We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


August 29, 2008 - Picking Nicky Up From the Orphanage!

We met Svetlana at a travel agency on Nevsky Prospect, about a block from our apartment, at 10am. We had celebrated the fact that we were getting Nicky with Paul & Courtney the night before, so we were kinda dragging a bit! We purchased our tickets for our trip to Moscow via Rossiya Airlines...we've heard that it can be a bit dicey, so we're a bit apprehensive (as if we weren't already with having Nicky with us!). We then went to the passport office, where Svetlana had to double park (a TON of that going on here), therefore leaving me in the car "just in case". Well, "just in case" happened no more than 10 minutes after Kris & Svetlana had gone inside! I didn't even think to ask how to drive her car (a Citroen); I just figured since it was all in English I could figure it out. Fortunately, the guy that needed me to move (even thou he didn't speak a lick of English) was able to help me out! "R" for reverse I could figure out; "N" I figured was still neutral; "A" was a bit tricky, as was "M". Soon figured out that "A" was automatic (aka drive) and "M" was manual (also drive, but with the crazy shifter that's on both sides of the steering wheel! I had thought I would then pull into the parking spot that had been vacated. However, by then a big tractor had tried to come down the super narrow street & eventually had to drive with it's digger part up in the air to get thru. Since that caused quite the traffic jam, I decided to stay put; luckily K & S came out shortly after that!

Anyway - from there we drove out to the orphanage. We went into the music room and gave the social worker the clothes we had brought for them to change him into. Oh yeah - they don't get the clothes they wear there; you have to bring clothes for them, unless (like Svetlana joked) you want a "nekked baby"! Another quick note - the social worker there had been on vacation when we had originally visited the orphanage (thank goodness). She has the personality of a pencil & I don't know if it has to do with us being American & adopting Nikita or if it's just her Russian personality! They brought Nicky to us and we hung out for a minute while the social worker got the registration book for us to sign, verifying that we had picked him up. The social worker says to us as we are getting ready to leave "Good bye. Go to America." and walks out. Nice, real nice! So - I picked up my SON (ha! that's fun to say!) and we all walked out of the orphanage...so long! We got in the car and Nicky sat on Kris' lap with wide eyes all the way back into town. We had to go back to the passport office to get his passport...so cute! Then it was on to the apartment.

We brought him inside and let him "tour" the place and he met Courtney (Paul was at the grocery store) and their cat Milhouse...who he really seems to like now! Actually, I think he just likes to feed him treats, and he yells something at him when Milhouse walks into whatever room we're in. We can't quite make out what he's saying, but we figure it's whatever his caregivers would say to the cats that would come into the orphanage yard!

We all laid down for a quick nap, but before, we decided to put some comfy pants on him. Imagine our surprise when we found our potty-trained son was wearing a diaper! They told us "they can't afford diapers" "they are all potty-trained very early"; not so true apparently. Althou, I have to say, he goes potty on the potty, so I think a lot of it must have to do with the "just in case" due to the changes he's going thru. Well - the surprises kept coming - we discovered that he's NOT circumcised!!! WTF?! We definitely weren't ever told that part, nor did we think to ask since we never saw that on any of the "lists of questions to ask at the orphanage"! Not that it would've changed our decision as to whether or not we would adopt him, but that's a pretty big shock!!! Needless to say, I've now searched WebMD for "how to care for your son's uncircumcised penis"! Didn't think I'd be doing that one! Oy!

Other than that, things went pretty surprisingly well! He's a good eater and sleeper and he's very agreeable. He slept thru the night - we got him down by 8pm and he woke up around 8am...not bad!

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