Today was our last day in Kaliningrad and now we are getting ready for an early morning (our driver is picking us up at 4:45 AM) and a long trip home. We are so thankful for our precious girls and we treasured each moment. We got to visit with Lil Sis yesterday afternoon after court and we saw both of them today.
During our visits yesterday and today with Lil Sis we were in the same room as the Italian couple that is adopting a girl from Lil Sis’ group and two others from another orphanage. Some highlights with her included her holding a baby doll and rock it to sleep with a lullabye, her big smiles and quiet but contagious laugh and her many, many cuddles. Today, no matter what we were doing, she wanted held. So many times today she would just cling to me and snuggle for so long. I just tried to savor every moment to hold me over until next month! She is still our dancing queen and full of energy. When she gets excited, she can get quite loud..but we love her joyful noises.
Today we had a great and very different visit with Big Sis. When we arrived at the orphanage, we found out that her group was down at the sea, so we headed that way. It took us a while to find their group on the huge beach, but we just looked for a large group of little people. Big Sis was a little shy at first, then her group left and we stayed with her for awhile. We played in the sand, kicked a ball around, buried balls and went down to the water to play at the edge. After awhile, we headed back to her orphanage and she got cleaned up. She was the first in line to wash her hands for lunch and the first to finish her lunch. As soon as she was done, I helped her change into “special clothes” including new shoes and a hairbow and then we took her by ourselves for ice cream and to the park. She definitely is her mother’s daughter…she loves clothes, accessories and ice cream! We had a great time and saw her really open up to us and even try to express her love when we openly told her that we loved her. Our interpreter told her that we would be leaving and then coming back to take her and Lil Sis home forever. I am sure she can’t fully understand this, but she said that she understood. When we got back to the orphanage, we helped her undress and put her down for her nap. Brett and I both felt as we were kissing her and saying good-bye that she seemed happy and content. We are so thankful.
Saying good-bye to the girls was hard today, but this good-bye and leaving Kaliningrad puts us just that much closer to coming back in August. Our agency representative mentioned coming back around August 13th or 14th, but a few details still have to be confirmed.
I will leave you with a few pictures. Thank you all for the heart-felt comments on our court proceeding! We are so thankful for the family that God has knit together and we pray that He will help us love and care for the blessings he has given us in these girls.