Moldova Round 2.5
If you have happened upon this for the first time and wonder what the heck is going on… this is my 2nd trip to bring my daughter home from Moldova. I was exhausted. So please do not be confused… I am actually a supermodel but did not photograph well on this trip.
Tomorrow I head back out to …Moldova — Mayonnaise repellent in hand. I have been packing (and by that I mean shoving all my worldly possessions in a teensy weensy bag) for a week now. I am bringing all my crap, food (because we know how I feel about Moldovan food), baby stuff, toys etc. I have two bags to check and my stroller. Lufthansa told me today that the stroller is going to cost me 250.00 to take b/c I am not actually traveling with said child. I explained the situation, threatened to email photos. I was told to ask (translate beg and wear low cut top) the desk associate and if they are feeling nice they may oblige. How thoughtful. So we will see. I sure as hell am not paying 250.00 to check a 15.00 stroller. Does anyone else see this as just WRONG.
Basically packed and ready — broke nail during frenzy. I frantically applied my personal favorite product of all time…. superglue for quick repair. A little excess requires tissue removal…. then sneeze. Crap… wipe nose because that is just grosss…..akkkkkk….. superglue up right nostril…. tearing up now…. hallucinating… just saw Michael Jackson eating a Mayonnaise sandwich.
No seriously it will be fine. Nervous excited — ready to get there and back. Schedule is — denver, frankfurt… 3 hr layover. Arrive in Frankfurt on my b’day — then wrap up b’day in Mayo-dolva. Monday kidnap princess FOREVER, Wednesday fly to Romania to go to the big US Embassy. Wednesday — leave skid marks out of there. I will try to write updates when I can. Pray for sleep and a happy girl (well… yes Tennyson too — but mainly MEEE!)
5/1/10 & 5/2/10 (I think)
I traveled so long today I think I actually lost a day. Denver to Frankfurt, I sat next to a camel… swear to God the woman got up one time in 9 hours and 58 minutes. That is bad potty karma.
In Frankfurt, you must go through security again … or as I refer to it “hand raped”. I am serious. This woman basically cupped the ole mammary glands, patted me in places only my future husband should, actually pulled my pants band out and gazed down further investigation in to hidden contents. Finding nothing to speak of, she did pat down my money bag which I was sporting on my calf. She made me take that off and sent it back through the scanner. You want to talk about nervous…. I am standing about 12 feet away, she throws the only thing between me and my daughter on a conveyor belt and gives me the “stop….in the name of love” sign. Belt gets stuck…. TSA person is ticked…. fixes it… tries again, finally through. Stop hand drops and I sprint on to the belt — looking I am sure as I a totally had gotten caught w/ my hand in the cookie jar. good Lord! Traveling is stressful.
I met up with my new friend Denise and her sister Donna. Denise is here to adopt her son — this is her first trip to Moldova. She is very excited. We shared a coffee and some stories… then boarded the flight to Moldova. This is the first time they have ever offered me a vegetarian meal on Air Moldova. I was impressed. I should say I was until I saw it… broccoli in a brownish beige hue, saffron still frozen rice, and something I am pretty sure was a vegetable at one time, probably a mushroom.
We all get through immigration and grab our bags. I find that once again they have trashed my bags (entirely ripped the handle off a brand new bag). Last trip here I had to have 2 travelpro bags fixed. I guess it could be worse. Only thing…. is that it kinda is… You see I used my TSA locks to protect all my valuables. Very smart indeed. but…. I left the key to the TSA locks at home. SHIT! Minor panic. Oh but look on the one bag they have trashed, the lock is gone entirely. They opened it, found nothing of any real value, then got ticked and threw the lock away. Albina (facilitator) managed to break open the other lock using kitchen pliers. Brilliant.
This room is VERY hot. The front desk tells me “dey is no air after 8:00…. only hotter”. I am told to open a window. Albina is very hot too. I know this because in the middle of talking about the latest important paperwork… there is a flash of white. Albina has basically unzipped her shirt with one hand in about 1.3 seconds and is preparing to take it off. Look away.. look away Kelly We all laugh… what are your other options? It is just strange. Albina explains “it so hot…I so hot… I forget where I was for minute”. Are you kidding me?
We finally get to my hotel after numerous stops. I am wiped out. Ablina and Aurelia (interpreter) are here going over the details. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Very busy around here at this time of night.. waaa….laaaa… it is a waiter type person carrying a huge piece of cake and champagne. YUMMY! I am very excited. I am not alone. Albina “I go ketty. I be here after 9″…. Aurelia trails behind her. I hear “ketty I hope you don’t mind…..” as I watch 3/4 of my birthday chunk walk out the door.
Tomorrow, I am to get Tennyson and leave the premises for good. SO SO SO excited. I have fleece outfit, heavy hat, and winter coat, plug tights. Oh yes… it was 80 degrees today. I am following orders… nothing more I can say on this one.
I am wiped out – don’t even think about pointing out the number of typos in this email…. Seriously I will hunt you down.
Okay so….. this morning I got up and worked out. They told me they would be here around 9:00. Here we go 10:45 they show up – right on time.
This is a nice hotel. I mean Stephen Segal stayed here 2 ½ years ago…..uh oh… maybe that is the problem. I go in to workout and there is an American woman working out. She says “ah… like I just need to tell you…none of the cardio machines actually work… they have no power”. Whatever…. I am guessing she is just not all that smart….well damn if she is not right…. NONE of the 5 machines has a single power cord. The stereo with a full selection of Yanni, Kenny G, and Clay Aiken appears to have an industrial strength UPS attached to it. Delightful. Okay I work out anyway… enjoying the last few minutes before my impending delivery.
Bfast —– not sure how they qualify this as breakfast but… they are serving the most delicious little squares of fried cheese – YUMO! Scrambled eggs upon request. Fork posed at mouth…eager with anticipation……………GAG ME….. how can they taste like such crap. And I see all these little robin size eggs in a bowl. They must have cracked 30 for my plate alone… GAG – DAMN good Espresso though – I should NEVER have espresso – its just not a good combination.
I go see Tennyson. SO cute she is. She seems happy to see me.. and all the others that pass by. You know we just have to reconnect. I am okay w/ that.
“Ketty we go… hurdry… paperwork….”
We leave… go to drop off the other two ladies… go to some Moldovan Government… drop off the translator… etc. etc. etc. Same thing all the time..
“Ketty” Albina says…. “I pick up at 4 and 30” Ok… I actually sort of kind a nap. 4 and 30 I am downstairs – of course they are not there. I hear “KETTY!” like 3 times. I do not know this man…
Finally I turn around and he says “Ketty blah blah blah Russian blah blah Russian blah blah blah Ablina” Oh! I know that one.
I am cautious though. I don’t’ see a translator and this guy is all dressed in white – must be in the Russian Navy or is a pastry chef.
I say “where are we going?” shrug. Excuse me! “Orphanage?” I ask – more shrugging.
I see Angela the translator out the window and yell “ANGELA ANGELA”. Nothing! I try to tell him – guess what he does… shrugs. I tell him to “Call Albina”. He hands me the phone… as if I know how in the hell to call her. I hit enter and get “BONK BONK BONK”.
Pissed and scared I am evaluating the situation… He is really not all that big… and he driving slow as hell… I mean I could tuck and roll and probably only break a leg…. BRRRINNNG! It is Albina…. We are turning around. “where are we GOING?” I ask – shrugs again… Russian blah blah Russian blah blah blah ANGELA. We are turning around to get the very woman I pointed out 13 minutes ago. Finally she gets in and I explain the sheer terror of the last 13 minutes. Once the terror passed, I laughed until I thought I was going to wet myself.
Once we finally get to the orphanage, there is my girl – in electric blue furry pants (swear to God). “Ketty – you change baby in you clothes now” With pleasure. It is feeding time – here comes a corn type of porridge (NASTY). She is gobbling that down with her hot tea (so serious) chaser.
Saying goodbye. Director of the orphanage says “Tell you papa hello. Give BEEEG Hug” she says with arms outstretched. She is kinda sweet on my papa.
Okay so we make it back here. Tennyson falls asleep in the car. We arrive and have to go over the paperwork and financials. The child is now totally amp’d up – FANTASTIC! She is walking now… focused only on the paperwork, I look up to see her with the DVD cord securely in her mouth –chomping with quite a bit of pressure. NOOOOOOO!
Okay paperwork finally done… Benadryl kicking in… child out. Mommy has a buttload to do.. I am watching her.. Exhausted but oh such pleasure…. There is a peace … a hush in the room…. I know I have to get up in 3 hours – but I am oh so happy.
Will fly to Bucharest tomorrow to go to the real Embassy … baby Embassy only here.
May 4 Tuesday
In Romania. HALLELUJAH!
Flight left at 6:40 a.m. – prop plane. Delightful and Tennyson’s first flight. I did not sleep at all. Just stayed up. I got freaked that I didn’t have the tickets, her diapers, my phone — you get the picture. Just wasn’t worth it to sleep. I texted the travel agent about the tickets in the middle of the night. He called back and said “ah.. kelly… isn’t it like 2 in the morning there?” Yea…. what is your point??
We arrive at t he airport in plenty of time. The driver stays with me as I proceed — ready to start our trek home. The desk agent says “You too heavy.” BEG YOUR PARDON! “I say… you luggage… it weigh soo much… must remove 5 kilos” DAMNIT! So I proceed to go through my luggage right there on the spot… dirty clothes — some not necessary… bye bye…. extra Jif To Go peanut butter… here you go… Delsym… she is not coughing… out you go. This goes on 3 different times… finally I think the girl was just worn down and she said “it ok”..
So the flight — well it kind of sucked.. packed in like sardines we were. Tennyson was somewhat rested. I had her snacks etc. In the shuffle they ended up checking my extra bag — the one w/ all the snacks … and my camera. CRAP. The takeoff and landing were pretty miserable for Tennyson and for me. I asked them for juice and they thought “fizzy” I guess (fizzy and still are big over here) — so they brought her like Moldova Fanta. She took one big gulp and looked at me like “what were you thinking?”
We arrived around 7:30 — got here with a translator, checked in, got settled and then went for breakfast. I tried all sort of things for Tennyson: cheese, bread, some nasty looking porridge concoction, banana. Nothing seemed to sit well w/ her. Mid way through my breakfast she hurls some pink stream of flem and completely saturates her clothes and attempts to do the same on mine. I had not brought an extra change of clothes with me as we were going to be gone for 20 minutes max. I ended up changing here in to just her coat and fled the premises. Nasty smelling.
Came back upstairs and took a 4 hour nap — both of us. I could have gone for another 4 let me tell you. We later tried the pool — hot tub really. Only it was like bath water really. Tennyson was not sure what to make of it at first — seemed to get used to it… maybe even enjoy it.. when this lady hops in and cranks the bubbles up full blast. Made us both cry. She is out now. Big day tomorrow. Embassy appt to drop off paperwork, then doctor appt at hospital for Tennyson (required for all the kids), then back to the embassy for my appt at 1:00. After that I hear we are done. Yahoo! Flight home on Thursday at 6:00 a.m. I assume another sleepless (yuk!) night.
We’ll see if I get back on tomorrow. May be just too hectic trying to get out of here and they charge 30.00 for internet access. Yikes!
Wednesday 5/5 — One day from getting the hell outta here.
This will be short because honestly I am about to die. This morning started w/ the driver and translator arriving to take the paperwork to the embassy. Quick breakfast in the concierge level because the main restaurant was full. Let me tell you that place will never be the same. Not after the oatmeal fling or smashing of eggs into the couch (NOT ME — Tennyson). It was a disaster.
Yon and Olga are back “um… Ketty… dey is problem… we missing article 23…. berry important. you has it here?” Okay I may smack someone. I have all the documents I was instructed to bring and then some… mad dash to the room — spread all the docs out….um….hmm.. there it is. Crisis averted. Back they go to the embassy. Then “ketty will be doctor visit … is required ketty”.
Okay 35 minutes pass here they are… “Um ketty… we has a problem… you have no doctor appt. Was supposed to be made a week ago… dey full.” beg…beg… your pardon. And to top it off -Natalie the girl whom I worked w/ before (the one with laundry list of “gifts” I was to bring her inclusive of Revlon ColorStay Lipgloss in Rio Red) was the one to make the appt. I guess she forgot. To say the least I was ticked. Olga sweetly asks/begs for the appt. The doctor sees us – quick exam… stamp of approval. Turns out this is the same lady doctor who examined Landon 2 1/2 years ago.
Off we go — to the Embassy for my “Interview”. “Dis”… Olga says is “berry important appt… you cannot be late…. Ketty I pick you up at 12 and 30… maybe 12 and 45”. 1:21 p.m. knock on door — its Olga — “traffic berry bad Ketty” OMG OMG.
What if they make me wait a week or something for another appt. We hurry over – w/ poor Tenyson in the stroller, head bobbing (like those thing on the dash) with every bump.
Embassy lady is very gracious (thank God) and agrees to review the documents. “You missing the original to this document” (she is american and does not say dis instead of this…). Back and forth we go — “You have it”…”no I gave it to you” “No Albina gave it to you….” We find it tucked in my copy of the entire packet — somehow I got the original. I am sweating like a pig. Tennyson is very fussy — about 2 hours past her nap and honestly I think she is getting a cold (Fantastic! and just before we take off).
We process all the docs. I raise my right hand to swear I am telling the whole truth and nothing but when I saw I prepared all the docs.
DONE! YEEHAW! So now I am back at the hotel. Tennyson is not in good shape. She is not happy and is doing that thing where they go limp and you have no control whatsoever… (probably a sign of things to come).
But.. we are good — good to go. Out of here at 4:00 tomorrow to head back. 6 hour layover in Frankfurt (YUK!). Stopped to pick up babyfood b/c I have a feeling this is going to be a LONG plane ride.
No pics today — trying to get out of here. Love to all.
Sunday The Mother Load 5/9/10
I have been quiet because …well I am exhausted. We did make it back. Long as hell flight – VERY rough flight. Since our return many sleepless nights. I will send details but… the highlights are for the first two nights Tennyson woke up every two hours and refused to let me sit with her to rock or relax — I had to always be moving. God forbid you set the child down beside you. Then last night Landon got sick and hurled three times, once on my damn silk bedspread and matching bedding. GRRR. Not sure what precipitated that. She ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor watching Princess and the Frog on the DVD player(technique patented by Dr. Spock and recently highlighted on Oprah).
We are fine — I promise to send an update with pics in the next day or so. Just asking for a bit of sleep and normalcy (2020 or so perhaps).
5/16/10 In a COMA
Hey all –Okay I figured I had to post an update or risk a full APB on me.
We made it – arrived back in Denver on Thursday, a little over a week ago. To sum it up I have been completely and utterly exhausted. Not sleeping… oatmeal and rice cereal on every item of clothing I own.
The trip from Romania…. Well…. It sucked. We were up by 1:30 in the morning and out of the hotel by 3:00 for the airport. Left at 6:00 a.m. and arrived 2 ½ hours later for a 6 hour wait in Frankfurt. I managed to sweet talk my way in to the Lufthansa lounge for the wait. How? Well I met a woman from Alabama in the security line in Frankfurt (trust me she was easy to peg…. Way blonde, way sweet, and way chatty). We chatted and she said she was headed to the Lufthansa lounge. Immediately certain she would be my new BFF, I tagged along. When the rep in the lounge declined my entry as her guest, I was done. I virtually begged her to let me in, let me pay, anything. Nope. When I began to tear up yet and asked if there was any other place in the airport for me to wait with my new screaming and sleep deprived daughter … I guess I found the German soft spot and she said “u kin go head”. I had to hug her.
Nice place to relax, plenty of treats for the princess to eat and a variety of wines and champagne for me. Tres nice. I pushed two cushy chairs together for Tennyson to sleep in. She slept not one wink in the entire 6 hrs. GRRR! It was a LONG layover but we made many friends.
Once on the plane they put us in a row with a console separating us. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it. Flight attendant button pressed once, pressed again, pressed a third time. Finally Helga comes to help us and says there is nothing she can do. This is a 10 ½ hour flight. I explain the situation, the issue with her not being able to relax and stretch out etc. She is a beecho. Is that the Jaws theme I hear? I knew it was not going to be good.
The child did not sleep… could not sleep… she couldn’t get comfortable… couldn’t stretch out. It was terrible. She cried and cried and cried and cried. I tried the DVD, a variety of toys (which the guy across the aisle called a “serious mummy bag”, all kinds of food…. Nothing seemed to help her. I tried several other flight attendants during our trip; but, no one would help. The last guy I pleaded with (basing my case on her inability to sleep and ability disrupt the entire economy cabin) said “well you know she will sleep when she gets home”. Asshole!
VERY LONG PLANE RIDE. I think she did manage to catch about 3 ½ hours of sleep in the whole 20 hours of travel time total (that is also of course on top of her waking up at 1:30 a.m. in the morning the day we left). When we finally landed the man in front of me turned around and said “very well behaved baby” to me. I cried again. Honestly I wasn’t sure I was going to make the flight. I also have concerns over whether this man has feeling in his back and lower extremities as Tennyson kicked his seat no less than 15 times.
We arrived in Denver fine and go through customs where they ask you the normal questions about your travel. As I handed the adoption paperwork to the immigration clerk, it has a nice fat (but flat) raisin securely attached to it. She was not amused. Sidebar…. Tennyson loves herself some raisins. I am still finding random raisins in places raisins should never be.
The clerk asked me if I had any other food. I responded “oh just some nuts and more raisins”. That response sent me to the high security immigration check area, as they were suspicious I was transporting Moldova nuts and dehydrated fruits. I should have clarified that I had purchased all that at the Target and was tired as hell b/c I had been traveling for 20 hours with a sleepless and screaming baby – could we get this show on the road.
Our friend Marilyn arrived to transport us home. I was so thankful …. So glad to be home and free of mayonnaise. I was so exhausted I tried to sleep on the floor in the car for the 22 minute ride to the house.
Grandpa and Landon were ecstatic to meet Tennyson. She was jumping up and down…. So very very cute. Tennyson had had enough. She was not in the mood for socialization. This then of course caused Landon to cry. Are we having fun yet?
Hollywood Honeys here. New double stroller. Swear to God the thing is so big, I fully expect to hear BOINK BOINK BOINK when I back it up. First night home, Tennyson was up every three hours. She didn’t want to be rocked or cuddled on the couch. Oh no… you need to be walking and moving. IT SUCKED let me tell you. At one point that first night, we were all up. Tennyson woke up crying round 3, then Landon woke up. The three of us were sitting on the kitchen floor at 3:20 a.m. playing with toys, when we hear the (what the hell are you doing) footsteps of Grandpa from the basement. He wanted to know why we were up. Seriously what is the answer to this? The baby’s world has been turned upside down. Landon is over the top excited and I am basically delirious.
The first three nights were the same – no sleep. Don’t even think about putting that baby down. On Saturday our friend and sitter Lori (a.k.a. the baby whisperer) came over. She took Tennyson and got the entire situation under control. Not a peep out of Landon that night and Tennyson slept from 7p.m. – 6 a.m. Hallelujah! That has not happened every night; but, is getting more and more common. It has been a LONG LONG week.
Tennyson has had some struggles with men (sounds like the title to my book…) I just don’t think she has had much exposure to them. It is getting better; but, she was a little cautious with Grandpa.
Landon is enjoying her baby sister. She says “I love you baby Tennyson” They are already fighting … so I guess we are right on track. In the car I have spied them holding hands; which, I will tell you … chokes me up.
Saturday after our return, Landon said her tummy hurt. We are seeing quite a bit of acting out now… not listening… ignoring my guidance/direction. Its been quite noticeable. I was suspect of this tummy ailment, until she hurled up 3 times, the first and most productive one on my silk bedspread (which I am convinced is cursed)
We are working on our rhythm (not the snappy Michal Buble rhythm but the rhythm of the house). It has been very hectic. I can’t believe that chaos, toys everywhere, laundry (fully expect a call from Denver Water for the increase in use).
A sidebar of really no relevance… Wednesday I took out our recycle bin. I also had groceries delivered, because I am too wiped to go. They arrive on time of which I am excited. I hear a noise and look out to see the driver backing up …. no big deal except that he is pushing my recycle bin in to 6th avenue as he has somehow managed to back in to it. He totes the groceries right past my double stroller (or as I like to call it …our smart car…) and asks me “how many kids do you have?” He then sees some of my paintings and asks about those. I am getting the idea I am being hit on when he says “are you a single mom?” I say yes but I have a boyfriend (because in my mind I do). He responds “that sucks”. I am still processing how I managed to kick in some Mojoe in my current state of disarray but… As he left I thanked him for his service (mind out of the gutter) and asked “do you mind unhooking my recycle bin when you leave… it is attached to your bumper” I did enjoy that chuckle.
HEY GUYS — I AM PUTTING UPDATES ON THE MAIN BLOG UNDER POSTS – THIS LINK IS MORE A CHRONICLE OF OUR JOURNEY
So if you got to the of this — good for you. If you are considering adoption from Moldova or anywhere really and have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be glad to help you.