Well, this is our last night in Russia.
We spent as much time in Tyumen as we could possibly stand. It is nice enough but you can only walk to the same places so many times. The week was good to us. We started to figure out how to care for Landen and he figured out how to get his way. He has been eating better and better, he is very picky. We have found that he really like fruit, apple, banana, pear....so if you feed him some fruit then you sneak in some veg./meat/pasta baby food concoction. It works...for the most part. Our rep. Zinaida is a very to the point person, we got Landen's passport in 1 working day. She is amazing if you want something done. Z, as we have taken to calling her, was also the person who talked the director of the orphanage into letting us take Landen the day after court...this does not happen. Usually you have to visit your child at the orphanage (when they will let you) during the 10 day waiting period. It was a blessing beyond words to have him during our 10 days. We had a 2 1/2 hour flight from Tyumen to Moscow. Landen did well, he only cried on the way up and on the way back down. Otherwise he flirted with the nice lady in the seat across from us.
We arrived in Moscow on Aug. 4th, later in the evening. When we landed we learned that Moscow was covered with a very thick layer of smoke...like fog. This smoke was due to wild fires south of Moscow. We were 10 ft off the ground before we figured out we were landing! The air was thick with smoke...almost like standing by the engine during a house fire.
The next day (the 5th), was an ok day, the smoke had cleared and it was a very hot (102), but a good day. We were woke up at 5:30 am by the doctor from the U.S. Embassy. He had to come and look at Landen and make sure he was healthy enough to travel to the U.S.
He was a big guy, very nice. Said other than a "failure to thrive" issue, Landen is very healthy. Now let me explain, after talking to the doctor, he considered Landen's light weight and general small(ness) a failure to thrive. He is very small...off the chart for his age, but he is healthy and will get bigger everyday. We then went back to bed. Alex came at 9:30 am and took all our paperwork to the embassy for us. On the 6th we went to the U.S. Embassy at 2pm. We met 5 other families there for the same reason we were, to get our US entry visa and needed paperwork. It was very nice to sit and talk (in English) with people that had been through something similar to what we had. Apparently we had it very easy. Some of the story's from the other families made me thankful for all that had gone right in our case. The U.S. Embassy guy we delt with was great too.
We met a family, the Gariepy's. Marc, Susannah, and Isaac (Zac). They have another adopted son (from Russia) Noah, he was at home. Susannah was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. She graduated from Dixie Hollands High School and rival of the high school I attended...it was great to met someone from where I grew up....especially thousands of miles away from home!
We spent 3 days stuck in our apartment because it was so bad outside we couldn't go out. The CO levels were up to 7 times the normal limit here. Needless to say we were going a little crazy!
We met up with the Gariepy's at the Hard Rock cafe' on Monday the 9th. The company was much better than the food (just not home). We then walked Old Arbat st. It is a pedestrian street full of street vendors and gift shops. It was nice to have people to talk to and they showed us where to find the good gifts for less money. We picked up some very nice keep sakes. It was so nice to get out and walk and chat with our new friends. We walked the street one more time on Tuesday, and they left for home on Wednesday.
So today we walked to the Kremlin, had to get some photo's with Landen. We are packing things up and hanging out in the apartment for the night. I can not say I am looking forward to the 10 hour flight or the 24 hour day with a 19 month old...but after a month away from home, there is no doubt I am looking forward to home!
We can not wait for Landen to meet all his new family and friends. Blessings to each and every one of you...we will see you soon!