Adopting from Russia (2003)

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Aug 14
Ekat Tour

Ekaterinburg, Final day

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Bailey Venera Orphanage Ekaterinburg Moscow
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Aug 16
to Moscow

Friday August 15, Ekaterinburg.

Today, we headed to a Notary before heading to the orphanage. We had decided (by Wednesday aft after the visit with Dr Downing) that we would proceed with the adoption. It was recommended to get the ball rolling here in Russia to help speed up the process. So we arrived at the Notary's office before 9am, to wait for her arrival. This way, we might not have to wait in line too long. By about 9:15 we were seeing the Notary, and after Slava's translation of the Russian documents, we signed the papers that gave the Russian government our intent to proceed with the adoption. The ball was now really Rolling, and our adoption of Bailey was now a pretty sure thing.

Note: it was at this meeting, and in these papers, that we had to share with Russia what we were going to name "Venera". We had been warned the previous day by Slava, so Maureen and I had discussed our options, and we had decided to keep her Russian name Venera as her second name, and to add Bailey as the name we would call her. This is now what would appear on her passport when issued!

Off to the orphanage for a quick visit. The Notary time chewed a bit of time from our visit. The weather has been ideal for being out in the shade, so we took advantage of that everyday.

At lunchtime today, Slava and Lena and Sergei took us shopping for souvenirs. We first hit an exchange, where we got slightly over 30 rubles per dollar. Then we went to an outdoor market, and then to an indoor market. Maureen was planning ahead, and we picked up Christmas gifts for our younger relatives. We pretty much bought out the stock in 1 item at the store where we were making our purchases. We went to a kids clothing store, and bought a couple things for Bailey for when she gets home (isn't that nice to say). Then we went to a toy store and got a couple of things for Sullivan, and then to a drug store to get some things for the orphanage (diapers, vitamins and what turns out to be Echinacea). Slava also finally found me a bookstore, where I purchased 2 used Verne books and 1 Christmas book. Overall, we had a very successful shopping trip.

Well, this being Friday, our afternoon visit with Bailey Venera was to be our last this trip. We had another nice visit outside for about 45 minutes (instead of making us bring her in at 5:00 we got to stay out till 5:20) They are real sticklers for routine, and they don't like changing the schedule at all. I guess that is good for Bailey, in that these visits from us don't disrupt her routine. It wasn't a tearful departure, but there was the desire to get back as soon as possible to take her home. She'll forget about us in the meantime, and will change quite a bit (crawling? more teeth? sitting up?), but we know we'll be taking her home to a better life, and one filled with opportunity. We took her back to room #7, closed the door, and walked out of the orphanage. Tomorrow was to be an early day (4:15 pickup for a 7am flight), so no celebrating around town tonight.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant, and a 178 ruble bill again. This time we had 1 bowl of borscht, 2 cucumber salads (no more tomatoes!), meat patty, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, rye bread, blinies for dessert, and orange pop. Quite a filling meal for $5.60 (for the 2 of us! NOT each!)

Back to the room to pack, surf the web, and read and hear about the blackout that hit Toronto, New York, Cleveland, Ottawa etc. (I was able to get some "real player" audio from Andy Barry on CBC Radio One morning show, quite a thrill, even though it kept cutting out for buffering.). I guess it wasn't so bad being in Russia! we had power AND hot water.

The luggage/house/car keys were found hidden in a sock, but the toonies and swiss army knife were not found. Chalk them up as lost/stolen?! Maureen did a good job packing, and the fact that we weren't returning with a tricycle, and our food supply had decreased meant that the souvenirs fit into 1 bag.

I stayed up an extra hour (from 10 - 11pm) to surf, while Maureen tried to go to sleep with the celebration fireworks going off in the distance. Because the doors were open while I surfed, I ended up getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes, whose bites I didn't discover, until in bed and scratching madly! Oh well, lesson learned. Moscow

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