The second problem was that Albert moved to Russia just before the time when our immigration laws (just like any other laws and rules in our country at that time) started changing way too fast, so before he knew it he became an illegal immigrant (just like thousands of other people).
Every visitor to Russia had to go through the quick process of official registration (I am writing this in the past tense because I don't know the details of the immigration process now. I'm writing about our experience and since then things could have changed). A registered foreigner could stay here for 3 months. So Albert got his registration and we immediately started our wedding preparation. We had to send a formal enquiry through the Armenian Embassy to get the proof that he didn't have any other wives waiting for him in Armenia, but by the time we got an answer 2.5 months of Albert's registration had already passed. When we came to the Wedding palace to register there for a wedding ceremony we were told that the closest open spots they had were a month after the expiry of his registration in the country, so we went to the visa office thinking that prolonging the registration would be easy since we were going to be married. However, they said there that Albert didn't have a right to prolong his registration unless he was already married. So they told us to get married as soon as we could and then prolong the registration. That's when I thought I'd go crazy. Thank God, in our church there was a person who worked in the city administration. So on September 28th, 2001, we were married in the Wedding palace by a personal order of the vice mayor of Vladimir and on September 29th we had a wedding ceremony in the Church. The next day his registration expired. You can see some pictures of our wedding here. All the preparations had to be very fast since we didn't know if and when we'd be married until a week before it actually happened!
It was the last sunny day that year before it got cold and rainy... I can't believe it has been 10 years! A lot has happened since that time. Albert got his residence permit (after two years of more fun with Russian officials) and later Russian citizenship, our precious daughter was born. I am so grateful to the Lord for my husband! Through the years, he has been my love, my support, and my best friend. He's the one who welcomed my transition from being an employee to being a freelancer and establishing my own little business. He is my good and perfect gift from above.
P.S. Photos were taken by our dear friend Rebecca Higgins.