We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...



9.10.2012

Happy 4th Gotcha Day Little Russky!

this is the only "baby picture" we have of nick. he's about a year-ish old here & i found it on a random russian orphanage blog which showcases all russian children available for adoption to the russian public
holy moly!  i can hardly believe it's been 4 years since kris and i made the loooong couple of trips to st petersburg, russia, to meet, then bring home our crazy little man!  we knew our lives would be forever changed, but didn't quite realize that we, as individuals, would have to be the ones that would do the changing.  no one ever said parenthood would be easy peasy!  there have been plenty of times we've thought we were gonna screw up the dude...still do sometimes!  we certainly didn't have a clue as to what we were in for as new parents, but we've muddled through it the best we know how, and in the end we have bonded as a family, attempted to find harmony in the day-to-day, laughed, cried, snuggled, played, created, celebrated, mourned, learned from each other, and become more thankful for each other and everything we have.

we took this picture during our first to st petersburg to meet nick ...he actually smiled at us this trip, so we thought we were in like flynn.  trips 2 & 3...yeah, not so much!  he definitely let us know he wasn't happy about leaving the orphanage with us.
since i love me some lists, let's look at what nicky has accomplished in 4 years:
  1. left all he knew of home with a random couple of strangers who couldn't even speak his language
  2. toured st petersburg & moscow, russia
  3. flew halfway around the world & became a u.s. citizen
  4. was poked & prodded ad nauseum to ensure proper health {i will forever hear him crying "noooo cut penit!"}
  5. went on a super-duper family adventure to the florida keys
  6. had a fantastically awesome-tastic vacation in the virgin islands
  7. tested out some so-cal livin' in san diego
  8. road tripped to st louis, el paso & san antonio
  9. and most importantly ... became part of our forever family!
picture of the 2 texans & 1 unhappy little russky taken just after we left our court date, where we were officially approved to be the little dude's parents
of course these are only a handful of the firsts nick has experienced, but i think he's covered more ground than a lot of grown-up peeps have in a lifetime!  

1 very serious little russky...serious about the fact that he wasn't so sure about these folks everyone was calling "momma & papa"

he's quite the different child than the one that left baby home #1:
  1. he ditched his stoic outer shell 
  2. smiles & laughs easily and loves to be a goofball
  3. speaks ENGLISH!!! {maybe that one should be listed 1st?  but - i think i'd take a happy, smiling kid over a grouchy little man any day!}
  4. loves animals & adopted his very own pup
  5. he's more comfortable in his skin & has overcome most of his social anxiety
one of his 1st unsolicited smiles we got from him {taken at the kremlin}
and because i'm taking this time to rave instead of my sometimes ranting, here are a few reasons we love our crazy, loud, stinky, cute, non-stop-chattin' little russky:
  1. he's so stinkin' handsome & those lips...have you seen those juicy lips?!  oy!  wanna eat them off!
  2. somehow, despite all he's been through in his previous life, he's so very loving
  3. he always kisses my forehead when my head hurts
  4. if there's cleaning or working around the house to be done, chances are he's there asking to help
  5. although he can't always sit still long, when he does, he is one great cuddle-buddy
  6. he picks up dead bugs for me!  not the "walking" ones so much...but i'll take what i can get!
  7. he's forgiving & he bounces back

i'm not sure who saved whom when we left that orphanage 4 years ago.  i do know that even though we've had some days we wondered what the heck we were thinking, we take a deep breath, and remember all that we've learned about ourselves, good and bad, and we thank God we're together. 

♥ “Adoption is when a child grew in its mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.” Unknown 

xoxo ... liese f

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