Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Five years ago I was packing, getting ready to fly around the world, literally, to become a mother. I have to add the schedule since no one beleives it.
Fly Direct To Moscow (10 Hours)
Wait for Flight To Khabarovsk (7 hours)
Fly to Khabarovsk (9 Hours)
Wait for night train to Komsomolsk (About 12 hours)
*Luckily we got to check into our hotel, and shower.
Night train to Komsomolsk (overnight) Visit the baby Night Train back to Khabarovsk (overnight)
Go to COURT Afternoon in Khabarovsk to back a bag and shower.
Night Train to Komsomolsk (overnight)
Visit the Baby, Pick up baby on 2nd Visit
Night Train to Khabarovsk (overnight)
SOOOoo for over a week, we didn't stop moving, or sleep in a bed..It was awesome!! Because I love to remember these precious times, I am including the Yahoo posts I sent from Russia in 2004. I was typing them with Anna on my lap at times...
This is my girl. Just like momma! We loved the Lobby at the Intourist in Khabarovsk! Shopping in the market, notice the one missing shoe!
Again, just like momma, we even eat in sync!

I have to put this one in...Anna had screamed and cried for TWO HOURS straight!! We were in first class, and they moved everyone away from us, please notice the pills in front of my sister! She is only slightly more stressed than she looks!!!
Notice I had been crying for TWO HOURS!!

Because I love to remember these precious times, I am including the Yahoo posts I sent from Russia in 2004. I was typing them with Anna on my lap at times...

written on the day we left (september 18th 2004)

Hey All~
Dadushka and I will be flying out in a bit and I wanted to post a
quick prayer request. If you don't pray, don't want to offend, but I
ask that you pray that Anna will make this transition without too
much fear, anxiety, and trauma. (For mommy too!) I cannot wait to
squeeze her and kiss her punkin head!!

All of my travel plans were updated and it seems that the new plan
will be favorable for the judge. Start planning Komsomolsk
families...I will try to see if our babies can be brought to court so
that we don't make the 2nd trip, I don't mind, because I actually
loved the train!! Just keep an open couple of days BEFORE COurt, even
your agency hasn't told you this yet!!

I will see you Hilary...I may not see you until after my court date
due to the changes, but if you want to eat at the INTOURIST on monday
evening we will probably do that before the train..Maybe 7:00-ish! If
I don't see you then we will be back on the 22nd for court!

BEst Wishes to you wait-ers!!
I will dig up as much info as I can!!
Melissa and Janet, my sister may call you!

Oh and Melissa, the shoe count went UP!!


(written the day before court 2004)
Okay, I got all of your photos!!

Bogdan and Trifon were together(I think) and my dad talked and
played a bit with them. The others were in my Anna's group so they
took pictures with my Anna. My Anna of course hated it! She is still
very fussy with strangers but is warming up nicely. All families
from Komsomolsk may end up doing the 10 days in Komsomolk...I won't
know until I come back here after court!!
Gotta go to catcht the train, but ALL of your little ones were told
that "your family" is coming very soon!! Dr. Irina is on vacation so
her stand in, was there! Shouldn't slow anything down!!

Haven't slept in a bed since I left DC!! Count 'em that;s four days!!

It's all worth it!!

Sending my best from a chilly Komsomolsk!!


(written during the ten day wait, several days before going to Moscow, 2004)
Okay, I still have not read the old posts, so I gather from the
titles that only a few court dates have been given. I am still here
and can tell you it is now cold. Windy, very windy and about 35-40
degrees. If you are getting babies get a snow suit for them here! I
did at the central outdoor market and it was less than 15 bucks!
I am sorry but I can't posts those pics for you Komsomolsk families.
No CD rom drive here! Can you beleive it?
The baby is still as rotten and silly and spoiled and chubby as ever!~
She gives big wet OPEN mouth kisses still. We are working on getting
her mouth closed!!
She loves her walks and really loves to eat, everything! Pellmeny,
borsch, breads of all kinds, yogurt, rice and even halibut!
She is a tough one to fill up! God this is a good life! I really
can't beleive I will be leaving here in a few days and want to share
the keys to this for my family! Just remember, it's getting

I will be home soon!!

Julianne and Anna Bannannaa

(written October 2004, after coming home)

Sleepy jetlagged but happy! Anna is so precious and wiggly and wild!
She loves to eat, and loves her toes! She is going to be a shoe girl
like her momma!

I have some photos I need to email to komsomolsk families! Boni I
sent your just now! If I took photos of your little ones, could you
email me and let me know your address, I am struggling to get to the
photos for far east site!
COULD YOU SEND IT to my email, I check that the most!!

THere were about 5 other children that I have, and boy are they all

I am sorry that my coordinator had no news about court dates, but
said everything is moving on along!
When I am more awake I will write again!!!ANd share!

Julianne and ANna Bannannna


Tina in CT said...

What memories for you.

Did your sister and father go with you to pick up your daughter?

What a schedule you had!

Did you get my email wanting your mailing address so that I can mail the Kit book to you? Please answer me by leaving a comment on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh. You just brought back so much for me. Hard to beleive.

This makes me want to adopt another! hmmmm.

Jen Stevens said...

Your posts after getting Anna were the first I read when I joined the group. We had just gotten Ave's referral. They did and still do fill me with such excitement over the beauty that is the Far East and our amazing girls.
And I am right there with M. I wanna do it again!!! hmmmm, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Oh Julianne,

How great this is. You have inspired me to post the trip updates we sent to friends and family on my facebook page. It is so fun reliving those good and not so good memories. Also reading some of the clueless things we said as first time parents.

We were at the Intourist for dinner that Monday evening you refer to in your post and that was the night we got terribly sick. It was a good thing we did not meet up with if it was the Intourist that made us sick.

I love the picture on the airplane. Was that the flight home from Moscow or the Khabarovsk to Moscow leg? That picture just captures everthing from the final part of the trip. Moscow was just brutal for us, all the screaming and crying as Nick dealt with the huge time change (7 hours?)and adjusting to us. We thought he was completely deranged and that we had made a huge mistake in turning our comfortable life upside down. Silly us. The little guy is just so amazing (as is Lauren). It was also so special that there were so many families going to Khab all about the same time. We would not have made it through without everyone.

Doing it again? I can't keep us with my two. They are such HUGE personalities. But then reading Christine's blog you see how amazing large families are and there is nothing in the world that beats the moment you get your referral and then when you first meet your and then walking out of the Baby Home with them. I also loved being in the hotels in Moscow seeing all the kids with clothes that were obviously brand new.

Hilary S.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, one more comment about the airplane picture. It looks like you and your sister are only drinking Coca Cola. Was it a Rum & Coke? If not I am impressed. The very first thing I did upon boarding United business class in Frankfurt on the way home was order a Bloody Mary!

Hilary S.

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

The drinks were coke and diet coke!! The pills were a sort of buffet of the best drugs the
NERVOUS HOSPITAL would give us!!!
It was so aweful!
If we could have skipped Moscow, we would have been ok...That really hurt!

Tina, my dad went with me on trip two. (Mom went on trip 1)
My sister met us in Moscow. We were there for 5 days, so she got to help out a bunch during the end!!

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

Oh and today, AugustRose started preschool. My mother said..."You need to call Linda. This is crazy that I am here, and have no babies to be with all day."

Linda is the director of Cradle of Hope Adoption Center. Would it be crazy to do it again? Maybe? OR could I live through the anonymous M who wants to do it again...

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

OHHH! Hillary,
I can clearly remember your posts for Lauren's adoption! I loved them. Jordy would make me laugh when he would write them...
Lauren's adoption happened so fast, I remember thinking how easy her's was for you guys!! You should do it again, you know so you can reallllyyyy sufffer!!

Jen Stevens said...

anonymous M needs to convince the anonymous D that even numbers are best. lol
then maybe she can give me tips on convincing Ryan

Tina in CT said...

Please, I need your mailing address so I can mail off the Kit book.

kate said...


I'm getting Lexi out of the orphanage on your court date. It must be a good day!