First things first: Our little girl is warming up to Tara. She gave her a kiss yesterday, I think without even being asked.

Now, for some more random thoughts:

Before I forget to mention it, I need to tell you what happened Tuesday. I think it was Tuesday. My whole sense of time is pretty messed up. Anyway, it was a momentous day. Yeah, yeah, there's the whole adoption thing. But what I'm talking about is beets. Beets are the one food that I will normally never eat. I just hate them. For lunch, however, I ordered some sort of herring dish for the first course. It was terribly fishy, but not bad once I started eating it. It had some sort of red topping on it that helped offset the fishiness, so I asked what that was. Vika said, “Beets.” Tara about choked on her Coke. “Really?” It was the first time I've been able to eat beets. We tried to order borsch for the main course, but they were out so we had stroganoff. So, I'm still not sure what borsch is. I could look it up, but don't feel like it.

They have a thing about double-doors here. They just refuse to open the other door. So, like at the airports especially, everyone is forced to squeeze through the one door when it would be much easier if they'd just open both doors. As everyone tries to get through the one door, they literally push and shove and cut in front. These people are at their worst when it comes to properly standing in line and/or waiting their turn. They just don't do it. Don't get me wrong, they are very polite to people they know and/or have been introduced to. But if they don't know you and you get in their way, forget it. Otherwise, they're just like people anywhere else.

Men's dress shoes here are pointy and stick out about an inch or two past their toes. Just wanted to get that in.

It's funny to figure out written Russian words, with the Cyrillic characters. Once you sound out each word, it's often phonetically the same as English. Like that lunch mentioned earlier. It was a “business lunch” and that's almost exactly how it sounds in Russian. Our C is their S sound. Our B is their V. Our 3 is their Z. Our W is their SH. Our O is their O, except when it's not. 🙂 “Seminar” is “seminar,” or very close. “Meeting” is “Congress,” etc.

Well, time to get ready for today's morning visit to the orphanage. This time, we'll have “observers.” To add to the stress, Vika won't be there today, it'll be someone else interpreting. We don't know if today's observers will just want the usual song and dance “appearances” sort of “performance” out of us, or if they're seriously studying us to see if we're fit parents. You think job interviews are hard? Try interviewing in a foreign country in several venues in front of various people for a solid week.

UPDATE: Recently discovered this map showing the entrance of the orphanage on


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