Friday, March 4, 2011

1 week & 14 hours until we leave Latvia! But besides that...

It's 9:13 pm (Latvia time but 1:13 pm Lebanon time) and we are completely exhausted. It's not like we've done anything to get us this way, either. Anyway, Leigah fell asleep on the couch and we woke her up to get her in bed and now the apartment is really quiet besides the occasional Russian or Latvian show on TV as Joe scans through the channels. I'm sure he's hoping I finish this quickly so we can go watch a movie.

Well, this morning we spiffed up the apartment for Inguna, the Social Worker to come visit with Gartis, Daina's son. It was a really good visit. She asked Leigah a bunch of questions about what we have done, how she feels, what she has liked that we have done. All good answers. She then asked us have we changed our minds - NO; What are we doing to improve her language skills? - practice daily, we also put words on everything in the apartment so she can begin to read the words, as well as say them. What do we plan to do for the remaining days on the trip? - go to a concert tonight, another movie next week, finish shopping for souvenirs. How do we feel about adopting Leigah? - we have been parents at a children't home and wanted to adopt several of the children there but it wasn't meant to be; we feel blessed to be Leigah's parents and have enjoye our time together. Then they helped interpret Leigah's questions to us: When do we leave for America, so I can meet my brothers and sister? March 12th!!!! Then they helped us: Has she ever gotten sick to her stomach while riding in a car? - YES!!! What has been her favorite thing we have done? - EVERYTHING!!! Inguna told us that she was happy with our family and that everything looked really good! She will see us in court on March 8th @ 9:45. Leigah then started telling funny stories on Joe and me. Like how Joe yells at the top of his lungs while walking down the street, "I LOVE YOU LEIGAH!!!" and how momma danced and shook her bottom while ice skating. How Joe named the ice skating Penguin "George", She loved the movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and repeated lines from the movie. Inguna & Gartis got a show and enjoyed laughing along with Leigah. After they left we worked on the puzzle and Leigah finished her 3rd scarf. While preparing lunch I got a strong smell of pickles and went looking for the smell. Yesterday when we returned home from the grocery store, we asked Leigah to put the pickles in the fridge and she accidentally put the glass jar of pickles into the freezer. Well, needless to say, the lid to the jar flew off and pickle juice was all over the freezer. Oh well!! So I finshed up lunch and we ate grilled ham & cheese sandwiches (trying to americanize her) and cheese balls. YUM!

Leigah's foster mom, Maija and Yuri's foster mom, Natalia invited us to a concert this afternoon/evening. This was the 2nd concert we were invited to but when we went on Tuesday, there was no concert so we were a little worried it would happen again. Leigah was so excited to see Maija on Tues and so we didn't tell her this time. We walked to the Dome Cathedral to meet them at 3:30 but after waiting for 40 mins, no one came. We did meet a sweet couple from Sweden. Their names were Oka (said OK) and Gunella. They came from Sweden to deliver a pipe organ to their sister Baptist church here in Riga. They were going to the concert that was at 7pm that night and cost $10/person. We were suppose to go to a free concert at 4pm. After starting our walk home we stopped into a French pastry shop and each got a special treat. Joe got a meat/cheese turnover (looked yummy but he said it was just ok) and Leigah & I each got a piece of triple chocolate cheesecake with thick chocolate shavings on it. It was so good but super rich and neither of us could finish our piece, so Joe got an extra treat! We stopped by the small grocery mart and picked up a new jar of pickles and a few other needed items and headed home.

Our evening was very relaxed and comfortable. We ate dinner, had ice cream for dessert and worked some more on the puzzle.

We are so excited about the next week that follows. Saturday - finish souvenir shopping, Sunday - church, Tuesday - court, Thursday - visa interview, Friday - pick up visa, Saturday - fly to Frankfurt Germany, Sunday - fly home to Springfield, MO. This past week really went fast (faster than I thought it would) and with the full schedule for next week, we are hoping it goes just as fast.

Pray for our children back in the states. They are starting to struggle with us being gone. Keegan is trying to be the happy, strong brother; Micah has things going on her life and really needs her momma; Ethan is really having a hard time again. Last night our time on Skype ended abrubtly because of internet connection but it ended with Ethan sobbing and I was trying to talk to them and then we lost them. They are crying daily and it breaks my heart when my mom tells me this. I know they are doing the best that they can and this isn't easy for anyone. Just when I thought they were okay... Please pray for them.

Going to bed! Love you all and it's because of your prayers that we have survived this journey thus far. Thank you!!!!

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