Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts from JC

OK, so I’m the husband. Corey decided it was time to switch it up a bit. She thought perhaps you guys could use a break from her. I can also attest that sometimes the days here in St. Pete are tough enough to get through without having to rehash every detail after finally returning to the hotel . . . so she gets a break as well. I am certain I will leave out some details that you guys are used to; I am equally certain that this will be brought to my attention as soon as Corey proofreads it. Hey, what can I say, I paint with broader brushstrokes. If you come here seeking what time we woke up, how long Corey was in the shower, or how many steps we took to get to the Metro, you may want to come back tomorrow. OK, now that I’ve lowered your expectations, let’s continue. I’ll share a few thoughts about Russia in general and then I’ll get to our morning visit with Emma . . . it was a doozie.

Russia and specifically St. Petersburg drums up thoughts of history going back hundreds of years. The Hermitage. Leningrad. St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Church on the Spilled Blood. Peter the Great. Kazan Cathedral and on and on. This city has more historical statues, buildings, and bridges than there are fish in the sea. The city has changed immensely in the last 25 years with the fall of Communism. Obviously I only know the St. Petersburg of today and it is very much like any other cultural city in Europe. Europeans have different tastes when it comes to food, fashion, music, and what is socially acceptable. Like any good American, I believe that my tastes are right and true and I tend to make fun of what doesn’t fit those tastes. Like, what's up with the “skinny jeans”? Do I really need to see every little detail from the hips to the ankles? Listen, I have skinny legs too. Between you and me, I could certainly rock a pair of skinny jeans if I chose to, but why put anyone else thru that? Speaking of jeans, what’s up with all the denim? Purses, jeans, shirts, jackets, black, blue, bedazzled. My favorite denim may actually be white denim . . . lotta white up in here, particularly shoes. I know, it’s well past Labor Day and any good North Carolinian knows you just don’t wear white shoes past that first Monday in September. I’d really like these folks to respect my personal space a bit more. I mean, when I can tell you haven’t showered in a few days, that’s one thing. When I can tell you had borsht, potato pancakes, and 3 vodkatinis for lunch, you are officially too close to me. Not a big fan of the music here . . . why does every song have a pan flute solo in it? Lotta “Zamfir- Master of the Pan Flute” fans up in here. Listen, I’m no fashion guru, I’m not a food or music critic, and most importantly I’ve got my faults just like anybody else. OK, enough of that . . . let’s get you the information you came here for in the first place.

Its official, the beast has awoken.


In fact she was a totally different child by the end of the visit today. The only thing that was the same was her dress . . . Corey and I now refer to it as her “uniform”. For those of you with children, you know that moment when your child overcomes the shyness in a particular environment and begins to warm up a bit and then takes it one step further and becomes a wild child? Well, Emma got there today. Typically, our visits begin with a whimper or 2 followed by several minutes of Corey holding her. She eventually warms up enough to play a bit, but she never gets too far from Corey and certainly doesn’t feel comfortable enough to really be herself. Today started that same way, except by the end she was totally out of control. She was wild. . .jumping all over the furniture, flopping around on the floor, running up and down the hall. I experienced a combination of happiness, fear, and uncertainty in that one moment. I was happy that she finally got comfortable enough around us to really let her hair down. It was great to see her in action. The fear and uncertainty came in when we realized that we’ve got some work ahead of us. The quiet, shy, smiling angel turned into a sassy, belligerent, rowdy ball of energy. Like I said it was fantastic and surprising at the same time. As I sit here in Pizza Hut, I am wondering what the afternoon visit will hold in store for us. Typically she takes a while to come around because she’s fresh off a nap and it takes a few minutes to get her motor going. We are really hoping that this will be her last night in the orphanage. We will hopefully find out today that her passport will be ready for pickup tomorrow in which case we will finally have her in our possession as we make our way to Moscow.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of you that follow this blog. I really think this is something that has become quite therapeutic for us. It is wonderful to feel some support and to know that folks back home are pulling for you. I’m not sure I’ll be back as a guest blogger; Corey will probably be concerned I offended some with my comments. Please know that everything I’ve stated was with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. OK, I’m outta here, I gotta track down some ice for my drink.

Edited to add: Well, we got the news on the passport before Corey updated the blog so I thought I would go ahead and add the information. Emma’s passport will not be available until Saturday morning which ultimately means that there is no way we are making our flight on Tuesday. The paperwork in Moscow will apparently require 2 business days which for us will be Monday and Tuesday. We are hoping to get some official word before we go through the hassle of changing our flights. This entire journey has been filled with incredible highs and lows. I feel like the lows have outnumbered the highs up until now, but at the same time I realize we have her whole life to fill with highs.

A big special thanks to B and Jack, Mimi, Patsy and Pop, Keeper, my great team at my office and my partner Dr. Phillips . . . you all are bearing the brunt of us being away and you are loved because of it.
cell phone
emma and dad
Emma enjoying her first Vanilla Wafer


Tara said...

Ha! Loved the commentary on the city, fashion, music, and hygiene but I think I'll stay right here in NC. Sorry there have been so many lows but you are right...many more highs are on the horizon.

As always, love the pictures and will continue keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers!

Way to represent even in Russia!

Kristine said... are so funny. The first part of this post had me cracking is good you guys are keeping a sense of humor due to the passport issue.

The only thing I can say about the passport is that maybe God intends for you to have this time together ...just the 3 of you to bond before you get home and mix everyone together. It definitely sounds like Emma is coming out of her shell...and the time you are spending with her right now is priceless. We have been to Russia 8 times with our past 3 adoptions and believe it or not...the disco music, high heels and skinny jeans become very commonplace after a fact you will probably miss them when you get home and want to go back for another child! ha. You laugh now...but I wouldn't doubt it.

That Emma is just a beauty and I can see that you both are already in love with the little sweetie. You are one step closer every day. Just take it all one day at a time. I am sure you have already learned that all of this is totally out of your control...go with the flow. It looks like from the pictures and the smiles that you are doing that. There is a reason for the delay and God will reveal that to you over time. You may get to meet another couple or maybe the passport control people working on the flight home will be even more pleasant at the airport than the ones working the day before when you had planned to go just never know the reason for the holdup...but God does and all of this is in His plan.

After saying all of this, I really do feel for you though. It is hard to be away from home. My prayers are with you. Enjoy your time together as a couple and try to live in the moment. Go try on a pair of those skinny jeans just for laughs...I don't think many stores have them here! ha.

Hope I didn't give you too much mothering in this post.


Jo said...

So funny to hear a man's perspective ~ loving the skinny jeans comment. I won't share my husband's exact words on that subject but his thoughts are very much the same.

Loving the accessory of the bow to the uniform!

Darn! I was so hoping you'd be able to get everything in order and make your original flight home. Enjoy your time there with your *new* child. I guess the honeymoon period is over and her true colors are shining bright ~ great expressions in the recent photo.

Jo said...

I found it interesting the fashion and cultral differances.
That child is going to love America. I can't wait to see pictures of when you get her home and she gets a taste of her new life.

Jodee Leader said...

What a hoot! I think Daddy should hijack Mommy's blog more often! I am laughing outloud about the skinny jeans and couldn't agree more!

I am so glad sweet little Emma is coming around! Enjoy every second with her! She is just precious!

Anonymous said...

Corey and JC -

First - so sorry that you won't be able to get her passport until Saturday, but I think you stated it perfectly when you said you have the rest of her life for "high times".

Second - JC I absolutely loved your commentary!! It had me smiling;)

Blessings and continued prayers being sent overseas and to your boys at home too! Ashley

PS - Corey I bet you can't wait until you can expand on that "uniform":)

Brooke said...

I loved hearing your version of what's going on and I know it will be nice for yall to look back on one day. I will continue to pray for yall and that yall will be able to leave Tuesday. Emma is precious and yall are a perfect family!!!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Okay, don't tell grandma, but "they" say we can wear white after labor day now. I'm in the South too, so I'm still a little skeptical, but all the fashion mags are saying it's possible... I'm going to wait until I see Laura Bush do it! :) That was very funny, thanks for the fresh perspective on the process. The thing that stood out to me the most about St. Pete was how alot of people seem to go to work in cocktail attire. Is this because people just like to REALLY dress up or because they didn't make it home the night before?

As for Emma warming up, don't be surprised if she is just trying a different approach to the stress she is feeling. Or maybe she is feeling really comfortable and testing where your boundaries are. Either way, I think it's a good thing, in the end, that she knows that the rules she has lived with all her life are about to be null and void. She's feeling her approaching emancipation! :)

Looking forward to more from St. Pete.

Barb said...

First, I've enjoyed following your blog and reading Corey's take on all that's happening . . . but JC really cracked me up . . .all the things we're thinking but too restricted to say! Loved it.

Really too bad about the passport taking longer than you wanted, but Kristine is right . . . there's a reason, just unknown at this point.

Hoping you enjoy the next few days together in St. Pete!


Heather said...

This was such a funny post. I really enjoyed it. I am sorry to hear about the passport delay though. How frustrating. I am praying for you from Raleigh.

Laura said...

Ha! Loved the post today!

So neat to see that she is showing you all of the different sides of herself!

Anonymous said...

I got your blog address from our neighbors Jason & Katie. We rode the Russia rollercoaster 2 years ago.

If you have time and have not been there yet, try:
o Peterhoff (via hydrofoil behind the Hermitage)
o Yusopov Palace
o Imperial Porcelain Museum (for souvenirs)

Enjoy the ride when you can - it's stressful but has a great ending. You're lucky you are able to see Emma so often - our son's baby home was 3 1/2 hours outside St. Petersburg each way on bad roads.

We also had to rebook our return flights - if you can't use the same airlines as your existing tickets, try Lufthansa to Munich/FFT, then direct to CLT (avoids connections problems in the US due to immigration delays and is faster to get home). Good luck with the pricey Moscow Hotels.

Mark & Lisa

teg said...

Was that really JC? While I've never really known him well, especially in recent days, I must admit that parts of this did sound like words that could come from him. Always a good man and friend to my dear bro T, JC is amazing - he'll be a great daddy to a baby girl. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures as a family of FIVE!!!

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