What a Difference Part 2…

A year ago today, April 3, 2012…we met our little Nora! Even on that first day, we could tell that she was an expressive and joyful little girl. We had arrived in Kaliningrad Sunday evening and Monday (April 2) had been an emotional and tiring day with visits to multiple government offices, meetings at Nora’s orphanage, meetings at Lydia’s orphanage, the travel back and forth between Kaliningrad and Zelonogradsk, our first time with Lydia and just figuring out how to get food and our basic needs around our hotel. I have to say that Tuesday, the day we met Nora, was our hardest day of the trip….and usually the day on all four trips (we always arrived in Kaliningrad on Sunday evening) where jet lag and exhaustion would hit the hardest. We were also hit hard with the realities that faced us and the decision that we needed to make. Would we accept the referral for Lydia and Nora? Having said all of that…our first meeting with Nora was a blur. We were sitting in the orphanage doctor’s small office. It was blazing hot inside (freezing outside). Brett and I both were sweating and it takes alot for us to get hot! We heard her before we saw her. She was talking to a caregiver and when they opened the door they were telling her “MaMa” which is Russian for mom. She did walk towards me and quickly let me put her on my lap. Again, it was small and awkward in the office, so we tried to manuever around and find ways to interact with her through our interpretor and the doctor in the room. I am pretty sure on that first day, the doctor gave us some paper and markers and we drew with her and let her scribble. She did sit on both of our laps. I also remember that when the telephone rang in the office, she was very interested and excited. The doctor told us that she was very good when she needed to be examined and we have found this to be true here as well. After awhile, we got to take her outside for some playtime. I already blogged about this, but I tried to help get her coat, hat, scarf, mittens, etc. on. I didn’t do a good enough job though because the doctor came over and bundled her up more. Remember, this was all in a room that was very HOT. Most of the buildings in Russia have the old radiator heat and when on…it was just hot and dry heat. This was the case in our hotel room too (which we couldn’t regulate). During our short time outside, we saw how much she loved the tricycle and spent most of our time chasing after her. We did play ball a little too. When it was time to say good-bye, we did so in front of the doctor’s office (all other visits we went up to her wing of the orphanage). She was friendly and showed affection towards us but was also fine to leave with her caregiver. We didn’t get any pictures from our first meeting inside (a big regret) so I am including outside pictures from that first day and some inside pictures from our second day with Nora.

Nora is our little girl, our younger daughter. She brings a smile to our face so many times each day and she also keeps us on our toes! To say that she is expressive, would be an understatement. She is our dancing queen and our giggly girl. She hardly knows a stranger and she loves to cuddle, but she is a wiggler too. She can be so serious one second and then all giggles the next. She loves to do everything that Lydia is doing. She is very sensitive to “ouchies” and can be in tears instantly over a mark that may have been there for a week, but she just noticed. She is the baby of our family and is constantly bossed around by Lydia, BUT recently they have been playing “mommy and baby” and Nora loves to be the mommy. I think it is HER turn to be in charge! She is a huge thumb sucker…I have no clue how we will break her of this. She loves any kind of snack and her way of asking for it, is by saying “I like it Mommy” or “I like it Daddy” (meaning she wants some). Her best friend is her sister, Lydia…the two really are inseperable. Lydia is a great big sister and I hope they always remain close. We praise God for our second miracle Nora Rose Lessley! Looking back, she was just a little toddler and now she is growing up so fast!

Then…

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…and NOW…

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