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Everyone is wanting an update! Well, we're parents of a two-year-old now. No time for updates!
She is keeping us busy. Her favorite things to do are: play in the sink, play in the tub, and play in the toilet. She is a waterbaby! One of the things we were warned about an adopted child from an orphanage was that they may hate baths and it would be very difficult to bathe them. Not our child! She loved it from the minute she found out she was getting a bath! And she takes every opportunity to get a bath. She is a little manipulative. And has a temper if she doesn't get her way. For instance, I gave her a bath this morning before breakfast. After breakfast, she and Bill were in the room playing while I was trying to answer emails from the lobby. She decided she wanted another bath. Bill told her no. She then proceeded to pee her pants so that he would HAVE to give her a bath! She apparently stood right there in front of him so he would see her do it! Man! We have a challenge ahead of us.
She also likes to brush her teeth — all the time! I brought a baby toothbrush and toothpaste with me but had no intention of using it on the first day because I was not sure if she even had her teeth brushed in the orphanage. But only hours after being in the hotel room the first day, she spotted Bill's toothbrush while washing her hands, and begged for it. So, I got her toothbrush and paste out, put some on the brush and she stuck it in her mouth and began brushing. So, I was impressed with the orphanage that they do teach the toddlers about brushing their teeth. But now, she thinks she should brush her teeth EVERY time she goes to the bathroom, which is very often. At least once an hour. So, we have a screaming episode quite often when Momma and Papa do not want to brush her teeth for the 10th time that day. I've stayed pretty firm with her that she only brushes her teeth in the morning, after a meal and at night. That's at least 5 times. I think Papa has let her do it more often, but I predict that will end as time goes on.
She's starting to understand English some. She doesn't speak it, but I believe she understands quite a lot of what we are saying. Especially words that she hates, like : "nap", "bedtime", "sleep." I've started calling her "Mosha Elizabeth" in hopes that she will learn that Elizabeth is her name and we can drop Mosha. But that will take some time, and we may end up having to keep Mosha at least as a nickname. But, her legal name is Elizabeth Ashley Dievna Holmes. We got the adoption certificate and her new birth certificate on Monday. So, everything is legal.
As Bill mentioned in the previous post, sleeping is the biggest challenge right now. She does not want to go to bed... at all. She screams and cries forever. I've never seen a child that can cry and scream for as long as she can. I'm talking almost a solid hour. I hold her, rock her, sing to her. Nothing works. The first night we had her, she passed out in my arms fairly quickly, but I think she was so exhausted from the days events that she couldn't put up a fight any longer. The second day was bad. She screamed and screamed when I tried to put her down for a nap. She refuses to stay in her crib. She doesn't like our bed much better, but she stayed in it when I made her stay. The second night she finally passed out on top of me in the bed. That is how we slept most of the night, with her on top of me. I slowly got her to slide off of me during the hours of the night where she eventually turned cross ways to me and Bill. Then she slept with her head in my side and her feet propped up on Bill. Last night it was 10:00pm before we got her to bed. She was so sleepy she was almost walking into the wall. Finally I told her "Mosha, let's go to bed" and she actually got up off the floor and walked with me to the bed. She let me lay her down in our bed and only cried for a minute then fell asleep. But, at midnight she awoke and started screaming. I'm not sure how long that lasted. I just kept rocking her until one of us passed out. I'm not sure who fell asleep first. But Bill got up and slept on the floor. He's convinced that he is scaring her being in the bed. I'm not sure that's it. I think she just needs to take her frustrations out on someone at bedtime, and she's chosen him for that "honor". So, we're all sleep deprived and kinda walking around like zombies today. I was dreading another scene today at naptime, and was putting it off as long as possible. I decided that I would wait until 1:00 to start the process. I was washing clothes before that, and when I came out of the bathroom, she was standing at our bed with her head on bed with a little throw pillow sucking her thumb. I decided to give her a few more minutes on her own. By 1:10, she was asleep, standing up! So I carefully moved her legs up onto the bed and she's been asleep ever since! Hallejuhah!!!! At least one crying scene diverted.
In about an hour, we will take her to a photographer to have her picture taken for her visa. We should receive her passport and visa on Monday. We leave Astrakhan on Monday evening about 8:00pm. That puts us in Moscow around 10:00. But, on our last trip we did not get to our hotel in Moscow until 1:00 am because of the horrible traffic in Moscow, even at that time of night.
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Here is the complete blog of the adoption experience in paperback form, Russian Adoption: From Nashville to Astrakhan and Back (PDF). And here is the fictionalized, future "homeland tour" (action adventure) version in various forms: on Kindle, various electronic formats, and in paperback.
This time next week.... Preparation The day before Travel day In the air We're in Moscow Moscow Check out time We're in Astrakhan It's only Monday? What a day... Tuesday (2007-10-02) It's a girl! It's a girl! Wednesday Thursday Great visit Sights of Astrakhan Another great visit Last visit for a while Atlanta! We're home! (10/06) Round two Skora mweh tam boojum Internet access Elizabeth's room Mweh yeddum v aeroport eta ootra In the air again Back in Moscow (11/26) Tuesday (2007-11-26) Back in Astrakhan Russian adoption consultant Comments welcome Showtime! And the judge says...... Success! The day after Saturday morning Much better visit today Beet salad Went for a walk ... Its going to be a good week She's warming up to us Light at the end of the tunnel Picture of us before court More pictures She's ours! The first hours of parenthood Bowel movement Sleep, what a concept Update Nothing much to update about 51-1/2 hours Just another week to go Pictures of our life in Astrakhan Back in Moscow (12/18) Moscow update continued Update to the update's update To the embassy Can't leave early Still in Moscow Riding the Metro Riding the Metro, part deux We're home! (12/23) A few pictures Airport arrival Stay tuned More pics Summary Doctors say she's normal Adoption video Holmes Russian adoption videos Adoption videos updated Our Russian adoption story