23 September 2009

interrupting the retrospective...

...to send you a copy of the text I sent locals:

Forget Elvis. LEXI has left the building! Oooorah! She practically ran out the door and hasn't stopped smiling. I don't think I have either. Spread the word. All joy!

We had our "manic" times both yesterday and today, but overall she was a trouper. Those self-soothing and coping techniques that are so sad to see in little ones are heartbreaking (and frustrating) in a six-year-old. We've both got some work ahead of us.

It should come as no surprise that there are paperwork issues to be sorted. Sigh. I'm just a little worried they won't be sorted in time to leave on Wednesday. I have to call Delta and cry if that's the case.

As far as food going in and coming out (that seems to be what everyone wants to know about):

She's eating well. She even stops when she's full! She is DRINKING non-stop.

Which brings us to toileting. We know that Russians potty-train differently. One thing that surprised me was the fact that at six, if she has to go, she has to go NOW. There is no waiting five minutes. Or two. Which means that we were some of the people you shake you head at in wonder and a little contempt. Stuck in downtown traffic, my translator told us to GO IN THE MEDIAN! Apparently by the flowers is better. Little one was not best pleased when I made her remove her tights and shoes before we got out of the car.

Sleep is another issue. Remember that off switch she didn't have? It hasn't been installed yet. Enough said here and now. She slept fitfully and so did I, but we slept.

I've been typing WAY too long, so I'll leave you with some pictures.

I was a little sad not to have a "good" picture of the two of us leaving the orphanage. But, then I started laughing. All the pictures of Sasha have her intently focused on THE GATE!! She was ready to leave. A caretaker did stick her head out and wish her well (after Sash was brought to her to say goodbye). Sasha smiling called her goodbye over her shoulder without breaking stride down the steps. I felt better having seen one smile directed at her.


Even this was enough to over-stimulate. But, she loved feeling the wind in her fingers!


Being a trouper at the passport office. We walked out of the orphanage at 13:31 and didn't get home until 8:45 p.m. It was a looooong day.



Have you ever seen such joy on the face of a six-year-old at the grocery store? I'd hold something up and if it was "koosna" (tasty) into the cart it went. She loved her "mnoga!" food.

Note to Kat: Not only did she cry, "I want the store!" as we drove home, she is also fixated on the shoes worn by the women in Moscow. Consider this a call to active duty.

50 comments:

Annie said...

I'm just crying with joy to see her in her beautiful dress!

I would be the last one to ask about eating and pottying....but glad to know it is going well. I think children just differ in the "holding it" ability. My daughter Lydia could and would hold it so long that when she potty trained (sorry for the gross details) would overflow the potty chair. But Nastya is far more - NOW!

I'm glad you have her in the basket! First time I took Zhen to the grocery store he put items in his pockets - I think he was about her age; he hadn't the experience to know any better.

Sleeping can be rough at first for the best sleepers. God bless you both!!!!!

Jenka said...

How wonderful. Congratulations! She is absolutely beautiful.

Maggie said...

Her eyes are simply captivating. I can't wait to hear about your progress in becoming a family and all the adventures you're about to have.

Jim said...

Wow! What a day! Congratulations again.

She is so pretty in her new dress. I'm sure the excitement of everything being new and different is what had her up all hours.

I'm also secretly glad we weren't the only family that had an unscheduled stop on the long drive back from the orphanage! :)

Melissa said...

I am so happy for you both, Kate. She is absolutely precious, and I'm so glad you finally have her so that you CAN FINALLY begin this life together!

Debbie said...

What a busy day! But how wonderful

Nathan too has that exact "potty behavior" you described (GO NOW!) -glad to know it's not just him LOL

Love the pix in the grocery cart!

Mrs. Butler said...

I can't stop crying, Kate. She is so beautiful, gorgeous! I know there's a lot of work to do. She seems so happy, so ready! Love the dress.

Susan said...

Kate, I'm sooo not usually a sap, but these pictures of her leaving the orphanage with you and in the grocery store brought tears to my eyes! I'm used to pics of babies and toddlers (including my own!) leaving, but there's always the assumption that they'd get a family one way or another, and that they're too young to understand. Here's this beautiful little girl leaving with her new mama to see the outside world, and start a new life she's probably barely dared dream of! Whoops, tears again... :-)

Susan said...

Btw, yes, you both have plenty of work ahead, and it won't always be easy...but just as you've found oodles of support for the pre-adoptive portion of this show, there'll be plenty for post as well! Oh, and apologies for ending the previous post with a preposition...I know how that must irk you. :-)~

jules said...

She is BEAUTIFUL!! COngratulations you are a FAMILY!!! A MOM!! So happy for you both! With love and Peace!

Carrie said...

You should have posted a warning: Tissues Needed!

The smile on her face in the last picture just says it all. Congratulations, Kate! I can't help but imagine the upcoming months for you, particularly Christmas. I wish you many joys and an easy bonding process.

Her dress is perfect, btw! Congrats, Mom. :)

kristin said...

All I can say is "wow!" She is so beautiful and the smile of a new family is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!! So glad to see her in your arms! I love the picture of her in the cart! We love shopping! And we too have had many a stop on the side of the road to tinkle, even when we were just a short distance from home. :o)

Aunt Amy

Allison in NJ said...

Kate.... she is beautiful! Love the dress, headband, and most of all the smile!!!! All that you wrote is very, very normal for our children coming home! Eventually, all will fall into place, but there is a whole world out there that she didn't even knew existed. Have patience, and truly look at things through her eyes! I found a whole new and better experience doing this when Anya came home (heck even in the hotel in Moscow)!

I cannot tell you how happy I am for you and Lexi/Sasha. You have been waiting soooooo long. God is good indeed!!!

Blessings..........

Fioleta said...

She is so adorable. It's so great that you found each other. I hope the paperwork will get done in time. Best of luck.

annmarie said...

She's a pretty fantastic little girl :) Her mommy isn't too bad either. (I will do my best to be around tomorrow, fyi)

Debi said...

what a BEEEEE U TIF LE child...I love her dark hair and eyes and eyebrows...what a blessing for you both..

Kate your strength is amazing and a true gift from God...I am in awe.

Lindsay said...

Is it possible Lexi's urgency in the toilet department is due to being so regulated in the orphanage she never really needed to recognise too much when she needed as she would be sent? Or she is simply unused to requesting anything as they are all told when to go? Plus if she has much more to drink now - rather than just the juice/tea at meal times - then maybe her body just needs to adapt too. Anyhow, hope it calms down a bit for you both.

And what a smile - she certainly knew what it meant to be leaving with you. So happy you are having joyful moments together.

Hope you get your paperwork issues ironed out. Best wishes.

Lisa said...

Oh my precious! She is a doll! I bet it did make you feel better at least one of the women came to say goodbye and wish Lexi well.

Blessings to you as you start this journey as a family!

rolise said...

First I think she is beautiful.

Second, I am struggling with my ds and bathroom issues as he tells me he just does not feel it until the last possible minute. he is 8 and has more accidents than this mom would like. Reminders are important.

Kerry M said...

Congratulations, friend! Thank you so so much for taking time out of your day to think about posting pictures. You both look SO happy... and I LOVE the "staring at the gate" picture. That's the best. And the dress is perfect... now she looks like YOUR daughter. She just looks more like she belongs to you!

Jackie said...

She is GORGEOUS, Kate! Congratulations!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, dear Orphanage Caregiver, for helping Lexi count down the days. That touches my heart so deeply. Love the headband! Love, Nana

jen.weber said...

Thank you for keeping us updated during this busy time. She is adorable! That smile is so beautiful. And I agree with whoever said the dress makes her look like your daughter. Love, Nif

Maura said...

Yes, tissue warning was needed! Only tears of joy for you and your beautiful Lexi. Those eyes are just magical and the dimples - adorable! You chose a great color for the cute dress you smocked - it's wonderful on her.

SO GLAD that you two are finally together. The sleep and potty issues will get worked out. My Danny does the "now" thing - it's why we keep a clean jar in the car. ;-)

Gigi said...

She is beautiful, absolutely beautiful! I love those eyes and that smile. On, Kate, I am so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! What a long journey, and now you have a new one ahead of you. I wish you the very best. Thanks for letting us all follow along.

Cindy P. in Tennessee

Rachael said...

So happy for you both! Hoping for smooth sailing these next few days. Fun, fun times ahead!!!

Heidi said...

She is so beautiful. Those eyes! The dimple! My, my.
Blessings abound!

beckyww said...

LOVE THIS LOVE THIS LOVE THIS! AND YOU.

Lisa said...

Kate, she's so beautiful! Congratulations to you both!

boltupright said...

Whoo hoo! The shopping cart picture is the cutest. :) And look at her in her lovely dress! Hope the paperwork snafu is sorted and no tears to Delta are necessary...

Allison B said...

Just came back for another look, and realized the change in the picture of the countdown calendar. Very nice to have this keepsake!

I'm just soaking all this up. Best wishes in getting your paperwork issue ironed out, and a smooth journey until you're back in your own home.

Kathy Friend said...

OH - WOW! So many firsts! She was fixated on the shoes! Well, like mother like daughter?

Kay B said...

She is so happy in those pictures. Over the past month or so I have been re-reading our own adoption journal as we approach our 2-year anniversary of being home in America. I cannot tell you how much the feelings and experiences you are having are similar to ours and even our daughters share the dark hair, dark eyes 'children's home" haircut!
I am so happy for you, can't wait to see the next chapter as you start your new lives together!

PWNort64 said...

Since I missed the slideshow the first time you posted it, I came across it this morning and had a good cry. And then came back later to find your new post with more pictures and cried again.

Congratulations. Lexi is just beautiful and those eyes are so captivating. And I absolutely LOVE the dimples.

Congratulations on the end of this chapter and beginning of the next!

The Holmes Crew said...

Awesome Kate! She is just beautiful and YOU are beaming. I love the reference to "mnoga". It was Harry's favorite food! And yes, I've seen a child so happy to be grocery shopping - both my boys! It's a whole new world for them - and EVERYTHING excites them!

Tina in CT said...

The day that you waited for for sooooo long finally came! I'm sure once Lexi met you and knew that you were her mother and that she'd be leaving with you, you also waited and waited to walk out the gate with you.

Beautiful little girl in a beautiful dress lovingly sewn by her mom.

Remember that my daughter has smocked dresses from her girls waiting for you in Moscow.

Happy beginning of your lives together.....

CYNDI ~ DELANEY'S MOM said...

And so it begins.....
And it will be AMAZING!!
She is simply lovely! What a smile!! The dress looks beautiful on her!
I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enjoy being with your daughter these first days, they are so precious!
Happy Crying in CA!!!!

MoscowMom said...

Wow, I've been out of the loop for so long!!! Congratulations!!!! If you're still in Moscow, leave me a comment! You're invited to dinner! I also still have dresses for you and a bag from Rachael for you!

Barb said...

Oh Kate! She is SO beautiful! That sparkle in her eyes and those dimples!! I loved reading your description of her eyes fixated on the gate - how eager she was to be out of there with you; thank goodness someone did the countdown with her - it obviously meant a lot to her.

The dress is beautiful!

I wasn't going to comment on the WC, but I will since so many others have . . . seems pretty typical. For us, reminders didn't work because it appeared to be a control issue. She'd wait so long that sometimes she couldn't even walk to the bathroom - she'd drop to the floor and wait for the most urgent moment to pass . . . But, it didn't last too long, and eventually, once our bond started building, she'd go when we suggested it . . .

Hope the paperwork issues work out and you can fly out next Wednesday!

Room to Grow said...

i'm so happy for you both.

votemom said...

best.post.ever.

slava bogu!

Debbie said...

What a wonderful moment--to hold her in your arms and take her as yours. She is precious--love the dress and the color--it looks great on her! She just looked so happy in the grocery cart!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

OH I love that first pic out of the orphanage. She is clearly like GEt! ME! OUT! NOW! MOM! Very pretty dress, she looks lovely!
I was just reading that under stress, even positive stress, the system that makes pupils dilate and such, includes the bladder which contracts.
It is awesome that you are so on top of the potential challenges and able to identify them already for what they are.
I can't wait for your next post- don't sleep, don't eat, just POST!
(lol, just kidding--- sort of)

Jim said...

Congratulations, Kate. This was a very long journey for you, but all that no longer matters. Lexi is adorable and more importantly, your daughter.

Jim

Jen said...

I'm over the moon happy for you!

Anonymous said...

The toilet thing could be some degree of shyness - I used to have that very acutely when I was a child with anyone other than my mother (I even had it with my father). In fact, when I came back from camp once, I was like that with my mother too. I wasn't scared to go to the bathroom or anything, I was just shy to ask where the bathroom was in a new setting or how to lock the door in that toilet. So I would just wait it out until I could no longer!

Sasha is beautiful :)

Jenni said...

I had forgotten about the word "koosna" until this post! Fond memories of VIka and Eamon saying "Koosna, koosna!" are flooding back. :)

I absolutely LOVE that picture of you both leaving the orphanage. it captures the moment so well, and you can tell what both of you are feeling.

As for the toileting and sleep issues, ugh. It will get better, but it's no fun when you're in the middle of it! I'm keeping you both in my thoughts and am doing a little happy dance that you are finally together!

MMrussianadoption said...

so happy she is out and starting to experience life with you her mom. when do you fly over?