As some of you already know, Mr. Goofy and I have had paperwork in almost two years to adopt a little boy from Russia. Our current son, Goofy Junior, is also adopted from Russia. Typically, the second adoption is supposed to go faster (you've already done most the paperwork - it's mainly just renewing it all...and more money, of course). This didn't happen, since a few months before we got our paperwork done, Russia decided to revamp their adoption system and re-accredit all the adoption agencies they worked with.
Well, this took a while. They work with a lot of agencies. And we've been in a holding pattern for almost two years now. Our agency was re-accredited at the end of December, but we hadn't heard anything so far.
Our agency rep called. They have a little boy they would like us to come and meet. And, oh, by the way, could we leave next Monday?
Huh? HUH?!?! That's like, not even 7 days to get visas, get international flights, pack (not a small matter!), get grandparent on the phone for sitting duty and prepare to meet our potential new son.
Yeah, that last one is pretty important. When we adopted Alex, we brought over TONS of Russian medical terminology printouts, growth charts, maps, language guides, etc. We knew we were traveling a month ahead of time, and I still remember getting frantic at the last moment.
So, this time we have 6 days to prepare for this very important trip. GAH!
We were able to get our visa paperwork going first thing Tuesday morning. Literally as I am typing, I just got an email that my visa was approved. Yeah! BUT...I still have to get it in the mail before we fly our Monday morning. And no word on Mr. Goofy's...yet.
We struggled with flight reservations. No 7 day advance purchase = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Luckily, Mr. Goofy remembered reading about an adoption-friendly* travel agency that was mentioned on one of our adoption e-groups. We found them, called and this Travel Agent Angel was able to secure two tickets on Lufthansa (we be stylin', no?) for the price of one ticket on Delta. It's still pricey, but acceptable.
NOTE: On our trips to meet Alex, we flew Aeroflot from the US to Russia. There's a whole other post about flying on a Russian airline, but let's just say I'm thinking we will be living la vida posh on Lufthansa.
Right now I'm struggling with SHOES! You really walk almost everywhere in Russia and my favorite walking shoes are TOAST. Yes, I know, this is like the lamest thing to be worried about, but if my feet hurt, I'm cranky. No time to be cranky on this trip.
Oh, and here's the schedule:
Jump on overnight train to middle o' Russia
Arrive middle o' Russia
Nap (we hope!)
Go to orphanage for visit
After 3 days in region, reverse the process
We left ourselves an extra day in Moscow before our flight home, just in case something is delayed our they want us to stay longer. Your middle name has to be "Flexible" when doing international adoption. Nothing is for sure until it actually happens.
So, if everything works out, maybe we will have a day in Moscow to visit Red Square again, maybe see the Kremlin this time (it was closed our last trip, as Putin was "in the house") and (if I can stomach it) go see Lenin's tomb.
So, dear readers, please send some on-time-flights--on-time-trains--healthy-child--no-problems-while-overseas thoughts our way next week.
If I can find a Russian Internet Cafe, I will post next week with the gory details. Dasvidanya for now!
* meaning flights can be booked last-minute, as well as changed, refunded, spindeled and mutilated without extraordinary fees! A decidedly good thing for us!