OK, I'll cut to the chase; all went well at our court hearing in Moscow and we are "officially" Vincent's parents!
We had issues with internet access during our trip, so my apologies to all our friends in cyberspace who were diligently checking our blog during our time in Moscow. I can't troubleshoot a wireless connection problem to save my life. Right now my coworkers are chuckling at me because I've had this horizontal line across my computer screen at work for the past few months and haven't gotten around to figuring out why it's there or what to do about it. I digress...
This trip we stayed in a large hotel that appeared to host quite an international crowd. We've heard that many adoptive parents from our area/agency stay at the Marriott; at $600 a night it was too expensive for our blood. Instead, we had thumping Euro-music filling the lobby (along with a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke) There were some...err..."interestingly" dressed (or undressed) women who were parked at the lobby bar. The elevator shook and rumbled. They paved the hotel driveway at 2 am just about every night we were there. No temperature control in the room; it was either really warm or cold. The breakfast buffet consisted of mostly unrecognizable foods, even for an adventurous foodie. Hey, the price was right.
Back to Vincent, the most important part of the trip. We had several visits with him before our court hearing. Most were fairly short; about 90 minutes each. I think he did remember us; he ran over to Andy and I as soon as he spotted us in the outside play area. Just as I knelt down and started to rub his back and talk to him, he was swarmed by the group; the pediatrician who directs the orphanage, our attorney, and our interpreter. Apparently the orphanage director is very attached to him, so she couldn't resist snatching him up, kissing him, and taking him for a little walk. No fair, she hijacked our Vincent :-) No worries, they returned shortly and we had him to ourselves.
This boy loves to walk; he held on to our finger and walked twice around the perimeter of the orphanage. Then we sat with him and played with a wooden puzzle and blocks. When he concentrates on a task, he bites on his upper lip and his dark eyes get big. Then he raises and lowers his eyebrows. Then he'd stare at us with those beatiful eyes, studying our faces with such intensity. Though he seemed to be enjoying himself, we didn't see a smile...at all. He seemed enthusiastic when he said "paca" (goodbye in Russian) at the end of each visit. Great, he can't wait to get rid of us, and he's hasn't even reached his teen years!
During another visit we took him to a local photographer to have his passport and visa pictures taken. He seemed tentative as we approached the car. Once we tried to put him in the car all hell broke loose; he grabbed on to the door, screaming and kicking. He had no memory of ever being in a car. The last time he rode in one was when he was 2 months old and was brought to the orphanage. Despite our attempts to comfort him, he was hysterical. Finally curiosity won out over fear and he occupied himselp by staring out the window. Round two started up once we had to put him back in the car once the pictures were taken. I'm sure he will get used to it, hopefully in short order. If not, is it legal to drive with ear plugs???