Thursday, June 30, 2011


We cant believe that it's Friday already. Today, Saulius has the first of three doctor appointments. Today is the required TB test, which will be checked on Monday. He also gets a physical next week. Hopefully, the Law Center can get the Birth Certificate today, and start on the passport.
All of these things take time, and any red tape could push us back by a day or more. After our doctors visit this am, we may eat lunch out. It really depends upon how Saulius does with his shot. He did quite well sleeping last night, but took some time finally crashing. It might rain today, so we might go to another large shopping mall today to stretch our legs.
Ok, got back from our day out. The clinic that Saulius went to was very good and very clean. He went in to get his shot and blood drawn by himself. More on that later, but when he screamed, Dad wasn't too happy. After they did their work, he came out all smiles and talking. As we were leaving, two Lithuanian Horse Mounted Police went by. We left the clinic and went to another mall. This place was huge! The best was the food court, and the kids playground. The playground was 10 litres. That's about 4 dollars. It was like all those other indoor climbing areas with slides, plastic ball pool areas. He spent a lot of time there and (yeah) was completely worn out when we left. We took lots of pictures. We even have a picture of Saulius using a backhoe just for Grandpa Ted. Veronica just reminded me...when we got to the mall Mom and Dad decided to reward him for being so good at the doctors. So, we had ice cream as soon as we hit the mall. We were sitting on a bench looking at this display about going to the beach. "hey, great picture having ice cream at the beach" well, that worked for a bit, THEN....


No sitting on the display floors. Oh well, back to the bench. We caught a taxi back to our apartment and unpacked from food shopping. We are all relaxing now, and will soon be out to dinner with Veronica's cousins. More later...

Best laid plans....

We tried to skip the nap, but our little munchkin decided that napping with daddy was what he really wanted to do. We all took an hour nap then had a simple dinner of hot dogs, rice with mixed veggies and the usual cucumbers and tomatoes. We then made another trip to the ATM and a quick playground trip. There were a few of the older local kids there. They teased our little guy about getting to use the swing then beating him to it. John defended his little man and after a quick turn on the swing we decided to pack it in. We did get to see 5 hot air balloons go overhead. Another bath due to the dirt in the playground and a few minutes of "Cars", and he'll be put to bed soon.

Helping mom in the kitchen.

Watching "Cars" with Daddy.

Thursday - walk, shopping, lunch

Today we had breakfast then headed out to get the 4 passport photos we need for Saulius. Our lawyer had suggested two places within walking distance of our apartment. The first photo place we looked for was no where to be found. So we headed over to the second one. It was on Gedimanis street which is on the other side of the cathedral from our place. We had not ventured over there yet so it was nice to see some different stuff. It's more of a business area than the tourist area we are in. After we got the photos we found an indoor mall with A/C! It looked brand new but had many empty storefronts. We had lunch there on the open air patio. We got there right at the height of the lunch rush so the service was horribly slow. The food was worth the wait however. John had chicken soup then stuffed chicken with roasted veggies, I had cold beet soup (almost as good as Mom's) with hot, roasted potatoes then blini stuffed with cheese and spinach. We had ordered pasta with veggies for saulius but since the service was so slow he had eaten most of the snacks that we had packed for him and didn't want any - so we bravely finished it off. During our walk we found several kids books, including Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, as well as a couple of kids CD's in Lithuanian. We also saw Lithuanian secret service agents outside a hotel - could they be with Hillary Clinton who is supposed to be here? We also heard, but never saw, what sounded like a motorcade. Our last stop was a playground that is much smaller but much nicer than the one in our courtyard and Saulius just loved it. However like the other playground the surface is very fine dirt, so he got a bath early.
We decided to try going without a nap today since bed time last night was so much easier without one.
Tonight we are going to eat at home, probably something simple since we are stuffed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just some funny things....

Ok just a few funny things to point out.

I hate sitting here in 80 degree weather and my back sticking to the leather seats in our living room at night. I want my A/C back!

Saw the Lithuanian version ( I swear it's true ) of Married With Children. New actors, same story/lines just in Lithuanian. OH MY GOD!

Ok, everyday we watch Likus, which is a music show. Last night a guy who was probably 5'6" was singing next to a woman 6' and he looked short as heck.

The next act was some guy singing "Summer Love?" from Grease. He must have been 50+ and his female singer was probably in her 40's.

The is no lack of pressure in the water pipes if you know what I mean.

TP is 3/4 the size and just as expensive.

Drivers here are as bad as in DC, but they HAVE to stop for pedestrians. Only problem is that you are still taking your life in your hands.

The food is good, the beer is good, and yes all these people stay up til midnight each night. I don't know when work starts, but it must be late.

First night as a family!

When we got back from court our apartment was being cleaned. New soap, new linens! I could get used to this! After recovering from court, we took a walk around town. John found a great book - My First 1000 Words in English and Lithuanian. It's a children's picture book/dictionary that I had heard of in the adoption blogs/websites but had not been able to find it at home. We had a nice dinner out to celebrate. The little guy had a sausage with cucumbers, tomato and fries and topped it off with a vanilla milkshake. Mom had roasted kuldunia with mushroom sauce and water. Dad had - big surprise here - pizza and beer! Saulius was getting tired, but as he did not get a nap, we were not surprised. Tonight we only had to read one of his family picture albums one time and he was out! We are enjoying James Bond 007 in Dr. No on our little DVD player with a nice German beer.

When we got home we met up with one of the parents from the courtyard playground. He spoke to us our first day out with Saulius, we had run into him again outside of church, and this morning while walking back from the grocery. Russ is Lithuanian, works for the Swedish embassy, is married to a Swedish lady who works for the Danish embassy and is currently on paternity leave with his 20 month old Ludwig (who is almost as big as Saulius). This is such a wonderfully cosmopolitan city with people from everywhere! This time his wife was with him, and we chatted even more. They both speak perfect English. They are very nice, and we exchanged emails. Hopefully we'll get to socialize with them some more. Russ told me at our first meeting that it was a wonderful thing we were doing to adopt, and at our second he said that the current Swedish ambassador to Lithuania was herself adopted.

Tomorrow we have to get 4 passport photos of Saulius for his passport, visa and medical exam. We are also going to get some shopping done. Every day after that for the next 6 weekdays we have some sort of appointment or paper pushing to do. We are going to see some cousins (like 12 of them!) for dinner on friday night at La Boheme which Stasys was kind enough to organize. I am going to treat them to dinner since many are elderly and retired. We might to see mantas' family again over the weekend and hopefully will be spending our last weekend in Lithuania at the beach with his family.

Mom and Saulius in front of Vilnius University founded in 1600 something.

My first dinner as John Theodore Saulius Reardon!

Yummy - real pizza!

Our court day

We had a simple breakfast, it was overcast and humid. We walked to the ATM and the grocery store. We tried to have an early lunch of blini but Saulius would not eat them, more for us! We got ready for court in our dress up clothes. We were ready right on time, Ange arrived with a taxi promptly at 12:30.

At the court house we met our lawyer and interpreter. There were three other ladies there representing the child welfare agency, adoption agency and regional representative. The judge had everyone give testimony. John did a great job with his speech. I was asked if I agreed and the judge asked me a few other questions. There was a discussion about my age since I'm 50. Everyone who spoke mentioned how important it is to get Saulius home to USA to get medial attention and ready for school. The judge had Saulius join us and asked him if he wanted us to be his parents, if he liked his new name - John Theodore Saulius Reardon, if he wanted to go to the USA. He told the judge that John is his best friend and that I'm his girlfriend. She said she would make her decision today and left. Saulius spent that time playing with the judge's phone and sitting in her chair, he also showed all the other ladies in the room his two picture books. The judge came back in about 20 minutes with her decision. She approved the adoption and waived the waiting period!

Now the lawyers are going to get Saulius new birth certificate on friday am and his Lithuanian passport on friday pm. On friday we go to the doctors to get Saulius tb test placed. On monday we pick up his passport and go to the doctor for his physical. On tuesday we go to the USA embassy for his visa. We also have to get Saulius a plane ticket.

We can't wait to get home!


All duded up for court

We are a family!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prepping for court tomorrow

We went for a walk after our nap, all the way to the gediminas tower next to the cathedral. Saulius got a little tired and wanted to sit on a bench, munch on cucumbers, drink water and people watch. I got to carry him for quite awhile and he really hung on tight.

We had considered walking down to the river where there is a little beach where we could go wading since the river water is so clean. But we decided that based on the way Saulius behaves in the bath we should skip any water features. He loves taking baths and goes nuts in the water. He tries to swim in the tub, flops around, and really gets wound up. It's a shame too as there is a huge indoor water park that many other families recommended and we had brought our suits.

Dinner was really good: kuldunai - Lithuanian ravioli - with butter (no sour cream due to John's aversion to it) and broccoli. The kuldunai was just some frozen stuff from the grocery but it tasted like my grandmothers! We will be having it often!

John is busy writing his/our speech for the judge tomorrow. We both kept choking up at the lawyers and I know I won't be able to get a coherent sentence out at court. As long as one of us speaks and the other agrees we are ok. Saulius is playing pretty nicely. We did have a little game of chase/hide & seek earlier. Now there is some Lithuanian version of either American Idol, American bandstand or other such on TV which has Saulius captivated. Right now they are doing "Summer Nights" from "Grease" - in Lithuanian - and it's sort of scary with choreography that makes WST look like Balanchine/Martha Grahman.

I did get 3 loads of laundry done in our minature washer. At home I could have easily fit it in one load,

Yep - that's a roll of tp on top for scale and it is in the toilet room. The tub is in a separate room. And there is no dryer.

We are going to hit the courtyard playground then try to get to bed earlier than yesterday. Tomorrow will be a very busy day for all of us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday - dressed for success

So, we had pretty much our usual breakfast this morning. We did buy some strawberries and peaches yesterday, so that was an added plus. Then it was time to get ready to meet with the attorney. Ange met us at our apartment with the cab. It was probably about a 15 minute ride to the Family Law Center office. Glad I wasn't driving, some of our side streets are so narrow I'm surprised we could make the turns. We met with the attorney, and she explained to us how the Lithuanian court system works on adoptions. There should be no more than 9 of us in the courtroom. That's Veronica, Myself, our attorney, interpreter, judge, secretary, and then 3 government officials. We both will have to agree with certain things, and will each have to give a speech. There is no time limit other than the max of two weeks for the judge to make her decision. However, it might come sooner than that, so we will keep our fingers crossed.

After our meeting, we headed home. We ate a nice sausage, potatoes, cucumber, tomato, and bread lunch. Saulius was playing with his toys from last night until I mentioned going to the park. Off we went, about 20 minutes into that adventure you could see his eyes closing. So, off we went back home for nap time. Which is where he is now sound asleep. We'll probably take another walk downtown this afternoon, and maybe grab a bite to eat.

We are discussing all kinds of plans for later this week and next week with Veronica's cousins but need to get our judges decision first. Oh, and before I forget...once we have the decision, it should take 4-5 days to get all the paperwork done for us to get home.

More later....

I'm ready for my GQ cover shot!

I'm just one cool lithuanian dude!

Nap after busy morning at the lawyers.

Love bananas!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Visiting with Mantas & Kristina

We met my cousin Mantas and his wonderful family tonight for dinner. I first met Mantas when he was about 11 when we had the big family trip over here in 1993, then again when he came to the states a few years later, then he lived with me for 4 months back in 2002 and Mom, Ted and I came over for their wedding in 2004. They drove about an hour, from Kaunas, to join us. They brought us a beautiful bottle of Lithuanian honey liquor and a set of fire trucks for Saulius. We had two toy race cars so their little boy - Gustav - and ours could play together and a little Winnie the Pooh for their baby girl, Emma. Both of their kids are beautiful! Mantas looks like a solid family man and his wife is still as beautiful as their wedding day. We had dinner at the Lithuanian restaurant across the street and the boys bonded immediately. They shared a milkshake, their juice and played well together. I showed Mantas pictures of the family. His wife, Kristina, is an english teacher so we got to have translations of what Saulius is really saying and learned a few good words like "telo" for quiet. After dinner we walked back to our apartment and spent about an hour chatting while the boys ran around and played with all the new toys. We were able to skype with Ted which was great. We may be going to Kaunas next weekend to see Mantas' parents and other aunts/uncles and spend one night with them. They also invited us to join them on a holiday the end of the following week to the beach or lake. We really can't make any plans until we get the court stuff finished.

Saulius was pretty wound up and we had a little trouble getting him to sleep, he did have a very full day. Tomorrow we meet with the adoption lawyer to review what will happen in court and what we are going to say. Should be another full day.

I'll post pictures tomorrow. Can't find the camera right now and tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

Saulius and Gustav playing with new toys.

I don't want to share my milkshake!

More time with toy trucks!

Monday's Q & A

Ok, thought I'd do some Q & A while Veronica and Saulius watch "Open Season" before our night out.

Saulius' Lithuanian is helping us to learn. His English is not that good yet, Veronica had him saying " very good boy " and some Lithuanian is quite similar to English anyway. When he "thinks" he is full, he says ne more. Which is actually no more - ne is no in Lithuanian.

We have satellite tv here. The channels are more Lithuanian ( with and without being dubbed over ), than any others. However, we do have some English channels, and some German channels, some Russian channels. I keep waiting to see some of those Russian WW2 movies.

The hot dogs/sausages are better tasting here, but smaller. Hey, even the TP is about the size of half a roll.

McD's had a McRoyal? Which was a double. The store food display was much smaller, so I can't tell you how much else was missing. I didn't see anything about pies, salads, and they only told us about the larger sizes.

Note to Mom R, Claudia, and Ted. Ok, Ted - Saulius has you memorized. He will be all over you like moss on a tree when we get home. Claudia, he says Dede (Uncle) Jim when ever we see the pictures we sent him. The picture is of me, Jim, you, Mom R, and Veronica. The thing is there is no "J" in Lithuanian. We were not sure what Saulius would call Jim, but he seems to have no problem with pronouncing the letter j. Mom R, Gloria he has been good with names, trouble rolling the ry with the Lynn sound. He's now got all the ladies mixed up, so we'll have to be patient.

Acropolis and first McDonald's Trip

After a breakfast of yogurt, fried egg, bread, cheese and juice, we took a taxi to the Acropolis. Saulius loved the car ride and kissed the driver goodbye. The acropolis is a huge mall with an ice skating rink, Maxima (fancy wal-mart), home depot type store, lots of restaurants and high end retail. There is supposed to be a playground but we never found it - guess we'll just have to make another trip. We walked around a bit, found and successfully used the WC, bought Saulius his own sunglasses at the Maxima (since he keeps taking ours), went up and down the escalator, elevator and this neat moving ramp that could even take grocery carts, but the highlight of the trip for both boys was lunch at McDonald's. I don't think Saulius had been there before and he got his first Happy Meal. They also gave him a balloon which popped in the WC. It was great to get a diet coke that was bigger than 0.25 liters.

They have little kiddie rides, like the old-fashioned ones in front of grocery stores (dating myself!), scattered around the mall. When we found the police one we put him in it. He was not ready for it to move, make noise, flash lights, but after a little scare just loved it and didn't want to leave.

During lunch my cousin Mantas called. He is bringing his wife and children over from Kaunas this evening. We will be going out to dinner. He wanted to make sure it was ok to bring Saulius a present. We were able to pick up little gifts for his kids at the Maxima.

Our last stop at the mall was the Maxima for grocery products. I so wish I could shop there all the time. The fish counter is amazing, the bakery department is to die for, and the variety of european delicacies (cheeses, pate, sweets, even liquor/beer/wine) is beautiful. However we are trying to keep our diet simple for Saulius so I had to pass on some very tempting things. My waist line is probably grateful!

The taxi service is great. We have a number to call, they speak english, tell you when they will be there and what the cab looks like, are very prompt and call back if they can't find you! The cost is reasonable too. The acropolis is on the other side of town, about a 15-20 minute drive and only cost about 16 litas (there are about 2.5 litas to the dollar). Considering the lack of signage and parking, cost of gas, and aggressive driving, getting a rental car here isn't worth it.

It's now nap time in prep for the big dinner out. John was just going to lay down until Saulius dropped off but I think John was asleep first.

My first Happy Meal! Mom has put the toy aside for me since didn't know there was one in there.

We bought Saulius a little Lithuanian flag which he spent quite a while waving at everyone.

Part of the fish counter - yes, those are squid and octopus!

An ice cream stand - one of several in the mall - they display it all so beautifully. We didn't have any - yet!

Moving ramp that can take grocery carts/strollers - really neat!