Friday, May 22, 2009

One Week Home

We have now been home for a whole week. Apologies to our loyal blog followers for our silence over the last few days. Life has gotten a bit more hectic with 3 kids and a job! We are just feeling like we are getting our legs back under us.

We hit the ground running with a soccer game for Brooks on Saturday morning and work and school on Monday. We came home to the very pleasant surprise of a new front deck and landscaping. We have the most amazing family and friends!

The week has gone pretty well, we are all getting used to being a family of five. Our house seems to have somehow shrunk and apparently every shelf is within the reach of an 18 month old. I (Ryan) used to pride myself in being able to change most any diaper with a single wipe...I am WAY off my game. It has taken all week for Anna to get over the 15 hours time difference. Her schedule was so regimented that our on-the-go lifestyle is quite a change for her. She really loves her big brothers giving them lots of hugs and kisses. It is so funny to see Bradey walking around the house holding her, usually at Anna's request. It is clear that she finds a lot of comfort being in the company of other children. Both Bradey and Brooks used Anna as their show-and-tell this week.

We sometimes have to stop and remind ourselves of all the changes Anna (and the rest of our family) are experiencing. We so appreciate all the encouragement and prayers from all of you. We promise to start answering the phone and the door and the emails and the mail again soon!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We are safely home. The flights were crazy long but the result was good. Anna is doing great and we are all trying to get over the jet lag. Bradey and Brooks are absolutely in love with their little Sister and it seems the feeling is mutual. We will post more later but wanted to let everyone know that we made it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We leave in 20minutes for the airport. We realized from the time we leave the hotel until we land in Portland it will be a total of 24 hours. Please pray for us that it will be a good flight(s).

As soon as we land in the states Anna will officially be a U.S. citizen!!!!

God Bless the USA!

See you all soon!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It Takes A Village

During our long month of being gone, we have often reflected on how many people it took to get us to this point. We finally have Anna in our arms, and so many of you have helped to get her here. Of course we could never thank everyone enough, but we at least wanted to attempt a shout out for all those who have supported us on this journey:

Our boys: You have been so brave while mommy and daddy are gone to bring home Anna, we are so proud of you and miss you deeply. You will be the best big brothers ever!

Our moms Linda and Donna: For taking such wonderful care of our boys while we have been gone. Words fail us to describe how much we love and appreciate you.

Our dads Steve and Ed: Thanks for giving up your wives for 2 weeks as they watched the boys for us and for your love and support.

Our AWAA (adoption agency) family: Thanks for all the support and prayers, you have been invaluable in all the information you have provided.

Kristen (agency coordinator): Thanks for patience with me as I called to ask you questions you have probably heard 100 times. Thanks for allowing me to cry to you on the days the wait seemed unbareable.

All our aunts, uncles, cousins: Thanks for your excitement to welcome Anna into the family.

Mike, Christy, Collin, Joshua and Megan: You have been so encouraging from the moment we told you we were adopting 2 years ago. Thanks for not letting the physical distance between us affect your excitement. Collin, Joshua, Megan your precious prayers said for your cousin Anna mean so much to us.

Scott and Shawna: You are both wonderful encouragers to us, thank you for your prayers, words, and excitement for Anna to be in our family!

Chad and Cammie: Chad, only a true friend is willing to do an airport run at 4am! Cammie, thanks for your friendship to our moms while they were in town, extra playdates for Bradey, and all the other "little" things you have done.

Keith and Shelley: Our fellow adoptive family friends, we have loved sharing and experiencing our journeys together with you. Thanks for sharing your story with us, listening to us share ours, and for mowing our lawn!

Troy and Shea: Thanks for all the adorable girl clothes!

Jeremy and Danielle: Thanks for the plane ticket!

Everyone who donated money for the orphanage needs: This was one of the highlights of our trip, to see how excited the director was to receive this donation!

Everyone who posted on our blog while we were gone, each note was a little gift from home and we appreciated every one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Sorry we have been quiet the last couple of days. Anna has not been feeling well, she just has a cold, but it has kept her from getting good sleep. We spent most of the day on Wednesday packing up the apartment and getting the last of Anna's Russian documents completed. We flew out early yesterday morning for Moscow. She did pretty well on the flight she cried some but we were expecting that. She did fall asleep off and on for about 3 hours so that was a huge praise!

We arrived early in the morning Thursday to Moscow and we were all starved. We asked our driver to take us to the nearest McDonalds. They were only serving breakfast, but that sausage biscuit tasted sooo good! Anna didn't seem to care too much for it, she refused to eat the pancakes we ordered for her, but she did eat some egg. Everything she has had to this point seems to be pureed, so she is not used to food she can pick up and eat. After McD's we were taken to get her U.S. Passport photo, then to the hospital for her medical evaluation. Tomorrow Russia is celebrating their Victory Day here in Moscow which is a big celebration for them. All of central Moscow is basically closed off to traffic for the celebrations and parade. As we were walking to the hospital we were able to see the huge display of aircraft practicing the flying formations for Saturdays parade. There were over 100 planes flying really low along the parade route in various formations. After that the huge army tanks came down the street. It was quite amazing for us to see, poor Anna, so much to take in for one day.

Each day with Anna we see more of her personality showing and she seems to get more comfortable with us. She switches between only wanting mommy for sometimes and then only wanting daddy for sometimes. Today I dressed her in a shirt that says "I'm Wild About Daddy" and it's so true!

I am finding out I am clueless on how to do little girls hair! At the orphanage they always had it in those bows or little pigtails on top. I am having a hard time just putting a barrette into it. She sits very still, and doesn't seemed bothered by anything in it. It is comical to see what it looks like when I am done, even Ryan has commented that I should maybe practice some more:-)

The next few days our facilitator will be handling our paperwork at the U.S. Embassy so we just have to sit tight in the hotel. Monday is a holiday here so on Tuesday we go to the Embassy to finalize Anna's papers. It seems like so much down time just sitting around and we are so ready to get home!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day One -- So much fun!

I am starting this post today while Anna is taking her nap. I forgot how much work an 18 month old takes! It is all so much fun, everything she does is too cute and we want to see her every move:-) I realized just a minute ago that I had mashed potato and carrot chunks in my hair leftover from her lunch...isn't that sweet! She is quite a force when she is awake, constantly going, going, going! But then, when she is tired, it is like a light switch. I pick her up, hold her close, she finds her thumb to suck and her eyes shut almost immediately. I wish she needed me to hold her longer, but now I just stare at her sleeping until my arms feel like they are going to fall off. I am not sure if this is her normal way or if she is just extra tired and overloaded with all things new. Yesterday I wanted to hold her all night long and watch her sleep, I was so emotional having her with us for her first night. I keep trying to describe how amazed we are that she is finally with us, but there are no words. It is all the same feelings we had the days our boys were born, however, this was a 2 year "pregnancy" so the result seems sweeter. Plus, I am not confined to a bed and I have enough energy to take care of her:-)

Last nights bath was very traumatic for her (and us too)! We had no idea she would react in such a way, it was sheer terror. We had planned on getting her first bath on video, but we were all so upset that we totally forgot. We might stick to sponge baths until she is more comfortable with us. We wanted to take her swimming at the Moscow hotel pool, but now we think that might be a bad idea.

Tomorrow is our last day in this apartment. We need to go somewhere to sign papers, then the rest of the day we will be packing to leave very early Thursday morning.

Thanks for checking in on us!

Well, what a difference a day can make! When I started this post is was in the afternoon, since then we decided to try Anna's bath tonight in the kitchen sink vs. the bathtub (thanks to my sisters great advice, THANKS CHRISTY!) as you can see, viola...she loved it!

Ours Forever!

Today was the long awaited "Gotcha Day" that all adoptive parents look forward to, remember and celebrate forever.
May 4, 2009 will always be one of the three best days of our lives. Enough with the words because we are now aloud to share pictures, here is our precious Anna!

It was a great day and we could tell we were covered in prayer. We had been anxious and nervous about her reaction to being taken from everything she knows as normal. It is amazing to think how many new experiences she had just today, from being taken outside the orphanage walls, to riding in a car, to hearing English all day, to riding in an elevator, to seeing all new things.

The minute we left the orphanage and got in the car Anna's eyes were huge and full of tears, and then closed. She fell asleep not even 30 seconds into getting into the van! She peacefully slept most of the car ride back to the city. This was a huge blessings as it really helped calm all 3 of us! Thank you for your prayers.

We went directly to take her passport picture and then back to our apartment. She was happy the whole way and even took a pretty good passport picture, which is more that I can say for myself! We all enjoyed the day exploring around the apartment, Skyping with our parents, and getting to know one another. Sort of the first day of the rest of our lives!

She took a good nap this afternoon, ate well, screamed through a bath, pulled everything off every counter and made her sappy parents tear up with each movement. It is 8:30PM here and she is now just asleep. We are praising God for how He orchestrated this entire process from placing it on our hearts to adopt over 2 years ago, to now this very special day. He knew long ago how special May 4, 2009 would be and we are so grateful.

The link below has many more pictures of Anna from the last two weeks if you have the time.


The Yarbrough 5

Sunday, May 3, 2009

We're ready!

Today has crept by at a snails pace. We spent the day getting ready for Anna's arrival, we are so ready to have her here with us! We prepared the gifts for the caregivers at the orphanage, cleaned the apartment, did laundry, cooked up some vegetables so we can have them ready for when she gets hungry, set up her pack-n-play and took a final trip to the grocery store.

Most importantly we spent some time in prayer praising the Lord for bringing us to this day. There is no doubt He knew when she was being formed in the womb that she was going to be our little girl. We will never fully know all that He did to bring this little girl born in a small town in Siberia to our lives. But we know He ordained it from the beginning of time and His timing is perfect. We prayed that tomorrow will be easy on her, that she will be filled with peace from her Heavenly Father and know that we are here to love her. We prayed for her as she spends her last night in her room where she is comfortable with all her playmates, and we prayed earnestly for the little ones that are left behind, that someday they too will be going home.

We are amazed at God's blessings upon us. We are prayed up, praised up and geared up for tomorrow!

Rest assured, there will be many pictures of her sweet face posted as soon as she is in our arms!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Last Saturday in Krasnoyarsk!

For our last Saturday here we decided to hit the streets and see as much as we could on foot. We walked from our apartment across a pedestrian bridge to a small island on the Yenesey river. After that we stopped at our favorite coffee place to warm up and drink a cappuccino. We happened across a large bookstore and spent some time in there perusing and were able to find a beautiful photography book about this city written in both Russian and English (score!). After that we found a museum and spent time wandering through there. It was now about 3 o'clock so we found a place to grab some lunch then headed back home. It was a fun day seeing some more sights and learning about the beautiful city and culture our daughter comes from.

Courthouse where Anna was declared officially ours

Bridge we walked over today

Gates into the city

Typical Russian wear (women here love their boots!)

Random pictures

Some of the random shots taken the past 14 days we have been living in the apartment:

This is how we rig up the adaptor and converter so I can use my flat iron. You do what you gotta do!

Laundry day

Enjoying our evening meal

Russian Coca-Cola...tastes slightly different but still scratches that caffeine itch

We put our life into this mans hands everyday on the drive to the orphanage, SCARRY!

Dueling laptops - Ryan catches up with work, I catch up on emails

Friday, May 1, 2009

The last visit

The last two days we have gone to visit Anna later in the afternoon after she wakes up from her nap. This time seems to work better for her because there is less activity going on in our visiting room and no caregivers are coming in and out. In fact the last two days we have had the room all to ourselves with no interruptions. She is still crying when they bring her to us, but after a few minutes we are able to calm her down and get her to play. Today she was walking up the steps all by herself and when she turned the corner and saw me she immediately burst into tears and tried to get back down the stairs (now that just warms a mothers heart:-) Ryan is always so great with her and is able to get more laughs out of her than anyone. It won't be long until she's a daddy's girl!

We really enjoyed the Russian ballet performance that we went to a couple of nights ago. It was of Cinderella so we were able to understand the story line and follow along. We feel like we have been on a "date" for the last 17 days! Yesterday Ryan decided to take the elevator while I walked the 9 flights of stairs to the bottom floor. When I met up with him he said "Wow, I think that is the longest we have been apart in 2 weeks!" Kind of funny, but it's true:-) We are enjoying every minute of it, we know once we get home we will long for the days we could complete our conversations.

Today was our last day visiting with Anna in the orphanage. On Monday when we make that hour long drive, we will be going with the sole purpose of bringing her home! No more playing in that room, no more having to say our goodbye's, she will be ours! Over the weekend we are going to do as much as we can to make the time go by fast. Monday morning starts a new adventure for us and we can't wait!!

Anna seems to have a thing for shoes. Whenever we try to take them off of her she gets really mad. She is particularly attached to these adorable patent leather ones. She has worn them every day since we arrived last Monday, I considered asking the orphanage if we could take them with us, but I think I will buy her a new pair once we get home. Love those chubby legs:-)