Thursday, November 03, 2011

FYI :)

Since we didn't go to our morning visit, I thought this would be a good time to answer a few questions!

Today, we planned on going to the Caves Monestary, until we hear that we have to wear skirts.  I didn't bring a skirt :(  As much as we'd like to go, it just seems like too much of a hassle to buy a skirt (first - find one that fits my 'not-size-two' body!) and head over there.  So instead, we'll visit some of the churches in the area.  Later, we'll go to our visit!

+A few people have asked us about Carter's name.  Currently, we call him Anton. Well, most of the time.  We've also heard the nannies call him Antoshka, 'Toshka, and Antus.  We've tried calling him all of those names, and he doesn't respond to any of them.  It could be that he has hearing issues, it could be that he's being stubborn and has selective hearing :), or it could be that he just doesn't recognize his name.  We're not really sure at this point.  We've decided that once we get him out of the orphanage, we're going to go straight to calling him 'Carter' and quit 'Anton', cold turkey.  Since he doesn't respond to it anyway...ever...we figure we can just make the switch.  That's our plan for right now, unless we hear a compelling reason to do something else.

+Another question that we've gotten is how we think Carter will adjust when he gets home.  Well, honestly, we have no idea.  I read a blog post today ( it!!!) that really showed me what it might be like for US when we get home.  I'm not sure I agree with everything that was written, but it opened my eyes to see how stressful, exhausting, and emotional our first weeks & months home might be.  I'm sure a blog post can't fully prepare us for what's to come...but it definitely made me think.  In the same way - if it's stressful for US - it must be 100x more stressful for Carter.  WE are in a familiar environment, with a familiar language, and familiar people.  Carter, on the other hand, will have just been taken OUT of everything that is familiar to him - and put into a totally intimidating and scary scenario.  It's easy for us to say we 'think' he'll adjust well, because he's doing so good here.  But in reality, we just have no idea.  We are preparing for the worst, but praying for the best.  And right now, that's really all we can do.

+Our timeline...well - it's definitely not set in stone.  But today is officially day 10 of our ten day wait.  Which means that tomorrow, our ten day wait is over.  However, that doesn't mean a whole lot, because we can't get Carter out until after we have the court decree - and court decrees can only be picked up on Tuesday's.  We assume that we'll get the court decree late on Tuesday sometime, which means that we'll probably be able to get Carter out of the orphanage on Wednesday at the earliest.  Like I said - not set in stone, and likely to change at any time.  After we get the court decree, we can start paper chasing.  He will need a passport, visa, a medical exam, etc - and once all of that is done, we can book our flights home.  Our facilitator has said that we could come home - at the earliest - on November 12th.  However, she said it's more likely that we'll come home sometime around November 14th/16th.  Of course, the earlier we can come home - the better.  We are definitely hoping and praying for November 12th (or even the 11th!!).  Who knows...?!  Crazier things have happened :)

+The emotions of visiting the orphanage are crazy.  In all honesty, there's a part of me that tries not to think about the fact that all these kids are without families.  In the beginning, it was hard for me to differentiate between an orphanage and 'day care'.  But these kids have nobody picking them up at the end of the day.  And I don't think the care they receive is even near the level of an American day care.  There is no love.  We have seen nannies 'care' for Carter - in a loving way - but that is so different from actually loving him.  All we can do right now is pray for these kids, give them hugs and touch when it's permitted (rarely), and advocate for them when we get home.  It is hard, seeing them every day.  It breaks my heart to know that long after Carter leaves, they will still be here.  At Thanksgiving, when Carter is experiencing his first big family dinner, these kids will be eating alone.  At Christmas, when Carter is ripping into his presents, these kids will be staring at the same nannies - the same kids - the same walls that they always do.  It's hard - I won't deny that.  But right now - I can't dwell on it.  Or it will absolutely rip me apart.

One Thing I Know For Sure: These kids need families....please...don't stop advocating!


  1. I'm glad to read you have realistic expectations for Carter's transition home. It could be rough, and you are very wise to acknowledge and plan for that possibility. I know our situations are different, but hopefully sharing even tidbits can help you. Aidan was 9 mo. coming home. He had some sleep and separation issues, but nothing major. Of course, he won the award for stoicism among anyone but us. That was hard for family to deal with, which made it hard on us too. Today we deal with his selective mutism, but will probably never know whether it's related to adoption.
    I know what you mean about the emotions realizing there are so many other kids without homes. You do have to distance yourself, or it will rip you apart.
    Thanks for the update on your timeline!!!

  2. I just read that blog post you posted the link to... holy moly. It's like written scripture for adoptive parents! Thank you for passing that along!

    We have the same worries and concerns about the adjustment period, and fully agree with your approach... prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

  3. We went to the monastery, but I didn't wear a skirt or have to cover my head. We didn't go in the church, but we walked the grounds and went to the museums they have.

    We did NOT go in the caves -- the locals were with said they were very claustrophobic.


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