It is beyond words how good it feels to be home. I will always LOVE Russia. It is the country that brought me together with my children. It's their homeland and will always be a special place for me. HOWEVER, if I don't get back to Russia in the next 10 years, it will be just fine!
A little bit of catch up...
Friday morning we all got to sleep in a bit. We weren't due to leave for the Embassy until 11am. It felt like we had TONS of time -and of course, Murphy's Law, it was the one day we all SLEPT late! Suddenly, we were almost running late!
I don't know what I expected of the Embassy, strike that -- I DO know what I expected. I expected a large, grand building with rich wooden walls. I mean, isn't that what ALL Embassy's look like in movies? Totally NOT what the Embassy looks like! There was a HUGE line (Russian's getting, or attempting to get, a VISA to the US??) but thankfully, they make adoption/immigrant appointments for US citizens a priority and literally, you get fast tracked to the front of the line.
In the little seating area, we met the 5 other families who were "graduating" on May 6th. They were some of the coolest people I have met! Ironically 4 of us were ALL staying at the same hotel. So we made a date to go back to Red Square together that afternoon... and we did. It was nice to spend time with some fellow adoptive parents in a magical place.
Our flight home (via Amsterdam) was due to leave @ 5:30am. Massively early. However, the bonus part was that we would arrive home in the US before noon on Saturday. We had to get up @ 1:45am to be ready for the ride to the airport. I have to say - if you need to navigate
the streets of Moscow -- 2:45am is NOT a bad time to do it. Aside from the check in (they were extremely bothered and confused that Alex had a lap ticket to Amsterdam and a full seat to Detroit), I was impressed with the Moscow airport. It was nicer than I expected. MUCH nicer.
For the most part, Alex was a trooper on the flights. He slept A LOT. Maybe the 5:30am was the secret. He did his fair share of whining and SCREAMING, but all in all, he was a super boy on the way home. It's just HARD keeping a 19 month old child in a confined area for 11 hours (combined).
My dad picked us up from the airport. With the long immigration time (much longer than Tati's), he was sitting waiting when we arrived. Sharon (his wife) had returned to FL for an emergency with her mom, but thankfully, everything turned out ok and she was able to meet us in Michigan. HER plane arrived about 20 minutes after I emerged from customs! Such timing!
Alex took a big shine to his grampa! A serious shine. Tatiana was leary of men for a while after leaving the orphanage. Alex seems not to have any of these issues. In fact he's very accepting of most people. He seems to have his favorites, but he's not overly scared of people. Which hopefully will be a good path to attachment and bonding and not take the ugly route of indiscriminate affection.
We pulled onto my street around 3:30pm. From the road I could see a darling, curly headed face peering over the couch back. It was my Tati!! Grampa took Alex so I could go see my girl - and the meltdown started. She was so overly excited, and had not napped with my impending arrival (too much excitement!!) - so the tears started flowing. I wasn't sure if she was trying a new death grip on my neck or just squeezing the tar out of me for leaving for so long -- but she got her point across! It was so wonderful to see that face again.
After the meltdown, she finally was ready to see her brother. A jealous streak reared it's head a couple of times but other than that she really took a shine to him. I expected nothing less. She's been the QUEEN in all of our worlds for the last couple years and now there's another throne.
First Breakfast at home...
Overall, Alex is adjusting about as well as he can. After everyone left on Saturday, he had some MAJOR meltdowns. I couldn't leave the room without him panicking that I was gone. Poor guy would scream BLOODY MURDER. On one hand, he's such a charmer and a flirt, and on the other hand, it's also evident (Sara totally called this one, too) that he got his way in the babyhome by screaming and crying. He's perfected the fake cry. Like no other!
Out in the yard...
So now I am officially caught up. We got Tati off to school today and thankfully, she was on time. I can see that it's going to take some adjusting for MAMA to get used to getting two of them ready and not just one! I'll promise to send some updates this way... but likely there will be MUCH less to report on a daily basis!