Archive for February 19, 2008
Hello Everyone! I apologize for not writing a more thorough post until now. I blame the jet lag and the excitement for distracting me. Let me tell you about the first day at the baby house.
I got up early even though I was exhausted from the flight. I did about 15 minutes of yoga and then jumped into the shower. I hurried up to get dressed and put on makeup. When I was ready I went downstairs to the breakfast buffet. It was delicious and I had a very good meal. I took a large scoop of mandarin oranges and pineapple. I took a blueberry yogurt. I had several glasses of orange juice. I also had a scoop of what looks like cut up chunks of hot dogs but tastes a bit better quality than hot dogs. I also had a slice of what looks like pizza but tasted slightly different. There was also an omelet station, a bowl of soft boiled eggs, and a table of different breakfast bread rolls. Other things that I saw but didn’t have were a hot station of what looked like cream of wheat, rice pudding, and oatmeal. After having a good night sleep and a filling breakfast I was ready to go.
I got my briefcase together and went down to the lobby. For the first visit to the baby house I wore a long black skirt, a dark purple blouse and comfortable dress shoes. I did my hair and makeup carefully and wore a strand of pearls. I wanted to dress in a fashion that said I was taking this seriously and was respectful of the director, who I knew I would meet at this first visit.
Alma and Bulat picked us up and drove us to the babyhouse. I was equal parts nervous and excited. I am sure I had a really serious expression on my face. We (the Spykers and I) went inside and were led into the front office of the Director. We both went inside and sat down. At the table that we were sitting was a lady from the Ministry of Education. She spoke and Alma translated. We were told that we were to meet twice a day at the baby house with our chosen children and that we needed to do this for 14 days for the bonding period. That during that time we needed to keep a journal. Then the director called to her assistant who walked out into the hallway. A few minutes went by and then in walked a lady holding a small blond haired and blue eyed baby. The Spykers were caught off guard and were very surprised. Dana Spyker was asked if she wanted to hold the baby. She leaned over and took the sweet baby in her arms.
As I was watching this sweet scene, out of the corner of my eye I saw a lady came into the director’s office with a little toddler girl. She had a huge cream bow in her hair. She was wearing a frilly peach and cream party dress. And had such a beautiful smile on her face. It took me three seconds to realize that this little girl was there for me. I of course lost it a bit and had to fight to get control since I didn’t want to frighten her. I came around the corner of the table blinking back tears and knelt down by her. I put out my hand and she put her little hand in mine and it was so small and had sweet baby fat on it. I kept repeating the word beautiful over and over and then said her name and the Russian word for beautiful and her response back was Da…which means yes. In other words I called her beautiful and she said Yes, yes. At this point I picked her up and she felt so good in my arms and when I did this she just laid against my body and put her head on my shoulder and hugged. And I squeezed her back. And tried not to cry. Then after a minute I put her down and grabbed a toy off the shelf of the director’s office and got down on the floor. Karina sat on the floor and we pushed the little plastic car back and forth between us for a few minutes. After a few pushes she decided the car wasn’t interesting to her. And she started to look around the office. At this point the director motioned for us to go to the playroom. Alma, my coordinator began walking us toward the playroom. The director met us halfway there and took the hand of Karina. Alma went to find the Spykers and I followed the director and Karina as they headed toward the playroom. We went up to one playroom and Karina told the director that it was not the right room. They had a short conversation and I could tell Karina was telling her it was the wrong room. Then we went back to the staircase and Karina led us all up the stairs to the third floor where her group room was. The director left us there and I got out the play dough. It was a serious hit! I opened each tub and she tried to get the play dough out. She would try once maybe twice and then would hand the tub to me to help. During this time I was able to look into her eyes several times and she did not glance away…in fact she would giggle when I would and look back at me with sweet flirty eyes. Then after we played with the play dough I pulled out the bubbles and they were a huge hit. She tried to blow the bubbles herself but it was hard. So, I became the bubble blower and she was the official bubble catcher and popper. As a stream of bubbles went airborne Karina threw her hands up in the air and laughed and ran around the room trying to catch them. After a few more minutes, Alma my coordinator came to tell me that the time was up for the first visit. I would say that it was around 15 to 20 minutes long. I, of course, did not want to leave. Karina gave me a big hug and ran back into her group’s room.
Let me explain the group rooms. What I have been able to see so far is two rooms. The first room is straight off the hallway – it is a small ten by ten foot room. It has little wooden lockers that run around the perimeter of the room and that you can probably see in the pictures. Each locker is for a child and holds their outdoor clothes and some other things. This is the room where we have been meeting these past two days. Then there is a door that leads to the main room which is about 20’ x 10’. In the main room there is a large carpet in the middle and many little chairs lined up along the carpet for the little ones in Karina’s group. There are toys on the shelves that line the room. Beyond this I know that there is a sleeping room with all the little toddler beds. I have seen the pictures on other people’s blogs but have not been invited back yet to see for myself.
Anyway, Karina went back to her group and I packed things up quickly and followed Alma back downstairs.
And that was the first visit to the baby house. Now I need to write up about the second visit that day and the first and second visit that happened today. Let me tell you how many times I read on other people’s blogs about how it feels like you have been here forever and have known your child forever. They were all right. It has been only two days and four visits and I feel like I have been here forever and I feel like I have known her forever. It is unbelievable the feeling and the instantaneous love and attachment I feel for this short cute munchkin. My daughter.
I do promise to write up the other visits by tomorrow but until then let me tide you over with some great shots of today.