Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
First for the pictures....
Andrew with Vernon:
Our internet is down so here is our post from Tuesday evening...
Today (actually Tuesday) has been another good day. We had some good news to start out with. A translator who contracts with our agency was able to file our passport application yesterday, so we were able to pick up Andrew’s passport today. We do not have to make another trip to the police station for the passport – yeah! Evidently this police station doesn’t handle typical police work, it just handles passport issues. Russian citizens have to have an internal passport to be officially documented in their country, so the passport business is quite big here.
Andrew woke up bright and early at 5:00, and didn’t go back to sleep. Nor could he get comfortable to sleep during our drive, so he was very discontent by the time we made it back to our apartment. But as soon as we got back home, he wanted to play. We finally got him to nap, but not before Vernon. We all rested, actually.
This evening we did dinner with new friends Ron and Dinia, and another adopting couple, Bill and Megan. We went to what was by far the best restaurant we have been to since arriving in Moscow. I was a bit nervous about how Andrew would handle being at a restaurant. He can get a bit skittish in new surroundings. It was another baseless concern, though, as Andrew evidently can also be quite the entertainer. We could barely coax a sound out of our little guy when we first met him. At dinner he babbled on and on. He even showed our friends his precious smile.
We only have 2 days left in Moscow before we return home. I have actually grown fond of this very interesting country. It is an amazing culture and people. Very resilient, just like our little Andrew.
P.S. Here is my post from Wednesday afternoon: Andrew has been fussy all day. He just isn't into his morning nap. We have to be at the U.S. Embassy at 2, so he won't be able to get one until after that trip. I hope their isn't a large number of families waiting for their exit interview... I'll post later, internet connection permitting.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Post from July 15 - This is what I typed but could not post from last Wednesday, July 15. I know it is late and really out of order, but I thought since I wrote it I would post it...
Well, we are in St. Petersburg! I am typing this post at 1am I guess Thursday morning. But Wednesday was a wonderful day. We got to visit with Andrew, and we had a wonderful visit. We were once again able to go outdoors with Andrew. I took him to a covered area, because it was quite warm. Andrew was in typical baby home clothing. A pink onesie, shorts, and a lavender cap. Very interesting combination of clothing. Anyhow, Andrew really enjoyed our playtime. I brought one toy that he had played with back during trip 1, and he really took to the same toy. Then, I found a bouncy ball about 12 inches in diameter, and Vernon and Andrew tried rolling the ball to each other (I was helping Andrew out a good bit). Andrew is not very verbal yet but during this time he was very verbal and excited. Then, we began playing with this dump truck. Andrew was straddling my left leg, his back leaning against me, and as he held onto the truck, he stood up with me only slightly holding him for balance. We were quite amazed, because even 6 weeks ago when we were on our first trip, this was nothing he could have even attempted. It was quite encouraging to get a glimpse of what a little parental love and attention can accomplish. Every few minutes, Andrew would stop playing and look up at us, almost as if to check and see if we were still there. We had a splendid visit with Andrew, and after that was over we left for St. Petersburg. The train ride was phenomenal, with Vernon and I sitting across from each other by the window. Some of the landscape was beautiful, but when you passed a town or village, I was struck by the imposing apartment skyscraper buildings – very generic looking and worn down. Not very attractive at all. And the housing that we saw was very old looking as well. I felt like the smaller areas of Russia were probably more economically depressed than the urban areas.
Anyway we made it to St. Pete around midnight. We had to take a taxi to our hotel because we couldn’t find our ride, but our hotel is smack in the middle of the historic district and we even found a 24 hour pizza place right next door. Because all I had to eat all day was a pop tart, a power bar and a candy bar, the pizza was a delicious late night snack.
We will go exploring Thursday and report back more later. Thanks for your continued prayers for Andrew.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Today we went to see the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is where the Romanov family is buried. It is fascinating to see how much of Russia's heritage and history has been recovered in the past 15 years or so. We will visit a few more places tomorrow (Tuesday) as our train does not leave until 6:30 in the evening. I will give a lot more detail along with pictures later (I promise)!
Have a nice day, everyone!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Our hotel has breakfast, so we aren't having to snack on pop tarts and cereal bars, that will by the way be banned from our house when we return. The sight might just turn my stomach.
St. Petersburg is very nice. We have 3 and 1/2 more days to visit, so we should know the town quite well.
We even found a 24 hour bookstore near our hotel. As you may know Vernon reads books only in Spanish and managed to find 2 more books out of his Spanish author's series to read at this bookstore. I bought some children's books (for very young children, in Russian, of course) to give to the baby home when we return.
So, that is it for right now. I am hoping there is enough time left for this to post. Will update in detail later (with pictures)!
Christa and Vernon
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
We are officially Andrew Paul's parents! We had a very uneventful court experience today, and the court granted our petition to adopt Andrew. I had prepared myself for all sorts of scenarios and questions. Neither the judge or the prosecutor had any questions for us. I did have a speech prepared that encompassed all of the questions we might get asked. Another adoptive family who had been to court recently provided us with all the information we needed to say. It was funny, because another family with our agency went before the judge right after we did, and we basically both used the same speech. We both benefitted from this same information. It is interesting because here in Russia, the 'healthy babies' are not supposed to be adopted by foreigners. So part of the court experience is to for the social worker to lay out the health concerns so that the judge could be satisfied that no one in Russia would adopt the baby. Isn't that just so different? Anyway, the judge ultimately said it was in the best interest of the Andrew for us to adopt him. So, that is over and we now just have the 10 day wait. Thank you all for your prayers. They really meant so much today. I didn't get much sleep in anticipation of court, so I might try to get some rest now.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Well, here we are at the airport. I feel oddly relaxed. I'm only checking to make sure I have my passport every 15 minutes instead of every 5. We had a late night, of course. I thrive on the last minute details. I was even at the CVS at 1:30 in the morning printing off more pictures for court. We will be going to court on Monday, so please keep us in your prayers as we get ready for this big day. We go in front of the Russian judge and we hope that she will grant the adoption without any issue. Sometimes there can be little bumps. A family that preceded us just a couple of weeks ago had a judge who was insistent that yet another document be provided that would satisfy her inquiry as to whether they owned a house. Fortunately, our agency told us to get that documentation last week. Russian adoptions can be interesting, though, as there could be yet something new next week that they want. So, we'll go with the flow but hope and pray this week is a smooth process.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
We have dates to return to Russia! We will leave Charlotte July 12 and arrive in Moscow July 13. Then on July 14 we go to court. This will be quite a big day as we go before the judge to officially adopt Andrew. We are already starting to get ready for this experience. After court is finished, we will have a 10 day wait before we can physically have Andrew with us. This wait is over on July 25, and on this day, we will go to his baby home and bring him home with us. Home for the time being will be an apartment near a historic area of Moscow called Old Arbat. We will have to process through the American embassy and do a little more paperwork before we can leave Russia. We anticipate being home in early August with Andrew. I can't wait to show everyone his big blue eyes and cute smile. We continue to pray that Andrew receives lots of love and attention from his caregivers, and we are eagerly looking forward to having him home with us.