Last Weekend in Moscow…

21 Dec

Saturday morning, we decided to try to take the Metro from the nearest station to one station away.  I’ve successfully taken subways in Paris, London, Berlin, Munich, and Rome but the Moscow Metro beat me yesterday.  Alan and I did not study our map very carefully and we gave up after walking up and down stairs in our subway station for awhile.  We decided it would have been easier to just walk to our destination.  Oh well!

We decided to eat at Russia’s version of Kentucky Fried Chicken (really franchised by KFC but with a different name and some different food selections geared towards Russians).  It was Colin’s first meal in a restaurant.  Technically, he ate a jar of baby food that we brought with us and only sampled a few french fries but it was our first attempt at a family outing.  He did fine in the restaurant and in the baby carrier during our Saturday outing.  I like the Ergo carrier but am finding that I do have some neck pain with carrying him with it.  It may be my fault and not the carrier…Not sure.  We are still experimenting. 

Colin loves the birds!  Every time he sees pigeons on the street he starts squealing with delight. 

He had an almost three hour nap after our Saturday outing which he really needed.  Changing time zones and schedules has been hard on him.  He still has a cruddy nose and we continue to aspirate it/wipe it often.  Some of this may be due to teething.  He also has a few bumps which have been on his face since at least December first.  Not sure why they haven’t disappeared yet but hopefully it is not a big deal.

We successfully talked to his Uncle Clint through tokbox.com on Saturday evening and Uncle Clint got to see some of Colin’s exploits on live video.  We can’t wait to introduce him to his Uncle Clint.  Maybe they can even celebrate their birthdays together this year since they are only 1 day apart in the same month (with over 2 decades difference in age, though)!

On Sunday morning, Colin woke up early kicking and ready to get up.  We couldn’t get him back to sleep so we all started our day before 7.  Yippee!

We headed out for an adventure after breakfast and getting dressed.  It was way colder than IMG_1157_resizedwe’d expected.  Not as cold as Colin’s birthplace but still pretty cold out.  We went to Red Square and were going to take his photo in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral.  Due to a military parade/event, it was impossible to enter Red Square through the City Gate.   We had to get near to St. Basil’s by going to the GUM shopping mall.  Colin was IMG_1158_resizedamazed by the decorations overhead in the GUM and it was a chance to warm up from the cold. 

We skirted the perimeter of St. Basil’s and took some photos.  Lo and behold, Colin fell asleep in his carrier by the time we took the photos so they aren’t quite the way his Mama had dreamed they’d be.  We are just so thankful to God to be at this point in our adoption journey that it was not a big deal IMG_1162_cropped_resized to have a sleeping Colin in the traditional St. Basil’s photo.  It is amazing to think of the photo of Alan and me from November without him.  We’ve come a long way in the twenty-some days since we stood there alone for our photo in St. Basil’s.

While Colin continued to doze, we had to take the long way round to Old Arbat Street.  We finally made it there just in time for lunch.  We had yummy soup, bread, and pizza at Sbarro’s Pizza.  Colin finally got some soup.  He ate soup daily at his baby home but we’ve steered clear of it and kept him on a bland diet to help ease his tummy’s transition.  After eating our fill, we headed to Starbuck’s next door (Old Arbat is a pedestrian way devoted to tourists…)  I almost cried when we entered Starbucks because Christmas music was playing and it reminded me of how Alan and I usually stop at a Starbucks on the way home for Christmas with my family and on the way home to his parents’ Christmas get-together.  The mocha latte tasted the same as usual.  We all three split a big vakoozna (my rendering of the Russian word for delicious!) muffin while Alan and I sipped our mochas.  “Blue Christmas” came on by Elvis Presley and I wanted to cry again.  We are missing our families so much right now!  A quick look over at the sweet boy making funny faces while drinking his water and my blues were gone! 

We are so incredibly blessed to finally be with the child God chose for us (yes, we believe that God chose Colin for our family.  We did NOT pick him out.  We believe God worked behind the scenes to steer the MOE to give us his referral and we believe that God confirmed in our hearts that this was our son on that first trip to Russia.) 

I reluctantly left Starbucks with Alan and Colin (I say reluctantly because it felt sort of homey to me there).  We headed back to our apartment.  Our little mischief maker did not sleep on the way back.  He tried to take his mittens off with his teeth and babbled his little songs and acted very silly.  Once back in the apartment, he acted like HE’D had coffee while Mama collapsed on the couch.  He finally went to sleep when we laid down with him.  He is still snoozing right now and hopefully will get about three hours in today.

Please pray for his health.  He has circles under his eyes and we don’t know if this is due to his cruddy nose or an infection or lack of quality sleep.  In the past eight days, he has faced big changes to his world and he generally is doing very well. 

We are supposed to have our paperwork submitted (I think our facilitator does this for us) to the Russian Consulate tomorrow.  We don’t have any plans for tomorrow. We don’t get to leave until Wednesday afternoon.  (which will be Wednesday morning American time zones).  We appreciate your continued prayers that our flight home will go more smoothly than our Aeroflot one and that there will be no flight delays.

We hope all of you are enjoying this season leading up to the celebration of God with us–Jesus’ birth.  May you enjoy many blessed times with your family and friends as you remember our Savior’s birth.

Heather, Alan, and Colin

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4 Responses to “Last Weekend in Moscow…”

  1. Teresa December 21, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Hello! I am glad you are enjoying your time in Moscow – Such great pictures! I heard that Moscow is magical during the holiday season! I am so happy for you and your family – What a very special Christmas this will be!!! Warmest wishes…Teresa

  2. Jennifer December 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    Your feelings remind me of when we brought Kristofer home in 2004. When we went somewhere very American like the Embassy or McDonald’s I about had a meltdown because I was homesick.

    Sounds like Colin is going to have a sweet and funny personality. Love it!

    Hang in there you are almost home.

  3. Jamey Brandt December 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    Thanks for the updates. We have 30-degree-below wind chill today, but reading your notes makes the day feel a bit warmer. We’ll be praying for a safe, uneventful return and can’t wait to see your new, whole family!

  4. Kim Abraham December 22, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Your post today brought back so many memories for me and made me tear up. You’re in the home stretch! We’ll be praying for little Colin’s health!

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