Tue. Sept 4, 2007, 7:30pm

After Luke’s nap we got it all together and met our driver
downstairs at the hotel.  He drove us to the US Embassy.
It was a beautiful old Russian building.  Sort of mustard color.  4-5
stories and very wide.  Inside it was pretty sterile and white
with 2-story ceilings.  Nothing exciting.  Very governmental.  It
was all no big deal.  We just went through some pretty good security.
We showed Luke’s passport and then met through a window with
Victoria Wolf.  An American who lived in Enid, Oklahoma and worked
at Vance for 6 years in the late 90’s.  She did something in the
DOD (Dept. of Defense) What a deal!  She wanted us to ship her some
Ceasar salad from Port Lugano with the great croutons. Yum!

Anyway, standing at this window in the waiting room, we had to
be sworn in with right hands raised and then she just explained
that Luke will be a US citizen the moment our plane touches down
in Atlanta.  She gave us some paperwork that was half in English
and half in Russian that she said we keep for life and dont loose
it.  On some of it, we would probaby have to come back to Moscow
to get another copy.  We can’t just mail off for it.  Yes ma’am!

Also she gave us a sealed manila envelope that only the
immigration officer in Atlanta can open.  When we go through
immigration, they will hold us there for maybe 45 minutes to go
through this paperwork.  She said if the baby is crying that may
speed things up.  They had 3 huge bulletin boards in that waiting
room jam packed with pictures of American families and the babies
they’d adopted.  Some were christmas cards, others just photos.
She said, “please send us pictures.”

They seem to be really trying to do what they can to keep adoption
open for Russian babies to the US.  She said that is one reason we
must register with the Russian Consulate tomorrow.  The Russians
want us to register and if we can do what they ask, they are more
likely to keep adoptions open.  She said they used to do 60
adoption interviews a day, but since the accreditation problems
(which seem to be getting taken care of) there are only a few
interviews each day.

I’m trying to plan exactly how to pack for the journey home.  Long
plane ride, etc.  I talked to the flight attendents on the way here
and they were very sweet and said they had lots of adoptees on
their planes and it’s hard but you just deal with it.  Ok.  Sounds
good to me.  Just give me that bassinet please.  This little guy
needs to be on his hands and knees to go to sleep.  That makes me
think of the meaning of his name, Ilya.  ‘The Lord is my God’ and
‘Confessor.’  Love that!  Neill means ‘champion’ and Luke
means “talented!”  Good stuff.

That’s it for now.  Love you guys.



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