I set this blog so that you can now add your comments anonymously without logging in. So, comment away! I was afraid that the requirement for a login was keeping people from participating. Now you can go crazy because you're anonymous. Just watch your language! Elizabeth is reading this, too ... some day. :) Email me if you have a problem using the Comments section. Or leave a comment if you can't comment. Oh, sorry, the Russian bureaucracy is rubbing off on me.
It's 3:25am here. I went to bed around 9:30, so that's 6 hours. I would've stayed in bed just now, but that room is just disgustingly smoky. I wake up every morning feeling like I'd been smoking heavily the night before. I used to smoke, so I know what that feels like. They don't understand the concept of smoke-free rooms here. And, I KNOW it will really bother Elizabeth, once we have her. I get the impression she has sensitive skin and eyes. It would be nice to have a lower room, too, because the elevators are so flaky. We usually end up using the stairs. Being on the seventh floor makes for some good exercise, which I personally enjoy (and need), but I know Tara and I doubt Elizabeth will see it the same way.
Yesterday, to kill the time while we waited, Liena (the interpreter) gave me an "assignment." She's a teacher. That's what they do. :) Anyway, she asked me to write an essay on what comes to mind at the mention of the word "diversity." I said what? Was this some sort of secret adoption agency psychological test? Forgive my paranaoia, but it's hard to just relax and be yourself when you feel constantly scrutinized. Anyway, I answered that I enjoyed diversity because I'm a people watcher. The more variety, the better. I added some other politically-correct b.s., just in case. Something about people of all cultures living together in perfect harmony, holding hands and singing Koombayah (sp?). :)
Eventually, after much prodding, she was satisfied with my answer. It was then my turn to ask a question: What comes to mind when you think of the word "American." She wrote down "diversity and money." To make her work a little harder as she did to me, I asked, "That's all?" She added that America has "beautiful nature" and the people are positive. We eventually tired of that, as you probably did five minutes ago. So, we played "battleship." You know, both people make a square grid on a separate piece of paper, vertical side with letters, horizontal side with numbers, then call out various squares trying to "hit" their already-marked squares. Yeah, we got tired of that, too, but there was NOTHING else to do as we sat there waiting our turn at Immigration. Good times. :)
Our Court appearance is scheduled for 10a.m. this morning. For some reason, the theme of Rocky keeps running through my head. :) I feel like it's going to be a fight, or I at least need to expect a fight but hope for pleasant civility and a positive ruling. I could've been a lawyer. :)
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Here is the complete blog of the adoption experience in paperback form, Russian Adoption: From Nashville to Astrakhan and Back (PDF). And here is the fictionalized, future "homeland tour" (action adventure) version in various forms: on Kindle, various electronic formats, and in paperback.
This time next week.... Preparation The day before Travel day In the air We're in Moscow Moscow Check out time We're in Astrakhan It's only Monday? What a day... Tuesday (2007-10-02) It's a girl! It's a girl! Wednesday Thursday Great visit Sights of Astrakhan Another great visit Last visit for a while Atlanta! We're home! (10/06) Round two Skora mweh tam boojum Internet access Elizabeth's room Mweh yeddum v aeroport eta ootra In the air again Back in Moscow (11/26) Tuesday (2007-11-26) Back in Astrakhan Russian adoption consultant Comments welcome Showtime! And the judge says...... Success! The day after Saturday morning Much better visit today Beet salad Went for a walk ... Its going to be a good week She's warming up to us Light at the end of the tunnel Picture of us before court More pictures She's ours! The first hours of parenthood Bowel movement Sleep, what a concept Update Nothing much to update about 51-1/2 hours Just another week to go Pictures of our life in Astrakhan Back in Moscow (12/18) Moscow update continued Update to the update's update To the embassy Can't leave early Still in Moscow Riding the Metro Riding the Metro, part deux We're home! (12/23) A few pictures Airport arrival Stay tuned More pics Summary Doctors say she's normal Adoption video Holmes Russian adoption videos Adoption videos updated Our Russian adoption story