Showing posts with label Moscow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moscow. Show all posts

Friday, November 7, 2008


March, 2005.
I apologize in advance, as I cannot seem to get the photos so sync with the text. Sorry! My expedient is to number the comments.

1. Here I am with our dear little front of a door I found rather beautiful just a building or two away from the American Embassy where Zhen was made a citizen and applied for his visa.

It was slightly chilly but I wasn't wearing a coat, as Zhen had thrown up on it on the way from Ivanovo to Moscow. He was totally unused to travel in an automobile and it took him a few weeks before he got over this. We'd been told however by the orphanage doctor, that "his stomach is upside down" and despite the fact that Craig and I both chuckled over this odd diagnosis upon hearing it, when Zhen took to vomiting, we did get a little concerned! Zhen also had a stack at least three inches high of x-rays and medical reports. He'd been hospitalized numerous times for TB and seemed a sickly little guy. But - to our delight and amazement, Zhen has not had so much as a cold since becoming our boy. He has an amazing appetite and I sometimes think all he needed was his fill of fruits and vegetables to be perfectly healthy.

2. Two of my favorite people in my favorite place. This is in front of the Hotel Ukraina in Moscow. We had taken Sergei with us when we went to adopt Zhenya. We were giving the boys some fresh air and they spent half an hour or so having fun among the pillars in front of this imposing building.

I hadn't yet fallen absolutely, madly in love with my Zhen, as I had with Sergei, but I did find him a scrappy, brave little guy.

3. The last photo reminds me of a highlight of this trip. In the lower level of the Ukraina there was a little restaurant "Children's Center".... Little did we know when we decided to visit it, what was there - a wonderful play area, far superior to anything McDonald's ever dreamed of, and this: a Circus! I swear that the performers must have been Moscow Circus performers on their time off because the quality of this miniature, participation "circus" was just amazing! As you can see there was only a tiny stage, and only room for maybe 30 audience members, but the show was tremendous! I was especially proud because at first the performers were having a hard time getting the children to participate, but Sergei first - and then Zhen, already in awe of his older brother - volunteered and soon all the children were having a blast. So were we!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Ilya in Moscow on Sept. 1 - "Moscow Day"

A year ago, we were in Russia. This weekend I experienced really powerful longing to be there again. Almost angst. Last year we were on our "honeymoon" with Ilya. He was adopted on August 26. We didn't come home until September 6.

I can't say enough about how I have valued the time that Craig and I have spent in Russia alone with each of our adopted children. It is such a valuable margin, allowing a less stressful transition to being part of our family. And I think it has been good for both the children and us.

The time with Ilya was a bit different. We had not been in Russia for 24 hours when Craig tripped over one of the raised iron "grids" that seem to be in front of every door. He seriously twisted his knee and was in pain for the rest of the trip. For that reason, the week in Ivanovo and the week in Moscow allowed me and Ilya to spend a great deal of quality time together. I rejoiced in his sweet, protective manner. What a peach! And I think that I had more fun in Russia last year than ever before. [Wait! That sounds bad - it wasn't because Craig was laid up! No, probably because we had more free time and I wasn't as nervous as I've been previously.]

Craig, shortly before unfortunate accident.

Ilya and I headed out together - exploring. Perhaps the fact that he was a savvy little street urchin didn't come amiss. Below is a lady selling Russian sunflower many varieties - and very tasty!

In Ivanovo, we toured the city - Ilya didn't mind some Church visits, in fact he was quite anxious that I see this one - called the "Red Church".

We stopped at a place much like a McDonalds (in fact, called "Mac Masters") - but what a difference! This is the best chicken I have had in my life - cooked to order!

In Moscow, we had the most tremendous time! Exploring hither and the spirit moved us. One beautiful, sunny day we took the boat trip down the Moscow River. I had to snap this photo as we went by this bright billboard proclaiming the city's love for children.

Our friends, Alla and Sergei, fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams by taking us to see Tolstoy's home. I still put myself to sleep at nights trying to "re-see" the house in my mind. What a deeply moving experience (can you tell I love Tolstoy?).

We also visited the famous Children's center "Detski Mir" and shared in the birthday party of Alla and Sergei's son, Andrei.

Me (looking awful), Alla and Alla's older children.

We also went to the circus, and to several lovely historical and holy places:

I brought away so many lovely memories and impressions. But, of course, the best thing we brought away with us is our dear son, Ilya.

P.S. Don't ever expect more than one photo again. Why is adding pictures such a challenge???

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Viktor and Sasha in their favorite subway station.

I got some wonderful photos yesterday by e-mail. My friend Alla, in Moscow, treated Anastasia's and Ilya's older brothers Sasha and Viktor to a day in Moscow, and showed them all the historical sites.

The day began with breakfast at Alla's house (she said they were both almost too shy to eat), then they visited the Kremlin, including all its churches, Red Square and the various subway stations (this was one of the very fun things that Alla did with us when we were there. Each station is completed in a different architectural style and it is great fun to see them all and choose your favorite) . I guess it was a very long and full day before she put them on the bus for the five hour trip back to Ivanovo. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for these wonderful friends, who are so kind and supportive to these boys.

The other, staggering, part of this particular visit, is that at my request Alla had them bring photos of their mother and grandmother. Alla scanned them and today I received them in an e-mail. There is such a strange fascination to me in looking at them. I don't think it would be respectful to post them, somehow. And, in any case, I think I will not show them to the children for a while. But I keep opening them up. Looking. Wondering. Trying to see every little detail. So close. So far. Such a strange and mysterious bond between us.