Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Day Here and Orphanage Visit do I explain what the last two days were like? This has been an amazing week.

To start from the beginning, we arrived yesterday morning and spent the morning with our coordinator. I received a small amount of information about the girls and had to sign several papers at the Department of Education (DOE) office. Around 11 am we headed to the region which was about a 3 hour drive. Mom and I were exhausted and basically headed straight to bed. We woke up at 6 pm and went to get a little bit of dinner - "Variant 1" on the menu!! We pretty much headed back to bed after that. I think our bodies were having a little trouble with the time change. The Russian countryside was beautiful and totally white with snow. The little towns have the cutest little houses with decorative window shutters and outhouses in the back. The cities (where most people seem to live) are very industrial looking. The language is difficult for us to grasp since their alphabet system is totally different than ours. There are very few English speaking people here so we are happy that we have an interpreter to help us. We have learned a few words and hopefully will learn a few more before we leave. I think I am going to have to spend more time on Rosetta Stone before I come back.

So this morning I woke up about 4 am. I think it was a combination of the time change and the excitement. Russia does not have all the safety features that we have in America. For instance, the water is scalding hot and the stairs are marble with nothing to keep your snowy shoes from sliding. On the way back to the room after breakfast, my life flashed before my eyes as I took a tumble down the stairs. It was pretty humiliating and really hurt my knees but did make us laugh. What a way to start off the day!

We left for the orphanage at 8:15am. It was about a one hour drive but took us a tad longer because it snowed all night and was very icy outside. I was getting car sick and was happy when we finally arrived. There was remodeling going on at the orphanage which is a good thing. We immediately met with Dr. Ludmilla, the orphanage director. She was so friendly and clearly cared about all the kids there. I brought her several pictures from parents who had adopted children from this orphanage in the past. She was thrilled to see the pictures and kept talking about how happy the kids look. Jody - she though Alex's picture with food all over his face was hilarious. Then, Dr. Ludmilla explained my children's history and asked if we were ready to meet the girls. I was nervous and excited at the same time! They brought the girls in the room and they were both crying but quickly calmed down once they realized that we had a bag of toys. They were so beautiful and had on the cutest little dresses and shoes. They are clearly not handicapped in any way and seemed to be very well adjusted. They were not particularly shy (especially once they figured out that the bag I had was full of toys and treats). I think I brought way too many toys because they pulled everything out at once and all the toys were a little overwhelming for me (so I am assuming they felt the same). We had a very good time playing with them and they seemed to enjoy themselves as well. They clearly have two different personalities. Mom said that one of the girls looks a lot like me as a baby and the second twin had a personality similar to mine. It was like they were my girls from the start! One of the girls is a "collector" and would collect all her toys and carry them around with her. She then decided she wanted to slide and I would have to put her on the slide with all her toys. We were cracking up! The second twin always smiles and seems to be the easy going of the two. They discovered the yogurt melt treats and got really excited. I fed them for a little while and then let Mom take over. Unfortunately for Mom, while things were initially going fine, the girls eventually got a little out of hand with the yogurt melts. Mom felt like she was being mobbed for the melts and we eventually had to put them away. The kids were stuffing handfuls in their mouths and climbing all over Mom trying to grab more. The girls are VERY active and I think that I am going to be very busy. They loved all the toys we brought and one of the girls was especially interested in the books. It looked like she must have been read to at the orphanage because she would take the books and go sit on the chairs to page through them. The little Kleenex packet and an empty box that the girls found in Mom's stuff were big hits as well. The kids actually almost had a fight over the Kleenex. The playroom we were in had many toys as well and we spent a lot of time taking turns on the slide. I am so excited to go back and see them tomorrow. We leave at 8 am because we have to go by the notary office on the way there so I can sign some papers.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. YEAH! I am so glad all went well!
    SOOOO Excited for you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and enjoy your time tomorrow! :)


  2. Great news!!!!! Enjoy your next visit.

  3. Such GREAT news! My family read this out loud while at my mom's for thanksgiving! Keep us posted... we're all so happy for you!
    All our love and prayers, Amber and family