brother and sister 2009

brother and sister 2010

brother and sister 2010

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anxiously Waiting to Pick up Our Daughter!

We returned home last Friday, and are now running around getting a few more last minute documents that need to get to Russia before we pick up Olivia. Because of the Russian Holiday, we will not be picking her up until the 11th of January. We will leave on the 8th or 9th and will have to stay for about 2 weeks until her passport and visa are ready. We are going CRAZY having to wait that long to pick her up, but I'm sure the time will seem to go a little quicker because of Christmas and New Years...hopefully. We will have to stay a few days in Kaluga to wait for her passport and then it's off to Moscow for about a week to finish her medical/visa and exit interview at the U.S Embassy.

We wish all of our Family and Friends a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!

Renae and Joe

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Court was a success! I was SO nervous, but Joe got asked most of the questions and he did real well. We started around 2:30 and were done at 4:00....not too bad. I do have to say that it was NOT as bad as I thought it would be. As I have heard before from a family who adopted from Kaluga, "she asked very fair questions." She did not try to trick us with questions from our home study, she just asked basic questions.

We really gave it alot of effort to get the 10 days waived, but the judge did not waive them, so Joe and I will return home on Friday. They are going to let us know tomorrow when we can return to pick Olivia up.

We went to go and visit her after court and she was SO much fun! She does pretty good at walking now and she loves to dance! I just hate the fact that we have to leave her again and not see her for a couple of weeks...I can't WAIT until we can finally bring her home.

Joe and I just want to let everyone know that it was comforting to know that we had so many family and friends thinking and praying for us today....thank you all for thinking of us!

We will post more later! Above is a picture of us outside of the Kaluga court house.

Renae and Joe

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today was a MUCH better day...she cried both times for about 5 minutes and then she was happy for the rest of the visit....all it really took was a cookie! She is walking pretty good now. We still have to catch her after the first few steps, but she is really close to doing it on her own without falling. She has the CUTEST belly laugh...we love to hear her laugh. I can't WAIT to be able to show pictures, but we can't do that until we pick her up from the baby home.

Oh, by the way, our translator, Nadya, called the airport and they said "yes, we have ALL FOUR BAGS of the Nodine's, you can come and pick them up." When the driver drove 3 hours today just to pick up our bags, he came back to us with only 3!!!! He said that they couldn't find the 4th, that they only found 3...what the HECK!!! Nadya came into the baby home while we were playing with Olivia to share the "not so good news." I said "what bag is missing?" and GUESS who's it was? yes, mine....with ALL of my clothes (not the ones for court, we have those LUCKILY)and dress boots for court in it. So, we spent the middle of the day shopping at the mall in Kaluga for clothes for me to wear....can you believe it?! We will have to track down our other bag later. I'm just glad that it wasn't the bag that I packed for Olivia that had just about everything she owns in it! However, ALL of the gifts for the caregivers, doctor, Svetlana, Irena, etc...were IN my bag. Hopefully we find it so we can get these gifts to them.

Tomorrow morning, Nadya is going to take us to the market and then we will come back to the hotel around 12:30 to get ready for court at 2:15. I will be SO, SO relieved when court is over. Joe's not nervous at ALL, he's looking forward to it. Me on the other hand, I'll be ready to share a drink with the Russian's when it is over!

Well, bye for now...until tomorrow after court!

Renae and Joe

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hi Everyone!

Well, we had our first visit with Olivia yesterday. It was SO good to see her again, although she cried when we picked her up and took her away from all the kids. She cried a little both times visiting yesterday, but then she was o.k. and laughing after a while of Joe and I acting like two clowns -ha-ha. She has a little cold also, I'm sure that didn't make it any better. Joe and I were playing with her and to our excitment, we got to see her WALK today! It was SO cute...she took about 7 or 8 steps and then toppled cute. We will be leaving at 12:45 today to visit her again...I hope she doesn't cry when she sees us today.

We met Elizabeth here at the hotel who was going to meet her referral yesterday. We hope all goes well with her!

We were told last night that ALL of our luggage finally arrived at the airport, so our driver is going to pick it up today....yeaaaah! We are definitely roughing it right now!

We will visit Olivia 2 times today and then tonight we will have to get prepared for court tomorrow. We have to be there at 2:15. There is one more document that they are rushing to get translated over here because it JUST got to Russia yesterday afternoon after WEEKS. But, they said it will be done and I have total faith in that, they are really good at what they do here. The document is the letter from our IA doctor that we will use to try and get the judge to waive the 10 days.

I will try and post later after our visit with Olivia.


Renae and Joe

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Made It!

WE made it to Russia, but NONE of our bags did! We got to Russia around 8:15 (russia time) and were standing near baggage waiting for our bags and NOTHING! So, we had to go and fill out a form and go to Kaluga and hope for the best.

Right now, we are sitting in our room with our Translator and she called the airport and they do have 3 of our bags...the other is supposed to arrive at the airport later tonight....whew! We are just trying to figure out how to get them to Kaluga without having to drive 3 hours again to pick them up. Anyway, all that's important is that they DO have them. Our court clothes were in there and EVERYTHING.

We will get to see Olivia at 1:00 today and again around 6:00...we can't WAIT!

I'll post again later!

Renae and Joe

Friday, December 12, 2008


Yes we are packed and SO ready to go! It was so hard to sleep last night with everything racing through my head...seeing our little girl again, getting mentally prepared for court, making sure I have everything packed that we need...and so on.

We will leave early in the morning, fly to Chicago and have about a 5 hour layover and then OFF TO RUSSIA! We will arrive in Russia on Sunday and will be picked up at the airport by our translator and driver and will drive 3 hours to Kaluga. We will settle in to our hotel room and then we will probably by able to go to see Olivia on Monday morning....I cannot WAIT to see her and hold her in my arms again! Tuesday we will visit her again and then Wednesday we have court (can't wait for that part to be over). We will hopefully get to see her a few more times and then we will be leaving Russia on Friday (unless of course our Judge is in a WONDERFUL holiday spirit and decides to waive our 10 days, in which case we could pick her up after court and just stay to finish up all the necessary steps to bring her home...passport, medical, visa, exit interview with embassy). If she doesn't waive the 10 days, we will come home and go back 10 days later to pick her up.

Thank you to all of our family and friends for all of your love and support! We will keep you all posted each step of the way.

Renae and Joe