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Will I Ever Really Get There?
My Adoption Adventure Part 1

Will I Ever Get To Meet Him?
My Adoption Adventure Part 2

Are You SURE You Want Him?
My Adoption Adventure Part 3

Will he -EVER- stop eating!?
My Adoption Adventure part 4

To Moscow, the Medical clinic,
US Embassy and Red Square
My Adoption Adventure Part 5

The Flight to H_LL and Back
My Adoption Adventure part 6

Home in 3 hours, Kyle has a surprise!
My Adoption Adventure part 7

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Dan's international adoption trip to Russia

To Moscow, the Medical clinic, Embassy, Red Square
My Adoption Adventure Part 5

By 7pm we are at the airport and getting our ticket to Moscow.  After shedding over 150 pounds of donations, gifts and miscellaneous stuff, I am -still- over my baggage weight limit!  Ten minutes of arguing, pleading and begging by Lena and they let me off without paying the overweight fees.  As we entered the waiting/boarding area, there was another baby with her mom there waiting for the same flight.  It didn't take long to figure out this was another adopted child on her journey home.  Since we were both traveling alone, we decided to sit together on the flight.  It was a pleasant flight sitting next to another adoptive parent and sharing stories about our trips and children.  We talked the entire trip while our babies alternately played and ate.  As our plane landed in Moscow, I glanced over at her and we both nearly burst into tears, happy that we were one step closer to being home.  As we parted company entering the airport I wished her luck, as she was going to do both her medical and embassy stuff the next day and fly home on Friday morning.

We arrived at our host apartment to find we are -again- on the third floor.  At least this building has working elevators.  By now it is after 10pm, but we find dinner ready to eat as we enter the apartment.  By this time, Kyle is ready to eat just about anything, and lots of it.  After we ate I put Kyle down to sleep and my hosts and I sat around the table and I showed them some pictures of our house and family.  It wasn't long before I went off to bed, very tired and needing some well earned rest.  Kyle, of course, had his own agenda and it didn't include time for me to sleep.  He started getting very fussy and was itching and had a slight fever.  The itching and fever were probably because of the scabies (a type of burrowing mite).  He was covered with them and had several places where he had slight infections because of all his scratching.  I had treated him for the scabies with some ointment, but often the scabies get more active for a short time before the medication kills them.  Kyle was miserable and so was I... up and down all night trying to comfort him.  This was one of the hard parts of the trip because I was traveling alone.  I had no one to relieve me and give me a break when Kyle needed attention.  At 3am, exhausted and in tears, I was nearly begging Kyle to sleep for just an hour or two.

By Thursday morning Kyle was starting to feel better again and I was dead tired.  We got our first looks at Moscow on the way to the American Medical Clinic.  At the clinic Kyle was looked over, given a couple of shots and the doctor confirmed that he had a -really- bad case (one of the worst the doctor had ever seen) of scabies.  I was given some more medication for the scabies and we were done.  After the clinic we went by and dropped off Kyle's papers with the translator and headed back to the apartment.  I was so tired all I wanted was to take a nap, and Kyle was getting hungry again.  We had lunch and went in for a nap.  After our nap, we ate again and then just relaxed the rest of the evening.

I called Sandy late in the evening to give her an update on how we were doing.  She had already heard how we were doing from our Adoption Agency, who was called by Natasha at the Frank Foundation office in Washington DC, who was called by the Frank Foundation office in Moscow, who was called by our facilitator Alla, who was called by the Director at the hospital.  Alla said everyone cried when Kyle and I left the hospital.  Alla cried when the hospital Director told her about it.  The Frank Foundation workers in Moscow cried when Alla told them about it.  The Washington DC Frank Foundation workers cried when they were told, and the people at Victoria Adoption Center cried when they heard about it.  Alla told them that Kyle and I were perfect together.  Sandy seemed to know almost more than I did about how things were going in Moscow.  I told Sandy that Kyle was turning into an eating machine and was already gaining weight and strength since I picked him up Tuesday afternoon.  Also, he had a horrible case of scabies and to plan on washing all our things in very hot water when we got home.  Sandy told me that she had gotten a horrible cold and that Steven was getting impatient.  He was running to the door every time he heard a car outside and saying, daddy home, daddy home!  I must say that I was as ready to be home as much as Steven wanted me home.

Thursday night we both slept much better and were ready for the embassy Friday morning.  Of course, we were late getting ready to leave in the morning.  We rushed through breakfast and hurried out to the car.  We had to go pick up the papers at the translator before going to the Embassy.  When we arrived at the Embassy, there was a line running all the way down the block, Russian citizens trying to get in to apply for visas, US citizens get to bypass the line and go right in.  Once inside I realized I had forgotten to bring the money for the Kyle's visa.  Luckily, one of the Frank Foundation people had some money and was able to loan me the $200 for the visa.  It was crowded and HOT inside.  There was a room full of Russians waiting for visas, and another room full of adoptive parents and agency workers getting visas for adopted children.

Many of the adoptive parents were chatting or looking through paperwork to be sure everything was ready.  There was one couple with a little baby that was being fussy.  The wife had given the baby to her husband and he was having a bit of trouble getting the baby to quiet down.  He was trying to quiet the baby by walking her around the room, but wasn't having any luck.  He was very nervous and was walking very stiffly.  As he passed by, I gave him a couple of suggestions on how to walk and carry the baby, by his next pass by the baby was asleep.  There were children from 6 month old babies to early teens.  A couple of kids I thought I recognized off of the internet adoption photolistings.  Most of the families there were on their first adoption, but a few were there for a second or even third adoption.

Finally it was our turn.  We went up to the window and answered a few questions.  The lady doing our exit interview had a husband named Kyle and thought he would be thrilled to learn she processed my little Kyle today.  All Kyle's paperwork was in order and there were no problems.  I was told to be back at the Embassy at 5pm to pick up Kyle's visa.  By now it was time to go back for lunch.  On the way back to the apartment, Kyle was wide eyed, still amazed by the new world he found himself in.  Being at the Embassy and driving around Moscow was all very tiring for Kyle, but he did manage to get down one large bowl of soup (a seemingly normal portion for him) and a piece of bread before he fell asleep for his nap.  While Kyle slept, I reorganized all our things and got most of the packing done for our trip home the next day.

A little after 4pm we were off again to the Embassy to get Kyle's visa.  Kyle again was wide eyed, and I was just happy to watch Kyle soak in the world around him, knowing by this time the next day we would be on a plane, somewhere over the North Atlantic on our way home.  On the way there, we stopped to have Vasiliy (our driver) take a picture of Kyle and I near a monument on the edge of downtown.  At the Embassy, we waited at the car while one of the Frank Foundation workers picked up our papers.  After we got the papers our driver asked if I would like to go to Red Square or to the flea market to shop for souvenirs.  I said yes, so off we went to Red Square.  I wandered around Red Square for a while, taking pictures, while Vasiliy waited at the car.  It was getting a bit late, and I still wanted to get some things to bring home so I cut my time short and we went to Leninsky Hills (near Moscow University) to shop for some souvenirs.

The market is quite a sight.  Up on the hills above the Olympic Stadium and downtown Moscow with a fabulous view.  It is a favorite place for newly married couples to go to toast their marriage.  In the short time we were there, several newlyweds stopped by for a toast and a few photos with Moscow in the background.  The vendors sell al sorts of souvenir items, but the things they have the most of are matrushka dolls and hand painted lacquer boxes and eggs.  Making deals is the norm here and you can hear people haggling in Russian, English, German, French and other languages (mostly English).  The quality of the pieces ranges from cheap gift to collector and prices for a set of dolls can go from $1.50 for an inexpensive 5 piece set to well over $100 for a good quality set with 10 or more Dolls.  I did see one set of 150(!) really nice quality matrushka dolls that was nearly $1200 at a shop in GUM.  I didn't have much time to bargain, but I got a reasonable deal on a few dolls and some hand painted eggs.  We arrived back at the apartment just after sunset to find dinner almost ready.  Kyle again ate all of his food and was looking for more... he never seemed to get enough no matter how much we fed him.  After dinner we went to bed early as it would be up early for our drive to the airport.

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