Greetings from Vladivostok! It was quite a day yesterday (Friday). I had my last visit with my boy before picking him up this coming Tuesday. Irina picked me up just before 9am. We made the hour drive to the baby home in Zavodskoy. It was foggy this morning and a little damp, so Irina said we would ask to bring him to the gym. The gym is a fun room with slides, a big container filled will balls that the kids can jump into. Sergei had a ball in this room with us a few years ago. This little guy, however, well he's another story. It was nice to be in the gym, but he is nowhere near as active as Sergei. Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable visit. The best thing of all...no crying when he saw me today!!! Awesome!!!
We played on the slides. He rode the tiger (like a rocking horse, but a tiger). He also rode the zebra. We listened to Russian nursery rhymes and played ball. It was a good visit today. Before too long the hour was up and it was time for him to return to his group for lunch. We followed him and his caregiver back to his room. Irina asked what size diapers he wears. His caregiver said he needs diapers to fit a 10 kilo child. We said goodbye and we were on our way back to the Vlad Inn.
When we arrived back at the hotel, we picked up our agency's other family. They have their little girl with them. We all drove with Irina toward downtown to run a few errands. Irina took pictures for the passports today. So we stopped at the photo store so she could download the pictures for the photo guy. Then we went to exchange money. I exchanged $500 into roubles for our orphanage donation that we will make when we pick up the little guy on Tuesday. Then we went to the baby store to buy diapers. I also picked up some bath toys and some baby cereal for him. Irina helped me tremendously. I was, of course, lost in the baby store. She knew exactly what to get. After the baby store we made a final stop at the grocery store once again. I picked up just a few items. I needed onions and bell peppers to help flavor my eggs that I've been whipping up in the mornings. I also got some Russian Mountain Dew. How about that!
Upon returning to the Vlad Inn, I relaxed with a beer (definitely time for one of those!) and decided to cook dinner since I had missed lunch today with all of our running around. I bought some pelmeni at the store. Basically these are little dumplings filled with meat, kind of like ravioli, that you boil. The pelmeni definitely hit the spot. It's nice to be able to cook in my room. I didn't eat at the restaurant at all on Friday.
So that's it from Vlad. I'm ready for Mom to arrive here tomorrow. It'll be nice to have some company. Not long after, we'll pick up my little buddy. Two days later we'll be off to Moscow. I'll be in touch after the weekend. Paka paka!