Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meetcha Day!

Today was awesome!

We met with the local MOE at 10:00 this morning. OMG we were so nervous! I actually left a puddle on the table from my hands sweating so much. I'm not sure how much we are allowed to share about the questions that they asked us - so I'll error on the side of caution and not mention any. We met with them for about 30 minutes (it seemed like hours!) and then we went into another office and saw a short video of EasternStar. She is SO cute!

Then, we drove back to our hotel to pick up a cake. There is a bakery in the lobby of our hotel that makes the best cakes in the city. Our translator and coordinator usually ask their couples to purchase a cake to bring to the director and the workers at the orphange. This is a treat as the cakes are on the pricey side and not usually purchased by the locals for everyday dining. We picked a beautiful cake (based on the recommendation of the person working there - the baker?). Unfortunately, she wrapped it before I could photograph it and it would have been awkward to take a photo of it after we gave it to the director! hee hee

We made it to the orphanage around 11:30 - at the end of meal time. EasternStar was just finishing up when we entered her group room. We took her to a playroom and played with her for about an hour.

Meeting her was indescribable! When her caregiver handed her to me, she cried. That is great news - she LOVES her caregiver (so we know that she can attach!!) but she stopped very quickly. Her caregiver took her back and bundled her up to walk to the building with the playroom. In the playroom, she was very overwhelmed! She sat in my lap for a little bit and she sat on the floor for a little bit. I know that it was very overwhelming for her. There are 14 other children in her group, so having 2 people focused just on her - and strangers at that - was probably pretty scary!

Right as she was starting to warm up to us a bit, it was time to meet with the Director who is also the head medical doctor at our orphanage - and we got to bring EasternStar to the meeting with us. She felt very comfortable in her office - probably because of all of the Russian being spoken! Finally, something familiar! 8 )

During our time with her, she was very serious and very quiet. But in the directors office, she started babbling and giggling. So, we know it is possible. We were told that in her group, she is very sweet and vocal. So, it will just take some time.

Then we went back to the playroom for about 30 more minutes or so.
Towards the end of our time, she giggled some for Stranger when she was tickled. And, we got her to crawl after a toy. I think that we got 2 hours with her this morning.

Then, she had a nap and we had a break for lunch. I'll skip the details on that part - although we had some awesome pizza at a restaurant called Pizza Express. 8 ) We went back around 4:30 and got another hour - this one spent outside.

Again, her caregiver bundled her and they got a stroller out for us. There is a big playground outside of her building and we walked over to that. The playground had a lot of things to play on - slides, swings, and things to climb on - I took pictures, but again, I'm not sure how much we are allowed to share - so I'm erroring on the side of caution.

We walked her in the stroller for a bit but then picked her up and took turns holding her and walking along the path that went around the playground. She was very interested in the sounds of the passing cars and we saw a few butterflies. She was very interested in the butterflies! She would track them with her head and twist her body to follow them. We think that she understood some of what we were saying - When we said "butterfly" she would look up and look around.

She is abosolutely beautiful! I wish I could post a picture - but hopefully she will be home soon and I can then.

We go back tomorrow and we are going to get to help her with her 11:00 meal!

One thing to note - I always thought that it was cliche that PAPs would say how nice the orphanages are and how much the caregivers care about the babies. It is so true! All of the buildings were very well maintained and the parts that we saw were extremely clean!

And - oh my - you can tell that these kids are loved and that they do the best that they can. I don't know how many times EasternStars caregiver kissed her and loved on her. And she was so responsive to her. They *really* do love these kids!

I'll end with something that all parents can understand - proof that the "you don't have to spend any money on toys" rule is universal - We brought this:

An alligator - you push down the birds and the alligotro moves forward - it's to encourage crawling. And this:

And this book:

And what was her favorite - I'm not letting go of this - toy? This:

The FREE tape measure that our Dr. gave us to measure her head with! hee hee hee


Anonymous said...

How exciting. What a wonderful first meeting and day with EasternStar!
can't wait to see her pictures and met her.

Heather said...

Yay!!! That is so exciting! I'm so glad that things went well and it sounds like she is just perfect. I can't wait to see pictures of her.

Heather said...

Yay!!! That is so exciting! I'm so glad that things went well and it sounds like she is just perfect. I can't wait to see pictures of her.

LowerTeakwood said...

Oh congratulations... What a wonderful day. I can't wait to meet her. Did you tell her she has one sister and 8 other chldren that act like sisters and brothers!