Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tears, laughter and a bump on the head... Part six

Well, as most of you know, we got the call in the middle of the night of his first birthday after making a wish on the "magic" cake. That was early Thursday morning and we needed to leave on Monday... Holy Frijoles!! We called Delta right away.. BTW, if you need to find fast, friendly customer service, call at 2 a.m... They quoted us $2500 per person, no freaking way, right? I ask about the adoption fare and get a quote of $1875, better, but not by much. Fine, we'll take them. But the hitch is we've got to go to the Delta counter to pick them up and prove we're adopting... what a pain. 

I allow DH to do the visas again, reminding him that a mix up this time will most certainly end in a divorce. Did I say divorce? I mean murder. We call the travel agency associated with our adoption agency and guess what? She can give us the SAME tickets for $1150!! Whoo-Hoo!! I might be able to afford to actually eat while in Russia!! Okay, everything is in place... except one tiny thing... isn't it always one thing? We can't get to the region. Yep, no seats on the single flight a day. Excellent.

We are on standby for the outbound flight, and have tickets for the return. Finally we have to take seats on another airline that flies out of another airport. They'll just have to pick all of us up separately... God I HATE flying Siberian Air. For those of you that recall trip one... AKA Armpit Air.

Now we're in the crunch... our entire lives depend on Fedex making four Saturday deliveries... AND THEY DO!!! I peek at the visas, they're right... I look at the tickets, they're right with two outbound and three returning. I cry a little bit over seeing his name in print on the tickets. He's getting more and more real to me every second. Why am I sitting here crying?! I've got to go pack!! I pull up every packing list I've saved for the last two years and try to compare them all. Sock garters? Oh Lord, I need to just do this.

Then we bounce between three and four suitcases. Three are bursting at the seams, four are baggy. Three it is, plus the stroller. We take Ambien and are out like lights, taking no joy in our final night alone (if you get my meaning 

The trip to the airport is painless, they change our flight from JFK to the non-stop to Moscow, we get extra roomy seats and sleep well... how much better can it get? We make it to Moscow, get a quick nap in the airport hotel and get on board Armpit Air. Much to my suprise it's a new plane, roomy seats and yummy food. Life is good. 

We get to the hotel and they tell us they'll be back to get us at 2pm to go to the baby house to see our boy... YAY!! It's a long three hour drive done in 2 hours and 15 minutes by our suicidal driver, but we arrive intact. They bring Jack in and he's pitiful. I don't know this now, but they've given him a load of vaccines and that's why he looks so bad. Where is my beautiful, smiling baby? We only get about 45 minutes with him, then we have to leave. Follow up another wild ride with Mr. Toad.

Court day.... I'm so happy, my fancy new travel hair dryer blows things out nicely, so no big hair. My clothes are ironed and I only need one pair of stockings (I brought two pair because of my propensity for sticking my fingers through them at critical times).

We got to the courthouse and down the stairs to this dark little room with granite slab floors... sort of like a dungeon. There's a prisoner cage to our left, a jury box to the right with the judges bench in the front. My husband is pale and slightly sweaty. He's terrified that somehow he'll mess things up and say something wrong. I try to tell him things will be fine when the door opens....Now we're off, the judge walks in and takes a seat. The interpreter is busy in my right ear, DH looking wan on my left. Twenty minutes later it's over and the ten days are waived. No questions of me except about child care. We barely have time to understand that it's over and we head off to start working on his new passport and birth certificates.

We finally get back to our hotel room and realize that IT'S OVER!! We're FINALLY parents!! Oh my GOD... they've just made me his mother!! And can we get something to eat, for the love of Pete?

The next day we pile into the van for the final ride to the baby house. 
 We get there and there he sits... dressed in the little summer shorts outfit we brought in July with a pink winter jacket over the top. Stylish, no? He's got his little bag of things... his lovey, his camera, his picture book. And I realize that all his worldy possessions are things that we gave him. He looks better today, more like himself. He smiles when he sees us.

We get him dressed and have a quick tour of the orphanage, we see no other children, except one little girl walking down the hall. We recognize her as the little one who's family is coming next week for court. Hang on, precious, they're on the way!!

Back in the van, he falls asleep almost instantly on my chest. That's it... I'm absolutely, totally in love. I listen to the sound of his breathing for three hours and smell the top of his head.... is there anything better in the world? I think not.

Before we know it, we're back in the hotel. DH and I stare at each other dumbly and realize that we just might need to feed this child!! Let the experimentation begin!!


  1. Oh my goodness - I laughed out loud this entire post - isn't it funny how stressed we were at the time, but now can look at it with such humor!! That picture reminds me of Daniel when we left the orphanage. He fell right to sleep, mouth wide open, just the same. Oh what a feeling!!

  2. what month & year did you go? That was our translator too and I swear I remember that same outfit on Ludmilla.

    and we had that same court room but our experience was not as quick & easy

    we went in Jan & Feb 06