Monday, April 25, 2011

A Great Day!

This is going to be really quick but we had two pieces of really great news today.

The first is that we have a court date.  In about 3 weeks we'll be back in Moscow!  We are totally excited and have spent tonight finding flights, ordering Visas and booking our hotel.

The second thing that happened today is that we received our I-171H.  Let me tell you that this has been a big source of stress for us.  We actually had to miss our fingerprint appointment due to our first trip to Moscow so the Tuesday after we returned from our first trip we walked in for an unscheduled fingerprint appointment.  They let us right through and we were out of there in 20 minutes. It was amazing.  So anyone who may be reading this, know that this is an option for you.  If we had waited until our appointment reschedule, we wouldn't have had the approval by our court date.  The time elapsed to receive the I-171H since the fingerprint appointment was 20 days.  Not bad!

One of the reasons we are so happy about the timing of this is that we really wanted to bring our little guy home before his first birthday.  It appears that we will be able to do that given the way things are working out.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter and will try to post more regularly now because we have quite a bit of work to do before the trip!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Random Observations

Now that we're back home and mainly rested, I thought it would be fun to post some random observations from our trip.

1)  The mullet is alive and well in Moscow.  In case anyone thinks it died in the 80's, we saw many men sporting this hairdo proudly.  Bill thinks its because Russia is a hockey country.  If that is true, are mullets still prevalent in Canada?

2)  When we met our son on the first day they brought him to us in a pink flowered outfit.  For a moment I wondered if they had brought us the correct child because he looked very feminine.  Even our doctor was thrown off at first from the pictures.  During our visits on the 2nd day he was dressed more like a boy.

3)  Nothing goes the way you think it will.  So it is best to be flexible and "go with the flow".

4)  There isn't much random smiling happening out on the streets of Moscow.  We joked that you can pick out the Americans because we smile at strangers.

5)  Eating out in Moscow has gotten even more expensive than last time.  For example, a pot of coffee at our hotel was approximately $30.  It made Starbucks look reasonable!

6)  When someone sitting next to you on the plane talks for 9 of a 12 hour flight, the seat neighbors are not appreciative.

7)  Conversations often sound like arguments, but are perfectly normal in the end.  Our driver would take us to a place and I assume explain our purpose.  It would sound like an argument, and then he would turn to us and say something like, "Yeah, we are old friends and go way back".

8)  Sometimes its best to stop asking questions.

9)  Wearing black is always appropriate in Moscow.

10)  Next time we need to set up Skype to keep in touch with Nick.  We forgot to do this and I regretted the whole time we were gone.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Heading Home Soon

It's funny how the mind (and memory) works.  I had forgotten, or put out of my head, how stressful this process is.  The past 48 hours have been incredibly stressful and wonderful all at the same time.

I don't think either Bill or I slept very well last night.  We felt really good about the visit with our little guy yesterday but until we heard back from our IA doctor we were trying to not get too far ahead of ourselves.  Thankfully we awoke to good feedback from our doctor and I felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders.

Today we were able to visit our little guy twice at the hospital, once this morning and then again later this afternoon.  Our morning visit was about 45 minutes and our afternoon visit was an hour and a half.  I was very happy that when we arrived they took us to a play room that had a rug on the floor, a few chairs and lots of toys.  This environment was much more conducive to a good visit. 

Our sweetie pie was much more alert today than yesterday.  We think he wasn't feeling well, he had a runny nose, sounded congested in the chest and felt warm.  Despite his cold, he seemed to enjoy playing with us and warmed up to us especially during our second visit.  We were able to get a much better assessment of his development today and didn't observe all of the milestones that his file said he had met.  I'm not terribly surprised by this and we believe his delays are consistent with what you would expect from a child who has been institutionalized. 

After our morning with our son, we met with our agency Coordinator and signed the official papers to declare our intent to adopt!  Woohoo.  It sounds like we could be back for court in a matter of 6 - 8 weeks!  As far as we're concerned, the sooner the better.

We head home tomorrow and I am very sorry to have to leave our little guy for so long but I am very anxious to get home to Nick and his grandparents.

Have a great weekend everyone!