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