Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 1 in Russia

Awake at 2:49am.  Laid in bed for a long while, then went back to sleep.  Then up again at 4:42am.  Couldn’t shake it this time. I’m up.

In a skillet I am boiling some water Jessi filtered last night.  The water will become  coffee in a few minutes.  I found a few ‘doughnuts’ at the market last night. There’s a picture of a raspberry on the front of the container.  We’ll see how they turn out.

We arrived in Moscow a little over an hour early yesterday.  We had no issues getting from our terminal to Vita, who was there waiting for us.  She greeted us with hugs, then called for the driver she’d hired. 

After a few minutes the same driver we’d had in April pulled up.  He was driving a newer car.  A Kia this time.  The back of his little Kia barely held our two suitcases and a carry on.  So, we sat in the back seat with a carry on, our personal bags (mine a computer bag and Jessi’s a large Thirty-One bag),  and an umbrella stroller.  It was a full back seat, but comfortable enough for our three hour drive to Vladimir. 

While in the car Jessi and I soon dozed off.  Neither of us had slept much on the plane.  I think we felt a little more at ease in the car knowing we were in Vita’s capable hands at this point. 

We woke just before arriving in Vladimir.  Jessi sent a text message to Frenchy with news that we were close, then began to post a blog so our readers might know we’d arrived safely.  I began to study the path we came in on.  I was looking for any detail that might help me navigate the city in the month we’d be here. 

We drove through a valley on the south east side of town.  I looked hard to our left – toward the southwest.  I could only see the smokestacks in the distance which had become a familiar landmark during our April visit.  Just on this side of those stacks was the road which heads south out of the city – toward Sveta.

We drove straight to our flat and by the time the luggage was unloaded Frenchy came around the corner.  After a few hugs and a phone number from Vita we were on our way up to our January home.  It’s a one bedroom flat, on the 6th floor of a building on the north side of the city.  I’d estimate that the flat just over 600 square feet. 

Frenchy showed us around the flat, then cleaned our refrigerator – it’d been left unplugged with the doors closed.  Jessi and I unpacked some, but were eager to get dinner.  Jessi’s last meal was dinner on the plane … about 12 hours earlier.  She’d not eaten the breakfast offered on the plane as she wasn’t feeling well. 

Globus (a walmart-like store with a great cafeteria) is about a 5 minute bus ride or 20 minute walk away to the north.  Frenchy’s apartment, though we’ve not been there, is about a 20 minute walk in the other direction. 

Soon we left our flat.  Frenchy helped us get copies of our passports which we’d deliver to Svetlana (the owner of the flat) so she can register us.  After leaving the copy store we walked on up the road to Globus where we exchanged money, ate dinner, and said goodbye to Frenchy.  Jessi and I picked up some bananas, ‘doughnuts’, jam, bread, and yogurt before heading out to bus 24 and traveling to the stop very near our flat. 

After arranging a few things in the room we laid down on our twin mattress at 8:00pm. 

I’m now starting my second cup of coffee as Jessi sleeps.  My mind is filled with so many thoughts.  As I glance over my final list of things I had to do before leaving I begin to wonder how things are back home.  But the tiny clothes I arranged yesterday in our suitcase keep demanding my attention.  I packed the clothes back in a suitcase as we won’t need them for about two weeks. 

Just two weeks and we may (Lord willing) have a little girl who’s nearly four in this flat with us.  Any soon-to-be-parent (by whatever means – adoption, birth, or stork) knows what’s going through my mind.  And I have a hard time catching just one of those many thoughts long enough to work through it. 

Through all of the events of the past week and a half (since we received our court date) there continues to be three thoughts that overwhelm me most.  First, is the overwhelming support of church, family, and friends.  I could never put into words the love I’ve seen in so many who have prayed, given, asked, made things, and offered their hands. 

Second, my wife.  I’d never dreamed three years ago that I’d be so happily married and pursuing being a father on such a path.  I have less fear being a father because of Sveta’s mother, Jessi.  She is going to be in her element with a child.  And I look forward to watching her in this role that she’s longed for for so long.  I cannot wait to pursue her as my wife and encourage her as parent together in this next season of  our life. 

Finally, our God has overwhelmed me because I know that He has moved in the hearts of those in our church, family, and ring of friends.  I know He has brought Jessi and I together.  And I know He placed this Russian little girl on my lap a year and six days ago.  While we’ve cleverly named a blog about our little girl’s path home, I’m learning that there’s more than just her on this journey. 


  1. Love reading the details...thanks for sharing from your mind and your heart! Praying for rest and strength for each new day. Oh, and...thank God for Frenchy. What a gift he must have been as you arrived! :)