Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cabin Fever

We were so lucky to have such great fall weather when we got to Poland. However, last Monday our luck ran out and it turn grey, cold and began drizzling. It makes it hard to fill up the day when we can't go outdoors. Surprisingly though we had a really good day yesterday even though we spent the majority of the day in the apartment. We had to be very creative in coming up with things to do! Today we had a visit from Magda, the lawyer, and our social worker. The girls were so excited to have some company...especially company that spoke Polish. Overall the visit went really well and we are glad to have that behind us. We have 5 more days until our court date and then on to Warsaw! We are thinking of Julie and Jim right now as they are in Warsaw with their new little boy! We hope to meet him next week!
The girls surprise us everyday with the their new English words. Ever since we got here they will say "I love you"......yesterday they said "I love you very much". Melts our heart!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One week mark

We have officially had the girls with us for a week and two days. It is still very surreal that we are here living with them as a family. What an adventure this is. We have a pretty good routine going.....breakfast, coloring/crafts (we call it school), lunch, then we venture out for the afternoon, home for dinner, bath and bed.....of course there is playing with toys, tata's ipad and watching a movie here and there. There are also lots of kisses and hugs, I love you's in both Polish and English and cuddle time. I don't want to sugar coat our experience....there is also a lot of "remember to listen to mama and tata", a lot of no's (from both us and the girls), a few tears and a lot of learning patience (both us and them)
Yesterday we visited a historic park with many old buildings from the Polish region we are in. The girls loved exploring the park with the highlight being a private pony petting session. Today we saw Shrek 4 in 3D (first rainy day in two weeks) they were awesome. They took off their little shoes, crossed their legs and sat so very quietly with their glasses (which were way to0 big for them) and watched the entire movie without a peep. The only thing that makes me sad is that I can't ask them what their favorite part was...I know that will come.

Here is one of our favorite songs the girls sing while we ride on the is very fact Vito can't stop singing it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No longer DINKS

It is official, we are no longer DINKS! Friday we spent a few hours with the girls at the foster families house. We went with the foster mother to get the girls their last immunization. When we got back to the house I was given different medications that they girls may need with very detailed instructions. We had one last meal at their home and then at 3pm they said good-bye to the girls and we left. I can't even think about it without crying....they are wonderful people who we will never forget. Tom drove us to our apartment in Katowice. It certainly was not what I expected. we have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large living room hooked to the kitchen, and a balcony. It is very new and is totally furnished by IKEA. We have a great park right outside of our building and a huge mall about 5 minuted away. Today we walked to the zoo and they had the coolest ropes course for kids. We were so impressed how brave they were. They could have done it all day if we would have let them.

Yesterday we had our first parenting lesson. The girls were not listening to us at the park so we made them come inside. (actually we carried them in as they screamed) they ran to their room and cried and I cried in the kitchen. We left them there for 10 minutes and then went it to talk to them. We explained best we could with the language barrier that they must listen to us. We then told them over and over how much we loved them and just want to be safe. We took them back to the park and boy were they good listeners. They even reminded each other to listen to us. It was a priceless lesson! We have had some tears each night as the girls tell me how much they miss their aunt and uncle (foster parents) breaks my heart.

Some things we have learned
  • Our girls love butter and mayo! In fact the older one was dipping her mayo based salad into a side of mayo!
  • They love horses and princesses
  • They don't cry when they fall down
  • They cry when they can't stay at the park all day
  • They don't have ziplock bags or peanut butter here
  • They sing the Scooby Doo song
  • The won't eat without at knife and they cut all of their own food
  • A lot of Polish children wear some sort of hat
  • A lot of Polish girls love to wear colorful tights....including our girls.
  • Our girls love beets, pickles, sardines, and mini hot dogs for breakfast
  • We are 100% in love with our girls!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greetings from Jaworzno

I know our last post didn't give a lot of here goes my rambling of what has transpired so far.

We spent Monday morning exploring more of Warsaw. There is definitely going to be plenty to do when we get there. That afternoon we took a train from Warsaw to Katowice, it was about 2 1/2 hours. We bought first class tickets (only about 12.00 USD more) so we would have enough room for our luggage. Needless to say my big bag had to sit next to the restroom and we looked like stupid tourists with all of our bags. In the end it worked out fine and the best part was that the first person I saw when I got off of the train was Tom, our driver. We thought we should practice with the train system before we took the girls on it...and glad we did. Tom drove us to the town where the girls live, Jaworzno, to hotel Panska Gora. That night we walked to the local grocery store to get some water and snacks. We enjoyed a nice Nutella and Jam sandwich (used a waffer cookie to spread the jam and was almost like camping :)

We spent the morning walking around the town of Jaworzno. Which we love. It was so fun to watch the people while walking down cobblestone streets and looking at all of the stuff the street vendors are selling.

Now for the best part. That same afternoon Tom picked us up and took us to the girls house. We pulled up to find the whole family outside waiting for us. We were immediately greeted with hugs and kisses from everyone. The girls were so excited to show us how they can ride bikes without training wheels. They rode around the house several times and then we all took a ride around the neighborhood. I have to tell you that these girls are tough...they would fall down and not even get upset. They would just pick up themselves up and get back on the bike. The older one was riding a bike that was a little big for her so she needed Tata to help her get started. By the end of the day she could do it by herself and boy was she proud. The best part was when the older girl brought her framed picture of her and tata to him. She made him pose exactly like the picture so I could take another picture of them together. It was like she had been waiting forever for him and now he was here she wanted to relive the picture. It was so touching and helped Vito feel even closer to her. We stay through supper that night which consisted of crapes filled with strawberries and cream. It was really more like desert...very good. After lots of kisses and hugs we left around wasn't that hard to leave since we would be back the next day.

The second best bart of the day (sorry Julie) was that we had dinner with Julie and Jim! We had the BEST time at dinner with them. It was like we had known each other for years and it was just another night to hang out. They were troopers as they had just arrived at the hotel about a hour before we met! I know they were exhausted. We saw them again in the morning as we were leaving for court and they were leaving to visit their son! I can't tell you how happy I am for them to finally be in Poland to be with their son! What a great day!

Apparently a few court systems in Poland require 2 court dates and ours happened to be one of them. We meet Madga in at 9am for a 9:30 court appointment. On the 3 minute drive to the court, Magda told us the kinds of questions they would ask. We each had to testify before the judge about why we picked Poland and why we wanted to adopt. Magda told us that compared to a lot of hearings it went very well. The prosecuting attorney didn't even ask us any questions which we were thankful for. In the end we were granted temporary custody of the girls for the next 3 weeks. We will return to court on October 6th for the final hearing. Now that we have had one hearing it will be easier to return the second time.
After court the foster father drove us to downtown Jaworzno to show us his flat that he owns. He and his family lived there for many years before they moved to their present home. His oldest daughter currently lives there while she attend the university. He then drove us to his house so we could spend the day with the girls. The day consisted of more bike riding....this time on a singletrack trail down to a river. We were very impressed with their singletrack abilities. We colored a lot, looked at pictures of them growing up and played with Vito's ipad..a huge hit! We were fed several great Polish meals! I feel a little more prepared of how to feed the girls which is great. I was able to bath the girls and get them ready for bed! It was a wonderful day. I am off to get ready for another full day of playing! I will write more and promise to post pictures tonight!

PS I am tired and rushed so please forgive my typos!

Monday, September 13, 2010

We made it....

This trip was mostly volcanos, no wondering if we would make it....pretty much just slept the whole way. We spent the first day in Warsaw exploring the city.... We were both impressed and excited to go back in a few weeks with the girls. We scouted out nice parks and nice parts of town to bring the girls and had some alone quiet time as a couple. We were spoiled at the Hilton and glad all of Vito's travel could be used on a personal trip for us. We took the train to Katowice today (glad we booked 1st class train tickets as our luggage filled the compartment and our seat mates were not thrilled with us as it was.). We are staying at a charming old hotel in Jaworzno and writing from a cute pub in the basement as there is not much else to visit in town. Tomorrow we will be reunited with our girls at their current house and begin to prepare to move to our apartment in Katowice with them on Friday. Tomorrow night we will also finally meet in person our GBF (great blogging friends) Jim and Julie Pfalzer. I have a feeling....that tomorrow will be a good day!

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