the sign

The sign next to the front door of the orphanage

Stavropol Aug 26, 2007

Hello Everyone,

Yeah, we have internet access at our hotel!

Last night we flew down to Stavropol, Russia.

We arrived at about 10:30pm. Matt and Emma slept most of the flight. We are still off on our sleep schedule, but it seems easier this time for some reason. Andrei, our coordinator, picked us up. We love him. He is just very cool and laid back. He is 42, married and has an 18 year old daughter, who, I think, is coming to college in the United States. You can easily tell he is well connected to all the right people to get paperwork (tons of that) done quickly. He speaks great english and loves to learn more about Americans. He and Matt have enjoyed many conversations about the history of Russia and America.

I’m showing Andrei my fancy Ergo baby carrier and I found out later he was thinking, “there is no way your new son is going to want to be in that thing. Silly Americans.”

Andrei and Allison

We are staying at Hotel Intourist.

Our room is a small suite. It has a little sitting room where Emma sleeps on the couch and a bedroom with 2 twin beds. The beds look like toddler beds (again.) What’s up with all these toddler beds? I guess it’s just a Russian thing. They are long enough but very low to the ground. We like them. Got to sleep at about 1am. Check out the videos on this site to see the hotel. Can’t believe I didn’t get any still pictures of it. Guess I was consumed with other things!

TV for Breakfast

This morning, we had breakfast in the hotel. Many restaurants like to blare the TV while you are eating. And I do mean “blare!” The all have flat screen TV’s; several sometimes. Today I had to ask the waiter to turn it down. He did and didn’t seem to mind. Thank goodness. I don’t think I can listen to that every morning for the next month.

You Just Have To Go With The Flow

We found out the exact dates of this 2nd trip to Russia about 3 weeks before our departure. It was about 3 months after our first trip. We would be staying for almost a month. Oh my. That’s a long time.

Between arriving and our court date was about 5 days. Then there was a 10 day required waiting period after the court date and before we could take our child with us. Then back to Moscow for another 5-7 days for more paperwork.

With traveling to and from the US we would be leaving August 25th and returning September 19th. We left our other two children (Meg 6 and Henry 4) with our good friends. This was stressful, but I just handed that over to God, knowing we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

Emma is having fun at our meals.

She has tended to be a picky eater, but is learning that probably won’t work very well here. Today her pancakes were more like sweet thick biscuits sitting on sort of a sour cream sauce. The don’t do syrup in Russia. We thought they were delicious. She wasn’t so sure.

And the big news.

At 10am this morning Andrei came to get us and we went to see our baby, Ilya. It was so exciting. Matt videotaped the whole thing. Walking into the orphanage and into the room and seeing him for the first time again. He was still as precious as ever and Matt and I just said, “this is so right.”

The orphanage worker in Ilya’s room, Emma and Ilya (Luke)

He is taller now.

It’s is not my favorite that we missed the last 3 months of his life, but there is not much we can do about it. He is cruising – holding on and taking a few steps with help. He crawls great. Sits up great. Is very busy. He has his top two teeth coming in maybe about halfway and a sign of two bottom teeth about to break through. I got to feed him lunch. It was a full bowl of some kind of mashed up stew. It had meat, potatoes, bread and carrots. He ate the whole thing and then drank a compote of boiled water and juices of some sort. Another Russian thing I guess.

It’s All About The Schedule

They said he wakes up at 6am, eats breakfast and plays. Has his first nap from about 8am to 10am. Plays and eats lunch at 11:30am or noon. He then plays a little more and goes down for second nap around 12:30 or 1pm and sleeps 2 more hours. He goes to sleep around 8pm and sleeps all night with out waking. They say he is a great sleeper. How wonderful.

Emma playing with one of the other children in the orphanage.


We brought the orphanage toys, calamine lotion and children’s chewable vitamins. This is what they asked for and they were thrilled to receive it. I’d like to go buy some more toys for them. We will see.

Back at our hotel now.

Emma is sitting with me knitting. Matt is sleeping. He is having a little upset tummy. This afternoon we will go buy a tie for Matt to wear to court. He wanted to buy one here for our court date. Our schedule coming up is tomorrow (monday) we go to the orphanage at 10am and a social worker watches us interact with Ilya. A formality Andrei says.

I’m Nerval and Excital (my daddy used to always say that)

Then at 2pm we go to our preliminary hearing. Kind of a trial run for our real court date on Tuesday. Then we come back to the hotel and Andrei will prep us for court. He says he will tell us what they will ask and what we should say. That will be interesting. Then Tuesday we go to court at 10am. He will take Emma for ice cream while we are in court. After that, we think we will go to the Black Sea for maybe 3 days or so. It will be a 6 hour drive.

I guess that is it for now. Love you all and will write more later.



  1. Mayme says:

    Tell Emma I feel her pain. I was also dying fo syrup. Love the post looking foward to the next blog very soon….

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