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Archive for the ‘Russian Adoption Story’ Category

We are coming back home tomorrow, June 12th!

Just in time for my  son Yasha’s 7th birthday!

I am so emotionally drained that I cannot even feel anything right now.  I still can’t believe this adventure is going to be over. It feels like I have been living in a parallel universe this whole time.

Sasha  will meet her Dad on Friday night at the airport. Then on Saturday morning she is going to meet her brothers and we are going to celebrate Yasha’s birthday.  I know I will be exhausted from not sleeping on the plane (can’t sleep unless I am horizontal) but it will probably be the happiest day of my life.

Ok, now I am sobbing….

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We are one last step away from coming back home! We have submitted all the paperwork to the US embassy this morning. Tomorrow we will need to come back for the interview and, hopefully, visa issuance. Which means we may still be able to fly out Friday.

We went to Filatov children’s hospital this morning before going to the embassy. They needed to give us a medical form in a sealed envelope for the embassy.  It’s a very well known hospital.  However, I was very disappointed with the doctor! Sasha is still scared of strangers and when the doctor started examining her she panicked and started crying loudly and looking at me for help.  Instead of asking me to hold her while he examined her, the way pediatricians do it in the US, the doctor scolded Sasha telling her to "stop yelling" and that she was annoying him!!! I just could not believe it. Of course the way he talked to her scared her even more, so she cried even harder. I told him not to talk to her and let me hold her, as I knew this always helped. She was just scared of his attention and his low voice.  He ignored me. Well, of course he was an authority! Who cared I had been with this girl 24/7 for the last few weeks. He still knew better! After the exam the doctor lectured me and told me to stop carrying her around if I didn’t want to carry her until she would turn 30 (how about she can’t walk very well and strollers are not allowed at the hospital). He told me to be "heartless and strict", as her crying was just to manipulate adults. What??? A panicking baby cries for her Mom when a scary guy with facial hair and low voice starts touching her and she had not seen a lot of men in her life in general – this is manipulation? Manipulation to get which benefit? Safety of her Mom’s arms? I had never imagined I would hear such arrogant nonsense from a pediatrician! I am happy Sasha will never have to see another doctor in Russia, as this was one of the best children’s hospitals in the whole country. How dissapointing!

Pfff… I am still steaming!

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One thing I learned during this adventure is that while dealing with Russian officials it is imperative to stay flexible and be ready to adjust plans.

First thing this morning I called and scheduled am emigration medical exam  for Tuesday morning, then went on-line and scheduled an appointment at the embassy, also for Tuesday . Then Sasha and I went out to a printing place and had all the translations printed out (I spent a few nights translating pages and pages of bureaucratic and legal gibberish… brrrr…)

Then I decided to call the passport place and check on things, just in case.  (more…)

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I decided to enter into a race to get back home before Yasha’s birthday on the 13th. This was to motivate myself to try to get Sasha’s registration today rather than wait till Tuesday (then I definitely would not make it back next week!).

This time I put Sasha in the stroller and we just walked to the processing place instead of taking the subway.  It was a 40-minute walk, but the weather was beautiful  and  down town Moscow streets looked pretty with all the greenery.  Every walk now could be one of my last ones in this city for a long while, so I was enjoying it!

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No progress made today… I talked to the lady at the registration desk on the phone, it turned out she forgot to tell her colleague to speed up the processing for us. She hinted that a little thank you for the colleague would help me get the registration done this week instead of next Tuesday.
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It’s been a busy and productive day today. 

The nanny came in at 9 am. Sasha now gets very excited when she comes in, she runs to the door and laughs.  I left the apartment in good spirits and headed right to court. I bought some flowers on the way , as I wanted to thank the judge since she had waived the 10-day waiting period.  I had to sneak into the court room between two hearings.  When I was reading the court order I noticed they did not resolve to change the place of birth from Irkutsk to Moscow even though I had requested that in my petition.  I asked the judge if that still could be changed. She insisted it would be ok not to change it and she would only do it for a newborn if the adopting couple was imitating pregnancy and needed to keep the adoption a secret.  And I tried to explain that if we did not change the place of birth to Moscow I would need to travel back to Irkutsk to get the amended birth certificate.  Finally, the judge agreed with me and they re-issued the court order.  Phew! Just saved myself a few days and a few hundred dollars in airfare. Plus what would I do with Sasha if I had to fly back to Irkutsk for a couple of days? I can’t even picture myself in that hotel room again…brrr…

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Sasha is in bed now, so I can give you more details. I kissed her good night and told her she was now stuck with me for life…actually nobody really asked her opinion about it, but hopefully she won’t mind!

I started the day with…worrying, obviously.  I called Irkutsk first and asked them to fax me the same letter they faxed to court, I think I may need it for the embassy. Then I called my both witnesses – my aunt and my friend Liza to confirm they were still planning on coming.  Everything was going as planned. But then  I called the social services office to confirm my social worker was coming to court and I was told she was out and nobody knew where she was. The hearing could not go without a representative from the social services and would have to be rescheduled, so I kept calling them to make sure somebody would be there tonight. I finally got a word from someone that my social worker was out sick but they made arrangements for somebody else to be there.  Had not I called, not sure they would have sent someone else in.

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