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My story DOES have a happy ending.  Though it hasn’t ended yet!

We named sweet Ava Catherine Monday afternoon, said our teary farewells and boarded a plane for home Tuesday morning.  Without our baby.

Fortunately, we have been through this process and understand the rules and regulations and red tape that are absolutely necessary to complete the adoption.  It doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye to your precious child, but it does make it easier.

At this point in the story, we will wait some more.  Luckily, we have almost perfected the art of waiting.  Russians use a Julian calendar and celebrate their Christmas on January 7th.  By celebrate, I mean SHUT DOWN for two weeks.  Literally.  With love, luck and a miracle, all the paperwork will be approved so that we can get our court date scheduled for the week of January 16.

Regardless, we will make a trip back to Moscow for court around two days prior to whatever court date we receive.  After court there is a ten day waiting period – I don’t understand this, but have to accept on blind faith – where we can either stay in Russia for around 2 1/2 to 3 weeks total or return home and make a third trip which would last around 5 days.

Given the cost of staying in country and the fact that we have a first-grader at home, we will probably opt for three trips.  The cost is about the same, but we wouldn’t have to leave Sophie for those extra in-between weeks.  Her world is going to be ROCKED when her sister arrives so we might as well dote on her a little more.

And so.  It IS quite a Merry Christmas here.  Still missing the smallest of our clan, but it brings me so much joy to know that she will be here soon.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!