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Adoption Trip to Russia

Journey to Emily and Amanda

Friday November 5, 1999

John and I slept surprising well with our little Amanda between us. She barely stirred at all the whole night. I was conscious of her all night, but I slept well. Emily also slept the whole night through without a stir.

We had to be ready to leave the hotel by 8:30 AM. Dottie and I got ourselves ready and then washed the girls up and gave them breakfast. We decided to try a bottle with the girls. Emily drank down a whole 8 oz soy formula using an orthodontic Playtex nipple and we finally got Amanda to drink from an AVENT bottle. That was a big victory to us because we hadn’t been able to get Amanda to take a bottle. The girls ate their cereal with much enthusiasm. We dressed them and we were all ready to go.

We had the girls in their snowsuits, bundled well by American standards! When we walked down the hallway to go to the elevator the lady who ran the hotel stopped us and had a bit of a hissy fit. She tried to motion that the girl’s faces weren’t covered and that they would get sick. It was 40 degrees outside, not exactly freezing cold weather.

The lady motioned for us to wait. She went into one of the rooms and we heard a loud “RIPPP”. She tore up 2 of her scarves and put them around the girls necks coving their nose and mouth. She seemed happy then, and waved that we could now leave! I had heard stories about the “babushka hat police” in Russia; we had been chased down by the scarf police!

We went down to the lobby and saw that Boris was waiting for us. John took the stroller’s and Dottie and I had one baby each and the diaper bag. We got into Boris’ cute little car and drove off. We were still getting a chuckle out of his car when it talked as it backed up.

The drive to the Filatov Clinic was not long. We pulled up and saw that Yefim and the Stoller’s were already there. We went into a nice, clean looking waiting room. The people in the clinic spoke English and were very nice to us. We were told to wait.

The Stoller’s were already in the examination room so we knew we would be next. We took the snowsuits off of the girls and Yefim held Amanda talking goochy goo Russian to her. We heard little Nikolas crying in the next room and felt bad for him! Soon the Stoller’s were finished and it was our turn.

We took the girls in. The Dr. Introduced himself in perfect English. He was a nice looking middle age man with a mustache and glasses. Amanda wanted to grab at his glasses. He said that since Amanda liked him so much that she could go first. I sat her down on an exam table and undressed her down to her diaper. She did NOT like it at ALL! The Dr. Checked her Eye’s Ear’s, Nose, throat, he listened to her chest, he weighed her, and deemed her healthy. He said that of course she was small at 14 pounds, but that she would catch up.

Emily was next, so I undressed her, and she didn’t seem to mind at all. The Dr. examined her the same as he did Amanda. Emily weighed 16 pounds, which was still small for her age.

The Filatov clinic was relatively painless and we were done and out by 10 AM. We would be going to US Embassy next. I was excited about going to the Embassy because I knew that I would probably be meeting other adoptive families there.

The Embassy was close to the clinic so the drive wasn’t long. Boris pulled up in front of the Embassy and we took the stroller’s out, put the babies in, and went in the short line that was waiting to go in.

We found out that there was a line because they make you go through a metal detector and confiscate any camera’s that you might have. We had to take the girls out of the stroller’s so that they could run them through the detector.

Once we were in we went to the left to a long room with rows of chairs and there were teller windows. We filled out all of the paperwork that we needed to fill out and we waited for our name to be called.

We did end up seeing lots of other adoptive parents there. We ran into a couple from Georgia who had adopted a set of 9 month old triplets. Come to find out, the triplets were the same set of triplets that I had seen and inquired about on the photolisting where I found our girls. Small World!!

While we were waiting, Eugene gave us the girl’s passports, which he had gotten the day before. We talked to a few of the other parents who were there and swapped stories of our adventures. I thought it was interesting to hear other people’s stories.

Within an hour or so of our arrival at the Embassy we were called to Window number 14. A very nice young woman talked to us and asked us a few simple questions. She looked over all of our paperwork and stamped what needed stamping and we were all done!!!

The Stoller’s had finished up a few minutes before us. We didn’t realize that this was the last time we would see them and so we forgot to exchange addresses. (Luckily, a few months after we were home, I managed to track them down and are now keeping in touch.)

Boris was waiting for us outside the Embassy. Boris did not want to leave our bag with the video camera in it in his car, so he took it to his apartment. We had to drive to his & Stella’s apartment to get our bag. We hadn’t had a chance to give our Thank You gifts to Stella, or Eugene, so this would be a good chance. Everything happened so fast on this journey that we forgot to do lots of little things!!

We picked up our bag, gave our gifts to Stella and we were off to our apartment. We asked Boris to stop at McDonald’s just “one more time” so we could get lunch.

We got back to our hotel, fed the girl’s lunch, put them for a nap and started the process of packing for our trip home. What we didn’t realize is that we forgot to call the airline to confirm seats for the return trip. We tried to call the airline, but no one spoke English!! We didn’t know what we would do.

A little while later, the phone rang and it was Eugene wanting John or I to go with him into Moscow to the Ministry of Education to sign a few more final documents. I had a headache, so I sent John. John said that he would talk to Eugene about our return trip and that maybe he could take him to a travel office.

John went with Eugene at around 3 PM and Dottie and I finished up our packing and just vegged! The girls woke up at around 5, and we fed them dinner. They were both eating very well and we hadn’t had and problems with diarrhea as is common with adopted kids at first.

It was 6:30 before John finally got back with Eugene. They had been stuck in a traffic Jam and hadn’t gotten anywhere with the travel agent. We would just have to trust God and go to the airport in the morning on a wing and a prayer that we would get on the plane.

Dottie and I asked John to watch the babies while we went to the small gift shops in the Lobby. We wanted to buy a few more souvenirs for everyone back home. We got quite a few Matrushka dolls for less than $500 rubles ($20 US).

We all knew that we would have to get up at 4 AM in order to catch the 7 AM flight so we finished up what we had to do, took our showers and called it a night at 8 PM!

At 11:30 PM we were startled out of bed by the phone ringing! It was Gayle from the Adoption agency. Of course it was the middle of the day in Oregon! Gayle wanted to know if everything was going alright and was surprised to hear that we were leaving to come home the next day. She said that we were the fastest adoption their agency had seen!
I hung up with Gayle and went back to bed. Amanda was sleeping soundly…so was Daddy!! The next morning we would be heading home to the Good Ole USA!!!!!! (more...)

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