I so wanted to write this while in Russia as to not forget a single detail, but alas, fatigue and packing to leave got the better of me, and I didn't get it done. Yesterday I fell very ill, stomach problems. Since I can't seem to sleep tonight, I'll take advantage of it to get this post completed!
Day 2 with Ivan was a magical day! We got up very early and had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. We also spent much time in prayer about confirmation. We knew this was the child God had for us, but we were a little concerned. This is a huge decision, and although there was some positive reactions to his environment the first day, (and it was such a short time together) we just wanted to be sure that as we left, we were making the right choice!
God answered all of our prayers!
We went to our morning visit, and it was just one translator, Nastia, Chris and me. We were able to see more clearly his little personality. I asked if I could strip him down to see his feet. I think I mentioned that they overdress the babies. He had on the cutest little dress slacks, turquoise green tights and sandals. I just love baby feet, and I heard that rubbing their feet is a great way to bond. So we took off all the layers and finally got to those little stubby feet! My daughter had the fattest little sausages, and Ivan did too! :) So I started tickling his little feet and he was delighted!!! He laughed huge laughs! He loved it! It was great to see him be so free! He was more into walking around on this visit too. He didn't want to walk to Chris much, but he would walk to me, and just as I was about to grab him up, he would spin around 180 degrees and plop down in my lap. So cute! And if that wasn't enough, this child who never said anything to us yet, looked right at Chris and said, "Da Da"! Now, they say Papi for Daddy, and so we know it was a fluke, but we're claiming it anyway!
Chris brought his iPhone and played some music for Ivan. We heard he liked music and liked to dance. I'm telling you, it was so cute watching Chris play this music and sing worship songs to Ivan.
Then we had to leave and go back to the hotel for a bit before the second visit. We went back and met with Jane our translator to settle up payments of the first trip and get all the information we need for subsequent trips to finalize the adoption. A lot of information for sure. Jane was so good and patient with us. We brought a photo album with pictures of Emily, Chris and me for his care givers to show to Ivan. Jane wrote little subtitles in Russian so that his caregivers could tell him, "This is your sister Emily waiting for you" and "This is your Mami and Papi".
We then left soon after for our second trip to the baby house. On the way we stopped to get flowers for the director. She was delighted! We brought some other toys and clothes for Ivan. She said she would keep the clothes separate and dress him in them when we arrive to take him home. Then she asked if we would be okay taking him outside since it was his walking time. We said sure! It would be great to see him outside.
I'm so glad we got this experience. They brought him to us, and he was dressed up like the Michelin Tire Man! I mentioned that they overdress the babies, and he had a lot of layers on. I thought at first, there was no way he could walk in all this! We were concerned that he couldn't walk well on his own. We'd only seen him go small distances inside. At first, he did stumble a bit. I attribute most of it to his shoes being about 2 sizes too small. When we got him outside, he was running! He led me all over the grounds. He is all boy. He would fall to the ground and laugh! And he kept wanting to put rocks and dirt in his mouth! :) He was also so trusting. I would hold him and he would arch his back, go completely limp, and then laugh. I thought that was amazing to be so vulnerable!
We also got a glimpse at his caregivers. He absolutely loves them! One of them was outside and he would wave to her and run after her! She loved him so much, you could tell. It was really great to see. One of the things I had prayed for is that he was favored by his caregivers, so that he could receive love from us more easily. And that is apparently the case. In fact, every care giver or doctor that walked by him stopped to kiss him, or make him laugh. It made it easier to leave knowing that he is well cared for and loved. I did cry a little when we left, but really I felt so secure. They are going to take such great care of him I know! And I know they are excited for him to have a hope of a future.
Being home now, it is more sad to know we have to wait 6-8 weeks to get him home, but I know the time will fly. We will have to go back two more times. One for court, and one to bring him home. Can't wait for that glorious day!