This morning Vita was supposed to pick us up at 9:45. She was a few minutes late and when she got us she told us that she had successfully presented our approval to adopt to the Department of Education. Once they get a paper back from the capital and get it to Vita we can present our court stuff to the judge. Yay!
When we got to the orphanage, Sweet Girl bounded out of her groupa to us. Lots of giggles and smiles today. We went upstairs and took out her new surprise of the day, painting suncatchers. We underestimated the mess possible with a paintbrush and 4 colors.
She tried to pick the paint up to show Vita and oops, spilled it all over herself. We managed to only get a little blob on her dress, but that was the second new outfit we ruined. Sorry nice orphanage. We’ll bring tons more back when we come!
The we changed tactics. Paper and one color at a time with Papa holding on to the container. I showed her how to rinse the brush in the water bottle and that became more fun than painting.
She had to use the restoom and while she was gone we took the paint. No need to have her be punished over making a mess when it was our fault.
When she came back we played with stickers and colored for a few minutes. I think this is something she gets to do pretty often so she wasn’t interested for long.
Soon enough she found and remembered her favorite toy from yesterday, our camera. Today we were smart enough to bring the big camera too to capture her sweet face when she saw us all in the viewfinder.
All too fast our visit was over. Here’s Vita and I walking back out the gates to the car.
It is very evident that the director and caretakers really try to make the place feel bright and cheerful. Lots of flowers are planted around and lots of colors for the kids.
While on break today he and I went to McDonald’s and got lunch. So far our ordering has been close to accurate. Today my attempt at “Da Ketchup and nyet the rest” translated to no ketchup. Oops. It’s what I get for being picky on my burger. Or not just ordering nuggets like him.
We came back to the room for some decent downtime and researched a few things. Then we got to skype with Cranky and Happy. When it’s mid afternoon for us it’s very early morning for them so they are still sleepy. This morning they were very sweet. They make it about 10 minutes and then Happy usually gets a little upset so we let them be. Makes me happy to see them even if it’s just a few minutes though.
3:30 took us back to Sweet Girl. She had pigtails this time. Very adorable. She went right for the camera.
“Who do you see?” I would ask. “Papa!” she’d always reply.
She needed a quick reminder where to put her hands so they weren’t in front of the lens.
The battery died and to avoid trouble we redirected her outside. We convinced her to walk her laps backwards. More cat chasing, more bubbles. This time, Ilya was parked inside the gates so everytime we passed him she’d give him weird looks and he’d wave. Then we convinced her to try to play in one of the quadrants in the back (there are 4 little separate play spaces) that didn’t have other kids near. She reluctantly agreed. She found a favorite trike and let me push her. Fast and slow around and around. Chasing Papa, being chased by Papa. Much fun.
Papa got a turn pushing, but Mama was taking a rest so no pictures.
We had tried the sandbox Tuesday and she wasn’t interested, but today she initiated.
Throwing sand. I was telling her “Nyet, we don’t throw sand,” here.
This is her “Papa, Mama told me Nyet” face.
It was almost time to go so we convinced her to go back inside. One quick family picture in front of the doors. I can’t wait until we walk out and don’t walk back in.
I wanted to have time in the quiet to talk to her. We told her that Mama and Papa had to go away for a few weeks, but we’d come back and see her again. We told her to be a good girl while we were gone. We showed her the pictures again of our family and said if you miss us look at our pictures. We gave her a little security blanket we got for her and told her she could keep it in her bed with her (hopefully the caretakers will show her the pictures and let her keep the blanket. We think she understood what was going on because she started stalling. She went over to a puzzle we brought her and showed her every day. She hadn’t ever been interested before but today she had to put it together. Mama would tell her where the pieces went and she’d rotate them and put them in.
Finally it was time. One last picture on the way down the stairs. She’s holding the bag of toys we left to donate to her Groupa. She’s still got the necklace she beaded on. I hope they let her keep it.
I always knew it would be hard to see her and then leave her. Part of me wants the system to be different so we didn’t have to leave so much. I am afraid since we will leave her 2 more times before we get her for good that she won’t understand when it’s the forever time. Vita asked her today, “Do you want Mama and Papa to come back?” “Da!” she said. “Will you miss Mama and Papa?” “Da!” When Mama and Papa come to take you home will you go with them?” “Da!”
And as hard as it is to leave her, I’m an adult. I understand. I underestimated how hard it would be on her for us to leave. I thought we’d just be visitors, playmates to her, but I think she gets it. She knows what Mama and Papa means. She had it for a week. Now she doesn’t know if she should trust that we’re coming back. So heartbreaking.
Counting the days Sweet Baby Girl….