Monday, November 26, 2007

Interesting Experience. . .(Pictures at the bottom. . ps-this doesn't mean scroll to the end of the post without reading the blog!!!)

Today it was much warmer than it has been for the past few days and apparently there is an "infection" running rampant through the orphanage (according to our translator it is the chicken pox although I have yet to see any evidence of it), so we spent our visiting hours outside with Evan today. For the first visit we went outside to the "courtyard" behind the orphanage where the play area and the laundry house are located. Evan seemed to enjoy being outside, even though it was a bit cold and windy and we broke major ground today when he let Richard hold him. We could hardly get him to crack a smile today, but he at least seemed to feel more comfortable with us and was even starting to talk a bit more (given, he is 3 years-old and speaking Russian so we can't understand much, but at least he is opening up).

This evening we were directed to a door at the front of the orphanage that is right off the street. This was the third visit we have had with Evan at this location and these visits are always short (usually 5-10 minutes since it is so cold). It starts getting dark here around 3:45-4:00 pm and the sun has completely set by about 4:30, so our visit with him was in the dark, in the cold and wind. His caretaker brought him to us, nice and bundled and signaled to us that she would be back for him in 5-10 minutes. He isn't really a fan of standing out on the street in the cold, in the wind, at night, so he isn't really a happy camper during these particular visits. He likes to watch the cars drive by and the people pass on the streets, but when the wind starts to blow (and there is no hiding from it), he always starts to cry (I don't blame him. . .sometimes it makes me want to cry too!).

Tonight was especially interesting because, as we were standing outside visiting with Evan, an old man passed on the sidewalk in front of us. Evan was crying and the old man looked up at us and started to slow. Once he had passed by us he stopped completely and continued to stare our direction. Evan was very wary of this old man. After a few minutes the man started walking towards us. Great! He slowly made his way over to where I was standing, holding Evan and started to speak to us in Russian or Ukrainian. I told him in Russian that I could not understand him, that I spoke English. I'm not sure what he thought we were doing there out in the cold night in front of the orphanage, but after a few minutes I understood that he wanted Richard and I to follow him back to his house. He actually grabbed my arm and started trying to lead me away, pointing in the opposite direction. Richard and I tried to tell him that Evan lived at the orphanage and that we could not leave, but obviously he did not understand. All the while, Evan is completely freaked out by this new stranger and the chain of events taking place (after all, he could understand what the man was saying and knew that this stranger was trying to lead him away from "home"). After a few minutes he walked around to the back of the orphanage where apparently he told one of the caretakers that we were standing out in the cold in front of the orphanage. One of the caretakers came around front and explained in Russian what was going on (I understood grandfather, cold and evening and assumed that she was telling us that the old man was concerned that we were standing out in the cold at night). She asked us if we were okay and I told her that we were and she started walking back towards the rear entrance. The old man rounded the corner and she explained to him what we were doing. He started to walk back down the street towards us and again, stopped in front of us and subtly motioned for us to follow him and the caretaker, who was still standing there watching, yelled to him to move on. Eventually he did.

At this point we had been outside for at least 20 minutes and had already knocked on the doors after the man had tried to lead us away, in hopes that a caretaker would come and take Evan so that he would not be so scared. No one had come and we weren't sure how much longer they would be, so I decided that I would take him back inside using the rear entrance and that Richard would continue to stand at the door just in case a care taker came before I got back to his groupa (we didn't want them to think we had run off with him). I took him back inside and said good bye and Richard met me at the corner. The caretaker who had brought him outside came out the back door and from what I could tell she was angry that we had taken him back upstairs. We didn't want her to feel like we had disrespected her directions, so we called Masha and asked her to explain to the caretakers that Evan had been cold and afraid and that we had tried to knock on the door to get their attention, but when no one came we felt it would be best to take him inside.

Needless to say, it was a very interesting visit! Definitely one for the books!

The process continues to go well, the orphanage director and lawyer prepared paperwork today and we will be meeting with the social worker and the judge tomorrow afternoon. If all goes well, we hope to send all of our paperwork to Kiev by tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning at the latest. We are still praying for a court date next week!

Many of you have asked for pictures so without further ado, I give you pictures (please excuse Evan's girlie outfit in the second picture. . .he really is a little boy)! Also, if you click on the pictures you can see a larger version.

Mommy and Evan playing our "Hugs and Kisses" game

Mommy and Evan outside the orphanage
Mommy and Evan snuggling on the playground
Daddy holding Evan for the first time (don't mind the cookie hanging out of his mouth)


Charissa said...

Hooray! Pictures! Evan looks so big, but I imagine it is just all the layers and bundles! I'm glad to hear things are going well. He is sure a handsome little guy.....even in pink.

Palmer Family said...

What a handsome little man! You both look good and happy. We are excited for you to get everything done and finally be home with your WHOLE family.

Staci and Damon said...

Congratulations! I am glad things are going so well for you. Evan is a handsome little guy! Best wishes for a speedy court date.

Staci and Damon

Tiana said...

What great pictures! I love them. Evan does look happy to be with you guys. So scary about the old man....

adoptedthree said...

Very sweet he is!
The old man probably was just trying to help, and they really do have like the kids to be warm and bundled very tightly!!
Evan is really a strong little boy, so many new experiences in such a short time.

Just another very rainy day in Ohio. Sunny weather expected tomorrow. That puts you one day closer to coming home with Evan!!!

Cynthia Rieben said...

Wow, I became very cold just reading your account of standing outside the orphanage that way. They certainly don't provide you with the ideal environments for getting acquainted with your little guy, do they!! I remember how VERY cold I was in late autumn in the Czech Republic -- walking anywhere.

Anyway, I'm so glad that Even finally let Rich hold him. Thank you so much for the pictures, and thank the dear Lord for this wonderful technology that allows us to be in touch.

I must say, I miss your four little muffins. Although I saw some "terrible two stuff," not that amuch -- and I saw a lot of good play as well -- I could see it made a difference how I structured things. Lukas is especially tender with Joshua, isn't it, and Maren can be a BIG help. By the way, Lukas' skin is much improved from the last time I was there isn't it. Your mother was using a cream she has at her house and it really smoothed his skin by the morning. And I can't say enough about little Joshua whom I adore.

Okay -- keep warm, hope you have had a good sleep by the time you read this.

All my love,
Grandma DD

M said...

Eeeeek...that experience was interesting.

He is such a precious little boy...I am so glad you finally have some time with him.

Shelley said...

Evan is adorable....and boy do those pictures look familiar(at least the background). We're keeping our fingers crossed for a speedy court date for you!
Maybe the man thought you were standing outside the oephanage waiting to leave Evan there and he was offering to help you instead???? I'm impressed he even looked your way. When we were at the orphanage, people looked the other way as they walked by.

Dawn said...

Oh Valerie! How scary about the old man. You and Richard are such great people and your two new little boys are so lucky to be getting to join your family. Praying for you guys and have a safe trip home!