couldn't focus on the mounds of work in front of me, and the lunch break I was previously so irritated about was all history.

It's a little boy. He is a cutie pie. We are so happy! The IA docs have been sent all the medical information, and hopefully we can speak with them on Monday. Of course we can't share any information for confidentiality reasons, but wish we could. Please keep us in your prayers.

Thank you Russia for the Birthday gift!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Infamous heart pizza!

Bill made me another heart pizza today - isn't he the best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Россия, свой мой день рождения. Пошлите мной подарок пожалуйста!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to a man who:

Finishes my sentences
Accepts me for who I am
Pays attention to my needs
Ignores me when I get cranky
Has the patience of a saint
Makes us a priority
Is my polar opposite
Makes up songs for our pets
Has learned to appreciate my thrifty (AKA cheap) ways
Has never-ending youth
Inspires me with kindness
Is amazing

As I reflect on our Anniversary, I celebrate with joy. You make me want to improve myself, and you will be the best father our children could ever hope for.

I love you. Happy Anniversary Bill.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nothing new to report

The Director of WACAP is coming home right now from Russia. I was hoping that she would bring some good news about increased trending in referrals from our region, but as of 8pm EST today - no new news. It's a "standstill" for now. No movement, etc, etc. We have been registered since Feb in Vladivostok (and started this process 10 months ago)- we are so ready!

In the meantime, Bill and I are both learning some Russian. We know basic words (bye, hi, no, yes, tasty, tea, sleepy, soup, thanks, you're welcome, cat, I don't understand, etc). So far Bill's favorite word is "thanks". We will continue this journey. Foreign languages do not come easy for either one of us. Bill knows a little Spanish, I know a little Bulgarian and Sign Language. If we can get about 50+ words under our belt I will start to feel more comfortable to demonstrate some basic Russian in front of a judge (which we have been told is a current trend).

Our next task is starting a life book. I am the LEAST crafty human on the face of the earth, and have NO clue where to even start on this process. Anyone have any ideas???