Drew’s new passport arrived this morning (Friday) from Astana at 11 a.m., just as we had hoped, and Drew and I visited the US Embassy in Almaty at 2 p.m. Less than an hour later, we walked out with Drew’s US visa and all the paperwork we need to show the immigration officer in Connecticut when our flight lands on Sunday. We’re done! We’re coming home!
The embassy staff was incredibly nice and helpful. Thanks to our local coordinators arranged through Wide Horizons, all our paperwork was in order before we arrived, and all I had to do was sign two documents while the consul witnessed my signature. There were four other families meeting with the consul at the same time, so you can imagine it was a pretty happy and festive room. I’m sure that I’m very impartial when I say Drew was the cutest baby there – he spent the hour playing on my lap, giggling at our games and cooing at Galina. He also watched and smiled at the people around us and the other kids in the room. Of course, the consul remarked how cute he was, too!
Drew will be an American citizen when our plane touches down in Hartford on Sunday, assuming the weather allows us to get there. Hartford got about 10 inches of snow today and a winter storm blowing up the East Coast is expected to make things awful both Saturday and Sunday. Drew and I are flying to Amsterdam where we’re scheduled to have a 2-hour layover before flying to Hartford. If conditions are as bad on the East Coast as predicted, it’s possible that we’ll be in Amsterdam for a day or so, but I’d rather stranded in Europe than Asia. It’s closer to home!
Drew seemed to be in a good mood on the way back to the hotel. He liked the music our driver played on his car radio and bobbed and swayed back and forth in time to the tune – we call it butt-dancing. He also made us laugh by waving both his hands in the air as he danced. I’d never seen him use hand motions when he danced before!
He’s been hearing a lot of my music this week as well. I can only take so much of “Voice of America” TV and it’s the only English station on our room, so I’ve been playing my iTiunes library on my computer a lot. Drew seems like he particularly likes Guns n Roses, Rush and Bruce Springsteen, because he dances to those pretty frequently.
As good as today was, last night was pretty awful for this segment of the Sanders family. Drew crashed about 8:30 when he couldn’t keep his eyes open any more. But for some reason, he was up and rarin’ to go at 1:30 a.m. and I couldn’t get him back to sleep, or to even think about sleep, until about 4:30. We slept another 4 hours after that, but it wasn’t enough for either of us.
Breakfast was surprisingly nice, however, because we ran into two other American families who are adopting. Both adopted from the region closest to Siberia and are looking forward to going home soon. Hopefully we’ll see them again before we leave on Sunday. Drew was very good as we talked for a long time, sitting patiently on my lap and playing a bit with a 3-year-old girl.
Well, I guess the paperwork part of this affair is over! Now all we have to do is get back to Connecticut. I’m going to start hoping for a surprise warm front to strike on Saturday!