We had a busy and wonderful summer. With it, there were camps, dance recitals and our trip to Texas. Everyone did really well until the last week (4th) when we all just wanted to be home. We traveled to Dallas, Austin and Houston visiting friends and family and museums. We enjoyed meeting some new friends who adopted children from Kazakhstan and our 'old' friends from childhood and college. We were on our trip from mid June to mid July so we could be back for Olivia's first overnight camp. She did great and we missed her but truthfully, it was a tad easier with just the 2 kids for that week.
I stressed all summer about Nicholas and who he would have for Kindergarten and how big would his class be. It turns out he has a wonderful, patient and understanding teacher. I was able to talk with her at length before the first day of school about Nicholas. I'm so proud of how well Nicholas is doing! The only goal he needs to work on is following directions and the teacher added 'sitting up at the carpet with feet on the ground'. He is right on target with all the academics and actually finds it easy. I am so glad we held him a year so he could mature and get used to rules, learn boundaries and work on self control. Academically he could have gone to Kindergarten last year as he is smart as a whip. As I look back, I see now that he was bored in preschool but at the same time it was good socially.
After the start of school, he is making friends. I never thought he would get along with his peers, according to his babyhouse in Kazakhstan, he didn't have friends and preferred to play alone. He has come so far in 2 years, he continues to amaze us. What a difference 2 years makes! He is still as full of energy as when we met him but he has calmed down. We have learned he is curious, he is loving and he is resilient.
At the end of summer,I was having a really rough time with Claire. I'm not sure if it was because of our unstructured schedule, being the middle child or what but things have improved especially after I signed her up for Tae Kwon Do at the same time as Nicholas. She was resistant to doing TKD but she enjoys going and I think it helps with her confidence and self esteem, issues that she always seems to struggle with. She is now in 2nd grade and is keeping up with class even though she is one of the youngest.
Olivia is doing well in school and is 9 going on 13, she has always been mature and independent. Now that she is in 4th grade her work load has increase. Fortunately we don't have to worry too much about her as long as she keeps up with all her work. She also is now taking 4 dance classes a week. She just enjoys these classes so much. She and Claire auditioned for the Nutcracker and received parts for this years production. They are excited despite all the rehearsals that are required.
May 2008 Decide to pursue an international adoption from Kazakhstan June 2008 Apply to homestudy agency in California October 2008 Work on homestudy and apply to International Placement agency November 2008 Finish completing homestudy December 24, 2008 Notarize our remaining documents for our dossier January 2, 2008 Hand carry our dossier to Sacramento for Apostilles (authenticating) January 2009 Submit our dossier to our agency for review and translation February 2009 Dossier is submitted to consulate March 2009 Dossier resubmitted to consulate April 6, 2009 Dossier cleared consulate! April 15, 2009 Dossier to Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan May 2009 Dossier to Ministry of Education in Almaty! May 23, 2009 Receive LOI (Letter Of Invitation) June 15, 2009 Travel to Kazakhstan to meet and bond with our child July 25, 2009 Trip #2 for court July 30, 2009 Court September 6, 2009 Trip #3 for custody September 12, 2009 Arrive in USA with our son!
Fundraising goal for donation to our child's Babyhouse