We got up this morning extra early so we would have time to get ready, eat breakfast, and quiz each other a little more. We both barely ate this morning as we were very nervous about court. We left the hotel around 9:15 with Mrs.P and we walked to the court house. It's only about a 15 minute walk but it was very windy and chilly getting there. While we were waiting we took turns pacing the floor and playing games on the iPhone all while quizzing each other over various facts, training's, and other useful information. To think one person holds in their hands the power to prevent you from becoming a parent is very unnerving. All Russian court proceedings are confidential so we won't be sharing any details but…
She said, "Da!"
After that we walked back to the hotel, all of us very excited (the other couple from our agency also got good news). Mrs. P commented that she was very proud of all of us. When we got back, Mrs.P told us that we couldn’t go back to the orphanage today until nap time was over at 3, so we had about 2.5 hours to ourselves. The other couple asked about the Pan-Asian restaurant we mentioned from our first trip and we all decided to go. It's about a 20 minute walk from the hotel (we actually walked right by the court house again) and luckily for us it had warmed up considerably! We felt like experienced travelers compared to them as they had not been out of the hotel without Mrs.P on this trip or their first trip. We led the way, through some local markets and the we went by some local landmarks like the Russian Orthodox Church we wrote about in our first trip. We found the restaurant easily and had a pretty good meal, minus some communication issues with the wait staff - but all ended up well.
We walked back this time by the beach and little souvenir stands and had a good time talking with and getting to know the other couple. We arrived back at the hotel with about 20 minutes to spare and by 3:00 we were on our way back to the orphanage.
Today A was very excited to see us and didn't hesitate for a second. It's bittersweet that we can't continue to build that bond and relationship. It was much calmer today with only the 1 other couple and their son and no others in the room. A definitely opened up a little more and took full advantage of the space to run around. We played basketball, soccer, read some books, and found what was his favorite toy for the day: a balloon! We changed his clothes into the Halloween outfit we brought with us. Tomorrow is Halloween in Russia since they celebrate on the last Friday in October (we wish the US did this too!).
The director didn't seem to want us there today as she had other things she wanted to do and errands to run so we only had about 1.5 hours with him today. She even told Mrs.P to make sure and not come back tomorrow as she had things to do :( We were hoping we would be able to sneak back in for at least a few minutes. I guess it was good that we didn't know it was going to be short because we didn't have time to be sad when she came to get him. We got a good video of him waving bye bye today but we still didn't catch the elusive blowing of kisses on video. When he got in the hallway all we heard was him talking to the director. We don't know what he was saying but we'd like to think he was saying how much fun he had. He definitely understands what our "names" are and when we say "mama" or "papa" he looks right into our eyes or runs to the one we said. Today I even got a kiss initiated by A! We weren't nearly as sad leaving this time because we know we'll be back in 30 days!
After that went to go pick up some other documents for another family and we went on a nice walk. We're now back at the hotel and starting to pack up our things for our trip back home. We leave tomorrow and on the way out of town we'll stop at the other hotel we'll stay in next time since it's more family friendly.
Thanks again for all your prayers!