The Ministy of Education graciously granted us a referral for little girl. We are overjoyed. She is 4.5 yrs old, though very tiny. Looks about 3. She has blue/green eyes and fair hair and is cuddly. She and Andy play together very nicely and he will be a terrific big brother to her.
We are still settling on a name, so she is Lil'Girl now. I think we are sure, but I want to check with Jamie one last time and he was too groggy when I left the room. No decisions before coffee.
Today we go to the notary at 9:00 and sign the legal documents for both kids and then back to the orphanage to tell the children and sign the CPS papers for her. We are both rather awe-struck.
I showed the little book I made to the orphanage director and she was very pleased and got a bit moist in the eyes. This is the book that tells the story of the lonely Mama and Papa in search of children.
Today we are leaving for the children, our kids (!), two stuffed animals that have been hanging around our bed for a year and smell like us, in a nice way of course, and two little books of photos of family. I will send more pictures every week, so I need the Bob Holmes clan to get your pictures sent to me so I can send them on. The caregivers will add them to the photo books. Just email them to me. These stuffed animals and photo books will be the first and only things that they will privately own. They own nothing, though they seem to have the same bed each night.
Yesterday when I was shopping, someone asked me, in English no less, how old my daughter was. I answered 4 and burst into tears. When I told her my daughter was in the detsky dom (orphanage), everyone around got all helpful and excited. It was a lovely experience.
It is really really rare to hear English or to interact with anyone who speaks it, other than our traveling companions and translator. We did our shopping by drawing pictures and asking "where" in Russian (Jamie had studied, thank goodness). They would often walk us to the street and point.
There are dark-suited men in EVERY, and I mean this literally, EVERY building. They stand by the door and inspect you as you arrive and depart and talk in their walkie-talkies. If you were on the outs with whatever organization the dark-suits belong to, you wouldn't stand a chance of moving through the city undetected.
On a perkier note, Khabarovsk is covered in snow this morning. It is so pretty.
It is very heart-warming to read your comments. Welcome Aunt Donna and Uncle Bob, and Randy and Kristi to Blog-land! Your prayers are so appreciated. Other than the really long trip to get here, it has been a glitch- and trouble-free time.
To answer some of your blog questions:
Joe, we will come back in the summer to fetch the kids up. We will be gone for three weeks probably in July and may be needing a house/goat sitter. Our regular sitters are getting awfully booked up! When we come home, we fly Russian domestic from here (FarEast Russia) to Moscow, and then from Moscow to home, which amounts to round-the-world.
Papa, Yes we eagerly and happily read every comment and feel very loved and cared for by them. We are doing okay with money. Spent the most on orphanage donations yesterday. Lots of bright colored t-shirts, a little boom box for their music time, soccer and volleyballs, a really cool Lego set of a house, more Legos and an indoor (over the door) basketball hoop and some balls, poster paints. This is what the director asked for.
Carol, Lisa and Derik's blog is alive and well. Maybe it was down for maintenance. Here is the link again to their lovely blog.
Babushkas and Dadushkas will get emails again with more info. If you call them they can tell you, but no forwarding please.