I've been in Tver, Russia now for four days. I only slept a few hours on the 11-hour flight, four hours the first night and two hours the second night. Finally on the third night I almost slept normally so am catching up with the jet lag.
I was picked up at the airport in Moscow on Sunday, 9/5 by the adoption coordinators for the Tver Region, Alexy and Galina who are husband and wife. They only speak very little English, so we didn't speak much for the 3.5 hour trip north to Tver. They had a translator on the phone who gave me the initial instructions. After getting to the hotel, it was about 7PM so my Dad and I just turned in for the night.
The next morning, Monday, 9/6 at 9, Alexy and the translator, Mashah picked up my Dad and me and drove us to the Department of Children Without Parental Care to obtain permission to visit the baby. At the office, they provided me with further information on the baby and learned something pretty amazing-- the baby has the same birthday as me!! We were both born on 9/21! After receiving the paperwork to visit the baby, we drove one hour back towards Moscow to a town called Konakovo where the baby resides in one of the largest baby homes in Russia. They have more than 100 babies there, 0-3, then another home has children 4-7 and a third home takes children 8-18.
I was ushered into a small room next to the reception area and they brought in the baby where it was the first time I was able to meet Nadya! She had on a little white baby bonnet, wore a pink one-piece baby outfit and wrapped in a pink blanket. She has brown hair and brown eyes with long eyelashes. She's very small, only about the size of a six month old. Poor baby had a rash on her face which the caretaker thinks may be due to milk or fruit. Even with the rash, and being close to her lunch time, Nadya was a sweet baby! She was not fussy at all, maybe a little not sure of what was going on and meeting strangers, but she warmed up quickly and feel asleep in my Dad's arms right away!
The doctor came into the room and reveiwed the baby's medicals with me. I really didn't learn anything new than from the medical extract that was provided to me earlier. If anything, it seems she's better and overcoming all the issues from her premature birth. But she still seems like she'll have developmental delays and will take some time catching up. She has no teeth but is teething.
Next the social worker came in and told me what background they know of the baby. She was born at the Tver Maternity Hospital on 9/21 at 9:25am after a very quick labor, to a 28-yr old woman that was not married and abandoned the baby the next day by leaving the hospital and not signing the adoption paperwork. It took a few months, but the mother was tracked down to finally sign the papers. She provided no information on the father.
My Dad and I visited with Nadya for an hour and a half before having to leave.
The next day, Tuesday, 9/7, we visited the baby again and met her in a little music/toy room in the orphanage. She was wearing a yellow baby cap and a one-piece outfit that was white with yellow ducks on it, wrapped in a pink blanket. The daily caregiver visited with me who seemed very nice and told me more about Nadya's schedule and personality. She said that Nadya sleeps in a crib with four other babies and if one of the other babies is picked up before Nadya, she cries- they said this shows her leadership and strong character! While the caregiver was talking to me, I was holding and rocking Nadya, but she told me I should not rock her since it does not make the baby independent. I guess she figures if you rock her, you always have to rock her and since there are 10-12 babies per caregiver, they don't have time for that. Nadya will get better care when she's back with me in the U.S.!
A nurse came in who just wanted to see what the adoptive mother looked like, and told me what a good girl Nadya is.
I read books and played with Nadya, but had bought a teeting ring in a Russian mall that I gave her and she was only interested in that! She loved her teething ring which looked like a butterfly. I also gave her a bouncy, vibrating, moo-ing cow toy, but Nadya was at first startled then not interested in it. Back to her teething ring!
I stayed with Nadya for two and a half hours before having to leave. I left her with a pink polka-dot outfit with an elephant on it, but was sized for a 9-month old and too big for her. I also left her a recordable storybook by Hallmark that my friend Angie gave me, so the baby could hear me read her the story. I left a picture book of family and my house in America for her to look at, so that hopefully she remembers me until I return for the next step in 1-3 months.
On Wednesday, 9/8, I went to a Russian notary to officially declare that I will adopt her. My Russian coordinator Alexy, through my translator, Mashah told me that I could again go see Nadya tomorrow, 9/9. Yay! That's an extra day that what was originally planned. I then go to Russian court at 3:30 where the judge reviews my paperwork and makes the decision if they'll approve me to adopt the baby. I understand they ask 'personal' questions and to not be offended, so guess I'll see how that goes!