Saturday, July 23, 2005

Light posting (again)

12:18 Moscow
I will probably not be able to post much next week, if at all. Being alone with Agent 002, I don't think that spending an hour in an internet cafe in the middle of a shopping mall is the wisest idea.
If things work out that Mr. Warillever comes to Russia soon, then I may be able to resume posting on a limited basis. For those trying to follow our flight plans from home, if a court date for Agent 004 is scheduled for anytime soon, Mr. Warillever will join Agent 002 and I in Russia as soon as he can. I Agent 004's court date is delayed, Agent 002 and I will fly home, and we will all return to Russia whenever Agent 004 is ready.
All of this hinges on whether or not our case is fit in before the judge's vacation. There is only one judge in Agent 002's region, and that one judge has a six week vacation scheduled from mid-August through October. So she will be with us soon, or not for a while.

Friday, July 22, 2005

All that I have missed!

Moscow 15:26

I went most of the summer without internet -- we had just moved and were spending time in Russia -- so I stopped reading news and blogs. What I missed --

It looks like good news all around.

Getting excited

I should know better, but I am beginning to get excited. Unless something goes awry today, Agent 002 will be released to my custody on Monday. As in, on Monday, he will officially, legally, and completely be a Warillever. My son. Our son.

I went shopping -- I bought him slippers (Russians do not where shoes in their homes) and a few toys. Nothing major mind you -- I am a little strapped for cash and I know that I will need to lug this all home -- but I bought him his very own sandbox shovel, a plastic dumptruck, and a small car. I really wanted to get him a Tonka truck, but thought better of it.

Did I mention that he is obsessed with cars? And that he will be our son on Monday?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Residential Skyline

Residential Skyline
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
...and a different view of Moscow.

Beautiful Moscow

Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.


Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
Even the cats are tired in Moscow.

There seems to be a national sleep-crisis, where the only place people sleep is on park benches or in the metro.

So much to say

If we did this again, I would bring a laptop with me.

I have several blog posts written out longhand which I have not had time at a computer to post. With my limited online time, precededence goes to communication with my husband and with my adoption agency. Sorry.

Here are some titles of the posts that are written or in process: "The joy of cooking," "An opportunity for identity theft," "Ruskii Bwit," "Where happy meets sad,"The (comparative) cost of living," "Moscvichii," and "People on the metro."

Most blog thoughts come to me during the 90 minute commute to Agent 002's baby home, and then flit away as I spend the next two hours playing with him. The trick is to write them down at lunchtime.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Oh Beautiful Night

Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
It does actually get dark in Moscow in the summer. Very late at night, that is. When I first got here, it was only dark from midnight to 4am. It is now 10:30 to 5 or so.

Bird Stalker

Russian Pigeon
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
I have been stalking birds here too. I will have lots of pictures like this o share when I return.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Agent 002 talks

13:38 Moscow
Some of you have asked (with unnecessary embaressment) whether Agent 002 speaks English or Russian.

He does, in fact, speak Russian, although he is quickly learning English. His vocabulary now includes:

  • car
  • bye-bye
  • no
  • fly (applied to all insects, just as he calls all insects 'mooka' in Russian)
  • God bless you

That last one cracks me up. He appears to be allergic to pollen, and was sneezing like mad this morning. I said "God bless you" after each sneeze, and soon he was pretending to sneeze so that I would say it again. When I fake-sneezed, he pronounced (with no discernable accent) "God bless you" to me. Neat.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Alone again (but healthy)

13:07 Moscow

Mr. Warillever is enroute to the United States again. Someone has to take care of the cat, you know. And prepare the house, which is still in a state of complete disarray. And study for the bar of course. He is very nervous about the bar; he claims to be very distracted from his studies. Not sure why.

His distraction is not the result of poor health; we were both tested for AIDS, syphillis, hepatitis and somthing else this morning. My Russian is not good enough to understand technical terms. The judge in Agent 004's case requires these tests, and I would not have time to have it done in the US before her proceeding. Mr. Warillever had his done with me for moral support (and so that he would not have to deal with the logistics of scheduling it once he gets home. Something about being very busy).

So here I am, alone in Moscow. I have the middle of the day free while Agent 002 and his compatriots nap; I spend the morning and afternoon with him. The poor little guy is getting very impatient to leave the home -- he cried as we left the past few days. I know that I can't let his crying get me down, but it breaks my heart. I cry too as soon as I leave the orphanage gate. At least I have a long walk to clean myself up before I get to the Metro.

And the Verdict is?

12:53pm Moscow
....that Agent 002 is our son.

Mr. Warillever and I went to court yesterday to officially petition to adopt Agent 002. The proceeding was more intensive than our translator had expected, but nonetheless went very smoothly. I knew that we had everything in order, that we would have already known if there was a major problem with our petition, but I was still shaking. I stopped breathing when the judge left the bench to "consider" her decision. I have no idea how long she was gone -- 30 seconds, 10 minutes, or an hour -- but when she came back she read a declaration announcing that she approved our petition.

Of course, it is not yet over. All MosGorSud (Moscow City Court) decisions have a ten-business-day period in which the decision can be appealed. During this time the little Agent will stay at the Baby Home. There is no reason to think that anyone would appeal the decision, but there is still a bit of nailbiting going on on my end.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My backpack, My life

11am Moscow time
front pocket

  • half-eaten roll of Smarties
  • map of Moscow
  • small notebook for jotting addresses, directions, and mass times
  • open package of Halls' lozenges
  • 3 pens
  • 2 pencils
  • passport with visa and registration card
  • travel pack of baby wipes
  • 2 tampons

middle pocket

  • Moscow guidebook in which to keep dollar bills flat
  • camera bag holding camera and extra battery. Apartment keys clipped to bag.
  • plastic bag with lunch enclosed -- cheese sandwich and tomato.
  • Book -- Reading Rooms (which I would highly recommend to thsoe librarian types out there)
  • USB cord

back pocket

  • notebook for writing details of day, keping talley of expenses, and for drafting email messages and blog entries (This entry was written on Manezh Square, sitting next to te\he Lennon impersonator who charges 150 rubles to have your picture taken with him. He currently has no customers, so he is feeding the pigeons and chatting with Karl Marx adn Tsar Nicholas I) -- note: I left this area when the Tsar started hitting on me.
  • blue folder with official documents such as power of attorney for husband
  • purple folder of info including agency fee agreeements, the Agents' growth charts, and lists of questions and phone numbers
  • brown cardigan

side pocket

  • Nestle water bottle refilled with water boiled in tea kettle last night

Friday, July 08, 2005

Double agent

Double agent
Originally uploaded by warillever.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Agent 004 on the scene

Agent 004 is quite the charmer. I spent 5 hourse with her yesterday, and other than a shriek when her hat was put on, she did not cry. She did smile, laugh, and babble a bit. She is frightenly mobile -- she crawls and "table walks,"** but she was also quite happy nestled in my arms.

There are eight babies in her group -- 2 boys and six girls. All are the same age. One of the others (Code Name: Shamrock) will be adopted at the same time by a family from Ireland. Agent 004 and CN Shamrock are only days apart in age. I exchanged addresses with her future parents so that Agent 004 can keep in touch with someone from her former life.

It was hard to say goodbye, but like Agent 002, she is in good hands at the baby home. teh staff are sad to see the babies leave, but are genuinely happy to see them get families.

** I think the term is generally "couch walking" -- i.e. walking while grasping onto a piece of furniture. We use what we've got.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Live from Moscow!

15:47 Moscow time

As my life gets more exciting, I post less and less.... The last six weeks have been a whirlwind -- I graduated from library school, my husband graduated from law school, we moved halfway accross the country, we bought a house, we sold a house ( that order), we spent a week in Russia to meet one child (Agent 002), we unpacked our house, and now I am back in Russia to meet a second child (Agent 004) and to complete the adoption of Agent 002.

I visited Agent 002 today. He was very happy to see me. We go to court to adopt him next Tuesday, and then he and I will stay in Moscow for three weeks to complete paperwork. I brought him a photoalbum today, and he really liked it. He showed it off to his caretakers and friends -- "Look -- this is my house. Look -- this is my cat!" (In Russian, of course).

I meet with Agent 004 tomorrow. I am not as nervous as I was when I met 002, because she is too young to dislike me. I have never been to the city she lives in before, so that should be an adventure all its own. Tula is located about two hours south of Moscow. We will spend the day there, returning late tomorrow night.

Next time I post I will try to bring landscape pictures for show and tell. Sorry, I can't post pictures of Agents 002 and 004 until they are totally and completely legally mine. I am checking email every few days, but may not have time to respond to everything, because I am paying by the minute for service.