After another day of sightseeing, we returned to the Department for Adoptions and got the referral paperwork. We had dinner, packed our suitcases again to head to the region & city where the orphanage is.
We boarded an overnight train around 10pm and rode through the night. I can count on one hand how many times I ridden on a train. I knew it would be bumpy, and I expected it to be noisy.... and it was. :) We were able to sleep for a little while, but it wasn't the deep, restful sleep that allows you to wake refreshed. The noises and the motion made for some really interesting dreams! I know I had at least one dream with a giant Transformer robot who shook the ground as he went by. And another dream about an earthquake. Too funny!!
Day 8 - We Met the Girls!
We arrived in the city of K at 6:30am. Our facilitator and driver met us at the train station and helped us off the train. We were able to go to our apartment right away and catch a little nap and shower before we headed out to the orphanage. This would be a busy day for paperwork so we knew we wouldn't get to spend too much time visiting.
After a little drive out to the country, we arrived at the orphanage. As soon as I saw the colored fences that I had seen in other pictures, I knew that we were getting close. I saw the donkeys that I heard about, too.
|Colored fence at the orphanage|
We went to check in with the staff and let them know we were there. They sent us to another little building, that looked more like a little house from the outside.
|The Pink House|
As soon as we walked in, a little girl ran up to greet us and called "Mama, Papa!" and reached up to me to pick her up. She was quickly directed back to the room. We were told that she was in the process of being adopted by another family. She had met them for the first time yesterday and she was eagerly looking for them to come back for her. Talk about breaking your heart!! When they told here that they weren't here yet, her little eyes welled with tears and her lips quivered into a pout, holding back back her cry. I think all of us were holding back our own tears to see how much she wanted her family to come back for her.
I wasn't sure exactly what was to happen next. I had expected to meet in an office or something official. We waited in a little foyer area. As we waited I shared some recent pictures with our facilitator and the staff of other children that had been adopted from this orphanage. Everyone was astounded and hardly recognized the children in the photos as the ones who had left there only a matter of months ago! We also shared pictures of our children at home so they could see that our son with Down syndrome was well-included within our family life and community.
Suddenly as we were talking, I looked up and Lindsay and Shawna were sitting right there on a little bench in the foyer/hallway with us! It took me just a second to realize it. They were so tiny and their hair had been cut. I knew they would be small, but they were a little smaller than I had expected. They had just been awakened and so they were a little out of it. It took Shawna a little while to wake up and come out of the fog... I know how she feels! I'm the same way!
Shawna was helped to stand up and she was able to take a few steps to walk over to me. She was wearing some orthotic braces and big shoes, but her little legs were so thin... I got to hold her in my lap for quite a while. Lindsay was sitting in a little chair next to Lee and they played with a doll and a little stuffed animal and she giggled and smiled so much. She is a wiggleworm!
|Shawna and Mama|
About that time, one of the doctors came in with their files and began to read through their medical information. We were given the opportunity to ask questions from them about their health and abilities. I learned that they had recently been moved into this groupa house from the baby room where they were before. That's probably why their hair had been cut, too. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that we weren't able to get there before the scissors. But that's OK, we'll have plenty of time to grow out that pretty blonde hair and put it up in braids and bows!
Shawna was so sweet and quiet. While I was holding her in my lap, she pulled my arm in to hold her tighter. At one point, I kind of pulled my arm back to do something, and she pulled on my arm again to hold her snug. :) That warmed my heart!
We were able to observe while they both ate their lunch. Lindsay can sure put down a bowl of borshcht (a traditional vegetable soup) by herself in no time flat! Shawna can feed herself with a spoon with some assistance. The nanny was really trying to work with her to help her do it by herself. Both girls did a good job. They were given another food dish which looked like a rice and meat type of thick porridge. Again, Lindsay downed it in no time! Shawna took a little longer, but she did it! Once they were done, they each drank a cup of a fruit beverage. They definitely have a thing to two to teach Nathan about eating!
Then it was time for their nap, so we finished up our questions and wrapped up our visit. I didn't get to love on Lindsay much, so I had to get a little hug in before we left.
|Lindsay and Mama|
We'll return again tomorrow to visit with a little less commotion going on around us!
Please pray with us today as we make our decision on the new names that we will give them officially. We've decided to use their real names as their middle names, but we are almost decided on their new American first names.
Now it's off to bed for a good night's sleep!
Paka, paka! (Bye, bye!)