Hello! Hello! We didn’t get a a post up yesterday, so I will try to recap today. First of all…I have to give a big Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet nephew, Landry! We hope your day is wonderful and we look forward to celebrating with you soon!
Yesterday (Saturday) was a busy day. We had both visits with the girls, then a short lunch break in between. Natasha and Natasha met with us and went over information for court. They went over all of the information in the judges papers so we are familiar with it and we can match our answers accordingly. Today during our ride to and from Big Sis orphanage, our interpreter went over the order of the court hearing, more possible questions, etc. Needless to say, we are NERVOUS…but trusting God to enable us to speak clearly, accurately and from the heart. It is important for the court to know that we love the girls. I am confident that will be written all over our faces. Also, they have told us it will be important to talk about how we have prepared everything for them at home. Thanks to so many of you…we have almost everything we will need and more for the girls! Also, we need to talk about how we will handle discipline and hard times with the girls. They said it will be important for us to communicate that we have family and friends that are willing to help. Again, thanks to you…we can definitely demonstrate this. It will also be positive to let the judge know that we are in close contact with other families who have adopted, especially from Russia…so Copes and Johnsons…thank you for sharing your experiences and girls with us. It will also be good to talk about how we have cared for children before. So friends and family that have trusted us with your children for just a few hours up to several days…thank you! Most off all..knowing God will go before us and with us, along with His people praying for us…gives us the most comfort of all!
Back to yesterday…our visits with the girls went well yesterday. No tears for Big Sis. She even warmed up quicker. We got a tour of Lil Sis sleeping, playing, eating and bathroom areas. It was nice to see where she spends her days for now. They even had her demonstrate getting her potty chair, putting it in the corner and going on command! Oh my! On Friday night we found some play-doh and shapes so we took them with us. Lil Sis seemed to enjoy it (Big Sis even more). We have definitely confirmed Lil Sis is a music lover. On the Leap Frog, she only wants to push the music button, over and over again.We caught her on video, starting the music, getting off Brett’s lap and dancing. It was so cute. When we went to leave and say good-bye, she said that she needed her jacket so she could go too! We would have LOVED that…but hopefully, soon that will be the case. With Big Sis, we had a good visit yesterday afternoon and this morning. No tears…and more comfort overall. She loved the play-doh and we spent a lot of time coloring and with stickers! She LOVES stickers. Brett played some of the Russian children’s songs on the iPod. He would ask her “Good?” in Russian. She would say da (yes). Then he would play American music and ask “Good?” in Russian again. She would say nyet (no) and smile! We love these glimpses into her personality. When we were leaving today, our interpreter told her that mom and dad would be busy tomorrow, but soon they will come back and take you home with them forever. Is this okay? She said yes! I am sure she can’t understand what forever really means, but we will take her willingness for now. Lord willing, after tomorrow, these girls will really be ours (well, officially after 31 days). It is overwhelming even for us to comprehend this, much less the girls…but they are forever in our hearts and our love for them grows each day. For now, one day at a time and we just can’t wait to begin life as a family of four!
Today, we have the afternoon/evening off. The last few days we have been trying to venture out more and more. The weather has been so nice. We found a nice park with a children’s area just down the street. Last night we also walked up to the main square in Kaliningrad – Victory Square and tried a new restaurant. We also found two malls right around the square. We have been stocking up on Russian children’s videos and music! We will obviously limit how much TV the girls watch, but for the trip home, we want to be stocked with plenty of choices!
We have mentioned a few of our meals. Overall, everything tastes different here and we have had lots of different foods. Friday night we went to a nicer restaurant and I was quite suprised when I ordered fish and I received the whole fish – skin, eyes, everything! It was actually quite good – but a little shock! We have had cold borscht and traditional borscht, sausages, lots of potatoes and different cold salads. Below, I have included a few pictures. Our camera is pretty much dead (I am very sad about this) so we have been taking pictures and video with our iPod. The quality isn’t great, but at least we have something.
Also, we can’t forget the soccer update! Russia lost last night to Greece. This was an upset as they were predicted to win…so now they are out of the EuroCup. Also, Czech-Republic beat Poland for another upset! Soccer has been one of the few things we can watch on TV, because we can still watch even though we can’t understand the Russian. Plus, our driver Sasha loves it, so it gives us something to talk to him about :)!
Today is Father’s Day and Brett was thankful to see our Big Sis. Russia doesn’t celebrate Father’s Day…so for the most part, it is just another day! I am already imagining the girls making him cards next year with lots of stickers! I am so thankful for him (Brett) and look forward to all that lies ahead with our family!