So pardon me if my posts are redundant.
Here Joseph is on the swing with his friend Lilya. She is just a month older, has Down syndrome, and was saved from the mental institution just in the nick of time by her adoptive parents, the Zoromskis who just passed court and will return for her in a week or two.
In Ava's region the children from the baby house are transferred at age 4 but at this orphanage the children are blessed to be able to stay until they are 6. Joseph, and Lilya, will both be 6 in the fall. Lilya's mama told me how humbling it was to receive pictures of Lilya from her file, the file which was being put together for her transfer in August.
The Baby House houses children of all kinds from birth to age 6. Then, from what I understand, the healthy children are then transferred to an internat, or orphanage for older children and the disabled children are sent to mental institutions. I believe, although I am not positive, that the HIV+ children go to a special internat just for HIV+ kids.
As I've mentioned before, Joseph has been blessed to be in such a nice place, but he would not have been here much longer. We are so honored to be able to give him a home and a family before it is too late.
Today I put bandaids on his knees, and he patiently watched me, then ripped both bandaids off and handed them to me. Oh well, it was nice to feel like his mother even for a little bit.
When I look at these photos that I post, I realize it must appear that it is totally natural for us to be here parenting this boy. In reality, we feel very much like we are playmates for now, and not much like parents. Keep in mind we are strangers in this place. We do not know the boundaries or the rules, and we cannot understand each other. As I mentioned before Joseph obeys his nannies very well but he does not listen to us! Who can blame him though? He can't understand a word we are saying!
Nevertheless, we do enjoy our 'playtime' with him, and are looking forward to the day when we can really do things our own way, and not worry about what the rules are and who is watching us.
Afternoon play dates are my favorite, can you see why?
We have tried bringing bubbles, balls, balloons, cars, and play-dough to our visits, and Joseph is not interested in any of them! He wants to play with one thing and one thing only. The water hose. We did turn the hose on one day for him, just a small trickle, and let him water the flowers and wet himself a little. He was in heaven!!
Shortly afterward the nannies came running and hollering "Nyet!! Nyet!"
So every day we have to have the same conversation with Joseph....that "Nyet, Nyet", he can't play in the water hose here in this place, but that when he gets home, to his forever family, he has two big brothers waiting for him there who will do lots of big brother things, and that water hoses are on the top of their list too!