Yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. I didn’t change out of my pajamas; we watched plenty of HOUSE, played wii, talked, relaxed. This morning I woke up around 6:30am – not because I wanted to wake up, but because it was SO BRIGHT in the apartment. Like Ukraine, the Russians don’t seem to think that modesty is important, therefore, their curtains are completely sheer, so you can see in (except for we’re on the fifth floor) AND the sunlight shines in. According to Sarah, it was bright around 5:30am. Yikes. Oh, by the way, for those of you who have recently joined my blog, Sarah is my friend from childhood and has joined us in this adventure in Russia. She is recently married to Rodolfo and she committed to coming with me prior to her marriage so her husband had to let her come, er, he conceded to her coming as long as she does, indeed, return back to him. I have known Sarah since we were 7 years old. She is wonderful with children and an all expense paid trip to Russia was just what she was wanting…or, she agreed to come and help with our children when Tyler and I need to attend adoption related meetings. One of those is true.
Sveta picked us up this morning to go to our first meeting at the MOE – Ministry of Education. We met with a nice woman and she inquired about why we were there and how many children we wanted to adopt and what special needs we wanted in our children. She did inform us that we would not be able to adopt any “healthy” children. I have been told that there is a waiting list for healthy children and that it’s quite long and we’re not on it. We did specify that we want to adopt 2 children. Tyler & I feel that 3 children with special needs would be a bit much for us to take on at this time. We feel good about getting 2 children. We said that we would prefer to adopt children with physical special needs as opposed to mental ones. The woman asked if we would be okay with children with heart conditions. We said yes. I sense some foreshadowing with that statement…we shall see. We said we would be interested in adopting a sibling group.
Sveta had warned us that other adoptive parents had said that the lady at the MOE was not very friendly and that this was the most uncomfortable part of the adoption process – meeting with her. Naturally, this made us a bit nervous. However, I didn’t feel that she was unkind or rude to us. I did notice that she had beautiful handwriting. I complimented it and when Sveta translated my compliment, Tyler said that the lady smiled and was more relaxed and friendly. Afterwards, Sveta said that what I had said had helped with the meeting. Hooray! Sveta said that she would call the MOE on Monday and see if we could come in and see the files. I think the meeting went quite well.
I have to say…I feel like I need to pinch myself. Everything is going so well here in Russia. Too well. I feel like I’m going to jinx myself by saying how well it’s going. We didn’t have a great relationship with Olga and Oksana in Ukraine. In fact, they made our experience difficult, yet they got the job done. Sveta is not only getting the job done, she’s a delight. I told her that I needed to buy a blow dryer and a potato peeler. She said she would lend me hers until we leave. She is kind and supportive and genuine. I think she’s in her early 30s, lives at home with her mom and grandmother. I enjoy being around her and she is so helpful. We love our apartment. We are close to so many neat attractions. We live right across from the town square. So much to see. And it’s not too cold to get out and about, which is nice.
We went to a bigger market today after the MOE meeting. We found some fun items, such as spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese, whipping cream, cheddar cheese, ground beef, kitkat bars (the tall ones and the chocolate is rich and smooth – not like in the US, I just might bring home a suitcase FULL of them…you think I’m kidding?), hot dogs wrapped in rolls, a cake that looks incredible, pizza (it was good, too!), ibuprofen (50 pills for 67 cents), and more.
It is drier here in Russia, so I’ve been needing lotion. I noticed today that Anna’s skin is dry, too. I guess we’re used to the humid weather in FL.
Sveta said that we can get tickets to the opera for about $7! There’s also the ballet here, too. I am excited to see some culture here in Nizhny Novgorod, and you can’t beat such low prices, either.
Can I just say that we are so enjoying the bread with butter and Russian cheese? It’s so delicious. We all can’t get enough of it.
I saw a woman wearing tennis shoes today. There’s hope for my style here in Russia.
The children are getting along very well here. They love the apartment and all the fun things we brought along to keep them entertained. Anna went with Tyler to buy some groceries yesterday. She brought home some ice cream. I think the flavor was whipped cream. Yum. All for now. Thank you for your comments! I feel close to home hearing from you all.