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Monday, July 7, 2008

Pictures and updates

These were taken before Amanda got ready for bed Monday night, I wanted to add them to the post from yesterday (it is Tuesday here). They came out dark, the light from the window confused my camera, so I made them greyscale to preserve Amanda's image, she was too dark to see. Some day I hope to get a better camera with more settings, I adore photography, especially when taking pictures of my family.

I sat Amanda in the window sill and snapped these. People below could see her and some were alarmed, but the window was CLOSED, open would be another story, it even scares me when it is open, no screen or bars to prevent falling. I think the pictures came out OK, and of course she is always adorable.

I wanted Amanda to be pictured within her native Estonia, but it is hard to do on busy streets; I would love to have stopped someone to ask them to take pictures of both of us, but my shyness comes to being very strongly in new places and I could not get up the nerve, especially when most folks do not speak English and are not all that fond of Americans. (yes, I have always been shy, have said so for years, no one who knows me well ever believes it) Therefore there are no pictures of me here at all, folks will think I was never here, I tried doing the self portrait thing, but was not pleased that it seemed to highlight the new 48 year old me... LOL.
I added the watermarks because I would rather her photos remain the property of our family, and though they meant no harm, some people have taken her pictures from here without our permission. I am not upset, they did it with the kindest of intentions, but I prefer to be asked before her image is used. If anyone would like to use a photo please let me know in the comments section.
One of the only photos in real color that came out OK, I love this one, she is such a funy girl with a thousand expressions.

Tom snapped this picture when we were talking on Skype this morning. Such a character our Amanda, getting to know her has so far been fun and yes we have had challenges, but she has captured our hearts and engaged our curiosity too.

She will not look at the camera, I think the flash hurts her eyes, but I have an intuition that is not the only reason, there is something about her not wanting to engage her eyes with mine that troubles me, but it is too soon for me to fear anything concrete. She does have behaviors that feel familiar, many are orphanage behaviors, others seem more than that. Then again as a mom, I worry too much...
One in a while she will look right at me and there is such a curiosity in her little eyes, and though she seems so much like a baby developmentally, she has been alive three years with three years worth of life experiences. I know nothing of them or of who she was before she was handed over to us June 23.

So little was said that day and I did not ask because I believed I would return to the orphanage to give gifts and perhaps speak with her nanny, doctor, and director.

I did none of this, nor could I take the pictures of the children their soon to be parents craved so much, and for that I am sorry. I was never given the opportunity to do so because there were two other families here while I was and Igor was terribly busy, he only had time to take me to the places we needed to go to complete Amanda's adoption.
So my gifts were loaded in the back of his van last Thursday and were to be given to the orphanage and staff without my presence. I am terribly disappointed about it, I wanted to see if they were appreciated and understood them, I wanted to explain why we chose Kachina's. I spent so much time gathering information and finding items I thought the staff would like to have and I missed seeing them opening them.

I feel like I should have known the procedures, but I feel like I made a huge social error and it bothers me. I guess I feel foolish, and I dislike feeling that way. Why didn't I double check about how to do everything?
So we have our beautiful little girl and she is a complete mystery to us, we know her mothers name and that she has siblings and that is pretty much it other than some medical facts we received. I should have pushed for more information, but again, I assumed I would meet with the orphanage staff again and be able to ask questions of them at that time.

The adoption process here was smooth, the facilitation was handled expertly and quickly, it seemed impossible to get so much done in such a short time, but Igor did it. I wish he had more time for the other things though I do understand.

So enough of that; I need to go buy some food for the next two days and for our trip home. I really need some small containers of yogurt and jarred fruit. It is a long trip and since she will only eat those two things for me, it is important I take as much as I can for her, I was reading that Delta said I can only take 2-3 ounce containers of food for her, are they kidding me? She eats those in 2 minutes.

Anyone have issues with Delta not allowing enough baby food for long trips? I will also need juice to add to her fruit as she will not drink anything. We flew home on a different airline from Ukraine, they let me take all I needed for Kara, no issues at all, but I have no experience with Delta.

Here are some more pictures I took, such a stinker, and her moods have been all over the place today.
Popeye face, that is what we call this, or maybe she is Sweetpea, but we love that cockeyed smile!
She either loves her dolly or tosses her away, she likes talking to her too. She was really babbling away when I took the pictures.
Amanda just loved her bath today, she crawled into the bathroom stood up against the bathtub and began pulling at her clothes. A nice change from the fits a week ago. I thought she looked adorable here.


GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Oh Kris those pics are just too cute. She is such a character and showing you just how adorable she can be.

You have such a sweety there...

Sorry you were not able to give the gifts and see the faces as well as have more interaction with the orphanage and kids.

Marlo said...

I haven't ever traveled Delta out of the country but I did find this bit on their web site. I'm not sure if it helps.

"Delta allows you to carry perishable items such as fresh or frozen foods, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, bakery products, flowers, cut flowers, floral displays and vegetable plants in the aircraft cabin as part of your carry-on baggage allowance, provided no agricultural rules are violated for the destination country.

If the item does not meet size or weight restrictions for carry-on baggage, we will accept the item within your checked baggage allowance upon completion of a limited release form. However, Delta will not be liable for deterioration or spoilage of any perishable item contained in checked baggage, whether with or without the knowledge of Delta."

I would imagine that if you can carry fresh foods onboard, you could carry jarred foods as well.

melonie thompson said...

Kris... I love the one of her with the water... she is adorable... what a wonderful little girl you have!!!!
Hugs, Melonie

Dolores said...

These are the best pics yet!!! I hope you figure the food part out. I wonder if there is something that you could reconstitute with water on board the plane? They always have water one board. I don't know, you'd have to try it in advance to know if she'd eat it.

Bethany said...

I still can't believe they just handed her over to you and said goodbye. That boggled my mind! Have you asked if you could return to the orphanage to talk with them before you leave? Is there any way to demand it? :)

Arizona mom to eight said...

Mindy, thank you for finding that for me, I had looked on the part about baby food and formula, I never saw this other part. Good to know, and hopefully they will be OK with her food. I guess I can bring bananas and mash them.

I wish I could do what Dolores suggested, but I have not seen anything like that here. I brought oatmeal with me, but she refuses to eat it.

Bethany, Estonia works a little differently than other countries, I knew we would take Amanda back to the apartment when we got here, but I am kicking myself for not asking more detaled questions.

Marlo said...

If needed, I can call Delta's customer service and ask them directly. I don't mind telling them I will be traveling back from Estonia with a child on a very specific diet and what the limitations are concerning it (especially liquids and whatnot.) Not too hard since I'm in the states and it would be an 800 number call. Just let me know if that would help!

Arizona mom to eight said...

Thanks Mindy, I can ask my husband to call them. I just keep forgetting to. I appreciate your help.

carol said...

Oh what beautiful pictures.I cant wait for the girls to get to meet in person. I hope someone will be taking pictures for you.Happy birthday to your son. You are going to have so much celebrating to do once you get home. You will have to have one big party once you get rested up. cant wait to have you back home. Take care and enjoy your last couple of days.
carol n

amyl4 said...

Amanda is such a cutie! Her expressions are priceless and I love that bath picture too!:)
I'm so excited that soon you will be on your way home!!

orphans4me said...

Kris, I'm sorry you didn't get to ask all your questions or see your gifts opened. I can relate to the feeling of not knowing if your gifts are appreciated. It feels 'yucky' So glad you will be coming home soon. Hope the food thing gets figured out on the airlines.

Sheila said...

She is beautiful Kris. You don't really need to know much about her past - I'm sure that you found out that in Ukraine - half of what you were told wasn't accurate anyway. You're a good mom - you'll manage quite nicely. Her future is with you and so much brighter now!

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Those pics even though they are black and white.... they are absolutely wonderful.

Anonymous said...

She is so cute! Thank you for sharing the pictures! It's not long until you are coming home!!!!! I look forward to hearing more when you get home and see how she adjusts to your family.

Marlo said...

I am so sorry for using one of the pictures of Amanda without asking. I would have never done it except I wanted to share how beautiful she was and find a creative way to link back to your journal. I was hoping that if others saw your experience they may consider adopting from Estonia as well. I realize now that it was wrong and it breaks my heart that I may have made you or your family uncomfortable. It won't happen again, I promise.

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once