Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week in Petrozavodsk

The week we spent in Petrozavodsk was very quiet. The hotel room was large enough for Hannah to run around, but there were only 2 beds. To make sure Hannah slept well (which would make our lives much easier in the long run), Marc graciously offered to sleep on the couch. Hannah went to bed around 7:30pm each night, but kept getting up earlier and earlier each morning, with a 4:15am wake up call on the last day. As most of you know, I am not at my best that early in the morning, but we survived and I took advantage of her nap time to catch up on sleep myself.

Our typical daily schedule was breakfast, then pace the hotel hallways (there were 4 floors which I think we covered several times), a walk outside with Hannah in the stroller, then back to the hotel for a nap. After nap, lunch, then playing in the room, more walks in the hallways, more playing, dinner, and finally bed.

Over the course of the week, we learned a lot more about Hannah including that she can eat a LOT! We don't know where she puts it all. For breakfast, she can down about 1 ½ cups of oatmeal, ½ peach, a pineapple ring, 2 large pieces of cucumber, ¼ of a tomato, and a small glass of milk. She stumbles back to the room letting the weight of her full belly propel her forward. It's pretty funny.

We also found out that she can pull a fantastic tantrum – for just about anything. If we take anything away that she either shouldn't be playing with or is putting in her mouth that she shouldn't, or pull her away from a hot radiator, or even if Marc tries to pick her up, she collapses on the floor and flops backwards into a fit of crying and tears. She's bumped her head on the hard floor a couple of times, but now we can see the signs and are there to catch her. We've let her cry it out a few times, but Irina told us to keep her quiet so not to attract attention, so if we are in public, or in earshot of anyone, I quickly pick her up and she immediately stops crying and places her head on my shoulder.

It seems, right now, I am the only one who she will come to to be picked up or comforted. I feel terrible for Marc since I am getting all the cuddles and bonding time, but he is taking in stride. He prepared himself for this very thing, understanding that she has not had much exposure to men, having only been cared for by women.

Although it has been a long week, with not much to do, it has been great to spend so much time together and get to know each other. We are very much looking forward to returning home and introducing her to Emily and our family and friends.

At 2pm on Friday, while Marc looked after Hannah, “Frodo” picked me up and we drove to the Office of Internal Affairs to pick up Hannah's passport. We first went to the office on the 2nd floor. Here we needed to get her birth certificate stamped, I think this validates her Russian citizenship, although I am not sure. Unfortunately, the ladies were not very organized and has not completed the paperwork. They also needed the papers signed by the manager who was returning in about an hour. So, we were asked to return at 4pm. “Frodo” took me back to the hotel to wait. When we returned, the papers were ready and we went to Office 12 on the 1st floor where I signed for her passport and we left. I was so relieved to have her passport because it meant we could board the train. Without it, she could not leave the region.

At the hotel, we finished packing and at 6:15pm, “Frodo” took us to the train and we waved goodbye as the train left the station at 7pm. This was a big moment since it was the first time she had ever left the town where she was born and we were one step closer to home.

I was fully expecting Hannah to enjoy the movement on the train and fall fast asleep, but unfortunately, she didn't settle at all and kept us up for most of the night. In the early morning hours, I was starting to lose it, so Marc stepped in to help and since Hannah was so tired, she allowed him to hold her and comfort her. I was so grateful, because after a 4am start to the day, I was running low on energy and patience. She finally fell asleep from 1-4am and again from 5-6pm. She was very restless and it made for a tough night, but we finally made it to Moscow.

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