Quote of the Day


When do we get the children?

Posting from: Khabarvosk
Local Time: 3:05 pm on Friday September 1, 2006
Weather: warm and sunny, swarming mosquitos

Today we will visit the children from 4 to 6 and then come back to the flat for a potluck with the other families; I made borsht. C&N&K and C&A&A are all leaving in the morning and we shall certainly miss them, but not so much that we won’t have fun at their garage sale this evening.

Tomorrow, we get to pick up the children and take them with us for the day. Yippeee! We are still discussing what we want to do with our time, but I’m sure we will want to show them their city. It is beautiful right now. Not too hot, clear and lovely. Perhaps we’ll go walk alongside the river and visit a museum.

On Monday we will pick them up and keep them. For how long? Until they go off to college. Monday will be our first “real” day.

I forgot to tell you yesterday, that we were so worked up the morning of court, that we misread the clocks and arrived at our rendezvous an hour early. We were getting quite anxious that our ride was late before we figured it out.

The court process was very serious and proper. The judge determined who would respond to his questions and started with me. When he was finished with me, he turned me over to the prosecutor. When she was done with me, the judge had questions for Jamie and then the prosecutor had a few for him too. I had one more go to clarify one point. Then the child protection lady described the children’s situation and her recommendation. The orphanage deputy director did the same. Then our facilitator gave her recommendation. It all went by so quickly I was a bit dazzled, so I don’t remember so much, but I do remember the deputy director saying that children intuitively know who cares about them, and that after our visit last spring, Andy and Juliana have been asking for us daily. Some of you have seen a pic of a lady with the two children on her lap; this was the deputy director.

After court we came back to the flat, changed our clothes and headed out again. We walked over to the DetskyMat (Children’s Market) which carries a lot a clothes and some toys, but no puzzles, of course it is puzzles that we wanted. We did by a few toys to keep the children busy when they move in. I got some Audubon birdies, just like what we get at the toy store in Lynden, Mom. We also found a cute little doctor’s kit, so the Jamie can continue his training in correct bear-care under Andy’s close supervision. Bear, by the way, has a name: Meshotka.

After the children’s store caught this trolley car uptown, back to the area we lived in last time we were here. We finished our gift shopping and then went back to our old hotel, the Amethyst and had cabbage rolls, as theirs are the best ever.


Yes! Yes!


Here we are in our court finery. It was really really hot and I about fainted, but it all went okay and the judge said yes and then he said yes again. We start counting the ten day wait tomorrow and will get our final decree on September 11th.

We still don't know when we will get to bring the children to live with us in the apartment, we expect to learn more this evening.

We are praising and thanking the Lord and are so grateful for your prayers.


another great visit

Posting from: MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 3:28 pm Wednesday August 30, 2006
Weather: Clear and pleasant

We had two lovely hours with the children this morning. Andy greeted us with a very carefully enunciated "Good Afternoon". They think that having Papa toss them in the air is the best thing ever; Papa is sacked out on the couch now.

Court is at 11:30 tomorrow, an hour and a half later than my guesstimate for the countdown clock. We expect it to last until 12:30. We learned that this is the first international adoption from this orphanage ever. The assistant director will be testifying at court for us. Having court right before lunch is good, as everyone will want to work efficiently. Though the judge will make his decision tomorrow, it does not become binding until the 11th day.

Irena spent some time with us after the visit, going over what court typically entails. We got many of our questions answered and feel much better about it all.

We are happy to be here, and enjoying the rest, but I am already homesick. I am a home-body and it is hard to be away from our furbabies. We just want to pick up the children and come home. I suppose this is one more lesson in patience.

Happy Birthday Dear Brother

Posting from MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 7:00 am, Wednesday, August 30
Weather: clear skies, breezy, quite pleasant

Happy birthday dear Tim!

When I was a little girl, I wished for a brother. Three days after my fourth birthday, I got one. The best birthday present I ever got; though I think he may get upstaged this year.

Margaret - Dandy is 6 and Chickadee just turned 5. We expect to have the children with us for most of the ten days. We hope to get them on Friday, otherwise we have to wait until Monday.

Hey J - welcome to blogland! :)

SoFlaMom - per your request.

Dandy's bed on the left, Chickadee's on the right; this is how I found the kitty-lovie after the maid's visit.

Just wanted to add a few more things from yesterday's visit. Dandy treated us to a lovely recitation of "good morning to you, good morning to you . . ."

Jamie was trained by Dr. Dandy in the proper way to listen to a bear's breathing.

hugs and kisses and giggles

Posting from: MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia.
Local time: 6:30 pm, Tuesday August 29
Weather: Clear, warm, light wind, very pleasant

We had a wonderful marvelous visit. When we arrived they were just getting up from their naps. Andy was up and Juliana was still asleep. He spied us and ran back into the sleeping room to wake her up. We got to watch their waking-up routine (toilet, wash hands and face, get dressed, have crackers and juice) and then we got to play play play. Even though we had our eight-doctor medical exams yesterday, the children gave us each a thorough going over with their little hospital kit.

We learned that they did receive the letters we had sent, and the pictures. They greeted us by name (mama and papa of course) and hugged and cuddled and showed us all their special treasures. At one point, Andy gave me something and I said thank you. Thank you Spaseeba he said. For the rest of the day it was thank you for him. By the time we left, Juliana had a nice version of FlankYou going too. She is up to 33 pounds now. Yippee. Her hair has grown and is curly on the ends and she was dressed ina fluffy pink dress that left glitter all over us. She spent most of the afternoon in my lap. We both got kisses from her when we left. We are leaving the glitter on.

We get to go back tomorrow from 10 to 12. We will spend the afternoon with our facilitator preparing for court and the evening with our friends welcoming the two families that arrive on the Wed flight.



Posting from MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 11;01 am, Tuesday August 28
Weather: overcast, hot, muggy, mosquitoes

We get to see the children from 4 to 6 today. Very exciting. Here are a few pics to tide you over.

The MarKuel entrance.

The cute and well-lit kitchen. It is easily six times bigger than what Kirstin and I had in Germany.

The loo in a closet unto itself. It really does make sense to separate this from the cleaning and bathing room. Many countries do.

We were super happy to find in a box on the deck this perky red potty seat, which I am posting a pic of just for you Papa, as you so appreciated the last potty seat post.


Monday Monday

Posting from MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time 5:08 pm on Monday August 28th
Weather: Hard flooding rain and clouds of mosquitos.

We had a lovely birthday dinner at Scalini’s, including a candle in my cream caramel.

Today we were picked up at noon by Lena and Andrei and were very very happy to find A and Y in the van – they had arrived from Seoul last night and were back on schedule for court. Huge relief. We all trooped off for our eight-doctor medical exams, which were quite manageable.

I know I haven’t posted apartment pics yet; I’ll get there. One of my concerns about the apartment has been that there is only one bed in the children’s room. On the various occasions that I have talked with the staff about the necessity of another bed, we have not been able to resolve this. Our idea was that Jamie and I would carry a bed from an other room, as the hotel is minimally occupied. This was not allowed. Their idea was that one child sleep on the pull-out in the living room. This was not acceptable, as the children are used to sleeping in a room with 8-12 others. Alone in a room would be rather scary, don’t you think? I kept explaining this, trying to enlist some sympathy for the children. They seemed empathetic, but still, “no”.

Today I had Lena with us, and she pled our case. No chance; director’s orders. Lena departs.

Then, the manager on duty approaches me to tell me, with a great many apologies, that the maid had broken my bottle of perfume. I am not a luxury good kind of gal, but this was a nice and rather expensive bottle of perfume, certainly not something I would run right out and replace. But it is just a thing -- and there is no point bitching over spilled perfume -- so I listened to their apologies and said it was okay and let it go. They wanted to know the cost, so the maid could pay for it. I told them I didn’t know, but could look it up, but that she could only pay for half, as it was only half full.

So, we get up the room and I start thinking about the cost of a half a bottle and what that equates to in terms of her labor hours versus our labor hours and I decide to conveniently forget to look up the price. It would mean taking her grocery money for a vanity item and that is clearly not right.

"Knock knock" at the door. “You were so nice,” she says. “We’ve decided to do something nice for you. Our director is on vacation; you can have a bed.” Yipee! We are so happy. They do this before they realize I’ve decided to not accept the maid’s money. I tell them, “no money. I’m happy you spilled it as it got me a bed” The maid is so happy. We all end up quite happy and grateful and friendly because the perfume got spilled. Who would have guessed such a good ending?

And now for the really good news: we get to see the children tomorrow. Today they came home from summer camp – we are so curious to know more about the camp. Tonight we will make dinner and then get all organized for the orphanage visit.

Also, for those of you coming to the MarKuel in the future. We just bought 20 hours of internet DialUp access from Andrei at PeaceTravel for the same price as 6 hours of DSL access provided by the MarKuel. And dont be afraid to venture out into the community. We've found that most people are friendly and nice if we will make the first move.


a little bit of everything

MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 4:41 pm Sunday, August 27th

Just got in from our first adventure. We set out from the hotel without a map or a clue, but we did take our handy picture chart for tourists. It is a pocket chart of icons for things commonly needed. We accosted a nice lady (she had a nice dog, so we knew she was nice) and pointed at the food section of our chart. She must have thought we were idiots as she pointed to the food kiosk across the street. Things don’t look like what we expect them to look like. Even when we know this, we still are surprised.

With our handy chart we bought our eggs and cheese and bread and butter and milk for the morning coffee. We paid and left without mishap: mission accomplished. We then made our way to the playground nearby where we ran into C and A and C.’s new little person. They showed us the bigger local store, right to next to this tall apartment building (utterly typical in upkeep and appearance, by the way).

They also pointed out the way to the more commercial area. We were happy to see a cute little garden along the way.

We find the pipes fascinating. Jamie says we need a UT crew to take a look at this elbow on this expansion loop setup. I think you have to be an NDE guy to fully appreciate the elbow. As Jamie works with pipes each day, he has a special appreciation for the miles and miles of piping and the time and care that goes into maintaining them.

Pretty kitty probably likes the pipes in the winter, as they are warm. She was so nappy she kept dozing off during her photo-shoot.

We then found this lovely little pub that was empty, smoke-free, air-conditioned, and had dark beer. Budweiser, actually, the orginal Chekoslovakian sort.

Here we are, cool and relaxed.

We took some menu shots for your amusement and edification. The salad page is presented merely because we think it is amazing how many names they come up with for dishes that vary by only one ingredient. The “Hot Fish Dishes” page is presented because I think the fourth item, as punctuated, looks very labor-intensive. The German wine page is a riddle. Can you tell us the name that the first wine is sold under in the US? Let me know if you need a hint. (Click the pictures to make them bigger.)

On the walk home, we found this laundry out to dry, and a couple of kitties,

as well as some cheerfully painted buildings.


Good Morning!!

MarKuel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 8:45 am Sunday August 27th Happy Birthday to me! Thanks Mom!

We had a wonderful dinner with our friends C&N, and K and her cousin A,and their new little people who are just as cute as can be. They have had their children with them for about nine days now. Tomorrow they should be able to get going on their travel documents and move on to Moscow next weekend. It was so lovely to arrive and be welcomed and fed. We are in a different part of town than last time, and would have had a hard time finding our way to a restaurant or grocery store. Last time we were very near the main drag. This time we are a bit more remote, but the hotel people are very adoption friendly and have English speakers at the desk 24/7 and the apartments are obviously necessary for starting out family life.

We heard from our friends stranded at LAX; they did get on to the Sunday Seoul flight and are now stranded sans luggage there – of the two airports, Seoul is definitely the better place to be stranded. They are trying to get on a flight with another airline into Khab today. I had forgotten that Dalavia flies in from Seoul. So, we are hopeful that they will make it in time for court.

Internet works fine. Water pressure is nearly dangerous, it is so strong. If you must have milk or creamer for your morning coffee, bring it with.

I wish I had brought (hint hint Lisa) a 1-to-3 outlet adaptor so that I could get more things plugged into my US-to-Russia adaptor (puter and camera bat charger).

Next up: apartment shots - probably tomorrow.

Arriving in Khabarovsk

Posting from: MarKuel Hotel in Khabarovsk
Local time: 8:10 am on Saturday the 27th

I've been up for 4 hours with nowhere to go and no cream for my coffee! Jamie is finally up and showered and off on a cream mission.

Here are some shots from the airplane. I really wanted to take a picture of the man seated next to Jamie who drank eight beers and two big glasses of whiskey on a 3 hour flight. Blech.

You can see the little garden huts in this picture. It is so lovely and green here now; last time it was grey and dead looking.

When we landed and I caught sight of the airport sign, I burst into tears (surprise, surprise). We are so happy to be back and near the children.

Here you can see the hot water pipes that supply the city with hot water and heat. Private citizens are not responsible for supplying their own hot water or heat. This is seen as a proper function of government. Of course, every neighborhood gets the hot water turned off for about a month in the summer for maintainence.

Lenin Square, upon which the courthouse sits. We will burst out of the courthouse (the building on the left in the pic) and into this square next Thursday.

Airport blog-a-thon: INC-KHV

Posting from: MarKuel Hotel, Khabarovsk, Russia
Local time: 6:21 am on Sunday August 27th

The last installment of the airport segment of our show. For your viewing pleasure and amusement, I weathered the stares of the curious and boldly snapped a picture in the loo, a picture of the courtesy bell. What is a courtesy bell? It is the little device that you utilize if you think that you may soon be making an embarrassing noise. It sounds just like a flushing toilet, so no one will know what you are really doing in there. Korea: appearance is everything.

It is a beautiful, clean, well-staffed, and friendly airport. For those of you who enjoy luxury good shopping, you will find nearly everything you want at the airport duty-free shops. Alas, nearly everything: no LUSH.

Here is the gracious coffee shop young lady who serves the best coffee in the airport. She is conveniently located in a Wireless HotSpot right next to showers and couchs.

Last, here we are:

Edinburough is my new favorite European city; Incheon/Seoul is my favorite airport. What are your favs?


We are here

We are happily moved into our apartment. We have a kitchen, sitting room, two bedrooms, WC, tub room, and glassed-in deck. It is not luxurious, but clean and adequate and we are pleased.

It is, however, really really hot, which is not pleasing. I packed for cooler weather.

We have an open day tomorrow, so I'll post more then. We are off for dinner with our new friends.

pan-scrapings of an over-tired brain

I'm not really sure that it is of interest to anyone, but I am bored and the internet access here is free. Pan-scrappings are in no particular order.

Asiana provided little kits with eye pillows, socks, and toothbrush and toothpaste. Yeah Asiana.

I was allowed to bring my solid lotion bar onto the plane. Yeah LUSH!

The inflight internet that Asiana advertises is not currently available on these flights.

For all of you on my blogrolls that keep clustermaps or stats, I just clicked you from Seoul.

We are really really sleepy. We are on our second cups of "bad" coffee waiting for the good coffee shop to open.

Big shout out to my sister who called to say farewell and was ebullient about her new niece and nephew. Warmed my heart. Also, thank you neighbor J, for your email, and niece K for your call and cousin J for your last minute phone call, we must have missed you by nanoseconds. Extra happy to get to see Aunt C and Uncle D from Nebraska the morning we left. I do hope we weren't babbling idiots. Y'all feel free to leave a comment now.

I listened to Russian on my iPod as I slept. Do you think it will help?

At SeaTac, it's $10 bucks per pound over 50 for each piece of luggage. I puppy-dog-eyed the agent explaining how we are packing for four. He did knock a few pounds off our bill, but not as much as I would have liked. Pack fluffy gifts, or buy them there.

Yeah, the breakfast cafe gal just arrived! Food and good coffee are coming our way soon.

Maybe, if you are lucky, I'll post more pan-scrapings later.

Airport blog-a-thon: LAX and INC

25 August Friday
* depart LA at 12:20 am on Asiana 203

26 August Saturday
* arrive Seoul at 5:00 am
* miles on this leg 5999: miles total 6953
* dink around until 7:00 am at which time the SHOWERS and the GOOD COFFEE SHOP and the INTERNET opens. Choices. Choices.
* depart Seoul at 10:10 am on Asiana 572
* arrive Khavarovsk at 3:10 pm
* miles on this leg 886: miles total 7839

Posting from: Incheon Airport in Seoul
Local time: 5:42 am on Saturday
Time en route: 1 day 1 hour 54 minutes and 48 seconds

No blog from LAX as we had to RUN to the gate and get in our line to board - we basically arrived at the gate and boarded, all in one hot rush. Fifteen more minutes and we would have been too late. I don't even want to think about what missing the flight to Seoul might have done to our court date. Sure there are lots of flights from LAX to Seoul, but only a few a week from Seoul to Khabarovsk. Our flight arrived really late, and in addition LAX has very poor signage and we were a bit hard-pressed to navigate our way from domestic arrivals to ground transportation to international departures and the ONLY way we did this was that I asked questions of every person in uniform we passed. How someone who doesn't speak English would do this is beyond me. I can see why the aunt and uncle of our new friend Yang were anxious to find him some helpers.

The good news? We each got a row to ourselves. SLEEP! I think we got about 6 hours of real rest and another 3 of tossing and turning.

We've decided that traveling without snacks is a really bad idea. Since Thur morning we have had - a bowl of granola (though Jamie didn't), a plate of fish and chips, and a Korean meal called BimBampBo which was quite nutritious, but not very filling. We are looking forward to ordering breakfast when the cafe opens.

Apparently, Y and A and S, whom we expected to catch up with on the LAX-INC flight, did not get on the flight. This is very worrisome, as they are on the same schedule as we.

Lisa, the flight was hot and stuffy, just like last time. If you are indeed on the very same itinerary, hustle through LAX even if your SEA flight is on time. It's a long long way, even with the bus, which is on an indiscernible schedule. You want to wait at the BLUE bus stop for the A busline, and if you can find any signage that reveals this important info, please take a pic for me. LAX is my new most-dreaded airport. Also, wireless works at the little cafe in INC; the one with the really good coffee.

We adjusted our clocks 20 hours ahead of Pacific time, and then get to set them back two hours when we fly to Khabarovsk. Yipee, two extra hours today.

mush for brains! edited to say that I know that something is wrong with the above time zone stuff, but I am too shattered to think of it. However it worked, we got to move our clocks ahead when we got on the plane and got rid of two hours. Yeah!


Airport blog-a-thon

24 Aug 06 - Thursday

* depart Seattle at 6:20 pm on United 703
* arrive LA at 8:57 pm
* dink around for 3 hours
* miles on this leg 954: miles total 954

first stop: SeaTac. Travel time at posting: 7 hrs 2 min and 12 seconds.

If you read our older posts, you'll remember the story of the young ESL student in Seoul who found us and asked for help with his homework. Well, I must have accidentally put on my ESL magnet this morning, as we now have in tow, entrusted to us by his worried aunt and uncle, one very nice Chinese student whom we promised to guide through the LA airport and onto the plane with us to Seoul.

PS - first flight delayed two hours which turns our three hour layover in LA into a one hour.


What can we take?

Direct link to TSA restriction page.

You can relax . . .

I know you've been very worried about that potty seat arriving in time. It did. It's fully installed and right cute. I'd post a picture, but I'm a wee bit busy panicking.

Big Rave for friend Jody who drove me around town yesterday providing the brains to the errand list.

You may also want to roll over to Tina's blog as she has some news.

And while you are surfing, check out John and Isabel's recent post on their Moscow experience.


Who knew?

I was toodling about on the University of Minnesota's International Adoption Clinic website where I was surprised to learn that "Dr. Dana Johnson is quoted in Cosmopolitan Magazine's September 2006 issue. The article, "What Adopting Is Really Like," is a Q&A on adoption." I didn't realize that Cosmo was interested in much more than cleavage! The reason I was on the U of M's site at all was that I was looking for a way to share this presentation with y'all. The best I can do is provide the link to "Easing the Transition from Institutional to Family Life." Click it; you'll learn a lot and we'll be glad you did.

Why wasn't I in bed, getting some much needed rest, you may ask? I was waiting for the kitties to come home. I can't sleep unless all my chickies are in their nest.


Full on Linear Panic Dead Ahead

See that little clock up there? It says 2 days. TWO! Can I start panicking now?

Thought of a few more things for those still in the list acquisition stage -- procur and fill out the FMLA paperwork (gulp).

Holly Update

Holly came through surgery quite nicely. She has a big bald spot and a blechy looking scar; our cousins tease that she needs to wear a tutu to shield it from our eyes. She's more concerned with the collar she has to wear to keep her from messing with her staples.

Now we just wait for the lab results.


Name that author

Great Expectations: surf on over to D&L's blog to congratulate them on their long-awaited court date. D&L were our traveling buddies on the last trip. They will arrive in Khab right before our court date and will have their date while we are still there.

Hard Times: our beloved Holly dog has a cancerous tumor. Surgery on Friday, biopsy to special lab in Colorado, results back in two weeks: the day after court day.


don't forget a potty seat

Since Andy and Juliana are 6 and 5, I never really thought about potty seats, until I realized that -- though age 5 -- she is the size of a 3 year old and she's likely to fall in! Amazon.com to the rescue.


Visas and Tickets -- check!

A big shout-out to Albina at Red Star Travel who handled our visas and tickets and got them to us on Friday instead of the expected delivery date of next Tuesday. We now have tickets with our children's names printed on them, which -- of course -- makes me get all teary when I look at them.


Widget Love

You know I love widgets. Here is my latest find, a widget that renders my blog into a word cloud. JUST what I needed!

Spent a good part of my day buying clothes for the kiddos. We were really good and didn't start doing this until after trip one. We got them all set up with a fine summer wardrobe and guess what happened yesterday? Autumn dropped by for a sneak preview. I realized I had NO long-sleeve tops for them, only one raincoat between the two of them, and no sweaters or sweatshirts at all. Three hours, one pedicure, and many bags later, I have rectified this. They each now have a water-repellent layer, a warm layer, and several "under" layers.

I'm reading two blogs of families that have just in the last few days reunited with their children: John and Isabel and Doug and Stacy. I start tearing up even as I click to load their blogs. I'm also keeping a close eye on Dan and Kay as they embark on trip one and a very close email watch on two other families with our agency (non-bloggers) as they also leave tomorrow for trip two. We will overlap with these two families at the end of their trip and the beginning of ours. So soon! and not soon enough.


and more lists . . .

Obviously there is a lot to do to pack for the time away. For those of you that are not quite at this stage yet (soon soon), here are some other lists that you can tend to:

Before getting court date:

Select and do the paperwork for:
  • adoption clinic work-up - the one at UW provides the translator!

  • pediatric dentist

  • eye doc - make sure they can do the exam without language

  • pediatrician

  • the attorney who will redo your will

Fill out your Visa paperwork all except the dates. Don't forget to sign them!

When you get a court date:

Obviously, date your visa aps, send them in, and buy plane tickets. Then

Prepare all these and leave in envelopes to be mailed as soon as your adoption decree is finalized:
  • New W-4s as you will be getting a big tax credit and you don't need any more money withheld

  • The sign-up papers for insurance for your newest family members.

  • If your children are speaking, a letter to the school district formally requesting assessment in your children's first language. The district has to schedule within 35 school days (State of Washington) of receipt of the letter (send it registered), so you want to get the clock ticking asap so that your children's first language, which is going to fade, is still with them on assessment day. Otherwise it will never be clear if you are assessing cognition or language.

  • a teeth cleaning for you or your spouse so that the children can watch and see that it is going to be okay.

  • clinic work-up

  • pediatrician

  • eye doctor

  • dentist appointments

  • attorney for will. Make a "stand in will" between now and then. You can get one off of Microsoft Templates and get it witnessed and notarized.

If you have pets (we have nine):
  • get housesitters! We are so blessed with N&N - housesitters extraordinaire.

  • update written instructions

  • make arrangements for vet care if needed in your absence (financial and decision-making guidance)

  • buy a lot of pet food

  • right before you leave: trim everyone's nails, give flea treatments

Make list of what you need to have in the fridge when you get back.

Yes, Suz (another blogger) was right when she said "there are two things that waiting adoptive families like, they are making lists and reading articles on adoption."

What am I forgetting?


10,000 clicks

The next click will be #10,000.

Who will it be?

Whoever it is, I do think you should comment. Tell us:
  • Who you are.

  • Why you read this blog.

  • How many times a day or week or month, you check in.



Around the world in 27 days . . .

nutshell: Seattle-LA-Seoul-Khabarovsk-Moscow-Zurich-Chicago-Seattle

the nutty details:
24 Aug 06 - Thursday
  • depart Seattle at 6:20 pm on United 703

  • arrive LA at 8:57 pm

  • dink around for 3 hours

  • miles on this leg 954: miles total 954

25 August Friday
  • depart LA at 12:20 am on Asiana 203

26 August Saturday
  • arrive Seoul at 5:00 am

  • miles on this leg 5999: miles total 6953

  • dink around until 7:00 am at which time the SHOWERS and the GOOD COFFEE SHOP and the INTERNET opens. Choices. Choices.

  • depart Seoul at 10:10 am on Asiana 572

  • arrive Khavarovsk at 3:10 pm

  • miles on this leg 886: miles total 7839

27 August Sunday
  • celebrate my birthday at Scalinis

28 August Monday to 30 August Wednesday
  • visit the children!

  • redo our medical exams

31 August Thursday
  • Court

1 Sept Friday to 10 Sept Sunday
  • wait out the TenDay Wait - children may be with us for some or all of this time

11 Sept Monday to 15 Sept Friday
  • adoption decree is finalized

  • apply and wait for children's Russian passports with our names included

16 Sept Saturday
  • depart Khabarovsk 3 pm on Domodevo 126

  • arrive Moscow 4:35 pm

  • miles on this leg 3835: miles total 11674

17 Sept Sunday
  • explore Moscow

18 Sept Monday
  • Children's Medical Exams for US Embassy

  • Children's Visas for US entry

  • Register Children with Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

19 Sept Tuesday
  • depart Moscow at 7:15 am on SwissAir 1325

  • arrive Zurich 8:45 am

  • miles on this leg 1368: miles total 13042

  • dink around for 4 hours - buy Toblerone

  • depart Zurich at 12:40 pm on SwissAir 8

  • arrive Chicago at 3:15 pm

  • miles on this leg 4443: miles total 17485

  • Clear customs and Immigration

  • take pictures, get weepy, admire our new little citizens

  • repeat

  • depart Chicago at 7:45 pm on United 689

  • arrive Seattle at 10:05 pm

  • miles on this leg 1721: miles total 19206

  • rent car, drive home, collapse.

This last part is a 32-hour-from-bed-to-bed trip. You will have probably seen your pillow at least twice in this interval. Can you tell I am dreading this part? At about 6pm Pacific Time on the 18th, think "The Chandlers are at the airport now." Enjoy your evening. Go to bed. Get a good night's rest. Appreciate that. Get up in the morning. Think "The Chandlers are still either in an airport or in an airplane." Think this through breakfast, through lunch, and through dinner. Go to bed. Fluff your pillows. Drift off to sleep. At about midnight, wake up to think "The Chandlers have finally left the airport. Now they are in a car on the freeway." Pray for our safety. Go back to sleep.

[Listening to: Postcards from the Sky: II Weeping Clouds - Juliette Kang, violin; Nora Bumanis, Julia Shaw, harps; CBC Vancouver Orchestra: Mario Bernardi - Affairs of the Heart (4:19)]