Happy Valentine's Day! We enjoyed a nice Valentine’s Day, even though we didn’t get to see our beloved Eli, and we miss him very much. We started the day by going to Krasnogarsk to the Moscow regional courthouse to drop off our file for court, about a 45 minute drive. The courthouse is a new building, and was very nice. Because the traffic was heavy, the judge’s secretary had not arrived yet, so we waited about 30 minutes. We submitted our file, and that was a happy moment. When we signed the ledger book, Mark & Sinziana's names were just a few lines above ours! Based on the time lines of the other families with our agency, we're really hoping to be going to court in a month. That court date can’t come soon enough.
After we left the courthouse, we went down the road to a huge grocery store. It had groceries, plus clothes, a dry cleaners, bank. We got a few things to bring home, and more bottled water and cheese for the apartment. R got some tea biscuits and coffee creamer to take to the break room at work. We enjoyed walking through the store and looking at everything.
Then we drove back to Moscow. I fell asleep in the car. I woke up right before we arrived at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Since I didn’t bring a hat with me, I wrapped my scarf around my head, because women can’t enter the Cathedral with an uncovered head. The Cathedral was amazing. The walls and ceiling were completely painted with saints, angels, and the Savior, and there were gold icons everywhere. We bought a candle to light for Eli. We placed it in front of the icon which depicted the baby Jesus. There was an old nun there, and she was talking to us in Russian, which we did not understand, but her face was very kind. She gestured, so we walked up to the gold stand, lit the candle for Eli, and placed it there. Then we stood together and said a brief prayer for him. Even though we are not Russian Orthodox, it was a very emotional moment for us. As we were leaving, we bought a small icon, which had been blessed, of Elijah the prophet for his room.
After we left the Cathedral, we walked around the corner to a souvenir shop. It was very cold today, and it was snowing lightly as we were walking. We were so glad that we were wearing the silk long underwear, because we didn’t freeze! The shop we went to was in the former palace of the father of Peter the Great. It was a 2 story building built in the 17th century. We bought some nice souvenirs. We got a a wooden toy for Eli, an ornament of a man playing a balalaika, a coffee mug with a map of Moscow for R to take to work, and a little decorative box made from birch wood, which is a souvenir for Eli of the beautiful birch trees on the way to Kolumna. After we paid for our purchases, we had tea at the shop, and it tasted so good. We have really enjoyed the tea here in Russia. It's much more flavorful than the bags we brew at home!
Our next stop was the Tretyakov Gallery. It is a museum of only Russian art. We spent 2 hours walking through, looking at all the paintings. Other than our precious Eli, of course, it was the highlight of our trip to Moscow. Impressionism is my favorite, and I was thrilled to see paintings by Vrubel, Graber, and especially Korovin. At the end, we bought a book in English about the collection, which included some of the paintings that I liked and which I will enjoy showing to Eli when he is older.
Our last stop for the day was to go to the bank to exchange money. We needed 36,000 rubles for our 8 doctor medical exam tomorrow, which is our last thing to accomplish on this trip. After that is over, we will come back to the apartment and pack, and get ready to come home. Since we did not see Eli today, we have already started our waiting for the court date, even though we're not even home yet.
Please continue to pray that we get a court date very quickly, and pray for God to take care of Eli until we can return.
P.S. Here is a picture of R in front of the Cathedral.