We went back to Scary Tatiana's office today, but this time the "official door" was re-opened (it's been closed due to construction) and we got to take the lift! That's elevator in our native tongue. Imagine a small box that jolts on the start and stop - enough to make the most brave person shudder. So first bonus was the elevator, 2nd bonus was I didn't have to go in the office. Rhonda, Kate (my translator) and I waited in the hallway while Sergei delivered the big hot documents. So now it's officially, official! I have signed my intent to adopt little T and the paperwork is filed.
From there we departed on our "small excursion". Translation: A 3 hour tour. It was great to see the city - and I swear I'll upload some pictures when I get home on my own computer. The city is much like any big city, crowded and they use every inch of space. Because Vladivostok is the former home of the Russian Naval Fleet - they have a great bay. There's a wonderful memorial to the Russian men lost in WWII and lots of ships.
We had to purchase the customary Russian gifts: Matroiska dolls, Vodka and cavier. What a combo! And we also ate our first meal outside the Vlad Motor Inn - bilini's (think crepe with great filling) in a cafe. So minus the furry hat (sorry Charlotta Cum Laude) we've hit almost all of our Russian milestones. Next time.... next time.
Finally it was off to the baby home to see Tatiana on her birthday. She was a little overwhelmed again for about the first 5 minutes. I think these children are so used to their routine and the little room that they live their lives in, that a change can be scary. After she warmed up - it was giggles, smiles and LALALA (her version of a song, I am sure). Very funny for me as this is also Emma and Katie Ginther's favorite word. I am telling you, she's going to fit in well! She and Emma are only about 1.5 months apart in age. It will be great for her to have so many built in buddies!!
I gave Tatiana a bear from Build-a-Bear for her birthday. I recorded my voice so she can listen to me while I am gone. We also bought some yogurt, apple juice and cookies for her group to have for her birthday celebration. She also got a balloon that said Happy Birthday and my coordinator and his wife (Ivan and Luba) gave her two bunnies joined at the hands. I left the caretakers two disposable cameras to take pictures during my wait and also a photo album of me, my parents, our home, Bernie (daycare!), and all her new cousins. And I got a present too for Tatiana's birthday! Rhonda gave me the best necklace that says "mama" in Russian.... it's wonderful. The best.
Tonight we are dining once again in the Vlad Inn. We had our dinner party minus Sara and Steven tonight (we miss you) but always good to hang with Heidi and Mike, who keep us in stitches. Now we are listening to the live entertainment -- a singer/karaoke type band. They're actually really good!
Paka from Vladivostok!!