Greetings everyone. This is Barry.
Jessi and Sveta are taking a nap, so I will try to type fast.
She cried herself to sleep with Mama just now. Mama sat on the bed holding her while rocking. I sat next to them and sang. She screamed. And cried. "I don't want to nap" she screamed in Russian ("nee we nada spot" is as close as I can get to explaining what that sounds like). But now it's quiet and I have come to chat with you.
Tuesday morning we did pick our daughter up. It was a nice visit at the baby house. She said goodbye to her caretakers ... not even knowing what this goodbye means. I cannot imagine how much her little mind is processing. There is still some wonder in her eyes as she looks at us. There is a sense of a honeymoon feeling. But at least once she's asked to go back to her group at the baby house. For the most part, she has been incredibly brave and very trusting.
Like Jessi posted earlier, the process with the passport was taken over by God. We are so thankful. When Jessi returned from that adventure she found Sveta and I doing quite well. We had drank some water, scribbled on old airline tickets, looked at the window and said "EE DEE SUE DAH, MAMA" (come mama) with smiles on our faces. Then we drank more water ... clinking our glasses together saying "cheers". No translation there. We both said "cheers". Then we hunted for mice in the hotel room ... we found two of them in a matching game that was laying on the bed. We would have hunted for chickens, goats, and other animals ... but I only knew how to say mouse in Russian.
Jessi's return was nice. Our friend, David, had ordered us pizza to be delivered. When it arrived I took one bit and realized I was not feeling too well. At 7:00pm started nearly the longest 24 hours of my life. My theory: the chicken I ate for lunch at the hotel restaurant wasn't done clucking when I ate it. I'll spare you any details on this.
In that 24 hours we "slept". Our daughter slept between us in the huge bed. She held her hairbrush the entire time. She's not a huge fan of the Teddy Bear we gave her before leaving the orphanage. In fact, while Mama was our working on a passport, she threw the bear in a corner and yelled at it. Then looked at me and gave me a speech. No idea what the bear did, but I am glad I've not done the same. But she woke every (what felt like) 10 minutes ... either because Papa was up and she had to know where I was or she was playing with her hairbrush (brushed mama's hair and papa's hair at least once at night).
The alarm went off at 5:45am. Our taxi arrived to pick us up at 6:30am. I was very weak. Our driver and Jessi carried most the luggage. I sat in front and the girls in back for our 3+ hour ride to a doctors appointment in Moscow. While stuck is horrific Moscow traffic Sveta cried. After a while she couldn't keep a snack she'd had earlier down. Her coat and most of her clothes were soiled. Not to mention most of mama's outfit as mama had been holding her while she cried. In the middle of a busy Moscow street 2.5 Americans were cleaning up. There was not much we could do as most of her clothes were in the suitcase ... in the trunk. Her PJs were the only thing accessible, so she’d see the doctor in those.
We arrived at the doctor: an exhausted little girl wrapped in a blanket, a weak father, and an amazing mama.
The doctor came out and apologized that he’d not be able to see us. A friend of his had died and he was going to be with the friend’s mother. He told us he’d visit our apartment the next morning to check out our little girl. We completely understood, but, of course, were a bit overwhelmed. We learned later that the doctor’s friend was a doctor. He was at a gas pump in Moscow when a drunk driver hit him. We told him we were glad he was able to be with the family.
When we finally arrived at our apartment I was beyond exhausted. I have no idea what time we arrived. I just know I laid in bed trying to sleep. I felt miserable. My body hurt. I could hear my daughter and wife talking, laughing, and bonding. I was so grateful, but it was torture to be laying there. I just prayed and cried. Finally I slept.
When I came out of the room I think it was around 7:00pm. I felt a little better. I ate a little. The girls would soon prepare for bed. I took some time to study our washing machine. Cleaned up a little around the apartment. And stared out our window at a frozen, but never sleeping, Moscow. The street we’re on is similar to Times Square in New York. Sirens. Lights on buildings. And in the distance a glow from Red Square. We’re only close enough to see the spires on the Kremlin.
The little one fell asleep on a couch. Jessi and I snuggled up next to one another on the couch. I asked her what day it is. “It’s Wednesday.”
We’re now most of the way through Thursday. The girls are still napping with a hairbrush. Clothes are drying. Sirens still blast on the street below. Pigeons can be heard cooing softly through the widow high above the hum of the busy street below.
My girls are napping. My head still throbs. And I might be one of the happiest people on earth right now.