Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Our Little Girl! Grace!

I hesitate to describe Grace Tanya after only 2 days because I know we will discover more each day. Grace is a very happy little girl. She loves to have fun and she will laugh ‘at the drop of a dime’. Barbara discovered her playfulness the moment we went to pick her up on the first day. She was prepped that “Mama’ and ‘Papa’ were coming to greet her so she was asked to give Mama a big hug. So of course she ran to the interpreter. How was she to know?. Then she was passed to her real Mama and Papa. As Chris was signing the sign-in sheet Barbara was lifting her pocketbook and made it look difficult. Grace immediately took up the challenge and try herself and found it very easy. Barbara tried again and failed Grace had no problem for the next 5 attempts. Then she hosted the pocketbook over her shoulder and walked down the hall to meet her brother. Each day at 4:00 we collect the kids and go into a 10x12 room filled with toys. It is the family meeting room. On the first day the first thing Grace sees is a big clear plastic beach ball the size of her. She picks it up and starts Giggling. She throws it and catches it. She has a catch with Barbara all the time laughing and having fun then she finds a big rabbit bigger then her and starts sitting it up and putting a blanket on him and lays him down to sleep. All along she is talking in Russian and interacting with us and the interpreter Rashan. We bring her over to meet with Michael and she likes him and like all toddler girls she picks Michael up, as if to say I’ll take care of this kid for you. We see that she knows how to share and that she likes to help. On the second day we asked her caretaker about her and that is exactly how she described her. She shares and she takes care of the younger kids in her room. The caretakers agree that she is a happy kid.

Our little boy! Michael

Before we go on any further I know what you are all saying “how can you name a child Michael? You know they are all little devils. It has been proven time and time again” Believe me we know all about that but our boy is the exception that proves the rule. He has been a happy little boy since we meet him. After we made our selection we were told that that is the first time he went to any strangers and did not cry. We have not really seen him cry too much. He is very attentive to things going on in the room. As we move around with Grace he follows along. He also likes to play with his toys. Barbara witnessed how smart he is. At one point he had a toy in each and wanted a third toy that was on the shelf. He thought about it and figured there is only one way to get that toy. So he leans over with his mouth he picks up the rattle. Then triumphantly looks at Barbara to show her that he can have everything he desires. Barbara starts yelling for Chris to witness this but it was too late. He likes playing with his buckets. He sometimes fills them but mostly he like to grip them and bang them around. We will have more descriptions as the days go on. Our children are happy and so are their parents

How will you know your children?

As we mentioned we were shown 4 healthy children. If we did not get a connection I am sure we could have asked for more. So how do choose out of the 4. Here is how the Holy Spirit works. In walks a little girl with a shy and curious grin. She looks at us and wonders what to do. After a few minutes her care taker tells her she can walk to us. She does slowly but without hesitation. We hold her hands and look at her with big smiles on our faces. She does know not what to do next and neither do we. We examine her hand and she looks at each of our palms. She looks at the flower on her sweater and we all admire it. Then Barbara asks if she would like to sit on her lap. She nods yes and Barbara picks her up. She still has this grin and a look of anticipation but nothing is making this an extraordinary meeting. As she is on Barbara’s lap, Chris admires her brown sweater and her velvety green skirt and finally her green knit stockings under her black mary-jane shoes. When Chris lightly touched her knee she burst out in this great big giggle!!! Chris went to touch her knee again and there was that squealing infectious giggle. We had our little girl! Everyone in the room joined her in giggling. After a few more times of Tanya trying to playful cover her knee and laughing continuously she was asked to go back to her care taker.

Before Grace Tanya entered the room Mishka was walked into the room. He was wearing a white jumper and black shoes. He was happy to be there and he kept looking at us and his caretaker. Eventually he was walked toward us and Chris took his hand and he walked the rest of the way. No hesitation. He looked at us will his blue eyes and held both Barbara’s and Chris hand with a death grip. We made google eyes at him for a while until the director told us that we can pick him up. As you know many 15 month olds do not always like to be picked up. But Mishka was in a good mood and Chris picked him up with no problem. He stood on Chris’ knees like he had been doing it all his life. Barbara lightly touched his hair and face and he gave a slight hint a little smile. We had our little boy! If Chris raised him high by holding his knees like he does with the nieces and nephews we are sure Mishka would have enjoyed it just as much. Since we were being closely observed It is wise that he did not do that. As he was standing on our lap we talked to him and he looked at us and then looked around the room to make sure it ok. Once he was reassured he turned back to us. After a little time he was walked back to his caretaker and the girls came in.

We got off easy we were able to touch 2 of the 4 kids. One big concern was how would we know. Don’t worry they were picked long before we got there!

Information blackout

Sorry it took so long to write but we were held up in our hotel room until our coordinator came back with papers to sign. She flew into our room at 10:oo this morning. So we will fill you in on what has been happening.