After our successful court experience, we went to the CSS office to meet with Irena for our visa registration and our power of attorney paperwork.   After a bit, Teresa & Chris arrived, fresh from their courthouse victory and we all drove to a nearby building to get those forms notarized.   Alusha & Tanya dropped us off at our apartment, done with official stuff for the day.

We cleaned up, changed clothes, and set back out to meet Teresa, Chris, & their driver, Anton, at Hard Rock Cafe over on Old Arbat Street.   We had a great time visiting with them — we didn’t head out for the hike back to the Cathedral apartment until well after 10 p.m.   It was a great but long & emotion-filled day!

The Phillips & their Russian driver

Today, Jan. 22nd, began our "10 day wait."   Several people have asked us about this.   As we understand it, this is technically a "10 day appeal period" that’s a provision in Russian law so once a Judge renders a verdict in a civil court case, either party has adequate time to file an appeal, if needed.   So, it’s not specific to adoption.   We’re told that Russian judges do have the ability to waive this appeal period, but it’s almost never done in Moscow & the Moscow region.

Alusha & Tanya picked us up at 10 a.m. to do some sightseeing.   The Russian weather wasn't cooperating much since it was snowing hard all morning but in spite of the cold, we were struck by how pretty the city can be — with the fresh blanket of snow, it looks like a live version of those old Currier & Ives Christmas paintings!   The Kremlin & Red Square area was especially beautiful!

Rob and Dede in Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Next, they took us to the incredible Cathedral of Christ the Savior.   The interior of this massive church was just amazing — but it’s a working church, so no photos are allowed.   We also drove out to tour around a bit of the Moscow State University campus and got some awesome panoramic photos from that hilly vantage point.   That was a pretty full day — we’ll see what tomorrow brings!