Go ahead. Scroll down and look at all the pictures, and then come back and read my blog post, because I know the pictures are what you are here for any way. *wink*
So, this has pretty much been the most amazing day ever. No kidding. First off, the train ride was a breeze. You guys must have been praying, because Kellen slept for four and a half of the 6 hours we were on the train!!! FOUR AND A HALF HOURS, PEOPLE!!! That is unheard of for him! Below is a picture of us on the train. We had our own private compartment. It was perfect!
I am so happy that it our travel to our region worked out the way it did. I loved riding the train during the day because we were able to see the country side while we traveled. Lots of farms. Lots of hills. Lots of trees that I have never seen before. It was awesome.
When our train arrived, Marina, our in region facilitator was there waiting for us with a driver. I have only know her for half a day so far, but let me just say, she is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. She works SOOOOO hard it is unbelievable. She moves at a break neck pace too, so you better just keep up! I love her!
After they picked us up, we had a death defying drive to our apartment to drop off our stuff. Every time we are in the car I am amazed that at least 3 pedestrians and 5 other vehicles aren't hit. Every 30 seconds there is a near miss. And you better not try to put on a seat belt, least you offend you driver.
We dropped our stuff off at our apartment. Is is SUPER nice. For about 5 seconds I forgot I was there for an adoption and thought I had been dropped into a luxury vacation. I was NOT expecting accomodations like that. I'll post some pics about that later. Who cares about that now, you want to know about the kids, right?! When she picked us up at the train station she had excellent news for us, that we would be able to meet all three kids today!!!! We were shocked and thrilled!! We were not expecting to have time to see them all in one day. Like I said, Marina rocks!
From the apartment we went to see the social worker. I wasn't nervous at all about this appointment. It turns out that NOT being nervous is actually a bad side. She did not seem to like us. She questioned over and over WHY, WHY, WHY would a young could who has healthy biological children CHOOSE to adopt children with special needs. She was also very adamant that six children is too many. Marina said that here, families ONLY adopt is they are unable to have biological kids. And if they HAVE to adopt they ONLY want healthy children. She also said that one child is the norm here. If you have two then you are considered a big family. She said that the social worker cannot wrap her head around us wanting to adopt "unhealthy" children, when we already have 3 biological children. She kept saying, "Too many! Too many!" Kellen started fussing at this point, so needless to say, I started freaking out a little bit. The last thing the social worker said was, "We will see."
And then the meeting was over.
Marina said that the social worker needed to think about it. We walked out and I was completely freaking out! Marina said not to worry though. She is going to take our picture album to her tomorrow and she thinks that will help.(I was a total idiot and forgot to bring it to the meeting with us. AGH!!) I trust Marina and all, but I'm still worried. A social worker from that office will testify at our adoption hearing. You can be praying about that one.
Waiting for our appointment with the social worker.
I would seriously be putting my life at risk if I were to dare take the hat off of Kellen.
The ladies around here will seriously freak out.
When we left our meeting with the head social worker, we headed to Parker's facility. We brought another social worker with us. She took notes during our meetings at each orphanage. We met with the orphange director and doctor at Parker's facility. We found out that he was transferred a month ago. So that means he was transferred RIGHT BEFORE our dossier was submitted. God must really have a purpose for us that has something to do with this facility. There are children older than Parker at the baby house that haven't been transferred yet, so I really feel that this is a God thing somehow and that God has a purpose for us that has to do with this facility.
The orphanage director there is awesome! She really loves the kids and it shows. I was very impressed. She seemed to really like Josh and I, which was good since I was still bummed about the head social worker. She will also be one of the ones testifying in court, so it feels good to have her on our side.
This is what we learned about Parker: His mother was a drug addict and abandoned him at the hospital. This was her 3rd pregnancy, but only her second delivery. They didn't say if the other pregnancy ended in abortion or miscarriage, they might not know. He was born premature, at 35 weeks. He was a tiny baby(I'll haven't converted the kilos and centimeters to pounds and inches yet, but Marina said that he was little.) She had HIV and Hepatitis, and she is one year older than Josh and I. They didn't have any information on the father, or who the other sibling is. He is on ARV(anti-retrovirals) for his HIV and right now it is undetectable!! I find that totally amazing news! He had pneumonia before he was a year old and has bronchitius several times. Sound like he is prone to respiratory infections. The orphanage director loves him and said over and over, "He is a good hearted boy."
We got some badish news, that Parker has a fever and wasn't feeling well today. They said that we could still meet him, but NO KISSING and the visitation will be brief.
After getting all his info, they went to go get him. Kellen decided that was a good time to take a dump in his diaper. I would have ignored it, but boy did it stink! And what kind of message is that sending to the orphanage to just let my kid sit in a poopy diaper? Josh started to walk out to door to change him, and in walked Parker.
They had woken him from a nap, and he wasn't feeling well, so I think the whole thing was a little much for him. He didn't want to make eye contact with Josh or I and he was being very shy. The only one he looked at was Kellen. He even reached out and touched him a couple of times. Right when he walked in, Marina looked at him and said to me,"He looks like YOU! How can that be?!" She was baffled and I thought it was funny!
The poor baby was very overwhelmed. They said that he has a good awareness of what is going on and that he is just scared. I don't blame him a bit. He did let me hold his hand, even though he wouldn't look at me in the face. I was rubbing his hand with my thumb and he rubbed me back with his thumb a few times. Like a complete idiot, I forgot to grab the toys we brought for him out of our suitcase. Marina asked him if he would like us to bring him a truck tomorrow and he said yes. They said he likes to paint and draw, so we will be bringing him colors and a coloring book tomorrow too. After 10 minutes or so he got overwhelmed and started crying. I felt terrible for him. The orphange director was hugging him and he stopped and said something. She told us he said, "Come back tomorrow. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
After he said that I was over the moon!! He is just precious!! I really hope he is feeling better tomorrow. I CANNOT wait to see him again.
We left Parker's orphanage and went to Daniel and Josslyn's. We met with the orphanage director, and the first thing she said was, "You are adopting two famous children." Apparantly, Daniel is one of her absolute favorite children. She has an 8x10 picture in her office of her and him together. She went on and on and on about how smart he is and how is loves music and is a musical boy. She absolutely adores him. She told us over and over to keep teaching him because he can learn anything. Marina told us that she has been asking about us for months. It was Daniel's time to be transferred to an adult mental institution and she has been doing everything in her power to keep him in the baby house. Marina said that every time she sees the orphanage director she aks when Daniel's parents are coming for him. I think she is definitely on our side. I don't know if it is because she really liked us, or if she just really wants Daniel to be adopted so that he isn't transferred. Either way, I think she will speak in our favor at our hearing. Good news.
Josslyn is "famous" because she is on a billboard down town. We haven't seen it yet, but the director told Marina where it was so that she can show us. Pretty neat!
What we learned about Daniel:
He was born at the maternity hospital, but was abandoned shortly after at the children's hospital. He parent's are married and they have a 12 year old daughter that lives with them. They signed papers when they abandonded him that said they were fine with him being adopted.
She was abandoned at birth. Her mom was a drug addict also, and she had HIV and Hepatitis. When Josslyn was born the mother said that she wanted to sign paper to give her up, but she fled the hospital before she ever signed anything. The police wrote up a report saying that she was abandonded by the mother. No information on the father and there are no other siblings on record.
While we were getting the last bit of information from the kid's files they brought in Daniel.
He walked right over by me and let me hold his hand!! He kept pointing at Kellen and saying baby in Russian. It was so cute!! Josh got out the camera and he immediately started posing! That boy likes to have his picture taken! He speaks well(in Russian, of course), and understands everything that is said to him(in Russian, of course). They told him that I was his mama, and he said, "Da"(Yes, in Russian), like he already knew! Then they said that Josh was his papa and he nodded his head and said, "Da" again. We were beaming from ear to ear!!
Posing for a picture.
Daniel, with his new mama and papa!!
Somebody's cell phone stated ringing and it was music. Daniel immediately perked up. The orphanage director said, "See, he is a musical boy!"
He left and they brought in Josslyn!
She is precious and very shy. She did let Josh get close enough to take a picture though. Isn't it cute?!
And she let me hold her hand a little bit.
She liked Kellen, of course. He might be my ticket in with all three of the kids.
She didn't want us to touch her much and she clung to the nanny most of the time. But she warmed up when Josh showed her the picture of her on the digital camera. He showed are all kinds of pictures and she liked it. I finally saw that girl smile!!! Josh showed her the picture of the two of them together and she really liked that one. She looked at it and kept leaning closer and closer until her face was almost touching the camera screen. The nanny told her that I was her mama and she nodded her head and said, "Da." Then she said that Josh was her papa, and Josslyn just looked at him and didn't say anything. I showed her the picture of her and Josh again and she pointed to Josh and said, "papa." It was priceless!
We are on cloud 9 and cannot wait to go back and see them tomorrow!! Wonderful day!!