We left the hotel this afternoon at 1:30pm. After a stop at a wanna-be Wal*Mart type Russian store, we made a quick visit to the baby home. We delivered two cakes, some baby treats, some coffee, tea, two kinds of cheeses, what looked like salami and some assorted chocolates. We were supposed to have two appointments today, but the social worker volunteered to do one for us. WHAT? I know, right? How nice is that? So we were off through the horrific traffic to the immigration/get a passport office.
Ok. Not what I expected. The office in Vlad was under construction when I got Tatiana's passport, so I'll admit I am not 100% sure what it looks like for "real" - however, this place was off the hook. BIG. Modern and the lines would rival any Secretary of the State/DMV. Fortunately, Svetlana (my coordinator) is in the know. She's got a contact -- so while we were there for about 30 minutes, it was nothing compared to the 3+ hours most people would wait.
Finally it was back to the baby home. Thankfully, Svetlana is also a smart cookie when it comes to traffic. She's got some super sweet app on her phone that updates traffic in St. Pete's. We weren't THAT far from my hotel (which is close to his baby home), but with all the canals and other waterways, the streets aren't exactly straight. And traffic is, to say the least, a nightmare. However, due to Svetlana's super cool app, we made great time and were able to get back to the baby home in time to spring Alex today. Good thing, I would have been one sad mama!!
There were some tears at the Baby Home. Mind you, this is the FIRST time I have heard the boy cry! He's got a good set of lungs when he wants to use them! We took some token pictures and then I took him from his caretaker. He stopped crying! Mama was so happy! His caretaker even said "oh, she is his mama for sure!" - which I'll admit, made mama very proud.
The car ride was quick - maybe a total of 5 minutes. He was SUPER curious, looking at everything, but not crying. We got to hotel and in our room. He wasn't sure what to think at first, but in usual Alex style, warmed up and calmed down quickly. He snacked on some Gerber Puffs and I realized it was time for dinner.
While the Gerber Puffs and Souscka (I'll have to take a picture of these to fully explain - but imagine a small, round O that is like a pretzel consistency bagel type thing) went down well, Alex would have NO part in most of his dinner. Bread - yes. Milk - yes. Tiny bites of chicken or mashed potatoes? NYET. Ok, so mama ordered a creamy vegetable soup for his "second meal". NYET. We'll figure it out! He does well with a sippy cup, which is great news.
We came back up to the room with a little guy rubbing his eyes. I knew it was close to bed time, but I wanted to get his orphanage smell off him, so I thought tonight was a good bath night. They told me 2 weeks ago on trip #2 that he LOVED his bath. Yeah, well, not so much here tonight. There were some more tears, but we got the deed done. After bath time, there was 1 happy toddler running around this room. He seems to have settled in, and is content for the time being. I am not naive enough to think we won't have more tears or fears!
When bed time came, Alex did NOT want to stop having fun. He cried when I put him in the crib, so we layed in my bed for a bit. His eyes were saying "I am tired", but I am sure his mind was saying -- NOT YET! I tried the crib again, and big tears came back. I rubbed his back and said shhhh quietly and seriously, bam - in went the thumb and he settled down. 10 minutes later while I am typing - he's zonked. Leaving everything you've ever known sure can take a lot out of you! And if you haven't figured it out yet, or I wasn't clear before -- mama is in love!
Look at my chubby little healthy guy! BEST tummy ever!!
Not thrilled with the bath tub... not thrilled at all!
Maybe this isn't so bad...
Getting ready to leave the baby home. Poor Alex!