Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trip #3 – The Final Journey – Day 1-2

This is not our final journey to Latvia…but it is the last trip for Aleks’ adoption. For this journey, Kristen our oldest daughter – and Aleks’ older sister, came with Aleks and I. Our flight over was pretty uneventful. We got the three middle seats in the VERY last row of the plane for our flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt. I slept most of the trip while the kids watched a couple of Disney movies. We arrived in Frankfurt air space about an hour early which required us to circle a few times before landing. Once inside Frankfurt airport we headed to our connecting flight but had to go through the transfer checkpoint. Here they asked for proof and reason why Aleks was traveling with us. Thankfully I brought every document with me “just in case”. This was an unusual request but went well once I produced the court papers. (Note to those traveling for trip #2 and #3 – take your paperwork with you though you aren’t supposed to need it) Our flight from Frankfurt to Riga was an old plane with no entertainment systems in the plane…so I slept again. We landed about 45 min late.

Our hotel is very nice and was one of the cheapest in the city. We can recommend the Europa Royal Hotel in Riga. Good rates, nice rooms, free breakfast buffet that is a really nice spread. The hotel is also a short walk from the US Embassy and passport office. There is most anything within a few blocks of the hotel.

Monday was the day to visit the Embassy certified doctor and then head to the passport office. On the way to the doctors office we were informed of a few “new” items from Aleks past. Not good stuff but it is merely shadows of his old life, stuff that can’t change our love for him. This whole thing messed with Aleks head and heart…but I quietly reassured him that nothing will ever change our love for him…nothing. Once we arrived at the doctor the exam went pretty well…except that Aleks had to get three shots. Found out that he has never had chicken pox nor had he ever been immunized for it. Once we completed everything we headed to the passport office.

Once at the passport office we waited in a packed room for our number to be called. The office was filled with all types of interesting people all looking to get passports to leave and visit other countries. Once our number was called we met with a clerk who informed us that the court in Liepaja had not entered the adoption decree and information into the computer system. Fortunately Daina had certified copies of everything and was able to talk them into entering the information here at the passport office in Riga. This required that we leave for a few hours and come back after 2:00 in the afternoon. Daina had other meetings planned so she dropped us off at the hotel and we wandered around the city for a few hours. Lunch at “little” Lido, coffee and hot cocoa at Coffee Nation then back to the passport office. Once we arrived back at the passport office we found that the internet was down…and required for us to complete the application. We waited….finally things were back working and we completed everything,..without a translator. I wrote a sentence in Latvian that said I understand everything on the documents. Hmm…ok.

After we finished our official business we headed to the airport to pick up a little rental car so we could go to Liepaja on Tuesday. Once again, interesting since we were picked up at the airport for a car that was supposed to be there. We took about a 5 minute ride to where the rental car place actually was. I had to be a bit pushy to get them to fix the broken tail light on the car…and then to give me the GPS that I had also paid for. After it was all said and done…we headed to the hotel and called it a day.

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