Sunday, May 29, 2011
Day Twenty-Back to Arch
Today we started our "get back on a more normal schedule so we can adjust before we get our son" campaign. Of course we had some motivation. Our flight back to Archangelsk left at 10:00am. We stayed up too late last night waiting on the dryer, but I woke up fairly ready to go. JJ got up and washed dishes. Whoohoo! I have the best husband ever! I went through each room gathering our random belongings and making sure things looked just like they did when we arrived. I enjoyed my nice big bathroom for the last morning. We will both miss that tub with jets. We did not fix breakfast and I was super hungry later. We crammed everything back into the two suitcases, backpack, and diaper bag that we hauled to St. Petersburg. Natasha showed up right on time. She had just arrived from Moscow on a train the night before. She has been super busy with families finalizing adoptions and the missions group visiting. We made it to the airport just in time. In fact, Natasha made us cut people to get inside and rushed us to the check-in desk. Our flight started boarding soon after we made it through security. Oh, we forgot to take our zip-lock baggies with liquids out of our carry-ons and we both got scolded. JJ had to search through his bag so the lady could inspect his shaving cream. I'm glad they have tight security, but it feels a little ridiculous after the billionth time. We made it on our flight just fine and it was a pretty smooth ride. It was a little bumpy as we descended, but that seems to be the norm. Vladmir met us at the airport and took us to the hotel. It was very quiet at the Hotel Pur Novalok. We were both hungry but the only place to eat in the hotel was the Sky Bar restaurant and we have learned that their speed of service is extremely slow. We went to a nearby pizza place instead. It is amazing how much the weather has changed in just the two weeks since our court hearing. The sun was shining. It was almost completely calm. People were walking all along the river/beach area. Some games of volleyball and soccer were being played on the beach. We saw several people in shorts. We came back to the hotel and got our Internet connection working. Then we tried to call Dimitri with no response. We still don't know the exact plan for our paperwork process. I guess we'll continue our campaign and get up early tomorrow in case we have a morning appointment. We watched a movie then went to get some groceries. We have a fridge, but no way to heat food. We will have a much more limited menu, but at least we can have sandwiches and cereal. We visited with our friends from Michigan. They arrived late last week and got their kids on Friday. The kids are so adorable. It is a huge adjustment and it will take time, but they are hanging in there and they have already made progress. I know we have that ahead of us too and I am praying for wisdom and peace during our first few days. It magnifies the difficulty that everything starts in a hotel across the world from everything familiar. At least we have a bigger room now. We have a "suite" for this portion of our stay, so the bed is in a separate room and we have a "living room" area as well. After our visit we hurried back for the most exciting part of our day, JJ preaching from Russia. JJ had planned to preach this Sunday when we first learned our itinerary. We had hoped our little guy would already be with us, but that wasn't too be. It was still very exciting. We got to see all our church family. We were able to be part of Sunday School, sing songs with everyone and just be part of the service. I am so proud of JJ for taking on this challenge and grateful to our wonderful friends, Casey & Ashley Drew, for sacrificing their time to help with the technology and cover services. JJ spoke about carrying the name of Jesus. It was a wonderful time, but it made me miss home more than ever. We have less than two weeks now. I hope everyone else had such a nice Sunday. Tomorrow a new phase in our journey begins.