We arose at 6:30 AM, most of us finally having our internal clocks reset, and readied ourselves to go watch Angela's basketball game. It was completely dark at 9:15 AM when we were picked up and driven to their orphanage, where we were to pick up Olesya to take with us. We waited in the car for quite awhile while Irina went in to get her. While in the car we saw the kids all pile out of the orphanage to load on a bus that was parked behind our car. The boys looked out the back window expectantly and saw Angela, but she did not look our way.
Olesya finally arrived and we ended up piling in EIGHT in a Lada and joked that this must be a new world's record! Hahaha! Olesya refused to sit on my lap, electing instead to sit on Irina's lap. She was very quiet on the drive to the gym where Angela's team was supposed to play. Upon arrival there we discovered that the boy's team was playing there and everyone would go to the girls game after this one. So we all stood around and waited for the game to be over. Olesya would not stand near us and didn't say much or look at the boys at all. We took this time to visit with Irina about our situation, sharing our thoughts and eliciting hers. She too does not understand what is going on, why the girls are choosing to be so cold.
Irina suggested we sit down with the Director and the Social Worker to find out what is going on and have them talk to the girls. We declined saying we think they have already had far too many adults pressuring them and that might be part of the problem itself...they have ben tugged a lot of different directions. We don't want to have them swayed simply because someone talks them into changing their behavior for the moment, we want to know who they really are and what their hearts are toward us. Sadly, I think we are getting that answer without asking the questions.
We left to go to Angela's basketball game and before we went we stopped at the Doner Cafe and got everyone some lunch, as it was later by then. There we saw a tiny bit of what Olesya might be like as she loosened up and was far more appropropriate and what I would have expected to see on Day 3 or 4. She responded a little to our comments and offered some of her own. She played a little with the boys...not a lot but did seem to have some fun with them climbing on the indoor play set and even laughing a little bit. She just sort of let her guard down a little without her sister around, and we caught a glimpse of who she really is. And she is darling. I also think, as does our translator, that she would assimilate reasonably well into our family if there wasn't pressure to make Angela happy with her responses to us and if given time.
We left to go to the game, where we watched Angela who really IS very good! She is fearless on the court, not overly rough but definitely stands her ground. I kept thinking the entire time how I would have loved to stand there feeling so proud of my daughter and her skills...and yet was being denied that opportunity by the invisible wall that separates us. What hurt more was seeing Matthew's excited face as he watched her and looked back at me saying "Did you see that? Angela made a basket! She is GOOD mom!!" with a huge grin on his face. How our boys are ready to embrace their sisters and want so badly for them to like them!!! But Angela never once looked at us the entire day, I have never seen anyone work so hard at ignoring someone. 3 or 4 times she walked by me so close I could touch her (not while playing) and she absolutely refused to look at us. To say we are puzzled goes without saying...we did not invite ourselves, she invited us and asked if all of us could go!
We split up after the game, with Dominick and the boys going to the Oborn's apartment and I going back the orphanage to drop off Olesya while Angela returned with her team. Olesya again didn't speak nor wanted to answer any questions directed to her, shutting down once again, and when we went inside she walked off without a backwards glance, not a good bye or anything.
While we ARE the adults here and we are trying hard to maintain some sense of peace around this entire situation, of course it hurts a great deal to be rejected like this and to not even understand why. It could be they flat out don't like us, but they haven't really given us a chance. It could be all the other things hashed out in the blog in earlier posts. But the reason doesn't matter much when you just are hurting inside.
It has brought back a small portion of the emotional pain I felt with Josh's rejection when he was so young. How grateful we are that he was able to heal! But that was the single most painful thing I have ever been through. This must be right up there at #2. And this one is unexplained and so complex I doubt the girls could explain it if they tried at this point.
We ended the day on a nice note though, spending time with the Oborns and having Yannik spend the night with us. Cracks me up, even here in Petropavlovsk we have extra kids hanging out! HAHAHA! What a gift it is to be a family where other children feel a sense of belonging and safe...I have to remind myself of that when going through something like this. We are NOT bad parents or people, there ARE people who love us and kids who enjoy our company. We may not be desired as a family by these girls for complex reasons we will never truly understand, but our boys love us very much.
We will wake up tomorrow to a new day. It will be a cold, overcast, did I say cold? day but it will dawn again and we will continue on.