So, this is what all the Thanksgiving fuss is about.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
So, this is what all the Thanksgiving fuss is about.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Seeing Cassi in the orphanage, after court--look how tiny!
First time I dressed her--she loved the softness of the clothes!
They knew each other before we knew they were our daughters! They are about 11 months old here, I believe.
Trip 1, Day 1
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I was going back on the blog, looking at pictures and video from all 3 trips to Russia and found myself in tears with mixed emotions. She has grown and developed so much and so well since then! She is such a loving, happy child. She says, "I lofe chew, Mom," ( "I love you, Mom"---I'm not sure why the "Mom" part and not "Mommy" but I will take it!) spontaneously. She showers us and us with her with hugs and kisses all day. I love to see her run and laugh with her curls bobbing all the while, or rolling on the floor with Kai playing and laughing.
The mix in emotions comes into play, because I found myself starting to go down that path that no doubt all adoptive parents go down. What would have happened to her if we had not adopted her? How would she be doing now? What would have happened to her at age 18 when she aged out of the orphanage? I can only pose those questions in my mind because I just can't allow my mind to take me there. I can picture what happens to the other orphans who are still there and those who are being let out into the world by orphanages all across Russia (and the world), but no my Cassi.
So, I pose this question to other adoptive parents. What do you do when your mind wonders "there?" Do you allow it go or do you quickly think of something happier and repress those thoughts? I don't know if I should just think about the possibilities, have a really good cry and then hope I don't go down that mental road again or to keep repressing those images.
On a happier note, Cassi's Gammy will be making her an Abbey Cadabby (spell) cake and an Elmo cookie cake for her 2nd birthday celebration! We are having it at Thanksgiving, so that's why we NEED massive amounts of cake! lol I am still searching for a really cute but comfortable birthday outfit that has a cake on it or some kind of birthday references. I have no idea what the weather will be like by then as it's been unseasonably warm.
We are looking forward to this big celebration of so many important events in Cassi's life. We "lofe chew," Cassi! :)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Why are you standing so still, smiling when you could be jumping around like me?
I'm also posting some re-takes of Cassi in her Russian shirt from her "twin" Dagny as the last ones were so cloudy from "someone's" fingerprints on the lens and Cassi' hair isn't as fro-like as the last pictures showed. lol That is my mom holding Cassi in the one shot.
I'm also adding a picture of my classroom sign because I love the apple theme at the school. And, my kids all decorated little pumpkins and we have them on display outside of the door. They turned out so cute! I only have 5 students in case you are wondering why there are only 5 little pumpkins. And, the stuff hanging in the doorway is spiderweb.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
She is looking at the photo album we brought her to leave behind and get on the final trip.
...we met our Russian Sweet Baby, Cassiana! :) I would have loved to have posted yesterday, but between working a full day, power washing the house getting it prepped for painting over the long Fall Break weekend (love these teacher vacations!) and then getting the kids to bed, I just couldn't do it last night. Plus, I had the flu for 2 weeks and only recently started to feel better.
My how our lives have changed since this time last year, all for the better! Cassi was still an orphan, 10 1/2 months old, Dan was a stay-at-home dad, I was working in sales, traveling all the time, and Kai was in kindergarten. Now, Cassi is almost 2, doing fantastic, Dan is finishing his degree and working part time, I am an elementary deaf education teacher (love it!) and Kai is a big first grader.
One year ago yesterday, was an amazing day! We went to the Department of Education, completely jet lagged, running on adrenaline and met a table of 5 Russian women who showed us the picture of our future baby. She was not was I was expecting, with her sparse dark hair and deer in the headlights big black eyes (see picture to the right)! She looked very scared in the picture, but you could tell she was a cutie. So we went to meet her.
Walking up to the baby home for the first time was so exciting! I was not particularly nervous, more anxious about, "Would this be our baby? Would we know right away?" We were led inside by Max and escorted into the big music room. Masha began to go over the medical history with us and in walked the baby home worker with a beautiful baby girl with coal black eyes. She had her bottom lip sucked in because she was so scared and I remember being concerned that her lip wasn't formed right--lol! She had on baby blue boys clothes and big black boots, probably a size 4. I know now that she wore a size 1 or maybe smaller (she still has tiny feet--only wears a size 3 now!). I wonder if they were trying to conceal her teeny feet? The worker handed me to her and she began to cry, so I walked around the room and talked to her and kissed her sweet cheeks and hair. She soon calmed down and let me sit with her snuggled to my neck, while we tried to focus on what Masha said about her history, as this would be the only time we would hear it! Talk about difficult! All I wanted to do was see my new baby, head to toe, and to tell her how much we already loved her! She was definitely our daughter, no doubt!
That day, we took about 1,000 photos and several videos. We got to see her the next day and then signed the intent to adopt and it seems like we saw her one more day and then had to go back home until court November 10th. That was tough leaving her, however, they had kept her safe this long and I figured they could do it a while longer.
Here is Cassi the day after we met her, a year ago today...
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Kai's First Day of 1st Grade
I also started my new job as a teacher at a different school on August 20th. I teach 1st-4th grade hearing impaired students and love it! I had to wait until last week to sign a contract while my license was being processed so I had to sub in my own classroom, which was kind of weird. I didn't like having to wait to see what happens (you'd think I'd be more patient after adopting! lol). A few weeks before school started, I went in almost every day to work in my room, not knowing for sure this would be my job. It's all working out and going great! :) My school and students are awesome!
Backing up further, the kids took a gymnastics class to try it out over the summer. Cassi wasn't super excited because everything was so new. Kai had taken the Mommy and Me class a few summers and had attended some birthday parties here, so he kind of knew the ropes (no pun intended). Cassi and I went to the Mommy & Me class while Kai was in his big kid class. Cassi's class wore me out because I was lifting and moving her everywhere. I think we will wait until she's a little older to enroll her. The pictures below aren't really representative of her experience. There was more crying than laughing. Kai loved his, so he's going once a week now. Here are pictures, if blogger will let me move them!Kai on the parallel bars. I have no idea why everything is so fuzzy! I couldn't get too close because I was watching Cassi on the air tramp at the same time. Multi-tasking!
Waiting for class to start
This is a picture from the other day in her new leotard. She LOVED wearing it! I found it at a second hand store for .99cents! Love that!
Please don't look at the clutter in the video. Our house is usually "Home and Garden" ready (yeah, right!) but today was a little crazy w/ the toys. Cassi can do somersaults. We call it "downward dog" as in the yoga pose because she was doing that all over the place. One day Kai just gave her a little push and now she's doing somersaults all over the place. She also loves to jump in her crib and on the couch and land on her rear end. I hear gymnastics calling her name! Also, I love how she managed to hang on to the hanger the whole time--lol!
Then, last weekend was Kai's 7th birthday. I can't believe he's already 7! Mom made him a gymnastics cake. She couldn't find any cake set ups for gymnastics, so she had to make them. It turned out really cute. Thanks, Mom!
Then, on Labor Day, I ran my first 5K because starting a new job just wasn't enough! lol I trained for about 6-7 wks. beforehand. I have NO pictures of this event. They are NOT good! lol Anyway, I finished the race and my time was pretty good! :) I'm ready to sign up for my next run!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Here are some pictures from our trip. Hopefully blogger will behave and let me rearrange these this time! First we went out for Mexican food---yummmy!!!
Kai being mischievousKai feeding the turtles at the aquarium. Dad put some bait on a stick that had a clothe pin at the end. These turtles probably have a Body Mass Index of 100! lolBaby friendly turtle viewing window. Keep in mind it's about 15 minutes into the trip and Cassi has already removed her shoes! Still has her bow...for now.
Next was the tide pool to pet starfish, etc. Kai was content with just looking at them.
Grandma H. and Kai at the stingray tankGrandpa H. and Kai
Cassi has had enough of the stroller--her bow has fallen out somewhere along the way...
SHARK! They have a shark tunnel and shark room. Love me some sharks!
They have this awesome program where for an extra fee, you can swim with the sharks, so I did! Okay, if you believe that, then you guys will believe anything!!! :P
Their eyes don't glow in real life--ha,ha.
Grandma and Cassi shopping in the gift shop
Burning off energy before the car trip home. :)
Anyone out there having trouble with blogger? I used to be able to drag and drop the pictures and now I can still do that, but it will only move one picture length at a time---took forever to do this post! :P