Monday, December 29, 2008

The End....

Well - it's three days until a new year begins so it's time to offically end this blog, which has been a part of my life since April 2007. I started it when we handed in our dossier figuring it would help keep me busy during our waiting period and would be a good way to update family and friends during our time in Kazakhstan. It went on to become a way to share all of Drew's first experiences with everyone - all of the first holidays, his first birthday in the US, milestones like walking, jumping, talking and potty training and all of the other parts of Drew's life.

There are no words to express the gratitude I feel toward family and friends too numerous to name for fear of leaving anyone out. Thank you for following our journey, and thank you mostly for caring about our little boy and wanting to know what he's up to...

As I end this, Drew just turned 2 1/2 - his speech is coming along amazingly, he's using the potty consistantly, he's starting gymnastics classes next month, he's becoming very bossy and questioning "why" all the time...he's just an amazing child! He makes me laugh every day...and even when's he's driving me crazy, I am more thankful than he could ever know that he is my child...

So - thanks to everyone who's still reading this. Thank you for sharing this part of our lives.

And now to Drew - who I hope someday will read this and learn a little about his history and his journey to becoming our son...

Dear Drew,

Mommy began this blog about six months before we left for Kazakhstan to meet you. It details all of our time in Kazakhstan, as well as the first year of your life at home with us. I hope that you enjoy reading this for years to come and through it learn about lots of things you would have been too young to remember.

I hope through it you will see how much you are loved and how much you were wanted - not only by Daddy and me, but by your brothers, your grandparents, your aunts, uncles and cousins and many other family members and friends. We are all so lucky to have you in our lives.

So this is what I hope for you as you grow up...

I hope that you know you are unconditionally loved every day of your life. We may not always like things that you do or choices you make, but we will always love you and be there for you.

I hope that you are proud of who you are. Proud to be American. Proud to be Kazakh, Proud to be Jewish, and Proud to be Drew Sebastian Esatai Sanders. I hope that Daddy and I have been able to teach you about your birth culture and make it a part of your life. We are so proud of who you are and where you come from.

I hope that we have been able to answer all the questions you may have about your past and where you came from. We will always tell you the truth and will give you all the information we have about you. I hope that you get as many answers as possible to what I'm sure will be your many questions. I hope you know how thankful we are to your birthmother for the gift she has given us. She will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

I hope that you continue to have the strong personality you have now - it will serve you well. Never be afraid to express your opinions, your fears or your dreams. Never be afraid to be who you are.

I hope that you continue to have the infectious smile and laugh that you have now. You have the best smile and laugh in the world, my little boy, I hope to see it every day of your life.

I love you so much Drew...thank you for making me a Mommy - you are the best gift I ever received.

When I first started this blog, I put up a short poem, so it seems an appropriate way to end this:

Not flesh or my flesh
Not bone of my bone
But nonetheless my very own
Never forget for a single minute, that you didn't grow under my heart, but in it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy "A" Day Drew!!!

Today is the one-year anniversary of Drew's homecoming - his Adoption Day!! I can't believe it's been a year - it's amazing to look back and see what a different child he is now - how different we are now...I know a year ago at this time I was frekaing out because the following day was my first alone with him and I was scared out of my mind!!!, it's just normal :) He's such an amazing little boy...I don't know how we got so lucky, but I'm glad we did...We celebrated with a special book "My Fmaily is Forever" and a dinner at Chuck E. Cheese's - I think this will be our new family tradition for A Day!

So - not sure anyone is actually reading this anymore, but I decided to end the blog at the end of the's time to wrap it up and make this into a book for Drew to have as a keepsake someday. This blog has covered the whole adoption process, plus every major milestone for his first year at's amazing to look back on...

For anyone still checking in - thank you for caring enough to follow our amazing journey and sharing our means so much...

I will check in again before Jan. 1!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Adoption Poem...

I saw this poem, and I love it...

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.

© Author Unknown

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Drew is official!!

We had Drew's conversion ceremony today - he's now officially Jewish! :) It was a wonderful ceremony and the Rabbi did a fantastic job...GG, Aunts Lysee, Stephanie and Sheri, and Uncle Shawn came up for the was just amazing...I feel at peace - that was the last thing that had to be done - and now it's done...well, we're still waiting for his Conn. birth certificate, but other than that - it's done :)

Drew's Hebrew name is David Shmuel - David was my father's name and Shmuel was my maternal grandfather's name - my Pop Pop...Drew is named after two amazing people who I love very much. My father was always my hero - there are no words to describe what he's always meant to me. My grandfather was amazing too and provided me some of my best childhood memories - I can still remember all the Chinese dinners with him and he always order pastachio ice cream at the end of the meal - I thought it was cool cause it was green!

Both of them, besides sharing a birthday, also shared a love of being Jewish - it was who they were, plain and simple. I hope Drew, as he grows, shares that love that they had...he's off to a good start...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Drew's first Thanskgiving....

Happy slightly belated Thanksgiving :)

We were up in Vermont with my family for Thanksgiving - Aunt Stephie (my SIL) came along too - and it was a great time had by all!! :) A great dinner by GG (What Drew now calls Grama, cause it's much easier to say!), with some help from his aunts Sheri and Lysee and me (Hey, I made the salad!)...Drew didn't eat any turkey (he doesn't eat meat very much), but he LOVED the cranberry sauce and a lot of the fixings...

We tried to dress he and his cousin David up as a pilgrim (David) and an Indian (Drew), but niether of them was too thrilled about their costumes - I thnk we got one or two pics before the hats and outfits came off - oh well...

All in all a good holiday - and lots to be thankful for :)

And now it's Black Friday and I officially started our Hanukkah/Christmas shopping - so much to get, so little time!! Chris and Ben will be with us for Christmas this year - yeah!!!! :) And Christmas and Hanukkah fall at the same time, which will make it extra special - I'm very excited...the older boys will be here the 23rd - I think. We have to check out our box of Christmas stuff and make sure we have enough ornamnets, etc...we'll decorate the tree when Chris and Ben get up here...

All of Drew's paperwork for a Certificate of Foreign birth has been submitted to Probate Court - so hopfully he'll get that in a few weeks. His conversaion is coming up quickly...and I need to weite his first post-placement report to Kaz in the next week or two - wow...this year went fast!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I know it's been almost 11 months, but...

...I finally just got around to contacting the Probate Court about getting Drew registered with the state so we can gt a U.S. birth certificate for him. I know, it took me a while, but my goal is to have it done by the time Drew's "A Day" rolls around on Dec. 17. The woman I talked to at Probate Court asked me what country he was from and I said, Kazakhstan (obivously!) and she said, "Wow, never heard of that one!" - So apparently we are the first people in the New Britain area who adopted from there - wierd. Anyway...thankfully his name change was already legally done, we have his citizenship papers and hopefully this will be a smooth and easy process.

Drew is starting to learn cause and effect. He had a really bad day at daycare this week - hitting his best friend Hunter! I felt so bad cause Hunter was so sad about it. So Drew and I had a long talk about how it's bad to hit (or go "boom") and how we need to be nice to our friends. And yesterday I told him if he was a good boy and didn't hit anyone he could have an ice pop after daycare - well, that worked!! Hopefully it keeps up...of course he woke up this morning wanting an ice pop, and wasn't happy to have to wait until later, but he seemed to understand that he could only get one if he didn't hit anyone...

Drew also went on the potty again - his second time!! He's so proud of himself when he does it - it's so funny. And of course we are proud of him too...

Oh - Drew's conversion will take place Dec. 7!!!!!!!! Woo hoo.....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Drew's First Halloween...and Other Stuff Too...

Drew celebrated his first Halloween last night - and what a night it was! He was dressed as a black cat and had a great time. He was scared at first and didn't understand why he was going to all these strange people's houses, but eventually got the hang of it and started knocking on the doors himself! He liked going through all his candy at home and enjoyed some lollipops and M and Ms before mean Mommy and Daddy made him go to sleep...all in all it was a successful first Halloween.

It was nice, there were so many kids walking around our neighborhood - so much fun! Of course there were lots of houses that didn't have porch lights on, clearly not wanting trick or hard it is to buy a bag of candy people?? Sheesh!!!

Drew also FINALLY said his brother Chris' name today!!!!!!!!! He's been saying Ben since the summer, but Chris is much harder to say (He can't say the "k" sound yet) - so it sort of came out like "Diss," but when he talked to his big brothers on the phone tonight he clearly said both of their names!!! He misses his brothers so much and talks about them ALL of the time...of course we all miss Chris and Ben and can't wait until they come here for about two weeks at Christmas... :) Yeah!!

Other than that - things continue to be good with Drew...I'm starting to think how we will celebrate his "A" day (Adoption day - the day he came home) - not sure what we should do. I'd love to do something to celebrate his Kazakh culture that day, but I'm not sure what..oh well - I have until Dec. 17 to figure it out :)