Thursday, July 26, 2012


Aahh....FINALLY!!!!! I think last night was the first night that we ALL SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!  Praise the Lord!  Yesterday I was really beginning to feel the effects of not having had more than 4 hours of unbroken sleep since last Friday.  I was a mess!  Jet lag is bad enough but add that to  being in a city where the noise and music are constant, plus the sun doesn't set until 10:30 (try getting little ones to bed when it's still light out) and then it rises at 5:00 am!  That doesn't make for very many "sleeping" hours.  We also did some rearranging of beds as Anita was sleeping with Sarah on the noisier side of the apartment and would inevitably wake up at 12:30 every night when the music started to get really loud.  Then she would run into our room, jump on me and proclaim, "Mama, I'm awake!"  And that is how she would remain for the next 3-4 hours!  Ugh!  We finally decided that we needed to just make adaptations to our "schedule" and realize that things were just going to have to be different here in Riga.  So, yesterday we opted for no naps for Hannah and Allison (which we'll probably regret when we get back to America) in hopes that they would fall asleep easier at bedtime (the first night they were both wide awake until 11:00 giggling and laughing and "talking" to each other-you gotta love kids and their ability to communicate on a totally different level).  We also only let Anita nap for 1 hour in hopes that she would stay asleep through the night.  We moved her bed into our room, which tends to be a bit quieter, as well.  Thankfully, our strategies all worked.  It is now 10:30 am and Anita and Dee are still sleeping!  I've given up on trying to have any semblance of "routine" while here so I figure let them sleep while they can!

The first day in the apartment with Allison went fairly smooth.  She was a bit confused as to why we weren't going to America right away and wanted to keep her bag packed.  She kept saying that she wanted to get in the "machina" (car) and go.  She would get a little weepy when we told her we weren't going yet, but was easily distracted by puzzles, play dough, coloring, etc.  She ate very well for us and somehow always had a way of making herself known....lots of pulling us where she wanted to go and pointing!

Yesterday, we decided to go for a bit of a walk in the morning. There is a playground not far from here which the girls loved.  They also have lots of bounce houses and trampolines so the girls were able to get rid of a lot of energy on those.  On the way back to the apartment we decided to stop at McDonald's (the social worker wasn't too happy about that. She probably thinks that all Americans feed their kids on McDonald's 365 days a year.)  We had good intentions of cooking a chicken for lunch but at 1 am (when we were both wide awake) it dawned on us that we don't have an oven. Ha! So, we went with "Plan B".  She seemed pacified with this.

By the time we got home it was time for the court appointed social worker to come for a visit.  I dug out the nicest dishes I could find (i.e. 6 matching plates and tea cups/ saucers) which was no small feat, cut up some pastries that Bill had bought at the bakery, boiled the water for tea, and put on a spread that I'd like to see Martha Stewart accomplish with what meager means I had.  Then, I prayed and lectured/ warned gently reminded all the girls that the social worker was coming to see how we were all getting along!  I really didn't need to as they have all done very well, but I felt it my duty to give them my  motherly warning!  She stayed for about an hour, asked lots of questions and said she'd be back on Monday. Phew!  Step 1 down!  I'm not really sure how much "bonding" she was hoping to see in the first 24 hours, but hopefully our answers were satisfactory to her (other than the lunch at McDonalds!)

After she left we went for another walk and a boat ride along the Daugava River.  It wasn't anything spectacular but it killed some time.  Allison started to get a little rowdy and Bill had to really hold her to make sure she wouldn't throw herself around too much.  She also didn't want to hold my hand on the way home but I had to be firm with her as she is not used to walking in the city and I was afraid to let her get too far away from me.  I had to get down on her level and make her look me in the eyes to get her attention, but she seemed to respond pretty positively to me after that and took my hand for the rest of the trip.

Bill has taken her for appointments today.  It could be a very long day for him!   This morning they have to meet with the doctor to review her medical history and then go get her passport, as hers will expire in October and it needs to be good for another 6  months in order to travel to the US.  We have been warned that this could be a very long process.  It actually reminds us a lot of the passport experience we had in Romania in 2002 for Grace, Sarah and Dee.  I'm praying that it's not quite that bad for Bill's sake.

The other girls and I will do some laundry, get some groceries and maybe go for a little walk.  I'm actually looking forward to not having much to do today.  I'm emotionally exhausted after yesterday so relish the idea of a break from Alli.  It is slowly hitting me that I am now the mother of 5 children and all that that involves.  Just trying to meet all of their emotional needs is daunting.  I am realizing that I am going to need to ensure that I am emotionally fit myself.  I know that I cannot do this myself but need the strength of God. I know that this adoption was His plan and I need to cling to that truth in the days ahead which will be filled with trials and tough times.  Thanks for joining us on this journey.

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