a rose by any other name...

guest blogger: husband

so today is one of those that you file away forever. It started (I think) with our landing in Krasnoyarsk at 6:30 am. Lydia and Lena, our adoption contact and translator respectively, met us at the gate and spent the better part of 10 hours with us today. They've been wonderful to work with, and we're so thankful for them. Once we arrived in Kras, we checked into our room, took showers, ate breakfast and got ready for our day.

At noon, we were picked up and had a short interview with the inspector who is in charge of all adoptions for the entire Kraznoyarsk region (a region the size of 4 Frances but with just 3 million people). The interview was more of a formality, she asked questions about us and why we want to adopt. She gave us some information on Anastasia that we already knew and talked a little about the process. Very sweet and professional women as most of these Russian women are (the Bolsheviks did a heck of a job for equality if not much else :o).

We then hopped in the car for a 3 hour drive to Kansk. The countryside is beautiful - vast and pristine. We flew in over virgin forest (taiga) and drove past open rolling hills/mountains covered in amazing wildflowers of yellow and purple (maybe lupine). the roads however pretty much suck. Driving in Russia is survival of the fittest. I kept thinking about how rude, unnecessary and dangerous our ride was as we bounced around like one of those little toys you push that makes the balls pop up like popcorn. Average car lifespan in russia? can't be more than 5 years. We also passed an airbase with about 20 migs parked behind little man-made hills. that was cool.

After one more stop to pick up the Kansk Inspector, we arrived at the orphanage.It was very russian looking and sort of reminded me of Sam's. It had pretty landscaping and some outside areas for the kids to play. We were taken upstairs to a room that is used for parties and for important meetings (like this one). There were lots of toys in the room, so we didn't need to find much for entertainment.

One of the caregivers brought Anastasia (Nastia) into the room and set her down beside us then walked out. She was a little unsure what all this was about at first. But Tricia was able to hold her almost right away. For a minute or two she didn't know what to make of me and her little lower lip quivered once or twice as she looked back at the door, though no crying she made. Within 10-15 minutes of stacking cups, playing with a ball and sitting in Tricia's lap, she decided we were alright. She is very observant, very interested in her surroundings, very interactive and has a sweet and gentle spirit. We brought some ritz bitz that she loved. After 20 minutes or so, one of the doctors came in and we all sat around a table to learn everything about her history. She sat in Tricia's lap. She actually sat there! Could she be the complement to Sam, the energizer bunny! I think so.

more tidbits... her outfit is so cute, hair... not so much. she is potty trained... big girl. her birthday is July 15! said a few single words, but not much. They say she's very communicative, so we hope to hear more later.

By the end of the time (maybe 1.5 hours) she was giggling, smiling, eating and playing equally with both Tricia and I. What an answer to ours and your prayers! It was not the same as meeting Sam - that was once in a lifetime - but was equally special in it's own way. There's no doubt she is our daughter. The wait has made the meeting that much sweeter. Thank you Jesus.

Tomorrow and Wednesday we will go back to the orphanage in the afternoon. Then Thursday we will officially accept the referral. Everyone thinks the court would happen as soon as 2 months if all goes well.

We'll write more tomorrow. Tricia is asleep. it's 11:00 pm here and we've slept 7 hours total in the last 52. I'm sure she'll want to blog in the morning before we head out.

If you haven't received any emails from us and want to, please email mikefishes@gmail.com