Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 5: Rain, Rain Go Away!

Maria's view:

Morning visit-
I woke up at 7:00, exhausted, stumbling into the kitchen to put the little teapot on to boil so that I can make my fake cup of coffee.  SOOOOO glad I brought some with me because I haven't found any of what I like on the shelves.  I patiently waited for the water to heat and then I tilted the teapot to pour the water out and the lid fell off.  The steam burned my hand enough to cause blisters.  Note to self, hold the lid on!  I packed medications for every possible situation but burns.  I may have to make a trip to the pharmacy.

I also had a horrible dream this morning.  Our orphanage does lab work on all children right before court so that they can make double sure that all of the children are healthy and have no undisclosed diseases... well, I dreamed this morning that my facilitator called to let me know that we can't adopt "Finn" because he had a disease and the US wouldn't allow him to enter.  I'm sure this is only the beginning of a whole bunch of crazy dreams! 

Our morning visit went well!  I was glad that this weekend nanny knew to dress him up in his 3 layers so that we could take him straight outside for his fresh air.  I really think he enjoys being out there!  I'm not sure that he ever gets to play because he's not a walker.  They frown upon children sitting on the ground in this country so I really have no idea what kind of experience he has had.

As we played outside, Chris noticed that we were being watched from a window.  I'm sure we are being watched a lot and I really hope they like what they see!  So we just kept doing what we were doing and eventually she stopped watching.

After our 20 mins, we took him inside and I believe he expects for us to take his layers off immediately.  He starts grabbing for his little hat and tries to pull it off while I take his shoes, pants, and coat off.  Today, he enjoyed walking along the wall while holding onto the windowsill.  He spent a lot of time there today.  Just examining the pipes that run beneath the windowsill.  He's so curious.  We played ball with him and I brought a thermal blanket for him to play with as well.  He tries to cover himself up so I'm pretty sure he has a blanket in his crib and knows how to use it.

After our time was up, we met another American family here in the same city!  They are currently adopting a little girl with Ds but at a different orphanage.  It was so nice to be able to talk.  They showed us around the city a bit and took us to a restaurant that served excellent pizza.  We really enjoyed ourselves.  I finally bought me an ice-cream cone because the people in this country LOVE ice-cream.  We also walked along a strip of street vendors and there are so many little booths with great little souvenirs.  We will definitely go back toward the end of our time here.  I would love to get "Finn" a little gift that represents his country and give it to him on  the anniversary of the date that we busted him out of the orphanage for good.  This would be the perfect place to buy these gifts.

Evening Visit-

We left straight from there and went back to the orphanage.  Chris and I had time to just sit under the trees on a little bench and wait for 4:00 to arrive.  We don't want to go in too early because we are afraid that they will either rush feed him or not feed him at all.  It started to sprinkle so we went ahead and headed inside.  As I made my way in, the same little group of children that we saw yesterday made their way around the corner and one little child bumped into my legs.  She stopped, looked up at me, and then wrapped her little arms around my legs.  I bent down and patted her on the back.  Such a sweetheart. 

The orphanage on the weekend is a very quiet place.  All you can hear is the occasional cry of a little one.  No workers are in the hallways, no activity, doors and windows are closed, halls are dark.  It's a very empty feeling.  We made our way up to his area and rang the doorbell.  The weekend nanny gave us a faint smile, grabbed our passport, then slammed the door.  I'm not exactly sure why they slam the door but they do! ha.  She brought our little boy out, dressed in his outside gear, and then looked toward the window and noticed the rain.  She gave us a "sorry" look and pointed us to the play area.  I took him to the rug and started taking off his shoes, he started tugging on his hat, and I continued to remove his pants and coat.  We sat him up on the floor and the nanny came back with a hippo on wheels and a ball.  The nanny tried to roll the ball back and forth with him but he wouldn't play.  That was very thoughtful of her to bring the toys out. 

It didn't take long for us to notice that "Finn" wasn't acting the same.  He didn't cruise or crawl around like he has been for the last few visits.  I'm not exactly sure if he's not feeling well, or if he's exhausted or overstimulated.  I'm pretty sure that he's never had this kind of play time before.  He would lay on the ground and act like he was going to start crying with a loud wail and then he would stop.  It seemed that the hippo was just frustrating him too much but when we would take it away from him, he would get even more frustrated.  I redirected him and held my hands out, he grabbed my fingers, and started clapping my hands together.  I sang songs to him as he clapped my  hands together and we continued to do this for about 30 mins.  Then it was time to go... Chris took him back to his groupa and I packed our bags.  Once we got back to our apartment, we fixed us some PBJ's and are just going to relax for the evening.

I hope that "Finn" is more active tomorrow with his exploring.  I enjoy watching him do that and it's hard not knowing why he's frustrated.  I hope he's not sick.  He really is a sweet little boy.  Please say a prayer for him!  Thank you so much!

Chris's View:

Today started off pretty good.  The bed in the apartment definitely isn't our bed at home.  it's pretty hard, so I don't think we are getting adequate sleep.  The ambient sounds, especially the car alarms and dogs attacking each other, tend to prevent you from getting much deep sleep.  The big thing is I don't even understand the need for car alarms on these cars at the apartment.  This is definitely not a deluxe apartment in the sky on the Upper East Side!  Most of the folks here seem lucky to have the clothes they are wearing.  The majority of the cars in this area are a brand called Lada.  They are boxy and these in the picture are some of the better looking examples that just happened to be near us when we were downtown today.

Anyway, Maria went over most of our time at the orphanage, so I am going to go more in detail about our afternoon with the other adoptive family here.  We met them on the City Center, called Lenin Square... Yes, that Lenin.  It is a central meeting spot that is easy to find and there is lots to do around there.  A lot different from where we stay, I can assure you.  Anyway, the husband & wife are here adopting a girl with Ds from another orphanage in our region, and they brought their two young daugters along.  They were super sweet and well behaved!  We ate at this pizza place that had an aviation motif to it.  It was really good food.  A medium pizza, a Sprite & a Diet Coke was around $8.  After we were finished, the husband took the kids back to their apartment to take a nap, and the wife showed us around to a little street vendor area and to the city's main cathedral.

The vendors pedal their wares and much of the stuff is really nice.  Very vibrant colors and rich woods are used by the artisans.  I know I have talked about them before, but the national symbol of power here is a mace & they take these from weapons to art!  Some of them are very plain, but the ornate ones are simply amazing!  Dangerous, but amazingly beautiful.  They have all sorts of stacking dolls, whistles, plates, carving boards, key chains, etc.  You name it, it is probably being sold on the street by these vendors.

We strolled along from booth to booth looking through the items, trying to get a list together of things to give to our son each year on his "Gotcha Day".  Breaking this sweet boy out of the prison he is being kept in will always be a special day, and we want to commemorate it each year.  The one thing I did not find today was a scarf from the local soccer team.  If you must know anything about soccer in Europe, they are more fanatical about it than Americans are about any of our sports... college football for SEC teams is pretty close, but their love for their local soccer teams is something they would gladly lay down their lives for!  Our friends in Germany can attest that on just about every street corner in Kaiserslautern, you can find a vendor selling the team memorabilia... not so much here.

After the vendor market, we walked up to the city's main cathedral.  It was very beautiful.  The other mother wanted to buy an icon (ornate card looking item) of the saint that their daughter is named after.  Such a great gift for their little one!

When we were finished, Maria had a McDonald's Ice Cream cone... a whopping 44 cents, and we walked around the mall that is on Lenin Square.  It was 5 or 6 stories.  We figured we needed to use the restroom before we headed back to the orphanage.  Such a unique restroom sign, I must admit!  At least it wasn't a "squatty potty"!  For those of you that have not experienced a "squatty potty", it is exactly like it sounds.  In it's crudest form, it is a hole in the floor that you do your business in.  In the more upscale squatty's, it is a porcelain fixture that is inset into the floor and you can flush it and there are areas to stand to... ahem... help you aim I guess!  LOL!  Maria had her first experience with one today at the pizza place.  At least the place was clean!

See ya'll tomorrow!

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