Friday, October 21, 2011

She's ours!!

Court only lasted about an hour and a half today, and we were granted custody of our girl! Now the fun begins. We wait 10 days for the approval to be contested; which makes it November 7th. Eric will fly to R then for a couple days to apply for her passport. Then he'll fly back home while we wait for her passport to be processed, which takes about two weeks. We'll both fly back sometime around November 21st to get her and complete the Embassay appointments, medical exams for her, and visa application. We'll be back home around Thanksgiving. We decided that it will be best for our family not to be away from them for three-four weeks. What a wonderful early Christmas present.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Personality is an understatement for sure!!Today we went back to the orphanage in the afternoon. Since it was warmer, we were able to play outside for about 30-40 mins. Vita had to go to some office about giving them our paperwork tomorrow or Thursday since the chief medical doctor was on vacation. That meant we were alone with Lyubov! Oh. My. Word. Just a little taste of what it's like to not understand a three year old speaking Russian. All three of us mostly pointed, but we had fun. We sat and swung for a while (she wouldn't let dad swing with us). She started a game of sticking her tongue out at Eric. We had a little bit of pinching and pushing, but nothing a normal three year old wouldn't do. We'll work on it when we get home.

Then, Eric found a block they could use for catch. Every time she would throw it, she would make the funniest face and SCREAM!!!! At the top of her lungs. Every time.we played on the see-saw for a while and then it was getting too cold to stay outside.

In the playroom, she knew I had my bag and wanted to color-with dad. I have been delegated to crayon holder only. When 5:00 rolled around she told the staff she wasn't going upstairs. She was determined to stay downstairs with us. We promised to go back tomorrow to watch her perform in her class program. By the way, I'm pretty excited to see this "performance" tomorrow. Well definitely have our video camera for that one.

Medicals, day two

This morning, I woke up about 4 after getting some pretty good sleep. We headed downstairs to our sausage aka hot dog breakfast. We were meeting Vita, our translator, at 9 for our last doctor visit. Once get get to the crowded medical building, we wait. Vita quietly talks to one of the nurses, or at least I think that's what they are, and she goes into the doctors office and emerges with our final signature. Difficult appointment huh? She had a few things she had to do so they dropped us back at the hotel. Eric and I both crashed and took a two and half hour nap. We're now waiting on her to go see Lyubov and get another signature from our blood test yesterday. Pretty sure robotics sleeping won't go as planned. May need a little help falling asleep. We think we can upload videos if we go to the lobby-may have to try that tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Miss Personality

Day Two in "R" was a trip for Medicals and the best part, Miss Personality, Lyubov. We were able to sit down with the director for a few minutes to talk about how she had been over the past few months. We saw pictures of her from the summer with her friends, and the lady who we thought was going to try and adopt her. It was a misunderstanding. She said that if we didn't want her, then she would start the paperwork, not that she had already!! She's grown and changed so much over the past several months. Her hair is longer (yeah! they didnt' cut it), she's talking more and much clearer. We took some sparlky shoes and she immediatly had to have them on, her favorite puzzle from last time; she was much faster with it this time. Her microphone, her telephone, and some coloring books. Only "papa" could color with her, because I was busy holding the colors. She has become quite the sassy little miss too. She fussed at Eric because he wasn't coloring the flowers as carefully as he should. She did give out hugs and kisses this time. But, made sure to ask our translator if Papa would bite her!!!


Today was the day for Medicals here in country. We had these done in Mosc... in February, but they expired every three months, so we had to do them again. This time, we're having them done in region because they are a few hundred dollars cheaper.

We set out at 9:00 to get started seeing the 7 or 8 specialist we have to sign and stamp a paper. By 12 we're already back in our room only needing to get two stamps tomorrow. I'm pretty sure our translator could have completed them without us even being here. Most of them we didn't even see! Pretty sure we would have gotten the same effect if we tossed $20 bills out the window driving down medical center parkway back home.

We meet our translator again at 2 to go see Lyubov. A couple hours to hang out and surf the net.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Court trip day 1

We've made back to "R" after almost 24 hours of traveling! Getting here was pretty uneventful. We did have to race to our connecting flight in DC. When we landed there, we only had about an hour to get from gate A to gate C. If you know DC, you know it's huge. We got to the gate just as they were starting to board. One cool thing, Michael Phelps was on our plane. We didnt see him until we were at passport control and Eric wouldn't get the camera out so we could prove we saw him. He was the only swim team member carrying a Louis Bouton bag instead of the team backpack (and he had on his Calvin klein's.

When we got off the plane, we didn't see our translator. Finally, after about 20 mins of waiting, I spotted her and we got in the car to make the almost three hour trip to Lyubov's region. I slept most of the way, because car rides here are scary!

We're staying at the same hotel as last time. It's about $100 a night, but it has breakfast, free Internet, an English menu, and it's close to a shopping mall. We could probably stay somewhere cheaper, but it wouldn't have Internet and we need that to survive the week. Again it's sweltering in here and we've had to open the window to cool it off. It's not too cold outside-maybe in the 30s? At least it was a nice walk to the mall.

When we got in, we were both exhausted. So, we took a couple hours to nap before heading to the mall for our sbarro's pizza. Yes, were in R and eating sbarros. We'll eat in the hotel restaurant one or two nights, so we'll get our R fare.

Tomorrow, we head into town to start our Medicals, get some documents notarized, and see Lyubov in the afternoon.

Now to watch the ONLY channel in English-a music channel like MTV used to be.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Almost Time

I should be finishing some of our Embassy paperwork, grading papers, getting my sub folder ready, but I needed a quick break. We board the plane around noon tomorrow and end up on the other side of the world about 12 hours later (afternoon R time). I'm sure I'll be exhausted, but I plan on staying up extra late tonight so that I can sleep on the plane tomorrow (and to pack, clean, and get ready for a week away from home). Right now, we're not expecting to bring her home on this visit, but we know God also has the plan that counts. What a great surprise it would be if the judge granted us custody immediately!! I'm sure my nerves will get the best of me when we get on the bus to head to her region. I haven't broken down yet, but, I haven't had time either. Of all weeks for us to travel--2nd observation for me with the new TN teacher evaluation series, week after being on vacation, grades are due for report cards, the house is a wreck. Luckily, Eric's mom is coming. At least the house will look good when I get home and there won't be any laundry! She always cleans when she stays. I couldn't ask for a better mother-in-law. I hate that we're missing Jules last two ballgames, but I think she'll have tournaments when we return. JD is missing the fall festival, because of his sister's ballgames. sorry bud.

We're ready!!!(I think).