Before we went, Anya had mixed feelings about going, was unsure we would be welcome.... there is no phone to call and ask, but she knows the address, this is the home she lived in for 6 years. Age 1-7. So I persuaded her to go, even if it was a waste of time and money. I wanted to see where she lived if nothing else.
When we arrived her sister came running out of the house, yelling "anna, anna"! She was clearly happy to see her. It was a sweet reunion. They hugged and then entered the house, where grandma was wiping a tear away at the sight of Anya. She hugged and kissed her. We all entered the living room, where I was offered tea. Anya told them about going to America and they were surprised to hear, but happy for her. I won't go into details about the house, but lets just say the living conditions at the orphanage were optimal in comparison. We went outside and played ball for a while, grandma sat under a tree in the shade and watched. It was SO HOT!!! We asked the driver to take us to get ice-cream. On the way there, Anya was showing Inna photo's and games on her phone, they were giggling like no two sisters should be deprived of. I'm so glad we came! We almost didn't.
I was happy to see where she lived and learn more about those 6 years of her life, but that leaves a lot more questions and especially as to what happened and where she lived from age 7-13 when she entered Kherson orphanage. I am looking forward to the time when we speak the same language and I can ask her these questions without having to use google translate.
|Grandma is on the right, and her friend is on the left. They both clearly cared very deeply for Anya.|
|Anya (15) and Inna (11)|
|Anya expects Sasha to carry all of her things for her, bags, purse, sunglasses..... The only exception to that rule, is if there are too many bags for Sasha to carry, she will carry them before she allows me to carry a bag.|
The party was okay, nothing too exciting! Anya was less than thrilled to be there. Before it even started she told me she wanted to leave. Midway through the party, she asked again if she could go. Her friends were enjoying the food, it was pretty quiet for a celebration though. A few of the kids stood up and said a few words to Anya, I video'd a couple speeches. (Josie if your reading this, Vitaly gave a speech, you will have to interpret for me.) I tried to get Anya to say a few words but she would not. She didn't even sit and eat cake! I didn't look at it as being a bratty teen, I think she was just over the whole thing and ready to get out of there for good. Plus I don't think she is close with any of those kids, it was more of a formally/expectation to give the party for her group. Sasha was not allowed to stay for it. Group only.
|Setting up for the party|
|Anya is so thrilled, can you tell?|
|One of her friends giving a farewell toast|
After the party we had about an hour to kill time before we would head to dinner with Nathan and Christina, who were also at the orphanage visiting Kolya. Rather than head back right away, I figured we would wait for them. Anya was not interested in waiting, so we took a cab back to the apartment and I took a nap while Anya and Sasha watched TV.
|Sasha trying to entertain us while we waited to leave.|
|Anya ready to GO!|
Then for dinner we invited Sasha's sister to join us. She lives here in Kherson. Works at a bank. She is 22 years old. A very beautiful young girl. Before long, Sasha was past his curfew of 7pm. So the smart thinker he is, he had his sister call the school and tell them he was with her. They said okay, but come back soon. So we called a cab and he took off.
|Natasha (Sasha's sister) with me and Anya|
It was a busy day, but a good day! Now Anya and I are relaxing in the apartment, trying to decide between having the windows shut with zero ventilation (no A/C) or the windows open with a breeze and mosquitoes coming in and biting us! Tough call. We go back and forth!
On the agenda for tomorrow: Maybe meet with our facilitator..... still have yet to see her. I would like to go to the school and get Anya's school records and other documents in her file in regards to her background. And hopefully get an update on the passport status.
PS as I quickly scan this before publishing, I realize I blogged like I type into google translate. Short choppy and to the point sentences. I guess I've just gotten used to talking and typing that way!
PSS to the anonymous commenter on my last post. No worries.... I will not tire of my daughter and change my mind. She is as much my child to me as my 3 kids at home waiting for my return, and NOTHING will change that!