Monday, August 20, 2012

Bittersweet Homecoming...

Well, I can't believe its been just over two weeks since we arrived home from Russia and our precious Vika. I have so much to share.... We left SLC on August 28th. It was difficult to leave the girls but I knew they were in great hands with my Mom and my older Sister. The girls absolutely adore their cousins. We had some rediculous delays which cost us nearly a whole day in Russia but we finally arrived in Moscow at 10:30pm on August 29th. We left Moscow and headed for Tver. About a 3 hour drive... Yaaawwwn... We arrived at our hotel late and woke up to a beautiful view of the Volga River outside our hotel window. We ate our first meal in Russia which was delicious and headed to the Education Department to get approval to go to the orphange to meet Vika. They asked us several questions, showed us her file and we had to agree that she was the child we wanted to see. We had a translator with us and he read us the paperwork and showed us where we needed to sign. After we recieved our permission, it was off to the Notary office. About 1 hour later we were on the road headed to Vika's home town. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive and because I knew we were going to meet her, it felt like twice that. We started to drive down dirt roads that were leading us deeper and deeper into the thick trees that surround the town. Down one particularly small dirt path we came upon the gates to the orphange. A big school like building with little playgrounds and playhouses surrounded all sides of the building. Once inside we were led to a small office with a round table with chairs all around it. We sat down with our fasilitators, a translator, the orphanage doctor, the orphange administator and a Social Security administrator. They took turns asking us very detailed questions about our personal lives, our home, health, jobs, kids, family, they wanted to know why adoption? Why Vika? We answered all their questions and then had our chance to ask our own. We asked about Vika's health, how she behaves socially, her education. We wanted to know about her biological family and why they made the desicion to put her in the orphange (I didn't like the answers to these questions and niether Dustin or myself could hold back our tears) We wanted to know about the medical history of her bio family. Vika's health mirrors Kaiya's almost exactly. We of course wanted to know if "Vika" was her real name and what her birthday is. He name is Viktorya and her bithday is May 27th :) She is called Vika for short. She prefers Vika. Her middle and last name are her biological fathers. Our final question was.. "Can we meet her now?" The staff smiles and nodded, held up a finger as if to say "one moment" and left the room. About ten minutes later they returned and asked us to follow them. We have been staring at Vika's pictures for nearly a year. All of which were taken in the same room. Toys in the background, large red area rug with a swirly pattern on it. They led us into that same room. Dustin said it best, It was like stepping onto the movie set of your favorite movie that you've seen a million times. It was so surreal. The shock of the room lasted about half a second when I saw Vika on the far end of the room with her caregiver. I was so nervous. We walked over to her and sat on the floor in front of the chair she was sitting in. We said hello and told her our names. She seemed indifferent. We handed her the coloring book, crayons and ball we brought for her and she lit up! It wasm't long before she was patting the seats next to her, inviting us to sit. Holding our hands and laughing one of the most contagious laughs I've ever heard. We got to play with her then, Monday night, for about 1 1/2 hours. Starting Tuesday morning we were able to visit her twice a day for 3 hours each visit for the rest of the week. Each hour, each minute, we grew to love her more and more. On our 4th visit, so Tuesday evening, she walked in the room to visit with us, jumped into my arms and then Vika, the girl who doesn't speak, looked me in the eyes and called me Mama. From the moment on, if I wasn't before, I was hers, and she was mine, and we both knew it. Each visit seemed to fly by while we learned about her love of plays, music and the outdoors. She is amazing. On Friday morning we went a little early for our morning visit because we had to leave early to head back to Tver for our meeting with the Judge. It was the shortest 1 1/2 hours of my life. The staff came in and expained to her that we had to leave now and wouldn't be able to come back for awhile. She shook her head over and over and latched onto me. I tried to keep it together but couldn't hold back the tears when they had to literally pull her from my arms. It was heartbreaking. We left the orphange and headed back for our meeting. We were able to check into our hotel with enough time to clean up a little. We met with the judge at 3:30pm in her office. We had our traslator, Olga, with us. The judge wanted to know everything about us. I do mean EVERYTHING. She asked many questions, some I wasn't sure how to answer but we did the best we could. Before I knew it our translator said it was over. The judge accepted our paperwork and asked for 2 weeks to review our case and let us know what additional documents she needs. We should be hearing back from her soon with a court date. I have left many details out but that is the basics of our trip. It was wonderful coming home to our girls, family, friends and Country but left with a heavy heart that we couldn't bring her with us. I miss her terribly and hope she understands why we had to go for now. Your donations are needed now more than ever to help us get back for our court trip, then again to bring her home. Thank you to all of you who are so supportive and loving. We are so blessed.

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