Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Last One...

Hi all~

One of the parameters for adopting from Russia is that you have a social worker visit 4 times post placement. The first visit is six months after you come home...then one year...then two years...then three years. This last visit almost seemed unreal to me three years ago. I can't believe it's happening today. In three weeks our little baby girl will be FIVE! The other thing that seems odd to me is that I am writing about ADOPTION at all. She just fits so right with us that it feels like she is just a part of us and always has been. We fit together like the best puzzle ever.

And so, I want to take this moment to say how thankful and grateful I am to Russia and to our daughter's birth mother and our wonderful friends in Pskov. Without you...well, I don't know where I would be...Thank you Russia for helping us find our daughter and trusting us with her care forever. We are a family. We are love. I also want to say that there are so many many children in Russia right now that are missing out on a family, that need a family. It's not JUST a family. It's human nature to need the comfort of love, just as you need food to eat and water to drink. There are so many wonderful families in America, and they are just waiting and waiting to complete the families that they started or start the family that will bring them so much joy and happiness. Won't you please, lift the ban?

I also want to thank all of our friends who have stuck with us since that day in 2009 when I made our "announcement" and thank you to all those friends we have met along the way!

Much love.


Friday, April 11, 2014


My little sweetie was in my room hiding under the covers with her pillow shouting "MOMMY, COME PRETEND I AM ASLEEP!!" I ran through the house shouting her name pretending I couldn't find her since I didn't see her under the blanket. I said her name AGAIN and AGAIN...her name...a little girl's little girl. I often wonder if other people wonder at the beauty of saying their child's name out loud? A name I never thought I'd say (especially since we were told we would probably be adopting a boy). The words falling from my tongue like fluffy clouds floating away- clouds I watched in amazement. E L I S A.
It's real. It really is...and almost as surprising as sneaking up and pulling back the covers, shouting I FOUND YOU, listening to thunderous  giggles and stealing a thousand sweet kisses.      

I love you to the moon and back...


P.S. thank you for hugging me hard and saying "mommy, we are like two peas in a pod."  :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Playing Frogs

Sitting and quietly looking at a rotating screen of the past two years with E. From a pudgy baby to a little girl with a big imagination. Six days until our two year gotcha day. TWO YEARS. Two years since papa stepped in that big icy hole carrying a bag with diapers, a tiny sweater and a scarf. We had a good chuckle over it. Two years since we walked into the orphanage and said our goodbyes to all the babies we knew...and hello to the one who just arrived (a sad little boy). Two years since we bundled up a scared little girl in a big green coat and carried her out the door, changing our lives forever and ever. I have grown so much since then. I have learned so much from her. Patience, love, compassion.

She makes me laugh all the time.

Her latest is a game she calls "playing frogs." We do this after bath and teeth and pajamas. You have to play frogs in the dark in her room. E gives us each a little guitar to hold and call our "Lily Pad." Then we say ribbit ribbit and I say "I'm the mama frog." She says "I am the tadpole and papa is the papa." Then we dance in the dark to two songs (Death Cab for Cuties Photobooth and Notwist, Pick up the Phone) and she spins around in the dark saying ribbit until she decides to "chillax" on the floor.

When it's time to go to bed I have to tell her a story about her shrinking down to a tiny superhero called The Tooth Inspector who flies into kids mouths in a yellow submarine to see if they have clean teeth. She reports back to their mamas and also the tooth fairy (the boss of the tooth inspector).

As you can see our lives with E for the past two years has been a wonderful and ACTIVE adventure.

She is perfect for me. I think I am perfect for her.

We are two peas in a pod.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

She is Perfect

I am stunned that it's been almost 2 years since the judge said "DA." It will be two years on February 9th. I think of our beautiful friends in Russia all of the time. I miss them dearly and still hold in my heart that one day I will be re-united with my amazing "sisters." I want my girl to visit the place of her birth. I want them to see how happy and amazing and perfect she is. I want her to see how kind and wonderful her homeland can be. This is what I wish.

Two years. The time REALLY does go through our fingers like sand. This is something you don't realize until you are watching you child grow and learn every day. I try to grasp on to it. I take notes, I snap photos, I journal...I never want to forget these moments.

She is my heart. She is amazing. She is so much more than I ever imagined. She is smart. She is creative. She has the best imagination. This morning I held her in my arms and while looking into her eyes she said "Mommy, you give me the best hugs. Can we hug all the time?" Honey, you don't know how much I hope this to be true...I love you more than the moon has cheese.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hi Visitors!!

It's BEEN so long!! I just had a chance to check out the blog (okay, so I have lots of chances, I just don't) and I noticed a few hits from Russia!! So exciting! If you're from Russia, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! It always makes me happy to be able to thank the people of Russia and to let them know how AMAZING our daughter is doing AND also about the incredible and enriched lives of 1000s of other children!!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Cha cha cha changes!

It has been awhile since I posted. E turned 3 and a half one week ago today! Today is also her last day at her current day care. She is moving to one that is closer. I also think this one has more to offer. We will miss the friends we have made at her current day care though. It will be sad to say goodbye. The good thing is that if we need to for any reason we can put her there for a day or a week. This makes me happy.

We have some books that we are giving the school as gifts (Alice in Wonderland, because the director said that Alisa was like Alice going into a new place on a magical journey), Mike and the Steam Shovel ( I forget the exact title) because E loves this book...especially the part that says "bing, bang, crash , slam!!!" and The Little Blue Truck which she loves to read at nap time. Yesterday we brought "bye-bye" mini cupcakes for all of the kids at the school. Today the school is having water day and ice cream party day.

Wish me luck to not cry when I pick her up and she hugs everyone one last time.

Monday she starts a new journey at her new school...and she will be closer to mama which makes me happy.  :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

20 Things A Parent Should Hear


1. You are a hero for your kids. You are. You're a go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenges hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that more true. Not less.

2. We all struggle. Every parent. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all want to quit sometimes. Hold the good times close, and when things are tough, remember, "this, too, shall pass."

3. Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, look for the humor and embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.

4. Every day, you will feel like you have mishandled something. Like you've been impatient. Like you've misjudged. Like you've been too harsh. Like you've been too lenient. You may be right. Apologize if you need to and then, whatever. Seriously. Just whatever. Let it go.

5. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It's all part of it. And it's all worth it.

6. Family is the best. Even when it's not perfect. And it's never perfect. Ever.

7. At the end of organization, at the end of patience, at the end of perfection, we die to ourselves. And then love rises from the ashes. It sucks. And then it gets better. And then it sucks again. Still, love rises.

8. You will never regret parenting. Except for the teeny, tiny tons of times when you secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a little. But, overall, never. And overall is what counts in the end.

9. Parenting is like climbing the big mountain. Look for the base camp. That's where you rest, meet other climbers, take in oxygen and acclimatize. Base camp is what makes summiting possible.

10. You are not alone in this strange, vast, parenting ocean. Even in the dark of night. You are not alone. You're not.

11. Kids know the way to magical and they'll give you a free pass to come along. Breathe in the magic as long as you can, because that same kid is going to poop his pants in just a minute.

12. There's a very fine line between enjoying the chaos and barely surviving. Actually, there's no line at all. It's all mixed up together. That "fine line" thing is a lie.

13. If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.

14. Any number of kids is a lot of kids.

15. Look for joy. You'll find it in the middle of the busy. Or under the ridiculous. Or hanging from the overwhelmed in its underpants. Joy's like that. It's in the middle of everything. It's completely unpredictable. And it will surprise you when you're not expecting it. Like vomit and diarrhea, except good.

16. You will fall apart and do it all wrong. Forgive yourself. Ask your kids to forgive you. Set an example of resilient fallibility. Set an example of practicing the art of love -- both loving yourself and loving others. No one does this parenting gig right the first time. Or the last time. Or the times in between. Showing your kids how to keep going after getting it wrong is a wonderful gift to give them.

17. Kids are difficult, gross, confusing and awesome. So are you.

18. Parenting will bring you face-to-face with yourself. It may be terrifying. It may break you. But it will also rebuild you, and you will be stronger than you ever thought possible.

19. Balance is a myth. Parenting isn't a tight-rope walk; it's a dance. Strive for rhythm instead of balance, and trust yourself to move to the ever-changing beat.

20. Yes, you will have days where you wonder where the hell the capable and organized you went. Yes, you will sit on the floor of the main aisle at Target by the check-out area with a child who is thrashing, screaming and calling you names. Yes, you will have to tell your child that the dog is not a napkin and to put down the urinal cake. If you do not do all those things literally, then you will do them figuratively. And yes, you will also hold that child and rock back and forth and tell him you love him and tell him he's safe and tell him you're not leaving even though he will someday leave you. This is parenting. It is tragic and triumphant. Messy and magical. Sacred and spectacular. And it is, always, fiercely worthwhile.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Starfish Day

Today is my second Mother's Day having my baby girl in my arms. This morning I woke up in bed to papa and E bringing me a bouquet of flowers. Then they brought in a box of chocolate cookies. They then left the room and I happily lounged in bed for a few minutes. E came back in the room in her cute little pajamas and said "here mommy" and opened her tiny palm to reveal A STARFISH. Those of you that know the starfish story will probably see the beauty in this and know why it brought tears to my eyes...those that don't know the starfish story, here it is...

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, so he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

As if he hadn't heard, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he turned, smiled and said, "It made a difference to that one!"



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mad About Matryoshkas


Being a mommy to a sweet little Russian I have developed a love for matryoshkas. Here are a few links to some great Etsy finds!! Enjoy!!

Pepper Plaid Wet Bag

Cosmetic Pouch

Baby Quilt (I love this shop)

A Crib Set I Could Never Afford but LOVE!

Cloth Baby Ball


Child's Skirt (check out the dress too!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


HAPPY ONE YEAR GOTCHA DAY little nugget!! It's amazing how it seems you have been with us forever, but at times it seems like just yesterday that we picked up our scared little baby and took her into our lives forever. I knew I would love you but I could never imagine this kind of deep love. I love you to the moon and back sweet E. Thank you for changing our lives and making our hearts grow so BIG.


Monday, February 11, 2013

DA and HBD!! One YEAR!!

This past weekend on February 9th we celebrated our on year DA day! I can't believe how fast one year has gone by. Also, yesterday our little bee turned three years old. I really do feel like I just blinked and all of this has happened. I do need to figure out how to stop time. She had a great birthday with five kids, 34 beach balls, a bounce house, cupcakes and a whole lotta gnome stuff. It really went well and we had fun. The Bee is talking up a storm and she loves her guitar and bike and balls and pillows. She is learning how to use the potty and has number one down to a science...number two...not so much, but she'll get there before college I hope!! She is in day care full time now and is doing great. We are sort of getting settled in with papa going back to work. We love this kid so much and we are trying to soak up every second we can because we know how fast it will go by....I rock her a little longer each night because I know one day she will say she doesn't need it (ugh).

One year. Thank you to everyone that made this possible! Thank you judge for saying DA! Thank you Russia for finding us the perfect girl! Thank you agency for all your work! Thank you OG for making this miracle baby and for giving her the gift of life and health!!



Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hi everyone! After some serious challenges getting the last installment of funds raised to the Warm Shelter I am excited to say that the LAST installment is in the region and will be used to provide for the Warm Shelter in the next week or so. I finally feel like I can breathe knowing all of our hard work and generosity is paying off! I apologize for the delay, but the important part is that it is THERE and will be used for the children!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Russian Adoption Today

Best estimates say that there are nearly 300,000 Russian children in orphanages, about two-thirds of whom have parents who can't or won't support them.

In the past two decades, 60,000 Russian orphans have been adopted by American families. Russia has provided incentives for Russians to adopt, and adoptions have increased over the past few years to approximately 7,000 per year, but there is a stigma with adoption in Russia, and unless the child is deemed “perfect” they are considered “unadoptable.” Many of these “imperfections” are minor correctable needs, or medical conditions that are not easy to correct in Russia, but common in the US.

These children are part of the 60,000 I mentioned above. In 15 years, our adoption agency has completed 7500+ adoptions from Russia.

In the past 15 years, 19 Russian adopted children have been killed or abused in America. For this we are greatly saddened, embarrassed, sickened. During the same time frame 1200+ children have died living with adoptive families in Russia. I haven’t seen the statistics regarding the death of children in orphanages and mental institutions and I am not sure they exist.

I am writing this to beg the Russian government to PLEASE forget about politics and think of the children! Please THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

In 2012, we adopted our beautiful girl. She is surviving and thriving and growing in so many amazing ways. As with all children adopted from Russia, she was seen and rejected by Russian families. If we didn’t adopted her, where would she be now? Every child, every human deserves the love of family. That’s what makes us human.

Please, today put aside your differences and take a look at the huge number of children living in America that have the love of a family. Please.

Thank you,

~a lucky mama of a Russian girl

I used Google Translate for this...I hope it came out okay...

Лучшие оценки сказать, что есть почти 300.000 русских детей в детских домах, примерно две трети из которых имеют родителей, которые не могут или не будут их поддерживать.
В последние два десятилетия, 60000 русских сирот были приняты американскими семьями. Россия предоставила стимулы для россиян принять, и усыновлений возросло за последние несколько лет около 7000 в год, но есть клеймо с принятием в России, и если ребенок не считается "идеальным" они считаются "unadoptable". Многие из этих "недостатков" незначительные потребности исправлены, или заболеваний, которые не так легко исправить в России, но распространена в США.
Эти дети являются частью 60000 я упоминал выше. В 15 лет, наши агентства по усыновлению завершила 7500 + усыновления из России.
В течение последних 15 лет, 19 русских усыновленных детей были убиты или жестокому обращению в Америке. За это мы очень опечален, смущение, отвращение. За тот же срок 1200 детей + умерли, живущих с приемными семьями в России. Я не видел статистику относительно гибели детей в детских домах и психиатрических учреждениях, и я не уверен, что они существуют.
Я пишу это, чтобы просить правительство России пожалуйста, забудьте о политике и думать о детях! Пожалуйста, подумайте о детях.
В 2012 году мы приняли нашу красивую девушку. Она выживает и процветает и растет так много удивительных способов. Как и все дети, усыновленные из России, она была замечена и отвергнут русских семей. Если бы мы не приняли ее, где бы она сейчас? Каждый ребенок, каждый человек заслуживает любви к семье. Это то, что делает человека человеком.
Пожалуйста, сегодня отложить в сторону свои разногласия и взглянуть на огромное число детей, живущих в Америке, что есть любовь к семье. Пожалуйста.


~ счастливая мама русской девушки, 0,3690767. историю

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


For those of you lurkers who are wondering...YES! I am still advocating for Sylvie. We have 12 days to raise $253.00 to meet our goal of $1000. Some of this comes from auctions and sales I have done, but MOST has come from the love and generosity of friends and people that care about children like Sylvie. FRIENDS LIKE YOU!!! Will you please share the word on your blog or facebook page and ask your friends and family to help fill in the gap? WE ARE SO SO CLOSE!!!

Here she is...



Friday, December 14, 2012

Pinterest and Others

Hi! Lil' Bee has been home for 9 months as of yesterday! Time REALLY flies! She's not even the same kid she was a few months ago. She on the fast track for learning and growing. It really is amazing. She is a really special girl. She has a great imagination, she's funny, smart, beautiful, creative...and so much more. Just thought you'd like a quick update.

As for the Pinterest challenge. I have not totally given up, I'm just lazy when it comes to downloading the camera and posting these days. Here are two recent challenges...

1) Southwest Chili Mac.
This version is made with Chicken. As a vegetarian we switched it up. I used vegetable broth and Boca Burger crumbles. Also, I used mini bow tie pasta (the Bee calls them butterflies) because I couldn't find pinwheels. I didn't get a photo because we ate it...but here is the website and here is a photo.

2) I made a Christmas jar. This is the one I pinned. They used some fancy vintage jars:

This one is mine. The photo doesn't do it justice. Maybe I will shoot it again. I made with both with the jar upright and upside down. Papa liked it best upside down so that's what we did! I bought the tree and sparkly snow at Walmart and the little deer a few months ago at Michaels.

That's all!


Thursday, November 15, 2012


I think E might be a teenager disguised as a 33 month old. This morning we went in to wake her up and tell her good morning (like we do every day). Today she said "Stay here" and "Close it!!" while curled up in bed and pointing at the door...ugh. We will have our work cut out for us!


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today marks day one  of my push to raise adoption funds for little Sylvie! You can read more in a post down below. She's so cute I can hardly stand it!! Won't you help a family adopt this little cutie pants? Some ways to help are listed below OR you can do the following!

Donate DIRECTLY to Reece's Rainbow for Sylvie. Paypal or credit card will work! ANY AMOUNT WILL HELP! It couldn't be easier:

or you can buy something at my online Tastefully Simple party...also easy and has a delicious twist! These items will be great for the holidays for meals, parties or gifts. The beautiful thing is that 20% will go to Sylvie's fund. WIN WIN...Sylvie has funds towards her adoption and you have a full belly! :)

Please shop now and show the love!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Year Really?

There was a time when meeting our daughter or son was just a short story or maybe an amazing dream. I envisioned it so many times and it just wasn't happening. It didn't seem real. So many failed fingerprint attempts and little setbacks...things that, at the time left me crying and in despair...things that I now know set us on the path that we were meant to follow. An incredible E.

One year ago today we stepped off a train and into the snowy darkness. We were met by two beautiful ladies and were whisked away for a quick breakfast and a short meeting before taking what we thought would be the long drive to meet the girl that we hoped would be our daughter. To our surprise...the long journey was really just around the corner (only 5 minutes from the hotel).

One year ago today, a door opened and a tiny girl in a pink shirt and jeans was standing right at the entrance looking up as us (I still remember her with a halo)

One year ago today our hearts became three. We loved you right away. We needed you and you needed us.

One year ago today I could put scent, a touch, a physical feeling...something more tangible to the dream. You sang, you toddled around with unsure footing, you were scared...we were too.

I held you
I caressed you
I loved you

The dream was real. I'm still pinching myself.

Time has gone by so quickly. It really has. I can't believe that it has been a year since the day we met you.

I hope that you are as happy we are your mommy and papa as we are that you are our daughter. I hope that I am living up to the promises that I made you.

Dear daughter, I love you more that words can say.

Happy one year metchaversary!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm A Christmas Warrior!!

Won't you help me reach my goal? Starting November 1st I will be raising money for the Warm Shelter AND for this little honey, Sylvie. She's three months younger that Lil' E and has Down's Syndrome. Isn't she beautiful? My goal is $1000 for Sylvie. The funds raised will go towards helping a family adopt her!! How can you help? Christmas is coming and it's time to clean out those closets!! How about cleaning out the closets and garage and having a garage sale with the proceeds going to Sylvie!!!??? Here are a few more ideas or ways to share the cause:


  • Blogs- Put Sylvie on your blog!
  • FaceBook- Ask your friends to support her
  • Twitter- Again, share this lil' angel with your friends
  • Traditional e-mails to family and friends
  • Local Down Syndrome Associations
  • Use a Christmas Card Challenge!
  • Christmas/ New Year Giving Parties
  • Spaghetti Dinners
  • High school or college civic group donations
  • Coordinate a 5K run or other group activity through our “One Step Closer to Home” program
  • Reach out to local businesses for support
  • Have a bake sale
  • Are you a teacher? Have your class be a warrior for a child!
  • Have a video game tournament!
  • Give the $1000 yourself!
  • The list goes on and on!

If anyone wants to work with me on any of these projects let me know!