I just wanted to give a quick update while things are fresh in my mind (something that will change quickly since I've been up since 2:30am and Owen won't take a nap). Tracy and I didn't sleep on the airplane, so we all slept yesterday from 1pm to 6pm and only stayed awake a couple hours before going back to sleep. Thus, I awoke at 2:30am and Alexa and Tracy were up within the next hour. We gave up on going back to sleep by 4:30 and slowly prepared for the exciting day. The day got more exciting when Alexa decided to play with two Barbies by the open window! The naked Sharpay decided she had had enough of Moscow and took a dive from the 8th floor- landing on the roof of the covered part of the drop-off. The wonderful Renaissance staff rescued Sharpay just before we were leaving for the orphanage- thus, preventing more of a meltdown by the already exhausted Alexa. At 9:00 we were loaded in the car with a suitcase full of presents and the knowledge that almost two months (and two years since we started this process) of waiting would finally come to an end!
Before getting to the orphanage we stopped at a grocery store to buy some candies, tea, and Nescafe for the staff. Once there, we went through a short administrative procedure and delivered the gifts, while Owen was taken to get pictures made for his passport. Alexa did not appreciate the "additional" wait and kept asking where her brother was. Finally, he arrived and things honestly could not have gone more smoothly. He was immediately comfortable with us and found Alexa pretty interesting. We took him upstairs for a quick change of cloths and said our goodbyes. In the car, he was very patient letting me get him in the car seat and loved the sights both inside and out. We made a stop at the passport office to drop off the pictures and sign the documents. While inside the office, I could hear some baby-like noises and then heard a loud one as I was coming back to the lobby. Owen was making far more noise than he had at any of our previous visits! You have to understand that he was always very attentive in the past but liked to observe - rarely making any noise for 20-30 minutes after we arrived. Then he would make some sounds mimicking us but very tentative and never loud. Well, he obviously sensed something had changed!
Once back at the hotel, Owen seemed to have fully come out of his shell. He was laughing and smiling at pretty much everything! I showed him his reflection in the full-length mirror and he was entertained for about an hour - he would hold these empty water bottles and walk back and forth from the bed to the mirror cracking up when he got to the mirror. We had a general idea of his sleep/eat schedule so we fed him and figured he would fall asleep soon thereafter. That was at 12:30pm. It's now 6:30pm and he is still awake! We've fed him lunch and dinner (plus a snack) and gave him a bath after he decorated himself in carrots. He is a pretty laid back kid and hasn't really cried yet (despite banging his face on the crib and in the bath). Speaking of the bath, that was much more difficult than I expected. He was not at all happy and resisted the whole time, which made him slip a lot and kept Tracy and I very busy. As I type, he is whining in his crib looking as miserable as he can. He is truly a boy - getting into everything and never wanting to lay still! Hopefully, he'll sleep soon and I'll post more.
In case I crash (very likely), tomorrow's schedule is to go to the doctor who must examine Owen and declare him fit to leave the country- and then ideally pick-up his passport. Wednesday should be a free day before we spend Thursday and Friday at the US Embassy...
2 weeks ago