Monday: We meet our sons!!!
Arrival: We arrived in Kras, Siberia at around 5:30 am. As we were landing you couldn't help but notice how white the ground was, snow! We taxied into the airport after THE worst airplane experience in my life (seriously, it was nasty! Thanks AeroFlot). It was one of those unload you out on the tarmac airports, in the snow! Talk about shock. I had my big heavy Russian made jacket on and we walked into the bagged claim area where our driver and Kras contact for our adoption agency were waiting. It was about an hour drive to our hotel in the city of Krasnoyarsk. The roads were very Siberian, meaning snowy and icy. A quick terrain observation.....tundra! We arrived at the hotel around 7:30 am where we settled in, ate a Russian breakfast (weird pastries and lunch meat) then took a well deserved nap!
Ministry of Education/Orphanage visit: We then met our contact (Alena) driver (Serge) and interpreter (Marena) in the hotel lobby around 2 pm. From there we went to the Ministry of Education. I was really dreading this because when you think of a Russian government agency I get Soviet, 80's flashbacks! That's not how it was at all. They MoE really wants us to adopt the children so it was very comfortable. We were in and out in about 15 minutes, then the moment we were all waiting for: a visit to the orphanage where our 2 boys are! It was a 45 minute drive across the Siberian tundra into a very odd town which I cant write down because I don't even know if the is an English word for it. We drive up to the orphanage. Penny and I were so nervous, yet bubbling with excitement to meet our sons for the first time. Some of the staff bring us into a play area. We are able to set up cameras, etc. A few minutes pass by and the next thing you know they are bringing in our children! Words cant describe the feelings that came over me the first time I set eyes on ours children. Surreal. Joy. You name it, it was going on inside of me. Our youngest (S) was freaked out by his Papa. It must be the bald head. Heck, he was even freaked out by Penny at first (NO kids are ever freaked out by her!) It took just a few minutes and he warmed up to her, at that time our oldest (M) came in. We instantly bonded. It was as if we had met before. Within 15 minutes M was calling me Papa and he was looking for Mama! We played. This boy has so much energy! We kept running around the room laughing and jumping into the piles of soft blocks. My first daddy moment. We had about an hour and a half with the boys. S hadn't warmed up to me yet. As I leaned over to kiss him goodbye for the first time, his eyes were huge and he pulled back. I understand. When I said goodbye to M, he looked in my eyes and smiled. I kissed his cheek. He pulled back and just stared at me. Then he smiled and looked at my chin-hawk (facial hair). The care takers to our boys away from us.
End of the day: Our first meeting with our children is over and so we hop back into the van that takes us back into the city. We eat at a restaurant named "California Pizza" a direct rip off of CPK. Too bad the pizza wasn't the same! we then head back to our hotel for an evening of looking at pictures from the day. A memorable day to say the least.