First, my apologies for not writing yesterday. We got several emails wondering how things were going, etc... Sorry, but yesterday (Monday) was a long and tiring day.
Monday started out with us going to the CSS office here in Moscow for a short conference with Svetlana, head of the office here in Moscow. Next we piled into the car and went to the Ministry of Education (MOE). MOE is responsible for operating and managing the orphanages in Moscow. All orphanages are state run, none are private. Here we sat for 2 hours waiting to be called to receive our referral. Finally we got our call... Off we went into the office and before us on the table was the picture of a little 10 month old boy in a orphanage about 1 1/2 hours outside of Moscow. Initial reports were that he was very healthy and well adjusted.
Back into the car we went to the orphanage. Upon arrival we were taken to the Director's office. The orphanage is a 2 story white building situated next to what I believe are apartment complexs. She proceeded to read the child's medical record to us. Forgive us for not giving exact details, but we can't because he's not our child yet so we're obligated to not sharing exact details... Anyway, after going through the medical records they brought him in. He's cute as a button.
Our daughter Katie several weeks ago told us that Daniel would be 1 year old and have dark hair. We had a 'running joke' within the family that wouldn't it be funny if Katie was right. We were expecting an older child...Katie was spot on!! He has dark hair and big brown eyes and will be probably celebrate his first birthday a few weeks after we get him home!!! Score one point for Katie.
Anyway...we were only able to spend about 30 minutes with him on Monday. He started rubbing his eyes, turns out it was his nap time. We let him go and we left for the day.
(As a side note: We went to Hyper Globus afterwards for dinner and to grocery shop. Imagine two Super Walmarts laid end to end; Put a parking garage underneath; Put 60 check out lines in it THAT ARE ALL STAFFED; PLUS add a independant taxi service that will pick you up just to go shopping there then take you home. It was quite an experience, plus the prices were much cheaper than in Moscow.)
Tuesday (today) we left Moscow and drove back up to the orphanage. They brought Daniel out immediately and we spent the better part of 3 1/2 hours with him. He's social, makes great eye contact with everyone, smiles, crawls like a bullet, is pulling up to a stand on his own when aided by a stationary object (table or chair). He's sipping from a cup on his own and is a very hearty eater. He is making noises and sounds like he's ready to start talking. He immitates faces that people makes to him and laughs when he's amused by what face you're making. He's also the favorite of all the caretakers in his group of kids (about 30), which is great because that means that he's been held and interacted with during his time in the orphanage.
We hired an international adoption doctor to review his medical records and perform a medical/developmental evaluation. He showed up and we watched while he performed his examinations. Without going into details, he's in great shape. The doctor commented that Daniel could easily pass as a 'home baby' and not a baby that has spent his short life in an orphanage. Developmentally he's on track for his age. The doctor is having his medical records translated to English and will send them to us soon. As soon as we get them, we're forwarding them to a close friend of the family who is also a Doctor for further evaluation.
So that's where we are at this point. Tomorrow we go back to the orphage and spend more time with him. Then we head back to the CSS office to start the legal paperwork. Thursday will be spent going to the orphanage again and going to have documents notarized. Friday will be the day Mary and I go before the "medical commission" for our medical eval. 2 hours, 8 doctors and a load of fun!!! Sounds like a hoot!