Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bringing Ella Home - Part 3

Friday morning we got ready and went down to wait for Marina to escort us to our U.S. Embassy appointment.  Here we are waiting.

We decided to take the Metro to save money.  Plus, Julie and I were already pros from our sightseeing the day before.  The Metro was packed again. 

Marina told us that each of the Metro stations was remodeled during Lenin's time, and they all have different marble and artwork that represent Russian history.

When we got to the embassy, Marina waited outside while we went in.  We were not allowed to take pictures in the embassy, so you'll just have to use your imagination.  There were 5 other families waiting with their adopted children, including another RR mom.  It was so much fun to get to meet the Benhams and their sweet Elena.  Elena kept showing me her shoes, her clothes, her glasses, her toy.  She was very proud of all her new things, so precious.  Ella was still freaked out and just sat in my lap the whole time. 

An embassy employee came out and had all of the adoptive families hold up their right hands and promise they were providing true and accurate information.  Then they called us all up one by one to hand over our paperwork.  Then we waited some more before we were all called up one by one again to get our visas.  Ella had a visa to the U.S. of A.!!!  All in all, it took maybe an hour if that.

We met up with Marina outside the embassy and set off to do some sightseeing.  We walked over to Red Square, which was only a few blocks away.  On the way, we saw some lovely buildings and fountains.  Marina knew a lot of history, and it was wonderful getting to hear it all from her.

 This is a theatre.

Statue of composer Tchaikovsky, with a music conservatory behind it.

As we approached Red Square, this is what we saw.

Shrine of the Lady of Iberia at the entrance to Red Square.  The Russian royal family used to worship here, and they were holding a Russian Orthodox service at the time.

Marina, Julie, and Ella in Red Square 

This is the outside of the mall in Red Square.

This mall is so beautiful.  I felt like I was in a fairyland the whole time we were there.

They have an Apple store!

Back outside we saw the clock tower.

And St. Basil's Cathedral

This is Lenin's tomb.  It was surreal because they were holding a big sports event in Red Square coomplete with loud music right outside of Lenin's tomb.  I hope he has soundproofing.  Otherwise he's hearing, 'Nst, nst, nst!' 

Julie being goofy.

After Red Square, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed R&R.  We saw goodbye to Marina at the Metro station and were very sad to part from her.  What a sweet lady she is!

And the next morning, we headed for the airport for our 12-hour plane ride to Houston.  Once again, Ella was a total angel on the plane, played with the remote for the tv screen, her magnadoodle, and slept. 

This picture was taken right after Julie called Ella's name, and she turned around.  It was the first time she responded to 'Ella' instead of 'Elvira'.  I was excited!

After a trip through Houston security, we hopped onto a plane to Dallas, and a short plane ride later, we were back in DFW, home sweet home! 

Here we were with Ryan at the airport.  Ella was very, very tired, and so was I.  But I was also so thankful that we made it home safely.

Now our real work was beginning - helping Ella begin to heal both physically and emotionally.

"Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands."  Psalm 90:17

Next up - meeting her siblings and learning to be loved.


  1. God is so good to bring your family together.
    Cheering you on from TN...

  2. Hi Marj,

    I'm just a visitor from Reece's Rainbow - it is SO wonderful to read about your journey to bring home Ella! Praise God that she's home!

    When I found out she was in Vladivostok, I just had to comment and ask if you happened to see a certain little boy while you were in the orphanage - - he goes by 'Wyatt' on RR. He's in Vladivostok but is probably in lying down room somewhere - he is quite unwell. I'm his Prayer Warrior and am so concerned for him. Just thought I would ask in the small chance that you saw him.

    Blessings on your family as you settle into life with sweet Ella!
    Monica :)

    1. Monica, I'm sorry to say we did not see Wyatt at Ella's orphanage. There are at least half a dozen orphanages in Vlad and three floors of children at ella's orphanage, so there's no telling where he actually is.

  3. I must have missed something - did you change her name from Elvira to Ella? Or is that a nickname?

    1. Emma, yes, we changed her name. We didn't want her to get made fun of in elementary school.

  4. Hello Marj,
    You posted on March 17th about the Baileys and their efforts to raise money to adopt a little boy named Carlton. I was just wondering if you have any more information on how they're doing. I tried their website, but it doesn't list any new information or updates on what has happened.


    Britta Brunson

  5. Thank you for the pictures. They are wonderful! I noticed Carlton is back in the photo listings. Did the Baileys have to discontinue their adoption? I hope it wasn't purely financial, I know they needed to fundraise.

    1. Brit Jo and Ce Ce - The Baileys made the very difficult decision to re-list Carlton. Their bio son has had increasing medical needs, and they did not think they could leave him behind for 3 trips. All the money raised for Carlton has been contributed to his RR account in the hopes that another family will commit to him.