Sunday, July 27, 2008

Miss Priss and Mr. Heart-throb

Wow, where do I start? It's been the most remarkable week of our lives, 2 days specifically.
The flight to Kotlas was a little scary. We were on Aeroflot North on this plane: (Note the dark clouds in the background).

We flew through a horrible thunderstorm that wiped out many trees in Kotlas - it looked like a small tornado had hit.

AAI put us in a very nice suite in a Kotlas hotel. The day after we arrived, our driver, Dimitry (AAI Rep) and another couple went to the orphanage which was about 10 minutes away. We were in a large play area that had a lot of toys for the children.
When it was our turn to see our two little angels (Miss Priss and Mr. Heart-throb) they came in very slowly and tentatively. Miss Priss was smiling the whole time but Mr. Heart-throb was very first. He wouldn't even look at us but neither of them cried. We played for awhile and after about 2 hours or so, Miss Priss was calling Jim Papa and Mr. Heart-throb was happily building a structure with us and laughing a lot. The baby home was immaculate, organized, had many toys for the children and they obviously care for them very much. It was an amazing place considering there are over 80 children there.
We were able to play with the kids from 9am-12pm and then from 3pm-5pm. When it was time for us to go, Mr. Heart-throb got very serious again and was gripping me tightly as I held him. It was quite sad and we promised that we would be back tomorrow (It's good to know some basic phrases in Russian for reassuring toddlers). The Priss pranced out with that never-ending smile of hers. (She had on some squeaky shoes that squeaked when she walked - it was hilarious!).
Day 2: We got to the baby home at 9am. This time when there were brought in, the Heart-throb ran up to Jim and hugged him and laughed - it was such a touching moment (and we got it on video!). We played again for awhile and the Heart-throb came completely out of his shell. We had him laughing so hard! We played an impromptu game of counting to 3 and then he would run into my arms and I would scoop him up and hug and kiss him + twirl him around. He'd get down and run to the other side of the room and do it over and over. The Priss just layed down on her Papa's lap and laughed at us - she is an extremely happy and content baby.
It was time for the Doc we hired from St. Petersburg (Dr. Sofia) to examine them. She had been watching us play and asked the Heart-throb some questions (like where's the big truck, where's the small truck, etc. to see how much he knew). He answered and obviously understands Russian very well. She said they are both "very clever" - we were so proud of them! They were visibly unhappy about being examined but still no tears were shed.

After lunch/naptime, we visited with the baby home director and the babyhome doctor and our Dr. Sofia to discuss the medical and social history of the kids. The kids were little champs, they sat still in our laps and played quietly the entire visit (about 1 hour) in a VERY HOT office.

It was then time to make our decision and we said YES! We feel extremely lucky to have these two in our lives. We signed all of our paperwork and then it was time for the hard part - saying goodbye for awhile.

Our last vision of them is the Baby Home Director holding the Heart-throb's hand and he is holding the Little Priss' hand walking away from us. They kept looking back at us smiling.

I'm so sad just typing this. Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for court.
We flew back to Moscow through Arkhangel'sk for 2 days of R+R. We did the usual touristy things, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, Lenin's tomb, Red Square and of course TGI Fridays!

All of the restaurants, hotels and the apartment we stayed in were absolutely wonderful.
AAI took COMPLETE care of us while we were in Russia. We never felt anything other than cared for the entire visit.

We took 6 flights in 7 days (and 2 of them 11+ hours) - we're ready to stay on the ground for a few days - oh, an shop for the munchkins!!!

Here's the inevitable 'teaser' picture of brother and sister holding hands:


Becky and Keith said...

YAY YAY! I've been blog stalking you, young lady! I'm so very glad you had an awesome visit. The teaser picture is great - you need to make that black and while and hang it in the kiddo's room! I'm so happy you were well taken care of - it makes the experience so much better, doesn't it?? Please be sure to tell Ark that you need internet access when you go back because some of us were getting impatient! :-) hehehehe... Seriously though, I am so freaking happy for you!!!

Laura said...

I have to confess that I have been stalking your blog since your last post and was very happy to read this. LOVE the tease picture. So happy that everything went well and safe for you guys. Are you still in shock that you met your children?

Carrie said...

Ok I've been stalking too. I am thrilled to hear your visit went so well. The picture is priceless. I can't wait to see more. It sounds like they are being very well cared for - maybe that will make the wait for court a little easier - it did for me.

Nancy said...

Another blog stalker here! I've been waiting to see your updates! It sounds like an awesome trip! I'm so happy for you guys!!! :)

kate said...

Congratulations on your happy news!

I've heard nothing but good things about Dr. Sofia (from Euromed, right?).

Debbie B said...

What anadorable picture. They sound wonderful, really. Glad you're safely home so you can return soon to bring your kids home.

Heather and John said...

I am so happy for you. Your trip sounds like a lot of fun meeting your children. I am now looking forward to reading about your decorating!

Troy and Rachel said...

It sounds like everything was perfect and that the children are warming up to you beautifully!! I know it was hard to leave them!! Just keep thinking about bringing them home and how wonderful it will be!! So, so happy for you two...soon to be four!

Susan & Randy said...

Glad to see an update,and it sounds like you guys had a great visit with your children. Any idea how long until you might get a court date? Is it a long wait in your region?

Michael and Carrie said...

I've been checking your blog a lot, too, and am so excited to hear about your trip and visits with your kiddos! Congratulations on finally meeting them! I pray that your court date comes fast and that time passes very quickly between now and when you see them again!

Adrienne and Jim said...

Oh my gosh, Jane, the picture made me teary! I am so so so happy that everything has gone well and that your son and daughter are so perfect!!! They sound absolutely precious. What a wonderful first visit. I can't wait to hear you are on your way back to bring them home!!

Ani said...

Hi there! De-lurking to say congrats and hoping for a speedy return trip.
All the best to you and your family!

Shane & Marie said...

That picture is so unbelievably sweet! They sound adorable and it sounds like you had wonderful visits with them. I can't believe how long you were able to visit with them. I will pray that you get a quick court date.

annmarie said...

Congratulations!!! I worked with dr. Sofia from St. Pete...I loved her. And I love that pic!

Bethany said...

Congrats on meeting your kids. We are adopting from St. Pete and are getting ready to send our dossier over. I can't wait to follow your journey as you bring your kids home. :)

Kim Abraham said...

Congrats on meeting your little ones! I'm just now getting caught up on all the blogs I follow (we were traveling around the same time.) It sounds like everything went so well. How exciting!!!