Sorry I didn't update again after our second visit with Parker yesterday. I was very tired and homesick when we got back to our apartment last night, so I wasn't really up to blogging.
Our second visit with Parker started out great. Our visitation area is the entry area of the facility. I wouldn't even call it a room. There is a couch, but we usually just sit on the floor near Parker. When we got there someone went to go get him. Where I was sitting on the couch I could see down the long hallway that they would be bringing him down. When he saw me he broke in to a big smile, let go of the nannies hand, and ran to me and gave me a big huge. I was floored!! I wasn't expecting that from him at all! He hugged Josh too, and then started playing with the toys we brought. The visit was progressing well. He was making more eye contact than the last visit and smiling much more too. I wouldn't say that he is smiling AT us yet, but he is definitely smiling. He did very good with Kellen. He will talk to him and somewhat interact with him. Towards the second half of the visit we played chase and tickle and he LOVED that. He was laughing and smiling and running and playing. In between rounds of tickle and chase he was talking to me about different things around the room. I had no idea what he was saying most of the time, but still, major progress. I did understand when he said cat in Russian. So I looked around and saw that he had seen a cat outside. We watched the cat outside the window for a while. I was glad to know what he was talking about for once.
Everything was going great, until a nanny came through and wanted him wanted he away from the front doors. There is a foyer area by our sitting area and apparently it is TOO close to the outside. She told us that he has had a cough and it was too cold to be in the foyer(gestures, of course. Man, I wish I knew Russian.). Once we are back in our sitting area Parker got bored. I don't really blame him. I'm a 31 year old adult that was tired, and I was bored too. I can only imagine how bored an active kid would be. He started edging his way down the hall. No biggie. I could see him and he had never tried to run off and escape, so I wasn't really worried. Then he started trying to climb some pipes that ran from floor to ceiling against the wall. He was watching me the whole time to see what I would do. I guess this is where the testing of authority starts. I shook my head no. He kept climing. I said no in Russian. Kept climbing. I said no in English, this time more sterning. Climbing. So I went and gently and playfully pulled him down and brought him back to our little area. As soon as I set him down he ran right back over the the pipes and started climing again. I went through the same routine as before, yet he continued to climb. So I went and got him again, but this time I was more stern and didn't make a game out of it. He didn't run back to the pipes, but he didn't want to be near me either. He went over to the corner and looked upset. I just let him be because pursing him would upset him further. After a few minutes he started crying quietly, so I figured that our visit should be over. He had had enough of us for that day. Josh walked him back to his room. He had no idea where he was going(the building is big with lots of winding halls and lots of doors, and we have never been to Parker's room. Parker knew exactly where to go through and led the way. Josh dropped him of and Parker seemed happy to get back to his group. The only family he knows. He comfort zone. I don't blame him. To him we are two oddballs who dress funny, talk funny, and just showed up one day saying that we were his mama and papa. Probably isn't a fairy tale to him. It will just take time for him to get to know us and feel comfortable with us. We made alot of headway yesterday, but with the sour ending I'm not sure if we are going to be starting from scratch again this afternoon when we see him again, or not. We shall see.
Our morning visit with Daniel and Josslyn went good. Josslyn is definitely bonding. She has accepted us as her mama and papa. When a nanny comes through and asks where her mama is(I THINK that is what she's asking. haha), Josslyn runs to me and hugs me. If the nanny asks where her papa is, she runs to Josh and hugs him or pats his shoulder. All the while she has a big smile on her face. I love it! She is proud of us! Today she wasn't as clingy to me as she was our last couple of visits. I don't know if that is because she is feeling more comfortable and she knows that I'm here to stay(so to speak), or if it because we missed a day of visitation with her yesterday. I feel that it is probably the first, but who knows. When I brought Josslyn in to the visitation room after picking her up from her groupa room, she ran over and gave Josh a hug. Then Kellen came right over to her and gave her a big hug and layed his head of her shoulder. It was SOOO cute. I WISH I had had my camera out for that. After I picked Josslyn up, Josh went and picked Daniel up at his room. He was all smiles when he first got there. Kellen came over and gave him a hug too! At our last visit with Daniel and Josslyn, we started establishing some boundaries with him. From the beginning of our first visit Daniel has done alot of yelling, bossing, pouting if he doesn't get his way, pushing anyone that gets in his way, etc. I didn't know what exactly the orphanage expected from him, behavior wise, so I wasn't sure what to expect from him ourselves. But a couple of visits ago, a nanny came in to the room. Daniel had been yelling(for no reason or any old reason) for about 45 minutes. This nanny gave him a stern talking to, and when she left he was a different boy. Much calmer and no yelling. So at our last visit we knew it was time to start administering some boundaries with him. It would have been nice to bond first, and THEN establish boundaries later. But that just isn't possible. We were not sure how he would respond to us placing ourselves in authority over him. At first he tried to buck it, but when he realized that we weren't budging, he conceeded.
Our visit with him this morning was much more pleasant. He started out by trying to prove that he is the boss of the orphanage(and I think he might be a little bit. At the very least, he is the teachers pet.), but we were firm from the very beginning, and he quickly calmed down. It was amazing! It is nice to know that we are making some headway with him. He is one smart cookie!
Now to answer some of our questions about the kids.
1. What are their ages?
Josslyn JUST turned 3. Daniel is 4 1/2, and Parker turned 5 mid-February.
2. Are we calling the kids by their birth names or their new names?
A mixture. At first we started calling them all what they go by at the orphanage. The orphanage calls Daniel by his birth name that was given to him by his parents and is on his birth certificate. At first we calling him that. At our last visit, when we would call him we would say his birth name and Daniel. Today Josh just started calling him Daniel and he was responding. He doesn't respond to us at all when he call him by his birth name. So I guess we will proably start calling him Daniel now, since we atleast get a response from him with that.
Josslyn. Since she was abandoned the hospital named her(same goes for Parker). The orphanage calls her a shortened version of her birth name. She responds to that name and calls herself by it when she sees herself in picutres. We had been calling her by Joss+what she goes by. She doesn't totally get it yet. I think she thinks that we are confussed. I actually don't mind calling her by her name because it is a beautiful name. We are keeping her birth certificate name as her middle name, we are just using a different spelling.
Parker. We have mostly been calling him by his birth name. Some times he responds, and sometimes he ignores us. We have called him Parker a few times. We will just have to start working the new name in. Parker and Daniel's names are very foreign, and folks at home would have a hard time prounouncing them or spelling them, so a name change is definitely in order.
Sorry for no new pics or videos. I did take a few, but was too lazy to download and then upload them. There aren't very many though. We ran out of video memory card space, so we didn't get any new videos yesterday afternoon or this morning. And then the picture camera battery died right after we got to our visit with the Daniel and Josslyn this morning.
Hopefully I will get a chance to post more pictures later today.