Parenting, day one.

It's 2:45am here in Moscow and if there is one thing I have learned about parenting so far it's that it doesn't mix well with jet-lag.  Ugh.  Arie is sleeping fabulously in the bed between us, occasionally smacking us in the face with a flinging hand or adorably rolling over to rest his head on John's chest.  Last night he went down around 8pm and whimpered every hour until midnight, but was easily reassured with a few seconds of back rubbing and shhhhh-ing.  He slept until 6:45am.

John and I, however, woke up for the second time in a row to look at the clock which read "1:30am." It's late afternoon at home so no wonder our bodies are still awake!  Last night I stayed in bed with Arie while John got up to read and tonight he's in bed while I take a few minutes to blog before hopefully getting another couple hours rest.

Waking up from our first night together.
Predictably, with not even a full night's sleep between the two of us the day was long, but Arie has been a joy. It feels so natural to have him around!  John and I both cannot wait to get home again where we will feel more relaxed and be able to really enjoy him.  We are loving his smiles and cuddles already, but there are so many hard things about parenting in a foreign land.  For example, yesterday Arie fell off a chair and bite his lip open while John and I simultaneously had heart attacks and visions of trying to get to a Russian ER for stitches.  Thankfully Arie is totally fine and only has a small abrasion not worthy of a hospital visit in any country.  Phew!

He's also taken to a diet that consists of: bananas, fruit purees, crackers (goldfish and teddy grahams) and milk.  I got him to eat a few cubes of cheese by sneaking them into his snack-trap dish along with a handful of a sugary Russian cereal we bought called, "Cosmonauts." (I'll have to get a picture of this cereal box for you because it is hilariously stereotypically Russian.) All the organic toddler foods we brought and yogurt, eggs, and pancakes we bought here have been rejected.  I know he'll survive the next 4 days on bananas and milk but I just want to get him home so I can try more foods and know he's getting the nutrition he needs.

At the park by our apartment.  He was very apprehensive as you can see!
As far as bonding goes, I feel like we are making progress!  Even in the short time we've been together we are noticing that Arie is holding our gaze for longer periods of time and he is definitely loving any affection we give him!  Last night we were looking at the pictures we previously left with him at the orphanage and when we turned to the page with all three of us on it, he pointed to me and John and said, "Mama! Papa!" A few minutes later something clicked in his little mind and he looked up at us, pointed and said again, "Mama! Papa!"  Basically the best feeling you can imagine!

At nap today he called out for his "Nini" (Nanny) in tears which was awful because I see his pain and want to fix it so badly. John and I have to keep reminding each other that this is his journey and he has to go through the grief before things get better. We also need to keep telling one another that it's not our fault he's grieving. He would be going through this pain in 2 years anyway when he transferred out of the baby home; this way he has a much happier ending.  It's the world's brokenness that is to blame and God is using us redemptively in the brokenness.  Still, it feels awful when your baby cries for his nanny and you can't give her to him.

Tonight, though, as we were putting him down he was rocking his head back and forth swish swish swish on the pillow, calming himself like he has learned to do at the orphanage, and he knocked his head on the headboard.  Instead of "Nini!" though, he cried out, "Mama! Papa!" and we were right there to scoop him up. I snuggled him so tight, kissing his head and telling him, "Mama's here baby.  Mama's here." Safe in my arms, snuggled in bed between us he fell asleep sweetly.

In the morning we will go to get his medical examination for his visa.  3 more days here, then our travel day and then home.  It cannot come soon enough.

Walking in the grace of God alone and knowing how dependant we are on your beautiful prayers,



  1. You have to take small steps before you can run a marathon!

    You and John are absolutely amazing!

    He is wonderful.

  2. oh how precious!

    I'm so excited and happy for you and your family <3

    :D will keep you all in my prayers as you all adjust but it looks like it is going wonderfully <3

  3. oh and he is absolutely ADORABLE!!! <3

    But you already knew that ;)

  4. I was doing okay until I got to "Mamas here baby"...so amazing this journey.

  5. So happy to read an update! I love the part when he called out mama and papa! I can imagine how wonderful that felt! I will pray that things continue to go smoothly!

  6. That's right, "Mama's here baby. Mama's here." YOU are that Mama! A Mama comforting HER SON! Happy, happy blessings. xox

  7. My heart is so happy for you!

  8. Thank you for sharing your journey. What precious and difficult moments your days must be filled with. What a sweet little boy. He is lucky to have such loving parents.

  9. These pictures are lovely and precious! I'm so excited for you to bring your sweet boy home! :-)

  10. I'm praying my heart out for you three! Home safe!

  11. Not sure if I have ever commented, but have been following for a few months---found your blog through a friend who wanted me to see your "adoption pics". :)

    This post is so sweet, and makes me teary to hear of your journey with little Arie. So sweet. It breaks my heart to think of this grieving process our littles will go through, but know that yes, it is better than being transferred again, or becoming unadoptable. God desires families for His children.

    We are on a journey of adoption as well (lil sweet girl from Ind*a), and are waiting... we can't wait to bring our precious gal home.


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