2:30 pm (7:30 am home time)
Then we picked up Ana. They dressed her in the outfit we brought & everyone was talking about how cute she was, like a little doll! She knew something was up & only wanted to leave.
5:30 pm (10:30 am home time)
We took pictures & went to get Alek. He was ready! Dressed in his new clothes & waiting at the door with his teachers. We took more pictures & off we went. Ana in my arms & Alek in Mitch’s arms. 2 of us were crying & it wasn’t the children!
The car home wasn’t too bad. We gave them cookies first & that helped. Only Ana screamed a few minutes. Unlike the elevator up. They didn’t like that! (Niether do we for that matter! It’s only about 3’ x 3’ & feels like it’s going to fall any minute!) Lena made them dinner (soup & bread) & then we had the adventure of our 1st potty/diaper time. I can’t even describe it. They were both screaming & we didn’t have a clue why or what we should do.
2:00 pm (7:00 am home time)
Yest. We spent the whole day at “home” getting used to each other. Ana is getting very attached to me & won’t let Mitch hold her more than a second. She runs up to me and hugs both legs when she wants me to hold her. Alek is getting very attached to Mitch. He cries everytime Mitch leaves the room & won’t give me big hugs anymore like he gives Mitch. They both hate nap time but potty time is much better. They even laugh now when I put on diapers. (Alek almost never dirties his diaper & Ana never has but with all these changes, we’re sticking with them! Also, this way I can schmear Desitin all over their tushies. In just 2 days their rashes are just about gone. Ana’s tush was really red!)
Alek says “map, map, map” & “ooh, ooh, ooh”. They both say “Mama” & “Papa” & “Arf”. Every animal they see they start “Arf, Arf”. Alek gets so excited when a dog barks & “talks” back to it everytime!
We already knew that Alek’s smile could light up a room but now that we’re “home” & with them all of the time, we’ve finally seen Ana smile & actually laugh! She likes me to kiss her foot before bedtime & when I do, she laughs & gives me the other foot! This can go on for quite some time but it’s worth it to see her so happy! She’s like a different child!
One thing that was interesting was when we gave them some juice in sippy cups. They didn’t have a clue. We actually had to teach them how to drink from them! And once they got their 1st tastes of juice, we can only get those cups away from them now to fill them! And when they eat, they want a sip after every bite! From what we saw at the orphanage, they were only allowed to drink after they ate.
Mon. 6/5/00 4:45 pm (9:45 am home time)
All of our “people” came to see us off. At the train station, everyone stared at us because we had the kids in our backpack carriers. The attendant for our car kept asking where the children were. We couldn’t get her to look up!
So we got settled in our compartment & it was so hot! The kids were scared & not happy! We got them down to their diapers & put one at each end of one “bed”. Alek cryed himself to sleep right away (it was 2 hours past their bedtime!) and Ana played with her toys for a while until finally drifting off about ½ hour later. That’s when we got a real treat! Air conditioning! Yeah!
My son had totally regressed. We had bought 2 potties because his teacher had told us that he’s very regular & never had an accident. The 1st time I put a diaper on him he screamed & the 1st time he had an accident he was hysterical until he was cleaned off. Now, he absolutely refuses to sit on the potty. When I sit him on it he crys, jumps off, runs to me & hugs me tight. Then he goes to the changing pad, smiles & trys to climb up to it. We had to buy more diapers & bought bigger ones for him because his were leaking. In the short time we’ve known him he’s outgrown the size we have! They had their doctors visit yest. & it looks like he’s gained almost 2 lbs! Is that possible? Ana lost ¼ lb. But she’s been eating a lot. She was very quiet at the orphanage & increadably active now so we attribute it to that. The check-up overall was a joke. They looked at them with their clothes off & listened to heart & lungs. Then they looked at their eyes & ears with no instruments! What are you going to see in an ear without an osteoscope? Alek cried the whole time & Ana would not let me put her down or let me sit down the whole time we waited. It was hot, they hadn’t had lunch & it was nap time. So instead of going back to the hotel, we got to take them for more visa pictures because they forgot to give them to us in Kharkiv! To make matters worse, Mitch went with Igor (our facilitator) to the state department & it was closed because Clinton was coming! So instead of leaving for Poland on Tue,. We can’t leave until Thursday! (Lot airlines only flies every other day!) So our President was speaking right down the street & we watched it in the hotel room. It was translated into Ukrainian (I think) so we have no idea what he said! I hope it was good. It’s pretty obvious that we’re American!
They’re asleep! Mitch went back to the State Dept. earlier so we don’t have to worry about that anymore. While he was gone Ana decided she didn’t want to use a potty anymore either! Diapers are easy to find here but wipes are not! At this rate I won’t have enough so I put her in the tub with the shower sprayer & she loved it! Go figure! So I ended up giving her a bath since she was so happy. Not 2 seconds after she got out Alek wanted to see what was so much fun. I figured I better go with the flow & throw the orphanage schedule out the window! So our baths are done, lunch has been had & nap time has begun (only took 5 minutes!) all way before schedule! I’m getting pretty good at this! I even taught Alek his 1st English word… “car”!
Wen. 6/7/00 9:20 am (2:20 am home time)
What’s with these kids! Everytime I turn around, they are trying to put on our shoes! You really need to know some Russian to do this. At 21 & 24 months they understand so much! They understand & react appropriately to (in Russian): give me, share, where is ___, sleep, no, don’t do that, don’t touch, come here, come to me, stay, go to ___, give to ___, stop that!, & kisses. Probably a lot more too but that’s what I’ve tried so far. Oh yeah, & good boy/girl & bad boy/girl. (dye menya, delitza, gydyeh ___, spot, nyet, neal zya, nye trogay, edie suda, edie comneah, stoy, edik ___, die ___, peristani!, & potsoloy. Karoshi malchik, karoshaya dyevichka, plocha malchick, plocha dyevichka.)
3:35 pm (8:35 am home time)
Yest. I gave them both toothbrushes. They didn’t have a clue. I picked up mine & brushed my teeth. It was so cute watching them try to copy me. Maybe tommarrow I’ll give them toothpaste!
(BTW – This time we asked if they had a room with 1 big bed instead of 2 little ones. We got a room with a queen bed & a bathtub instead of a shower! Yey!)
LAUREL & SAMANTHA