Saturday, April 24, 2010

I saw the sunrise in Kenosha, Wisconsin!

I saw the sunrise in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Friday morning and it was.....Stunning. Oddly, though, it didn't mark the beginning of our day. Our day started at 1:30am (8:30am Warsaw Time)!

After a very long 10 1/2 hour flight and 2 1/2 hours wait through customs and immigrations, we finally made it though the airport gates on Thursday around 7:30pm. My sister, nieces and of course, Lee had such a warm and wonderful welcome for us at O'hare! We drove home, enjoyed dinner and went straight to bed. Unfortunately, I forgot to re-set Adam and Aggie's internal alarm clock and little feet began running around at 1:30am! So, we were up and Adam! exploring their bedrooms, the house and new surroundings. We took our afternoon nap about 7:30am, but only slept for 1 hour! There is another word in the dictionary for "total exhaustion" and my face it pictured right next to it! At this point, we walked to the nearest park, played, met some neighbors and yes......we even made a trip to Target!! We would have driven there at 5:00am if they were open 24 hours because we only had ONE Diaper left for Adam!

The last 24 hours have been amazing!

There were a few adjustments we had to make right away!

And let's not forget......THE CHAIR!!! She loves it!

I just can't say enough how happy we are to be home and all together! We made it! Right off the bat, let me say how wonderful it is to drink water out of the faucet, turn my clothes dryer on, enjoy our wi-fi, use our dishwasher, watch the local news in English, and cook burgers and hotdogs on the Grill!! Ahhhhhh!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spending a little more time in Warsaw we are re-booked on a flight home on Thursday. We are staying positive about the situation and hoping the Volcano takes a chill pill. In the mean time, we are keeping busy!! :)

This is Aggie's 2nd Birthday Picture! Happy Birthday Aggie! Today she started pushing around the green stroller...just like her brother!!

Everyone has to have their pictures taken in front of the Coffee Heaven!

What a curiously, large egg we found!

Grandpa and Adam discussed the fine art of using a back hoe. (I think that is what it is called) The operator even let Adam sit it in. THAT was a pretty big "little boy moment!"

Grandma and Adam stopped to smell the.........Tulips!

Just a note...I realize this person is here to distract tourist, but isn't it a bit strange?

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Cried Today (well, yesterday)

It happened at the US Embassy. I cried to a total stranger. It had been a long day of walking to the Uprising Museum and back. It was hot and we battled crowed streets, skipped lunch, didn’t bring enough water for the trek, and the kiddos wouldn’t go down for naps. There was a miscommunication and I was late to pick up Adam and Aggie’s Visas and left my cab driver with instructions to “stay put” “I will be right back”….who knows how it translated in Polish, but I got out and ran as fast as I could through security, down the hallway and into the Immigration Office. No one was around, so I tapped on the window. A woman heard the commotion, looked at me and yelled out something in Polish that I didn’t understand. All I could speak was “Nie Rozumeum” (I don’t understand). All I could think was “this is the US Embassy, please speak English!” I had to ring a bell for an Immigration officer to come to my aid. Then, from around the corner, a woman with short brown hair, a beautiful face and a soft, caring voice arrived with all the paper work in her hand. She had…..……..the sealed envelopes. (As a side note, I had been told they would be white, but they were manilla……just so the other adopting couples know ☺). I think the “Sealed” envelopes subconsciously must have meant everything to me because the minute I saw them I choked. The envelopes must be delivered to Immigrations upon arriving in the US through customs. Unopened and in tack. It was the last thing I had to do before being able to pack up and come home. I couldn’t help it……. and I cried to a total stranger. The tears rolled down my face as the stress was released. She nodded as if she understood or had seen this before and began to explain everything to do. All I really heard was “don’t open the envelopes” and “have a safe trip home”. I have the two envelopes, I have my two treasures, and I am ready to come home.

This whole adoption process is not for the faint of heart, or the stubborn, or inflexible. To a large degree you have to “go with the flow”, be kind, put your faith and trust in others, pray and smile a lot. Like those before me, I have put my game face on everyday in the midst of trying to figure out how and what it means to be a mother……and after 7 weeks in a foreign world, well……I am exhausted and I think I have lost 15 lbs., but I and my loving husband are figuring it out. What an adventure, what a journey, and what a gift. Thank you to all my followers for your support and words of encouragement. When I get home, I promise to get up to speed on what is happening with everyone else and return the wonderful support your have shown us. Now, let’s just hope an erupting volcano in Iceland, doesn’t keep us here another day! If it does, I will have to make yet another trip to a Sklep for food and I am done and over it! :) Oh, and I might cry tomorrow if the Poland air space doesn't open up. It's just crazy I tell you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poland Mourns

Our deepest condolences go out to Poland and its People. Especially the families and friends of those tragically killed on Saturday. Lee and I thought we had seen large crowds on Easter Sunday in the square, but really it pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of mourners flooding the gates of the Presidential Palace. It was an honor to be apart of the moment on silence at 12 noon on Sunday and to pay our respects as we wiggled through the crowds in front of the palace. In fact, the line to view the casket on Tuesday was down the street, past Coffee Heaven and around the King Sigismund’s Column and a back again. It's the same again today. Truly amazing history is taking place and my pictures don’t even begin to show to sadness in people’s eyes or the heavy silence that lingers in the air.

On a lighter note; take a look at the last picture! Please be sure to look past the lady in the picture and her desperate need for a cut, color and highlight!! I have TWO passports in my hands! After processing the paperwork last Wednesday, they were ready to pickup on Monday. What a relief! We were really nervous the government would be shutting down completely for their week of mourning and our departure would be delayed. We filed for Visas at the US Embassy today and (knock on wood) will be picking them up tomorrow at 3:00pm. THEN, we will be ready to fly home on Saturday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Last Transition

Auntie Gina and I found these great Swinging Tables at an outdoor restaurant by our apartment! We couldn't resist resting for awhile and enjoying the day!

Everyone has to have their pictures taken at Coffee Heaven!!

Grandma and Grandpa arrived on Friday. It was an incredible moment introducing them to Adam and Aggie for the first time......Yes, there were tears of joy in everyone's eyes!

One Week to go! Passports should be done on Wednesday !

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just Food for Thought!

I have been meaning to pass on a list of items we brought with us to Poland and things we have done that have been very helpful.

1. Sippy Cups (one per child)
2. Composition books to take notes of all kinds. We have a long list of Polish words we use on a daily basis and make grocery lists everyday!
3. A small wind-up flashlight.
4. Zip Lock Baggies. We use them to put together one complete child outfit, socks included. We also used them to pack sippy cups and snacks in our daypack.
5. Lullabies downloaded to our I-Pod.
6. Children’s Songs downloaded to our I-Pod.
7. Polish-English Translator Application downloaded to our I-Pod.
8. DVD’s for our computer to play Movies.
9. Children’s silverware, plastic plates and bowls with lids. (Everywhere we have stayed had glass plates and cups).
10. Travel Alarm Clock
11. Balloons
12. Lots of Scent Bags for Poopie Diapers
13. Food Items like Jell-O instant pudding, pancake mix, soups, Cream of Wheat, Mac and Cheese, Baking Soda and Baking Powder, Cliff Bars, packets of seasonings for food.
14. Portable Diaper Changing Mat
15. Currency exchange application for the I-phone.
16. World Travel plug for our Mac Computer
17. Clothes Pins. We didn’t have any dryers and had to hang our clothes up.
18. The “O-ball”
19. One stroller per child. We bought one in Olsztyn and found the quality excellent and reasonably priced.
20. International Phone Cards
21. Compression Bags for Packing clothes in suitcases.
22. Blow up Beach Balls.
23. Large binder for paperwork and large envelope for receipts.
24. Recipes for cooking on 3x5 cards.
25. Back packs for carrying diapers, snacks, and change of clothes for kids, computer, wipes, Souvenirs etc.
26. Umbrellas
27. Sunscreen Lotion
28. Travel Book about Poland!
29. Good pair of Walking Shoes ☺
30. First Aid Kit
31. Adult and Children Cold Medicines, Tylenol etc. We are a walking pharmacy!
32. Mini lock with long extension. Our apartment is on the 2nd floor and this has been really helpful. We lock the strollers up on the first floor instead of carrying them upstairs.

We really did use everything on this list – extensively! Lastly, we packed a double dose of Patience and Sense of Humor!! ….because you never know when you are going to get puked or pee’d on!! ……multiple times ☺

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

HE is Risen! HE is Risen indeed!

We awoke to cannons exploding and singing amplified at 6am and ran to look out our apartment window. In the courtyard below, a processional was occurring at Our Lady of St. Mary Church! Happy Easter Everyone! Over the past few days, thousands of people have been throughout Old Town Square. It has been truly fascinating to watch. Over the last 3 years, Lee and I have hosted Easter Brunch for about 25 people at our home. It’s a special time for the “Weyers” and “Hanson” families to come together. This year we celebrate with Aunt Gina and our family of four. Today is bitter sweet. Lee leaves to go home tomorrow to go back to work. Aggie, Adam and I will stay for 2 more weeks. It’s the final leg of the journey, one we will never forget and one we will treasure forever. Alleluia!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Changing of the Guard

CioCia Gina arrived on Friday afternoon and we met her at the airport with great big hugs. We kept her awake for about 4 hours seeing the changing of the guard, walking through Old Town and enjoying dinner. Then it was off to bed for everyone! Aunt Gina will stay for a week before Grandma and Grandpa arrive. Next week we will process the paperwork for Visas and Passports and continue to enjoy creating the lasting bond of family.