Tuesday morning we woke up early and headed to the airport. The kids and Danielle came along, too. Danielle is caring for Anna, Keith, & Iryna while we are gone. (Thanks, Danielle!) I hugged all three of my kids, but lost it when Anna began crying. She certainly has inherited my propensity for crying, poor baby.
We flew from Orlando to NY and had a 4 hour layover before catching our 11 hour flight to Moscow. The only thing we forgot at home were our many plug adapters. We bought a couple of them at JFK airport. The 11 hour flight was okay. It's hard sitting for that long. I drank water and milk, but soon found out that I was extremely dehydrated. If I would have known, I would have made a bigger effort to drink more. As it was, sleep was a bigger priority at the time.
We arrived to Moscow and I felt horrible. I was nauseated and had a headache - I was very dehydrated. Note to self - make sure I never become dehydrated again. I felt SO awful and when you feel that badly, you begin to doubt everything. Why was I in Russia? How can I handle this? When will this headache/nausea end? Augh!!!!! You get the picture, I'm sure. And so, in this state, we met up with Sveta and went to have our medicals evaluated. Imagine trying to assure a panel of doctors that you are in excellent health while you are holding up a barf bag to your mouth...thankfully, we did pass.
There was another couple there to be evaluated and 3 single women. The couple was from Germany and we enjoyed getting to know them a little bit while we waited in the lobby. The medical evaluation is meant to evaluate our health. We had to have various blood tests for HIV, Hep, syphilis, etc, plus bring x-rays of our lungs and TB - which we did previously to coming to Russia. And the x-rays had to be the actual films - which weren't the most fun thing to carry through two airports without bending them...anyhow, the doctors asked each of our about our health, surgeries, etc, all in front of the other adoptive parents. Then we went to one side of the room with a thin room divider and we took off our shirts and a female doctor listened to our breathing. Privacy wasn't exactly high on the list. Ha ha.
Then we went to the US Embassy for Tyler to check in with them since he is in the military. By this point, I knew that I was dehydrated and so I was drinking as much as possibly could. This means that I had to use the restroom and OFTEN which isn't easy to do in Russia like in the US. When we reached the US Embassy, I had to go to the restroom. Badly. I walked with Tyler to a gate - we weren't sure which one to go in - and the man didn't speak any English. Tyler showed him the form which was followed by a conversation where he spoke Russian and we spoke English = not very successful. By this time, I am doing the pee-pee dance because I had to use the restroom. I even said "туалет" several times (which means toilet) and he wouldn't let me inside. Then he gets on the phone with someone and after what felt like forever, he came out and directed us down to the corner. By this point, I literally thought I was going to pee my pants - not something I wanted to have happen. We walked to the corner and they directed us on down the next street. Now I am crying as I anticipate losing bladder control any second. We get to the right gate, go in, and I ask for the toilet. I am told to wait until someone comes to get us. A very nice man shows up and takes me to the restroom. He agreed how difficult it is to find a toilet in Russia. Bottom line: I made it to the restroom, but I seriously doubted that I would. I hope that one day this experience will be funny, but it isn't just yet.
Tyler met with the nice man for a few minutes. There was a store in the Embassy which sold American food. We bought some STILL water (we are finally learning how to tell the difference between the carbonated and still) and headed back out to Sveta and our taxi. It was 5pm at this point and we started our drive to Nizhny Novgorod. We arrived to our Ibis Hotel around 1am. I slept off and on during the drive. The adjustment to the time change seems more difficult this go-around to Russia. Plus, in addition to the dehydration, I have had diarrhea since touching down in Russia. I am 99.9% sure it is from the airplane meal. I find it funny that I would have diarrhea BEFORE even eating any Russian food. Thank goodness we packed our Immodium. That is certainly helping.
The Ibis Hotel is very nice. It is $110 per night, which includes WIFI. We came in and crashed. I woke up around 9am and then did a few things and slept again until 2:30pm. At 3:30pm, Sveta picked us up and we went to see Silas. He is so precious! He is taller now, but still quite thin. His face has grown into that little boy look instead of a toddler's. He certainly did NOT remember us from last April and was quite afraid of us, too. He would start breathing fast and kept running towards the door. I pulled out our iPad and played some Baby Einstein Dvds on it. He really liked that. I held him a little bit, but he wasn't really sure who we were and kept his distance for the majority of the time. He liked riding on the rocking horse and would look at us every so often. We got a couple of smiles out of him and tried feeding him some raisinets, but he refused them. I know it will take time for him to warm up to us - it's all part of the process.
We are hopeful about bringing him home as soon as we can. I'm not sure when it started, but he has been turning blue (in his lips) when excited and has also experienced some seizures. The orphanage director is going to write a letter to the judge asking for the 30 days to be waived, as he needs surgery for his Tetralogy of Fallot immediately. It makes me sad that he is suffering these things.
I know that you are looking for pictures, now. Some of you may have already scrolled through this post wanting to see Silas. Unfortunately, my card reader isn't working right now. Nice timing, eh? It worked before we came to Russia. Ugh. I will try to find a portable card reader soon so we can post pictures.
This evening we went to a grocery store to buy a few items. We do not have a fridge, but have been keeping items by the window to keep cold. Did I mention that it is snowing here and there is snow piled up everywhere outside? I love it! Tomorrow we are going to see Silas in the morning. I cannot wait to see him. I am so excited to be a Mama again! Tonight we are going to chat online with our kids back in FL. It will be so good to see them and Danielle tells me that they are excited to talk with us. Isn't technology amazing? All for now! Paka!