Lions and Tigers and Bears…

Just when we think we know how each day will go, it changes. This morning we headed to Lil Sis’ orphanage. Since the holidays are over, we went straight to meet with the director. We found out bad news and good news. The bad news is that she will not let us get the girls together because of the risk of “infectous diseases.” We are really bummed about this, but there is nothing we can do. We will probably be asked about getting the girls together at court, so we will have to explain that we asked and we were denied. Also, we can talk about how positive it was for the girls to be together in the baby home and what the workers have told us. Anyway…on to the good news. Lil Sis’ group had a trip planned to the zoo and we got the opportunity to go along. It was nice to do something different with her. We all waited for the bus and then got loaded on the bus. Brett and I continued to be amazed at the workers and their efficiency at handling all of the kids. They had them all buckled in during the time that we were getting Lil Sis situated. During the bus ride it was fun to watch her excitement at everything…dogs, buses, cars, etc. Also, I had my legs crossed for part of the ride and I looked over to see her trying to cross her leg! It was the cutest thing and one of my favorite moments of the day. Also, she was dancing to the music at one point too. Brett and I were cracking up. The first animals we visited at the zoo were raccoons. I guess they are exotic in Russia…the girls are going to think our backyard is a zoo! It did get better though. The zoo was a little run down, but overall it made for a nice trip. Brett and I held hands with Lil Sis and lifted her up to see the animals. She talked away and enjoyed seeing them all. We even got her saying most of the animals in English. The workers were so nice and included us in group pictures and accomodated us the whole time. Our hotel was just across from the zoo, so we watched her load up on the bus and waved good-bye. I really found it hard leaving her today, especially knowing that we are not seeing the girls tomorrow. We have a whirlwind trip to Moscow tomorrow for medicals.

We found a new place for lunch today thanks to Natasha. Brett had borscht and pasta and I had a cold salad with veggies and meat and lasagna (definitely not our lasagna).

This afternoon we headed out to Zelonogradsk to see our Big Sis. We also met with the orphanage director there and then went to get our girl. She started off slow again today, but not as closed off as the other days. Even though she wasn’t responding alot, she still let me hold her and cuddle. We went outside and eventually got her going some. Then we went in for a bathroom break and to our playroom. When asked often, she is doing great with going to the bathroom. It is routine now that I go with her and help her. She was very cuddly with me today and seemed content to sit with me in the bean bag and read several books and play with the new sunglasses we gave her. I made the most of the time and rubbed her back, gave her kisses and cuddled. Brett did great engaging her while she was on my lap. She did get going a little more and jumping in the ball pit, etc. They have a hitting bag that she and Brett were playing with. She would push it towards him and he would fake falling over. She was laughing so hard. It was so cute! By the end of our time, she was very comfortable and even skipping while holding my hand after her second bathroom break. She also did a little better at showing affection when it was time to say good-bye in front of her group.

When Brett and I went to get her, the group was having music lessons and singing. We wished that we would have had a recorder. It was so cute! Today during our visit, alot of older kids passed by us and tried to talk to us. I think we are quite the novelty being Americans.

Tonight we headed for pizza and sushi. It seems to be quite the combo around here. Also, I have watched more soccer in the last 24 hours than ever before. In case you are wondering, Russia tied Poland 1-1 and they play again on Saturday. Denmark and Portugal are playing right now and it is 2-2 with just a few minutes left ;)!

We would appreciate prayers for our medicals and travels to Moscow tomorrow. Also, we are having problems with our camera charger. It is not the adapter this time so we can charge everything else, but I will be so sad if we can’t get it working and have limited video and pictures for the rest of the trip. Brett does have his iPod Touch, but it is not the same.

Brett and I tried harder today to speak Russian phrases to the girls. We woud tell them “I love you” and “You are so smart, beautiful, etc.” We also learned endearing terms, It’s ok and several more phrases. I don’t know if our Russian is good enough for them to understand, but we are trying.

Brett is feeling quite a bit better today. We are so thankful and praising God for sustaining Him and bringing healing. We are continually reminded of this faith journey that we are on and anytime we have fears (which is still very often), we are so reminded of God’s faithfulness and the way He has given us love for these girls. In our hearts, we are committed to them…no matter how many hard days lie ahead. We also know there will be many good days and moments of joy. We love the comments you are leaving! It helps us feel a little closer to home!

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12 thoughts on “Lions and Tigers and Bears…

  1. We love to hear your updates! I have a big cheesy smile on my face each time I read which probably looks weird to my co-workers 🙂 We are praying for you each day!

  2. Sounds like an exciting day! I am so happy to hear that you are getting quality time with each daughter. I love reading the details and imagining the awe in your eyes and warmth in your hearts! Sorry about the bummer news – praying there will be no more. I am also praying that tomorrow goes quickly and smoothly, so you can get back to those sweet girls! Love you and glad to hear Brett is on the mend.

  3. Oops, meant to tell you that Matt’s surgery went well and he is healing fine. Thank you for your prayers!

  4. Everyone here misses you, Amanda but we’re all SO excited to hear the good news. I smile so big when I read your posts. I loved the one where Lil Sis crossed her legs like her Mommy! Oh my goodness…can we say CUTE???? We’re praying and LOVE the blog so we can keep updated! Hugs and many, many prayers to you!!!

  5. Love all the details! The girls are just precious! I’m praying you fly through your medicals so you can get back to spending time with your little angels. It’s so nice to hear that the orphanages really try to engage the children with different types of activities!

  6. Oh my goodness! I cry tears of joy every time I read your post. What a journey you are on and soon you will be home raising them and the whole experience will prove to be sooo worth it. Praying for your travels and medicals in Moscow and glad Brett has turned the corner. Hope he can really enjoy the rest of the trip and will be well for the next one…which hopefully will be here in no time! Glad to hear about your zoo outing too. It will be awesome to take them to the StL zoo someday soon. Blessings and safe travels to you. Can’t wait to chat when you get back. Take care!

  7. Lovin’ it! Thanks sooo much for sharing – and for sharing sooo much! The Good Lord is being petitioned often for your physical and emotional well being – for all four of you and Sasha and Natasha. I can only imagine what a blessing they have been to you – PLEASE thank them from your american “family”. May your day tomorrow go well AND go quickly so you can get back to your family time!!! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  8. So since I last posted, Our cat has actually given birth to 5 kittens, of which any number should be ready for your girls to take from us in less than 8 short weeks 🙂

  9. Amanda, Brett and girls,

    Thanks so much for your reports from Russia! I can feel the excitement and love from your words and know in my heart that these precious little girls have a wonderful life ahead of them with you two as their parents! Such a blessing for all of you!
    We just can’t wait to meet them and welcome them into our community and Bank family!
    Speaking of the Bank…tell Brett we miss him and everyone here is sharing your posts so that we all stay informed.
    Thoughts and prayers for your medical exams!

  10. So glad things are going pretty well. Won’t be long until you’ll have cuddle time with your girls EVERY day! excited for you all and continue to lift you up in prayers.

  11. We just love the fact that you included soccer updates….SO funny!!! By the way, every time you write about the food, I just have to cringe. Your adventure in food makes you stand out as very courageous in my book for sure! Thanks for keeping us informed about your journey. We are definitely thinking of both of you and your girls. Continuing our prayers for you as well!

  12. How awesome that you got to go on a field trip with Lil Sis! I am imagining Brett cramming himself into a bus full of screaming kids….but that would be an American field trip. I am sure he was still crammed in, but there were likely no screaming kids! What a fun mommy and daddy thing to get to do! Plus you got to see Lil Sis interact with all her peers outside a familiar place. What wonderful information to have!
    Isn’t it amazing how God makes every child SO DIFFERENTeven though they are siblings?! I am confident that Big Sis will thrive and be so much more equipped to share love once she experiences it through both of you every minute of every day!!! Thinking about you and praying for you constantly!
    We are off to Tablerock tomorrow and might not get to read or sign more, but you will still be in our prayers especially on the 18th!!! Can’t wait till next year when maybe all our kiddos can play there together:) Love ya!

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