Today Mary turned 4 years old! We didn’t do anything particularly special as I am still recovering from getting back and Trey is so loaded with work and his upcoming meetings on the MS Gulf Coast. My family lives down there, so it is great timing for us to go with him and introduce Mary to everyone. A sweet lady at church offered to make Mary’s Birthday cake which I gladly accepted. She is an incredible baker and cake decorator and we have enjoyed many of her desserts in the past. Yummy and beautiful! Well, I was so pleased when Trey brought home her cake. It was so girly and had cake glitter that made it sparkle. I didn’t have the energy to think of a character or theme for her cake, I just told her girly girl pink flowers and she made a beautiful detailed cake. Thank you Pam we loved the look and taste of Mary’s Birthaday cake!! We had Trey’s mom with us to celebrate Mary’s birthday and Mary’s to-be best friend Anna, her sis Cat and Mrs. Amy and us. Mary was a bit overwhelmed with all the attention so Trey opened a few gifts with her and then we stopped. Had dinner and then opened some more. Cake and opened some more and then more when she would ask. Whenever she would be pouty and just stare at me or Trey and not answer then we would just quit with the gifts till she was ready for them again. Mary recieved lots of pretty gifts, too many to list, but I can tell you the primary color of everything was PINK!!! Thank you everyone for your thoughtful Birthday presents!!
Mary and her little brother! Today is Mary’s 4th Birthday. We’re gonna have cake after school today. Trey’s mom will be here for it as she is coming from spending time with Trey’s sister and family in North Carolina and is on her way back to Texas. Nice to have family for Birthday celebrations.Good timing. I just love these 2 pictures of Mary and Jordan. She is 5 months older than Jordan. They will be in the same class in school. They really have lots of fun together one moment and the next Jordan is saying he is sick of Mary and she is coming to me tattling about Jordan. So funny! They will be best friends/worst friends. We are so glad to be home and have the whole gang together.
I’ll write more later about Mary and the boys. We were so very tired. It took Mary and I 2 hours to get through security, customs, getting bags, waited over 30min. for stroller, and Visa Immigration. By the time we got up to baggage claim Trey and the boys already had our bags which was great! Oh, they had grown soooo much, not exaggerating, literally grew heads and thinned out!! Jordan was so funny giving me lots of long kisses and hugging my neck. He said while I was holding him,”Mommy you gorgeous!!” So sweet. Mary was a bit overwhelmed and extremely tired. The boys were so sweet and happy with her.
We arrived at Gatwick airport south of London and took a train transit from north terminal to south terminal where we walked through the airport to the train station and bought tickets for the Gatwick Express which goes directly to Victoria Station in London. This the the station closest to Buckingham Palace and where are hotel the Rubens is located. We booked at the Rubens because of its convenience, location and although the price was more than we generally spend it was at the same rates as the Comfort Inns, and other hotels in London. So the Rubens is a really really nice 4 star hotel right across the street from Buckingham Palace and the pictures we had seen of it were incredible, so I was really excited about us staying there. When we got to the hotel the pictures were no exaggeration, it was awesome! I went to check in and the girl at the desk asked so politely if I could take a seat and wait that her manager wanted to talk to me. So I waited just a little and then this amazingly nice lady came over and told me the hotel had a bit of a problem and they had overbooked and asked if they could arrange for us to stay at one of their sister hotels on Kensington. I told her we really had chosen Rubens because of their reputation and location was ideal for me and Mary to see the sights and able to walk to Victoria Station in the morning to get back to the airport for our morning flight. I didn’t know how to get to the other one. She said they would take care of everything and would get us a taxi and tell them where to go and that they would take care of the taxi to pick us up in the morning and drive us to Victoria Station.She then went on about how nice the other hotel was and that in fact that the other one was a 5 star hotel and very very nice. I was a bit indecisive because I really really wanted to stay where I was, but what choice did I really have. The manager offered us to have a seat in the lounge and have a refreshing drink. Large glass of apple juice for Mary and Merlot for me. I told them small glass, but when it came it was huge. I wonder what the large looked like. So we relaxed and sipped on our drinks. She gave Mary some chocolates which Mary was so happy to recieve. After that I checked the back pack and we walked over to Buckingham Palace for a few pictures. We were loosing daylight fast, so I ran, literally ran some of the way down the long street along St. James Park so we could see a few more sights. We had our picture taken with some of the Queens guards, or whatever they call them. After literally walking all over Warsaw, London was no problem. I just wish we had had more sunlight. So we went back to Rubens and got the back pack and they put us in the taxi to The Milestone on Kensington. Well, the manager did not lead me on about how nice it was. It and all the staff were exceptional. They treated me like someone special and they told me my breakfast was included. The guy there gave me a short tour of the hotel, lounge, conservatory,parlor with tea and treats, restaurant then took us up to the room and showed us around. It was incredible!! Fruit on the table for us, robes, slippers, a playpen bed made for Mary. She just giggled and pointed and went over and threw her doll in and kept saying “Gigi, Gigi!!” which is baby. She was so happy to be in it and played with doll and new London teddy bear. She slept so good too in it. She slept in a small crib at her foster home and with us in Libiaz but when we lived in Warsaw she was in a double bed. She really likes the smaller beds. So the sheets on my bed were like 2000 count or something, the absolute softest sheets I have ever been between! The pillows were perfect too. Oh, I only wish Trey could have been there too. I called him to let him know we had made it and explained everything to him and I was laughing while I was describing every part of the suit to him! I could not believe this was me and Mary’s room. We had not eaten supper, but I did not want to leave the room. I just wanted to stay in it as long as we could, because we didn’t get there till around 6:30pm and would be leaving early in the morning and because I just wanted to put on the robe and relax. We decided to just go down to the parlor and ordered soup and a mini chips and fish. The parlor was really fancy and had four little seating areas like seperate tiny sitting rooms. We sat at a tiny round table for two. We enjoyed our shared meal while listening to a piano guy playing next to us. The staff were so friendly to us and came by and played or tried playing with Mary. After a while she gave them some smiles and she got down and explored the room. We went back to our room and Mary had her luxury bath and then we went to sleep. I wish I could say I slept great, but my brain wouldn’t shut down all night. I just kept thinking and thinking about what we had done and what we would need to do in the morning and what time to get up and leave the hotel and how long it would take in the taxi to the station and getting through security and to our gate. Oh bother. In the morning we had room service and it was fantastic!!! My cup of cappucino was a bowl, not like the tiny 4 swallow Poland ones! The orange juice was amazing, oh it all tasted so wonderful!! Mary ate a ton too. So our taxi in the morning was a Land Rover and he dropped us off at the Buckingham Palace Gift shop so I could get my London Christmas ornament and then we walked to the station on that drizzling rainy day. It was great! So our London layover was an amazing retreat, I don’t know many American 3 year old that get to spend the day in London with their Mommies and stay in and eat in a 5 star hotel!!! I don’t know how much Mary will remember, but I have lots of pictures to show and remind her.
We are home and settling in. Mary did so very well with all the traveling. She had so many first. First plane ride, train rides, taxis. She was great. I packed several different things to play with in her carry on and they kept her entertained the whole time. The headset and movies were a big success too. Thank goodness for them adding Barnie to the channels!! We had ALOT of turbulance on the London to Atlanta flight which completely had Mama on nails but she thought all the shaking and bouncing around was so fun! Here are some traveling photos.
WE HAVE A VISA AND WE ARE COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We went back to the Embassy a little before 3:00 and stood in the Immigration line with many others, went up to the window and said “Garrett, Mary Garrett” the lady looked through her stack of big envelopes and handed me Mary’s!!! What a celebration we cheered there on the sidewalk outside the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw!! It is 8:00pm here and Mary is in the tub and I have not packed one thing, so you know what I’ll be doing for a while. Feel free to email if you want, I’ll be up!! Thanks for all the prayers!!
YES!!! PRAISE GOD THE LADY AT THE MINISTRY CALLED THIS MORNING AND SAID THE PASSPORT WAS READY AND WAITING FOR US TO PICK IT UP!!!! WE WERE DRIVING AWAY WITH IT AT 10:15 AND ONTO THE EMBASSY WITH IT TO GET THE VISA. THE MAN INTERVIEWING ME IS A CHRISTIAN AND VERY ADOPTION SUPPORTIVE. HE HAS DONE ALL HIS CLEARANCES FOR MARY TO GET THE VISA NOW WE WAIT FOR THE CLEARANCE VIA EMAIL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. WE GO BACK AT 3PM TO PICK IT UP. THE MAN SAID IF IT IS NOT READY AT 3 THEN FOR US TO HANG OUT AND HE WILL SEND ADDITIONAL EMAILS TO D.C. TO TRY TO HAVE IT TODAY. IT ONLY TAKES 5MINUTES TO PRINT THE VISA ONCE THEY GET THE EMAIL CLEARANCE. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING! IT IS INDEED A BLESSING TO HAVE RECIEVED IT SO EARLY THIS MORNING. THE EMBASSY TOLD US TO HURRY AND GET IT TO THEM, THEY WERE ALL WAITING FOR US. I BELIEVE THEY ARE PULLING FOR US AND THE MAN SAID HE TOO WILL BE PRAYING FOR IT AS WELL. IT’S AMAZING TO KNOW YOU HAVE PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD PRAYING ON YOUR BEHALF. THANK YOU.
Today was damp, cold, raining so we took the morning and just stayed put. Mary played with her dolls and stroller for quite a while and I watched yesterday and Tuesday of Live with Regis and Kelly. I wish they would show the whole show and not just the Regis and Kelly first part of the show. I love it but I want to see the interviews too. I checked out some ebay things, just looking around. Oh, what’s up with the $2.49 gas in America?? When did that happen? We left when it was $4.00. I did some laundry and ironing what had dried. I’ll do one more load tonight so it’ll be dry by Saturday in hopes we will still be flying back that day. We go tomorrow morning around 9a.m to the Ministry to try to get the passport. Our contact here is pretty sure without a doubt that it will not be ready, but I really want to keep trying. Miracles do happen. Trey got a hold of British Air and we now have till midnight on Friday to cancell or change our tickets, so I really feel we should go ahead and show up and just be a face waiting. I’d hate to go ahead and change everthing and then just always wonder if it was ready or go to pick it up on Monday and they say, oh it was ready Friday. Mary drew a family portrait all completely by herself, she was so proud. We pointed at each character and said their names. We rolled a ball back and forth in the big room and we worked on English words she had to repeat before I rolled it back to her. When she had the ball she would think of the English words she knows and I would have to repeat and on it went. We ate lunch home and then got ready and went out. Didn’t go out till 3pm and the sun had come out and it was comfortable outside. Went to mall and searched for a few things, but no luck. Back home around 6:15 and had a light supper. We watched a few cartoons together and then she “read” her books while I read mine. Mary in bed at 8:oo and prayers and hugs and kisses. She is so ready to see Trey, she keeps telling me/confirming that he went bye bye on the plane. I tell her yes and that she and Mommy will go see him soon. Please keep praying that it will indeed be sooner than later.
This morning I awoke to the sound of shovels and hammers tapping and so once again I go to the balcony and down below I saw that workers had removed a big chunk of the courtyard. Why? Who knows. They may be removing them to add more soil and level it. No telling, but I saw they had just started yesterday and they had removed soo much in one day all by hand no mechanical or machinery. We went to the doctor and he filled out all the needed medical forms for the Embassy and translated her vaccination card for me. she is up to date on them. After the doctor we went to the Ministry and applied for her passport. The lady there was not hopeful we would get it back by Friday. She said no way are they ever ready in 2 days. Grace dropped us of on Royal Way and we went to American Bookstore. I browsed for a long long time, just nice to be able to read something. I bought Elijah and Morgan a fiction book about a little boy becoming King as a child and was written by Janusz Korczak, a Polish orphanage director who died in Treblinka after refusing to abandon the children he cared for. So neat. I also bought one for a special friend of ours. For Joseph and Jordan and Mary I bought 2 small books on Polish legends. One is The Legend of the Two Brothers and Two Towers and the second is The Basilisk. These 2 books are in 3 languages(Polish,English,German) all on the same page. Got a few postcards and wrote them out, but still no luck finding the main post office. The envelope street signs LIE!! Trying to determine plan if passport is not ready on Friday morning. Missing Trey,boys and friends. I’ve included pictures of the courtyard workers notice especially the stack of bricks and what we took for the passport application and doctor visit and then Mary today.