Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Days of a Two Year Old


It has been 7 weeks since we returned home with Bryce and you would have thought it was a year ago. As I have mentioned before, the best way for a family to transition their adopted child is to truly read them and try to understand this little life. Bryce is not different but doing so well. We can actually go to dinner and he does really well. On Mothers Day we went to the Chart House in Philadelphia (we had $50 in gift cards) and he did so well. When Cindy ran in the Race For The Cure he kept cheering with his right hand high in the air...

Go Mommy go!

Last night we were driving and Julia was listening to her Ipod and then she put it away. Bryce spoke up and asked for his own Ipod...At 2.5. 7 weeks ago he did not even know that an Ipod existed. Funny.

The key areas:

Sleep...Bryce does so well with sleep. We snuggle with him on the rocking chair each night and we have settled into a routine before bed.
7:30pm: Kapatah (bath) and the kid LOVES the bath. Asks for them every day and will do everything we ask for a bath. I guess the cold water baths in the orphanage have not math to warm water and 3 people loving you.

7:50pm: Apples (he does not eat the skin when they are cut but does eat the skin when the apple is whole, go figure)

8:00pm: As Bryce calls it...LOVIE. We watch a movie for 10 minutes and it is always the Bernstein Bears. (He wants nothing to do with the tv except right before bed)

Loves pizza and chicken and Campbell's vegetable soup. Drinks all of the soup broth first with a straw then eats the rest with a spoon. He loves it

Are you kidding. You should see his face light up when he sees Julia. Bryce goes nuts when she gets off the bus and makes her a tad embarrassed in front of her friends. They were wrestling and he hurt Julia's wrist as she has the skinniest wrists around. We spent Friday night in the hospital.

He loves to walk around and simply say home! Then he gets a BIG smile and turns his head. He is really starting to understand that this is his home and he will never leave.

Doing so well. At the 75% for height and weight. WE do have some issues with parasites in his intestines but we are completing the medicine for him.

Billy and Cindy...
Amazed at the journey, missing the people we met in Russia, humbles to be parents of al ittle boy following the command of the Bible and tired.

We love you.

Billy for the family

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bryce Week 4

It has been 30 days that Bryce has been a part of our family and 21 days in our home. Cindy and I both agree having waited so long it feels so wonderful to finally have him home. With the way he is progressing it seems like he has been with us for one year...

- Yesterday Bryce got his first taste of a Harley and when the person that owns it started it up he was ready to go back inside. Now he makes the motorcycle noise and pretends he is driving around the house.

- We had a few Easter Egg hunts with Bryce and we did spend some advance training to bring him up to speed. Just kidding...He really enjoyed finding the Easter Eggs and has a fondness for candy. When you hold up a piece of candy he will do whatever you ask, perfectly.

- Bryce is fascinated with buttons. We just had to have our front storm door replaced last month fro ma wind storm and he played with one button so much that it broke. He may already be more mechanically inclined than me.

- We have started to introduce Bryce to soccer. He lasts a few minutes then is off to the sticks in the yard.

- Kids in the orphanage learn many things at an early age. Bryce had soup today and ate the entire bowl with his BIG spoon. Most of it ends up in his mouth and it is amazing to see all that he can eat. He ate 3 hot dogs and would eaten more Saturday night.

Each day for us is a time to learn the person he is and how we can best integrate him into our family. Each day we try to be mindful of the impact Bryce and his arrival has on Julia. Bryce truly loves Julia and his face lights up when he sees her and she loves him but she is a 9 year old girl and he is a 2.5 year old boy. It makes for some times and Julia has been such a trooper through this intense time of transition. I must admit that this time of transition has been the most radical in our entire lives. As the song goes, "This is the end of the world as we know it"...

As different as our lives are today we would not change one thing. We are so grateful for Bryce's Mom to have a love that would want what is best for him. We hope that each day we can live up to that. What an amazing task.

I hope to post some pictures soon but we do have one important update...

***Bryce had a little friend that is currently in the same orphanage that is the cutest little guy and we are looking to see if we might be able to find a family that might want to hear our story firsthand and consider this little guy. We would have taken him in a second. We are also working with Bethany to see if this little guy can find a family in this area.

Are you interested?

The Dunn's

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bryce Week 3

When you arrive home you just dont realize the work and amount of time it takes to transition back to what you think is normal life. We are enjoying each moment as a family of four and enjoy Julia and Bryce each day!

Some Bryce updates...

- I would say 90% of his Russian is already gone or not used when he talks.

- We did the CHOP visit with Dr. Friedman and team and they are so impressed with where he is physically and cognitively.

- When we pray at dinner he squeezes his eyes so hard to pray.

- Bryce can on his own sing "Jesus Loves Me"...We are going to try and post it this week.

- He loves to be outside and play. Cars, sticks, the bunnies etc. all fascinate him and we get to see this each day.

- We have been to church for three weeks now and he says on Sunday morning's...Bryce Church.

- He ate three hotdogs for dinner last night and was asking for more. We decided to give grapes instead.

- He is learning to be more gentle and say excuse me when he burps.

Needless to say this journey continues each day as we learn more about Bryce and this transition into our family. We used his Russian name one time and he looked at me and said No Vasia, Bryce! I guess that is a good thing.

We have a visit with our adoption case worker Wednesday night and we are looking forward to this time as we have been with her for 5 years during this journey. She has been a great help to us. We also have some important decisions to make in the next few weeks and we would love to ask you to be praying about these decisions.

Thanks for all of your support.

Billy for the family

Monday, March 23, 2009

We arrived home from our long trip home Thursday evening and went straight to Red Robin. We were trying to stay up so that we could get on the East Coast time schedule a bit easier. That night we all crashed and fell asleep very fast. Everything was smooth as the passport control said they would waive the interview and mail all of the documents to us in 2 weeks. Lufthanse did loose Julias luggage for a few days and it arrived on Sunday morning at 3:58AM. We awoke to a man ringing our door bell and i was ready to pull out the old bat...

Friday we tried to settle in a bit and watch Bryce enjoy every aspect of our home. What an amazing little boy. He wants to know about everything and is so much fun to be with. We went to Julias soccer game Friday (yeah Socceroos) and came home and went to bed. Saturday we enjoyed having some close feiends that are like family to us and we enjoyed an amazing lasagna meal with them. Thanks Karen as lasagna never tasted so good! Bryce really warmed up to them and we took him outside on Julias little Barbie car that a kid can drive around and he loved it. We awoke sunday morning and we all went to church together and it was so wonderful to be in the house of the LORD!

Some amazing Bryce-isms:

1. When we pray Bryce has now joined us by holding hands and squeezing his eyes closed really hard then when i say amaen he shouts out...AMEN! Then a big smile.

2. Last night Bryce snuggled with Julia on the couch and they watched Barney together. for those of you that have multiple kids, this is such a memory to cherish. He was so close to Julia with his head on her belly.

3. He can now count to seven then he goes right to ten. He can also recite the ABC's. We hope that by the end of next week he will be speaking arabic fluently and reciting the book of Romans.

4. This makes papa really proud...He still loves to say Eagles and then he says Giants Yukky. Teach them young!!!

5. Last night was a wonderful night as Bryce wrnt to sleep with Cindy on the rocking chair right in her arms. I loved that mental picture...

6. He is fascinated by the microwave and whenever it goes off he yells that it has stopped. With all of the coffee Cindy heats up it is good for her...

Today Julia went back to school and Billy went back to work. When I walked into my office it was fully decorated with lots of stereamers, kids toys, stickers and some nice gifts for Bryce and Julia. The staff here at Habitat for Humanity is to kind. a BIG thanks...

We are working hard to bring Bryce up in the training of the LORD and it is HM that we want Bryce to know in a deep and intimate way. We are enjoying each day the Lord gives us with him.

Thank you for all of your support. It is hard to imagine that it is already over.

Billy for the Dunn family of Four

Friday, March 20, 2009


We arrived home last night at 9:00pm and Bryce has touched 50% of everything in our home. The world as we used to know it no longer exists. We will post more later but we wanted to let you know that we are HOME and so grateful for this time of exploration and transition.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The Final Hours

It is just after 3:00pm here in Moscow on Wednesday afternoon and we are getting all of the final details finalized before we head out to the airport at 4:30am. We are going to a birthday party for two little girls that were adopted by a family we became firneds with tonight and it is off tomorrow for the long trip home.

We arrive into Newark Liberty International Airport at 5:20pm via Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Bryce will then be a US citizen. What a test of endurance this has been and we are excited to start this new journey when we return home. It will be nice to have some space, show Bryce his new room, meet many new friends and do some wash. (We did the wash in the sink but nothing comapres to the machine) We spent last night in the Old Arbat section of the city and had dinner and enjoyed our time together. It was very nice. Please be in prayer for Bryce as this trip will be long (3.5 hours to Frankfurt and 9 hours to Newark) I hope he sleeps...

This is our last post from this side of the big ocean but we look forward to keep this updated for those that might want to see Bryce grow and for other families in the midst of the Amazing Race!

Billy for the 4 of us

Monday, March 16, 2009

Embassy Visit Complete

This afternoon we went to the US Embassy and finalized Bryce's visa and citizenship. It brought back a lot of memories of the past 5 years and this journey and I started to cry right in front of the Consular Agent. Embarrasing. We have his US Visa and Russian passport. Bryce will hold dual citizenship until 16 then he can decide what to do next. The interesting thing is that if he does not renounce his Russian citizenship and he coames to Russia between the ages of 17-29 he could be drafted into the Russian army. Interesting...

When Bryce's feet hit the ground in Newark he will be an official US Citizen. We are excited about the reality that we leave for home in just 2.5 days. We have meet so many wonderful people and Bryce has been haivng some play dates here with a family that works for the Dutch Embassy but they are from Serbia. Very Cool.

We talked this AM with a family from Munich Germany about their adoption and we have plans to see Red Square with a family we were with in KRAs Tuesday and we have a birthday party for two girls Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn. Then its home...

How do we even begin to tell you how God has placed this love in our hearts for our little man and the part that each of you have played. We would not be here without you! From the financial help to the workds of encouragement to the rides to the airport to the countless prayers on our behalf. We are so grateful.

Billy for the four of us

Sunday, March 15, 2009


We have been in Moscow for 4 days now and we leave for home on Thursday. This has been an amazing journey for each of us in so many ways. A few updates...

- Bryce is an Eagles fan. For all you Giants fans we gave him the chance to say EAGLES and Giants and he easily said EAGLES but would not say GIANTS. I hope that this puts to rest all of the questioning from a certain few giants fans.

- The young lady that is staying at our home is single and a college graduate as some of you have asked. Wonderful young lady.

We spent the day in Red Square and getting a tour of the area. It was a lot of fun. Last night we meet a family here at the hotel that are working for the Dutch Embassy. They are 1/2 Serbian and 1/2 Dutch and it was fun to spend some time with them. We are trying to give Bryce more down time in the morning and it seems to be working well.

Tomorrow at 1:00pm (6:00am PA time) we head to the US Embassy for the final stages of paperwork and payments. We will let you know how it all works out. We have leanred so much about patience, people, God, Evangelism, materialism, political systems etc and we as a family are so grateful that you have been with us on this journey.

B for the F

Friday, March 13, 2009

No, I dont want your boogy!

Julia and I agree that this is now the title of our trip. Last night Bryce was "picking his nose" and offered the rewards to Cindy. She kindly turned him down with the following words...

"No I do not want your boogy, but thank you"You know that having a two year old boy is not like a girl. Julia and I were laughing so hard when she responsed this way.

Classic. We have a son who has been in an orphanage for his entire life and it has lacked a lot of love and nurturing. He is fascinated by EVERYTHING. The list would be far to long to re-write today but every step is a new step in this journey.

- He touches everything that we walk past and his little fingers go into everything. Even his tongue gets to touch a few things as well. Every car he can touch when we walk him, every little hole we walked past, every groove in the woodwork etc.

- Bryce has already learned a lot of English in one week. He talks 50% in English and 50% in Russian. My guess is that two weeks in America and the Russian will be gone.

- He watches and mimicks EVERYTHING Julia does. It is one of the special parts of parenting as you watch your kids interact.

- Active is an understatement. I know that part of it is the 9 year lesson with Julia compared to the boy stage but the goodnews is that we have been very consistent with working with him and we are seeing good improvement.

- When we sing (especially Jesus love me or the I love you Barney song, he watches so intently)

Today is Friday here in Moscow and yestarday we started our day at 3:45am. We left the Hotel Krasnoyarsk and made the 45 minute trip to the airport. We checked in and waited the 90 minutes or our flight to take off and Bryce quickly fell asleep. He slept for the first 1.5 hours of the 5 hour flight back to Moscow and that was very nice. We was then busy for the reamiander of the flight but not nearly as bad as I might have thought it could be. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the last 90 minutes of the flight and Cindy and I look over and Julia and 2 teenage Russian girls are working at talking to each other using pictures, the dictionary that Julia wrote out and sign language. These girls are a part of the russia winter olympic porgram and they were coming back to Moscow from training. There is Julia enjoying the culture at 35,000 feet talking to these two girls. It brought me to tears.

We arrived in Moscow and made our way right away to the Medical Clinic here for Bryce. Another $120 and Bryce had his first visit with the doctor as our parents. He then went to have blood drwn and did not cry one little bit. He is tough and he had to grow that way in the orphanage to survive. We are working to eliminate that and he runs to each of us calling out our name (Papa, Momma of Julia) and gives us the biggest hug/kiss.

We then came to the hotel in Moscow and tryed to keep him awake until the last possible time we could to get him on the Moscow time. Krasnoyarsk is 4 hours ahead of Moscow.

We are slept from about 8:00pm to 5:00am. We had breakfats this AM and Bryce ate 3 hard bollied eggs and cereal. The food has not been terrible but it is a challenge each meal. He will eventually eat. He drinks a lot.

We have been told that with recent issues here in Russia with adoption that we will not be able to leave early. We are bummeed but it is what God has for us.

Some of you have asked about our flight home and wanting to come to the airport...

We arrive back to the US next Thursday (yeah, only 6 days) at 5:20pm into Newark Liberty International Airport. We are flying Lufthansa Airlines and we are coming from FRankfurt. Let me know if you need and specific details and we can give them to you.

Billy for the Family


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have been so busy with this little man that putting photos of our journey up has been a challenge. I finally I have a chance...
We leave Krasnoyarsk in less than 24 hours and Cindy is already packed. We are ready to be home. Enjoy these photos.
#1: Megan has been staying at our home while we are away with another former youth grouper and she locked her car keys in her car while the car was still running and we want to thank Bob for coming to the rescue.
#2: Bryce is his new EAGLES outfit. Go Birds.
#3: Bryce wearing Julia's soccer t-shirt in honor of the Socceroos.
#4: Bryce after his first bath. We started with a washclothe then to the floor with some water then Daddy in the tub then Bryce in the tub then Julia in the tub and he LOVED it. We were all soaked but he is clean.
#5: Julia and Bryce on the ice slides.
We leave for Moscow tomorrow at 4:30am. Needless to say not much sleep.
We love each of you and thanks for following along. What an amazing journey. We have never been more challenged and yet sensed amazing joyat the same time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Day

Thank you for so many of you that have been praying for us as today was an excellent day. We spent the morning together with Bryce and it is not easy for him our us being in this small two room "suite" in the hotel. He took a great 2 hour power nap and then we went to some missionary friends house for the afternoon and Bryce in this environment was so wonderful. It had structure, he sat in a high chair and had structure with his food, great toys that provided him structure within the large family room. The highlight for me was watching Cindy and Bryce play for an hour with trucks and large lego's. After all of the American Girl Doll sessions I have done and the hundreds of times Julia and I set up her dollhouse it is good to see Cindy play with trucks and trains.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Tim and Iris for their kindness today. Bryce was much more relaxed today then the day before and my guess is that it will be great days and not so great days. In the end, we have a little man that we pray will grow to love Christ in a way that will change his life. We could not be happier.

I know that some people who are adopting are reading our blog and I sure hope that we do not cause you to screw up with our stories and advice but we learned something today...

Not one person has written a book on international adoption that fits Bryce perfectly. We are reading him each day and learning more and more about how we can best serve him as his parents. It is not his job to love us as much as it is our job to love him and this comes down to knowing and understanding him. Reading him each day to understand his likes and dislikes his time to be alone and to be smothered with love, a time to sleep (please) and a time to play, a time to let go and a time to hold close. We have read books that have prepared us for this adventure but nothing compares to reading your child. The books we read have given us much insight but Bryce is giving us the story page by page.

Today Bryce wore his Brian Westbrook jersey and he looked great. He should fit right into the Dunn home but seriously God has been so amazing to us and drawn us sooooo close to Himself and each other and it is so neat to see.

A short note about Julia...We have come to realize that Julia as I have mentioned before is such a blessing to us and she is getting to be the big sister that she has been praying about for several years. He love and compassion is amazing toward him even when she must now hide important toys and deal with some of her stuff getting broken by Bryce.

A short note about Cindy...Not that this would surprise many of you but Cindy is so strong from the inside out. I have come to appreciate the Godly women she is in ways that blow me away. She has patience like I have never seen and she is so good with the challenge of this routine in a tough country in sub zero degree temps.

We believe that the success of the trip is directly connecting to so many of you praying. We cant ever thank you enough for this treasure!

Billy for the family

Sunday, March 8, 2009


It is strange to think that we spent the past few months counting down the days to Friday when we picked Bryce up and now we are counting down the days to come home. The three of us that traveld to come and get Bryce are prepared for home and counting down the days to share this bundle of energy with each of you. We are learning alot about the perspective of an internationally adopted child and the way you need to re-program your brain and the principles you have for parenting.

To put you in Bryce's shoes...You spent the first 2 years of your life in one place that is clearly an institution. The orphanage Bryce came from is good and cared for him yet it is not parents and the full nurturing a child needs. He does not speak out language, we smell differnet than what he is used to, we have him running around doing all of the visits and paperwork needed, we feed him food that is different from what he is used to and we give him more individual attention than what he has recived in 2 years. We touch his hair, watch him go potty (wow the smell) feed him etc. and it has rocked his world. EVERYTHING is DIFFERENT!

And yet we serve a God that has brought us to a place of full surrender in Him. Bryce eats very well, can already say each of our names and 10-20 other words, is fun to play with, goes to sleep and wakes up exactly when the schedule said he would except for night one (we have to walk him, push him in the stroller and hold him, he gives each of us lots of kisses and hugs, goes potty most of the time, loves his big sister and is a wonderful little man yet this is all new. We are reading him and the words of experst each day to fully understand each change that comes with him but we would not change it for the world.

Today we thought that the 3 hour Womens Day service would be a bit long for Bryce so we had the morning here and went on a walk. We spent 1. hours at the Subway where they have a play area and watched Bryce gradually get more confidence with each minute that passed. When we left he did not complain at all...The food at Subway is different in terms of texture of meat but the same style. We took the AbtoBus (Bus) back to the hotel and Bryce went down for his nap of 1.5 hours. He plays so hard and it always ready to sleep.

We then went to the Ice Sculptors and slides and had a good time with him and then the he went through a 2 hour time of generally struggling with over stimulation. We wnet to dinner and he ate two meals and so Cindy and I were able to take him on a walk and a family waiting for Friday and their 10 days wait to end played games with Julia (Big thanks to Pete and Mary Ellen) while we spent soem specific time with Bryce and it was like medicine. We went into de-stimulatiom mode. We prepared his evening snack and he fell asleep promptly at 8:59pm and wanted to fall asleep in Billy's arms.

Things that amaze me here...
1. I am amazed at the number of families that come to Krasnoyarsk and spent the entire time in the hotel. This is a city filled with adventure and we have tried to get as much as we could to fully understand Bryce and his place of birth.

2. The way families help each other here. Last week we had to chance to be with families at the start of this journey and this week we have some families that have been a huge help to us.

3. Julia has been amazing on this trip. I never could have imagined her courage and strength and dependence on the Lord at the age of 9.

4. Being here for close to three weeks make us appreciate all of our friends serving as missionaries and cultural adjustment they go through.

5. How God gives you this desire of your heart and yet He does it in a way where you must fully surrender to him. We are literally placing every step of this journey before Him and I am so grateful for all of the Scripture I was encouraged to memorize as it is paying off. Now its time to put this into practice with the same vigor at home.

6. That my spelling with this Blog is terrible. At times I am literally falling asleep as I type. Two ahl of mine Englist techers I am sorrrrrrry.

7. The pizza here is really good. Go figure.

8. That Bryce is really adjusting to us well. We are not talking about record attachment but her is so kind 95% of the time. We struggle with trying to control his behavior and no just does not seem to work. If you have a chance God can change the attitudes of the heart. It is not as much and issue of defienace (although some of it is simply being 2) but it is also the adjustment he is making. In the orphanage they start with the things we love with our little children so early to make the independent.

We are still working on coming home several days early.

Billy for the Family

Friday, March 6, 2009

We Are A Family of Four!

What an amazing 24 hours and sorry for the delayed post. We signed some documents on Friday and then went for our last meal as a party of three. It was fun to have this time and enjoy this moment together. At 2:00pm Friday we headed to the orphanage and Bryce came right to Cindy with his new clothes on (Julia picked out the outfit) and we took a few pictures and off we went. It was literally like 5 minutes. No tears...No crying and it is amazing to watch the eys and the mind of a 2 year old see everything for the first time.

We arrived back to the hotel and our lives have been changed forever. What a cute and cuddly little guy but he is also the busiest little man I have ever meet. Its a combination of the World Wrestling Federation meet Superman meets Mr. Rogers all wrapped in one. We played for awhile in the room and in 60 minutes toys were everywhere. FUN!

We went to dinner at a place called the Mixed Patio. It is a cafeteria stlye place with lots of choices that you can actullay see and Bryce ate like a champ. Cindy was excellent with him at dinner. We then went to slide on the ice and came back and talked to 2 other american families and Bryce started to fall asleep. We thought it might be good to give him his warm milkthat he is used to before bed and that kept him up an extra 2 hours. Bryce and Billy walked the halls about 20 times and he finally laid in Billy's arm and fell asleep. He slept frm 10:30pm to 7:00am and we were up all the time amazed at how much he moves. The big prayer request for us will be his ability to sleep. He does everything very well.

He has gone on the big potty 5 times and seems to enjoy every apect of life at this point. We got up Saturday morning and played for a while then went and took a walk and had lunch...You gueesed it Mixed Patio! It is a good place the is inexpensive and we can actulaly see what the food is for Bryce...AND US!!!

We were able to get him to fall asleep in his stroller and he is sleeping for his afternoon nap as I type. PTL!!!

For those of you that have adopted before you know that amazing feeling of taking this little life and welcoming him to your family with open arms. It has given us an idea of the unconditional love that God has for us. He loves us in spite of who we are and where we have been. We are so thankful for this journey and I must say that I am personally blessed with two amazing girls in my life.

The funniest part about Bryce is his learning of words. Last night as he was crying and we were trying to get him to sleep he kept saying to us in his little two year old voice...I love you or as he says I luf you. Talk about bringing to dead in your tracks before the LORD! He says I love you a lot and is showing great signs of attachment to all three of us.

Tomorrow we will go to church and then to Subway followed by Womens Day here on Monday. I have some fun plans for Cindy and Julia. If you are reading this and can rememebr a time when you felt complety surrendered to the Lord and emotionally boken, this is us. We are thrilled as Mary was in our hearts at all God has done. Our 5 year adoption journey is complete. As one parent said here in Russia...

We are not sharing our heart with Bryce it is no three times bigger than before.

We luf you!

Billy, Cindy, Julia and Bryce!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Final Countdown

Dear Friends and Family...

This is our last night before we get our litte guy. We have been in the adoption process for 5 years and it is hard to imagine that it is coming to a close. At 10:00am Friday (10:00pm Thursday night in PA) we will get the call that tells us when we will travel to the orphanage to pick Bryce up.

Today was a busy day as we went to the orphanage and spent time with Bryce then took him 5 minutes down the road to get his passport photo. He was wonderful. This is only his second time out of the orphanage and he held to our hands for the first few minutes then was great. He was like a sponge soaking in everything he sees. We are tired from all of the things today and we will send a post as soon as Bryce is with us! If you find the time, please pray that this time would be a smooth transition.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Less Than 48 Hours

Hi and my name is Bryce and this is my crib where I have slept for the past 2 years. I am looking forward to coming and meeting each of you on this BIG journey. OK, here is my dad...
We had another great day and we can tell that many are praying on our behalf and for that we are so grateful!

We went back to the Siberian wilderness for some more hiking then to the orphanage for our afternoon visit with Bryce. He loves to be with us and we had the chance to meet with the orphanage director and find out a bit more about Bryce's past and personality. They asked him who we were and he told them we were his mother and father and we were coming to get him. He then looked at Julia and said she is my sister and she is a girl. He seemd a bit suprised that she is his sister and she is a girl. It was a funny moment. We got some baby pictures and a photo of his mother and some have said to us that it is a shame that she gave him up but we have come to realize that for her it was the greatest gift she could give as she is not able to care for him.

I know that all of you that have boys will laugh when I say this but he is one active little guy and so strong and into everything. Our world is going to be VERY different for a while. Bryce is a lot of fun to be with and we are beyond humbled that God has given us this precious gift. Bryce knows our names and seems to enjoy time with each one of us.

Danny Oertli is a good friend that has experienced adoption first hand (and he is a gifted worship leader) and he wrote a song that became our adoption song over these past years and its called Dancing With Orphans. We are excited that we only have to dance with Bryce in our mind for two more nights and then he is all ours. You can check it out at http://www.danyoertli.com/. Thanks Danny!

The song says "they come as they are" and in less than two days we will pick up Bryce and he will take nothing with him. He has no belongings, no special toy, no pictures of the first birthday party, no pictures by the Christmas tree...And God has given us this amazing blessing. Towards the end it says "No longer alone you prepared them a place and you are the Father they've never seen." I know that in the coming weeks and months an years Bryce will see the Father through many of you!

So the GREAT news is our schedule the next 48 hours. Tomorrow will be the final visit to the orphanage and we will give the care givers gifts (BIG thanks to Sam from Habitat for the gifts) and take all of the final photos with Bryce. We will wait for a call Friday afternoon between 5:00pm and 7:00pm and go and bring Bryce home. Needless to say we are so grateful for this time of closure with the adoption.

I think that I speak for all of us in that we are ready to come home. We have heard that it might be possible to come home 1-2 days early. YEAH...

Thanks for follwoing our journey to Krasnoyarsk.

Dunn Family of Four

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Three Days And Counting

I must admit that we have gone through so many unique emotions over the past two weeks. Today was no different...

- We found out that we get Bryce Friday night instead of Saturday and we may even get to come early 1-2 days. This would be a wonderful answer to prayer! We will keep you updated and we cant wait to have out little man with us.

- We said goodbye to 4 families that are a week ahead of us and have their children and are leaving tomorrow for Moscow and home. We were sad to see them go but excited for their return home. I did find a wonderful family that have just arrived and he is a Green Bay Packers fan...I simply reminded gim of 4th and 26. For all you Eagles fans you are smiling right now.

- We got to feed Bryce his afternoon snack of egg yoke cake and warm milk. He wanted to share it and it was "interesting". Bryce was so much fun and snuggly today and he clearly enjoys the 3 to 1 attention he is getting.

- I dropped my wallet on an escelator and a coin fell out and completly shut down the entire escelator. Not good when you only speak a handful of Russian words. I said sorry and Julia and I took a side door out.

- It got to 25 degrees and little snow which is warmer and lesssnowy than at home. We smiled.

- We were stopped by an older Russian woman asking I think about directions. She went on for a while and she finally understood that we did not understand one word she said. What we found funny is that she actually thought we looked Russian.

- That our entire world is about to change. This little guy is the fastest and most determined 2 year old around. We will be moving a lot with him...

- We felt for a family that had court today and was told by the judge that she did not think that mom was going to be a good parent. We prayed for them during their court date today and they did get their kids!

- We are burdened by the sheer number of kids that are here and without the hope of a mom and dad. We have even talked about adding to the dunn nest...

- We are excited for our oldest "son Josh who gets married in less than 3 months. Josh is not really our son but we sure love him like a son!

- Julia has been remarkable on this trip. From friendships with a 10 year old Russian girl to helping a single mom with bath time she has been amazing.

This is a picture of Bryce eating his snack. 3 days until we are a family of four.

Billy for the family

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tunnel Vision

Today is Monday March 2nd and we are anxiously awaiting our GOTCHA DAY. This is the day when we have Bryce 24/7. He is technically our child but their is a 10 day wait here in Russia that allows us to only see him for 2.5 hours a day. We go to the orphanage each morning and this past weekend we were not able to see him at all...

On Saturday we took the bus across the Yensi River and went to the Krasnoyarsk Zoo. It has a Russian feel but you can get very clsoe to the animals. That was simply amazing. Saturday night we went to dinner with two families that were able to get their children as they are a week in front of us schedule wise. The one family adopted brothers 6 and 9 years old and the other family adopted a 10 year old girl. Julia and Nastia have become best friends in one day and they hold hands together and play together and this is just what Julia was praying for Saturday morning.

Sunday morning we awoke and then went to church here in Russia. It was an outstanding servide and we enjoyed taking communion with our fellow believers here in Russia. The message was on Genesis 5 and what a great job the pastor did. I dare you to read Genesis 5 and see if you are able to put together a sermon from Genesis 5. Church went 2 hours and 30 minutes then we went to eat at Subway. Subway is one of several places that are familiar to many of us...In the Subway they have a large play area like the one at McDonalds and the funny thing is you pay to play. We had two familes with their newly adopted Russian children, us waiting and a missionary family with two little boys. It was a BLAST!

After Subway we went to a sledding hill that has a toe rope to the top. It was so much fun and the story of this entire post might jest be that Cindy went Cross County Skiing. I watched her all the way home and she did excellent! I do not know why but winter seems so much more enjoyable here. Last night we ate dinner in the room and spent time with one of the families and their 10 year old daugther that was just adopted on Saturday. As I mentioned Julia and her are quickly becoming close friends. Both families commented on the patience and compassion and kindness Julia has with the three newly adopted kids. None of them speak English and somehow they love to play together and the language barrier is not an issue. This got me thinking about how Racism develops regardless of who it is directed at and how it is not of the Lord! When we look at Bryce we embrace his culture and Russian heritage but what we see at the core is a Kak Kra Vista. (Beautiful boy)

Today we went to the orphanage and the video above is of Bryce today coming through some of the soft play areas. When Bryce came into the room he came right to Billy and was as happy as can be. We played with him and it was so much fun! He is already picking up lots of words and knows each of our names and Grandma as well. Bryce's personality is very fun and he loves to put toys back in the same place he found them but he is also very fiesty and strong. I might be out of practice but he is so quick. You must watch him all of the time. He loves to feed us and snuggle in our arms and he gives multiple kisses to us each day. He is our little man and we love him dearly.

We are now doing school work and I will be spending the rest of the day working on some Habitat for Humanity projects. A BIG hello to all of you that have been praying for us as we make this amazing journey. God is so good...We are thinking of all the people that are still waiting to come and start their families.

Please enjoy the video and keep praying. It feels like Saturday cannot come fast enough. Feel free to post a comment.
We love you.
Billy, Cindy, Julia and Bryce

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Julia's First Blog

Hi this is from Julia...

Today we are going to church with some friends that we met here in Krasnoyarsk. We have to catch a bus to go to the church and I never thought that I would be catching a bus to go to church in Russia. Yestarday was Saturday and we went to the zoo. It was so, so much fun! We got to see bears, Polar Bears (and that is something you do not get to see very often in America).

We will be home in 19 days and I am sooooooooooo excited to see my soccer team that I really miss a lot...I miss Mackie, Madalyn, Abby, Rachael, Colleen, Brooke, Nat, Katie, Kristen, Rileigh, Madison, Julianna and coach Bill and Ken. We think of Coach Joel often as he prepares to go overseas to protect our country.

I also miss my friends at home and school.

I love my little brother. I cant believe that he said my name and he is soooooooo cute. He sits on my lap and plays with a lot of different toys. Now he feels comfortable with us that he thinks he can do a lot of other things as well. I cant wait to have all of you meet him when he comes home.

Some things that I have leanred on this trip...(Dad is making me do this part)

- I have learned that Krasnoyarsk is double the size of the Lehigh Valley

- I have learned that some people live in really bad houses but they have really nice clothing.

- I have learned that you cant save all of the dogs.

- I have learned to speak a few Russian words like,...ya tvia sistra (i am your sister) and eta ok (its ok) and tebe nuzen toyolet (do you need the tiolet)

- I have learned that Bryce is a fiesty little guy with lots of life and he is already learning our names.

- I have learned some things about black wolves that they mark their territory and it smells like a skunk.

We met a new girl that is adopted by a very nice family and her name is Nastia. She is 10 years old and she does whatever I do and I am glad to have her as a friend.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What a GREAT GOD We Serve!

The girls are still asleep and i am sitting here in bed praying and thanking God for His goodness to us. This journey has not been easy and yet I sense a word from the Lord today unlike any other day. I look at the pictures of Bryce and cant help but rejoice in the fact that in 7 days he will be our son and i am soooo glad to have Cindy to share this journey with. I am amazed at how God speaks to our heart in the queitness of the morning. I sense Him right here in our room.

Each day we recapture the moments of spending time with Bryce and his smile, his love, his laugh, his tears all make us smile as well. Some funny moments...

- We were told that the reason Bryce's hair is long is that asked not to have it cut. This is not true and we asked them to cut it and they said we can do that when we get home. He looks like a little surfer boy.

- We had dinner last night with several other families and the waitress spoke little English, not that we should expect her to. We had a lot of variations from what we thought we ordered.

- Bryce has been able to say a good amount of words in English as we say them to him. He is also learning the basic sign language signs and did please rubbing hiss belly.

- Julia has been getting some older sister advice from people and kids back home and basically she has been told that younger brothers are good but they can get on your nerves at times. She said after our two hour visit when we returend home...I am tired. Yes, Julia was tired.
We will not be able to see Bryce over the weekend and I am writing to ask each of you to pray for three requests...

1. For our transition with Bryce each day. He is really attaching to us each day and we would love to see that continue.

2. For Julia to stay strong being away for so long.

3. For our travel that will totally rock Bryce's world. He has rarely left the orphanage so a 5 hour flight, a week in Moscow and an 11 hour flight will be a radical change for him.

We love you!

Billy, Cindy, Julia and Bryce

To God be the Glory

Another Great Day With Bryce

Thanks for taking the time ot read our daily updates. We really enjoy giving you the opportunity to walk with us each day as we go about this amazing journey together. We had another great day that started with the 60 minute drive to the orphanage. Today they have an economic summit here in Krasnoyarsk and so the traffic was a bit busier.

Did You Know...
- That Russia has 11 time zones and we are 12 times zones from Pennsylvania.
- That Russia has close to 1,000,000 orphans.
- That Russia has 70 % of the natraul gas in the world.
- That Russia has the wealthiest city in the world. (Moscow)
- That the people of Russia are some of the hardest working and most practical people I have ever met that really use resources wisely.

We then came into the orphanage play room and 12 kids including Bryce were doing a "Pancake" celebration celebrating the end of winter. And yes it is still really cold!!!

We watched Bryce for 15 minutes and the rest of the kids left and Bryce stayed and seems to really enjoy spending time with us. We think that he likes to sit in our laps to get the one on one attention that he has rarely recieved in the 2 short years of his life. He sits with each of us in our lap and most be right in the middle of our lap. We read, play with cars, trucks, trains, games etc. After 60 minutes Bryce was ready to have some active fun and we played, wrestled, tossed balls, played with the soft padding and generally had a great time and before you know it he was headed back to his room. Bryce is really coming around to us and each day allows part of his guard down and it is neat to see his personality come to life. This little guy is one tough and strong little guy...

This afternoon we went to the the top of a maountain via the ski chair lift and spent time hiking and then came back to the hotel. We will not be able to see Bryce this weekend as you are not allowed to visit on Saturday/Sunday. We are sorry that our comments sectiondoes not work...We do not know why?

Have a GREAT weekend!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

And the first kiss goes to...

Julia. Would you expect any different. What an amazing day today. We again meet with our Russian driver promptly at 8:00am and made the hour drive to the orphanage. The drive is amazing to think that we are in the middle of Siberia and for the rest of our lives will always have a special place in our hearts for this part of the world.

***And just in case you are wondering, Russia currently has between 700,000 to 1,000,000 kids currently living as orphans. Each trip in the orphanage makes us wish that we could bring more home and since we are unable to right now let us take a moment to encourage any person reading this "amazing" blog (just kidding) to consider an adoption from Russia. We would love to have the chance to tell you all about the countless reasons why Russia would be a wonderful place to add to your family. The kids are so beautiful...

When we arrived at the orphanage Bryce was already waiting for us and he started with a few tears for just a couple of minutes then he was amazing for the remaining 2 hours and 20 minutes. The challenge is that the room has kids in it coming and going with caregivers and these are the only people he knows. We only speak a few russian words and look very different from many of the people he is used to and so that makes it tough for him. I pray for his heart each day that God would protect him from the stress of leaving all that he has known and come live with us.

We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear (thanks Stricklands) each day and he really likes it. We play trucks, musical things, with the ball, etc. Bryce is such a really good boy and people have commented on how good he is in the orphanage. Today he said our names multiple times and also said the word grandma and at the conclusion of our time gave each of us a long hug and gave Julia a kiss right on the lips. Her response when he left..."I am so glad he gave me a kiss but did it have to be right on the lips"

Bryce is very smart and extremly inquisitive. He wants to understand everything. He sat on our laps for most of the time and just likes being held. We did spill a huge container of kids puffs as he would not let go of them. Very funny.

After the visit Julia did school and daddy worked then we went to the sledding hill followed by dinner at Subway and to the kids store for a stroller. It was a nice way to be together and we are so grateful for all that God has provided for us with Bryce. We are living literally each moment an Amazing Race scenario and God is leading every step of the way. Julia has been such a blessing each day and travels so well. Cindy has this amazing heart of compassion and it is a joy to be together. We are grateful for all of the other families here that we have had time to meet and some families here as miss***aries that have treated us so well. I trust that each of you know that we would not be here without your support. We have tears in our eyes when we think about it.
Tomorrow it is off to the orphanage at 8:00am.
Photo 1-2: This is the main part of town where they have amazing ice sculptors and this wonderful ice slide. Needless to say that -10 is fine to keep the ice for several months.
Photo 3-4: Bryce loves to hear a persons name and feed them a puff.

Photo 5: Billy reading with Bryce and realizing NOW just how much hair he has lost.

We love you and are so thankful for each of you.

Billy for the family

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

T-Shirts and English Words

So thanks for keeping up with our great adventure here in Krasnoyarsk!!! The past 24 hours have been some of the best and funniest days of our lives. A few examples...

- Julia was ready to leave to go to dinner and take pictures by the ice sculptors in a short sleeve t-shirt. Cindy replied "Julia, a t-shirt is NOT going to cut it. We are in the middle of Siberia" It was a very funny moment.

- We had the chance to go the orphanage again today and it was amazing! Our little guy (I call him my little man) started our time crying but quickly came around and we left with the most amazing highlights that you can only dream of...

- He looked at a truck and called it the Russian name "machina" and then we repeated the English word "truck. He responded truck. This was his first English word. We all were amazed that from then on he would call it a truck.

- Most amazing to us was the second word he said in English...JULIA! We are working with him to learn our names to call us and when we said that Julia was his systra and her name is Julia he responded Jula...And did it several times. Needless to say having Bryce say Julias name has made a lasting impression on her and exactly what she needed. Bryce also knows Cindy as MuMah and Billy as PaPuh. He would take his apple puffs and feed each of us one at a time as we called out our name. It was so neat as he would not do this in June.

We are learning so much about each other, the power of Gods mighty hand each day, Bryce and the desire to adopt. Bryce has snuggled with each of us and is so full of life. Our international adoption doctor told us that he is the healthiest boy she has seen come out of an orphanage and he is very smart and is full of life. He loves trucks, balls and all of the fun boy things and I tried to get him to say Go Eagles and we are still working on it. With Cindy being a Giants fan we must start early.

We have meet several families here for adoption as well and we have been spending time with a family here for "higher purposes" that we know through friends. It has been great to get a tour of the city and learn so much about Krasnoyarsk

We wish each of you a great day in the Lord!

Billy, Cindy, Julia and BRYCE!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family of Four...Pashalsta!

Dear Friends and Family...

We have just returned from court and GREAT NEWS...We are officially the parents of Bryce Andrew Vasiliy Dunn. This picture to the left is the photo we took just after court right here in Krasnoyarsk. We started the day a bit late as some of our sleeping schedules have not snyched with the time zone here!!!

We spent time doing Julia's school work and I spent time working on several Habitat for Humanity projects in the morning and then we took Julia sledding on the man made ice sculpture and Julia really enjoys this a lot.

We got ready for court and headed off. The court session lasted about an hour and then we waited out in the foyer for about 30 minutes and came back into have the judge read us the decree and congratulate us as the parents of Bryce. Billy did most of the speaking and then they asked Cindy a few questions and the heart of a mom came out. I think that the time that impaced me the most was the statement the orphange director made that not one person from Bryce's family came to see him in the past 2 years...NONE! ZERO! NOT ONE VISIT! Needless to say we are so grateful to the Lord. The judge asked many questions about finances, the reason for adoption, our family etc.

We are going to go to a German restaurant and enjoy dinner. In order to save $$$ we eat breakfast and lunch in ther room and it has worked so well. Thanks to the many of you that were praying for us!!!

With Love,

Billy, Cindy and Julia (and Bryce as well)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time Bryce

What can we say other than thanks be to God! Last night we made every attempt to get to sleep at a reasonable hour...And it worked until 2:00am when each of us found ourselves wide awake from the trips, time change and uncertainty about hte future. Cindy went to sleep in the other room and Julia and I watched Madagascar 2 at 2:00am then played from 4:00am to 7:00am.

We got ready this morning and meet our adoption team (Go Yelena and Sergey) and headed to the orphanage. It is located about 60 minutes from our hotel and with today being "Defenders of the Fatherland" Day the traffic was light.

We arrived at the orphanage and it was very queit...We actually thought to queit. We waited for about 10 minutes and out little man came walking thruogh the door. He looked so cute and he came over to Billy and sat right on his lap...Then the crying started. He cried for the first 45 minutes as we played with him and we tried everything to settle him down. We actually found out that this is a VERY GOOD thing as he has leanred the unique ability to attach to adults. We are glad for this.

Let me just say that he is one active and strong little boy. (Our neighbor Dave has said to me on several occasions that he cant wait to see Bryce outside playing soccer and for the first time to day I could truely see this)After this crying time Bryce settled down nicely and we read Brown Bear Brown Bear Who Do You See atleast 20 times and Julia ate animal crackers with him. I rubbed his long hair for the longest time and he sat so close to us. Bryce then began to open up and play with a lot of different toys and we did etch a sketch, blocks, cars, balls etc. It wasos much fun and suchm a blessing to be with him. Towards the end of the 2 hour time our driver asked Bryce who Mu-Mah was and he pointed to Cindy. He then asekd him who pu-pah is and he pointed tot me and he then asked who his sistra was and he pointed to Julia. He is such a blessing for us...

We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and played some Uno. Soon it will be night night time. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY with court at 4:30pm Russia time(4:30a PA time) and this iswhen they ask us a lot of questions and decide if we are fit to adopt. Would you please pray for this time. We will spend tomorrow preparing for court (we are both a bit nervous) and then it is off.

Thank you again for be a part of this journey in our lives. We are grateful for so many people that have been a part of Bryce coming home. We would love to hear from you...

Billy for the Family

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Arrival In Krasnoyarsk

We have arrived in Krasnoyarsk this morning at 5:45 am. This is a picture outside of our hotel that has the largest Christmas tree in Russia and lots of amazing ice sculptures. We landed in a snowstorm and they had a plow come out to the plane. I have never experienced a landing like that before. It is definitely cold here but they say it has warmed up since last week when it was -45°C which is probably about -32°F. Driving from the airport to here was quite an experience. When the cars pass you, you barely can see the road from all the snow being kicked up from the car in front. I have to say the snow and ice sculptures outside our hotel are breathtaking. We were able to sleep today from about 8-3. Definitely strange sleeping during the middle of the day. The missionary family that we were going to stay with called and we went to dinner with them at California Pizza. They have two adorable little boys and are a wonderful family. Julia had a lot of fun with their boys. Right outside our hotel is this ice slide so the boys taught Julia how to go down it. I was unable to watch because it is steep and one complete ice hill. Just goes to show how cold it is here when you have ice sculptures that can stay up all winter without melting!

We were not able to see Bryce today. Our facilitator said we should rest since we have had busy days of traveling. Sergey will pick us up tomorrow at 8:00 am and then we will go see Bryce for the first time on this trip. We cannot wait to see if he will remember us. We are thankful for the opportunity to visit Bryce tomorrow. Monday is a Russian holiday to honor the military men so typically we would not be allowed to go to the orphanage. We have been overwhelmed by God’s little blessings each step of the way!

Our court date is Tuesday at 4:30 pm instead of 10:00 am. Please keep praying for God to move a mighty mountain and allow our 10-day waiting period to be moved. They said it is highly unlikely unless the child you are adopting has a medical emergency and thankfully Bryce does not. We were talking to our missionary friends today and we said Julia will be missing her PSSA’s and that we were going to try to talk to the judge about coming home early for that. She did say that they value children here and education and it is worth a try. We know that God can do all things so please be praying with us. Therefore, when you are all still sound asleep, we will be meeting with the judge and they will decide if we are fit parents for Bryce and hopefully wave the 10 day waiting period. We know God is in Control!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 1 and 2

What an amazing past two days. We left on Wednesday afternoon for thr airport (thanks Ted Brunner for the ride) and the flight from Newark to Frankfurt was excellent. We enjoyed a movie and arrived in Frankfurt at 7:50am (midnight EST) and Cindy sat next to an Israeli game maker that gave her a good 3 hour lecture on the development of games.

We spent 2.5 hours in Frankfurt (just enough time to eat breakfast) and the catch the flight from Frankfurt to Moscow. This is a 3.5 hour flight and 2 additional time zones and I think it is safe to say we slept for most of the flight. We arrived into Moscow with snow on the ground and a 1.5 hour ride to the hotel (the traffice is really bad). We ate, got settled and went to sleep and we each slept really well.

Friday February 20

We spent the morning getting ready and enjoying breakfast and then Cindy and i went for the $1000 medical phyisical where you bring your own lab results. Cindy described it this way...Long, nerve racking and thankful it is over. We drove about an hour to an 8 story Russian building and started with the skin doctor. He was not in and what we found out is that he simply signed our paper for us without even seeing us.

Then we went to the 6th floor and waited...and waited...and waited. Then we had to meet with the head doctor and then we waited...and waited and then we meet a team of doctors that asked us about 3 questions and did a normal physical of breathing, reflexes etc. We waited again and left. The summary...


20 minutes of actual doctor time

2.5 hours of waiting

1.5 hour drive

AND WE ARE SET to present these to the judge Tuesday morning in court. We did find out thatafter us they will requeire a lot more paperwork from doctors and it seemed like they wanted us to have the same paperwork and so we simply prayed...And God worked it out.

Tonight we went to Red Square and took a few pictures. I have posted one for you to enjoy. Tomorrow we leave for Krasnoyarsk at 8:55pm and arrive into Kras at 6:00am (and another 4 hour time change.)

Billy for the Family

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cindy and I asked each other this morning...How are you feeling? And we both answered thequestion in a very simliar fashion...
- grateful
- ecstatic
- anxious
- humbled
- amazed
- pumped
- uncertain
- happy
- in love
- were going to be parents to a little boy
- what are we doing
- why are we doing this

We are amazed that God has brought us to this place after close to 5 years of waiting. If you are reading this then you have played a part in our journey and I am reminded of these words that Jim Elliot wrote in 1956...

He is NO FOOL who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!

Thank you for praying for us and for all of the support. The next blog update will be in Russia.

We love you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

3 Bags Packed

I never would have imagined that we would have three bags packed and down stairs plus Bryce's room is complete and ready to be lived in. We enjoyed breakfast today as the three of us marveled at how much our lives were about to change in the next four weeks...

- Flight to the middle of Siberia (and yes it is -40)

- Four weeks in Russia

- A lot of second hand smoke

- A lot of money spent

- A new smile

- New foods

- A little guy that will experience a lot of firsts in the matter of hours and days.

We are so grateful to God at His work in our lives and the blessing that Bryce will be to us as we parent him in the way of the Lord! This is our last weekend together as a family of three and we are really enjoying this special time before Bryce joins us!
This photo is a shot of Bryce's new room...


Billy and Cindy

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dunn Adotion Schedule/Travel Plans

Adoption Schedule
February 18 to March 19, 2009

Wednesday February 18
Leave Newark at 6:10pm for Frankfurt on a Lufthansa flight. We arrive into Frankfurt at 7:50am and then leave for Moscow at 10:35 am and arrive into Moscow at 3:50pm.

Thursday February 19
Check into our hotel in Moscow and crash!!! Moscow is 8 hours ahead! We will have a good friend that lives and serves in Russia with us for the first few days, John McIntosh and we are grateful for him.

Friday February 20
Cindy and I each have a 2 hour physical that costs us $800 each and we have very little examination done. We even bring our own lab results. In the evening we will have dinner with a friend and go to sleep.

Saturday February 21
We will spend the day in Moscow and then leave for Krasnoyarsk at 8:55pm. This is a 5 hour over night flight across 4 time zones. Can you say Amazing Race?

Sunday February 22 (Krasnoyarsk is 12 hours ahead)
We arrive into Krasnoyarsk at 6:00am and we will go directly to the apartment we have been provided for by some friends and missionaries in Krasnoyarsk.
Here is a photo of our apartment looking out at the public skating rink. (Yes, it is in a stadium)
We will spend most of the day resting and getting food for the time in Krasnoyarsk.

Monday February 23
This will be the first day that we have the chance to visit Bryce. We will get a two hour visit and we will also have to file some paperwork with the courts for our court date the next day. We will also drop off all of the clothing we have collected for the orphanage.

Tuesday February 24
HUGE PRAYER DAY…We will have court on this date at 10:00am in front of a Russian judge who will be the person to officially decide the fate of Bryce. It should last 1-2 hours total and lots of questions for us to answer. Pray that the judge will grant us Bryce and we are also praying that she would waive the 10 wait that Russian law has for adoptions. This would allow us to come home 2 weeks earlier than expected.

Wednesday February 25 to Friday February 27
These three days will be 2 hour visits to the orphanage with Bryce and lots of time to be together as a family. We will not have much else to do but wait for the Bryce countdown…

Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1
These are the toughest days for an adopting family. In the 10 day wait they do not allow you to see your child on the weekend. We will spend a lot of quality time together and work at putting together a life book with pictures and stories that Julia will do to tell Bryce the story in picture and word of where we meet him. We plan to go to church with some missionaries that we know in Krasnoyarsk on Sunday and enjoy as much of the -20 F culture we can possibly enjoy.

Monday March 2 to Friday March 6
This is 5 days of visiting Bryce for two hours and enjoying the remaining 22 hours in the middle of Siberia. Two important parts of this week include…
1. Bryce’s first trip outside of the orphanage…EVER! We will go as a family to get his passport and visa picture. Pray that he will enjoy the trip.

2. Bringing closure with the caregivers and people that have looked after Bryce for two years and giving them gifts for taking care of him. The people have loved him to the best of their ability and get paid very little for it. We will also give the orphanage gifts for the children that are not going to a home. (One thing we hear is the need for new socks. If you want to give a gift of socks to the orphanage in socks or money please let us know)

Friday March 6 Part 2
If the judge is feeling kind, she may allow us to come and get Bryce late Friday afternoon. This is the back-up prayer request if she does not allow us to waive the 10 wait. It would be a HUGE blessing to have Bryce for a few days in Krasnoyarsk before we leave for Moscow and then home.

Saturday March 7, Sunday March 8 and Monday March 9
If we must wait until Tuesday March 10th then it will be our second weekend in the middle of Siberia enjoying crisp temperatures and lots of borsch! We plan to take full advantage of the time to really get to know the area Bryce is from and enjoy this time together. We will eat at the California Pizza kitchen (amazing it is in the middle of Siberia) and ice skate/shop/read/sleep etc. Sunday & Monday is a Russian holiday knows as Women’s Day so we will be unable to go to the orphanage on Monday since the whole area will celebrating women. Lucky Cindy!

Tuesday March 10
All families call this GOTCHA DAY! We will get the call to come to the orphanage, change Bryce into Eagles clothing (Billy only can wish this), take a picture and than quickly head out and he will be with us from this point forward. So much to pray for this first day…
- language understanding
- food understanding
- sleep
- Julia and Bryce and their relationship
- health

Wednesday March 11
This will be our first full day with Bryce and we are very excited about having him all to us. We are so grateful to God for His love and compassion for us and children.

Thursday March 12
This will be one of several challenges as we make the 5 hour flight from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow. Pray for Bryce especially as he will have gone from never leaving the grounds of the orphanage to flying to one of the biggest and most expensive cities in the world.

Friday March 13 to Wednesday March 18
We will enjoy 6 days in Moscow getting Bryce’s passport, visa, medical exam etc. and try to enjoy the sights of one of the great cities of the world.

Thursday March 19 HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We leave Moscow at 7:05am and arrive into Frankfurt at 8:40am. Our flight to Newark departs Frankfurt at 1:15pm and arrives into Newark at 5:20pm. We are flying on Lufthansa and our flight number from Frankfurt to Newark is 402. We should be at the airport in Newark and through customs by 6:00pm.

You can follow our journey and leave messages for us at the following blog site…