Wednesday, November 14, 2007

News from Russia

Hi everyone,

We are proud to announce that we are going to be the parents of an adorable baby boy named Roman David. In a couple of months, if everything works out properly, we will be flying home from our second trip with him.

Roman is his Russian given name and we decided to keep it. We thought of all sorts of other names but ... "Roman" just fits. "David" will be his middle name in honor of our friend Dave Campbell who passed away recently.

Roman is cute, cuddly, friendly, inquisitive, and very active. He likes to play and loves quick snuggles and kisses. He smiles all the time and is making good sounds vocally.

We have gone to the baby home the last three days and have spent time with him playing every day and he just loves both of us. He has a super disposition. He rarely cries. He seems to learn quickly. He had not learned to wave goodbye, so we were teaching him yesterday. Well, today he waved goodbye to us when we had to give him back to his baby group.

Although he is 14 months old, his physical development is that of a 10 month old. This is normal for a child raised in an institution. For every 3 months a child has been institutionalized, their physical, emotional, and cognitive development is delayed by 1 month. He seems to be a little delayed emotionally and cognitively but it is hard to tell at this stage. He actually seems quite smart to us, as he imitates our actions and picks up on things quickly. His motor skills seem to be right on track for a 14 month old. He stands up and loves to walk (he also likes to climb on things).

We're determined to help him catch up in every way. There is a possibilty of some learning difficulties when he gets older (due to his birth mom's alcohol use). That's something we will have to watch out for, and we'll do everything we can to help him. We love him so much already!

We are going to be his forever family. We are overjoyed and we hope everything works out properly.

We met with his social worker Svetlana today and our interpreter Ylena helped us with questions we had about Roman and his biological family. The social worker just adores him. He is quite popular. We found out that his mother was 22 when she had him. She is considered attractive, tall and slim. He will probably tower over us when he is full grown. For the most part his background and family information on the biological side is good.

Last evening we had a delightful dinner with two residents of Vladivostock whom we contacted through Helen's friend Katie. Olga works for the Port of Tacoma as the representative here in Vlad. Her husband is a wholesale meat seller. They are wonderful people and they may try to help us on our second trip with various things to make our lives easier.

We are meeting a ton of adoptive families and parents from all over the country. Everybody's story is a little bit different. This hotel, the Vlad Inn, is like Grand Central Station for adoptions.

At Roman's baby home, the staff treat the children extremely well. The baby homes are government supported but they don't have a lot of extras. They are very grateful for any help that people can provide. We bought diapers for the children yesterday and some toys. We do not get to see the other children when we are visiting our child. If we did we would want to take more home.

Tomorrow is another big day. We will be visiting Roman, signing the official forms and then taking some of our adoption staff out for a meal.

We love you all,

Rich and Helen

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