Barry and I spent a little time last night preparing "speeches". My speech covered how long Barry and I have been married, infertility and miscarriage, our decision to adopt, why internationally and why Russia, about receiving the referral, travel to Russia, our meetings with Vanya, his diagnoses, and our love for him. Barry's speech was about finances, home ownership, discipline and family support. They were probably 3-5 minutes each, plus time for the translation between each sentence or so.
Such relief...almost tears...but I had been told by our translator ahead of time to not cry because the judge didn't like it. Somehow I held it together....amazingly. :) I still can't believe that it's official!! We had been told it would most likely be the 16th of November, but that we wouldn't know for sure until the court decree was final which could take a week, but then just a little while ago we got an email with the dates we should be traveling, so unless something changes (which is never out of the question wibthese sorts of things) we will get to pick Elijah up Nov. 16th!
After that we were able to go back to the orphanage to take Vanya to get his passport pictures taken. A caregiver had to go with us, obviously, and he wanted to stay in her arms the whole time...which is totally fine with us. We want him to gradually warm up to us, to see that his caregivers are okay with us. It was his first car ride since he came to the orphanage, so he was a little freaked out at first but once we got back to the orphanage he was a happy little guy. We have a Mr. Independent on our hands...Barry and I played outside with him for several hours and he knew exactly where we wanted to go and exactly what we wanted to do...how dare we try to stop him. Oh my...the lungs on our child. :) He will let you know when you do something he does not like! He laughed for us on a few occasions too!! Such a beautiful sound!! How I wish I could share some of our videos with everyone!
We know this move is going to be so difficult on him in the beginning...so it's all bitter sweet. We are beyond thrilled that we are finished jumping through hoops (of course there is a ton of paperwork on the 3rd trip...but who cares?? He's ours!!) and we are officially his parents, but we know that this is going to be one of the hardest things that he will have had to face. We know he will be scared, that he'll grieve, and that he'll miss the only caregivers, language, surroundings and friends that he's ever known. We know that this is in his best interest, we know that God is in control, but it will be hard on him. We are just so ready to get him home and start the adjustment process. :) We left with him a little picture book of "his" story...a picture of him, the orphanage, him with his caregiver, mommy and daddy, mommy daddy and Elijah, picture of a car, hotel, plane, our house, etc. It tells the whole story in pictures about what is about to happen. Hopefully the caregivers will look at it with him to prepare him for the upcoming move.
And look what we saw as we left the orphanage this afternoon...
We head back to the US tomorrow morning...but we know we'll be back soon!!!!!!!!