Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zero...and other odd and interesting tidbits

...yup, we're coming home. Had our embassy appointment and were done by 3:30 pm and have hung out at the apartment eating...the obsession with banana's is getting crazy. But, she did eat lunch today really well and then had a banana when we got home from the embassy. Then, she just kept climbing up into the seat at the kitchen table and saying "yum" and "nana"...I tried to distract her with biscuit cookies but - nothing doing. Unfortunately, I only have 3 left and wanted to leave some for the airplane. So, by 5:00, I had had enough and I got her dinner ready. She ate baby cereal with banana's in it really well ...when she had like 3 bites left, she started shaking her head so I said...okay...and washed her up and got her down...well, she gets this hurt look on her face and walks back to the table and stares at the bowl and so I fed her standing up...then I took a yogurt out for myself and ate it until the stares were too hard to bear and gave her about 1/4 of it. Then, I went to the "living room" area and she grabs this pastry that I was going to eat (it is like a croissant with an apple inside) ...off of the counter and brings it into the living room where I am frantically trying to zipper all of our stuff into the two suitcases I have combined the original 3 ... and she has ripped into the croissant part. ...okay, back to the kitchen and I pull off some of the croissant...nothing doing...she knew there was something inside...so I take the apple out and cut it up...she has this mile wide smile...puts one piece in her mouth and spits it out!!! So, I pick it up and wash her face and put her down. Well, she is crying as I am throwing it out. Then points to the counter and says..."nanna" ...Cookie? noooooo Looks at this other bowl of almond cookies (which she loves)...nooooo.

...found out that what I saw last night was the preparations for the big parade they have on May 9th to celebrate the end of WWII. (I know you thought I was just making it up!)

Victory Day marks the end of World War II in Europe, specifically the capitulation of Nazi forces to the Allies (the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, the United States and other principal Allied nations) on May 8, 1945. It is celebrated in the successor states to the Soviet Union on May 9, because when the German Instrument of Surrender actually entered into force (May 8, 1945 at 23:01 CET), it was already May 9 in the USSR and Eastern Europe.

...and finally, the embassy appointment. The other couple with my agency (different region) was coming in at the last minute too because when they arrived in Moscow 10 days ago to go to the region for their court case, they found out that their child was hospitalized and in isolation because of chicken pox. So, they go to the region and cannot visit the child because he is in isolation...and to make matters worse, they go to court and the 10 days are waived...but they end up staying for 7 days longer cuz that is how long it takes for him to get out of isolation! Talk about bad luck...Turns out there are 3 other kids who are to be adopted from the same orphanage and who are in the hospital...one is still there cuz supposedly has pneumonia and so cannot be released...UGH!

...so, what do you do if you admit a child to the hospital in Russia who has chicken pox...you put GREEN dye on each of the pox sites (I guess to make it easier to count them and see when you stopped making new ones)...Both of these kids have green dots all over their faces/scalps/bodies - I've never seen anything like it.

...and finally, Addison was the "hit" of the embassy. She was in a funk (her usual response to any change in routine...cry...then evil eye for 5-10 minutes...)... and we had gone up to the window and raised our right hands and swore we were telling the truth and had gone back to sit down and wait for them to give us the all important immigration packet that makes them a citizen when we get to the US and to give back her Russian Passport with visa in it ...anyway, she starts getting anxious and so I reach into my pocketbook and take out my glasses case. It is one of those ones that has a hinge and self closes with a bang!...So, I take it out and hand it to her and she tries for a little while and then I open it for her and...bang it closes...she jumps a little and she gets a little smile on her face...then she hands it back to me to open and she does it again and this time she has one of her big wide mouth smiles and giggles...so she does it again and again and these times does this huge belly laugh with her wide grin...Ha! everyone was looking at her and laughing and all of those other parents wished that they were the great and omnipresent parent like me and knew what kind of toys to bring! Well they weren't!

Well, won't be able to post until after I get home so...cya.

Second word...

So, when she wants to eat she says "yum yum"...guess what I have been saying with every word. looks like she is hungry cuz I just heard her walk into the kitchen and climb onto the chair...time for lunch (early) and a little nap before the embassy apptment.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last night...

So, our apartment is on Arbat street which is like "Times Square" in Moscow. Lots of bright lights and sounds and very busy traffic. The problem is that we face the west and the sun was blasting in yesterday and so I kept the windows open. Well, there were cars and yelling and other sounds...but at around 11 pm I heard what I thought was a train. Really loud and movement sounding and after it had been going on for about 10 minutes I went to the window to see if I could see the "train"...turns out it was a Military Convoy of Tanks and Antiaircraft missile carriers and big giant trucks and these huge...looked like intercontinental missiles (each one took up the entire semi tractor trailor) all camouflage painted with the entire street stopped for several blocks. Finally after about 20 of the missile carriers turned the corner down the street it stopped.

Then I went back to sleep only to be awoken by the "train" again and went to look. Had to be about 50 tanks and missile carriers (each). I tried to take a picture which is attached but I leaned out the window and we are 22 floors up! - but I think you can make out the tanks!



Of course, I slept poorly the rest of the night wondering if soviet rule was coming back or if there was some sort of "police" state being imposed. Or if I was going to hear missiles to Chechnya...but, I figured if Russia was under attack, there would be some sort of other sign...and besides, would all of the "times square lights" stay on during a military occupation? I don't think so...they must have just been moving troop supports but I got to figure there are better routes than thru the main street of Moscow!

One...

...well, first the daily news but stay tuned to an extra exciting post later.
We did well yesterday and she fell asleep pretty quickly sans benadryl. But was a little restless in the night and woke a couple of times and climbed back on top of me.
This morning I got up at 5:45 to be ready for the doctor who was coming to do the embassy exam. He was a very nice man who is a Pediatric Reconstructive Surgeon who trained in the US for microvascular surgery who does this as his "second" job...Can't imagine a surgeon in the US doing that. He was great with her. But, it was a little crude, measuring her on the couch and picking her up like a sack of potatoes under her arms and pumping her up and down and saying...hmmm she is solid, I would say 23 or 24 pounds! Think I will not use that for her "official" weight!
Now we wait for Oleg to come and pick up the paperwork and find out what the schedule is for the rest of the day.
Addison is really good this morning. She ate a whole banana and then 1/2 a bowl of cereal with squash...then, she decided it wasn't sweet enough and she had had it! A little stinker to say the least but we will work on that. I guess I wouldn't want squash for breakfast either but I couldn't find the applesauce.
Hopefully we will leave early in the am and I will be on the 20 hour trip home.

Video

I haven't done a lot of video this trip. Just never seemed to have it with me and internet was too spotty and expensive. But, free internet with the apartment in Moscow so...here is what you've all been waiting for...
The debut of Ms. Addison Tatiana Lavoie (you can tell she has no idea what her name is!)

video

Ok mom...not so fast...

There I was bragging about how well Addison is eating. Last night she wouldn't eat the dinner with me but I just thought okay...well, tonight I bought pasta with meat sauce. I put a bite in her mouth and she went...Pththttt. and spit it back out. I don't want that good for you food! I want the good food...cookies, banana's, and sweets!

Two...

And we are in Moscow. Addison has been doing great. We picked her up at around 10 am yesterday and she came to the hotel with me. Her first instinct is to cry. Get in the car...cry - get out of the car...cry...walk into the hotel...cry- walk out of the hotel...cry...get in the stroller...cry...well, you get the picture. After a few seconds she calms down but has this hypervigilant look like she is expecting the worst. Last night in the hotel room, she started running up and down and pretending she would touch the on/off switch of the TV and then look at me and LAUGH. She has given me the body giggles a couple of times today too. And when she is tired...the thumb goes in the mouth and that is that.

Oh, and where did she learn to sleep directly on TOP of me...stomach to stomach with her head directly on my chest...and won't let me put her to my side ...I don't think she got a lot of that in the orphanage, but she loves it. of course, mommy isn't too comfortable sleeping on her back...a side type of gal so ...well, we'll let her do that for a while...she's missed a lot of momma cuddles!

She has "re-learned" to drink from a bottle. All afternoon yesterday she would chew on the nipple and every once in a while would get a drink and get this huge smile on her face. Today in the plane to Moscow, she re-figured out how to suck and make the juice come out. It was so funny cuz she would let go of the suction and all the air would rush into the bottle. One time I said..."aahhh" and now, that is her trick. Take a drink, let the air rush in and say "aahhh" and then cue the cute smile like she is so proud of herself.

The apartment in Moscow has hard wood floors and I had taken her shoes off when we came in. She figured out pretty quickly that if she had just socks on she would slide around...so what did she do...sat down and put her shoes on. I think she is going to be an engineer...likes to figure things out!

We just went for a walk on Arbat Street. She was pretty nervous about it but we got groceries and I think she got her first taste of chocolate pudding. Let's just say that the smile was a mile wide!

There are several families who are in the same predicament as me...couldn't pick up the child until (yesterday) or today and so were cutting it really close for the medical to be on a different day as the embassy interview. Anyway, the embassy is making an exception and they are allowing us to do everything on the same day. Tomorrow the doctor is coming to us! at 6:30 in the morning. So, it looks like I definitely am coming home on Thursday...can't wait.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Three

What a difference a day makes?...yesterday was cold, windy, and showers all day. Today dawned with the sun and I got to pick up Addison.
...I picked her up around 10:30; then we went back to the hotel, had lunch and went outside for some fresh air. She was afraid of the swing and liked the seesaw but there's only so much a 47 year old back after sleeping on this bed for 14 days can do!...then went back to the hotel to take a nap. She would only lay on top of me...something I'm loving for the bonding issue...and fell asleep for 3 hours...and oh yeah! didn't wake up crying.
...now we are sitting at the computer and I'm hoping she will let me do some email before she loses it but right now is being an angel.
...oh yeah, I handed her her shoes and she put them on by herself! first put one on the wrong foot and realized it and took it off and put it on the other one!!!Maybe I'll have one who will put his/her own shoes on...cuz that is my issue with the other 3!!!
I'll post more tomorrow, my apartment in Moscow has wireless internet!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Four...

Sunday...the last night in the hotel alone...I can't believe that I am finally saying that. Don't want to make this post a bummer but...really...
...spent most of yesterday walking and trying to find a children's store. Finally did find a stroller (on sale)...still more than I wanted to spend but what the heck. I am depressed and ready to leave and I might as well spend money...That always makes me feel better!! - for a little while!
...was annoyed yet again yesterday cuz when I got back to my room, CNN was not working. Now, there are two stations that have English - EURONEWS and CNN and one of them wasn't working...at the very least for $175 per night you would think I could get CNN. Of course it may have been in/out the previous 2 weeks but I just didn't notice cuz I was watching my "24" episodes. Problem is, I am down to the last 6 hours and I don't want to finish it before today ...figure tomorrow I'll be busy with Addison in the room!
...got up late today and ate breakfast in the room. I bought these great almond cookies yesterday at the store and they were great with the coffee I bought. not that I was looking forward to the corn flakes that are all I've been able to eat off of the buffet the last few days.
...packed most of my stuff and pulled out the outfit to take Addison out in. Unfortunately, I was expecting it to be warmer by the time I took her out so I only have about 3 warm weather outfits and the rest are short sleeves. but, it will have to be good enough. Was able to put oneof the suitcases into the other and still pack everything (once I took all of the bribes- um...gifts out!). This will make things easier for the flight to Moscow and the flight home. I am hoping that now with 2 people, I will also not be overweight on the luggage (especially with the bribes...um...gifts out!).
...now, just waiting for the day to go by. I will probably try and take some pictures later but I am so depressed, I hardly want to go out of the hotel. It is dreary and overcast too so I hope it clears up some after noon.
...hold good thoughts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Five...

no, i'm not counting down the days or anything. Nothing new to report. I had an uneventful night in the hotel room and woke up to overcast skies but as I have been sitting here reading email and blogs, I see the sun has emerged ...

...plans for the day? none...i will go walking this morning and try and stay out until after lunch time. I saw a children's store on one of the drives to/from the orphanage and will try and find that. the only problem is that my facilitator takes a different route each day - just to confuse me I think!

...M&R I am thinking ab0ut your soccer game. good luck...have fun...see you soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Six...

Today's visit was definitely better than yesterday though still some tense moments as she decided that she didn't want to be cooped up in the nurses office all morning while her friends went outside.

...took her only 30 seconds to give up the crying and motion to be put down next to the amazing banana carrier (my pocketbook)...and another 5 seconds to say "more"...so we had about 15 minutes to eat two HUGE banana's and she went into the food dispensary for the cookie bowl!

...actually there were only a few times when she had enough of me. most of the time I could distract her and find some new toy to play with for a while. but, come 11:15, she was ready to leave. I think she smells the lunch being carried thru the hallway to the children's area. After that, there is no containing, no playing, no tickling that will distract her from her appointed area!

...today she did turn around and wave bye-bye to me as she was being led away...this is an enormous improvement since one day she nearly fell off of the couch we were sitting on trying to get down without properly positioning herself.

...and now, I am officially alone until Monday morning at 9:30 ...then we will find out if we can go to the court to get the paperwork or if we will need to wait until the end of the day. god, I don't want to leave her there one more night.

...so what is on the plans for the weekend? Well, there are some buildings I want to photograph so I can have something for the kids to see about the city they are from. Also, they have these underground tunnels to cross the major streets and in one of them is this famous tile mural of WWII and Russian involvment. It is really intricate work and I hope to video tape it so that I have that for the boys. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to a "BORING" 2 1/2 days. It is raining today and supposed to tomorrow but supposed to warm up and be sunny on Sunday. I hope so cuz I am not going to be able to take too much of the hotel for that time. Also, I am a little worried about my electronics.

...last night while trying to go to sleep, I started to smell an electrical burning smell. I tracked it to my converter and plugs for the Russian power that I had plugged my lap top into. The converter is a little charred...LUCKILY, that was a new converter I bought before my 1st trip cuz I couldn't find the one I had used 2 years ago. As I was packing for this trip, I happened upon the first one and almost didn't put it into my luggage...but as luck would have it, I did.

...so hopefully this means I will continue to be able to play solitaire, spider solitare, and soduko on my computer for the next few days...not to mention...watch the rest of Season 4 of "24".

...Paka, Paka (bye,bye)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seven...



Here are some pictures of the outside playground.

It was a rough day for Addison. She cried as she was brought into the room but quickly remembered that I am the bringer of bananas. So, we set to eating the two banana's I brought in no time flat. Then, she was content to play with and read the new book I brought today ("Five Little Ducks") and even gave me a few "quacks" but by about 20 minutes, she was DONE. Wanted to go outside, wanted to go back into her room, ran out of the nurses office a couple times - it was torture trying to find something that would entertain her and not make her feel like she was in prison. We made it through somehow and I am back at the hotel.
And one from yesterday where she is trying to break out of my prison.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday...

Hump day...midweek...almost the weekend. You guessed it, I have been waiting for this day. Officially I have fewer days here left than ones I have already spent here. Next week on Wednesday, I will (hopefully) be eating lunch and gettng prepared for my Embassy appointment to get Addison's paperwork. Then it will be a calm and quiet day until thursday when we leave! Not that I am not enjoying it here, the weather has been nice and the quiet has been okay but...well, there is only so much quiet I can take! I never thought I had ADD but really, I have gotten so used to moving in 3 directions at once, that I can't slow down. Besides, I miss my kids too much. I have actual...physical...heartache.

Addison was pretty good today. She cried when she saw me but after a few seconds of comforting, she remembered the prize that might be in my pocketbook...made a lunge for it and YES!!!! banana's. Today I brought two and she ate both in record time. But she was so happy doing it and actually tried to share with me a couple of times.

She has learned how to say more...or at least it sounds like that. Maybe it is a Russian word for banana but I am using it as "more". We had a pleasant visit though she hates to be separated from the other kids. We have been going outside and they make me keep her in this separate "pen" from the other kids. She tries to unlock it and stares at the other kids like I have her in jail!

Speaking of the playground, you should see it. they have a number of little covered area's with brick paver pathways. In the middle of these are little areas which have a slide and teeter totter and swing. So, it is amazing to me that they keep about 20 kids in the covered area's or on the pavers. Even the kids not locked into the covered areas know that they are not allowed into the areas with the play toys. Not sure what the deal is; it is a little muddy and I suspect they don't want them to get dirty but...

Starting the countdown...8 more days till I am home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday's visit...

...went pretty well. I am used to the panicked crying as she rounds the corner to the nurses office where that "stranger" - um, me...is waiting. Then, there is the clinging for dear life with her head buried in my shoulder - so she doesn't have to look at me apparently - for about 5 minutes - then being okay enough to sit down on the bench and pick up one or two of the toys - then, I broke out the FOOD!!!!

I had brought a bag of toddler cookies from home and we went through those the first 4 days so during my shopping trip, I bought some cookies that look like "tea biscuits" ...anyway, I took those out - you know, about 3 inch rectangles and she tries to put the whole thing into her mouth at once. I had to fish it out (much to her chagrin) and break it into pieces and feed them individually to her. Yesterday I brought a banana...not just any banana mind you...the largest banana I have ever seen (probably about 8-9 inches long)...so I reach into my pocketbook...surreptitiously mind you cuz I don't have permission to feed her and I get the feeling they would scold me for ruining her appetite - NOT with this kid!

Anyway, I open the banana and take a small piece out and feed it to her...this unleashes a FRENZY of activity as she tries to crawl through me to get to the pocket book. I cannot get pieces of banana out fast enough and she tries to shove them into her mouth as if she has never eaten! Within 30 seconds this banana is gone and she is crawling over me trying to find more in my pocketbook. So I open the cookies ...she is happy with them, but still periodically looks in my pocketbook for the hidden banana.

So, for those of you who were afraid she didn't know how to eat...well, you can stop being afraid. I think I will have the opposite problem with her. She is going to not know how to stop eating!

But...not being above bribery, you can guess where I went yesterday afternoon and what I bought to bring with me today!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Musings...

Several things are bothering me and since I am cranky because my back hurts from the bed/mattress and I am hungry I will just address them informally.



First of all, what is it about cars? I have been amazed at the # and types of cars people drive around here. I don't even want to talk about the uh-hem "aggressive" driving - that is fodder for a whole 'nother blog entry. Across the street from the hotel is a Maserati store. Now, I ask you, how many Maserati cars do you think you need to sell in a year to have a huge store in a local city? One...two?...I don't think there is a Maserati in Richmond...probably one in Northern VA. Mostly, you see Hyundai, Lada, Opel, Nissan...then there are the pretty common Toyota and every once in a while you will see a Ford or a Chevrolet. Today as I was walking to the grocery store, a Porche drove up and parked on the sidewalk as I was walking by...I guess if you own the only Porche in town you get to park on the sidewalk...nope, sorry, anyone can park on the sidewalk here...no parking place, just pull up on the sidewalk...we did it in the Lada last week at the bank!

Secondly...what are the signs of scurvy? I think that I have only eaten white foods (with an occasional yellow banana thrown in) for the past week. I am tempted to start eating the baby cereal I brought - at least it is vitamin supplemented. I now understand why the kids are so thin and malnourished. Of course, I am not adventurous about food and, though I have tried the salami a couple of times, I cannot bring myself to eat battered fish or chicken for breakfast...nor can I bring myself to eat cabbage or carrot salad for breakfast. I guess that would add at least a little color to my diet but...for now, chocolate will have to be the only color I have...Actually I bought some orange juice at the store tonight cuz I really feel like I have scurvy! I mean it my teeth are hurting and I'm overtired-- I'm not a juice drinker but I have to do something or I will not have the strength to carry Addison onto the plane.

Soccer


So, my two boys are playing soccer again this season. They have now played for 3 seasons and they are starting to get better. Last fall, Matthew was very interested in playing the "Pirate" game that the coach designed for practice...he was a very good pirate but got into the habit of stealing the ball and just kicking it to out of bounds. He was always so happy for himself that you couldn't say anything about it. On the last game of the season, the coach grabbed him a he stole the ball and yelled in his ear to look at the goal and kick it into the goal! Well, he "heard" it and got a goal. He was so happy with that ear-to-ear grin he can have.


One of my saddnesses about being away so long is that I am missing several of their games. I got an email from my friend who is "guest coaching" while I am gone and he said both of the boys did great on Saturday. Matthew scored 2 goals and was totally intense! I am so happy for him and yet so sad that I missed him doing it. I can't wait to get home and see how my little pirates are doing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday, Sunday...

Well, I am back at the business center whiling away the time. I will go out to the park near the hotel in a little while and listen to a book on tape for a few hours to have something to do. I am feeling lazy and tired but the bed in the hotel is not doing good things for my back so I have to get out of there for a while.

I am getting a little nervous about the trip with Addison. I have had about 10 visits with her so far for about 1 1/2 hours each. Each time she comes into the room, she starts crying. I don't think this is doing her any good, probably just confusing her more. I think she is going to need the total cut off of all of her ties to what she knows in order to start to look at me as someone other than a random person who keeps coming to see her.

On Friday, we were able to play outside an while we were outside, the rest of her group came out as well. The ladies made me leave the area where the other kids were, which I think A. took as a bad thing. We did about a million laps around the play area and you should have seen the other kids all coming up to me, smiling, and trying to touch me...it was so heart rendering. I think they knew that I was a "mamma" ...much more than A. does.

I will visit with her next week daily and I hope that she does okay but I am beginning to think that she won't start to open up until she "has" to. Now, don't get me wrong, she is taking less and less time to calm down and plays with me and smiles and laughs when I swing her or play with her. But, she just keeps looking at her friends and when it is time to go, she practically runs from me! Trying not to worry...(okay...worrying a little).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Got it!

Today we went to the passport office and after I signed 3 forms, my facilitator got Addison's passport. So, we have the paperwork done on this side of Moscow (with the exception of the translations of all of the documents- which my facilitator is going to do this week).

It is the weekend here in Rostov, and it is a beautiful sunny day. I spent some time walking around and went to the mall near here to see about buying an umbrella stroller. I think I am going to need something like that in Atlanta on the way home. Well, the only things they had were Peg Perego's for between $200 and $500 (roughly). NOT

I also found the McDonalds in town. I will probably go there for lunch tomorrow. It is about a mile away on the main drag of town but I will need something to do since I don't get to go to the orphanage on the weekends.

For those of you who are following, I am half-way thru the 3rd Season of 24...I can't believe how much trouble Jack Bauer's daughter can get into. When she was captured in hour 3 I was like...okay now, the girl has no luck! But, it doesn't look like I am going to have any trouble going through all of the episodes I have with me (through Season 4). Then it will have to be books on tape or if I am really pressed...work!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Going with the flow...

I'm trying to just go with the flow but wouldn't you just know that the one OTC med I forgot was prilosec. Boy could I use that now! Wonder if it is in a purple box in Russia too? Will have to go to the drug store and browse the Cyrilic boxes....

Latest news is that I have plane tix for 6:30 am on Tuesday. The court has agreed to give us the paperwork we need at close of business on Monday. Moscow says they are 90% sure we can make it without any changes in plans...

I am worried about that extra 10%!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This is me trying not to panic...

So, you're in another country where you don't speak (nor read) the language and you've resigned yourself that you will spend 19 days here for the better good of your child and children at home. You go through a 2 hour grilling session and make it out alive - without the 10 days waived but, you had convinced yourself that it would be okay.

So, what could go wrong you ask? Well....
First of all, all 3 of the restaurants in the Hotel Rostov were closed last night. So, not only don't you get dinner (and no lunch because court was at 2:00 pm and you were too nervous to eat)...Then, when you wake up, the "floor lady" asks you for $6 because you got a make up stain on one of the towels yesterday so ---apparently these threadbare, hard towels cost $6 to replace...nevermind the $150 a night you are paying for this hotel that closes down its restaurants without any provocation. But of course you can't say this to the "floor lady" because you can not communicate with her - with the exception of her pointing to the towel and writing $150 (rubles) on a piece of paper....WHATEVER!

So, I'm not panicking yet...

Then, you hear from your facilitator who is to pick you up this afternoon to go to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to sign for your daughter's new birth certificate and he drops the bomb that the court decree won't be in effect until Tuesday the 29th. Apparently (as you later learn) he has gotten a big favor from the court to give the preliminary decree so that we can do the birth certificate and passport office this week because the passport office is closed ALL next week.
Also, you later learn, that since the "Office of Complaints" (I could not make this stuff up) - where - apparently someone would file an objection to the adoption if there was anyone to do that - is going to be closed one day next week and so to allow for 10 days of objections, we can not pick up the court decree until 11 days afterward!!!!

So, I say to the facilitator, does this mean I have to push back my leaving from Moscow as well? Well, there is an audible thud as his heart stops and he realizes that if I don't get my paperwork and my physical before 11 am on Tuesday in Moscow, I cannot get an embassy appointment on Wednesday and since Thursday is some sort of holiday (which I found out yesterday) and the embassy will be closed for a WEEK!!!!!!! that would be a big huge problem.

Next there is a flurry of calls in Russian where I am sure there are a lot of swear words going on with the Moscow office. He finishes this 15 minute conversation by telling me that the only way we can do this is to leave Rostov on the 6:30 am plane and to do that... he will have to ask for a second BIG favor from the court...wonder how much this is going to cost me!?!

Is it time to push the button?
The good news is that I found the grocery store and was able to buy some Diet Coke which they do not carry in the hotel.
Oh yeah, I'm also gonna need some chocolate tonight!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Can you believe it?



Can you believe it?


I am done. Court was at 2:00 pm Russia time and we got out at 3:45pm. It was a grueling affair of everyone hammering me about why I wanted to adopt a "fourth" child when I already had 3 at home and I was a single woman and not only that but a single working woman. After my first 15 minutes of explaining, I was told that I still didn't explain it and to please convince them that I was capable of loving and caring for 4 children. Also, if I would ever, in case of medical illness, give away one of my children...


I guess that's it...this is all so fun for me so I am going to do it as if ... I am shopping for the best kids and I am going to throw away the broken ones! NOT!!

One of the interesting parts of court...the part I missed on my previous adoptions was the issue of whether or not any Russians had seen the child and passed up on adopting them. Also, why did no Russian adopt her? Want to know the answer...




(Social Worker from the Rostov Region) "I'm not sure, her medical diagnoses are not too bad and usually Russians will be afraid if there are too many medical diagnoses. In fact, she is a good girl, the only thing I can say is that she was considered 'not a pretty girl'.


(At this, the judge starts looking at the pictures in the album that I brought which included a couple of Addison)."

"She says, I don't understand, she is a very pretty girl." and the Social worker says,..."well, yes...she is getting better but in the early pictures she was not very pretty!"
Not only that, but she brings the medical record up to the bench to show her the early pictures!


How could you say that and look at this picture?
All I can say is that I am glad that her early pictures were not so nice. Cuz I think she is cute as a button - and just wait till she grows some hair!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Arrived...

Leaving home was harder than I thought it would be. Riley came out and hugged me. He had been really good all morning and I had sat down to cuddle with the kids before I left but he was distracted playing "Connect Four" and "trouble" with the babysitter. Then, all heck let loose when he hugged me, crying and sobbing. I hated to leave, but I know he will be better.


I arrived in Rostov about 6:30 pm on Sunday...the flights were as expected. JFK to Moscow was long but at least I wasn't in the middle and had an aisle seat from which I could get up and down pretty easily. The movie selection was "All Nicole Kidman, all the time!" First this movie called the Invasion which must have gone directly to DVD cuz it was so bad and then The Golden Compass which wasn't much better. I tried to sleep but no luck.


Arriving in Moscow, I was a little anxious as my bags were about the last ones off onto the carosel. I hadn't had this happen before, but both the JFK and ATL flights arrived at virtually the same time so there was a huge line for passport control and for baggage. Since I was so late, I got to go out through customs pretty easily. Then to another part of the airport to wait.


My agency had called on Friday to ask if I wanted to be picked up to go to lunch in the city and then driven back to the airport or if I wanted to wait for them in the airport and they would pick me up and drive me to the domestic terminal. I had elected to try and just relax. After a few minutes, they arrived (ahead of schedule) and it turned out their was another couple who were flying in on Sunday who they thought were coming in on Monday...oops! So, they picked both of us up and we went downtown to drop them off at their apartment.


I definitely packed too much because I had to pay excess baggage at RIC and also for the Rostov flight.


Yesterday we went to get my urine test for the "8 physician physical" required by Russia these days and then I got to meet with Addison for 2 1/2 hours. She was definitely shy and got sick of me by the end, but did pretty well.
The cool thing...she's learned to say cheese....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

T minus 2 days...


Nuff said...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lists...


I'm am completely crazy making lists and trying to get ready for the trip...
still need to...
1. Pick up money for the trip
2. Review the schedule with the 4 babysitters who are going to take care of my kids for the 18 days I will be gone.
3. Double check that I have my tax returns, I 171H and other things ready.
4. Complete sign out for my colleague who will be covering my patients while I am in Russia
5. Go to the JCICS meeting in DC tomorrow (ugh)...I had been planning on going to this for over a month. Really don't want to take the day off to do that, but it looks like there will be some really great information and I have already paid for it.
a. drop off a house key for my babysitter tomorrow
b. call her to make sure she remembers
c. call the neighbor girl who is going to come over tomorrow at 5:45 and wait for the bus with the boys
d. get gas (ugh!) in the car for the trip
6. Pick up Addison's ticket at the airport.
7. Pack!!!! - oh that is a list in-and-of itself
8. Put dinner for tomorrow into crockpot before I leave
9. Call kids dentist to reschedule cleanings for when I get back
10. grocery shop for the house
11. get a present for the birthday party Matthew is going to while I am gone
12. Pick up Matthew's prescription at the pharmacy
13. Get prescriptions for Addison from my colleague and then get them filled
14. check on the weather in Rostov for end of April or do I really need to bring a snowsuit at this time of year??!!
15. Send in requests for service commitments for next year.

Can you think of other things?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Trip 2

I am going! Addison is coming home!

Got a call on Thursday with my court date. Yeah...doing the happy dance. So, on April 12th I will fly to Russia and on the 16th, I will have court. After that I will stay for the nearly 2 weeks (including the 10 day waiting period) and come home on May 1st.

I am frantically trying to get everything together - packing - getting little forget me nots for the kids - gathering clothes for Addison - arranging for babysitting and excursions for the 3 kids at home.

It will be interesting to be in Russia that long. Hopefully I will find things to do.

Will try and post every once in a while while there.