Monday, March 31, 2014

Meeting Anirudha

Happy New Year!  Today in this region they are celebrating Gudi Oadwa which is the Marthi New Year.  The tradition I liked best was seeing many women wear new clothing.  Seriously why don't all countries have a holiday that promotes a new outfit.  I admired all the new and beautiful clothing on the way to the orphanage.  It was a ride of mixed emotions.  We were excited, but we were also concerned he would not like us.  Regardless of the possible outcomes, we smiled with our head high ready for anything.

We were walked into his room that he share with about 30 other kids while they were changing and getting ready for the day.  Anirudha was the last to get dressed, and we could see he was a little nervous.  The orphanage workers have been showing him our pictures so he recognized us.

He came over and took my hand.  I bent down to his level, and I was captured by his incredible eyes. His eyes have such depth to them. He then walked over to Ryan and climbed into his arms.  Moved by the awesome moment, I regret to say I missed a photo of that. Anirudha liked Ryan very much from the start. He called him Papa in that first hug.  My heart melted in such sweetness. Anirudha came back to me for a hug. He is so tiny.  I can't get over how light he is.

After introductions, we went to a play area. I brought some cars out to play with (thanks Ms. Tami), and he loved them.  Anirudha is fascinated with cars, and it really helped break the ice with bonding.

I brought a book with pictures of our family, home, and AJ.  He was amused with the pictures.  He knows who Brody is.  The funniest part was when showing him who his grandparents are he saw a picture from Disney World and screamed out "MICKEY MOUSE!"  The kid has great taste in cartoons.  During this time we also learned, AJ knows his colors and he can count to 10 in English.  Our next activity was cricket.  Little man loves hitting the ball and dragging around the bat.  I must find a toy cricket set this week to take home with us.

Today was also a special day at the orphanage in that another family was taking their baby home. There was a ceremony where all the children were dressed up, and they gave a blessing over the family.  We will have a ceremony like that later in the week. A bindi (red dot) was given to everyone as part as a blessing to the adopted family.

We watched Anirudha eat his lunch. I don't believe he has ever used a fork so that will be fun in the future. We are told he likes sweet things the best, and he is a picky eater (just like his mommy).

We left the orphanage while he napped, and we came back to visit at 3:00.  We played more cars, peek a boo with sunglasses, and spin around.  He likes for us to spin him around and around.  Anirudha learned quickly that the words "Again Mommy" are very effective.  He found a pair of my socks in my book bag.  After putting the socks on, he got a caregiver to find him shoes.  Then he went around telling everyone "bye bye."  We thought it was a good sign he was ready to leave with us, but it was also sad leaving him there.  We can't wait to go back to the orphanage tomorrow for more Anirudha James Brice fun!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We made it to Pune!

Before traveling on any trip, I read as much as possible about a city.  I like knowing what to expect.  This trip like most others I'm pleasantly surprised at how different the land is from my imagination. I had imagined Pune to be flat and very crowded.  I got the very crowded part right.  I enjoyed the drive to Pune and seeing the beautiful hills.  India reminds me of a combination of China and Africa.  The shop buildings along the street are very Chinese to me, but the organization and street side is African. The multitude of cars is like China, but the flow of traffic is like Africa. It's very unique and fascinating to watch.  And oh the horns!!!  There's the nonstop sounds of horns letting others know where your car is because how else is one going to let ongoing traffic know we are about to go 9 wide.  It's a lot of fun once you let go and enjoy the wild ride.  Remember those hills/mountains I mentioned earlier, imagine going through them in a tunnel at fast speeds with no headlights on in the dark.  It's an adventure!  

We made the drive to Pune this afternoon.  Everyone at the hotel has been very helpful and kind.  We've meet a few people who speak Engligh that have been so friendly to us. I loved our waiter tonight, and I'm glad we will see him a lot this week. I'm also looking forward to trying out their buffet tomorrow. I was too hungry tonight to wait until 7:00 for the buffet (and we all know that a fed Cristy is a happy Cristy).  

Today is Ryan's birthday and spending it in India is very cool.  It's a little funny how I was in the hospital getting ready to have Brody eight years ago (3 months premature), and today we are once again preparing to bring another Brice child into the family on Ryan's special day.  I'm so excited tomorrow is the big day!  We cannot wait to meet Anirudha!!! I'm down to 10 hours on the AJ countdown.  So when I wake up my US friends from giggles of joy heard around the world just smile and go back to sleep.  Have visions of the Brices happy dancing in your head! 

This the view from our hotel room.

This a pizza from our hotel restaurant. It's called the Indiana with chicken tikka, paneer tikka, bell peppers, onions, mozzarella, and coriander.

One thing my Lousianna husband thinks is really neat is all these restaurants put Tabasco sauce on the table.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

No More Waiting

We're sitting at JFK airport, waiting for our next flight.  Ryan and I keep staring at each other from time to time with the expression of "is this really happening?"  We've been waiting to go get our child for four years now, and it's a surreal moment of there is no more waiting.  It's time!  It's time to go get our son.  It's time to start a new chapter in our family.  It's time to start living the dream that has now become our reality.

Hope you'll follow along on the journey to bring AJ home from India!  I'll be posting every couple of days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


AJ is waiting for us!

I was thinking of the book Charlotte's Web this morning. It's one of my favorite children's book, and there is a line on waiting that is quite profound to me.  

"Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch."

While waiting for AJ's passport is frustrating at times, I find that it is also a rich time in our family. Everyone takes turns encouraging each other because it is an emotional roller coaster.  Lots of hugs have been given.  We have used our time much more wisely than normal.  There is the need to make sure everything is ready daily.  We have made extra effort with Brody to have good quality time with him as he will not be traveling with us.  There have also been sweet conversations with Brody as we confirm in his heart he is loved greatly, and our love for him will never change.  Brody in return has had exciting conversations with us as he plans all the things he wants to do with his brother.  All the precious words said lately have made family life rich indeed!  

When waiting we can dwell on all the negative things or we can be thankful for the positive things that are happening.  Taking a step back to put life in perspective is very important. Good is happening daily so why not enjoy it! 

*Week 5 of waiting for AJ's passport
*Passport status changed to "printing" yesterday 
*We have been told Anirudha is eager for us to come
*We are excited he knows about us 
*We have his clothes packed and ready to go