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July 1996 - Our Dreams Realized
Russian Adoption Experience
JULY 3rd - PRESIDENT YELTSIN IS RE-ELECTED!!!
JULY 4th Independence Day- ADOPTION PAPERS ARE SIGNED!!!
JULY 5th - We drive to Novocherkassk for the LAST time. Finally, two weeks after arriving in Russia, we picked up Christopher. The doctors, nurses and caretakers were very nice. They were very sad (and I'm sure at the same time happy) when we left with Christopher.
At this point we needed to settle our financial agreements with our host family/driver. There was a $500 discrepancy on how much we owed we refused to pay the full amount which caused animosity with the driver/host family. We couldn't wait to get out of Rostov. When we got back to Rostov we still needed to get the passport and birth certificate with his new name. Our agent was very good at offering gifts to officials to move the process along. This birth certificate process cost her a case of champagne. (This was probably absorbed by the agency fee). We couldn't get the birth certificate until late that day so we didn't leave for Moscow until Saturday AM. Arriving in Moscow we went to the Ukraine Hotel which was pretty nice and was in a good location. Centered somewhere between the US Embassy and Red Square. Unfortunately, our agent in Rostov did not get all of the necessary paperwork to Dimitry in Moscow so we had the medical exit on Monday but didn't get to the Embassy until Tuesday. The process at the Embassy was very smooth (Dimitry was obviously well respected and had everthing in order). The people there are extremely nice. We were out in about an hour but still had to wait for the paperwork which wouldn't be ready until 5pm. We originally had a flight at 3 pm so we had to reschedule and couldn't get a flight until Friday.
The Ukraine was a nice hotel but the rooms are small so there was very little that Christopher could do. We did have to go buy an umbrella stroller since we didn't know to bring one. We couldn't survive without it. We ended up finding a baby store down the street and found a stroller for $35. It was a stroller made in West Patterson, NJ, USA and would have cost $15 in the states. We made the most of it and did alot of touring in Moscow. Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins and McDonalds. Oh, we also went to Red Square twice, visited St. Basil's Cathedral, famous GUM Department Store (more like a mall), and even walked through Lenin's tomb. Tourist point. Lenin's tomb is open daily from 10-1 (Red Square is closed during this time) and the Kremlim is closed every Thursday. We were there on Thursday and didn't get to see the Kremlin (this was our only regret).
We did have difficulty with the change in diet for Christopher (which actually lasted for weeks). He had watery bowel movement and lots of gas. Be sure to have Mylecon Drops and Imodium AD on hand at all times. We left on Friday, Flew to Copenhagan (Christopher slept) had a 3 hour stop over and then left for Newark. Again SAS was wonderfully accomodating. We had requested to sit in the first seats of the cabin since there is a little more room (No Problem). One of the attendants informed us that when we got in the air they had a cradle that they attach to the wall. This was wonderful, Christopher slept in this cradle for 9 of the 10 hours. We flew through customs at Newark, were escorted directly to immigration where the baby's papers were processed and were greeted at the airport by my parents and daughter. Christopher was all smiles!!!
We had a doctors appointment scheduled for Monday. Our pediatrician was very happy with his health but of course we did extensive blood and urine tests. Dr. Dana Johnson provided us with a list of the screening tests which should be done on Russian children. All of Christopher results came back normal. We did have to start his immunization since he is behind schedule. We also asked for a referral to a neurologist just to make sure that everything is OK (since the reports from Russia did list some conditions). Our appointment is scheduled for August 26, so I'll let you know the outcome.
The first week at home Christopher preferred to lay and suck his fingers but the second week he started crawling around more and playing with his toys. Christopher is progessing wonderfully he now says Mama and Dada and has a great disposition. He is very happy and loves people.
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Christopher Thomas's Story(last updated January 6, 1998)
1997-DeFazio Family Updates(last updated December 30, 1997)
1998-DeFazio Family Updates(last updated January 6, 1998)
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