Sunday, May 22, 2011
Playtime inside & a first for Mommy
Yesterday it was raining so we had our visits inside the orphanage. We were hoping that meant we could see more of the orphanage and how things work around there in the daily routine but the visiting rooms are pretty seperate from the residence areas. We were by a room that appeared to be part of the sick children area but that is all we could really see. We are hoping that maybe as they get more comfortable with us being around, they will maybe let us have a tour, but who knows.
As you all know, Mia is a daddy's girl. We have learned that she does not have men around and so she knows something is different about Kris and she likes it. She KNOWS he is her dad/Papa! At first we were trying to get her to call me Mama and she would just look at us blankly, than we learned that she calls the caregivers Mama so we understood a little better why I wasn't standing out to her as much, she already had what she thought were "Mamas" so we are now trying to teach her that I am Mommy. She still prefers Kris over me. It is so heartwarming for me to know that she already instantly loves him and wants him, but yesterday I was feeling a little down because I hadn't had the same connection yet. I mean its not that she doesn't like me or that she won't let me play with her and such but she spontaneously, without being asked, will go over to Kris and put her arms up for him to hold her and she has been giving him these big sweet hugs. She had given me kisses right from the start but until yesterday I hadn't received any unprompted hugs and I was in need of one. I am sure my Heavenly Father knew that my Mama's heart was not going to last without this because all the sudden yesterday this happened.........
She reached for me all on her own and wrapped her arms around my neck and said "Ahhhh"! It was just what I needed!
Then she did it again a few more times.
As we have been playing with her we have noticed she has no idea what to do with a book. She actually has no interest in them or what they are about. How sad that she is 4 years old and has maybe never had a story read to her! We will change that for sure! She did like the Matroyshka doll book we brought because all the dolls come out of it.
She really likes the baby doll too and does lots of imaginative play with her.
Even tried to put her inside the Matroyshka book with the Matroyshka dolls
This is the little inside play area we visited in yesterday
She LOVED my sunglasses
She likes to load her things in the car and then there is no room for her to even sit inside. It is funny to watch her play. You can tell she is not used to having so many things to choose from to play with and so she just goes from one thing to the next and then when she wants to move to another location in the room she has to load it all up and move it with her. I am assuming she thinks it will be taken from her if she doesn't keep it with her.
You can tell when hugging her that she doesn't really know what to do. She will wrap her arms around you and pat your back a little but the rest of her body is stiff and straight. She doesn't realize she can relax and just snuggle in.
She really wanted this water bottle but she had NO idea what to do with it. She would stick her entire tongue inside the opening.
What did you say?
Kris tried teaching her the itsy bitsy spider. She seemed to like it by the end.
When we visited in the afternoon she did the same routine as the morning...she pulled her hand away from the caregiver and put her arms up and ran towards Kris.
Trying to get her baby doll to walk with her
There was a little boy in the sick room with what looked to be his adoptive parents visiting and she kept trying to get in to play with him. They would giggle at each other through the window and she would try and hand him her toys. We were glad to see that she must like other children and want to interact with them.
We brought the pair of shoes I had brought to see if they would fit her. They are way too big!
Maybe she is figuring out the "cheese" face for the camera!
She loves loading her things into this ziploc bag
Walking back down the hall to the caregivers office.
Today is now sunday and we missed our morning visit with her because we went to the local branch of the LDS church. So we are really eager to go see her again this afternoon. It was so nice to go to the local church here.
It is amazing how at home we felt even though we didn't understand anything they were saying through the meeting. Afterwards we did get to visit with a bunch of the missionaries there thought. There was probably 16 Elders and 2 sisters and they were all american! They were more excited to see us and speak english with us than we were to see them! They just kept saying how brave we were for just throwing ourselves in to the culture and doing this. It was really fun to talk to them!
Some tips we have found so far that might be helpful for those coming to U:
-bring lots of ibroprofen or tylenol because you can't buy it here. We forgot our big bottle and only brought the travel one.
-a small notebook and pen to keep with you is a MUST. We are able to write down addresses in Russian (or have someone write them down) and then show the taxi drivers.
-someone asked where I ordered the family board book for Mia......it was from my custom story.
-you may want a mirror because we have found that the bathrooms don't always have outlets so you have to get ready and do your hair in another room.
We often have to laugh at ourselves that we are really just throwing ourselves into this culture and trying to survive without ANY language abilities! We know about 5 words or so that seem to get us by accompanied by lots of gestures and attempts to explain what we are trying to say. Luckily we have found this university student Lusha that is helping us out by driving us back and forth when he doesn't have class. Last night after the orphanage visit he helped us go to a pizza place and order a pizza to take home. That really has been the hardest part about not knowing the language is finding food. We don't know how to order or what we are ordering or where the restaurants are or anything. In the capital we were staying close to all the restaurants and there were alot that had english menus but here in the region it is very different. We are not close to anything within walking distance (unless you count the big compound that is next to the university here that is an estate of the big president of the russian moffia or something). Luckily last night we had a knock on our door and it was an american couple who live in the next building over who are here adopting 4 teenagers and they have been here for a LONG time (since March I think) so they helped us with a few things. They even took us over to this little house near our apartment where an older christian missionary couple live. The sweet man delivered breakfast to us this morning and has offered to help us learn the bus system and escort us on the bus to a grocery store soon.
Our "dorm/apartment" doesn't have personal kitchens, just a shared one across the hall. We decided to eat our sausage muffins that the missionary guy brought us this morning in here. We do have our own fridge right in our room though.
We were told by our facilitator on friday that a "tentative" court date could be thursday or friday but from what we hear we probably shouldn't get our hopes up because you never know. We are hoping to learn more Monday so pray that this tentative date becomes a reality!!!!!
We are really tired today because we got up at 4 am this morning to watch the girls dance recital through skype. We couldn't see much detail because the picture was not good but we saw it live and we could tell they did a great job. Luckily we get to see the video soon and pictures! We can't wait! So I am off to take a little cat nap before we go to the orphanage!
Posted by kecia at 3:00 AM