Happy Birthday Emma! Today she is five and we celebrated with balloons for all the kids (which didn’t turn out so well since they don’t actually blow up to the shapes that they should… oh well!). I also brought a box of chocolates in to her caretakers and was able to tell them that it was to celebrate her birthday. The French couple that is here adopting gave her a stuffed animal yesterday for her birthday and she likes it! It’s a cute little pink animal that’s really soft. We also got her a little doll that we gave her a few days ago which she’s not sure if she’s fond of or not.
Today I brought up something new for the kids and it was the hit of the week. I’d brought a small standing mirror that has two sides to it- one regular one magnified. I haven’t taken it out of my bag even because there’s been plenty of mirrors in all the places we’ve been. Last night I ran across it and thought to bring it with me today. What fun they had! Emma and Micah both loved not only looking at themselves but also seeing everything going on around them in the room through the mirror. Emma kept pulling it up to her face to see it REALLY close.
This morning when I went to the special needs area to get the kids they told me that Emma was sleeping and that Micah was good to go. So I asked to take Micah and said I’d come back for Emma in a few minutes. They also said she needed to eat when she woke up as well. Off I went with Micah and we sat and played for a little while. Then I put him in my little Baby K’tan on my hip and went back for Emma. The caretakers looked at me at first like I was crazy. Then they offered to take Micah back from me. I showed them that he is fine with no hands even in the carrier. They (reluctantly, I think) handed me Emma and I was on my way. When I brought the kids back to them I had Emma in the hip sling and was carrying Micah and they seemed a little less anxious about it all.
Oh, and since Mike wasn’t with me, I got the ‘questions’ I was waiting for today. Emma’s doctor was in the room when I went both times to get the kids (first for Micah then for Emma). She asked where Mike is and I told her he went back to America. After a few attempts she understood. Another caretaker came and was trying to ask me- I think- if he is coming back. I’m still not sure about that one. Since I wasn’t sure what she was saying I didn’t try to answer. I didn’t want to answer the wrong question, and the thing is, it’s not all that easy to explain since no, Mike’s not coming back- but I will have someone come back to help me out.
Also, the caretakers not only knew that it was Emma’s birthday today, BUT they also TOLD ME! They wanted me to know it was her birthday and this one older lady with curly white hair that is very friendly and likes to try to talk with us- she looked so happy So did Emma’s doctor. The lady with the short hair that doesn’t ever let us take the kids to the playroom was working too but the doctor is the one that greeted me so I was able to take them out.
We had a nice time playing today. I hung out on a big mat like a tumbling pad but it doesn’t fold up and it’s about 4 inches thick. I plopped down on that with my two kiddos and my bag of toys and we stayed there the entire time. The other families sang Happy Birthday to Emma and we all played with the semi-deformed balloons.
One of the other American families that’s here adopting moved over to our apartment yesterday so I’m not completely on my own. I moved over to the ‘office’ and I’m sleeping on what makes-up to be a twin bed. It’s better than a comfy bed by myself to sleep in a semi-hard couch-bed with other people around. I slept ok until I heard a dog going crazy at about 6am and then popped some earplugs in a little later. After the morning visit at the orphanage I made my first solo trip in Kramatorsk and survived. The other families have to bring their kids back a half hour before I do and I enjoyed that little bit of quiet time with the kids.
During the time right after the other families left the person who I’m at this point guessing is the director’s wife maybe? came in and sat down at the desk in the room. Then Dave (the husband of the couple I’m living with) came back in and asked her if she was looking for him. She said yes and gestured that he’s sick. He said a little. She shamed him. He said he’s getting a mask. She said ok…. I think that’s about it. Then she came and bent down by me and the kids on the other side of the room on the floor. She looked at the kids a minute, then she asked about Dave. Dave and me. No I said. She held up 3 fingers and said apartment. Oh…. Yep, there’s three of us in the apartment, including Dave. She said ‘ok’.
When I got back to the apartment Dave and Beverly still weren’t here. They had taken a cab and left 20 minutes before I did, so it had been a good 40 minutes since they’d left. They are adults though, so I just let it be but I was surprised when a few minutes later they walked through the door with a face mask on Dave and a box of medicine in his hand. Their driver, a very sweet Russian man, had called the orphanage and told them that Dave was sick and that he needed a prescription. Somehow they worked all that out, got him a mask, and got him some meds.
I do wonder, though, whether I’ll be able to bring the kids out tonight if the orphanage knows that the man with the mask is there. Oh well, maybe a visit in the kids’ room won’t be so bad! If only I could figure out how to put two kids on my lap while perched on a chair and actually DO anything with them? I guess it’ll be a short visit if that’s the case. Or else I’ll have to lay one in a crib and play with the other and switch off. Should be interesting. I hope they’ll just let me take them out! The kids have so much more fun when they have other things to watch and explore and the freedom for Emma to get down and roll around to her heart’s content!
Oh, I almost forgot- yesterday we got a quick video clip of Emma rolling the entire length of the playroom floor. She is quite fast about it too and although I think that’ll be her primary mode of transportation for quite some time, she’ll be up and crawling before too long as well.
Poor thing though, Emma has a big mark down the front of her face today. I have no idea what happened, but it looks like a scrape or something like that. It wasn’t there last night and is this morning. I’m thinking maybe all her rolling skills got her a ace on the crib rails, but I really don’t know. I guess it’s good in a sense that it doesn’t seem to bother her but unfortunately no pain seems to really phase her yet. She smacked her head on the wood floor and didn’t wince. She’s had her foot and hand stepped on without a reaction… I hope she’ll learn that it’s ok (good even) to react to pain and that she WILL be comforted when she is hurt or needs something. This is when you can see that being in an orphanage takes a toll on a kid.
I almost wonder at the reactions we get from Micah because they still seem very innocent. He cries to be held, doesn’t like to be put down. He scowls when he’s hurt. He is not like a typical 17 month old by any means, but his emotions and reactions don’t seem much like those of typical ‘orphanage behavior’. I hope that is a good thing in the long run!