highlights of the last 36 hours…

February 9, 2010

I’m not even sure I can begin to put into words the unbelievable emotions and craziness of the last 36 hours. I honestly didn’t even know that so much could happen in less than a 2 day span.

It began with the big snowfall of 2010. We woke up at 6:00am on Friday morning. Steve immediately went outside to shovel the foot of snow that had dumped onto our driveway, so we could get our luggage out of the house.

Our friends, Eric and Adrianne, picked us up at 7:00am. We loaded up in their car and began to head to the airport…or so we thought. Before we could drive anywhere, our tires began spinning in the snow and the car wouldn’t move.

So Eric and Steve got out and pushed the car. We would go about 5 feet forward then get stuck. Over and over. Finally, Eric took the wheel and I got out in the freezing cold to help Steve push. Once the car got moving we all jumped in and headed to the airport….or so we thought.

In order to get on the highway, we had to up an unplowed hill. You guessed it, tires spun again, and the car stopped moving. So, Steve and I got out and began to push.

Picture this scene – Steve and I running in place behind a car, up the highway. I was pushing with all my might – screaming out loud, “this is not going to be what stops us!!” We got the car going and started sprinting beside the car, opened the doors and jumped in. The four of us just laughed and cried in disbelief.

We got to the airport on time, walked to the gate, saw our plane, prepared to board, only to find out that our pilot was missing. We waited and waited. Finally they announced that they located the pilot. Yay! We can finally leave…or so we thought.

30 minutes later, while we were sitting IN the plane, they announced over the cockpit intercom that the lost pilot simply decided to go home. Everyone began grumbling and we de-boarded.

A new pilot finally showed up, 2½ hours later. We were so grateful that we had a 4 hour layover in Chicago because there were many people in our plane that missed their connecting flights. We sprinted through Chicago O’Hare and before we knew it, we were in the air, heading to Germany.

We made it to Frankfurt with little time to spare, then it was off to St. Petersburg. After going through customs in Russia, we met our facilitators, exchanged our money, then drove to our apartment for the night.

We decided to stay inside, repack our bags and eat some the snacks we brought with us. We had plenty of time and were looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening…until the power went out. Seriously.

After about an hour, our host showed up, got our power back on and we began to repack, only to discover that our brand new luggage somehow broke on the flight. So we hovered over it for several hours before finally giving up.

We were so tired we decided to just lay down. We were given simple instructions, to be outside the next morning, with our luggage, by 7:15am sharp, so we wouldn’t be late for our doctors appointments.

By 8:30pm we both fell into a deep sleep. By 12:30am we were both wide awake. So much for getting our body clocks on schedule J

Steve and I just laid in bed, chatted for a while and tried to relax. A few hours later we both drifted back into a deep sleep. So deep, that we were awakened at 7:30am, to the sound of our doorbell ringing.

For some strange reason our alarm clock never went off! When we awoke, we were instantly in panic mode, not even realizing we had fallen back asleep.

Thankfully we showered and packed the night before, so we quickly threw our pajamas in our book bags, changed clothes, and ran our luggage downstairs all in 2 frantic minutes. Not the way we were hoping to start the morning!

As we sped through the streets of St. Petersburg, I was applying makeup and putting on deodorant J It was so crazy! We arrived at the hospital 30 minutes late, but thankfully it didn’t seem to mess anything up. The doctors were all very kind and professional.

The hospital halls were lined with doors. Each door represented a different specialist. We went from room to room, having a different doctor administer a different test.

The first one examined our x-rays to check our lungs. She asked Steve if he had been deep sea diving or mountain climbing because his lungs looked a little cloudy.

We then had our blood drawn, were interviewed by a psychologist, had our reflexes tested by a neurologist, followed by an exam of 3 doctors who asked us questions about cancer. That room was by far the most awkward, I will spare the details…

The whole process was smooth and easy. As we were leaving, I showed the main doctor the picture book of our little man, made by a good friend of mine. She immediately began to get teary, then said, “he look like Papa.” We smiled.

As we headed on our 4 hour journey to Pskov our translator told us “Next, we will go to orphanage to see your son.” What?? This was an absolute surprise. We didn’t think we would get to see him until Wednesday!

We arrived at our host’s home, dropped off our bags, and quickly jumped back in the car for a 1 hour drive to the orphanage. Our hearts were pounding. We hadn’t quite prepared ourselves to see our son today. After the craziness of the past 24 hours, I wasn’t sure how much more I could handle.

As we pulled up to the big yellow building, my heart started to bubble with giddiness. We walked up the stairs and waited in a room. Steve peeked around the door and saw him coming from a distance. I was holding the video camera while Steve was kneeling down with his arms out ready for him.

Our little man walked in and right into Steve’s embrace. He was a bit curious at first and then it was as if the memories of 4 months ago began to come back to his little mind. A smile spread across his cute little face and he pressed his cheek against Steve’s.

Then he came to me and I just held him in my arms and showered him with kisses. He was a bit taller since the last time we saw him and his hair has grown out into a nice little euro-mullet J

It was a moment that I will never forget. It seemed so surreal. All this time, with all of the ups and downs of this journey, I was finally able to enjoy this moment, knowing that this was the beginning of our final leg of the adoption process. Our translator began tearing up at our reunion.

We moved into the playroom. All it took was one lift above the head by papa and out came the laugh that we so vividly remembered. Only this time, it was even louder and full of more joy.

Steve and I took turns holding him and hugging him. We learned some new words in Russian like “I love you” and “good boy”. We kissed him all over his little cheeks.

An hour later his caretaker came into the room. She seemed very kind. In Russian she told him, “D it is time to go.” Our little man began to shake his head “No”, walked backwards, then sat down on the ground. He didn’t want to leave us.

It melted my heart. But knowing that I will see him tomorrow, I went over to him, picked him up, hugged him and said “paka paka” (goodbye), then handed him to the caregiver.

Our hearts are filled with so many emotions right now. We are so overwhelmed by the amazing surprise of getting to see our little man and to know that we will get to see him tomorrow and the next day as well.

That was such an unexpected blessing, especially for Steve since he is leaving on Friday and only thought he would get to see D once before returning several days later.

We are tired and still trying to process all of the events of the last 2 days. We are nervous about the court appointment. We’re even more nervous thinking about what it is going to be like to have full time care of our little boy. Where is the instruction manual? J

But, more than the nerves, I am so excited about finally getting to live life with our son. I can’t wait to watch him eat his first meal with us, watch him see the outside world, watch him wake up and see his face as he realizes mommy and daddy are still here. No more paka paka.

I know this entry was long, but we thank you for journeying with us. We need your prayers now more than ever, because we truly feel that the enemy is doing whatever he can to distract and discourage us from this adoption.

But, we believe God is going before us and preparing the way, even amidst all the obstacles. We covet your prayers and are grateful to know we have such a strong support of people in our lives who are counting down the days until the Garcia FAMILY comes home for good!


  • for daily updates follow us on: twitter.com/goingtorussia

Prayer Requests:

  • For another good day with D tomorrow
  • For a good nights sleep
  • For our court appointment on Thursday, that we would find favor in the judge’s eyes.

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

19 Responses to “highlights of the last 36 hours…”

  1. Landon Jones said

    When I read “yellow building” I was WITH you in my mind. I remember what it was like, but this is your time. Enjoy it all, even the craziness because it’s an event that no one else but you two will have experienced. That’s a blessing more than you know!!

    We’ve been praying and will continue to do so.

    Follow Ludmilla’s instructions for court, trust the LORD and you’ll be fine. She does a great job preparing. Trust her preparation. Also, try to get some Russian in your speech. If it’s the same judge, she liked that in mine. Even if it’s a simple “Zravdstvuytye”. She also commented to Ludmilla that she liked that we were young and had passion for our son. I think that will help you. Look them in the eye and take everything very seriously but all they want to know is that you will love this child and be the best option for this child, which of course, you are!!

    We love you guys and will be praying all throughout your trip!

  2. Victoria said

    What a GREAT post! So, so happy you were reunited with your son! Court is fine – really, don’t worry about it, they couldn’t be any nicer. They want you to be a happy family together. We will all be praying for you – thank you for updating us!

  3. Mama Mary said

    Oh, I’m the first to leave a comment!!!! As soon as we got home from Steve’s chemo treatment, I dashed into the office to check your blog and THERE WAS NO UPDATE!!! So I got on Facebook and your sweet mom had a short update about seeing D unexpectedly today. What fun! What an awesome God to give you that special gift.

    Loved your whole story – I screamed with you, laughed with you, cried with you, clapped my hands in glee. I guess you can tell that I am so very excited for you both.

    Will be praying for the next few days to go smoothly. Glad the medical exams went well – anxious to hear the details! :o)

    Sending love from Ohio!

  4. Mama Mary said

    I guess I wasn’t the first to leave an update 😦
    Oh well.

  5. Adrianne said

    Love you both!!!! Thank you for your beautiful words Kate!!!!!!! I am picturing his little handsome face and his cute laugh!! I am praying every moment!!! Hope you get some sleep!!

  6. Eric said

    Awesome! What an amazing surprise. We kept hitting refresh on the blog after the twitter update like every 3 minutes. Now we’re both on our laptops reading and wiping tears away and laughing. Can’t wait to see that little euro mullet! We are praying for you guys non-stop. We love you guys!


  7. Mom said

    Oh Katie- as I was watching the time tick by, I thought that you must have fallen asleep before you had a chance to update or you might have had computer trouble. Now that I see your wonderful update, I know why it was delayed- you wrote so many great details. Thank you! You know I love details. We love you and are hanging on your every word- right there with you. We love your little guy so much and rejoice that Steve got to spend at least one extra day with him. Praise GOD!!!!

  8. jen said

    I, for one, LOVE all the details. Thank you so much for sharing all of them. I just read the whole thing aloud to conner and cameron. Wow! Wow! Wow! Conner said, “talk about obstacles!” I loved how D sat down and said no, just loved that!:)

  9. jen said

    oh, me and your mom must have been writing at the same time. I should have said I also! love ALL the details:)…

  10. Sarah said

    So happy for you both. I found the second trip was such an incredible experience. To know that this time he’s coming home with you. This time when you walk out of the orphanage he’s coming too. The first trip is exciting but there is that bittersweet feeling most of the time…the second trip is awesome.
    Our court was easy, but it is best to approach it well prepared. They always seem to ask about medical conditions (even the ones you discover they don’t actually have once you get home) what the conditions are, what symptoms he’s had and future medical care. Our judge liked that we knew a few (very basic) russian words and asked us to say a few (I think this may have been for her amusement). She also loved that we could talk about our children’s personalities, likes, dislikes etc. There were a few questions about how to and where we would get visas etc. We tried to be as humble and respectful of the court and Russian culture as possible and the judge did make a point of telling us that ‘Russia looks after its children, even when their parents don’t’.
    Praying for you and your family.

  11. jodi tucker said

    Wow! Another detail-loving person here who also is soooooo glad for you both and continuing to trust the God of the universe to lead you forward in this adoption. Praying with love, joy, and peace for the Garcia FAMILY!

  12. Court said

    What a hectic, crazy, wonderful, FULL day 🙂 God is so very GOOD! Oh, this is all so amazing!! Lifting you and the Garcia family up to the throne. How awesome to know that our holy heavenly Father is preparing the way and orchestrating every single detail of the formation of your family (even the broken luggage and the alarm not going off!!!)

  13. amy said

    so so exciting to read all your fun facts! awesome you got to see him early and that he didn’t want to leave his mom and dad. so cool! lots of love and prayers.

  14. Kacey said

    Aaaahhhh BLISS! God is so cool! And I know exactly all too well what happened with the cancer doctor. It’s all part of the fun! 🙂 I’m smiling with you all the way, sister!!!!!

  15. Wendi said

    Oh Kate,
    What an incredible array of emotions you all have gone through!! I got chills when I was reading this and can’t wait to see the big yellow building again. Good luck in court – I know it will be great. So glad to hear that D remembered you all – what memories you will have. Thinking about you guys over the next few days!

  16. Laura Jones said

    Ahhh! So glad to hear about the best end to a crazy few days. I can feel your same emotions when you talk about bubbling up with excitement seeing that big yellow building. What a joyous time! I remember always wanting to throw open the car door and sprint up those stairs! But instead I would politely follow Ludmilla, making sure to wipe my feet before going in and hang up my coat do all that she did. haha! Please tell her hello from us! 🙂

  17. Marci said

    So very cool!!!!
    Loved the “hearing the laugh again that you so clearly remembered”! Melted my heart a bit too! Thanks for sharing! We’re praying for you guys!

  18. Kristin said

    So so so excited for you guys!

  19. Our prayers are with the 3 of you. Hoping this will come to a quick conclusion and the 3 of you are on your way back home!

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