Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And so the journey almost ends

Today, we visited the US embassy in Moscow one last time and we got Brody Marat's visa to enter the United States. When we walked in that embassy, I felt like we were almost home and got so emotional. There were 4 or 5 other families there, getting their children's visas as well. We also got the chance to visit Red Square and see the Kremlin. Wow, we really are in Russia!

We also found out that one of the subways that was bombed yesterday was a 5 minute walk from our hotel. I cant even process that right now. I can barely process much of anything at this point. All I know is that it appears that we are coming close to the end of our long journey.

Tomorrow, we fly home. Direct flight from Moscow-JFK/NYC. Needless to say, as amazing and resilient as Brody Marat has been throughout this whole ordeal, I cant imagine tomorrow will be easy on any of us. 11 hour flight.

I dont know what I will do when we arrive home. Will I continue this blog? I doubt it. But I promise to write one last time, when we finally and permanently bring Marat home.

Talk to you again from the US.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cargills are Safe

This is more of an informational post, rather than a baby update.

Many of our friends and colleagues are following this blog and we wanted to let you all know that we are safe, in light of the 2 subway bombings in Moscow during rush hour today. We found out about these bombings as we were getting ready to leave our hotel to head to a medical clinic for Brody Marat's mandatory physical and then to the US embassy. Needless to say, security is heightened and the day has been filled with anxiety, but we are safe. Our hotel is not far from the subway stations that the bombs exploded in.

Our prayers and thoughts are with all of those killed and affected by the horrific acts of today.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Becoming a parent

.....Is the hardest thing I ever did in my life. Now granted, I had some rough times in my life, but havent we all? But this? Wow, no comparison.

And yet, Brody Marat Cargill, is doing exceptionally well. For a little boy who barely knows us and is living out of a hotel apartment, he is laughing and hugging and playing and eating. He is also crying and moody, but can you blame him? I too, am crying and very moody.

I know that this blog is from both me and Scott, but I am sure most of you know that I am the one writing it. So its fair for me to say that Scott is amazing. My husband is the funniest, most patient man I ever have met. Brody is still warming up to Scott, as he isnt very used to being around men, but Scott has made him laugh and fed him and hugged him and its all slowly working. Scott always says that we are a "team" in this adventure, and he is absolutely right....we have been a team every step of the way.

We are on our way to Moscow on Sunday. In Moscow, we have to get Brody Marat's Visa to enter the United States and then have an interview at the US embassy. We leave Russia on Wednesday.

Almost home, almost home, almost home. I am clicking my heels three times and shutting my eyes.

We are almost home.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


on our way to finally bringing Marat home

Monday, March 22, 2010

Packing a Bag

There are 4 bags sitting in our apartment kitchen right now.

One has donations for Baby Home #4 in St Petersburg, Russia.

The next has "thank you" gifts for the caretakers at Baby Home #4 in St Petersburg, Russia.

The next has a variety of important documents that will need to be presented.

And the last bag has clothing...and toddler snacks...and diapers...and toys..and wipes...and what else? what else? did i pack everything he needs? what am i forgetting? Yes, this bag is for our son, Brody Marat. This is the first time i have packed a bag for him. There is so much to think about and so much I could forget..........

Will he be warm enough?
Will he be hungry?
Will he need extra diapers?
What else will he need?

I have decided he will need absolutely nothing else, he just needs to be home.

We are ready. We are set. Here we go. Off to pick up our son.

Friday, March 19, 2010

End of Week Two

Well we are nearing the end of week two here in St. Pete's. The last few days have seemed to drag on a bit, and me and Scott are sleeping more than normal. Probably a bit of anxiety, with a touch of homesickness has set in. We pick up Brody Marat on Tuesday.

The weather here was gray today. Rainy with melting snow, temps in the high 30s-40s. Spring has definitely sprung in St Petersburg and it isnt always pretty.

We had quite a day yesterday. After visiting Brody Marat in the baby home, our driver (and his wife) took us to a ski resort, about 15 miles outside of the city. Our driver went skiing and me, Scott and his wife went ice skating on a beautiful outdoor rink. It was chilly, but sunny and very peaceful. Had it not been for our driver (who speaks decent English) we could never have navigated this resort alone, as nothing, and nobody spoke a word of English. We were definitely outside of the city limits here, and it was well worth it!

This weekend, we will enjoy our last full weekend in St Petersburg, probably finally going to the Hermitage. For those of you who dont know what this is, visit www.hermitagemuseum.org. It is the premier museum in St Petes and probably in the world...a must see.

Tomorrow, Saturday, ends our 10 day waiting period after court. The ten days went by quicker than expected. I feel so lucky that we lived in St Petes for this time. And as he had hoped, no glitches during this period. It appears that Brody Marat is almost our son, whether he likes it or not.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Red threads

I am sitting here in a coffee shop on Nevsky Prospect, relaxing and blogging and facebooking and emailing. Isnt technology incredible? We are really enjoying living our lives here. Dont get me wrong, I get homesick of course, but if we had to spend three weeks anywhere, this place isnt bad.

We have seen Brody Marat one time this week, and have two more visits ahead. Gotcha Day is next Tuesday! He is doing fine. Not really interested in us, as he cant understand a word we are saying, but somehow, we have managed to entertain him for the one hour time slot we are given with him, before any major meltdowns have occurred.

When I got home the other day, I noticed something odd. A few months ago, I bought both Scott and myself silver bracelets, containing a red thread in them. This red thread idea comes from a Chinese proverb that says we are connected in life to people thru invisible red threads. When the red thread unravels, you are (more than likely) connected or reunited with those you were longing to see. Well after my visit wtih Brody yesterday, I realized that my bracelet was missing. I have worn this bracelet nite and day for months and all of a sudden yesterday, it disappears and I havent found it since.

I was more than happy to see it gone for good :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The End of Week One

So its Sunday nite and we have ended Week One in St Petes. I am pretty exhausted, and we dont even have Brody Marat yet in our apartment...uh oh?

We got to see him a few times last week and he is doing as well as can be expected, considering he has a cold, is teething, and doesnt know why some crazy American couple keeps staring at him, making him do "baby tricks" and only visits for an hour a day. The one thing I will say is that he now officially looks like an orphan. Now that our adoption is legal, the baby home doesnt dress him in his "sunday best" anymore. Purple tights, green open toed shoes, blue plaid "shorts sets"...I could go on and on. From what I understand, we get to keep the outfit that he is in the day we pick him up, as long as we replace it with a new donated outfit. I will absolutely be doing that...talk about a keepsake!

We also FINALLY got some sightseeing in...Peter and Paul Fortress, Church of the Spilled Blood, some WWI Russian battleship. Very interesting, I post pics soon, I promise.

Many emotions, stress, excitement, happy, sad. But overall, a very succesful and quick week has ended. Two more to go.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Settling into life in St Petersburg

Today is our third full day in St. Petes and now that we have been approved in court (all four families traveling this week thru our agency have been approved, so its cause to celebrate) we can relax a bit. We also have nothing else to do, but visit Marat for one hour each day, so we are taking advantage of living city life again.

Because we are living in an apartment, we are in an area where there are many other apartments, shops and restaurants. Kind of touristy and kind of residential.

Finally, after the "December madness" trip where we did nothing but sleep, visit Marat and handle administrative tasks, we are getting to really hang out in Russia!! We found an awesome coffee shop (one of MANY), we found a mall (not the typical "mall" but a cool shopping center) and best of all, a full fledged grocery store. Now, listen, I am NOT a cook (ok i am sure that most of you reading this know that by now) but god damn it, I had THE BEST time in that grocery store today. I was actually giddy!

We stocked up on bread, juice, the essentials. But, next time, I am going to buy frozen veggies and Barilla (yes Barilla) pasta. 1/3 of the store probably carried "american" brands and the rest, well it was pretty easy to figure out what we were buying.

This is why Scott and I travel. Going to museums is fun, and checking out all the tourist spots is essential. But when you get to visit a local grocery store...well, something that simple gives you insight into another land, another culture, another way of daily life.

Tomorrow, off to visit Marat again for our "one hour slot" and then to a baby store to get some items and then we are on a search for a fitness center. I am so not kidding....i will be lifting weights and wrestling with the best of them soon enough :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adoption Day

Scott and I are officially parents! Today was the court date to finalize the adoption and for two people who are lawyers (ok, one a former lawyer) it was VERY stressful!

Having practiced family law for a few years, I thought today would be a piece of cake. Not quite. Both Scott and I were grilled by the judge. We each took turns standing at a podium, as the judge asked us question after question after question. Granted, some of the questions were easy" "Why did you choose to adopt?" Other questions, not so easy: "What do you know about the recent murders of adopted russian children by their American adoptive parents and what do you think of this abuse?"

TRUST ME, it sounds like an easy question, but when you are thrown a question like that and you have a judge, prosecutor, social worker and the head of the orphanage staring at you, not so easy.

The only glitch we experienced was that the social worker hadnt completed her due diligence...she couldnt produce copies of documents verifying that they had in fact tried to contact Marat's biological family prior to the adoption. The judge was not happy. AT ALL. She wasnt yelling, but was very upset and almost yelling, in Russian...I think our translator left some stuff out, as the judge was talking a mile a minute and he couldnt keep up with what she was saying.

But in the end, after 45 minutes, a judge in St. Petersburg Russia approved us as fit parents and gave us permission (in 10 days) to offically take Marat home. When the 10 day waiting period has expired, I will post pictures.

In the meantime, get ready to meet Brody Marat Cargill.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Back to Russia

We are here, back to St. Petersburg. The days are longer, the sun seems to shine more and there is less snow. We had no travel problems and tomorrow we see Marat for the first time since December!

Wednesday is our court date, when we officially adopt him. Thats it for now. Sorry, its short and sweet, but I am tired and just wanted to give an update for all those "following the cargills......"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Some lyrics from my favorite Dead song of all time. Seems to fit my life right now

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home