We're In Astrakhan
After a nerve-wracking trip to the airport and getting through the airport security we finally made it to our plane. We were told that our Rep, Galina, would be flying with us. We never saw her until we were already on the plane. She was one of the last passengers on the plane, she saw us and gestured to Bill. He figured it was Galina. Her seat was actually next to ours. That would have been great, except, Galina does not speak English. So, it was a quiet trip for the 3 of us. We didn't meet the translator until we got off the plane. Things got better after that.
It was already dark when we landed so we could not see much on our way to the hotel. But it appears that Astrakhan traffic is better than Moscow (nothing could be worse). The entire town of Astrakhan is under construction. They are celebrating a big anniversary next year and are making big plans.
Our hotel is also under construction. But it's nice and clean. The staff seems friendly and some speak English.
The plan for tomorrow is that Galina and Vika (our translator) will take all the new, updated documents to be translated and notarized (again? I guess they need a Russian notary?) then they will call us and make plans to meet us at the hotel around 11:00am. We will then go to the Minister of Education and submit our dossier and formally receive our referral. After that, I think we get to go to the orphanage to see the child and get his medical and history. I say "I think" because, we asked Galina a couple of times about when we get to meet him and she was vague in her reply. I think she is just being vague in case we run into problems at the Minister of Ed and we get delayed going to the orphanage by a day. But, of course I hope that is not the case and we will finally get what we came for - THE CHILD!
Bill and I both feel like we've been in Russia for a month already. It's really only been a day and a half.
Pictures of Astrakhan and our hotel room will come later! We are using the lobby computer tonight until we are able to purchase a calling card to use the internet in our room.
See more pictures
UPDATE: Recently discovered this map showing the entrance of the orphanage on yandex.ru
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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 for Our First Trip to Russia -- Travel Day -- The Day Before -- Tuesday (10/2/2007) -- In the Air -- We're in Moscow -- Adoption Videos -- -- First Time in Moscow -- It's Only Monday? -- Check-Out Time -- We're in Astrakhan -- What a Day -- It's a Girl It's a Girl -- Great Visit -- Sights of Astrakhan -- Wednesday in Astrakhan -- Last Visit for a While -- Thursday in Astrakhan -- Another Great Visit -- We're Home -- Back in Atlanta -- Round Two -- Skora Mweh Tam Boojum -- Elizabeth's Room -- Internet Access -- Back in Moscow (11/26/2007) -- Tuesday (11/27/2007) -- Mweh Yeddum V Aeroport Eta Ootra -- In the Air Again -- Back in Astrakhan -- Comments Welcome -- Russian Adoption Consultant -- Russian Bureaucracy -- It's Showtime -- And the Judge Says -- Success -- Went for a Walk -- Much Better Visit Today -- The Day After -- Beet Salad -- Saturday Morning -- It's Going to Be a Good Week -- She's Warming Up to Us -- Light at the End of the Tunnel -- Picture of Us Before Court -- She's Ours -- The First Hours of Parenthood -- More Pictures (12-09-2007) -- Bowel Movement -- Nothing Much to Update About -- Sleep, What a Concept -- Here's Your Update -- 51-1/2 Hours -- Back in Moscow (12/18/2007) -- Pictures of Our Life in Astrakhan -- Just Another Week to Go -- Riding the Metro, Part Deux -- Update to the Update's Update -- Moscow Update Continued -- Can't Leave Early -- To the Embassy -- Still in Moscow -- Riding the Metro -- We're Home! (For Good, this Time) -- A Few Pictures -- Stay Tuned -- Summary of Our Russian Adoption Experience -- Baby Shower -- Doctors Say She's Normal -- Recent Photos of Elizabeth -- Holmes Russian Adoption Videos -- Elizabeth's First Video -- A Few More Videos -- Adoption Videos Updated -- Our Russian Adoption Story -- Our Adoption Story -- Gotcha Day and Merry Christmas