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Meeting You

Dear Dagny,

A year ago today we met each other and a love affair started.

I remember having all sorts of emotions that day, from nervousness to total calmness. I was nervous about the process but totally calm about meeting you. I had this feeling deep inside that without a doubt I was meeting my daughter.

Max, our driver, came to pick us up and drove us to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to get our official referral for you. Masha, our translator, met us there. I remember standing in the hallway waiting to be called into the room. We were called in to the room; we were the first of the day. There were two ladies in the room. Imagine the room where there was a desk that the head lady sat at and another table attached off it forming the letter T. Dad and I sat at one side of the rectangle table, Masha to the left of us, across from us was the Assistant, and the head lady to the right of us. They asked us some basic questions and then the head lady pulled out a file and in the file was this little black and white photo of this little girl. I remember feeling a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I finally saw my daughter. After giving a brief history about your background, the head lady asked us if we would like to meet you, Dad and I looked at each other and very loudly said “DA, DA, YES!”. The ladies cracked a smile and out we went.

From there we went straight to Orphanage #14. We were told that this was one of the best in the city. When we pulled up to the orphanage, my heart started to beat faster than ever. I was so excited to be meeting you. We were taken into the dance room, where Masha got your medical information and we went over it. You weren’t quite ready to meet us, you were busy having lunch. When we were done with Masha she went to get you. Your Dad and I were pacing the room back and forth. We both were so excited, we knew that our lives will forever be changed. Then the door opened and there you were in Masha’s arms. You were wearing a pink sweater. I remember your dark hair and your beautiful eyes looking around. Both your Dad and I teared up. I turned to your dad and said “I now believe in love at first sight!” I fell in love with you that moment. I really did. When Masha put you in my arms, I knew that you were my daughter forever.

My dearest Dagny you have made your father and I so happy and we hope we have done the same for you. You are our light, our heart, and our everything. We promise the very best for you. We hope to show you the world through books, travel, fun, and by being a family.

We love you so much, now and forever!

Here you are the day we met you.

1st day

Here you are today, one year later.

1 Year Later

What a difference a year makes.

Love,

Mom and Dad

Six Months And Counting…

Six months ago today the courts in Moscow City ruled that Craig, Dagny and I were a family of three. This day is also special because we got physical custody of Dagny. We were able to be all together for the 10-day waiting period.

December 1 st

in our arms

June 1 st

today

I can’t believe how fast time is flying by and how much Dagny has grown. I catch myself staring at her in amazement and having to snap myself out of it. I just can’t put it into words how much my life and outlook on life has changed due to this little girl. Being Dagny’s mom is the most amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything. She is the reason I want to be a better person.

*Edit: I forgot to mention that the US Government also celebrated with us, Dagny got her US Passport! We are so ready to hop on a plane and show her the world.

Love,

Barbara

Six Months Ago…

… we met our beautiful daughter.

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
Yummy

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