Thursday June 21, 2007
David and I were actually able to sleep in a little bit today. We weren’t able to visit Madeline until the afternoon because the other couple with our agency (Karen and Huibert) had their court hearing this morning. It was a success! There have been no glitches from our agency (continue to cross your fingers) while other agencies working here have had problem after problem. Choosing a good agency really makes a huge difference! We would recommend ours to anyone!
Today has actually been a very uneventful day. No drunk Russians, no liver patties…..nothing too extraordinary but I will share what we’ve done anyway. After sleeping in a bit, David and I went down to the daily breakfast in the hotel. Let me stress the word *daily* as the buffet is ALWAYS the same!! I am not exactly sure what I am eating but nonetheless, I eat it *every* morning. We found out from Karen and Hubert that there is a mall in walking distance (20-25 minute walk). We went to check that out. It was small and expensive…..not worth the exercise. Although in between the hotel and the mall we stumbled across a small market place. Now THIS is what most of you probably pictured Russia to be like. Many outdoor stands…..the only thing missing was creates of chickens. I so wanted to take a picture but I thought it would be of poor taste of me to do that. This market also had an indoor (not air conditioned) section with meats and produce. The meats scared me because like I said, the indoor section was not air conditioned and the meats were NOT in refrigerated cases. They were simply laid about the counters with the vendors calling to you in Russian to check out their meat. (If you chuckled at that last sentence you have a dirty mind!) But in all seriousness, all I thought of was food sickness as I looked at the chicken lying about. Come to think of it, a few of the outdoor vendors also had some meat lying about too! And we knew when we got to the pork section as one of the counters had a full pig head on display……UGH! I miss Wegman’s!
Our visit with Madeline went well again today. However, she is beginning to test us. Madeline really knows how to give a look to kill and I am sure that she will perfect it by the time she is a teenager (although it’s pretty close to perfect now!) We are now going to the infant’s home and sharing the visiting room with Karen and Huibert because they adopted from the same infants’ home as us. (There are 3 infants’ homes in Astrakhan) Karen and Huibert are very nice. However, their daughter, Milana, is 3 years old with a VERY strong, high energy, personality. Madeline is quickly picking things up and she tried out some of Milana’s tricks today. (Sigh….already with the “peer pressure”.) But even though we are still in “bonding mode” with Madeline we had to make it clear that her new tricks were unacceptable…..our first official parental duty!
Tomorrow we get to visit again. David & I along with Karen & Hubert and our daughters are going for a car ride tomorrow as the girls need to get their photos taken for their passports. I believe this will be their first car ride! And for those of you who I’m sure are wondering…..there are no car seats. (They don’t even use seat belts) so we will certainly hang on to Madeline with dear life. Especially since they drive like MANIACS here!
Nothing else exciting happened. We chose to eat at the hotel restaurant for dinner today. We weren’t feeling so adventurous this evening. The remainder of our time was spent by David doing work stuff on the computer, me reading and doing laundry in the bathtub. Jamie E. (our house sitter)….can you hug and kiss our washer and dryer for us and tell them that we MISS them terribly and can’t wait to see them??
We’ll send another update tomorrow.
David and Amy
Iranian Consulate (around the corner from our hotel)