Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Year Ago - Exploring With Carter

{This post was originally published one year ago, when we were in Ukraine adopting our sweet Carter}

Today we walked to Independence Square - Carter did great!  Mama, on the other hand, found out just how wimpy she is.  I'm so not used to wearing a 30+ pound child while I walk!  I'm sure I'll be seriously feeling it tonight!

When we got to the Square, we let Carter out of the carrier.  Yes - he was crawling around on the ground.  Yes - all the natives looked at us like we were killing our child.  No - we didn't care.  He's a 3 year old boy - and in America, that's what boys do!

And remember how I said that this boy started to give kisses?  Here's the proof!

LOVE that pucker!
After exploring for a bit, we decided to go back to the 'native' buffet for lunch.  There are several locations in this city, and so we wanted to try a different location in hopes of getting some hot food :)  We went to the one closest to the Khreschatyk Metro station - and we were so glad to find that the food was hot!  Woo!  I kept Carter in the carrier as we went through the line and he did so great.  He enjoyed looking around - but didn't seem nervous or overwhelmed.

We brought a jar of baby food just in case he didn't want the food from the buffet.  Ha!  He loved it.  He ate almost everything we offered him, without any fussing.  He tried borsch, another vegetable soup, bread, potatoes, and some mashed meat.  He even got a little bite of chocolate dessert at the end :)  Rach & I tried the borsch - it was about the only thing that wasn't hot enough.  I thought it would be creamy - but it was more like a broth soup.  Good, though!

So - we walked home, and of course the 'plaster & paint' lady was working in front of our doorway.  Have I talked about her yet?  Well - it goes without saying that they just HAD to fix the plaster while we're here adopting.  Of course.  Which means there is dust all over the stairways.  The stairways are narrow, and they have these handmade platforms so they can reach the ceilings with the paint & plaster.  Well, the platforms take up the whole landing, so if they're working on your landing - you can't get in your apartment.  And it would be way too much to ask them to move for you, so you just stand there and wait while they finish that whole section.  Today is the longest we've had to wait - but it was probably at least 10 minutes.  I was so glad that Carter was sleepy - he just laid his head down in the carrier and chilled out until the lady moved.


When we got inside, around 12:15p, we knew it was definitely nap time.  We've learned that it works best if we snuggle Carter for 5-10 minutes, and then just put him in his bed and leave the room.  Today he was asleep in about 15 minutes.  We felt bad doing this at first - but we know that he wasn't being cuddled to sleep at night by his nannies.  He's used to going to sleep on his own.  We feel like snuggling him before we lay him down is good for him, but trying to 'rock' him to sleep would probably just start bad habits. Anyhow...he slept until 3:15...woo!

Niko came here to pick Jake up at 2:30p to pick up the passport!  Yep - we got it!!  Which means we just scheduled our flights home for Tuesday.  The embassy told us not to schedule anything until we get his visa - but Niko says the visas are never a problem.  So our flights are 'scheduled'...just not officially booked.  We'll let you know what we end up booking!

After a yummy dinner - we gave our boy a bath...his favorite part of the day.  We actually have to keep the bathroom door closed at all times - if he even sees inside, he throws a fit because he wants to take a bath :)  And after bath time is over, this boy throws a fit to end all fits.  He would stay in there all day if we let him!!  We did some coloring, too :)

Tonight there is a Ukraine vs. Germany soccer game at the brand-spankin' new stadium just a block or so away from our apartment.  There has been nonstop commotion outside our window for over an hour...the game starts at 9:45p...we were saying that it would have been fun to go.  But I guess we'd be out a little bit past Carter's bedtime :)


Last night we watched 'The Wizard of Oz'...which is my all time favorite.  How fitting...'there's no place like home...'.  Well - we're not 'home' yet, but Carter doesn't know that.  For him - right now - this is home.  This apartment.  Actually - we are his home.  And he is so comfortable - so at ease - so 'at home' with us.  We are overwhelmed with how he has adjusted.  God's hand has been all over this adoption - and this area is no exception.  We prayed for the best - but we definitely believed that there would be some issues once we got him back to the apartment.  We didn't want to be so naive in believing that our situation would be perfect.  And who knows?!  Maybe those issues will sneak up once we get back to the states.  But the Lord has given us blessings and favor once again.  We are so, so undeserving...really - He has been so good to us.  But......I'm not going to lie - today was hard.  He was 'so' comfortable that he felt completely at ease to test every single limit.  Every single one.  It's not that he was 'naughty' or 'bad' - he was just a typical toddler boy.  The problem is this apartment - there is nothing for him to do.  And can I just say...I'm stinkin' exhausted from hauling that boy around all morning in the carrier.  Add to it all the chasing around we've done all afternoon, and - makes for a bit of an emotional night.

As I put him to bed tonight, for a split second - I thought 'phew...glad it's finally bedtime....'

And then as soon as he shut his little eyes, I was wishing it was morning so I could wake him.

That's parenthood, I suppose.

Well...he's in bed - fast asleep...and I'm heading there soon.  Just two more days of trying to corral our boy in this tiny apartment....and then we're homeward bound!  Ohhhh Lord...Tuesday can't come fast enough!  Sorry for the mega-long post....I get wordy when I'm sleep deprived.

One Thing I Know For Sure: All those stairs...30 pound kid...walking all over Eastern Europe (okay...slight exaggeration...) - this girl is gonna have buns of steel!

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