Friday, April 20, 2012

What's happening in Kherson

Kherson Day 1 we were picked up from the train station at 10 am and taken directly to the inspectors office to meet with them for permission to proceed to orphanage.  We looked a bit rough after traveling all night on the train, but we were just really happy that we were getting right to business after all the waiting around we did in Kiev.  After that we went right to the orphanage and sat in an office for nearly 2 hours waiting to meet with the director.  You must meet with the director before you can see the child.  So we waited and waited.  Finally it was our turn to go meet with him.  It was a bit stressful to say the least, and after much questioning we were given permission to see Anya, but nothing was mentioned about the papers that he must sign before requesting a court date.  We didn't expect him to sign on the first day though, so we were okay with that.  Our plan was to spend time with Anya, then approach Director on Friday morning, and ask him to sign so that I could travel home with Todd.

Spending time with Anya was actually a bit painful.  We were there with the Jacobson's who are also there getting their son and to see them interacting was so sweet, and their boy was so obviously overjoyed that they were there.  They were playing games and having a great time.   Todd and Anya and I just sort of sat on the couch and stared at each other.  It was a reminder to me how painful our first few days with her was when we hosted her last summer when she didn't eat, drink or speak for 24 hours.  I tried talking to her with my few russian words I knew and some charades, but she acted as if she had no clue what I was saying.  It was so frustrating, because when you act out eating, everyone knows what you mean!!  She would just shrug her shoulders at everything I said.  Thankfully I had Leo to break the ice and I just played with him and kept trying to break down her wall of shyness.  I was so relieved it was a short visit and we got to go back to our apartment for the evening.

Kherson Day 2 we were hoping to meet with the director again and ask for him to sign documents needed in order for me to go home this weekend.  He was unavailable to meet with us.  So we were dissapointed, but it was somewhat expected, so not a total surprise.  However we had a VERY good day with Anya.  I came prepared today!  I had my russian translator book in hand, bags full of candy, gum, toys, games, iPad loaded with games, and laptop (in hopes of internet access that would allow use of google translate).  Anya was all smiles, showed Todd and I her room, and was very talkative and interactive with us and with Leo.  What a relief!  This was more like the Anya we said goodbye to last August.  I got to meet her boyfriend who happens to be a very nice young boy.  He is quite athletic and showed us some of his talent on the playground.  You can see video's of it on my Facebook page.  Under normal circumstances Todd and I would not be excited about our 14 year old daughter having a 18 year old boyfriend, but watching them interact all day they seem to be just young kids enjoying each others company, and with her moving to the USA in a few weeks, we see no reason to rock any boats on the issue.  But just to be on the safe side, Todd was sure to let him know that he has lots of guns and knives.  He was joking of course and we all had a good laugh about it, even the boyfriend.

Todd was able to postpone his trip for one more day, so instead of taking a 7 hour taxi tonight into Kiev, he is here in Kherson for one more day!  I am so glad for this experience of being in Kherson, it is life changing and it is heartbreaking to see all these kids that are starved for attention and love.  They flock around us the moment we arrive at the orphanage and they remember our names and they try to speak to us in English when they say hello.  I am sad that Todd is leaving and I have to stay behind by myself (with Leo), but I am looking forward to spending more time with Anya and the kids at the orphanage and praying for some good things to happen early next week so that I can come home!

PS, Leo is being a really good baby!  He travels well.  At 5 months all you really need is attention, food and sleep, and he gets all of those things at the moment he demands it.  The only time he is not being held is when he is sleeping, and often times he's held then too.  So he really has no excuse to NOT be a good baby!

PSS, We were told today when we were at the Notary office signing some documents (since Todd is leaving early) that we needed to tell them what Anya's legal name would be in America.  Since we hadn't really discussed it, we were very much at a loss.  We had already agreed way back that we would keep her first name Anna (Anya is just a nickname), but the middle name had not been decided or even discussed.  I liked the names Juliet and Gabriella, but Todd was not keen on either of them.  I asked him for his suggestion and he said Marie.  So we decided to call Anya and let her pick.  She picked Juliet, (my first choice), but when she was still on the phone with the translator, Todd asked her to please let it be Marie, so she said, Okay, Anna Marie.  (poor girl was probably like, why did you even ask me if you weren't going to give me a choice).  So Anna Marie it is.


Rachael said...

Glad you had a better day with Anya. Loving the updates!

Christina said...

I'm so happy to hear that today went better and that Leo is being so good! My middle name is Marie, too, so I approve Lol ;)

Natalie said...

Isn't Juliet rachaels name that she never got to use? Why did Todd like Marie so much? Soon Grandma Annie will have two Great grandkids named after her. Too bad she'll never know. Is Anya excited to come here? Will you meet her younger sister?

Melissa Macy said...

Awesome news!! Our Anya insisted on a new name, but didn't have any idea how to pick one! We provided about 10 choices and she still couldn't pick! We narrowed it down to 2 and she still couldn't pick (we didn't tell her which parent chose which name). Finally, we told her that Noelle means Christmas and her birthday is the day after American Christmas, she choose Amber Noelle. My middle name is Marie and if Anya had chosen to keep Anya, her name would have been Anya Marie!