Since we’ve just passed Liam’s first Gotcha Day anniversary, we decided it was the right time to wrap things up on our Russian Adoption Journey blog and transition our posting back over to this, our main blog site. So, if you’re one of our regulars visiting from that site, we’d like to welcome you to 2Dolphins and encourage you to continue to follow along with us over here.

Photo of Liam waving
“Don’t be afraid, come on over!”

December ’07 Blogtipping

Blogtipping iconDecember’s Blogtipping post comes much later in the month than normal but it was delayed for the best of all reasons — we were in Moscow at the first of the month meeting our new son, Liam Matthew!   Anyway, better late than never, right?   In honor of our fellow adoptive parents, our picks for December feature just a few of the many, many great blogs done by other parents who’ve either already adopted, or will soon complete their adoption(s):

A Dad’s Journey Through International Adoption is Steve & Stefanie’s detailed account of their adoption of Andrei from Novosibirsk, Russia.   We love this blog because of:

  1. You get the rare "dad’s perspective" that’s missing from many adoption blogs.
  2. Steve’s a funny guy!
  3. Neat videos!
  • Tip: We’d like to see more photos & videos.

Olive You by Frank & Christen is a rare blog in that they haven’t actually started the adoption process yet:

  1. Christen writes about their experiences as they prepare for their Russian adoption in ’08.
  2. Very pretty site design & layout.
  3. Great sense of humor & variety of topics.
  • Tip: We’d just like to see more of those awesome Cayman Island photos!

Family Reunion from Dave & Debbie Brown is a great launching point for other adoption parents — international or domestic:

  1. Debbie’s frequently-updated sidebar makes it easy to keep up-to-date on the progress of lots of other parents’ adoption journeys.
  2. A great variety of post topics including reviews & little inspirational pieces.
  3. Frequent posts keep the interesting stuff coming.
  • Tip: Hey Deb, more pics please!

Now it’s your turn!   Have a favorite blog site you’d like to share?

We’re Moscow Bound

Moscow stampA mere 8 hours before we were due to jet out, we got our passports back from New York with the Russian Visa stamps.   So, we’re finally on our way to Moscow to meet our new child.   (You can’t imagine how wonderfully weird that sounds to say.)

There’s no way to thank you all enough for the tremendous outpouring of support & prayers.   It’s an incredible feeling to have so many people pulling for us!     Keep an eye on our Russian Adoption Journal this week for updates.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving — a day for giving thanks — sounds so simple but sometimes we get so preoccupied that we let the opportunity for showing our appreciation for what we have pass us by.   Well, not this time.   No sir, not when we have even more blessings to be grateful for now than ever before.   Just this week has brought about not one, but two blessings…

Heading For Moscow

First & foremost, I’m thankful – overjoyed beyond words really – that we’re finally set to make our first of two trips to Moscow to meet our child-to-be. We received word on Monday that we’re to fly out on Dec. 1st.   Dede’s already covered this over on our Russian Adoption Journal, but news this big is worth repeating!

I’m thankful that our new adoption agency, Catholic Social Services of North Carolina, came along at just the right time.   Certainly, it’s a testament to their willingness & dedication that we accomplished more with them in just 2 months than we had with our old agency in 2 years.

And of course, I’m thankful for Dede’s incredible diligence & meticulous handling of the mountains of paperwork.   We would never have made such strides without her tireless handling of the dizzying details involved in this process.   If U.T. ever builds a Masters-level course on form-filling & FedEx shipping, she could teach the classes!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention how thankful Dede & I both are for the endless encouragement & support from you, our multitude of friends, coworkers, & fellow, during this whole adoption saga.   The idea that people – some who barely even know us – are keeping us in their daily prayers is overwhelming and humbling.

A New Job

The second big-ticket item on my "Things To Be Thankful For" list:   I got a new job!
I start my new journey at MCH as a Clinical Systems Analyst on Dec. 10th – our first day back from Russia.   On the outside, this might seem like a minor interdepartmental shift but it’s actually a tremendous opportunity.   And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

So, what’s on your list of things to be thankful for?   Post a comment & share the wealth!

Adoption Journal Finally Online

We’ve added a new menu tab along the top of our site for Our Adoption Journal. This is a project that I’ve had in the works for quite awhile to document our Russian adoption journey. I finally got it caught up this morning & ready to share with everyone.

Be sure to check out the “Resources” page for lots of links to useful adoption & parenting websites, books, & other info that we’ve gathered.

Our plan is to use the journal to keep everyone up-to-date with what’s going on with our adoption preparation and also update it while in Russia instead of sending out tons of emails.

Ready for Russia?

Tonight was our final session of Russian class at U.T.P.B. The class, which has been a big help in our efforts to learn some of the basics of Russian language, has met once a week for 3 hours (whew!) over the course of 4 weeks. So despite only having 12 hours of actual class time, our teacher, Tatiana, seemed to cover A LOT of material with our small class! We’ve learned to read the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, how to count, a little bit about how to read & write cursive Cyrillic lettering, and several very useful conversational phrases.

One of the highlights of our class was going as a group to see Mikhail Gorbachev speak at Midland College’s Chapparal Center a couple of weeks ago. He had some interesting views and it was quite a treat to be able to understand a few of his words throughout his speech.

I’m don’t think we’re quite ready to blend in with the Russians without notice but I do feel a bit more confident about our upcoming (hurry, hurry!) visit to the country.

Cunning Linguistics

In preparation for a couple of upcoming major trips, we’ve begun the not-too-easy task of trying to master the basics of a new language. Suffice to say, Cyrillic letters roll off our Texican tongues about like butter off of a frozen knife.

     ?? ????????? ??-???????

At any rate, Dede, Marsha, & I are taking a course at U.T.P.B. led by a charming native-speaker Tatiana Tyutko. So far, we’ve learned just a few introductory phrases like:

     ???? ????? ???.

We’ve also been listening to the very helpful Pimsleur audio language programs, thanks to Brad & the Midland library. And we’ve stumbled across a few sites (like this, this, this, and this) that are helping us wrap our brains around this new stuff.