Adopting from Russia (2003)

Return to
Main Menu

Aug 12
Ekat First Visit

Ekaterinburg - Doctors visit

Image Galleries + Instructions
Bailey Venera Orphanage Ekaterinburg Moscow
Phone card Instructions Internet card Instructions

Aug 14
Ekat Tour

Ekaterinburg, Wednesday August 13

Wed was going to be our special day. We were feeling a bit more rested, having eaten dinner in our room, and having gone to bed early. Our morning session with Bailey Venera was going to be with Dr. Downing, the Canadian doctor who would give her a physical to ensure the Canadian Government (an us) that she was healthy enough to be adopted. We didn't expect any surprises, but were still curious to hear what he would say.

Slava and Sergei picked us up at 9:45, and we headed directly to the orphanage. It is a 12-15 minute drive across town, fairly direct, on a quick road. There is some morning traffic in Ekaterinburg, but it usually clears up by the next light!

Bailey Venera was brought to us, and we waited outside with her, for Dr Downing's arrival. When he arrived, we proceeded inside to the music room, and he began checking her over. He asked lots of questions about her reactions to us, and her awareness of her surroundings, as he checked her over. Because of his continued prodding and manipulation, we heard Bailey cry for the first time. On top of her being tired, she was getting just a little aggravated with him. Up till then, we had not seen her be anything but happy.

To keep from boring you with any medical details, he found no significant problems with her, and he reassured us that her Russian medical evaluation(s) could, on the most part, be ignored.

He said he'll have to look pretty hard to find any reason NOT to adopt her, and there were no problems that would cause the Canadian Government to halt the adoption. He said we would have average risk when adopting her.

We were glad that the result was favourable, and after the doctors visit, it was time for Bailey Venera to go back to her orphanage room for lunch and a nap. The doctor agreed to go to lunch with us, so we headed downtown. Slava suggested the cafeteria associated with the grocery store, but the Dr thought that it was too plain/normal so he suggested we walk down the street and see what we could find. We had plenty of time until our afternoon visit, so we thought it was a great idea. Slava was nervous, but we reassured him that it would be fine, and that we'd meet him at our hotel at the appointed time.

So we headed down the street with the good Dr. and it was our first experience of Ekaterinburg as a real town, mingling (so to speak) with the locals, and noticing the stores and restaurants and businesses.

Dr. Downing picked a spot that looked to me to be a favourite of "new Russians" as outside the restaurant, were parked a Range Rover, an Audi and a Mercedes, and there was a doorman who seemed to be there to make sure you were of a certain caliber to enter! We were seated on the upper level of 2 levels, by a waiter who spoke perfect English, but after a couple of minutes, we were escorted to a "cooler" table in the lower restaurant. The menu was primarily Italian dishes, and was written in Russian AND English. The prices were comparable to Canadian prices but a little cheaper.

I ordered fresh pressed apple juice, a long island iced tea, and medallions of beef, while Maureen had a beer and seafood stuffed trout. Dr Downing had a T-bone steak, and a beer and some vodka "straight-up, as Russian do". It was a terrific meal, and the service was relaxed and attentive, though we were in the restaurant for over 2 hours.

At the next table was a "new Russian" who had 3 business meetings during the course of our lunch. He had a stylish silk suit, a Versace branded T-shirt and managed to eat something during eat meeting (hushed conversation, architectural plans, good looking (but non-talking) girlfriends etc). Maureen liked it, although I found the restaurant made me feel a little uncomfortable. It felt like we were cheating on our Russian experience, although this was definitely part of the experience. (I swear I saw 1 young male individual, and 1 table of 3 young males "escorted" out, or at least made to feel uncomfortable, so that they left on their own.A little odd). But it was very good food, and our part of the meal came to about $40.

We got back to the hotel, with about 15 minutes to spare before our return trip to the orphanage for our afternoon visit.

The visit was uneventful. The procedure is to arrive, and Slava and Maureen head upstairs to Bailey Venera's room. She is handed over to Maureen, and we proceed to have an hour or so visit with her outside on the walk beside the orphanage. Slava, and the staff all leave us alone, so it is good quality "alone" time with her just the three of us. No one breathing down our neck. No one was hanging around in the background. It was a very enjoyable experience, and although it is hard to say if we were bonding with Bailey Venera, we certainly were getting to like her and enjoy her happy personality. She would look us in the eye, she would giggle when we lifted her in the air, she would watch the dog pass by, she would generally observe her surroundings, while she sucked on her fingers (she was teething as she had 2 new teeth on the bottom.). We let her suck as much as she wanted, because we knew that the staff spent a lot of their time trying to discourage her from sucking on them! It made her happy to do this.

Our evening was again uneventful. We were still tired, and still weren't feeling very sociable (as well as still being pretty full from lunch) so we got a few more supplies from the grocery store, and ate some soup in our room/noodles in our room. I think Slava also gave us 2 telephone cards with instructions on how to use them, and we checked in with a couple relatives (my mom, and Maureen's parents). With the 10 hour time change, our late night was early morning in Ontario. To talk to Sullivan, we'd need to call when it was the middle of the night for us (6am Ekat = 8pm Oakville) we'll do that tomorrow. (The first phone card lasted us 12 minutes). Ekat Tour

Return to
Main Menu