It's sad how much I look forward to coming to this same cafe to be able to get online! I miss everyone so much!
We had our SDA appt this morning. We arrived a bit early and were able to buy some souvenirs. The guy was very nice, spoke English and even gave us a map from his car! While we were waiting Erin asked the facilitator why none of the men around here grow beards? He said it was just a cultural thing and that usually only Muslims grow beards. Then he told Erin that he looked Muslim! We're pretty sure he was giving Erin a hard time.
We went over to the SDA building (which I have a picture of, but haven't uploaded it yet, sorry) and entered the side entrance. We waited until our turn and then went up a flight of stairs with our facilitator. We entered a room and a nice woman asked us to sit down, well she said something and our facilitator told us to sit down. She got out a file and spoke with our facilitator. He confirmed Alice's birth date and where she was born. Then he confirmed that her birth parents had sign the abandonment letter with the proper time having passed since then. All that to say, it was Alice we were accepting the referral for and that she is free to be adopted. They had a picture of her when she was given to the orphanage. I had a print out of the picture from the Reece's Rainbow website the one on this blog. I got it out and she let me trade. I now have Alice's baby picture! What a treasure.
Then he asked us to tell a bit about ourselves. Erin said his age and that he works for HP. That was translated for us and they seemed impressed by that. Then we were asked how many children we had and if any had special needs. When Erin said "5" the woman said "Oh!" You can understand that in any language! Then we were asked why we wanted a child with special needs. Erin said we love children, we have a good home and we will love her. He makes me proud. Then they asked me to tell about myself. I said that I'm a homemaker and I homeschool the children. He (our facilitator) said "Oh, that's good. Nothing but drugs and and guns in the American schools, no?" I didn't feel it was the proper time to explain that that was not exactly true or get into the reason we homeschool. So, I just nodded.
We had been told yesterday that we wouldn't be able to pick up our referral until tomorrow and that meant we wouldn't be able to see Alice until Monday or Tuesday. But, because of the vote our facilitator said or did something and we get to pick up our referral this afternoon and leave for Alice's current city tomorrow!! He said to be ready by 4 am for the 4 hour drive. I'm so excited.
Last night we met with 2 other American families who are also adopting at TGIFridays! I had cheese fries. It was wonderful. We had a great time and were able to ask a bunch of questions. One of the families was a lady, Meridith who was on her 3rd adoption! This was her 2nd trip to get #4 and 5 adopted kids. She will have 8 children all together. She knows quite a bit of Russian so she was helping us figure out different things. She also showed us how to use the Metro--subway.
We walked for a bit from the restaurant. It's like New York. Very fancy and with lots of lights. (I did take pictures but haven't had the time to upload them yet.) When we went into the metro we rode down the longest escalator I've ever seen in my entire life! I got fairly dizzy, but managed to not throw up on Meridith. Figured it was the least I could do since she was showing us around and all. We took the Metro to near our apartment. We said good night to her and started walking. It was around 10:30 at night. I was afraid because I've always been taught you don't go walking around at night, in a foreign city. But, there were no scary people out and in fact, there were a lot of people just hanging out. Weird.
We made it home safe and sound. I slept soundly for the first time since we left Houston. I've been having a bit of trouble with jet lag and haven't slept much. But, the Lord knew I needed to sleep good for today.
So, after we finish here at the internet cafe, we are going back to our apt to pack up. We will meet with our facilitators again around 3:30 our time to get our referral. Then we are going to back downtown to wander around and hang out. We will then head back to our apt so we can get up at dark-thirty. But, since it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, anytime is dark-thirty. I brought my sunglasses. Because where I'm from even in the winter you need them. Here you don't. We haven't seen the sun since we landed!
Sorry if this is not worded right. My computer battery is dying and I need to hurry...no time to proof-read.
I will try to update tomorrow. Not sure what if we will have access to the internet.