Thursday, September 10, 2009


We made it home! It is wonderful settling in with Klaudia, and she is doing great! She has been her shy self with new people, but is starting to warm up. She has been tentative about her new environment, but has been exploring and figuring it all out. She has been eating pretty well, and sleeping pretty well, which is good!

Klaudia did surprisingly well on the plane. Perhaps my expectations were so low that it could have only been better. She took a 1.5 hour nap about an hour after take off, and then didn't sleep for the rest of the travels until 5 minutes before landing in Omaha. My recommendations are the same as anyone would give: dvds, many food options, a mirror, favorite books and non-noisy toys, changes of clothes, etc. It worked well to take the airplane books and toys out of her usual mix for the two days or so before the flight. Then there was a little re-discovery on the plane. The only tragedy on the plane was changing diapers on Lot (no changing tables). I don't know how people do it with infants, but Klaudia just stood and held on with all her might to a bar and cried until we were done.

Despite the fact that she was exhausted and cranky when landing, it worked out so well for acclimating to the time change. We had a great welcome at the airport by both of our families too - a warm welcome home.

Klaudia is still a mama's girl, but she is warming up more and more to dad and to other family. There are things to work on (speech, walking, a little trust that mama isn't leaving her forever when she leaves the room), but these will all happen in time. There is so much I could post - but, as naptimes go, I only have limited time! Here are some photos:

Happy girl on the plane - yay!!

Figuring out the seat belt

First night at home

Playing with cousin Keaton on the first full day home

Playing with friend BJ on the last full day in Warsaw - yes, that is the oven

Friday, September 4, 2009

All Done! Klaudia Is Coming to America!

The Embassy appointment went well today and Klaudia has her immigrant visa to travel to the United States. In other words, we are done and can travel and will make our flight on Saturday!! Here is Klaudia’s “all done” pose taken soon after we received her immigrant visa:

Klaudia will be a citizen upon entrance into the United States. That will be in Chicago on Saturday afternoon. After that, we fly home to Omaha and will be greeted by Ryan’s family and my parents – yay!! It will be so interesting to see how Klaudia reacts. She will be shy, no doubt. Who knows, she could be asleep and out of it. We’ll see! Either way, we are thrilled to go home to all of our comforts and begin settling in.

We now only have one more full day in Warsaw before our Saturday flight. I will say that, while I am thrilled to return home with my daughter, I can’t help but be sad that she won’t grow up Polish. We have taken her away from all she knows, including her country. Of course she will always be Polish and be a citizen. We will do our best to help her identify as Polish and embrace it as much as she wants. On the other hand, she will grow up in America. And there is certainly something to be said for that.

This is likely the last post from Poland. It is almost the end of the journey, and it is the beginning of our new one as parents. All the paperwork headaches, heartache, waiting and frustration are now starting to fade with every one of Klaudia’s smiles. We are blessed.

We’ll see you in America!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Polish Passport Received – Embassy Tomorrow – Home on Saturday!

We are on schedule to return home on Saturday! Today we picked up Klaudia’s passport (with the priceless mug shot). Tomorrow we have an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to obtain her immigrant visa. After we receive that (hopefully by Thursday afternoon), we are free to travel. Klaudia will be traveling as a Polish citizen and, upon arrival in the United States, will become a U.S. citizen. She will be a dual citizen – cool, huh?

The plane ride will be quite an adventure. Hopefully, for other passengers’ sake, the screaming will be at a minimum. It will be long and annoying for Klaudia, but home is on the other end. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to family upon arrival. Please no one take offense if she buries her face and gives mean looks! Magda, or facilitator and translator here, says that she gets mean looks from Klaudia all the time.

The last few days have been good. Klaudia has been a trooper on some long walks, a visit to the uprising museum, shopping adventures and cab rides. She seems to be doing well with us, and communication and trust are improving daily.

I will report back after the Embassy appointment to let you know that we are good to go!