Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back at Home

We arrived in Memphis Saturday night and then to Spring Hill on Sunday. Thanks to all who kept us in your prayers during our trip.
The trip home was long and tiring. It was bittersweet leaving our little man. We were sad to leave but happy to get to see our Sadie. She came running up to us at the airport with open arms. Now we will wait for the date of our court hearing. It should be in approximately 2 months. We will return to Astrakhan for court and stay approximately 4 weeks in Russia completing the remaining documents. After that our little guy will be home forever. We can't wait until we have our family together.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Going to the Doctor in Russia

This morning we did not get to visit our little man because we had to have medical evaluations. We were told by the other couples here that their medicals didn't even require them getting out of the van, a doctor simply signed the form. However, the rules have changed since they had their medicals done in June. We had a much different experience. We went to a government run clinic that would qualify as a biohazard by American standards. There were people everywhere along with a lot of flies and mosquitoes. The translator told us not to touch anything because this was not a very good clinic. We visited approximately five different specialists. They asked some basic questions, mostly are you healthy. One wanted to see our chest x-rays, one wanted to see our blood work, and one wanted to see our bellies. While going around to the different very small rooms in the clinic the translator told me(Holly) to follow a man to the next doctor. When I got to the next doctor it was a little old lady in a nasty room who tried to take my blood (she spoke no English). I reacted by running out of the room to find Chad and the translator. Through much confusion and one minor well major nervous breakdown on my (Holly) behalf we found out that we must have our fingers pricked to test our blood for some disease. So I had to go back to the visit the little old lady. I let Chad go first. We watched very carefully and everything was opened in front of us from sterile packages (I still didn't like this). The lady put our blood in unsealed, unmarked test tubes. How they are going to kn0w it was ours or what the test was for, or how they are going to match the results up to us we do not know. After we left the little lady we went to the van and waited on our coordinator. When she arrived she said I was lucky because she had convinced them to not send me to the gynecologist. I do not think either one of us will ever grip about going to the doctor in America after this experience.

This afternoon we will be signing some papers and then visit the orphanage. This will be our last visit for this trip. Tonight we are flying to Moscow. We will then sleep for about five hours in $350 a night hotel. On Saturday morning we are leaving Moscow to fly home and will be in Memphis Saturday evening. This is our last post until we get home. See you in Tennessee

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Visit to the Physchiatrist

Thursday morning we had a visit with our little man. We were able to take him outside to the playground. He liked to swing while in Holly's lap. He even fell asleep. We then left and went to a psychiatrist. We had to have a psychiatric evaluation in order to continue with the adoption. We spent approximately five minutes answering silly questions and then left. The psychiatrist's office was located amongst many questionably stable buildings. We then went to lunch with our coordinator and translator. The translator told Chad that she really liked the salmon salad, so he ordered it also. The only problem with the salad was the salmon was raw. He ate mostly the lettuce because the salmon was chewy and salty. Lunch was followed by a short but precious afternoon visit with our little man. The baby house had a rocking cow and he loved to rock on the cow.
For dinner we celebrated with the other two couples. One of the couples completed their court today. We ate at a restaurant called the Chocolate Ladies. It had an English menu and the food was very good. Tonight we plan on trying caviar. Astrakhan is know for is caviar.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today we went to the baby house once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Our little man was in a much better mood both times. This morning he was a little upset to leave his daddy at the end. We at lunch at a Sans Pizza with the other two adopting couples. We then went back to visit our little boy. We took bubbles with us and he enjoyed popping them just like Sadie. We were also able to see him smile and laugh today. He has big dimples on both checks when he smiles. They are precious. We were finally able to take photos today but are unable to post them until the adoption is complete in a couple of months. We miss everyone in TN especially Sadie. Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Life in Astrakhan

Hello everyone. I must first apologize for the short post and lack of communication. We have very little internet service at the hotel. It took us approximately an hour and a half to figure out how to call home for one minute. We are trying to determine a better method of communication.

Recap of the week:
Sunday we took a tour of Moscow in a van for several hours. The tour was wonderful and showed us how large Moscow is and some of its unique history. We then flew to Astrakhan that evening and checked into the hotel. We are staying at the Seven Skies hotel. There are three adopting families on the same floor. This is wonderful and the conversation is pleasant. The hotel serves breakfast. On Monday we had a large hot dog with uncooked green peas for breakfast. We can’t wait to see what Tuesday brings.

Monday morning we went to the Ministry of Education where they asked us many questions. They all seemed to make a big deal about how young we are. They then showed us the medical report of the child the referred to us. The medical was taken one month after he was born and was a year old. We did not see any red flags on this report but felt it necessary to get more information before making our decision. Later, that afternoon we went to the baby house that the child is living in. He lives in baby house #2. There we meet with the director and doctor. We were able to review his medical for the past year and meet with his caregiver about social interactions. After all this information we were able to meet him. He is absolutely beautiful. We are not able to post his birth name or his given name at the time. We are also not able to give any photos. We did not spend much time with him on Monday because they woke him up from his nap and then he was hungry. As you can imagine he was a little upset about this.
We will be returning to the baby house on Tuesday at 10:30.

Tuesday we visited the baby house twice once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Right before we saw our little man in the morning the doctor pricked his finger to draw some blood. Because of this he was pitiful. He just wanted Chad to hold him tightly. We had a better visit in the afternoon. He played with some toys and we got to see him walk while he held our hands. He is very quiet and calm. His personality reminds me of Chad. We have not heard him say any words only cry a bit. During the second visit we were watched by a psychologist and were quite nervous. Both visits lasted around thirty minutes.
During some free time this afternoon we walked around the city a bit. We were able to locate a grocery store to buy some drinks and snacks. We have been served hot tea with most of our meals so we were excited to by some coke (Papa understands).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Its A Boy!

It's a boy. He is 13 months old with blonde hair and blue eyes. This is all we can post for now about the child. This morning we went to the ministry of education and then visited the orphanage this afternoon. Everything went well and as we expected. I will write more when we have a better internet connection.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We are Here

I first must apologize for any typos because the computer I am typing this on has the Russian alphabet on the keyboard, which looks like Greek symbols to me. We arrived in Moscow safely on Saturday at 11:00 am. The only odd thing that happened on the trip over was while sitting on the plane at the Moscow airport. The Russian health officials are very scared about swine flu, therefore everyone had to have their temperature taken before they were able to leave the plane. I do not know what happens if you have a temperature and fortunately we did not find out. While waiting in line at immigration we met another family that is traveling with the same adoption agency and are going to the same city as us. They are on the second trip for adopting their second child from Russia. We are and will be staying at the same hotels as them. The strange thing is they live one block away from our house in Memphis. We traveled 6,000 miles to meet a family who lived a quarter mile from our house. Its a small world. Once we arrived in Moscow we tried to keep busy to keep jet lag from getting us. We walked to the red square and saw Basil Cathedral (pictures to come soon). We then at lunch, we aren't really sure what we ate but we were hungry. Saturday evening we meet with a Russian pediatrician who spoke to us about all the medical diagnosis we should expect to see from the children at the orphange. She told us what they mean and which ones are normal and which ones should be a red flag.
Today we will take a short tour or Moscow. We will then be taking a flight to Astrakhan. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as this is a very exciting and scary time for us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today we are packing and heading to Memphis. We will not post for a few days because we will be in transit. We are looking forward to posting from Russia.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Itinerary

This is our tentative schedule for our trip.
Thursday, Aug 13- Travel to Memphis to drop of Sadie and our dogs.
Friday, Aug 14- Fly to Moscow
Saturday, Aug 15- Arrive in Moscow, take care of some paperwork at the US embassy
Sunday, Aug 16- Fly to Astrakhan (about 1000 miles)
Monday, Aug 17- We will go to the Ministry of Education and review the paperwork for the child we have been matched with and then go to the orphanage to meet our baby!
Tuesday - Thursday- We will visit the orphanage twice a day, complete yet more paperwork, and have medical checkups
Friday, August 21- Fly to Moscow
Saturday, August 22- Fly from Moscow to Memphis

Monday, August 10, 2009

Paperwork is done, Now time to pack

We have finished the 40 plus documents that we needed for our first trip.  It was one hard week completing them but thanks to all who helped.  We have now started packing for our first trip.  We will be leaving Thursday night to go to Memphis.  On Friday we will fly to Atlanta and then Moscow.  The whole family is very excited and nervous about the journey ahead of us.  Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to meet the child that God has chosen for us.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Referral Day

On Thursday, July 30 we received our referral for a child.  We do not yet know the sex or age of the child.  We were also told to prepare to travel on August 14.  Only 2 weeks!  We are now in panic mode because there are approximately 40 documents that must be collected during these two weeks.  Please keep us in our prayers as we work hard and prepare to meet our child.