Monday, December 28, 2009

Last Day in the Apartment---just packing, hanging out and having "girl time" with Auntie Susan

I'm so sleepy, I almost forgot....

Today is our anniversary....and my amazing husband is celebrating it by letting me sleep! Happiest of anniversaries to my husband---his anniversary present is (hopefully) asleep in the next room!

We're Home

It wasn't pretty, and it was LONG, but we made it home! We got into St Louis about 9:00 last night (after a 3 hour delayed flight in DC) and then made the long drive home (thanks, Brad!) getting here about 12:30.

I will post more details (many, many more) soon, along with more pictures. It has been an amazing experience that I know I need to share with all of you. Thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes!

Sleepily yours,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Moscow!

It's EARLY here, and I'm really tired and out of it (something like maybe 10 hours of sleep in the last 3 days!), but I wanted to let you all know the important news. We left Kaluga early yesterday, with all of our paperwork, etc. done there and arrived in Moscow before the agency office opened. Thanks to the advanced planning and hard work of the people at the embassy, and the fact that Karina is a trooper-beast baby and Susan is a trooper-beast aunt, we got our medical exam done, and our US Embassy approval finished before everything shut down yesterday for Christmas. We'll get the Russian consulate stuff done today. Finally, we were able to get our plane tickets changed so that we can leave here on Sunday instead of Wednesday!

After we crashed yesterday afternoon, we all kind of gathered a second wind to celebrate Christmas Eve. Just wanted to wish you all a very Merriest of Christmases from Moscow!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tonight a picture will have to be worth a few words

It's now 9:45 pm. By some hard work, constant running, and some miracles (yes miracles) here (and because we haven't slept more than about 2 hours since we got here) we're headed back to Moscow and the embassy tomorrow at 4 am with Karina. We're hoping to get everything done tomorrow before the holiday weekend. If not, we're prepared to stay over, but hoping that we're done on Christmas Day!

We've GOT HER!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Story is WAY too long to tell right now---it's 6:07 in the morning, and we got into Kaluga about an hour ago. We have to be up in 2 hours to meet with Nadia and see how much we have to do today...

BUT.....after 4 days of travel, we are HERE!

Thanks for all the prayers, good wishes, and angel vibes sent our way---we have been SO blessed on this journey in ways I know that we don't even know.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

weather problems

I hope that you all are safe and warm today! Weather cancelled our flight into Philly. So. We're headed to the airport to throw ourselves on the mercy of the airlines. Trying to take deep calming breaths here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heavy Sigh of RELIEF...

Final Exams all graded---check (with HUGE thanks to my superfriend Rene, who took over grading the multiple choice questions on the World Civ final so that I could grade the essays and figure grades)

Final Grades all calculated and posted to the internet---check

Almost all paperwork for the embassy done and ready to go---check

Sinus infection---yep, but started on the z-pack last night---check

Packing---well, I do have tomorrow to get that done...

There's a light at the end of this tunnel! Now to go get some sleep after a nice, yummy dinner with my husband to celebrate the END of this crazy semester!

ONLY 1 day left before we leave on Saturday!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Sorry---that's how I feel right now!

We got home late in the afternoon on Thursday, and I leave Saturday with my sister to head back.

Here's what's happened (or needs to happen) in the week in between:

Grade the set of Research Papers that I hauled with me to Russia that I never had time to grade (finished, finally, this afternoon)

Give finals to both of my classes (finished about 7:00 tonight)

Grade the finals, figure final grades, and post them to the college websites.

Recover from what feels like a sinus infection, but hopefully isn't

Get the paperwork, etc., and "stuff" ready to go and get it packed into suitcases, along with giving advice to my sister on what to take with her

Answer people who ask, "aren't you excited?" with "well, I WILL be, but I don't feel like I have time right now."

I'm sure that there's more...that's all I can remember right now!

AAAAHHHH! Just have to remember WHY we're doing this!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We're HOME

Hi everybody. Just wanted to let you know that we're HOME. A very smooth trip, no problems, no delays, no lost baggage, just long.

Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes--I'll post more information after a good night's sleep!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

She's OURS!

I don't have much time to post...we have to head out in a few minutes and we have to turn our modem back into the hotel this evening.....BUT I did want to share the news:

The judge of the Kaluga regional court ruled this morning (about 11:45 Kaluga time) that baby K is OURS!

Happy dancing here---it would be serious happy dancing but we're both just REALLY tired! We went to see her after court, and we're headed back for about an hour visit this evening. Then we leave for home early in the morning, and should be back in the states tomorrow night.

Thanks, all of you, for the words of encouragement and prayers! They have meant so very, very much to us!

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a difference a day makes....

This was the view out of our hotel window in Kaluga on Sunday morning: And today, we woke up to a bit of a different view:

It has been snowing lightly ALL day today. They said that this is the first real snow that Kaluga has had so far---and we were here to see it. It has been a bit cold, but not terrible, and just enough snow to make it feel like Christmas is coming! The driving has been a bit crazy (a few accidents that we've driven past), but not too much worse than normal.
We had a good day today---two visits with baby K, dinner at "the Pub" and now we're crashed---court is tomorrow morning at 10 am. I'll keep you posted on what happens!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kaluga Rocks!

We got to see baby K today!!! She's grown so much in the last couple of months, and she can walk all around the music room in the baby home if you hold her hands. Steve swears that she recognized us, and that's proof that she's a sharp little cookie. I'm not so sure she knew exactly who we were, but she was very glad to see us. We played, walked, sang, and just enjoyed being with her again, even if it was for a short time. We'll be back to see her tomorrow, I have to get my picture taken (for her passport), and then who knows---probably getting ready for court on Tuesday.

A blessed Sunday to all of you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We're HERE!

Just wanted to let you all know that we made it safely to Kaluga this afternoon after a LONG journey yesterday (3 hour drive to the airport, 2 hour flight to NYC, a LONG wait in NYC and then a long wait on the tarmac in the plane, and then finally to Moscow about 1:00 this afternoon).

Joyously, NO problems other than the length of trip and that we were both tired to start with. Our luggage made it safely, and we did too. Now crashed in our hotel in Kaluga and trying to unpack and VERY HAPPY to have internet access this time. We're headed out tomorrow to see Karina (about 1 in the afternoon) and then court on Tuesday morning.

Seriously, SO MANY thanks to all of you for your words of support and your prayers. I am just going to try to relax now and enjoy the journey. Love you all!

From Kaluga, with much love,
Carolynn (and Stevie, too!)