There’s No Place Like Home…

We have been home for just over a week and today is the first moment I have to update all of you. It has been such a jam pack week I am not even sure on the details but I will do my best and hope to make this post speak through all the photos I have posted.

We arrived into JFK on 12/19 to a big snow storm. Our plane got in early ironically. Dagny did well on the flight over, considering it all. She slept a total of an hour and a half and the rest of the time we were able to occupy her. I am not sure how, but we did it. We did decide no more flight with a baby thou. It’s not that she was bad, because honestly I can’t remember her crying. It just was the stress that she might that took a toll on us. Anyway, we survived and she was a champ. My brother, Emeric, and sister-in-law, Edit, were waiting for us. Edit’s mother was flying in from Hungary and was scheduled to get in an hour after our plane landed. So, the plan was to wait around. But, since our plane got in early and her plane was delayed three hours we decided the best thing for all of us was to take us to their house and they would turn back to pick her up. The trip on a good day would take around 30 – 40 minutes, that day it took about two hours. That’s how bad the weather and traffic was. Poor little Dagny was so exhausted, she was not to happy in her car seat. Edit was awesome she brought some food and juice for her and we feed her in the car, that seemed to help a little, but she was still not a happy baby. When we finally got to their house, my Mother, Erika and Emerson were waiting to meet her but Dagny at this point had been up for close to 19 hours and she wasn’t having any of it. I quickly gave her a bath, put her in her PJ’s and put her to bed. She was out like a log until the middle of the night. Craig and I went shortly too. Dagny didn’t sleep well that night she kept getting up. At 6:00 am I gave up and went downstairs, where Eva neni, Edit mother, was up too (jet lag people hang out together). Not much later everyone else got up and couldn’t wait to hang out with Dagny. She was in such a great mood. I think she knew this was her family because she took to them right away.

Aunt Edit and Uncle Emeric
Playing with Aunt Edit
Cousin Erika
Cousin Emerson
Dagny loves Emerson’s hair too
I just love this photo!

Around 10:30 am we headed out on the long ride to Rochester. We knew that Dagny might not like the long ride in her new car seat and we were right. The first couple of hours were good because she fell asleep but when she got up she was not so happy. My mom and I both sat in the back and tried our best to occupy her, that only worked so much. We stopped a couple of times on the Thurway to change her diaper and to get her out of the car. She loved that. We made it though and we had Craig’s parents and brother, Tim waiting for us. Tim flew up from Texas what a great uncle. It was so nice to see our house, Lily and Maxie.

Uncle Tim and Grandpa Johnson
Enjoying Uncle Tim

Craig and I took Dagny to see Santa.

Ummm… Who are you?

Then on Christmas Eve my family came up to spend Christmas with us. Both of our families were here enjoying Dagny and the holidays.

Dagny opening up some gifts with Lily watching to see if anything is hers
Dagny playing with the Globe from Grandma and Grandpa Johnson
Dagny with the piggy bank from Uncle Tim
Cool rocking chair from Uncle Emeric and Aunt Edit
My two girls
Lily, the greatest doggy in the world!
Our beautiful daughter
All dressed up for the party

Since we were not able to be with Dagny on her first birthday we decided to have her blow out her candle while the entire family was here and celebrate that as well.

Blowing out her birthday candle

We had a wonderful time with our families and are so grateful to have Dagny in our lives. She is our joy. She is such a wonderful little girl. We are so excited for 2009! We wish you all a wonderful New Year!

The Johnson’s
I couldn’t resist

Thank you and Farewell Moscow

Today we went to the US Embassy for our interview and to get Dagny’s Visa. Dagny has her US Visa and all the official paperwork we need when we enter the US. We can now come home!

We come home tomorrow and end this part of our journey and are about to embark on a new part. We have had such a wonderful experience throughout the entire stay here in Moscow. This is a wonderful country not only because they have united us with our daughter but also for the wonderful people we had the pleasure of working with. We are so very grateful to our Team (V, M, M and O) that have taken care of us from day one. We never had to worry about anything. Our job was to just to sit around and wait to go home.

We also want to say thank you to our agency, About a Child, back home if it wasn’t for Victoria we would not be here. Thank you so much for leading us to our little girl. You are a wonderful person with a big heart. We will always be eternity grateful to you.

Both Craig and I are so ready to get home with our daughter. We can’t wait to be in our home with Dagny and introduce her to her doggy, Lily, and her kitty, Maxie and to start our lives.

Farewell and Thank you for our little girl.

Our little bunny
How cute

Thank you,

Barbara & Craig

Diagnosis: Drama Queen

That is what the doctor diagnosed Dagny as. I think Craig and I are in trouble. :-)

Yesterday morning, Dr. B came to give Dagny a physical which is needed for the US Embassy. Dr. B is a really nice guy, you can tell he loves children. He was really great with Dagny as she showed off her screaming abilities; she’s a champ at that (hence the diagnosis). Dr. B told us that Dagny is right on mark, she is proportional and that she has a Buddha belly (we totally agree). These are all great things to hear. But, the best thing he said was that he can tell that she was one of the favorites at the orphanage. We agree with him on this, just by what we witness while we were in orphanage. We saw how the caregivers looked at her with smiles on their faces, how they held her and made her laugh and most importantly they had given her a nickname, Pumpkin. All of that shows that they were attached to Dagny. As adoptive parents you want to hear and see things like this because it means she was loved and well taken care of while we were not with her. It gives us that peace of mind.

Shortly after the Doctor, Craig met up with our Driver to go and pick up Dagny’s passport and original birth certificate and adoption decree. While Craig was out Dagny and I went for a walk on Old Arbat Street while our apartment was being cleaned. It has definitely gotten colder here, so Dagny is bundled up and we have been using the plastic shield on the stroller to keep Dagny out of the wind and snow (yes, it started to snow here). When we met up with Craig again not only did he bring all the paperwork with him but the two cameras we left behind at the orphanage. And the best thing, it seems that one of the cameras was totally used up and the other one has 19 shots taken out of 36. I am hoping they have taken some on Dagny’s birthday. We can’t wait to develop them.

Craig came back with all sorts of goodies. I think the best bit he came back was actually some news. Craig found out how lucky we were in having Dagny during our 10 day wait. The Orphanage Director was on vacation when we came for court, so actually the Deputy Director was at court representing the Orphanage. She is a wonderful lady I just want to say that. Apparently, she was under the impression that it was normal for the parent’s to have custody once the court session had completed. Soon after our court session she found out that she had a choice. After learning this she was actually up all night worried about what she had done. With the Director on vacation and she was in charge, and, if ANYTHING would of happened to Dagny she would of been responsible. I feel horrible that she had felt so bad. She is such a nice lady and when she said good-bye to Dagny, it was so obvious that she cared about her. We were very lucky to have her for those 10 days. We’re sorry for the mix up, but we’re also happy that it happened.

To top off the day, we had made a dinner date with another family here from our agency. We meet up for an early dinner because of Dagny’s schedule, they were so sweet to work around that. We met at 4 at TGI Fridays with Nichole, Ryan and their beautiful 5 year old daughter, Kiara. They just had court last Friday and are now parents to a baby girl named Vera. What makes it even more special is that Vera and Dagny are from the same orphanage. In some respects Dagny and Vera are like sisters. It would of been so great if Vera was with us last night but as I stated above the Deputy Director wasn’t giving up custody of the children during the 10 days. The good news is that the Director just got back from vacation so maybe they can pick up Vera early. We have our fingers crossed.

Dagny and Kiara

So, because this post is soooooo long, I will post LOTS of photos of who else, but Little Dagny.

Mommy and Dagny being silly
Little Dagny

Laundry with Dagny

OK, time to do it.
Mama, I can’t open it

Happy 13 Months Dagny

Today Dagny is 13 months old. I remember a month ago when she turned One what a horribly sad day it was for us. We missed her so much and not being with her for her first birthday was one of the hardest things we had to go through. What a difference a month makes. Here is our little bunny.

Yeah! I am 13 months old

We didn’t do much today. We stayed home and started packing! I can’t believe we are outta here this coming Friday. I just know this week is going to go by so fast. We have many things we need to get done before we fly out.

Dagny decided that she was going to help me out with the packing. It was so cute. All three of us had a blast. I never knew packing can be so fun.

OK Mom, you can put about this much in here.
Dagny is ready to go

Bonus Dagny Photos:

What a smile
What’s that you said, Ducky?
Pretty Girl

The Famous Photo

Today the family of three went down to Red Square to take “the photo” in front of Saint Basil Cathedral. I have been following many blogs and this is a tradition. Once you have your child you go and take a photo in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. I remember always wondering how “our” photo would turn out. Well, today we took the famous photos and I think they came out great.

“The Photo”
Craig and Dagny
Barbara and Dagny

They erected an ice skating rink in the center of Red Square. It was so cool. It reminded me of Rockefeller Center. Just think how different Red Square was twenty years ago. It was a beautiful site.

Ice Skating Rink

Here is the GUM which is the very elite mall. Many of the stores feature high-fashion brand names.


And of course a night shot of Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Saint Basil

Dagny did great on our outing. Towards the end she wanted out of her stroller so Craig and I took turns carrying her. She loved that. She was laughing and making funny faces. It was so cute that we didn’t even mind carrying her, OK maybe a little. :-)