Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Christmas Miracle!!

Ok, we can now let the cat out of the bag! Sorry for the deception dear blog reader but I am overjoyed to announce that I am currently writing this post from the comfort of my own bedroom in Ballywalter! God Bless us, everyone!*

We submitted the visa application docs to the British Embassy on Wednesday as previously reported but I also made sure that I met one of the embassy staff that I had been in email contact with to plead our case for a quick decision. Visas can take up to 15 days to process, our agency told us the average wait is 4 days, we got ours at 9am the next morning! BIG answer to many prayers.

We then hatched a devious plan to tell no one, sneak home and surprise our family's... In the immortal words of Hannibal Smith "I love it when a plan comes together"! Operation Christmas miracle worked a treat and we were able to surprise everyone, Gary in particular was an emotional wreck!

Can't quite believe its Christmas eve and we are home, in our own beds with Leah and Will already asleep next door.

God is truly good, how thankful we are for answered prayer.


Have a good Christmas everyone, I know we will!

Philip, Amanda, leah & Will

* (c) Charles Dickens

Snoozing on the plane.
The 'miracle' visa.
Domoedovo Airport 3.30am UK time
'Hello Granny'

Mission accomplished!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Nothing to report.

Its been four days now getting to know Will and it has been wonderful seeing his little personality emerge, I can confirm he will be no shrinking violet!

Some of the things we have learned about Will already,

He DOES NOT like being hungry, this is unfortunate as he is almost always hungry.
He has very low reserves of patience.
When he knows when hes not allowed to do something he tries to catch our eye and then makes sure he does it again.
He has a wonderful sense of fun, full of smiles and giggles.
He is very sweet and is constantly offering hugs and cuddles.
He loves attention, although he is surprisingly sturdy and quick on his feet he will not pass up any opportunity to be carried around.
He DOES NOT like to be hungry.

Now I understand that the first three things in particular are very un-Davidson like but I'm sure he will come around eventually!

Its not something we planned being out here over Christmas but I think we will look back on these moments as being very precious.

Few more pics now including the obese snowman of which i'm very proud!

Philip, Amanda, Leah & Will

Just been playing in the snow 'glow'!

Next years Christmas card sorted!

Better option for next years card?

Leah is immune to the cold.

Our Obese snowman

Will in his Jammies

'Come to your big sister'

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

One last hurdle...

Another early start this morning, sitting in traffic and gathering paperwork. Finally made our way to the British Embassy to submit our application for Wills visa.

All we can do now is wait and pray for a speedy response. Our agency originally told us to book our return flights for the 29th but we are hopeful for a little quicker than that, 26th or 27th would be great!

It's quite a relief actually that there is nothing more now that we can do, we intend to just enjoy these next few days together getting used to life as a family of four!

Will was a little unsettled last night which was only to be expected but he is coping incredibly well with what is a total change to everything he has ever known before. He's been asleep for almost 4 hours now though and has been eating really well all day, in fact he's already got a Davidson's attitude to being hungry, he doesn't like it!!

He really loves attention and is really easy to entertain, he also makes sure he keeps Amanda in sight at all times!

Also, I'm delighted to report that snow has arrived, Leah is over the moon and we played in the little park across from the apartment until we could now longer feel our fingers! After explaining to Leah that we couldn't play in the snow at nighttime we compromised by agreeing to return first thing in the morning to build a snowman!

Few more pics now and I'll be back once we have anything else to report!

Philip, Amanda, Leah & Will.

Snow has arrived!
Personalized blanket courtesy of J. Fulton!
The camera is adding a few pounds here, really!
"Wanna half-sucked rice cake?!"
Leah's very happy!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Wills Liberation Day!

What a day!  8 exhausting hours in the car altogether!  Started out at 8.30 AM visiting the vital statistics office to collect adoption order and new birth certificate then met the social worker to get an authorization order to release Will from the care of the baby home, passport office to get his Russian passport and then finally a 4 hour round trip to the Vidnoya Baby Home to get our son once and for all!!

Will has coped with the day unbelievably well, a real answer to prayer.  He has been happy and content all day, eaten his lunch and then napped for a couple of hours in Amanda's arms.  Now back at the apartment he has eaten a big bowl of pasta and cheese, played for a bit and is now down in his cot.  5 or 10mins of crying with Amanda going in and out quickly but he is now pretty quiet!!  So far......

To be fair Leah set the bar pretty low in the 'first night with our new child' stakes, if we manage to get through the night without Will being rushed to casualty at 3AM with a temp of 105degrees then we will have topped Leahs first night!!

It was lovely seeing Leah and Will meet for the first time, he already finds her very entertaining and she is taking her big sister responsibilities pretty seriously!

British Embassy tomorrow to submit Wills visa application documents and then the waiting will begin.....

Just a few pics and not the best quality but I'll post better ones tomorrow.

Praise the Lord for answered prayer thus far!  Thanks to all who have been praying, keep it up.

Philip, Amanda, Leah and Will!

Check out the T-Shirt!
One last visit to the rings.

'What do you mean you've no idea how much further?!'
Back in the apartment.

Leah stealing his chew rings to make Jewelry!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Moscow again

Just arrived in unseasonably warm and distinctly un-snowy Moscow, just hope for Leah's sake we get a bit of a snow storm before we leave! Apartment is really nice, much bigger than our last one, plenty of room for Leah and Will to charge around.

The third trip has finally arrived and we are getting very excited indeed about picking up Will once and for all tomorrow, It's great to have leah out with us this time and to say she is excited is a gross understatement!

Life is going to change forever tomorrow!

Continue to pray for our trip to the British embassy on Wednesday that all will go well with our visa application and that we will get home as quickly as possible.

I promise there will be some big sister and little brother pics tomorrow!

Philip, Amanda, Leah & Will.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It's a boy!

Phew, finally!!

Submitted the new document in court today and after taking a few minutes to explain the definition of Freehold as understood by UK law the judge finally accepted our application and we were free to proceed with the rest of the hearing. Ten minutes later after a few words from the prosecutor and then the Vidnoya social worker the judge retired to consider her ruling. Twenty minutes later she came back and announced that the adoption order had been granted and we would now be registered as the parents of, William Charles Vasili Davidson!

Thanks for all who were praying so hard for us we really appreciated it, we are thankful again to the God who hears and answers prayer!

Home tomorrow and then back out on the 19th with Leah to finally bring him home. It will be a tight thing to get his visa issued before the Christmas holidays but surely we are due an easy and straightforward trip after the trial and tribulations of our first two trips?! We will see....

Philip, Amanda, Leah & Will.

Outside Court.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

So close...

*Deep calming breaths*

It was all going so well, Amanda and I had given our little speeches, all the docs looked to be in order, answered a few simple questions from the prosecutor about Leah and just at the final hurdle the judge asked for proof that we owned the land our house is built on.  We pointed out our letter from our bank confirming that we owned the property at our address, etc but apparently this is not good enough, she wanted a letter confirming we owned the land also!

To be admissible in a Russian court every document must be notarized and legalized so it was not an option to simply have a document emailed from home, aarrgghh!!

Thankfully we brought an additional letter from our bank which again confirms we are the property owner and also that the title on the property is freehold.  The definition of Freehold in UK law means that we own both the house AND the land. 

So.  We are having this letter translated and notarized today, along with some notes on the definition of freehold under UK law and we are heading back to the court tomorrow at 2.30pm to resume the hearing and we trust and pray that the court will be satisfied with this clarification.

We were due to fly back home tomorrow afternoon so after leaving the court today we had to embark on a 5 hour round trip within Moscow to get to a BMI office and change our flight times.  There are MASSIVE pro Putin and anti Putin demonstrations all round Moscow today after last nights elections so the traffic which is normally  merely horrific is now something approaching a crime against humanity!

After some light gouging by the BMI cashier we are now back in our apartment and reflecting on the last few hours.  we expected a pleasant 45mins in court followed by a trip out to see Will officially as his parents.  Didn't quite work out that way but we still believe that everything is in Gods hands and we trust that our court visit tomorrow will go according to plan.

We then leave our apartment at 4AM on Thursday morning and should arrive in Belfast some time that afternoon.  As always, only predictable thing about inter-country adoption is its unpredictability!!

*More deep calming breaths*

Philip & Amanda