The time stamp on these blog posts are in US Central Time, not Russia time. It's 6am Sunday morning here.
We had lunch the other day with Nancy, Joel, Vika and Liena at a Western-themed restaurant called The Horseshoe down the street from the hotel. I ordered some sort of goulash and a salad that Vika said was a traditional Russian dish. I should've known by now that it was basically beet salad. But it was not bad. I commented that the only time I've ever liked beets was in Russia. Vika said it must be my new surroundings that have made me like beets. I don't plan on ever eating them again back home, but they're not bad over here. I paid for Vika's and Liena's lunch that day, then Vika's and Galina's lunch yesterday. They all hesitated when I offered, until I reminded them that there's no chance of it looking improper now that the court date is over and we've been approved.
Today, Russia votes for a new president. I'm not even sure who's running, but everyone seems to like the guy who Putin hand-picked as his successor. I think that they genuinely like him. Ignore the American media that tries to make Putin out to be a dictator. He's actually turned this country around and taken it away from the Russian mafia ("oligarchs") that took over when Communism fell. Most of those oligarchs have run away to England, America and Israel.
Last night, I dreamt about paperwork. Actually, it was a nightmare. :)
My Russian speaking is getting better. I can tell people that I don't speak it, but now several of those same people have told me that I speak it very well. I couldn't actually understand their words, but I inferred from their body language and facial expressions that they were complimenting me. Vika's translation confirmed that. Now, I just need to learn to carry on a conversation with Elizabeth. That's the key to breaking the ice with her, which we have to do for a few minutes every time we visit. She gets a day off from us today, so that she can go vote. :)
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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