Today, November 12th, is our "Met-cha" anniversary. It's hard to believe that a year has passed since we first saw our kidos. I can still see the place and time we first laid eyes on them.
The first one I met was Nadia. She was leaning against the wall outside of the director's office after we had met with Galina. She had just been summoned from school and had a look of fear and bewilderment. I can only imagine her concern as she was told that a couple was here to meet her and her siblings for possible adoption. Nadia has told me since that she saw us first and that we passed her as she was sitting on a couch during our tour of the orphanage. Nadia immediately grew 7 inches in 7 months and has became a sweet young lady. There are days when she tries to get bossy with her sibs, but she gets back into routine when warned. She had to be the "Mom" all those years and it was hard to let go and trust us. But eventually it happened, and Nadia is getting to enjoy her late childhood. Nadia is terrific with her English and played both team soccer & volleyball this year. Nadia is a daddy's girl.
The second one we met was Kolya. He showed up about 2 minutes after we first met Nadia. Galina was positioned at the staircase and he was hiding behind her as the introductions were made. He was shy at first and we would come to realize that his few misbehavior incidents the first few weeks were a result of his struggle to let go of the only caretakers which he gave his loyalty. While there, he would come to see us as the authority and care providers he so longed for. In the past year, Kole has mastered English and gained a few pounds. He has a great attitude and sense of humor. Always the pleaser, Kole hardly complains and always does what is asked of him. Mom always says, "we need 10 just like him". Kole is definitely the "Mamas boy". He played competitive soccer this year on one of the best teams in Longmont. They went undefeated and Kole definitely contributed. He is a treasure to have around!
The third one we met was Julia. She was at the sanatorium when we came, so our driver and a caretaker had to go get her. We first met Julia in Galina's office. Heidi and I were ushered back into her office to talk with the kids and she arrived in due time. She had to sit closest to me on the other couch and in my peripheral vision I could see her checking me out. She held onto the Teddy bear we gave her and was silent for most of the discussion. I can still see her in that blue sweater she wore. The poor child hadn't worn clean clothes in a long time and her hair was severely matty and cut incorrectly. I just knew she was a diamond in the rough and that we had to rescue her from that lonely, dingy place they had her. Julia has since learned English and is doing well at school. Lots of therapy and TLC has helped Julia learn about family life and she is a sweet little girl. It's still a struggle most days with "Yule" as I call her ( we still call her Yulia at home), but I couldn't image our lives without her and her gentle, caring spirit. Equally affectionate with both of us, but sways towards Mom on most things, Julia marches to the beat of her own drum. You can't and shouldn't put her in a mold. Simply put, Julia is Julia. She has gained 15 or so pounds and grown a few inches in the past year. Mom swore she grew an inch the 10 days she was gone in September! Julia's favorite activity is the horse riding therapy class she attends on Saturday mornings.
In 27 days, we celebrate "Got-cha" Day!
~ Felix ~