Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Got the Hefty Bags Out!!

So, my big girl loves her stuff. She has too much stuff. I think she just might have it all.
So today, I told her to pick up 5 toys. She told me she loved it to be a mess.
So I told her that she picked up 5 toys, or I would pick up 5 toys and throw them away.

A Dora Puzzle, a paddle with the ball missing, several craft related items, and a pair of plastic earings hit the hefty!
I can't take our mess. We make the same mess in the living room everyday and I am so tired of stepping on a leggo, or an earing, or a fairy princess shoe. Those suckers hurt. So everyday, I am getting the Hefty out. (My girl loves her stuff, but not enough to pick it up)

Again, we are in the midst of a busy weekend. I have to teach Sunday School again, and then after that, I am helping to give a baby shower. No, she is not adopting, she is actually pregnant. Who does that anymore?? (She is actually a dear coworker of mine, who almost considered adoption.) I am meeting her friend next week to talk about adoption.

My dear J got a trip. She is traveling like me, sort of blind. No real info, just an idea of a child. They leave in 3 weeks. She will be back in such beautiful weather.
She is going to Russia.

Sooooo next weekend is the COH Easter Party. And my translator from Khabarovsk will be here. She is staying with a family in Boston and will be down for a few days. I am thrilled to see her since I sort of left things with her and the Khab region a bit sketchy. It wasn't my fault but what are ya gonna do?
Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It Has Happened Again

So once again in the adoption world, we are all faced with the awful feeling of absolute hatred for what appears to be another mother killing her Russian born, adopted child. This baby was 14 months old. I will say it again, 14 months old.
Blunt force trauma.

And so now, programs around the Russian Federation are shutting down, regional MOE directors are halting the release of referrals, and now in 10 regions they are not accepting dossiers from American families. Who can blame them? We kill our children. Now I have seen it on the FRUA board that we should withhold our judgement, what? Did you hear the cause of death? BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA.

Some blame the agencies. Some refuse to blame. I think I line up the blame square along the shoulders of the person who administered the BFT. I am a skeptic and think the dad had something to do with it. Can't help but think that if abuse is going on in a family, both parents know.

They are throwing the failure to thrive into this. Sadly the older brother didn't gain the weight it was felt he should gain. He was only home a month or so, bless his heart. Bless both their hearts.

So what now, hate the Russians for putting their feet down? No
I beleive in a zero tolerance approach. Is it that tough to NOT KILL A CHILD?
I don't think so.

So bring on the slow downs Russia. Shame on America for setting the tone that we won't prosecute families who hurt their own babies.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Hunt Is On..

It took me forever to get a great picture of Anna, and now it seems it will be forever until I get a great pic of AugustRose. I end up with the back of her head, or a funny face. This one is cute, although you can't really see her. Of course her dear Fibi is right there with her. They were great at finding all of the Elmo Eggs!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Welcome Spring! Goodbye Spring Break!

After a visit to Hillwood, rock-climbing at Great Falls with Auntie, a postplacement visit, a trip to the dentist, the Eggsplosion, Church with an Egg Hunt, and of course what would Easter be without a day at the Hoojez, It seems my SpringBreak has come to an end!

We had such a wonderful day. Mr. D's parents were in town, and they are lovely. We had a great lunch, and of course the egg hunt was rock-on! My girls are full of candy and treats, and worn out.
Happy Easter Everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Had A Dream

Last night I dreamed of my high school friend Christy. In the dream, We were both in our small home town, and she had just had a baby. It seemed that she and her husband were getting a divorce. It was so sad for her, and it really sent me backwards thinking about old times and high school. I started to play around with music and found about 20 songs that meant everything to me at one time or another. Its funny how a song can bring you back not to just a time in your life, but almost to a single moment.

I remember sitting in the truck with Deena and our dates. We had been to Bennigans with Scott and Harry, and I went in to tell my mom we were going to hang in the yard, and "Broken Wing" was playing on the radio as I got out..

Oddly, The Pet Shop Boy's song "West End Girls" was popular just about the time my group of friends went to Europe just before graduation.

It was the summer after I graduated from high school, and I was a girl scout counselor. I met Wally there, and became great friends. Stevie Nicks, "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You"
was popular then.
That same summer, I realized that although I thought I was fabulous, there was a boy who simply would not and could not be the man of my dreams. We listened to Double's "Captain of Her Heart" on the way back from Ft. Myers. It was an awful weekend and I let a lot of my heart go driving in the early morning.
I remember sitting on the floor of our suite in college, and we were visiting with Heather's friend Cybelle Petus... "Life in a Northern Town" played in the background. Some songs give me a little ache in my stomach, knowing how much regret around those times. And GOD knows I heard Luka and every other Suzanne Vega song. My roommate Cory lived on the woman.

It's funny that most of these Historical songs put that regretful ache in my stomach. I know I am where I should be at the exact moment I should be here, but somehow there is still something that I look back on with a bit of sadness. I know what hurts about high school. I know my mishaps in college set me back. But what if those things had never happened. Would I be somewhere else? Did I have a dream way back then, that I might have followed through with had I not been such a spoiled 80's ME ME ME kind of girl?

I feel like I know where my heart is pushing me, I feel like I have done my best to right the wrongs I have done until now, but where is this sense of loss coming from tonight?
Tomorrow, friends, I will figure that out when I haven't spent two hours listening to old songs...

Take a listen to some of the song from my playlist. Maybe one or two will take you back.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Well, you can't say I didn't try....I got this really great tag and wanted to get a snap of my girls with it..YOU try getting a 21 month old and a 4 year old to look at you and smile at the same time...Just doesn't happen too often!

AugustRose and Fibi Take on the Town!

So AugustRose is almost as big as her bestest friend. They are almost a year apart, but just like her momma, AR is gonna be tall. The girls have a blast everytime they are together. I love this photo, sadly it was taken in a ladies room! Hey Constance, Do you recognize the dress? Anna missed wearing it as she was too little. Not AR, she is of hardy Siberian stock!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Faberge Celebration At Hillwood

Today we spent our day with lots of Russian families, celebrating the life of Peter Carl Faberge. It was a beautiful day at Hillwood Mansion in DC, filled with traditional folk games played at Easter Time, story tellers, making their own eggs, and off course closing the day out at the Silver Diner!
AugustRose had about 20 minutes of rest, but she was amazing. Anna is always pretty good, so we had one of those really great days with the Hoojez family. My girls love their family. And they are all so good together!

The children enjoyed the speakers and thought that making their own eggs was the best part. I think I just enjoyed hearing the Russian Language and Music!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It Makes Me Wonder

On a pretty regular basis, I check the National Database for Russian Orphans, and the regional charitable database for Novosibirsk. It took almost two years for me to complete my adoption, and I started looking at the children then. In all of this time, there are still some of the same faces waiting for a family to come and take them. I ask myself, what could be wrong with these children that would make them unadoptable? What could be so wrong that a family would say no.... I have to hope that for every child, there is a family, but the realist in me knows this isn't the case. What if a child is HIV+? Could I have accepted them? What about HEP C? Could I overlook it? Thank the Lord I never had to face those decisions. It just makes you wonder....
And the Russians are only concerned with NOT letting Americans adopt. Again, it makes you wonder.
I am reading a Sean Flannery nonfiction thriller from the 80's and when I read this it made me think of how things are in the adoption world.
"Fear is the motivator that pushes the Russians into a dull, plodding, inefficiency that errupts in fits of incredible barbarity at unpredictable intervals." I know it seems a bit overly dramatic, but sometimes we adoptive parents see more than we should, learn more than we should, and it forever stains our feelings about the process of international adoption

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Our family came home from Russia on December 2nd, I never dreamed that we would be able to share a First Christmas together. We thought we would be in Russia for an additional two weeks, an my original plan was to do a sort of Half Christmas. We ended up going for it full force! Just after Christmas, we went to my school for a Welcome Home Party.

As usual, everyone was so generous and we were given a gorgeous cake, and gift certificates that we needed! BMP you are the best!

We are really getting into a groove lately. I have seen so much growth in AugustRose. She is such a pistol. Anna was sooo laid back, and gentle. She has tickled my eyelashes since she was a tiny baby, and never once has she poked me in the eye. At this point, I won't let August near my eyes. She is such a wild child, she may just poke my eyeball out. I love her so much. August isn't as snuggly as Anna. She is go, go, go, all of the time. She plays until she falls out.

The next few weeks are going to be crazy. An Easter Egg Hunt, then the Faberge Egg Festival, then COH's Easter Party at the Embassy. Plus a translator from Anna's adoption is here in the states, and is coming down for a visit. She only met us a couple of times, but I remember her so fondly for teaching us the "Soroka, Soroka" hand rhyme. It's similar to "This Little Piggy" that we do on our babies toes!!

I am waiting for my friend "J" to get travel news. She is going to Novosibirsk, and is another lucky family to work with Marina and Olyessa, and Lev. I just can't wait for her to meet the baby of her dreams! Swingomatic is yet to post and I am on pins and needles to hear all about her trip. She should have met her gal by now, I hope all is well.

Monday, March 10, 2008


We can barely fit the Hughes-Green clans into one car. Our big boy M, stayed home from this party. This is the group on the way to the Russian Christmas Party at the Embassy. (I am finding all sorts of photos on my computer....)
I am thrilled to be enjoying my girls culture!!
I have a blogger friend in Novosibirsk right now, and she should be meeting her little girl, I hope she falls in love!
Swing, I am praying for ya!!
Soon we will be back at the embassy for the Easter Party.
I will be on spring break next week, and I plan to take tons of photos of the girls!! Watch out!
Every so often, AugustRose will laugh at the craziest things. For a few days last week, I would wiggle around and she thought it was so funny! I sent Anna to get the camera and we caught the last bit of her "gigglefest."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just had to post this one other photo that
I found from my first trip to meet August.
This was taken in a tiny little room full
of smoke!

Come on Chantix!
I added my verizon website to the list of links. I worked really hard to get the details of Anna's adoption in there, and for those going through the process, seeing some of the travel adventures may be helpful. August's adoption was really fast, so there wasn't much time between trips to write it all out. Let's just say, I am so glad I took big chances by traveling blind. I am not seeing it get any easier for families wanting girls. I was very lucky to get in and out quickly.

Today I took Anna to get her blood taken for some tests. Nothing too serious I hope, but I want to be sure she is doing well with her vitamin and iron intake... She is just getting over Strep, and I am concerned about being sick several times this year.
She was such a darling. She didn't pitch a fit, just cried a wee bit when the needle went in, then was amazingly strong throughout the process. She said, "Mommy I am so proud of myself." She has said it a million times since. School is going to be very exciting tomorrow as she tells everyone about getting her blood taken.
My dad is coming up this weekend to see his girls. I am sure we will end up at a SuperWalmart at some point, as my father has an overwhelming need to purchase diapers and wetwipes for us. Lately we buy at least 2 dozen eggs each week. My gals love their poultry products.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I made this video after returning home from my first trip to meet my dear. Our trip was in September so the weather wasn't too cold, but it was rainy. The photos are from baby home #3 and you can see Marina and Olyssia with me. They were amazing. We ended up back in Novosibirsk in about 8 weeks for court. Our court trip was only 11 days total, so it was a bit of a world wind for me. With my older daughter Anna, we were in Khabarovsk for a month so it was a very different experience.

All is not well in the world of adoption I fear. It seems like the wheels are barely turning, and families are doing and redoing documents. I pray for those who are waiting...I know its tough, I have been there and it ain't pretty.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Figuring it all out....

I was walking through the hall of my school today, and somewhere along the way, I caught a smell that was more than familiar. Someone was cooking something in their class and combined with the smell of children, teacher perfume, and an old building, I was brought right back to Komsomolsk.
It isn't a happy smell like Pumpkin Spice that you smell in the fall, nor a flowery smell like in the Spring. It's just a smell that makes you remember..What I remember makes me want to go back. What I remember, makes me want to spend the rest of my life helping. I have wanted to be a part of the 501 (c) 3 world for a long time, and everyday Missy and I work just a bit on figuring it all out.
We are so blessed by our children. I have a very grim feeling about the future of Russian Adoption by Americans. It seems to be a combination of political pressures in country, and agency snafus that are turning the whole process into an unfortunate process.

Missy and I want to make a difference in the lives of those left behind. We know that the funding will run out and there will be a boatload of children being sent back to the orphanage, and we want to be there to help when they start.

Monday, March 03, 2008

We Are Always Learning...

This is the day that I met my newest daughter AugustRose. She was 16 months old, but looked like a two year old gal already. She was thin, but very tall. She was a happy girl and came to me lovingly. Now that we are home 3 months, I am realizing that she still goes to strangers lovingly, and that's not great...

I am constantly learning about being a mother and friend, teacher, daughter, and follower of Christ.
What I learned today is that God blesses all of us. We just have to use every part of our heart to understand how and why he is belssing us...

Say, "Looooollipop!"

I was looking through some photos and found this picture. It was from Fibi's babtism. In this very picture there are 6 adopted children, spread throughout 3 families. Since this was taken, I added one more to the group. 5 of the children are my God-children. This was last year, and I was still waiting to hear when COH would get accredited.

We were being so silly. But I just love it!