There will be many things I remember about this trip...like getting off the plane in St Petes and some security guard taking Xray photos of each passenger. WTF?? Or driving to the Ministry of Education (which handles Russian adoptions) at 9 am on a cold blustery day, thinking "I am really in Russia. Why is it still pitch black outside?"
But what I will remember most is walking into Baby home #4 on Tuesday December 22 2009 at 4 pm and looking around at a clean well-kept "old school" building where my son lives. Ludmilla, his caretaker, greeted us at the door and made us put plastic booties on our feet. When we arrived at a play area, we needed to remove our boots and wait inside. I will always remember shaking like a leaf, thinking I was going to pass out. I had heard stories from others that I would feel this way, but I never imagined it would actually happen to me. My life was about to forever change. I was about to become a mom, in the strangest of ways.
And before I could think another thought, in walked Marat, with his blue eyes and blond hair. He looked at us, wondering who we were. We walked into the playroom and immediately his tears began. And all I could do was laugh, from relief, from joy, from days upon days of anxiety. Here we were, in Baby Home #4 with Marat, 2 days before Christmas.
I figured if he was crying, then it was ok for me to cry too.
And this day, I will always remember.