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...


September 4, 2008 - Nicky Becomes a US Citizen!!!

We woke up at 3am MOCKBA (Moscow) time and left for the airport at 4:15am. We waited until we were all ready to go before waking Nicky. We met our coordinator in the lobby after we checked out. When Kris went to the desk to pay our bill, we realized that the coffee & tea that were sitting out (that we made for ourselves) (and are typically complimentary in every other hotel) were actually $7! Figures!

The drive to the Аэропорт Москва-Домодедово (Airport Moscow Domodedovo) was about 45 minutes. We got to the check-in counter only to have the lady tell us that we would have to pay since we had changed our flight! Um no! We purchased fully refundable tickets (at over $5,000 for all 3 of us!) and had confirmed the change with our travel agent 2 weeks prior, and she never mentioned anything about any extra money being needed! So we had to go to a different counter, where the lady didn't even say a word to us; she just printed out our boarding passes and sent us to yet another lady to do the check-in process. Of course one of our suitcases were over the weight limit, so we had to do a bit of rearranging. We proceeded to security, and bid good riddance to our coordinator. One of the security ladies motioned for us to go thru the business class security line, which was much shorter...guess this kid is coming in handy...special perks! We got up to the passport check window and I handed her all 3 of our passports. Since Nicky's is Russian, she asked for our "papers". Our coordinator briefly mentioned that they might ask, and that we should show our sealed manila envelope, but not to worry; they wouldn't open it. Well - we gave her the envelope & after glancing at the summary page on the outside, she tried to open it! Kris and I started yelling "no no no!" at her, while I frantically dug thru our backpack for our notebook with all the other adoption paperwork in it. I gave her the adoption decree, certificate and his new birth certificate and that seemed to appease her; we got our stamps and were on our way!

Then came the metal detector part; Nicky had a melt-down and didn't want any part of the full-body scan thing! Once we were thru, he was great! He was all about the airport and checking things out. We kept him running around and playing and he got the biggest kick out of looking at his passport! The first flight to Frankfurt was just over 3 hours. I sat next to Nicky, and Kris sat across the aisle from us. As he did on his first flight, Nicky wanted no part of sitting in his own seat...momma's is much better! The flight attendant asked if he was under 2, to which I promptly lied and said yes! (that would allow him to sit on my lap during the flight.) I wanted no part of a screaming child, and I'm sure the rest of the passengers would agree! Kris joined us after breakfast and the flight went pretty well. We kept Nicky awake and he colored and "read" books to himself...he loves to open and close them and point to things and have us tell him what they are...so smart, our boy is!

We arrived in Frankfurt and had to take a bus to the main terminal, then walk back to the same terminal from which we originally arrived...crazy system they have there! We tried to get Nicky to walk with us so he could get some exercise in & hopefully tire him out...didn't work too well! He pulled the typical 2 yr old independence thing & stopped dead in his tracks! We tried the "ok, then. bye bye!" walk away thing & he just stood there in the same spot, not giving us a second look! The score is: child 1; parents 0! So, we gave in and took him thru security again...this time much better - no melt-downs. We had a 2-ish hour layover, during which we rode the moving sidewalk countless numbers of times and played and walked as much as possible. We finally got to check-in for the flight and board the plane...first, since we have a little one...more perks! :) We got him on and he started crying...finally a bit tired! I walked him around and since we were at the back of the plane, I took him to the back door, which was open for the Sky Chefs, and we looked at the other airplanes. His eyes got droopier & droopier, so we went to sit down & he almost immediately fell asleep on my lap. The plane filled up and we started to back away from the gate, only to stop soon after. Then came the dreaded announcement; something was wrong with the plane (the front wheel steering was broken) and we would have to wait to see if it could be fixed. After about 1 1/2 hours the pilot came back on to tell us that our plane was unfixable & we would need to change planes!!! Nicky woke up as we were in the switch, and we got settled on the new plane with a rambunctious 2 yr old! By this time, we were 4 hours late leaving and Kris and I were starting to feel the effects of little sleep!
We finally took off and things seemed to go pretty well. Nicky decided he was not interested in eating, but drank water, milk and juice. He was a little cranky at times - he already had his nap, so he didn't want to sleep at all. He got fussy a few times, and would only stop screaming when I stood up...which, caused a viewing issue of Kung Fu Panda for the 89yr old man in the back! Seriously dude...would you rather listen to a screaming child?! Nicky finally calmed down and took a little nap, much to Kris & I's delight! We got to nap a bit before the food cart came around again for dinner. Nicky & I got our food before everyone else (perks of being a vegetarian & child!), and Kris helped Nicky with his fish sticks. He seemed to like them ok (I think he actually liked the ketchup part the best!), until Kris got his food and then he snubbed the rest of his tray...more for us to eat!

As soon as we finished our meals, we smelled it. That dreaded smell, emenating from our child's hiney. We looked at the tv screen and saw that we only had about 55 minutes before we were to land in Dallas, so we decided I would check him to assess the damage, then we'd go from there. We had already made the deal that I would not be changing him on the plane...those bathrooms gross me out enough as it is! Well, I leaned Nicky forward, and there it was...a puddle of poo on the seat under him! I immediately started to gag at the sight and now more powerful smell. We stood him up and looked at his back side, only to find that it was all over his shirt, under shirt and pants! I have to admit - we had a change of clothes all prepared in a ziploc bag for this type of disaster, only to forget it and pack it in our luggage!!! So - now we have a child with crap everywhere & nothing to put him in! All we could do was laugh uncontrollably and fight over who was gonna do it and how. We wrapped Nicky in a Lufthansa blanket, Kris picked him up, took a bag to put the dirty diaper, etc in (at least we remembered that part), and a new diaper & wipes and made his way to the tiny bathrooms. Of course, that was the time that they were coming down the aisle with the beverage cart, so Kris had to squeeze by them with the foulness that was his child! I frantically tried to clean up the seat and Nicky's over shirt, to no avail...there was no way that shirt would go back on him. I put a few torn magazine pages on top of the "wet spot" on the seat and covered that with another Lufthansa blanket, then watched the time on the tv screen like a hawk. 17 minutes after going in, Kris and my nekked Euro baby emerged (he at least had a diaper on)! Kris had the funniest grin on his face, while Nicky just checked out all the other passengers! When they got back, Kris sat Nicky in the covered up seat and said "after that, I'm going to need a few minutes alone!". He had to throw away Nicky's under shirt & socks, along with the Lufthansa blanket. We couldn't stop laughing as we tried to put Nicky's shoes on him, and he seemed to enjoy our giggles & joined in too! Good thing we only had about 20 minutes left before landing at this point! So, we touched down and waited for our turn to disembark, then raced to the customs/immigration area with our child wearing a wind breaker, diaper, and tennis shoes!!! And this is how our son became a US citizen! We ended up being first in line for immigration, so it didn't take too long. Once we claimed our bags, I pulled out an outfit for our sad state of affairs child and went out to meet my parents!

All in all, the trip home wasn't too bad...considering we got up at 3am Moscow time, our big flight was 4 hours delayed, we didn't get to sleep much on the plane, one of us had a massive explosion, and after all was said and done, it ended up being a 24 hour day with the time change!

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