goodbye usa, hello russia!

Guest blogger mike here.

Let me get everyone caught up on what's been going on since we left Birmingham Friday morning...
For those of you new to Tricia's blog, we left Friday for Russia to adopt a little girl, something we've been working and hoping and praying toward for the last 2+ years. If all goes as planned, we'll be back home with little Anastasia Rose Robinson in about 3 weeks.

Now for the update...the trip over was nearly perfect in every way. Everything went smoothly. From going through security to not being charged for overweight bags both in the usa and russia (they'll be put on a diet for the return leg), to clearing customs, to getting to our hotel in moscow and from one airport to the other without a driver or translator (this time we planned it this way), to being able to sleep at every chance. Even the flights were suprisingly smooth and free from turbulance. And Sam absolutely loved flying. He really handled everything so well. He's been responsible for his back pack (star wars of course) and his own little suitcase and didn't mind waiting in lines or having to sit still for long periods of time. We're very proud of him and thankful that the Lord is with us and has gone before us.

We arrived in Krasnoyarsk Sunday morning at 5:40 am local time. Same drill as the first trip. We checked into our room, got cleaned up and changed, hopped in the car and headed out for the 3 hour drive to Kansk. Last time we showed you pictures of the beautiful countryside that we drove through. This time the wildflowers have given way to the coming of fall. Everything is golden. The aspens dominate the landscape. It's breathtaking. Or is that the drive that has our hearts in chest? Actually, Lidia has a swank new Citroen (french mini-suv) that takes the bumps pretty well.

Arriving in Kansk, we waited for the caregivers to bring Nastia into our room. Sam was beside himself with anticipation. For the previous 2 years, and particularly the last 8 hours, he'd been asking every 3 minutes "When are we going to see Rosie?" Now the time had finally arrived. Once again, Rosie had just been woken up from her afternoon nap, but this time the sniffles turned into boo-hoos. Tricia just held her and walked around the room for 5 minutes or so until she calmed down. Then she began to gradually open up to us. By the end of our visit, it was clear she was very interested in Sam. At first she just watched him, then she began to follow him around, by the end of our second visit (yesterday), she was getting Sam to chase her around the room bringing squeals of delight. She even said her first English word, "up." Oh, and she likes to be tossed up in the air. She' prettty awesome. Acutally, she's totally awesome. Even with the freshly shorn look she's sporting. We aked them NOT to cut her hair and they just chopped it last week... arghh! At least she won't be afraid of the barber.

The weather has been unseasonably cold, highs in the 40's, lows in the 30's. It's supposed to be Indian Summer last week, so we're happy about that. We've been sleeping well, and hope to be fully on Krasnoyarsk time by the end of today. Which brings us to today. Today is court. It's 7:00 am right now. Court is at 9:30. We really don't feel nervous this time. We reviewed all the questions that the judge is likely to ask, and I think everything is in order. We ask for your prayers during this time if you read this, otherwise I think God likes after-the-fact-prayers as well. We know He's brought this to pass. We know He'll see it through.

Hopefully after today, we'll be the official parents of little Rosie!

Some photos of our adventures.

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Sam at the airport in Birmingham...

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Just a little bit of carry on luggage.

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Sam waiting on the bags in Moscow.

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On the plane to Krasnoyarsk.

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From our hotel room early Sunday morning.. Yennisey river in the background.

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A favorite passtime. This one has 550 pieces. Sam the puzzle man.

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Along the way to Kansk.

IMG_3442_2 In bed Monday night. (sam sleeps on the pullout sofa).