Sunday, February 5, 2012

It’s bath time for Sveta (Sunday evening).  She loves baths.  Mama and daughter play for a while.  Sveta looks over and over again at the colorful bath toys with pictures of a dog, a light, a boy, a girl, a kite, a doll, and a frog.  Mama will ask, “where is the dog?”  And Sveta will look at the toys stuck to the side of the tub … then point and say excitedly, “dog!”  She’s right nearly all the time as she points. (Given that the ‘doll’ is also a ‘girl’). 

After playing a few more minute Jessi will give her a good wash.  Then the PJs are on.  This time the bed clothes arrived after Steva turned around just after she got into the bathroom and called, “Papa, ‘odeshda’” (Papa, clothes).  That’s my bath time role for now.

We’ve created a simple power point presentation with a few pictures.  They show her the routine leading up to bedtime.  There is an image of the bath.  An image of TV.  Other images.  Then an image of the bed.  We show this to her between each of the stops on the path to the bed.  I’m not sure it’s helped her sleep, but she seems to understand what does come next.

Bed time is difficult.  She sobbed and moaned and even screamed for about an hour and a half last night.  We’ve discovered she didn’t have a fear of the bedroom itself.  But other than that, we are nearly clueless.  Is she just stubborn?  Is she fighting us?   Is she fighting sleep?  Were caregivers at night not nice to her?  Is it the big bed?  Is it the fact that she may have never seen an adult sleep … and here are two in bed with her?  Is it unfamiliar sounds?  Is it unfamiliar smells?  Sights?  Is it a pain from missing friends from the baby house?  Or what combination of these thoughts and others?

Today we moved to a different apartment.  The adoption agency found us an incredible deal on this place on Arbot Street.  The apartment we were in was very nice.  Two bedrooms – which we only used one as the other had a large window providing both a great view and an even better draft. 

It is currently Monday morning (some of you might even still be at Super Bowl parties) and we had the best bedtime last night of all the nights.  A few nights ago, Barry had the brilliant idea of putting a little picture slideshow together to help Sveta understand the bedtime routine (bath, cartoon, etc).  We have been using it, but realized that when we say "spat" and point to the bed she whines and repeats something over and over.  We called April via Skype and had her listen to what Sveta was saying.  Apparently she was saying she can't sleep because she needs a little bed, she can't sleep because she doesn't have a little bed.  SO good to finally know why she was so upset at bedtime.

Barry walked around the apartment we are in looking for a way to create a "little bed."  He was successful, and showed Sveta.  She didn't show any emotion about the little bed.  So, bedtime came, and she let me pick her up...out in TWO MINUTES!!  I held her a little longer and then laid her in her little bed.  It was probably around 10:15pm.  No tears, no screaming, not a peep.  She just curled up.  And I laid in my big bed next to my husband.  And it was great.

Let me back track and try to tell you more about the last few days.  I don't think it's going to be in any order (although, I'll try to start on Friday and think through things about each day) bear with the bullet points of random information.  It's been busy around here chasing an extremely active little girl and making sure that she's doing well.  We haven't had much time to blog.

1. Friday at 11:00 we were escorted by a rep from our agency to the US Embassy.  It took us about 7 minutes to walk there.  (We can see the Embassy across the street from the window of our new apartment).  We bypassed the long line at security and they let us in.  We paid, and waited for our name to be called.  Window 3.  The lady who conducted our "interview" was Cathy.  She was GREAT!  She made us raise our right hands and promise to tell the truth.  We did.  Then we were asked a few questions, and Barry signed a few papers.  Barry held Sveta up for her picture to be taken and then the lady said we'd "passed" or something like that.  She gave us lots of information about what to do when we arrive in America, and how to help get through faster! (This ends our part of the business stuff to get done before going home)

2. One of the days we ran out of bananas.  Sveta, in her little Russian voice, told Papa he needed to go to the store to buy bananas.  It was too cute.  Of course, he went.

3. Saturday we had some friends visit.  Beta, Megan, and Ksusha came from Vladimir to see us.  We met them at Red Square (we walked about 20 minutes to get there).  We ate in "goom" and warmed up.  Then we went out and took family pictures in front of St. Basil's.  Then we rode the metro back to the apartment we are in.  Ksusha is awesome (she's an interpreter for the team) and read a book to Sveta about the airplane.  She said over and over as she read how much she LOVED airplanes!  It was great.  And since Mama wasn't feeling well, it was nice to have others around to help with the little ball full of energy. :)

4. We are ready to come home!  Won't be long now!!  :) YAY!!!

That's all I can think of for now.  Will write more later hopefully.


  1. So glad you were able to figure out what she needed at bedtime! How comforting for her and you! :) Can't wait to hear when you will be headed home! I'm sure you are more than ready to be in your own beds and establishing a normal routine! We have been thinking about you lots and continue to pray for you as you transition to a family of 3!! Safe travels and God bless!

    Nick and Emily H

  2. When we were in Moscow and going through all the same things.....US embassy and doctor etc.....Alex was in over drive. He cried when you asked him to close his eyes....He wanted to stay awake so everything wouldn't change again. They are so scared at that point.....they have no idea what is happening. Alex talks about how scared he was at first and how he didn't know what was happening........Hang in there...the next few months will be tough as you get her used to life around her....Each day is a step in the right direction.......Try to record her voice. Their Russian leaves so fast once in the US.......It is wonderful to have to look back on........It is crazy how much they have to deal with.........try to get some rest.....they need as much holding as possible.......You guys are doing the right things!!!!!Goodluck and may God bless all of you!!!!!!!!

  3. I have so enjoyed reading your whole adoption story! What a testimony!!! Praying for you and hoping that you will be home soon!! Michelle E. (served with Boaz P in 2009 & 2010 in Russia)