The cultural and language differences are really getting to us. Yesterday when we arrived for our visit, all the children were sitting on benches watching a puppet show. We thought it would be less disruptive for us to sit with them and watch the show with the kids but the caretakers indicated that they preferred we take Joseph away from the group. Remember all this 'communicating' is happening with signs and body language, not with words. By now all the nannies know that we are here for Joseph so as soon as they saw us they dismissed him to come play with us, but poor little Zoya saw us too and she seemed very confused as to whether she was supposed to come with us or stay for the puppet show. She stood up and started making her way towards us but the nanny yanked her arm and put her finger in her face, and shouted ZOYA!!....etc...and put her back on the bench. Then the other caretakers started talking, and told her that we were here to adopt Zoya too, and next thing you know someone is grabbing Zoya's hand and bringing her to us after all. We were all so confused, and Zoya was clearly confused. Suddenly after they handed her to me she burst into the most pitiful cry I have ever heard and they motioned for me to get her out of there as she was disrupting all the other kids. My heart was so sad at her sadness and I held her and she cried and cried and cried. It was really a sweet time of bonding for us and she eventually quieted down in my arms. I wasn't sure if she was heartbroken to have missed the puppet show, or heartbroken because she had gotten yelled at. Later the music teacher who was witnessed all of this and speaks some broken english told me that "Zoya is very sensitive and feels too much" and said that she was cried because she wanted to go with us and she was sad when she thought she had to stay for the puppet show. How I loved to hear that she wanted us so badly. What a sensitive, sweet girl. I can certainly relate to 'feeling too much'.
A while later, while we were still talking to this music teacher, the orphanage nurse walked by. Zoya lit up to see the nurse, and showed her all her scrapes and bruises, even lifting up her dress to show her something on her back. :) And then she proudly introduced me as her 'mama'. I thought of how long she has been waiting for a mama, and now she has her very own. This made me smile.
Remember how I said I didn't know if Joseph said any words? Well today when we arrived, he spotted us, grinned, and said, "PAPA, PAPA, PAPA!!!"....and ran to John! Oh, I can't tell you what that did to my heart! He is definitely more bonded to John and Zoya is bonding more to me. Although John says that on the airplane ride home he wants to be in charge of Zoya and he wants me to be in charge of Joseph. ha ha!
We have had a blast with the White family, who is here adopting three children from the same orphanage. We 'met' on Reece's Rainbow, so it is nice to be here with them in person, meeting each other's kids and taking family photos for one another. They are adopting three kids- two little girls with Down syndrome and a boy with clubbed hands and feet. They took these photos for us:
We asked the director of the orphanage if there were any pictures of the kids that we could take home with them, for their baby books. And these are the TWO photos, one of each child, that we got. They were the only ones they had. Can you imagine having only one photo representing your first 5 years of life? Something about these photos make me smile: Two russian-speaking orphans with completely different birth families and ethnic backgrounds and histories, now brother and sister and on their way to be Oklahomans.
Zoya is a little uncertain about John still but she is warming up to him.
Today he picked some flowers for her and told her to bring them to me, which she very sweetly did.
Then John told Joseph to bring me some flowers...
What a stinker!
Here is a game that nobody gets tired of....except for the dads. When it was Zoya's turn, Joseph would shove her out of the way, and when it was Joseph's turn, Zoya was 'helping' him up on John's legs. These kids are as different as night and day but we are pretty sure they will fit into our family just perfectly.