Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Final Day with Gemma

We only had a morning visit on the last day. It was an emotional morning. I was obviously sad and worried to be leaving, but knowing that the only way to come back and get her was to go and finish the long months of paperwork and waiting, I was anxious to go and get the process started.  It was a wonderful trip; many of my worries about bonding were wiped away, and I feel like she knows me and will remember me.   

May the days fly by until we can return for her!

Uncle David, Mommy, and "Gemma"

3rd and 4th Days with Gemma

On the 3rd and 4th days, we spent the mornings in the visitation room and then the afternoons in the "playroom.".We also met Gemma's baba. She had a baba starting back last year but that baba left and she got a new baba last month. So the relationship wasn't really strong, but the baba was able to give little snippets of info about her daily care and routine.

The shots of Pleven are sunrise from our hotel window.

On the 4th day, we were to get the Gemma's visa pictures. I didn't know that we could take clothes for our kids to keep and get their pictures in.  (So if you are an adoptive family, consider taking clothes for the visa picture for your child.) Another mom I was traveling with, actually surprised me with Gemma's outfit, which she bought at a consignment shop in Pleven.  Red suits Gemma, I think. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2nd Day with Gemma

We enjoyed our second day together and get some lovely shots to prove it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We got our Travel Dates!

I will be traveling at the end of the month to go meet Gemma.  We are getting excited!

The toys I am taking with me.  

I just finished making the swaddle baby doll last night. I am pleased with how sweet she turned out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Russian Adoption Ban

Recent legislation has been passed by Russian President Putin banning Americans from adopting Russian children.  "Of a total of more than 600,000 children classified as being 'without parental care' (most of them live with other relatives and fosters), as many as one-third reside in institutions."[58] 

 Kate Brooks began working as a freelance photojournalist in Russia at the age of 20 while still a Russian studies student. Her photographs documenting child abuse in state orphanages were published worldwide through Human Rights Watch and used to campaign for orphans’ rights.  

The overview she offers on her website: In Russia orphans with mental and physical disabilities or learning disorders are classified into one of three categories: debil, imbecile or idiot. Those labelled as imbeciles and idiots are permanently institutionalized while still toddlers.

Slideshow of Russian Orphans by Kate Brooks

The slideshow reveals that being life as an orphan in Russia is not the same as life as an orphan in the United States.  Please pray for the children and families ban will affect.