Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Jack is looking forward to "trick or treating" tonight. He and his cousin, Emily, did some trick or treating yesterday at a local town center, but we are going door to door tonight. Jack is going as a puppy, but we may need to change his costume to a Frankenstein after there was a "jumping on the bed" accident last night. The bruises on his forehead in the pictures above are real, but we decided to make them look like Halloween scars. Cousin Emily has a bump on her nose that is doctored up for Halloween as well!

Hope everyone has a great Halloween with lots of treats and maybe even a few tricks!

Friday, October 29, 2010

One Year Home!

The top 2 pictures above are from the day after we got home from Russia. Jack was checking out his new bedroom. The rest are recent shots of the J-man these days.

A year ago today we touched down at JFK airport in New York and Jack became a citizen! Wow, what an exciting day that was! Over the last month, there have been so many times where we have said "at this time exactly a year ago we were doing ___(insert life changing event)___." It's been fun to reminisce about the month we spent in Russia, and the reflecting we have done over the last month or so has really allowed us to recapture all the great experiences we had. Perhaps the greatest of all the experiences though was touching down in New York with Jack. There was a sense of "nobody can take him away from us now". Throughout the whole adoption process, there seemed to always be a feeling that at any moment things could be called off and that would be the end of the dream. When we touched down in the States a year ago that fear immediately went away. Sure we still had/have a lot of work to do with post placements and things, but Jack was a citizen and our dream would live on, nobody was going to end that dream.

I still remember the feeling I had when we walked through the front door of our home with Jack for the first time. First of all, it was great to be home after a month in a foreign country, but to know that Jack was seeing his new home for the first time was really emotional. He was seeing his things for the first time. Wow, I would give anything to know what he was thinking that night. I know Michelle and I were thinking that every minute of the journey leading up to that night was well worth it.
I can't believe we have been home a year. In some respects it seems like it's been 20 years since we went to Russia to get Jack. In other respects it seems like yesterday. Anyway we look at it, it's been a wonderful year filled with growth and love, and we look forward to what lies ahead!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adoption Article

I rather enjoyed this article about an adoptive child's perspective on embarrassing questions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Gotcha Day" + one year.

Dear Jackson,

You are napping in your room right now. We played all morning just like we have done every day for the last year. Exactly a year ago today we gained custody of you, or maybe you gained custody of us. Either way, we are so proud of you for the strides you make every day.

We don't know, nor will we ever know what you went through during the first 15 months of your life. What you felt when you got a boo-boo and nobody kissed it better. What it was like to go to bed without hearing a bedtime story and being kissed on your little head before being tucked in. What you felt like when you were hungry or thirsty and nobody gave you a snack or drink of milk. You were certainly loved those first 15 months, and you were taken care of as well as you could have been under the circumstances.

But God decided that you needed a Mommy and Daddy of your very own. So he sent Mommy on a mission to complete a lot of paperwork. Daddy didn't really understand why we needed 57 notarized copies of a document saying we have never had malaria, but Mommy made sure we got all of the paperwork completed as fast as humanly possible. When we started the process, we didn't know you and you didn't know us. But God knew all three of us and had already started us on a path towards each other. Mommy had to keep Daddy on track for the first few months of the process, but once we saw a picture of you and learned about you, it became clear why we were doing what we were doing.

There has been exactly one time in my life that I knew I was doing EXACTLY what I was put on this Earth to do, and that was adopting you. I know Mommy feels the same way about you. You are a pretty special little guy for God to have picked you out for us. We don't really understand why we got to be the lucky ones God called on to be your parents, but we will always be thankful He did.

As we continue to grow together as a family, we promise to love you every step of the way. Your boo-boos will always be kissed, and you will always be tucked in each night by your Mommy or Daddy. You have been loved each minute of your life since you were born, and you will be each minute of the rest of your life.

Thank You for allowing us to be a part of your life.

Happy Gotcha Day son. We love you.

Love, Mommy and Daddy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One year ago this week

We were still in Russia, going back and forth to Artem Baby Home #2 to visit 'Jackson Androosha'. He was beginning to show affection toward us, cry less, and play more. Every visit we had, he interacted more and more with us and showed more promise. The change I see in him just floors me - both then and now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One year ago today

We walked into a court in Vladivostok, Russia. After several questions and a short recess, we were granted the right to be the parents of a beautiful 15 month old little boy. That day, Andrey became "Jackson Andrey Curran", and we became "Mama and Dada".

Fast forward 1 year and Jackson is doing well. He has had surgery to correct his eyes, speech therapy on a weekly basis and a constant parent at home to help him adjust. Yes, he has some behavioral issues - but he is truly the light of our lives. We prepared and prepared and prepared for everything from bonding to losing 1 income. We had to take tests, write what seemed like thesis after thesis, cash out retirement, borrow money and fund raise. We adopted a child that the Russian doctors felt was "retarded" and even tried to deter us from the adoption.

Thinking about the events from 365 days ago makes me so proud of our son. He has overcome the odds. He is smart, happy and beautiful inside and out. He is wonderful, and we are fortunate to be his Mama and Dada. We would do it again in a hearbeat. Thanks to Russia and thanks to his biological family for allowing us to raise Jackson.