Saturday, July 31, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

We previously mentioned that we were going to celebrate Jack's birthday the entire month of July. We weren't joking! This weekend we went to Williamsburg, VA to The Great Wolf Lodge. It was a perfect ending to our little guy turning 2 years old.

We left Thursday morning and stayed 2 nights. The Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor, kid friendly water park that is pretty cool. The lodge also has outdoor activities, but we primarily stayed indoors.

Jack LOVES the water. He is fearless, which keeps Mama & Dada on our toes. He would run off the side of the 4' pool if we weren't with him every second. He even rode the "big" slides with us and didn't flinch (just asking for more over and over). His favorite things were the slides and the big bucket that fills with water and dumps out every few minutes.

We spent a lot of time at the arcade, and also went to Colonial Williamsburg & visited the shops (and of course ate some ice cream!). Jackson says THANK YOU for all the awesome gifts sent from family & friends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is Jack's birthday, but while he is napping I thought I would drop a quick line while I had the chance.

A child's birthday is such a special occasion for a family, and we can't wait to celebrate with him tomorrow. We met him for the first time a few weeks before his 1st birthday, and the year+ since has been such a wonderful ride. I can remember the exact place where we were on a back road in Vladivostok where I felt that unfamiliar feeling that right then and there was exactly what God wanted Michelle and I to be doing at that moment. It's rare that feelings are so clear like that, especially during life changing events, but it was impossible to deny the feeling I had that day. As we drove along a dusty road in the middle of that far away land I felt with 100% certainty that we were doing what God wanted us to be doing for him. I'm a fairly indecisive person and often over analyze whether I should have a PB&J or ham sandwich for lunch, but the decision to adopt Jack was crystal clear in my mind at that point. I guess it was mostly a peaceful feeling more than anything, a feeling that God had our back through the tough adoption process. I felt that there was no way that we would have ended up on that dusty road near Jack's baby home in Artem without God hand picking us to be Jack's parents. There are just too many variables involved with taking a couple from Knoxville, TN and matching them up with a beautiful baby boy in Vladivostok, Russia for God not to be calling the shots. With any big decision in our lives, we gather information and analyze data and eventually make an educated decision and feel that we made the right decision, but with Jack's adoption we knew. We just knew.

We have had Jack in our home now for almost nine months now, and we can't thank God enough for matching us up with him. Sure there are cranky days (God, please help his teeth come in so we can be done with this teething nonsense :) ......) and the days where we have to try to channel Gandhi-like levels of patience and tolerance, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We are so thankful for Jack each and every day and we can't wait to hug him tomorrow morning when he wakes up on his 2nd birthday. We have some making up to do since we missed his 1st one.

This weekend is Part 2 of our birthday celebration w/Jack. Last weekend we had family in town for a party. This weekend we have already met up with Jack's cousins from Florida (pictured above) who were nearby visiting my brother in law's parents. Next weekend we are taking Jack to a really cool water park resort for a good family birthday vacation. We figured he deserved a month long celebration of his 2nd birthday!

Happy Birthday Jack, we love you so much!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jack! (early)

This weekend we had a visit from Jack's cousins so we decided to have his birthday party a little early. He turns 2 next weekend, but we wanted to have his party when some family would be in town so we celebrated a little early. Don't worry, we'll celebrate next weekend too!

Jack had a Thomas the Tank cake and he really liked it. He got a bunch of cool gifts and though he didn't grasp the whole "it's my birthday" experience, he definitely had a good time with everything.

After his birthday party we went to Michelle's company picnic where Jack and his cousin Emily really enjoyed the moon bounce.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Race & Funky Fresh

When I get home after work, I get to see what my boys have been up to all day. Yesterday, Bill apparently took a video of a daily event that happends around 4pm (doggie feeding time).

Hope you enjoy this video as much as I did!

Today, Bill took Jack to the Pirate Festival. Jack learned how to talk like a Pirate "Arrrrgh", and had a lot of fun watching bands (and of course had some ice cream)!

Tomorrow we are having a garage sale & then we are going to run some errands. We are going to go Birthday gift shopping for the lil guy because he turns 2 in 2 weeks! We are also going to order him a cake - more than likely it will be car themed.

Next week I am only out of town for 2 days, then get to stay home for a few days before I leave again. Next weekend Aunt Carolyn, Uncle Jeff, Cousin Emily & Cousin Jeffrey are driving down to celebrate Jack's birthday! We are looking forward to seeing them!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Meecha Day - 1 year ago today

Jackson - we met you 1 year ago today ('Meecha Day'). What a difference a year has made. We were so excited about adding you to our family. The Caregiver brought you out in a little striped outfit, a bear hat with ears, and little lamb slippers with ears. You cried when you looked at your Mama, and it was the sweetest cry we had ever heard.

Here is a video of our first few seconds together, and another video of when Mama came home just today from work. Also, here is our first family photo together, taken in the gym of the Artem Baby Home.

Isn't it great what love, nutrition & one on one care can do for a child? It's a true miracle.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Tonight we went to dinner at Applebees and then went down to the beach and boardwalk to watch a Bruce Springsteen cover band. Jack sang and danced and seemed to enjoy himself!
The Curran Family is back together after being apart for a month. I really missed being at home with my favorite guys! I get to stay home for 2 weeks this time & then will have to leave again for awhile. This should go on until around the end of October. We are lucky that I have a good job and Bill can be a stay at home Dad until Jackson gets caught up, but I have to admit the travel is starting to get to me. The travel is starting to get to Bill too, but who can complain in this economy.
When I am home we make the best of it! Bill & Jackson picked me up at the airport on Friday. I was so worried that he would have forgotten about me or that he thought I would have abandoned him (a month is a long time to be gone for a 23 month old), or even that he may reject me. The absolute opposite happened. Jack picked out a frog balloon to take to the airport for me and when he spotted me, he ran towards me shouting "MAMA" & jumped up in my arms and gave me the sweetest, most loving, long hug. He petted my face and kept saying mama over and over. Since I have been home for a couple days, it hasn't stopped either. Jack has been a mama's boy non-stop for 48 hrs. He even gets upset if I go into the bathroom and shut the door - somewhat in a panic he wants in. If I put on my shoes he gets in front of me a little panicked & wants me to pick him up and doesn't want to be put down. It is really sad & bothers me a lot. Although, I am pleased he didn't 'forget' me.
As a result, I have decided to look into the job markets in the NE (Virginia up to Connecticut & over to Pittsburgh). I have a Masters Degree, and have 3 yrs Project Management experience. I also have a Social Work Degree and have 14 years experience in the Social Work field. It seems this combined experience would benefit a company?? Does anyone have any ideas or know companies that are hiring in this region?

A year ago today

We were set out to Vladivostok to meet Jackson. We flew out of Atlanta to Moscow for an overnight stay, then flew Vladivostok Air to Vlad.

July 4th, 2009. Changed the rest of our lives. We are forever grateful.