After breakfast, our amazing translator/daredevil driver took us to the Ministry of Education where we officially received our referrals. Natasha, our outstanding in-country coordinator, prepared us last night for the meeting, so we went in fairly confident. The MOE representative went over the kiddos’ general medical history and what she had on record regarding their birth parents. There, we also met another couple adopting through our agency who were also on their first trip. The boy they travelled to see is at the same baby home as our beautiful girl.
Then it was off to see our boy! We first spoke with the Baby Home Director, a kind pediatrician. She gave us more details about his health and background (He’s very sociable in his “groupa,” she says. Sound like anyone we know…?); and before we knew it, a caregiver is walking him through the door in to meet us! Well, we prepared for “the worst” and thought there was a good chance he would cry and cry every minute of every visit this entire week. We are complete strangers, keep in mind; and don’t even speak a language that sounds the least bit familiar to him. And cry he did. At least for the first few minutes. Once he saw a musical toy we brought, he was intrigued and stopped the sobbing. After the familiar caregiver left and it was mainly just us, he was so brave! Of course he was frightened, but he was so strong and held it together. He let each of us give him plenty of kisses—he even reached out several times for more! When we went off to a playroom, he walked down the hall hand-in-hand with Derek like it was nothing. In the room, Derek sat down and our little boy just clung to him. It was precious.
After we left his Baby Home (the kiddos—though biological siblings—are at two different Baby Homes), we met with a social worker who was able to give us even more background information. Then it was lunch with our translator. Then, off to see our little girl! Meeting her was just as magical as meeting her brother. She cried at first as well, though calmed down shortly. She loved my colorful bracelet (thank you, Leona Tobin!) and the camera lens cap cover. When she was first brought into the room, the caretaker holding her introduced Derek and me to her as “Mama” and “Papa.” My heart melted. And my goodness, she looks so much like her brother! There is no mistaking them for “brat” and “sestra” (brother and sister). She actively played with some of the toys we brought. It was just so amazing finally being there to interact with her.
We were lucky enough to get to go back to our boy’s Baby Home one more time this afternoon. This time, we were invited to walk with him outside. They bundled him up in a snowsuit and hat (it’s probably just in the lower 40s here, but they dress the children VERY warmly) and off we went! He played with Derek in a puddle and started interacting with him when playing with a toy truck. It was just so amazing.
We are really looking forward to seeing them tomorrow and making even more headway with bonding with them.
Here's a sneak peak of the kiddos. We won't be posting any photos that give away their identity before court, just as a precaution. But these should be harmless:
Off to bed and to do it again tomorrow! Woot!