My Daughter

Twenty two years ago today, June 4th 1997! I sat in the Judges Domain in the Oil Montropolis of Yaroslavl, Russia. Where hot water was luxury! But the food was excellent! Apparently the exchange rate at the time was that I looked like a Miilionaire to them! We dined in the finest restaurants really not knowing that the Tip I gave was equal to his months Salary! It must have been a good day for that waiter!
An average monthly Salary was equal to $60 bucks US Dollars! Our driver was getting $20 a day, our "Handler" who arranged all of the "Bribes" was paid $2,000 in used $20 Dollar bills. That's what the "unnamed religious organization" arranged. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. That is just how things were done in Russia then. One lady was Bribed with a bottle of shampoo!
Now, Today? I have no Idea. My Guess is it's even worse now!
She, the Judge was Pretty much GOD in Charge of my hopes and dreams of a family. Questions Asked, with the our Interpretor Interpreting every word of the proceedings.
"You want this child? , why? She This sick child that nobody claimed"! "She has been abandoned and no one wants her". " Yes mam I respond" with an envelope containing a Bribe. I knew her words were just a formality, to justify her decision. So then, after Official Papers Signed by the Judge. It was off to see the dr.
The doctor had to verify that this little girl was sickly.
Apparently a requirement for a foreign adoption.
Another Bribe gets the paperwork all signed, and at this point I am so exhausted.
Every thing official! And My new Daughter's Russian USSR Passport in hand, we want to leave as soon as possible!
Not so easy!
It's 8 in the evening and we have time to drive back to Moscow. On arrival wanting to get a hotel room for the night! We brought some Cherios cereal for our trip and that is what we feed her, on the trip back to Moscow. Soaked in some water to soften them a bit, my new daughter could not get enough! We saw double rainbows on the drive back to Moscow it was about ten at night, but still bright daylight! And the beautiful forest of Birch Trees that accompanied the highway! A few days later
My Daughter took her first steps for a Moscow McDonalds French Fry!
Ordering food there was sureal! The next day we acquired all the correct paperwork from the US Embassy. As US Citizens we got to jump ahead of all the poor russian pleebs! That in itself was sureal!
Every thing happened much faster than we planned. So we were able to bump up our departure to as soon as we could! I bless that travel agent we hired! ! She certainly earned her money!
After ten days of travel in this foreign third word country (btw, an observation and side note, there is now way in hell Russia could win a conventional a war against the US! , they would definitely resort to nukes) now we were tired, and getting very sick, flu sick, knock you on your ass flu sick! And I have this new infant to care for who is also getting sick!
We had a 24 hour layover in Amsterdam. A beautiful city, unfortunately we were way too sick to see much of anything other that the airport and the Hotel we stayed at! Funny thig is on our arrival we find out that our US passports allowed us to visit Amsterdand with no problem. But our new Daughter with her USSR passport did not entitleher to the same privilege! Luckily the agent processing us did give our new daughter a temporary visa after verifying her adoption papers!
The taxi ride through amsterdam... well all the taxies were Mercedes! And our foreign diver, definitely notScandinavium took us on a very senic route, but I didn't care, I was so sick I was just grateful to have a room to collapse in.
That was THE most comfortable bed and the softest bedding I have ever slept in! !
They even provided a crib for our new daughter! !
About 24 hours later we were back in the US, the whole flight my poor daughter kept touching her ears crying, poor thing was also sick and her ears so stopped up, she was in so much pain!
But soon we were home with family, very loved friends all to the effort tscandanaviumo met us at the airport on our arrival!
She is a US citizen now. And I don't know what I'd do without her!
My Precious Daughter! !