Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ukrainian Saturday night

Yeah, the 10 day wait is almost over. We can get to work again on Tuesday! Galina, though, told us to take the children Monday after school! That's good news because we can't wait to get Julia out of her present location.

I'm very culturally sensitive and I uphold and honor the traditions of the country and culture of which I'm a guest. But I totally disagree with Ukraine's take on the idea that somehow, my daughter is getting better care at this place than at her Dietsky Dom. I was fuming after Thursday night's visit when my Julia had deep dark circles under her eyes, hadn't showered or changed clothes in over a week, and cried in her mother's arms after only a five minute visit. I love the people of Ukraine, but I'm ready to have my kids with us, both here and in the US.

When Julia was coming home with us, we managed to erase the circles under her eyes with a little (well, lots) of food and love. Julia hates the food at the sanitorium and would always be the last one at the table. I accussed her of having a tape worm. Folks, I don't know where she was putting all of it! Thirty minutes after dinner and everyone else had finished, she would be done. We would pull up her shirt and she would show us her tummy, rounded by the nice meal Mom had given her. We always pack snacks for all of them to take back with them, making sure to give Julia a bit extra to make it through to her next family dinner.

For the past week, we still make the trip to the sanitorium to see her. We just pay the driver a little extra for the wait. They placed her in isolation because she was coughing with her cold. They were afraid that if she did have TB (she doesn't) that a cough would spread it. Now she can't come home and noone was there on Friday to release her from this wing. She is no longer sick from the cold but unable to come home. We try and get in 15 minutes with her in the hallway and usually we accomplish our goal. It just depends on who is working. Galina tried to get in touch of the doctor to release her and she said that on Monday, she will make him release her completely.

In the meantime, we pack a big bag of goodies, juice, some meal worthy snacks and her activity books. Julia is all smiles now, a quite different demeanor from Thursday night's visit. On Friday night, Heidi brought her a complete change of clothes and she loved her new jeans. We held up a coat in a corner of the hallway as she stripped and changed clothes. We couldn't do anything about the shower, though. When we met Julia for the first time, the staff told us she was like a "gentile kitten". We didn't know what that meant, but we have found out. She is quite the cuddle-muffin. She likes to climb up into Heidi's lap and to be held like a baby. She needs lots of love and attention and we have determined that Julia will be our child most in need. She craves Heidi's love and affection, being quite the Momma's girl. She loves me too and will hug 'till it hurts. But Heidi is the go-to girl for her.

Heidi and I have bought each child three changes of clothes. They wear these for a couple of days until we shower them and wash their clothes (we mastered the washing machine in our apartment weeks ago). They have quit wearing their orphanage clothes for a couple of weeks now. Galina knows this and of course she is going to allow us to keep the clothes that we have bought them. We will hand over the orphanage clothes probably on Monday. It is great to have a director who is so cooperative when it comes to adoption. The ability to have them each night, to wash their clothes, to let them have their new clothes, to have meals with them, all this is not taken for granted. I know that there have been adoptive parents out there that haven't been granted these things, so I am grateful.

Our time together has eased us into the bonding process and each day the kids show us new personalities and have given over their complete trust. Things may change when they are out of their culture and comfort zone when we get home. But they will know that they can trust in us to take care of them. All of the kids routinely speak Spanish with us. They are quite good! I want them to retain it along with their Russian.

Nadia is still bossy with her sibs, but she lets me take charge when I need to discipline Kolya. Last night she intervened when I took a MP3 player from Kolya after I warned him twice not to play with it during dinner (I don't know where he got it from, probably his turn with community property). I sternly told her that I was in charge and would handle it and she backed off. There have been numerous occasions like this and I'm slowly letting it be known that I am the parent now. Of course, she knows how to bat those eyes and I melt! She is wonderful though! She regularly takes my arm when we are walking and today she was snuggly during a movie. I was a bit shocked though when she came out of the shower today with just a towel wrapped around her. Kolya is doing the same thing, too. I guess they are all comfortable with their new family! I didn't make a scene or a big deal about it and neither did they. I guess we have moved forward!

Kolya has this pouty, crying side to him. Normally, he is a happy-go-lucky boy...and he is all boy, if ya know what I mean. Today, Nadia said something to him that sent him over the edge. He went off by himself and started crying. It is impossible to get him to do anything or listen to you when he does this. I'm not the kind of guy who plays along or allows things like this so we just leave him alone and choose to ignore the behavior, but not the boy. I'm sure he's testing us all and I'm all too eager to start establishing those boundaries! He has done this several times, but he always comes around. One time in a croud, I had to get tough with him...bring it on little man! Otherwise, he is a sweet boy and has the cutest laugh and giggle. He acts like he doesn't like it, but he gets a kick out of Heidi's belly-buster routine. We believe that he is going to have the easiest time with learning English, he's a parrot and perfectly pronounces most every word you say to him. We played soccer together today (it was nice and warm out again) and he is very skilled. Look out American kids! When Koya is around his friends, it's not cool to hug and kiss on Mom & Dad, he does that at home. He is also shy in crouds, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts when we arrive at DIA and there is a welcome commitee. All for now, see ya soon.

Short note: I've complicated my picture uploading now, I've gone and lost my thumb drive. No big loss, it had only copied pictures on it. I saw some for sale at the open air market here. I'll try and replace it soon. I don't like to post without pictures.

~ Felix ~


Stephanee&Zach said...

It is so great to follow your journey and just sounds like you guys are doing so great. I totally understand the frustrations with the hosiptal stays. Our Katya spent the entire 10 day wait in the hospital for a cold and she was dirty and bored and it was pretty frustrating. However, God truly used it for good as it became a real time of bonding for us and her as we were able to love on her alone each day and take her little gifts and yummy foods. I think it was actually a really important time for her. You will all be home soon!!!

Karen said...

Love that you are enjoying Saturday nights in UA...wish I was there with you...but I am enjoying where I am too :) Zina is doing great...her and Vika are paling around-- and getting spoiled I might add! Hope the post 10 day wait goes super quick. Hope you get to church this weekend too-- give my love! Miss you guys...

Matt and Aimee Garrett said...

It's early Sunday morning here and I'm able to get all caught up, probably reading this just minutes after you posted! I' sensing the tension...rotflmao! Once your in Kiev and you've established your parental role and are abke to start acting like a real family you'll start feeling a little more empowered. To be sure, they WILL act differently the closer they get to leaving, the reality sets in and they will, more than likely, start to really draw close to you!

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.