Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mixed Emotions

Well, we are home from Moscow as of Wednesday night, which means it has been 4 days since we've seen Brayden last and we have five more weeks until we can see him again. I don't know what else to say except, this sucks. I'm really trying to stay upbeat but the truth is, I'm not doing very well with this.I miss him so much already, and it hurts. Yes, we have LOTS of pictures and video of our time with him, and trust me I love looking at them, but wow, this is hard. I just can't believe we had to leave him. Again.. .

We were just so happy and so excited when we passed court and were told that we were the legal parents of Brayden Patrick Belanger. We were so relieved and so ecstatic, he was "officially" our son, and we were "officially" his parents. However, your happiness begins to deflate a bit when you then have to say bye to him again,  get on a plane, and leave him in the baby home for 5 more weeks!?! It's just crazy and cruel and I HATE that there is nothing we can do about it. It's the law. It's the way it is. It's out of our control. (Which I NEVER do good with!) : )

I laugh now thinking of how a few months ago, Randy and I were trying to decide if we were going to come home in between court and our "gotcha" day or were we going to stay in Moscow during the 10 day wait!! 10 days.... Oh my what I would give to be going back in a week!!! Or to have had the opportunity to stay there and go see him everyday... but it is what it is, and March 5th can't get hear fast enough!!! My fear, which is probably completely irrational, is that he's going to hate us. That he is going to be angry at us for leaving him for months at a time, that he won't understand how much we truly love him and want him when we keep popping in and out of his life. Our time with him both trips has been AMAZING!! He has bonded to us so quickly already! He is cuddly and happy and smiling and cooing. He loves touching our faces, playing with my hair, and he absolutely loves being held.. by both of us. It has been so wonderful, and I'm afraid of seeing him again and seeing hurt, confusion or anger in those big brown eyes, and the thought of it, kills me. I know, I know, I'm completely overthinking and worrying about this, but I'm a mother right?

 I don't mean to rant and complain or whine... I know how blessed and how lucky, Randy and I are to be given this amazing gift of being Brayden's parents. This beautiful, wonderful, boy is our son. I also know that two months, when he is home with us and getting settled, this feeling, this hurt, will be forgotten. I know that we just have to get through these next 5 weeks, and then we have our son. With us. Forever. We are so close... I just need to stay strong. It will ALL be worth it....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We are Officially Parents!!

Greetings from Moscow!! So although it's only 9:30 am back home, here it is 6:30 pm and about 6 hours ago, we passed court and officially became the proud parents of Brayden Patrick Belanger!!! Court was pretty easy actually. Okay, yes I was sweating and thought I was going to pass out during it, but truth was it was pretty smooth! The judge asked us about 5 questions or so. Why we were adopting & why from Russia,  about our careers and income, and then about our time with Brayden. The whole process was quick & only lasted about 15-20 minutes or so. Olga, who was our translator during court, gave the judge our photo album of pictures from our last visit and of our families and the room, etc. and she seemed to love it. She kept smiling and at one point asked about our big family! She, along with the prosecutor, were laughing when we told them how he had grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all waiting anxiously for him to come home!!

After we spoke the director of the baby home and one of the social workers talked about his history for a few minutes and both said they felt it was in his best interest for us to become his parents. She left for about five minutes and then came back with her decision and we got a Yes! I was surprised at how emotional I got when the judge congratulated us. I was crying, Olga was tearing up, the director of his baby home was crying and gave us both a big hug and kiss. It was pretty cool, especially when we realized that we had done it. This crazy, long, stressful process was almost over and we were now parents!! Now, we just have to wait to pick him up!

So, the only downside is the 30 day wait period now. It offically "ends" on Saturday, February 25th which means that we travel a week after that. Olga explained that after it is lifted they need a week to prepare documents for us to be ready for our  Embassy appointment, Trip 3. So this means we will be back in Moscow on Sunday, March 4th, pick him up on the 5th and bring him HOME on Saturday, March 10th. I just pray that the time goes by quickly!! Yes, it is a pain that they added this law, but we also know that when we see him the next time, we take him with us! He's ours and he'll really, truly, be coming home!! Not to mention, it's one more week later that I go back to school! Now, I won't have to go back until the last week in May, which means only 3 weeks of work and then I'm off again for the summer!!! : )

Okay well I think we are going to hit our mini bar and have a well-earned celebratory drink!! Will update again soon when back in US! (leave in just 18 hours!)

P'aka!!! (bye!) 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One week from today we are on our way!

 One week from now we will be heading back to Moscow for court, and.... to see our boy again!! God, I miss him! Just can't wait to hold him!!! Time cannot go by fast enough this week! : )

Have to say, I'm not really nervous yet about court (that will happen the night before and I won't be able to sleep!) but I am trying to figure out what outfit to wear! Randy has it easy. He packs his suit and a tie and is done. I on the other hand am struggling! It's going to be cold and all my dresses are eiythery for spring/summer or they're really dressy! (Like for weddings!) I went out looking today and almost bought a gray pant suit on sale, but as I held it in my hand, I really began to have 2nd thoughts. I don't wear pantsuits! Ever!! I teach elementary school and certainly don't wear suits to school! So, even on sale it was still a good amount of money and do I want to spend $$ on something I'm going to wear once? Trust me, I don't  mind spending $$ on clothes!! I just like to buy stuff I'll actually wear!!! So now, I'm leaning towards a conservative sweater, black skirt, tights and boots. I just got a new cashmere blend sweater from Ann Taylor that's charcoal gray and black. I was thinking of that with a black skirt? Too casual??
I need help from those of you who have gone before me... What did you all wear?? : ) Should I suck it up and go back and get the suit?

So, I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented and gave me ideas and suggestions for gifts for caretakers!! I have to say, finding items that were made in USA was not easy! Oh my god, everything is made in China! I first was looking at pashminas but all were made in India or China! So, I ended up on and found these really cute quilted cosmetic bags from They were only $7 each and they had really cute patterns in bright colors! I picked 5 different patterns and bought two of each. Then it was off to Bath and Body Works to find stuff to fill them! (Thank you Jessi for the idea!) I got travel size shower gel/body lotion sets, cute designed nail files, mini hand sanitizers, and lip glosses! They really came out cute & will be easy to pack! I just hope the ladies at the baby home like them!!! Thanks to all for the suggestions!

I can't believe it's been over two months since we've been with our son! So many friends/family have told me how quickly it's gone by?!! I have to say.. didn't go by fast for Randy and I at all!!! We have been keeping busy though!!!! As I mentioned in a previous post, Brayden's room is completely done, his clothes are in his dresser or hanging in the closet, his books are on his shelf and his toys are in his toy chest!! All we need now, is him! This quick trip next week is going to be crazy fast and while we don't get to spend a ton of time with Brayden while we are there, (3 visits tops) I know that in just a few more weeks.. we will be going back to get him for good and to bring him home!!! We should get our exact date for when we get to pick him up this week when everything is open again after their holiday, or when we are over there next week! Either way we are so close and only have to make it a few more weeks!!!!!

Thinking about Trip 3 and what we'll need... that is how I'll spend my time when I get back from court!! Most likely I will be posting questions on here and looking for help! Thanks again for everyone's help with the gifts!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Court Date!

Happy New Year!! 2012 is going to be a great year!!! : ) Our agency called on Tuesday with good news! We have our court date! In just over two weeks we'll FINALLY be reunited with Brayden!!! Our trip is crazy quick though! We leave MA on Saturday the 21st and fly home Wednesday the 25th!  We will get to Russia on Sunday, spend Monday at the baby home with Brayden, Our court appt. is Tuesday morning and then we fly home Wednesday!! Talk about a whirlwind!! Our agency did tell us that we should be able to go visit him quick on Tuesday afternoon after court as well. (fingers crossed we can!)

So for all those who are unsure... Yup. The 30 day wait is "in effect". (At least in Moscow..) We haven't received our Trip 3 travel dates yet as we were told that our coordinator wants to check with the court on the exact date we can pick him up from the baby home. She explained to me that it could be a few days less or even a day or two more depending on how the days in the week fall. 30 days from our court date is Thursday, February 23rd! So we are thinking we'll either leave the weekend before that or the weekend of the 25th-26th! Obviously, we are hoping we get to pick him up a few days EARLY!! : ) 

Brayden will turn one on January 19th. We were really hoping we'd be over for court for his birthday, but at least we'll be seeing him just a few days later. We are so excited to be with our boy again! I keep wondering what it will be like when we see each other again. Will he remember us? Will he have more teeth? Will he be walking? (I hope not!) The next two weeks can't go by fast enough! My gut and my heart thinks that he will know us when he sees us again. Especially if the caretakers are really showing him the photo book we left for him! I mean those four visits with Randy and I on trip 1 were just so amazing and the way his face lit up when he saw us on the 2nd day just warmed my heart. He was so happy to see us again! I would LOVE to see that look again! It would make waiting these last two months worth every second!! : ) 

Lastly, for any moms out there who already brought their little ones home, any good ideas for gifts for the caretakers??! We were told by agency to buy 10 small gifts (under $20 each.) to bring with us. I have a few ideas(thought about pashinas or scarfs, lotion from B&Body works,  or some fun necklaces? I am also thinking about 10 gifts that will be easy to pack as well!! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!