August 28, 2005

  • This afternoon we trooped to Elaine's house to celebrate a few
    birthdays, and the family members in attendance were pleasantly surprised to find
    some unexpected visitors....Beth and Hannah!

    They rode back into town with Beth's father (who'd been visiting them)
    on Wednesday, since Alex was going to Atlanta then for the Navy band,
    but kept a low profile so as to surprise people at the
    party.   Can you tell our Hannah had her first haircut

    Max was clearly overwhelmed and uneasy at first, but a few servings of
    ice cream helped him feel at ease, then Marebear's roller coaster toy
    completed the process:

    He adored it, and went over and over again, though he was a very good
    boy and willingly got off to let Meredith and Margaret have a turn if
    they wanted (they civilly declined).  After the party it was time
    to get Max all packed up and ready to leave.

    It was nearly as we were walking out the door, but I finally got a photo of Max and me in his little album to take home:

    Finally his bags were packed and it was time to go.  We didn't
    intend to be, but wound up being the first to arrive at the hotel,
    beating even the Gladney people.   The hotel wasn't as far
    away as we thought it was....we weren't desperate to get rid of him!

    Max in a brief moment of tranquility in the lobby.  Most of the
    time he was crawling onto and under the glass topped tables (),
    running, jumping, and generally being rowdy.  Yet he'd been pretty
    quiet at home!  In a few minutes other families and Gladney
    personnel began to arrive and after a bit it was time for the first
    group of kids to head upstairs to their rooms.  Dmitry was pressed
    into service as an escort, seeing as how he can speak Russian. 

    Max loved the little orange suitcase we bought him, insisting upon
    taking it up himself.  I tried to catch another photo of him as he
    disappeared, but he was too fast, and the suitcase was the last we saw
    of him:

    Dasvidanya, dear Max.  We loved having you with us, and pray the LORD sends you a forever family soon!