3/25 6:45 pm Russian Time
Wow, what a whirlwind we’ve been on! Basically, we just ate our first full meal in NN and have gotten to our room, etc. Deana is taking a coveted shower right now as I sit here and wait! It is approximately 36 hours since our plane left Los Angeles.
Getting here wasn’t that bad, it’s just so many things back-to-back. The flight to Moscow was 13 hours, but we were fortunate that the plane was not very full so we could lay down to sleep, etc. Then we got to Moscow and wasted some time in the wrong line, but finally arrived at immigration and met up with Olga #3, our Moscow translator. She was nice enough to take us to an Italian restaurant and we had VERY GOOD pizza!!! Then we got on our overnight train ride to NN. This was a bit humorous because you need to bring your luggage into the compartment with you – since Deana packed the donations and gifts for the orphanages, we had four VERY LARGE pieces of luggage! They almost didn’t fit. But bottom line, we had a private compartment with two “beds” and were able to sleep a good portion of the trip.
Saturday night, or technically Sunday morning, Russia “sprung forward” for daylight savings time. So we are now 11 hours ahead of our friends and family in California.
We arrived in NN at 6:25 am and were met by Sergei, Olga #1 the attorney, and a new translator – Alla (Olga#2 the translator has had her baby, a little girl!). We drove directly to the hotel to drop off our massive luggage and brush our teeth and then we were off to the orphanages post hast. Getting into a car for a 3-4 hour drive after having traveled so much already was not a pleasant idea. However, the idea of seeing Zack and Sophia again was enough to overcome Deana’s tired body.
Oh, there is no (or not very much) snow on the ground here now so the drive was not nearly as cold as when we were here last!
Okay, I am very tired, but I know you all are wondering about the kids. We went to Sophie’s orphanage first and apparently the director didn’t advise the Sunday staff that we were coming. No biggie, just meant we had to wait a bit longer for them to confirm it was cool that we were there. Then, as if it were just yesterday that Deana last saw her, Sophia walked through the door and ran into her arms! She was wearing one of the outfits Deana had brought her last time as well as one hair bow. She is much taller than in December! While her hair is still on the short side, it hasn’t been cut so that was nice. Sophie was very excited to see her Mama, although she was a LITTLE shy at first. This did not last long, in fact, she became way more outgoing than in previous visits and proved to have similar levels of energy we had previously witnessed with Zack. Also, the pictures Deana left seemed to help because Sophie knows she will be seeing her brother again very soon.
Let me just say that SHE IS ADORABLE AND YOU ARE ALL GOING TO LOVE HER!
Due to tiredness I am jumping ahead.
Zack’s orphanage knew we were coming and in fact the Social Worker had arranged to come in on her day off to meet us. They brought Zack in and he seemed much the same size as before. He was much more reserved when he walked in – VERY much like the first time Deana met him. He acted very shy, although he was practically glued to Deana’s side. It did not take very long for him to go through the stages that he went through over the 3 visits Deana shared with him last time, and he ultimately was very happy, playing, growling at me, and otherwise playing. He also took some time to show Deana how his is able to put together “block puzzles” which seemed amazing to me, especially with him being so young. Deana asked him if he wanted to see his sister, and he emphatically said, “NO!” so he sounds like a normal brother!
His hair is still short too but it appears it was not cut since we were last here.
YOU WILL ALSO FIND OUT THAT ZACK IS ADORABLE AS WELL!
Both are very excited to go home with Deana. In fact, Zack was asked if he would cry when he left his home (the orphanage) and he again said “NO!!” Both children referred to Deana as mama and even said my name – Auntie Gina. It was awesome!
Zack’s visit was a bit hard for us because we were both dead tired. I had to start moving around in order to stay awake. Deana and I are about to crash.
Tomorrow at 10am Russia time Deana goes to court. I will remain at the hotel as it is a closed court session. Please pray for her if you are able – I know that is late for most of you.
I am now going to bed, I will try to write more soon.