Wednesday, June 23, 2010
How it's going. Finally.
It is a little challenging getting an internet connection so it's been a few days. I wrote this yesterday.
The driver came, we made our train, and our daughter had been moved to another orphanage so the ride was only 12 hours instead of 14, we were picked up at the village station and we were brought to meet our daughter.
She wasn't there.
No worries, she was just out receiving routine blood work. We did some paperwork and came back to meet her.
We only got to spend about 10 minutes with her that first day, but oh, how precious they were. She is quite the character. Besides the 4 of us, Scott, Sveta, our facilitator and I, there were 5 of the official orphanage people standing around watching. She had a bashful grin and held her head down, but she look up through her eyelashes with the biggest smile and the deepest dimples. We gave her a sucker, which went over big, and pulled out some bubbles. She realized right away that they were for her. She sidled up to Scott, gently reached out her hand, took the bubbles, and giggling, skittered back over to her teacher. That's the entirety of our first visit, but that's all it took. WE ARE IN LOVE!
The rest of the day was full of driving and paperwork and waiting for the paperwork to be finished. We spent nearly 10 hours in and out of the car doing these things. While we got to sleep on the train, our facilitator, Sasha, took the bus for nearly as many hours to meet us at the train, and she was the one who had to make sure all the paper work was correct. She also had to find us decent housing. We ended up in a hotel instead of an apartment. We don't have internet, but the price is fantastic and there is an excellent restaurant attached. This was the location of our next big adventure.
Because we knew Sasha was so tired, we didn't want to bother her just to help us with dinner. We brought our Russian/English dictionary along and figured, how hard can it be? Well, a little more difficult than we imagined. We are pretty sure the menus are in Ukrainian, not Russian. None of the words matched up. Our waiter, bless his heart, is so cute. I'm sure he thinks he is a tough guy, we've seen him in army boots and camo pants and a no-sleeved t-shirt for the band RUSH (written in Russian, of course), but in spite of all that, he is super sweet. He was so earnest to help us figure out what to order. He knew about 4 words in English and all we can say is thank you, but he flipped through our dictionary and we settled on a meal. We shared 1/2 a chicken and ordered 3 different kinds of potatoes. (Can’t go wrong with potatoes, and boy, were they delicious!) Naturally Sasha showed up after that, but we were satisfied with how things were going so far. She told us what everything on the menu was and we wrote down all the things we like. Problem solved.
We collapsed into bed, eager to get up the next day to go see Nastia. This is the nick name for Anastasia, and what everyone calls her. It's pronounced like NA-stia. So cute!
We get to see her twice a day. For 1 hour before lunch, and for 2 hours starting at 4:00 pm. Now I can tell you what she is really like:
She is truly a delight. Sharp as a tack. Quite obviously smart and funny and comfortable with herself. She is only a little shy, just enough to let us know that she is discerning about who she goes to. She is happy to see us and likes the different surprises we have to share. So far we have played with balloons and a ballerina doll. She has also seen the picture album we made her showing the family, house, and pets. We call ourselves Mama and Papa, and she is starting to make the connection. Yesterday she asked if we were going to come back to see her and if she could go with us. The other children realize what is going on and are happy for her. You can see that they hope it will be their turn next. How I pray that more families will come and welcome these precious children into their hearts. They are beautiful, and yearning and deserving of a family.
We took many pictures, she is quite the ham for the camera, and she also figured out right away how to charm the camera from Papa! She is thrilled to see herself in the screen.
When our hour was up, we brought her back to her caregiver. She has her own locker where she immediately placed her shoes, and she ran to talk to her friends. Quickly though, she turned, ran back, and gave Sveta a hug. So sweet.
We now know which bus to take, #7, 4 stops and then we get off and walk to the orphanage. We will make this afternoon trip alone. I think we will do fine.
Here are some pictures of our visit this morning.