Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Final Post

Yes, by "we'll post soon" we meant within a week. :-) So, we've been home almost two weeks and life is crazier than ever. Those of you who gave a knowing chuckle before we left and said, "boy your life is going to change" could have been a little more specific. Details like "you are going to be tired for the rest of your life" and "you will hence forth be known as the guy with little stains on his shirt" would have been nice to know in advance, along with "your daughter is going to be the cutest little girl ever in the whole world" and "when she looks into your eyes and smiles it will melt your heart." All of those things are what make this whole experience so amazing, and I guess I just had to experience them for myself.

We have all been doing a lot of adjusting over the past couple weeks here at home, and we're all making good progress. This week Raina is finally getting on track with a good eating and sleeping schedule which is making all of us happier. We have even seen good signs that some day in the not too distant future Tami and I might get a full night's sleep. That will be amazing... So, now for some pictures:

Raina slept almost the whole way home from London - thank you bassinet inventor man!

Once home, Raina quickly fell in love with toilet paper.

Enjoying her favorite meal - green stuff with butter. Yum!

"See, I told you I have a tooth up there!"

She's already into Extreme Sports - such as reverse car surfing!

So cute in one of the many amazing gifts we've received. Thanks for all the awesome stuff!

We made it out of the house - to the park - Raina is having a great time.

We wanted to share some final pictures and thank everyone who has been a part of our journey to bring Raina home and into our lives. Thanks for all the fun comments. It was really nice to have that connection to home while we were traveling and so far away. This will be our last post to our "travel" blog as we have now finished traveling (for a long, long time), so farewell and thanks again!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


We did make it home! We've been busy getting over jet lag and just adjusting to being a family of three! We promise to post soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On our way home... at last!!!

We're finally going to bed for the last time here in India, and we are so excited to be coming home. It's so hard for everything to feel real while living in a hotel, ordering room service for every meal (we had a little screaming/puking incident early on while eating out that made us a little restaurant-shy even though it was just a one time thing). We did brave McDonald's a few times, but each time we'd have to give Raina a serious talk about how bad it was for us and that back in the U.S. we really don't eat there every other day. The amazing thing is the innate love for french fries that I am now convinced children must be born with. Before we could get Raina to eat much else, she had no problems downing a handful of fries - and then dancing for joy in the window.

When we're out and about Raina is basically attached to me at the hip. It's actually more at my stomach, because she's in the Snugli, which is great, and I'll most likely be wearing when I go back to work because it's become part of my body. I'm thinking it will be a really handy way to carry books around the library, so I'm kind of excited about it.

So, anyway, we are ready to come home and get back to real life - at least as real as it can seem with a super energetic little toddler that is close to taking off on her own at a sprint. Tami and I are more into the slow, long distance running, but at this point I think we better start focusing on speed. Of course, after many, many laps from the Door (touch with both hands) down the hall past the bed (with an optional pat pat pat on the bed) around the corner of the bed and then beat on the chair (left, right, left, right, left) then back to the Door (until we discovered there's a little girl that looks just like Raina living in the mirror in the hall, then there was the mandatory kiss for her), we're glad we came in pretty good shape.

We fly out in the morning, so this will be our last post from India. We'll let everyone know we're home safe and sound sometime this weekend. It's been really fun to hear from all of you in the comments, and we'll talk to some of you soon!!

Some Pictures

Gayathri and Hope House

Here are just a couple of the pictures we took at Hope House visiting Gayathri, the young girl we sponsor. It was so special to be able to meet her - she is a beautiful and smart little girl. We had such a wonderful time seeing the work the Nakka family is doing through Hope House and meeting all the girls.

The first picture is the girls reading some books we brought for them that are in both Tamil and English, the 2nd picture is Gayathri reading one of the books. Third picture is of all of the girls having a relay race along with some volunteers that were at Hope House from a church in Texas and lastly is a picture of us with Gayathri the day we left Vellore to catch our flight in Chennai.

We're Back!!

No, not back in the U.S., just back online. :-) For anyone who hasn't totally given up on us - thank you for your patience. We arrived in New Delhi on Saturday, and thought the hotel had easy internet access in our room, but that was not the case. It was neither easy, nor cheap. We've finally broken down and logged in to let everyone know we are okay! Our flight back to the U.S. leaves early in the morning, so this is our last day here in India. After a week in this hotel room we are all definitely ready to come back.

Raina has had a big week and we've gone through so many new things together. I'll be back on to post some of our new developments and pictures in a little bit... Raina is just waking up from a nap...

Friday, August 10, 2007

More Good Times in Kolkata

Spending hours, even days in a hotel room has never been so fun! Hopefully, we corrected the problem with the video as well, but here is a little slideshow with some fun pictures in case it never really works. Just click on it to play:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Having Lots of Fun

Well, our day at ISRC yesterday was amazing. We first got pictures and video of all the other kiddos and then, at long last, it was time to meet Raina. Wow, she was even more beautiful than we ever imagined from her pictures!! To walk out of that building an instantaneous family (the process was far from instant, but you know...) is a feeling I don't think I could ever describe. The cab ride home is another thing hard to describe. We actually lucked out because there was a strike and no taxis or autorickshaws were on the roads. Traffic was much nicer than normal, but a nice day in Kolkata traffic is still pretty exciting. Before we had Raina, I saw it as invigorating, but it doesn't seem quite so fun now. I think I already understand why parents are always saying "Be Careful" - I guess it didn't take long to learn that lesson! :-)

We've basically spent the last day and a half here in the hotel room with Raina - playing, getting to know her, working on her phonological awareness and print motivation :-) and it's just been incredible. She is such a happy, laid back baby. There are still lots of changes and adjustments to come for all of us, but things are going better than we could have asked for so far. Here's a glimpse of our genius baby doing a little walking:

Raina's First Post (she typed it herself)

c b fffgrrrr c txza FCCC .////-/-;/"

A Family at Last!

We'll start with some pictures, since those are in such high demand:

First meeting Daddy

Mommy is so much Fun

So Happy with Mommy

Proud Daddy leaving ISRC

Snack time at the hotel - so cute!

We'll post more details as we can..but wanted to get some pictures out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

hours away

We made it to Kolkata last night and we are now only a couple hours from heading over to ISRC - We'll come back from there instant parents :-)

We promise a nice lengthy picture filled blog entry tonight. We have a lot to share about our time in Chennai, meeting Gayathri and the other girls at Hope House, Cliff's run in with some bad food that kept him in bed with a bucket for a whole day (this we will not share pictures of!)....and we'll of course have much to share I'm sure about our adventure today..

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Off to Chennai...

We're up early this morning to head down to Chennai. Remember our last post where I said, "we're feeling pretty good right now"? Just after writing that post, I laid down on the bed to talk to Tami about what we should go see in Delhi, and we both woke up about 6 hours later. Woah! Thank goodness we'll be back here next week - we'll see Delhi then.

While we're down in Chennai we don't think we'll be able to post to the blog, so hang in there for a few days. We'll be sure and catch everyone up once we get to Kolkata on the 7th. :-)

And Thanks for the comments - they're fun to read!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

We made it to New Delhi!!

Nearly 24 hours after leaving Denver, we have arrived at our hotel, The Manor, in New Delhi. It was actually a great trip, and we're feeling pretty good right now. The roughest spot was right in the middle during our layover in London. We didn't sleep much on that first flight from Denver, and by the time we were just sitting waiting for our gate we felt pretty much like this:

I wanted to write while in London, but couldn't get an internet connection, so I wrote the following in my journal. This will be transcribed word for word to accurately capture the moment in which I wrote it.... "...Speaking of London, we just spent $19.00 on a 3/4 full, small fruit drink, a muffin, and a sandwich. Maybe it's just being in an airport that makes it so expen.... (pen trails off)... huh? Oh, flying makes you feel like a million bucks, which by the time you get to London is worth under 500,000 bucks. Security is obviously tight because they got out the little plastic spikes and put them up right outside the window..."

Once we got a few 15 minute power naps each we were ready to fly onward. Our plane boarded right on time, and after a nice meal of chicken curry and a little "Blades of Glory" on our personal Entertainment unit, we actually got a few hours of good sleep on the flight to Delhi. We were in an exit row with lots of leg room, so it was very comfy. :-)

So, here we are in Delhi. It's really amazing. The driver that picked us up from the airport said it was the first morning to see the sun in 4 days. We're right in the monsoon season, so everything is so green and lush! We're staying at a beautiful little hotel in the New Friends Colony area of Delhi, and are about ready for a little rest. We'll get some pictures of Delhi either later today or when we're back next week, so never fear, you'll get to see it too!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


We are packed, the house is clean, errands are run...and we're ready to go! We were able to fit everything into two suitcases which was needed since we are doing so much travel within India before we get to Kolkata. 80% of what we packed is for Raina!!

We leave tonight.. will be in Delhi on Saturday morning and then head to Chennai on Sunday morning. Some friends will be picking us up and we will be staying with them a couple days and meeting Gayathri, the little girl we have been sponsoring. We can't wait to meet her! We were able to order some story books that are in Tamil and English and are taking those for the girls at Hope House, where Gayathri is.

After that we'll make our way to Kolkata!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


8 days ..until our last day of work for a while

9 days.. until we board the plane for India

11 days..until we are in India

15 days ..until we hold our daughter for the first time!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two Weeks Until...

Two weeks until we leave for India! It's so hard to believe that we are so close to meeting Raina for the first time. We are going to use this blog to journal our time traveling and our time in India so that we can share it with a wide variety of people.

So ... 14 days and counting till we board the plane!!

Raina Ronalika

Raina Ronalika