Well, Deana and I came back to the hotel after walking into NN and grabbing lunch. When there, we were also able to go into a local market district – off the beaten path. We heard several times “tourista” which is not usual for NN. One seller of produce, who didn’t speak a word of English, was very interested in us – I guess my video camera and Deana’s camera gave us away! We figured out with our broken (VERY broken) Russian that he was curious about where we were from. He wanted us to take pictures of his produce and insisted that each of us have a picture with him. He was very friendly and I was amazed at how well we communicated without the benefit of language.
Oh, I forgot to mention that we saw two American couples in breakfast this morning. One Deana surmised was also adopting as they were “all dressed up for court”. She was right – they had their session with the court after Deana this morning. They are from St. Louis and are adopting two 12-month-old boys. It was cool to hear English spoken around us. Our first trip we didn’t have that and it was refreshing. We are not sure if the other couple is adopting, but since NN is not a tourist town we are guessing that they are.
Anyway, back to the day. When we arrived back at the hotel, I frantically continued with my homework – I had the week’s homework to post as well as a quiz to take. I had begun the homework when Deana was at court, so it was a breeze to finish. Did you know that Aristotle was very advanced in his theories of the universe for his time? While he insisted that the solar system was geocentric (everything revolved around the earth, not the sun), his theories were amazing since he didn’t have the technology we have today. ANYWAY, I finished that while Deana began her “24 Marathon” as she brought the 2nd Season for this trip (while the BBC is a great channel, it gets old when it’s the only English channel available). When I finished, I began to read the novel Deana had purchased for me – “Russka”, a historical fiction book based on the entire history of Russia. Soon, we were both asleep! The time change is very difficult to adapt to! I would guess that was around 4pm Russia time. We were awakened at about 8:15 by a call from Olga #2. Deana was very excited to hear from her as we’ve not seen her as she had her baby girl on March 11.
Deana was told that we will be leaving to get her children tomorrow at 7:30 am. That is WONDERFUL news as you all know that the drive is a long one! Deana is very excited but a little nervous about how the children will react to each other, how we will communicate without an interpreter, etc. There is also a chance that we will need to remain in NN until Friday, which would mean we could not leave for home until our scheduled 4/6. As Deana has been homesick before even arriving in NN, this was not good news for her. Please pray that all the necessary paperwork is done by Wednesday so that we can leave for Moscow in that timeframe.
A little more about the kids. We saw Sophia first – the orphanage seemed very different without the blanket of snow surrounding it. Once inside, however, it seemed much more familiar. We went to the same room where all the visits had previously taken place and waited anxiously. As you might recall, there was a small delay as the staff confirmed it was okay that we were there. Then the door opened and in came Sophia! She ran right to Deana – Deana picked her up and Sophia just stared into Deana’s eyes for several moments. After watching the video, I realized that Sophie was a little shy as well because she used her talking baby doll to diffuse some of the “space and time” between Deana and herself. However, it was VERY apparent that Sophie was amazed and delighted that Deana had come back for her. When you see the video, you will see what I am talking about. Anyway, the shyness was very short lived! Sophia played and laughed so loud! I don’t remember the laugh the first time around and I was sure to get it on video. She was also much more active physically – playing “hide and seek” which meant Deana had to find and tickle her (or use the horse to get her), etc. She also jumped around on the horses, threw a big bouncy ball like a pro, and so much more. I can see that she is going to be easily influenced by my craziness!!!! Ba ha ha ha!
As I mentioned before, Zack was very shy at first. He didn’t look at us very much, although he immediately leaned against Deana and didn’t move from her side. When I asked for a “high five”, he quickly hit my hand and I pretended it hurt – just like our last visit. Quickly in comparison to our first batch of visits, he began to come out of his shell, playing with the balloon Deana gave him, talking to Olga #1, telling us how he lost his shoe in the elevator on a field trip – so much more. He would send the balloon he had blown up (but not tied) through the room and I would race to get it. He usually won (he is very agile!) but when I would win he would jump to get the balloon. At one point I pretended to be mad that he beat me and he did the cutest growl at me! This was now the joke of the day – if I got too pushy or challenged him too much, he would growl and we would all laugh. When he went to the puzzle I told you about, he insisted that Deana sit next to him as he showed her how smart and capable he was. He was very patient, very driven, very focused – all wonderful qualities to see in a 4-year-old boy who has already proven to be very energetic! I am sure he and Josh will be the best of friends (as well as Sophia!).
We are curious to see how the kids react – I will be sure to post that tomorrow night. Deana should blog tonight too – I got her the internet access but it’s hard to say if she will be able to pull herself away from 24.
Okay, I am eating in my room, read to D all the posts I’ve done so far, and otherwise chilling. D wants to see the pics from this trip, so I will be doing that shortly. Deana ate her French fries and was able to eat the bread we bought at the local street market. I will probably write more, but I will go now!