Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We have a Name

Our son’s name will be Evan Kirill.

We decided to keep the name he currently goes by as his middle name. In Hebrew, Evan means God is gracious and in Russian, Kirill means Lord (Dennie found this information for me). The meaning behind his name seems so fitting in knowing that God has led the right child to us. Another special thing about Evan Kirill that I didn’t connect until today is that his birthday is on January 22nd which was the same as my father’s.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kevin returned to work today and I return to work tomorrow. My mom had surgery today on her rotator cuff and is doing well. It is going to be hard heading back to work. Kevin and I also celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary today.
Our fingerprint report did not arrive today. I am hoping it will be here tomorrow. I will also try to get some pictures posted of our trip sometime this week. I am unable to post pictures of Kirill until he is officially ours. Please know that he is a cutie pie. If you see us in person though, we just might have a picture.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We were very excited to arrive home last night at 11pm. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed. The flight home was long. We were a 1 ½ late leaving Moscow as our plane was delayed and then we were an hour late leaving Atlanta for Greensboro. Mom said it was fortunate we were late as she got lost trying to find the airport.

It was a long, exciting and stressful week. Moscow is an interesting city full of history. I look forward to seeing it in the spring when the trees are blooming and the sun is shining.

The final paper chase began today for our court dossier. I mailed one set to our agency that was completed. We are currently waiting on our fingerprint report to come back from Raleigh. I was told it was being mailed today. I had two more documents to complete and have notarized which was taken care of today. Once the fingerprint report comes back, I can mail those 3 documents to Raleigh for an apostille and then on to our agency.

Please pray that we will get a court date soon and be able to return to Russia to bring our son home.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today, German took us to do some sightseeing and to pick up our medicals from the American Medical Clinic. We also went to one of the markets and were able to purchase a few souvenirs. We visited some vendors who accepted American Dollars as we had never exchanged any money for rubles. All of our meals were provided by our host family. We spent the evening packing and trying to condense our luggage and making sure each piece didn’t weigh more than 50lbs.

Friday, March 14, 2008

We were able to sleep in today. We didn’t have to leave until 12 to head into the city for our 8 Doctor Medical. We were to be seen by 8 different Doctors who sign off on our general health. It was a long afternoon. We arrived about 1pm and did not leave until 6pm and due to traffic it took over two hours to get back to our hosts home. Needless to say, we were exhausted. Even though it didn’t take much energy, it is no fun to sit anywhere in one place for 5 hours.

We also received the translated copy of Kirill’s medical history tonight. We e-mailed that additional information to our IA Doctors.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much last night. I was worried about hearing back from the Doctor and seeing him again. We are supposed to meet with him again this morning and then go to the Notary office to sign our intent to adopt him. During this whole trip, I have been a mass of nerves and unable to sleep or eat much. We arrived at the baby house this morning and asked the Doctor a few more questions. We then met with our referral for about 45 minutes and took more pictures/video. We headed back to the hotel and e-mailed the Doctor the remainder of the information. We then went to the notary office signing our intent to adopt knowing that we can still back out if necessary. We also had lunch from McDonald’s. A little taste of home.

We were able to visit with him about 2 ½ hours this afternoon. He did have a slight cold and Kevin was definitely worried about us getting sick. He seemed glad to see us this afternoon and we actually got a few smiles. He does make some eye contact with us. He is walking and likes to bang toys together and make noise (Sorry Mom—I have a feeling he will not get to visit you much). He is adorable. His name is Kirill (pronounced like cereal with a K).

We then headed out about 3pm for Moscow. It took about 3 ½ hours to get home. Of course, I slept for part of the trip. Traffic is just unbelievable. We checked e-mail upon our return and had a response from the IA Doctor saying that the extra video and pictures had helped. He helped to alleviate our concerns. It gave me such feeling of relief. We then heard back from the other IA Doctor who wanted some additional information that due to no longer being in Kaluga we were unable to provide. I have a better feeling about the whole situation and I know that God hasn’t brought us this far not to equip us to handle any future issues.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today is the big day to head to Kaluga to meet our referral. We had to be up early and ready to leave by 6am. There had been a fresh coating of snow overnight giving everything a clean, fresh appearance. We got on the road at 6am with snow flurries. I managed to sleep on the way. It seems that every time we get in the car here, I fall asleep. Kevin says it is just not right that I can fall asleep anywhere except when it is time for bed. It was rather interesting on the drive to Kaluga. Our host stopped at a place to use the bathroom. I decided I had better use the restroom. He told me it might be uncomfortable but I didn’t think much about it. Anyway, it was basically an outhouse with a hole in the floor. I decided to wait.

We arrived at the Inspector’s office about 9:15am. We had to meet with the Inspector to receive an official invitation to visit with our referral at the baby house. We next travelled to the baby house. Also traveling with us was Ana, our translator, who had met us at the Inspector’s office. We then met with the Doctor/Director of the baby house. She was very nice and really seems to care about the children. She provided us with all of us medical history and information on his development. We then got to visit with him twice today, in the morning for about 45 minutes and this afternoon for about 2 hours. He is really cute with blond hair, blue eyes and fat pinchable cheeks. We took lots of pictures and short video clips to share with our IA Doctor. We were able to have internet access in our room and send information to our IA Doctor. That is one advantage of being 7 hours ahead. We can generally get the information back in the same day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We are Here

Kevin and I arrived safely in Moscow on Monday, March 10th at 9:44am. Our plane was late leaving Atlanta and actually arrived early in Moscow due to strong tail winds. It was a long flight. I managed to sleep a lot although Kevin didn't. It was a little overwhelming getting off the plaту and going through Passport Control. The lines were very long and we weren't sure if we were in the right line. We did make it through, picked up our numerous suitcases and sailed through customs with no problems. Our host, German, was right at the door to pick us up. He brought us to his home. We are staying with he and his wife Marina. They have been very gracious to us and have been feeding us well.

Today, we went to register our VISA's. Our hosts live in the suburbs of Moscow aтв it took about about an hour to get into the city. I have never seen such traffic. We also walked through Red Square today and took pictues. St. Basils's is amazinпю Hopefully, I will be able to post pictures when we return.

We are leaving at 6am in the morning to head to Kaluga to meet "Fred". We will meet with the Inspector in Kaluga who gives us permission to go to the baby home and meet our referral. We will be allowed to visit with him on Wednesday and Thursday. We will review medicals and consult with an International Adoption Doctor back in the states via e-mail for an evaluation.

This has been a very different experience for Kevin and I. We are trying to soak it all in but there is no place like home. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

(Some of my words are a little off but hopefully you can figure it out. We are using our hosts computer and some of the letters switch to cyrllic)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

All Packed and Ready to Go…..

Well, not quite packed. We have our clothes, snacks, gift items, etc. lying on our bed, bedroom floor and kitchen table ready to pack. It looks pretty much like a disaster area right now. We will pack it all up tonight.

I can’t believe that we leave tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind since getting the call on February 27th. The first thing we accomplished was getting our plane tickets. We are actually staying one extra night in Moscow as it saved us a lot of money on our plane tickets. Our VISA’s (which allow us to enter Russia) arrived on Tuesday. My Mom has been so wonderful to go out and do some shopping for us. She actually found us each a warm, lightweight, snow and rain repellent coat on clearance. The 10 day weather forecast is calling for a chance of snow/rain showers daily with the highs in the upper 30’s and it is going to be in the 60’s here next week.

We have been e-mailing back and forth with our coordinator daily to make sure we have everything in place and know our itinerary. We will be staying with a host family while in Moscow. I actually corresponded by e-mail with a family who just returned in February and stayed with the same host family. They said it went great and they ate very well. (One of our concerns as your host family provides most of your meals--most of you know what a picky eater I am).

Thank you so much for your prayers. Please continue to pray for us this week as we travel, meet our referral and make decisions in a short period of time. It has been such a long journey but I know that God hasn’t brought us this far not to see it come to fruition.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Call

Kevin and I were off work on Wednesday, February 27th because I had an eye appointment in Charlotte. We were in Bass Pro (Kevin’s favorite store) when my cell phone rang at 1:45pm. It was our program coordinator calling to tell us that WE HAVE A REFERRAL! We have no information other than he turned a year old in January. What a range of emotions we are feeling from excitement to being scared. It is hard to believe that we are going to be traveling to Russia to meet our referral. Our lives are going to be changing in a dramatic way. I am sure it will be a big adjustment after being just the two of us for almost 13 years. But, I really can’t wait for it to be the three of us.

We will be leaving on Sunday, March 9th for Moscow and returning home on Sunday, March 16th. We will be meeting our referral, evaluating medicals and making a decision as to whether or not to accept our referral. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and that God will give us guidance in making the right decision. If we accept our referral, we will be returning home to complete additional paperwork and to await a court date to travel back to Russia.

So since the call, I really haven’t accomplished much and sleeping at night, who ever heard of that. I am feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to start. I have been making lists of things to do. Mom and I are heading out today with my list of things to do.

We will try to keep you updated with our progress, so stay tuned.