Like the song says: All our bags are packed, we’re ready to go…  We’ve done all the prep work we can think of.  We’ve been through 6 different versions of pre-travel checklists, including checklists from the doctors about questions we’re supposed to ask and data we’re supposed to gather.

Passports and visas are in hand. We have a few rubles in our pockets, and even a few euros in case we need a snack during our brief stop in Munich.  The flights are (for now) still showing on-time departures, although the weather on both ends of the itinerary is mildly worrisome.

With temperatures in the Denver area predicted to dip below zero tomorrow night, we’ve opened up all the air vents and cabinet drawers to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.  Snow is predicted to fall through the day tomorrow here in Denver.  One of our neighborhood kids has offered to shovle the sidewalk while we’re away, and it looks like we’ll put him to good use.  Moscow weather looks relatively warm, with temperatures near freezing, but snow and freezing rain are predicted through the first few days of our visit.

As we creep up on departure, the magnitude of the trip is starting to set in.  I think we’re both wondering what it’s going to be like to meet these children for the first time.  Will it be love at first sight?  Will it be natural?  Will it be awkward?   We stopped by Babies ‘R Us yesterday to pick out a couple of toys to use during our playtime with the kids, which served as yet another reminder of how much we have to learn about them.  We must have spent an hour wandering around the aisles debating about which toy they might like best, and which ones were appropriate for their age and level of development.  All we could do was take our best shot and hope for the best.  I think we’re getting pretty good at that…

It’s also a little strange not knowing exactly where we’re going.  All we really know is that we’ll land at Moscow Domodedovo airport Tuesday afternoon.  From there, we’re just along for the ride.  We don’t even know what city we’re staying in once we get there.  We’ve completely put our faith in the adoption agency and their in-country coordinator.

This is probably our last opportunity to post any updates until Wednesday night, Moscow time.  Our expectation is that we’ll go from the airport to some sort of rest house to wait for a train that evening.  I’m guessing we’ll be on the midnight train from Moscow to Bryansk, but that’s up to the coordinator. 

That puts us in Bryansk at roughly 7:00 Wednesday morning, or 9:00 Tuesday night MST.  For those of you keeping track, that’s basically 32 hours of travel.  We hope to have a few minutes after we arrive in Bryansk to change clothes and clean up a bit before we head off to the Ministry of Education to find out where we’re going and formally receive permission to meet the children.  From there, it’s straight to the orphanage. 

We don’t know what the rest of the itinerary for Wednesday looks like, but hopefully by that evening we’ll be able to find an internet connection somewhere.  Priority #1 will be getting whatever data we can to the doctors so we can get some feedback by the next day.  Then we’ll try to post an update here.

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