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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Potty time (or party time?)

When we were in our meeting with the ministry and were told that Fuad was NOT potty trained, my heart kind of sank.  How silly was it of me to assume that just because a child was going to school that he would not be in diapers?

He seemed interested in following Vlado to the bathroom, at first.  We thought that was a good sign.  But then he lost interest.  :(  I chose to not push the issue when we first got home.  I thought it was a good idea for him to get used to all the other new things in his life before I tried something as difficult as using the potty.

I'm not sure why, but yesterday seemed like a good day to start.  I started slowly by leaving him in his pullup and taking him to the bathroom.  I would tell him to "go pee" and stand him by the toilet.....both Honey and Vlado stand, so I figured he would understand that better.  I didn't have any luck with that.  When Vlado got home from school, I had Fuad go into the bathroom with him and try again.  Vlado went and came out.....then I heard more tinkling!  We were all very excited!  Then came the scary part. LOL!  I took him out of his pullup and gave him underwear.  He pulled them part way up and then just whined.  He wanted no part of wearing ONLY UNDERWEAR!  He did pretty well for the rest of the day.  We only ended up with one small puddle.  We are very happy that he has figured out the "how" of the potty.....now to just figure out the "when."

I did put him in a pullup to sleep.  This morning, when he got up, his pullup was only a little wet.  Usually he has a 10lb pullup in the morning.  I think he's getting it....although I'm probably going to have to retract that statement at some point.  We will see.  I really hope that he gets it this easily.

This next part is probably going to make some of my adoption friends cringe.  We had the school come out to the house on Thursday to do an informal evaluation.  Fuad exceeded their expectations.  He showed great ability to problem solve and understand some not so easy concepts.  He was able to stack 8 smallish blocks (which we were told they didn't expect him to be able to stack more than 6 without them falling over)  He stayed very focused on them.  When they came for Vlado (after he had been home for a month), he was all over the place.

They told us that they want him to start part time on Wednesday.  I know it is VERY SOON and we should keep him home for bonding and such.  Vlado attends summer school and the teacher/student ratio is amazing!  Last summer, he had some unbelievable strides educationally.  We really wanted Fuad to be able to have that too.  But in order to be qualified for summer school, he has to be enrolled before the end of the year.  The special ed teacher also has to have time to observe him to prove that he is  behind enough to warrant summer services.  He is going to be so excited when he finally gets to go to school!  He gets so upset in the morning when we drop Vlado off and he can't go too.

Our SW came on Thursday too for a post adoption visit.  She was impressed with Fuad! :)  She said she was so surprised that we have another child who does not have any major problems.  We are blessed.  I am ready for another one. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We really are alive

I have learned that having virtual twins (the boys are only 8 months apart) that are 7 years old are almost as exhausting as having newborn twins.  It's easy for me to say that though, because I've never had newborn twins. LOL! 

We are all learning what it's like to be a family of 4.  I think the boys are adjusting better than I am.  Vlado, without truly understanding what a big brother is, is thriving in the big brother role.  He helps with so many things.  The other day, when the boys were having dinner, Fuad (actually we aren't sure at this point that we are going to name him Viktor....it doesn't seem to fit him)  was having problems getting his food on his spoon.  He's not very proficient with the use of utensils.  So, Honey told Vlado to help him.  So Vlado took his spoon, scooped up some food on it, and then handed it back.  It was adorable!!  When we were at the grocery store a few days ago, I had my hands full.  Fuad cannot be let to walk on his own yet (he tends to wander easily).  I asked Vlado to hold his hand, and he took this job seriously.  Fuad kept trying to get away but Vlado held on tight. :) 

Fuad is a very impatient little boy.  He wants what he wants when he wants it.  And he is slowly learning that throwing a fit is not the way to get what he wants.  He has spent quite a few moments in a chair with his hands folded in response to a screaming, throw himself on the floor fit.  He is also learning that grunting and stamping his foot doesn't work either.  :)   When Vlado goes to school in the morning, he gets VERY angry that he doesn't get to go too.  Once again, I am learning that I AM BORING!  He is ecstatic when it is time to pick Vlado up from school.  

Today, though, I'm having a really hard time concentrating on giving you an update.  Remember the little girl that we were in the process of adopting last year about this time?  Well, she was relisted today with RR.  There are new pictures of her and she is an adorable toddler.  Oh, how my heart hurts.  I know that it was the right thing to do, at that time.  I know that if we had continued with her adoption that we wouldn't have Fuad right now.  But, if we had continued.....we would have met her already and she would be so close to being home.  I know that Fuad was meant to be our son and I have no regrets.  But, oh my word, my heart hurts that she is still waiting. :(


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Viktor is home

Maybe I should have titled it, "We are all home!"  We stepped through our front door at about 8pm last night and we were all exhausted! 

I should start at the beginning...when we were still in Serbia.  I was glad that we had Thursday to do some souvenir shopping and stuff.  I started packing at around 6pm on Thursday....mostly just clothes that were downstairs.  Once I put the boys to bed at 8pm (I tried earlier, but it just didn't happen) I put it in high gear.  I have no idea how we managed to spread out our stuff that much in 3.5 weeks, but we had stuff EVERYWHERE!!  I finally finished at 10pm.  You would think that I would go to bed at that point (since I knew I had to get up at 3:30am), but no.  I was wired and could not sit still.  I paced....I never pace.  It was almost midnight before Honey and I hit the sack.  I still didn't sleep though.  I think I managed to get about an hour sleep before it was time to get up, shower, and finish packing our toiletries and various things that didn't make it into our luggage the night before.

The boys were confused, but both were happy.  Vlado was excited when he saw all the packed bags by the door.  Our driver was right on time at 4:30.  His dad came too (in his own car) because we (crazy Americans) had too much luggage.  So, on our way to the airport, our family was in one car and our luggage was in the other.  LOL! 

The airport seemed so confusing.  We finally got our checked bags taken care of and had our tickets in hand.  We made it through security and then through passport control.  When we got to hallway by our gate, we saw a HUGE line and our flight was going to start boarding in 15-20 minutes.  I'm not sure why, but a very nice security guard waved us up to the beginning of the line (Honey said that he thinks you get treated better at airports when you have small kids...I think I believe him!)  We had to go through a 2nd security scan and then we were in another waiting area.  They don't announce the flights.  Around the time that boarding should begin, people just start lining up.  Viktor did not like that at all!  He tried to throw himself to the ground, but somehow it didn't happen.  It probably had something to do with all of the people crowded around like sardines.  When we got on the airplane, he was so excited!!   There was no fear at all!  I didn't see any anxiety at all until he saw that the plane was landing.  It wasn't because of the landing, but because the ride was over.  :)

We had a meltdown at every airport because Viktor did not want to wait!  He just wanted to get on the next plane (although he calls them autobus)  I didn't want to encourage his behavior, but I have to admit that I calmed him with snacks on more than one occasion. 

We made it to Washington DC and immigration was a breeze!  In Philly (last time), we had to stand in line to talk to one officer.  Then he sent us to another room where they processed paperwork for immigrants...and they weren't super quick.  We were happy with how efficient it was at Dulles, although it still took about an hour.  We had a 4 hour layover so it was fine.  I had to go to the service desk to get our tickets for our last flight.  I could have used the kiosk, but I was hoping to change seats.  When our travel agent booked the flight, there were only 5 seats left on that flight and none of them were together.  I got super lucky (not so much) that a flight to Pittsburgh had been cancelled so all the other people in line (about 15) were angry and impatient.  I ended up waiting in line for another hour or so.  When I got to the front, the attendant wasn't super trained.  It took him 20 minutes to print tickets (I had asked him about switching seats, but then told him to forget it and I would figure it out on the plane)  Honey had taken the boys to Five Guys (it was right across the hall from the service desk)  Neither of them ate though....they just grumbled.  Yes, I know they were tired, but when you are tired too....it's so hard to deal with a whiny (or in Viktor's case screaming) child. 

Viktor fell asleep on the final plane, before we even took off.  Vlado was having some serious tummy issues so he whined the entire flight.  We finally landed at home at 6:30 or so.  It was so cool that Honey's sister met us at the airport.  She had flowers for me (isn't that the sweetest?)  She told us that she had something for us and went to her car.  She came back loaded with bags....of food!  She made a HUGE shepherds pie.  It is big enough for several meals.  She had bought breakfast - bananas, croissants,  cereal, milk, a bag of fruit, pop tarts, and I know I'm forgetting something.  I was so thankful!  I have heard of adoptive families who have people who bring them food when they first came home.  It felt so good that she thought of us in that way.  We were so exhausted last night and it was so great that we could just go home and not have to worry about stopping at the store.

The boys went to bed almost immediately when we got home.  They were both sacked out when I checked on then 10 minutes later.  :)  I managed to stay up until 10 or so.  When I finally went to bed, I don't remember even turning over once.  I was OUT!  When Honey came to bed an hour later, I woke up in a panic.  (That tends to happen when I am asleep really hard and get woken up!)  Honey said he heard Viktor singing to himself at around 4am.  It's 7:30 now and his head is on the table.....if Vlado would stop talking, Viktor would probably go to sleep.

I will post about our first day home tomorrow because this post is long enough.  But one cute story.  This morning, when we got up, we found Viktor playing in his bed.  I assume he woke up and didn't think he would go back to sleep.  So, he got up and grabbed some toys and brought them back to bed.  Vlado still won't do this even though we have told him he can.  Vlado stays in bed until he hears us up.  Maybe he will understand it is ok to get up and get a book or play if he wakes up in the morning (and Mama is still sleeping) 



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of the tunnel

We are finally seeing the light at the end of this adoption tunnel and, let me tell you, we are happy.  We are enjoying the ability to breathe a little and not worry about what else can happen. 

Yes, there have been many bumps and bruises on this adoption journey.  Would we change how we did things this time around?  No!  The individuals we worked with were very helpful and did what they could to get everything done properly.  (I don't even want to know how many phone calls Z actually made for us on several occasions to get stuff worked out!) 

International adoption is a very tricky business.  If you are relatively new to it (as many future adoptive parents who are reading this are) it is hard to know the ins and outs of it.  Having someone on your side who can help is very important.  Having someone who you can call at any time (day or night) is extremely helpful!  Having someone you trust is imperative!

I have also learned on this trip that it is important to speak my mind.  I am usually a "go with the flow" sort of person.  This time around, I learned that I need to "make some noise" to get myself heard.  I didn't do it as much as I should, but I did it more than is usual for me.  Next time, I'm sure I will figure it out even more.  And YES, there will be a next time. :)

Tomorrow is going to be a stress free day.  We are going to be able to go out and get some last minute souvenirs and gifts.  Then we will come back here and be able to pack at a leisurely pace and get ready for our trip across the ocean.  And then, we will be HOME!  I can't wait....my bed has been calling my name for weeks! :)

This just in.....

We are now in ownership of an American Visa!  Honey has sent a message to our travel agent.....we are FINALLY COMING HOME!!!!!

I will post more tonight but I just wanted to let you all know that God worked it out!

A taste of home (kinda)

After our frustrating day yesterday, I was in desperate need of sugar!  Food (especially sweets) have been a comfort to me for as long as I can remember...and don't bother telling me that it isn't a healthy thing.  I am fully aware of that.  Anyway.....

So, I was dying for something sweet and I had NOTHING here.  We have been slowly clearing out all the food that we've bought since we should be going home soon.  (Oh, how I pray!)  I had a few baking ingredients (because I made banana bread the other day) but not a ton.  The sugar and flour here come in very small bags.  I searched and searched for something I could make that used sugar, flour, oil, eggs, milk, vanilla and baking soda.  Then I thought about the fact that I have very little here as far as baking pans.  So, I was in a mess. 

Then I remembered seeing something on Pinterest.  It was a cake that you mixed up in a coffee cup and baked in the microwave.  I found the recipe and realized it called for baking cocoa powder.  Hmmm, I didn't have any of that.  Then I remembered.....I had packets of hot chocolate mix!!  I mixed it all up but actually baked it in a soup bowl.  I also didn't have any measuring spoons but since the quantities are so small, winging it worked.  There was so much of it that I couldn't eat it all. :)  I was quite pleased with myself.  The funny thing is that there were marshmallows in the hot chocolate mix so they all floated to the top of my batter making it look strange cooked.  But it was delicious!  I might just have to remember the recipe when we get home because I had a homemade cake in less than 10 minutes!  I thought you all might be interested in trying it.  So here you go.

Microwave cake
4 TBS all purpose flour
4 TBS sugar (I reduced it to about 3 TBS because of the hot chocolate mix has sugar)
2 TBS baking cocoa (or 1 packet of hot chocolate mix)
1/4 tsp baking powder (I used baking soda and it still worked)
1 egg
3 TBS milk
3 TBS oil
3 TBS chocolate chips (optional - I didn't have it but didn't miss it)
small splash of vanilla (I used vanilla sugar that I bought here)

Mix all the dry ingredients well in a large coffee mug (like I said, I used a soup bowl).  Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Add the chocolate chips if you are using them.  Put in the microwave and cook on high heat (the recipe says 1000 watts) for 2½ to 3 minutes.  (I pulled mine out at 2 minutes because the batter was more spread out and it was perfect!  The recipe says you can drizzle with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.  I used a caramel flavored ice cream topping and it was FANTASTIC!!) 

This is 2 servings but I'm sure I could have eaten it all if I really tried. :)  Enjoy!!

I know it doesn't look that good.  And I had already eaten what I wanted before I thought to take the picture.  It is a nice fluffy sponge cake consistency and it is super easy! 



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Really?

There were so many things that we needed to get done today.  We were seriously praying that Viktor's passport would be ready when we got to the police station.  Everything else depended on that.

Z picked us up at 12:30 today.  We drove to the police station and went up.  Judging by the long line of people in the hallway, we knew that it would take a while.  So I took the boys outside and they played on a playground that is right next door.  We were there for maybe 45 minutes when the cell phone rang.  It was Z and they needed me at the station to sign for the passport.  Woohoo!  Less than 5 minutes later, we were walking out of the station with a spanking new passport. 

We then had to meet with our translator to pick up our translated documents....ie adoption decree, birth certificate and citizenship papers.  That took no time at all and we had time to spare for our medical appointment.

Our appointment was changed this morning (by the doctor) to 2:10.  We arrived at 2pm and she let us in and began the process.  We walked out of her office at 2:40 with medical documents in hand.  The medical was very basic but still much more in depth than Vlado's. 

We got in the car and I called the embassy to let them know we were on our way.  I had called this morning and made an appointment for 2:30.  Thankfully, they were ok with us being a little late.  We went right into the embassy and were sent immediately back to "window 8" which is actually a small room.  We gave them all our documents and then we waited...and waited....and waited.  At around 4:20, the officers came back and started asking a few more questions.  Most of the questions were centered around Viktor's birth parents and how it was that he came into custody of the center for social care.  We told them what we knew.  I knew something was up when the officer turned off the microphone (they were behind a plexiglass partition) so I couldn't hear what they were saying.  They turned it back on and gently explained that we had a problem.  There was NO documentation explaining how our boy "became an orphan." 

When we were in his birth city, we asked specifically for these documents.  We were told that they didn't have them.  Today, our driver called the social worker again and told her our problem.  She then told him that they did have the documents and they would mail them...tomorrow.  So, we are once again waiting to see what happens.  They are going to fax the documents to the Ministry tomorrow before they mail them and we hope that the embassy will accept a fax copy. 

***So, this is a bit of advice for other families coming to Serbia to adopt.  When you have your adoption ceremony, MAKE SURE that you get documentation that indicates why your child is an orphan.  This can be the relinquishment documents that the birth parents signed or a court order showing parental rights were terminated.  But you need something for our embassy!!  I know I sound a bit callous, but I don't mean it that way at all.  I just want you to not have to go through this too.  There are many cities here who have never done an international adoption and the more YOU know about the process, the better.  I am not bad mouthing anyone.  I'm sure the reason we weren't given the documents before was a complete misunderstanding.  I am guessing they didn't totally understand what we needed.  So, I don't blame anyone!  If you are the praying sort, pray that our embassy accepts the faxed copy. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Is it time to go home yet?

It just came over me today how long it seems that we've been here.  Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since we reached Belgrade....we left the US 3 weeks from today.  I know I shouldn't complain because others that have adopted (from other countries that is) spend 5 or 6 weeks away from their homes.  But I think we are all ready to go home.  We need normalcy to return or in Viktor's case, to begin.  The boys are getting sick of the toys that we have too.  OK enough complaining.

We are still waiting on the passport...hoping and praying it is ready tomorrow early in the afternoon.  We have a tentative medical appointment scheduled for tomorrow at 2:30.  I am going to call the embassy in the morning and let them know where we stand.  I am also praying that we can schedule an appointment there after our medical.  It will be super tight, but I can still hope!

Today we went and got Viktor's pictures done for his visa.  He wasn't smiling, but still it was a decent picture.  We also went to the orphanage one last time to pick up his medical paperwork.  And I just remembered that I was going to do a "last walk down the orphanage steps" picture, and I didn't. :(  At the meeting, they gave us all his medical stuff.  We learned a couple medical things that nobody mentioned at our ministry meeting....I found that interesting.  They also gave us some of his school work from this year.  There are drawings and color pages and cute art projects.  Then she showed me a baby book of sorts that they started at school.  It has his handprint on one page and some information about his personality.  It's all in Cyrillic so I have no idea what it says, but it's cool to have it.  Then I got a glance of some printed pictures just as she stuffed them into the book.  And if you know me, it won't shock you that I immediately got teary.  We finished up and I was happy that they willingly gave me email addresses so we could keep them updated with his progress and pictures.  I gave a couple hugs and we left. 

When we got down the street, I pulled out the pictures.  There is even one from his 5th birthday party.  There are maybe half a dozen pictures and most of them are with his group.  This makes me so happy because we weren't allowed to take pictures of him with his group before he left.  Most of the pictures are probably about a year old, but I recognized most every child in his group. 

The nurse also had in the bag that she gave us a gift for Viktor.  She called it his "famous toy" I wasn't exactly sure what she meant by that, but kinda understood when I saw it.  We were told that he loves small cars.  The gift was a set of 20 matchbox cars. :)  I kind of wonder if someone brought this box of cars and donated it to the orphanage.  If they did, it makes me sad that the other kids didn't get to enjoy them.  Still we are grateful for the gift.  The boys had a blast playing with (in Vlado's words), "so many new cars!"

This shaggy carpet is the perfect "jungle" for their cars. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We took a day off

After the last few days being so emotionally charged, we we were all due for some down time.  Our poor driver, Z, started getting sick a few days ago.  His 6 year old son has been sick, and he finally decided to give it to his daddy.

So, yesterday, we told him we would call him if we needed him.  We all slept in pretty late.  Well, Honey only slept until 7am, but for lately, that is late.  Both of the boys slept until around 9:30 and although I was pretty much awake, I decided to snuggle in bed until 10am.  It won't last long, so I need to take advantage of it while I can. :)  Honey had already fed the boys (isn't he a good Daddy!).  I threw a pizza in the oven and ate some for my breakfast.  I was one happy Mama today!  The boys got the rest for lunch (that made me happy too because it was already made!)  Viktor eats as well as Vlado and he takes his cues from him.  Today, I had sliced up some cucumber for them and put a little salad dressing as dip.  Viktor was eating a slice and he saw Vlado dip his in the dressing.  It was so cute as he watched him and then decided to try it too.  He has such a cute little "mmmmmm" noise.  He seems to love everything he has tried so far....well except for a sandwich that I bought at a mini mart the other day.  But they had put olives on it and the cheese was VERY strong smelling so I don't blame him for not liking that.

Around 3, we decided to walk to the grocery store.  It is maybe a mile or so from the apartment.  About half way there, Z called to ask if we needed him.  I had to convince him we were fine and were out on a walk.  I didn't tell him we were walking to the store because he would have probably drove over to get us.  Viktor did GREAT in the store!  He didn't touch anything (unless Vlado touched it first)   Each boy got to pick out a snack and we had to convince Viktor to get something different than Vlado. :)  I had taken my camera with us, but there are so many embassies (did I spell that right?) on that route, I decided it was better to not take the camera out (especially after our run in with the police yesterday)

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing!  The boys got pudding for snack and each emptied his in 2 minutes flat. :)   Tomorrow we have to go back to the orphanage to pick up his medical packet.  This is what we take to the doctor during his medical so they can list all his immunizations and such.  And we will probably get his visa picture taken so it's one less thing we have to worry about on Tuesday.  We are still praying the passport is ready on Tuesday!  We all feel much better after our day of rest!

No, they aren't sleeping.  They are just watching cartoons.




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Another step closer!

Today was another incredibly early morning.  We found out yesterday that we could go to Tutin today to apply for Viktor's passport.  So, once again, we all got up and were out the door at 5am.  (If I never see 4am on a clock again, it will be too soon!)  The boys were so tired!  Of course, we did this same trip just day before yesterday....in truth, we were all still tired from it.  And that includes our driver!

We arrived in Tutin at 10am and picked up the social worker at the social center.  Then all of us traveled over to the police station.  We waited for just a few minutes before the lady who was to do the application came in.  She went into her office and booted up her computer.....I'm sure you will all be shocked at what happened.  Her computer could not connect to the network. :(  Z, our driver, suggested that we walk the boys around for a few minutes.  We stopped at a small coffee shop and waited.  Viktor was not as well behaved on this trip as he was a couple days ago. He wanted everything he saw and screamed several times when he was told no.  After about 20 minutes or so, we went back to see if anything happened.

There was a guy in the office with the ladies and we were told that he was a computer technician.  I went out into the hall to sit with Honey and the boys.  Z came out and told us that this gentleman occasionally works on the computers at the social center and the social worker had called him.  She had explained our situation and he said he would be happy to do what he could. :)  Eventually he got the computer up and running and was so sweet talking to Honey.  He congratulated us and told us that we were doing a noble thing.  (I wanted to tell him that I just wanted kids and it had nothing to do with being noble, but I just smiled and shook his hand....he had just helped us and refused payment!) 

It still took quite a while after the computer was fixed.  It seems that the network problem started yesterday so there were several documents in the pending file that needed to be cleared before our application could be started.  She finally started on our data at around 12:30.  She had never done a passport application for a child who had been adopted by an international family, so she was SUPER DETAILED and checked everything about 10 times.  We finally walked out of the police station at 2:30pm.  But we have his adoption decree, birth certificate and citizenship papers.  We pray that the passport is ready on Tuesday like it should be.  Even with today being extra long, we got what we needed.  And it was a beautiful day....no rain during the drive.  It was a good day!

**I almost forgot to tell you something funny.  Honey had his camera with him and took quite a few pictures in Viktor's birth city.  We asked our driver if we would get in trouble for having it at the police station and he said he didn't think so.  Well, as we were standing on the steps (Z had gone to the car to get something), a pretty intimidating police officer came up to us.  He did some pantomime sort of thing telling us we could not take pictures of the station or the cars.  Then he put his hand out for Honey's camera.  We weren't exactly sure what he wanted it for, but Honey handed it over.  Right about then, Z came back and we told him the officer had a question.  He told Z (in a rather gruff way) that if we had taken pictures of the station or cars, they must be deleted.  But he handed the camera back and didn't force the issue any more.  A few minutes later, all of us were in the station and the officer was talking to Z.  Once he learned why we were there (and that we had adopted Vlado 17 months ago) his attitude toward us changed completely.  But that few minutes when Z wasn't there were kinda scary!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Another one less

I am so very sorry for not posting yesterday.  We had a few hiccups that ended in a rough day.  Boy that sentence doesn't make sense, but I can't figure out how to reword it.  I was in bed before 8pm last night with a massive migraine.

So, anyway.  Our day started at 4am.  The city where our boy was born is a 5 hour drive from here and our meeting was at 10am.  So, we had to get up at 4 to be ready to be picked up.  (Actually, Honey got up at 3 to make sure!)  We picked up our translator and we were off.

The boys did really well in the car.  And that is saying something because there were 4 adults and 2 kids in a rather small car.  Honey and I switched back and forth having a child in our laps.  I realized just how boney our boys butts are. LOL!

We made it to our destination just in time.  We all went in and sat down and words started flying all around us in Serbian.  We didn't know exactly what was happening at first.  Our driver told us that he was afraid we were going to have to come back a different day because they weren't prepared for us.  They were very kind but they had never done an international adoption and weren't sure exactly how to do it.  After about an hour, they handed us forms and shook our hands and congratulated us on our adoption.  It was a little anticlimactic.

Then we all piled in the car again and headed to the building where we would get his birth certificate an citizenship papers.  After almost 2 hours, we were told that there were some things missing on the decree and the birth certificate could not be issued.  The only thing we could do was drive back to Belgrade and we would be called when all the documents were ready for us to pick up.  We have to go back there to apply for his passport.  *I found out just a moment ago that we are being allowed to go tomorrow (Saturday) to do this.  Before just now, we thought we had to wait until Monday!

So, our adoption is official!!  He is our child!!  We just don't have any documents to prove it yet.  So, for the first time, let me introduce you to our son -  Viktor Fuad Breen (his official name is Fuad Breen here, but we are giving him the first name Viktor when we get home)


Viktor Fuad Breen
Born April 17th, 2005
in Tutin , Serbia
Adopted forever into our family
May 2nd, 2012.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tomorrow is the day

Oh boy, can you say that 4am is early!!  We have to be up at that time to leave for our 5 hour drive to our boy's birth city.  Having 2 seven year old boys in the back of a car for 5 hours will be good practice for when we make the trek to my parents house in the Mountains....that's 14 hours.

I have our snacks and drinks ready to throw into the backpack.  Clothes are laid out ready to put on.  Little bodies had a good shower and are preparing for the big day ahead.

It will probably be late (or at least late for us) when I post again.    Although, since we're 6 hours ahead, it won't be late for you guys.  I plan on posting TONS of pics tomorrow....I will even go back and put in some to go with other posts.  I want you to see the progression of his trust.  It is so evident in our pics. 

He wasn't ready at first, but he is ready for a family NOW!

**I can post these pictures now.  We busted him out of the orphanage a day early and these are from our first day together as a family (even if it wasn't official yet)
The boys throwing "helicopters" off the balcony
Eating his first meal with his brother
All showered and ready for bed in their matching PJ's. I could not get them to sit still!







Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meeting royalty

Did I get your attention with that title?  Here's the cool thing.....we did meet a member of the Serbian royal family!  We are staying in a fantastic apartment!  The lady who owns it knows Princess Elisabeth.  Tonight they had dinner and she told the Princess about our adoption and our amazing Vlado.  And, how cool is this....she wanted to meet Vlado! 

We were told earlier today that this dinner was happening and M (our hostess) said that she was hoping Princess Elisabeth would want to meet us.  We were also told that she is very down to earth.  When we found out that she was coming here, Honey insisted that we wear our "good clothes" because "she is a princess."  At first, I thought he was being silly, but I'm glad he insisted.  Their entire party was quite dressed up and even in our "good clothes" I felt underdressed. 

Vlado did very well and even said, "Nice to meet you, Princess." (With only a little prompting!)  And he gave her a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek.  She was entranced. :)  Our boy is quite the charmer.  She applauded our adopting (although that felt a little awkward).  We met outside and our meeting was cut a little short when a car drove slowly down the street and gawked at our guest.  It was almost as if they knew who she was. LOL!

We were honored tonight.  Vlado showed how amazing he is.  M did get a picture of our boy with the Princess.  Again....how cool was this?!?