So I am finally recovering from jet lag and emotional craziness after spending 4 days in Russia.....although I am still VERY tired. Since we arrived home, it has been non-stop, between setting up Brody's room (some call it "nesting", I call it exhausting), going back to work and just establishing a routine again!
So what in the world did the Cargills actually DO while in Russia besides visiting Brody Marat?
Met with the Russian Ministry Of Education which provided us with our official referral of Marat. I expected a scary "old school" communist lady wearing a uniform and I got an administrator, younger than me, braces and all, wearing a nice sweater. She even (almost) smiled as she spoke to us in Russian and our interpreter translated. "We have this boy available for adoption (as Marat's face appeared on a computer screen) Are you interested?"
Later that afternoon, we met Marat for the first time, and as you know by now, the rest (with him!) is history.
Later that night, we met up with another couple from Virginia, George and Michelle, who ironically enough are adopting a little boy as well through our same adoption agency. What a great time we had, sharing our adventures. Despite our exhaustion from the trip and the day, it was cathartic to share this journey with people going through it too. They will probably be in Russia again in February when we are. We feel very lucky to share our experiences.
Slept in...thank God. Daily 4 pm appt with Marat at the orphanage. One hour with him exactly. On the dot. No going over. That was it. 4-5 pm. Now THAT was Russia for you :)
I have no idea what we did. We had our 4 pm appt with Marat again. That's all I remember. God, what a week!
Day Four, Christmas Day
The day began at 9 am. It was pitch black outside and cold. Our driver picked us up and we headed to the Notary's office. It was time to sign the paperwork. We officially accepted our referral and now it was time to sign documents to generate the court process to adopt Marat.
Again (because I guess I lived through the Cold War? What was i thinking?!), I expected scary "old school" nasty ladies wearing long dresses and speaking loudly. Nope....not at all. In fact, I felt like I was at "DC37" again (for those of you who don't know, that was when I worked in NYC as a matrimonial attorney for a union/legal services plan) Actually, the notary's office was NICER than DC37. Go figure. Somebody even wished me a happy birthday (one day early)
We left the notary's and went apartment hunting. Again, from having watched WAY too many movies, I expected dingy, small apartments. Uh...well guess what? They are nicer than my condo...
The day continued with visiting Marat at 4 pm. Today, an English speaking pediatrician came and examined him and gave us a clean bill of health. We simply have a very skinny, but overall, healthy little boy. What a Christmas present! This was by far the oddest and happiest Christmas we have ever had.
Finally, we stopped at the European Medical Center on the way back to the hotel because we are required to have a Russian doctor examine us and do blood tests (even though our US doctor has examined us TWICE so far and we have another appt tomorrow) So we all know what I was picturing right? Nurses in big white hats, cement walls with no windows, insane patients screaming in the halls. And guess what? I was right...
Kidding! Again, all of my stereotypes shot to hell. The doctor was great, the nurse was professional and if all medical clinics in Russia run as well as this one did, I would be happy to fly to Russia for all of my future medical care.
So in a nutshell that was our week. And now, we wait.
We wait for the Russian court system to give us a date to go back and officially adopt Marat. Should be in about 6-8 weeks, if all runs smoothly.
So expect radio silence from me for a while. Until then, nothing to do, but "nest" I suppose :)