Thursday, March 26, 2009

The First Four Weeks

Well, Adam has been home for one month. What a month it has been. He has gained a pound and a half and eats almost everything … and eats well. He loves potatoes, sweet potatoes, chicken, and steak, all sorts of vegetables, bananas, grapes, blueberries, gerber puffs, crackers and avocadoes! The only thing we’ve given him that he didn’t care for was hummus, and he preferred his birthday cake over the icing. He sleeps like a champ. He sleeps for about 10-12 hours a night and takes 2 naps for a total of 3-4 hours. He loves toys that play music and loves swaying back and forth with the music.

He also loves people. He is extremely socialized. Our social worker for our home study told us during the home study process that we shouldn’t overstimulate Adam when he gets home. Well, let’s just say that that didn’t work. Adam came home on a Thursday afternoon. By Sunday night, we’d had easily 30-40 people through the house. Adam did just fine. He loved everybody and everybody loved him … of course!

We took Adam to his first doctor’s appointment here. When he got his finger pricked to test his hemoglobin (which was fine), he didn’t even flinch. We were amazed. He cried during his 2 shots, but it was the same cry he always has when he is on his back. One thing nobody told us about going to the doctor … take a blanket. It’s cold in there and there’s no paper gown to keep him toasty.

I spent 2 weeks at home after Adam came home and it was amazing. He is a joy and I cherished every moment with him. I am doing very well going back to work. I miss Adam, but we all do what we need to do and Larry is the stay-at-home-dad and I work outside the home. I call in a few times a day, but I am doing just fine. Larry and Adam enjoy going out to lunch. My second day back to work, I called Larry in the afternoon and our conversation went something like this …

Shana What did you guys do today?
Larry Let’s just say that Adam likes French fries.
Shana Where did he get French fries (we agreed on no fast food for as long as possible)
Larry Flannigans
Shana Tell me about your outing to Flannigans
Larry I packed up Adam, his lunch and the diaper bag and we went to Flannigans. We got a table and I fed him his lunch. I ordered wings and it came with fries. I don’t eat them, so I fed them to Adam. He loved them.

I love it! On Tuesday, they went to the Quarterdeck. Boy, do I wish I had a cam on them!
Everything feels completely normal. I don’t sit and think that this is all a dream. It all feels totally right and like it’s supposed to be just as it is. As Larry says, “it is what it is.” And right now, it’s wonderful.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adam is HOME!!!!!

Well, it's been 3 1/2 months since we first met Adam and now he is finally home. We picked him up from the airport this afternoon and he was amazing. He was all smiles (and was apparently the same way on the flights ... he made lots of friends). He is much more active then when we saw him last in mid-January. He has three teeth (he had the very beginning of one in January). We changed him from his two layers of thick clothes to one short-sleeved romper and a thin pair of socks. He seemed thrilled to get out of the hot clothes. When we got him home, he found his feet! I don't think he saw them often in Kazakhstan because there, one pair of socks isn't enough. He needs footies on his pants and at least one pair of socks ... two if you take him out of his play room in the baby house.

He ate some apricot mush and eventually went to sleep, where he is now. A word to the wise ... don't go lifting the covers to show people how cute his outfit is when he's sleeping ... he may wake up!

Now here's what you are all waiting for ... pictures. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Stretch

Well, it's been a loooooooooong time since I posted on our blog. For those of you who know me, you shouldn't be surprised. I tend to procrastinate on certain things. However, good things come to those who wait, and Adam comes home in TWO DAYS ... LESS THAN 48 HOURS! We made it through the 15 day appeal period, Adam has been legally ours since January 30, he has his passport, the visa application is finished and Adam soon leaves Kazakhstan for South Florida. However, Larry and I are still in Florida. Of course, this means that we are not going to pick him up. We have chosen to use an escort to bring Adam home. We were given this option by our agency. His name is Oleg. We met him at the end of our second trip. We spent a day with him, signing over power of attorney to him so he can take Adam through the embassy process. We spoke to families who used him as an escort before, and decided that it was the right thing for us. If there are other families in process considering using an escort, we'd be happy to discuss our experiences with you when all is said and done.

So, on Thursday afternoon, at 2:05pm, Adam and Oleg come into Miami International Airport! Words can't describe how thrilled and excited we are. People keep asking us if we are nervous. The answer is NO. We are excited. We believe that we are as ready as we can be.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my baby shower. It was amazing. Friends and family have seen me (and us) through the process of trying to get pregnant and adopting for the past three years. There have been ups and downs, and my shower was filled with people who I love and adore and who have been such an amazing support system. It was something that many of us have been waiting years for, and it was awesome. We got lots of great presents, and Adam officially has more clothes than Larry and I do!

I will post pictures once Adam is home. I have lots of stories to tell about our second trip, which I promise to post eventually. This process has been emotional to say the least. To those still in the process, hang in there. I do believe that we ended up with the child we were meant to have, and that you will too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The judge granted our adoption today! We weren't really concerned, but it is wonderful to have the court hearing behind us. I know that everybody wants details and photos, but we are exhausted. We have to pack since we leave Kostanai tomorrow morning to fly to Almaty for paperwork and we fly home on Sunday. If we can manage to get all of the paperwork done tomorrow by 4pm, we will try to fly home on Friday. There are no flights out on Saturday for some reason.

I promise that I will post lots more information and photos either from Almaty or when we get home.

Well, it finally got cold. In fact, today was stupid cold. When we woke up, it was -25 C, which translates to about -12 F! The high was -12 C, which is about 10F! This, we decided, was stupid cold.

Again, we want to thank everybody for their years of love and support. We know that it will continue, especially once Adam Garrett Belyeu comes home in February.

For now, I will say dosvidanya (see you later) and tomorrow morning we will say paka (bye bye) to Kostanai. This city and country has given us the greated gift of our lives ... Adam.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We made it!

Yes, we're back and it's COLD and SNOWY!!!!! The trip was, thankfully, uneventful. We visited with Adam today and were so happy to finally see him again. Sorry, no photos today. The internet has been acting up (we couldn't even get on yesterday), so we are going to wait to put photos up. We are all set for court tomorrow and hope to have an update by this time! If there isn't one, don't worry. We may just not be able to get onto the internet. We'll post as soon as we can. Keep your collective fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Belated Happy New Year

First, let me apologize for not posting since we got home. Next, let me say that we leave in less than a week for our second trip! Our final court hearing is Wednesday, January 14th. Third, we'll be home from that trip in a week from today. Finally, we want to wish everybody a belated Happy New Year.

Our trip home was fairly uneventful (especially considering the events of our trip to Kazakhstan). Larry kept to his word of not eating food on airplanes and didn't get sick once! Once we got home, we didn't stop for quite a while.

We returned in the middle of Hanukkah and Christmas was two days away. We got the house up and running for the holidays and I went right back to work the next day. Within a day or two, we got past the jet lag. The holidays were good. After years of everybody saying "this will be your year," we finally believed that it would be. December 27th is our anniversary and Adam is the best present we could ever hope or ask for. Every day, we look at each other and talk about how much we want him home.

There is a family who posted recently on our blog, and I want to take a minute to talk to them: yes, we are using Adoptions From the Heart. We hope that you get your LOI soon. Please keep in touch. We were lucky enough to have other AFTH families in Kostanai when we got there and they helped us immensely. We would be more than happy to pass on the favor to other families. You should know that Olesya, the interpreter/coordinator in Kostanai is AMAZING. The kids are cared for better than we would have ever imagined. While it is hard to be separated from Adam, we know he is in good hands.

To everybody else, we want continue to thank you for your love and support. Whether we are home or half a world away, we know that there are endless amounts of people and love behind us, helping us get through the process so we can bring Adam home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Final Thoughts ... For Now

Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go. Sounds like a song, but it’s true! We had our last visit with Adam this morning. It was a great one. We usually spend time with him and the other kids in his room. We watch him play in the large play yard/play pen with the other kids or put him in the swing until it’s time to feed him. Larry and I take turns feeding him. It’s one of the best parts of the visit. It sometimes turns into a contest … who can stay cleaner … us or Adam. After we feed him, we usually go into a private visitation room and spend one-on-one time with him. We have loved that time. However, today, we stayed in the room with the other kids the entire time. It was awesome! We played with all of the kids and Adam loved having everyone else to watch and interact with while we were there.

We are amazed at how much he has grown in the past six weeks. He is MUCH better at sitting up, he scoots like a pro, he plays more with his toys and has figured out how to use his entire arms to bang the toys on each other or on another surface, he almost has a tooth (sorry, but nothing yet to photograph … we tried). We will miss him so much over the next few weeks, but we have no doubt that he is an amazing hands. The caretakers love those kids. They play with them, help them develop new skills, give them attention, tell them stories, sing them songs and are all-around attentive and loving. It makes leaving somewhat easier, although it is NOT easy.
We will return in mid-January for our final court hearing. Adam will come home about 6 weeks later. I will post a few times while we are home. There is a lot more to say about our time here, so keep checking the blog.

We want to thank everybody for their comments and e-mails. It has made our time here easier knowing that we have so much love and support waiting for us when we (and Adam) get home. For now, enjoy some extra pics of our little boy.