Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 2 in Moscow - 1st Day with the Kids

Mr. Beaver -

Day 2 in Moscow may not sound quite as full as it has felt... so you'll have to trust me that it was very full.

Thanks to much grace and the prayers of His saints I fell into bed last night and was able to sleep most of the night. I arose at 5 for quiet time so I could be refreshed before being reunited with the children. At 7am, after their all-night train ride, Daria, Alexander and Oksana were delivered to my door on the 22nd floor of my apartment building. It was a joyous reunion! The Lord delivered to my very door the 3 people we've been praying for all these months.

Alexander, Oksana and Daria (l to r)
We had about 1 hour before the kids' medical appointment so I took them to get something to eat (my shopping experience the day before wasn't quite as fruitful as I had hoped). Fortunately, there is a Dunkin Donuts across the street from our apartment. It's also fortunate that it's not across the street from our house in Iowa, as I don't need the extra temptation. But in Moscow, it's a welcome treat.

Kids in front of Dunkin Donuts - Photo actually taken day 3 because I forgot on Day 2

Our first breakfast together - Dunkin Donuts on New Arbat Street
After breakfast, Dima, the driver who met us on our first trip in January stopped by to pick us up to go to the medical appointment. We stopped to pick up the Foat family on the way, and the kids were able to step out and play a little while on a playground behind the Foat's apartment building.

Playing on a playground behind a typical apartment building - notice the razor wire in the background

The Foats are the couple who adopted the 3 teenagers who initially caught our attention last year. After praying about and concluding that these specific kids were not meant to be our kids, all of us were diligent to pray that God would raise up parents for these precious kids, and He did raise up the perfect parents for them, Mike and Amy Foat.

We drove to a nearby medical clinic where the kids got a cursory examination and insightful diagnosis that they had all the signs of being orphans (rickets, etc.). Oh, and they got a large bill as well, which I discovered on the spot was payable only in rubles. Almost everything else in this process has been payable only in dollars, so that's what I had brought to the appointment. The Foats loaned me the rubles I needed which I was able to repay after visiting a bank at our next stop. We've discovered it's actually very helpful to stay in touch with other families going through the process as we all seem to get slightly different information. They had seen an incidental comment in an email letting them know they needed rubles for the appointment. On the other hand, we had received more complete information on documents needed for the embassy - they had nearly had to return home to get more documents and only avoided the crisis through extensive efforts by their family back home. Oh well, it's just part of the process, and now it's over.
Our 3 kids with the Foat family at the "super market"
After the medical appointment the adventure really started. I asked Dima to take us to a grocery store so we could eat some of our meals in our apartment. The Foats also wanted to shop, so Dima took us to a "supermarket". The store was an interesting adventure, as I don't yet know what the kids like to eat, and they have never shopped in a large grocery store before. I encouraged Daria to make many of the decisions to help provide what the kids wanted. Besides, all the packaging is in Russian and much of it isn't available in the US. I shudder to think what I might have selected on my own. Daria did a great job, but I think she felt a little overwhelmed by all the choices. She was developing a menu and grocery list in her head as we went so we missed a few things, but all in all we did well. Imagine never having that kind of responsibility and then finding yourself in her shoes. But I guess we did fine. In fact, we did so well that the store asked us to fill out a form for a frequent shopper card. Don't they just wish! Our local stores would go bankrupt if we left home...

After our shopping trip we headed to the apartment to await my luggage, which was promised by 2pm. I felt it prudent to wait in the apartment and be available when it arrived, rather than relying on the door keeper to receive the luggage while we explored Moscow. We were tired anyway, so I called rest time. However, it turned out that rest time was only rest time for Oksana and me, as I discovered upon awakening that Daria and Alexander had taken it on themselves to fix our dinner. Meanwhile, the little one cuddled and napped with me. It turns out that Daria is quite a good cook, which she says she learned at the orphanage, and she created a very tasty meal with the help of Alexander (see photos below). Daria is also a very good leader of her new siblings, serving and coaching them all throughout the day!

Our experience is that Russians generally set a beautiful table

Peace before the storm

Unfortunately, I discovered that Oksana has an arsenic hour... an intesnse one. They are all adjusting to an unimagineable change, but the youngest has never known anything but orphanage life. I can't begin to imagine how scary this change must be to her, and about once a day she melts into inconsolable sobbing. Fortunately, God has provided me much grace. He has also given me discernment to differentiate between times of understandable fear and times where she is testing me. I must say, our youngest children have it pretty rough, as their old parents didn't just fall off the turnip truck!

After our delicious dinner we called Momma with her Bible Bee entourage, as well as the gang back home. We also SKYPED with Grandma and AJ (how about those septegenarian computer geeks!). I also got my bags about 9:15pm, as the delivery service had suffered a major breakdown during the day (the flight had arrived at 10:10am.

Finally, we finished our full day with a traditional reading of The Foot Book (a must for parents of young children), the Bible (our first short section together) and showers (which felt OH SO GOOD after having no clean clothes for 2 days), culminating in a relatively peaceful bed-time. I was able to turn in about 11:30 after getting everyone else settled.

Tomorrow we hope to visit the Moscow zoo with the Foats and may take in the circus in the evening (depending more on my energy levels than that of the children).

Thank you all for your continuing prayer cover!

Mr. Beaver

PS - Yes, I'm finishing this the next day, which means I'm officially behind. I had to call it quits at 11:30 but will try to catch up yet today.


Tony and Dawn said...

Beautiful family! Congratulations on the reunion. We are praying for your safe return.

Corrie said...

Mr. Beaver - you have done a great job with posts and taking care of the kids solo! You have 3 beautiful new children and I can't wait to meet them some day. Enjoy your time getting to know these precious ones and It is so exciting to hear that your whole family will be there soon!
Blessings, Corrie for the Ayers family.

Co-heir With Christ said...

YAY!! I'm SO happy for all of you. Praying for safe travel for the bunch in America, and for safe travel back home!

The Nordstroms said...

We have been praying for you & sweet Oksana's meltdowns! Can't wait to meet these precious new members of your family!!

MacMeister said...

What beautiful additions to your family! I am very impressed that with all the things you have going on you still find the time to update your blog! Thanks so much for the updates and pictures :-) Praying for you and the rest of the family as they travel.