Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today was "Gotcha Day".

Our facilitators have been frantically rushing around getting paperwork together.  Sasha drove out to the town we tried two days ago at 6:00a this morning to be there when the doors opened.  Violetta said that this was a personal record for her - she was able to get everything done in one day.  We have the new certificates of birth.  We have the new Social Security numbers.  We went to the orphanage and picked up the girls for about an hour.  We got pictures made for passports and visas.  We took the girls back to the orphanage again.  We went to the bank and cashed out their accounts to give to the orphanage. 

This time (4:00p our time) we took them for keeps.  They dressed the girls in the clothes we had bought this morning at the market.  We took pictures of the workers holding the children one last time.  They have been the only mothers these girls have known.  We left and hurried to the passport office.  We had paid  the $400 apiece "expedition fee" ($600 each for passports, plus $400 "expedition fee") that ensured the passports were completed in three hours instead of 2-3 weeks.  We took their new passports.  We now have the girls and all the paperwork that says they are ours according to the laws of this country.  We went to the train station and bought tickets.  On Saturday we will head back to the capital city where the girls will get permission to travel to the US.

It is an odd feeling.  When we were being driven through town, we were both so aware of how fragile these little ones were.  All of a sudden the crazy driving is a lot more serious matter (there are no car seats for these children, and a decent amount of cars lack seatbelts) - we were holding the girls in our laps.

I am not sure the realization has sunk in.  There is a huge difference between playing with the children for a couple hours and taking them home.  While they lived at the orphanage, we could always hand them back when they were dirty or cranky.  Now - we are their parents.  We have gone from married with no children to having a infant and a toddler.   Juliana has special medicines and feeding schedules.  Elena is destructive and into everything. 

Kelly tried to feed Elena her dinner (oat cereal).  In her haste to get to the food, Elena promptly kicked the bowl off the table (while cats land on their feet, bowls of porridge always land top-side-down).  She made the connection (food was here, now food is gone) and started crying.  Kelly made up another bowl and this time Elena ate it (relatively neatly).

Needless to say, we have been busy all day running between places.  Needless to say, we have been busy all night juggling babies and now both girls are finally asleep.  Oops, now we have to wake Juliana for a scheduled feeding.  Hopefully they will stay asleep throughout the night while we contemplate packing and/or babyproofing this apartment.  Elena was very very excited over our laptop.  Currently the laptop is still in one piece. 


  1. Ohhhhh boy do I know what it is like to have a "busy" kiddo!! Timothy is into EVERYTHING ALL.THE.TIME... from the minute he wakes up until he is asleep... Congratulations on Gotcha Day!!! Hang in there! Praying for things to go smoothly for you the rest of your trip! HUGS!!

  2. Happy Gotcha Day!!! Things will get easier...and better and more marvelous as each day passes by! You will get into your routine with the girls and find your way of doing things...hugs and know that tons of love and prayers are directed your way!!


  3. OH PRAISE GOD! SO happy for you all-you'll get the parent all are getting used to each other and that just takes time. And believe you me that won't be the last bowl of food to spill. :0) I have 23 yrs of proof to back that-and it isn't always the kids doing the spilling-LOL. Enjoy those precious babies! Yeah!

  4. Congratulations! Praying for you that the rest of the process goes smoothly and you all get home safe.

  5. AWWWEEEESSSOOOMMMMMMMEEE!!!! Happy Gotcha Day! I know there will be lots of adjustments but I have no doubt it will get much easier as all 4 of you settle into a routine at home...And as girls discover they have a HOME and a FAMILY...A MOM & DAD who love them. All their insecurities will dwindle. Love you guys! Can't wait to meet the girls. You will be in my prayers constantly as you journey home.

  6. I'm so excited for y'all as you begin this new chapter in your life. Parenthood will sometimes be the hardest but will always be the most rewarding job you will ever have. Enjoy every minute with your babies! I can't wait to meet them and see you again in June!

    Love you all!!!

  7. Woo hoo!!! Congratulations! Parenting is a tough job, but it's hands down the best too. Safe travels home and best wishes. The girls look like such sweetie pies :)

  8. Congratulations! Can't wait to meet the girls!

    Melissa Johnson