The wait continues…

So Lori made it back fine and she’s pretty much recovered with plenty of sleep. The cat finally re-appeared after over a month in hibernation (she’s social exclusively with Lori and I…it’s gonna be fun to see what she does with the kids!!). So now Lori will start preparing for our arrival and get back to work temporarily.

I was not allowed to take the kids out of the orphanage during the waiting period for a couple of hours a day. It’s a little lame if you ask me. Isn’t it better for the kids to get acclimatized  s l o w l y  to their new life instead of shocking them suddenly over one day? Somehow they don’t trust I can handle them both, even though I have help with Carol, harnesses and a stroller. Uhm, ma’am…we’re leaving for a pretty darn long trip to the US in a few weeks anyway, so I hope I’m “up to the task” by then lol!

In the meantime we’re taking walks around the orphanage while holding hands, and the harness works great on Isaac. All the caregivers get a kick out of seeing him with it and seem to be thinking “now why didn’t we think of that?!”. So as you can see my hands are full, which explains the lack of photos lately.

Last Thursday I went to Zaporizhzhya again with Carol. I bought some groceries, fruit and shoes for me. My new Sketchers fell apart after getting soaked in rain. You can’t buy anything of good quality nowadays. However these pair from Ukraine seem to be very rugged. Today we took my old shoes for repair, which is only costing $3.95; can’t beat that! Brining just one set of everyday shoes was a big mistake. And so was brining only 2 everyday shorts. I’m regretting that dearly.

The weather is getting hotter and I get soaked daily playing with the twins and their group. So now I’m trying to divide my time by taking them for a walk and showing them outside the orphanage walls, and then go back and play with all of them together. It’s a mixture of swinging, pushing tricycles, chasing them, picking them up, running away from them, running after Isaac and yelling to NOT get over the fence, wiping sweat, playing soccer, speaking in English and having the smart alecs repeat it almost perfectly, being called “paaaapaaaa” simultaneously by around 9 kids…you get the picture? It’s great fun and I will sincerely be missing this daily routine once the waiting period is over. I really wish we could bring some more home, but most are not even up for adoption. It’s sad to know that some of them are about to be scattered to other orphanages due to their age. We hope to somehow be able to keep tabs on where they are and how they’re doing. They’re just like siblings to our kids and they have helped each other grow through their daily play and interactions.

Thanks to Lori, Isabella is now able to say the numbers in English from 1 to 10 pretty clearly, while Isaac can point at his mouth, nose, eyes or ears depending on which one you pronounce in any order. He can say “eye” very clearly, but not the rest. However he makes the correct connection and that’s very important. He also knows what “jump” means. When going down stairs, he always jumps the last step. So I started saying “jump” and he’s picked up the meaning, including Isabella. Now if we’re walking and there’s a pipe or something and I say the word, he obeys without hesitation.

I’ve been trying to make sure they both learn to share and not feel possessive about anything. Yesterday I had a large bottle with some water left in it and Isabella took it from me and carried it around. She always feels special when I bring something and she takes it. So at one point, I took it from her and gave it to Isaac. Oh boy, her heart was broken. She cried and screamed and yes…tears too! Alla was there and was telling her not to do that (at least that seemed to be the gist of her words and the look in her eyes), but she kept on crying. So then I tried to chase her around a bit and she warmed up and started giggling. Then she tried to run towards Isaac to get the bottle and it turned into a game of me pretending to cover for Isaac as he ran around with the bottle. After a few minutes I took the bottle from him and gave it to her. She was very happy but then Isaac started crying. No tears in this case though. So it took a couple of tickles and we were on to chasing Isabella (by the way, the other kids had already joined the fun). Finally after taking the bottle away one more time from her and some more crying, I started pouring the leftover water on her face, and she broke a smile amidst sobbing and saying “Idda”, which seems to mean “again”. In seconds, I was surrounded by about 8 dusty kids all wanting water, and I obliged while Alla laughed hard at the sight.

Today it was Isaac’s turn to cry (again, crocodile tears). We went for a walk and there was a car. He obviously wanted to go touch and look around but I decided to test him and sat down on a bench a few feet away instead. He didn’t like that and tried to wiggle away from me. Unlucky for him, I had him by the harness, so he screamed as if I was pulling his hair or something!He wouldn’t sit down and stay there, but I wanted to get him used to calming down and quit thinking of distractions. I ignored the fake crying and sat there looking at Isabella as she went searching through the trash can looking for more goodies. On a side note, we REALLY need to work on that! So Isaac kept going and then I finally took two bananas out of my plastic bag and gave one to Isabella. I partially peeled the other and gave him a piece, which he held in his wide open mouth as he continued the tantrum. So I let him down and he stared at the car and chewed; no more shrieking. If he keeps this up, I’m going to make the garage into his bedroom.

I also met Linda today, an adoptive mother from Boston that was at the same orphanage in 2001. She was on a trip with her daughter, visiting the orphanage and other biological family. It was great to chat with her and quite nice to see that families keep up their kid’s heritage by taking trips like this.

3 clicked here to comment!:

The McEacherns said...

Sounds like the harness was a good investment! Was it hard to find, and was it expensive? We had thought about buying a couple here and taking them with us, but if they're easy to find and cheap enough, we'd probably just purchase them there. Any advice?

Lisa, Chris & Lucas said...

Dave, you are a rock star handling all those kids! And you are honing those parenting skills like a pro!

Chris bought a pair of shoe/boots when we were there in 2004 (Lucas's adoption) when his boots fell apart..and they are still in great shape. He wears them all the time...even in this heat..don't ask. LOL.

Thank you for telling me about the people at court remembering us. I am all smiles picturing it. You've given us a really special gift. Yep..judge Judy, that's the one. I'm so happy that they can hear that Emma is doing well and reinforce the decision they made to grant us custody was the right one. I'm sure the wondering what happens to these kids weighs heavily on them.

We really need to get together when you all get home. We'd love to meet the newest Ukrainian Angels..and their parents too:)

Dave Baldacchino said...

The harnesses were 92 Hrivna a piece, which is a total of $24.20. They were bought from a shopping center in Kiev on Kreschatyk street. Here's a link to what we got (the green and the pink).

Lisa, I don't know...they're testing the boundaries of patience lol! But so far, so good. I guess I need to stock up on some more shoes :) As to when we mentioed you all: it was quite funny as it was during the court hearing and everyone started talking to each other. We were like "what happened to the rules of the courtroom?!" lol!! You can tell that everyone truly has one thing on their mind, and that's the kids' well-being.

We would absolutely love to meet up too. My family back in Malta have already forgotten about me and they all want to see the kids! Ahhh, time for the parents to make way to the next generation :) We'll surely be in touch!