Larisa has felt bad that we never been married in Russia and can’t make it legal here until the adoption is finalized. He passport says “single” and her husband is here so rarely that her friends barely believe she is married.
Her solution is that we are going to get married in the church before I leave. Father Andre has agreed to perform a religious ceremony separate from the legal one.
Only baptized Orthodox can be married in the church, so I agreed to go through baptism. It was in interesting ceremony about a half an hour long and I got a new name. My secret name is now “Roman”. I also got to enter the secret altar that Larisa will never see because it is “Men ONLY”.
Larisa has wanted to baptize me for years and was gleeful when I agreed to pretend to be baptized. I have always refused to go through it because, as an atheist leaning agnostic, I think it is silly. Then I realized that I could not logically claim that it was silly and meaningless and still say that it was so meaningful that I would not do it as a price of admission to the wedding party. I giggle. Larisa happy. Father Andre smart man who goes along with a good act to keep Larisa happy.
Actually, I rather like Father Andre and wish that my Russian was good enough to have a conversation away from Larisa. He works hard, gives good advice, and seems to really care more about his parishioners than their religion. Orthodox priests dress funny, but they are married men with families and tend to be saner than their Catholic counterparts.
There is one other twist to this. The local adoption manager knows that Larisa is married in the States. Larisa told her at the insistence of me and Father Andre. She agrees that Larisa should keep it secret while she is adopting the child because she, like Larisa, thinks that the orphanages will give Larisa a sick child if they know the child will end up in the States. She has, however, insisted that Larisa and I make her married status legal here before she signs the final adoption papers.
I’m going to marry the same woman three times.