Today's plans went bust, and it went along with my initially sour mood. Last night was awful, almost no sleep whatsoever. Man, I am tired of being tired! The wind was so awful last night that the boys got scared and all came into my room at midnight and slept on the floor and in the bed. It makes a howling sound around the apartment building that raises and lowers in pitch so dramatically that I'll admit it bothered even me. We read "Farmer Boy" in the dark by flashlight until everyone agreed it was time to try and sleep a little. Joshie sat up in bed some time around 2:00 AM and said clearly "Mommy, I wuhly want to go home!" then laid back down and was quickly fast asleep again. At that moment I totally agreed with him. I was up 2 more times last night and if a bottle of Nyquil had been close by I would have guzzled the whole thing in an effort to fall asleep.
Today we were supposed to go to a puppet show or kid's show of some sort. When I asked Irina about it this morning I wanted to know if it was appropriate for older kids or if it was geared towards the younger set. She made a call and determined it was for younger kids, so we decided not to go and instead took the girls out to the Doner Cafe for a meal and some play time since we were pulling them out of school at mealtime.
We had a nice visit, the kids played, I teased the girls some and they learned English phrases for "I am lost" and "I have to go to the bathroom"...or at least partially. It was a long phrase, so we talked about other possibilities and let's just say the talk went downhill from there with giggles. Olesya once again picked up my camera and went around shooting pictures of everything in sight. I asked her if she would like to take a class in photography and her face lit up! She might just end up being my photo buddy, what an unexpected treat that would be! I then asked if she would like to take our smaller digital camera and take lots of pictures at the orphanage to remember it by. and she nodded vigorously and promised to be very careful with it. It should be fun to see what she comes up with!
The kids continue to get along splendidly, they really are doing so well together and the boys were quite disappointed when we couldn't see the girls yesterday. Here are some photos from today, many taken by Olesya herself!
Kenny and I...there is finally someone on the other end of the camera to get some photos of me with the kids!! Dominick is not good at thinking to grab it, and I have never been fond of having my picture taken (OK, despise it is more like it) but do realize the kids need to have pictures with me in them once in awhile to prove my existence.
Here's another she took that doesn't make me gag.
I took this one of Irina, I think she is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and it has been wonderful to work with someone so sweet here. We have been very fortunate.
Playing on the play set
Turnabout's fair play, I had to get one of her!
We ended the day by meeting the Oborn's and the Yager's at the Skiff Hotel, where the Yager's kindly set us up to Skype with Dominick. I loved seeing the joy of the boys as they saw their Daddy and asked him to walk them back with the camera to see their room! Hahaha! So he carried the computer down our hallway back home and showed them each their beds and stuffed animals waiting for them. They love Dominick so much!!!
I learned something very interesting today, and that is that someone who works in adoptions here whom I met very briefly has been quite curious about our family, particularly the mixing of races with our children. In fact, it sounds as if they are actually pretty fascinated by it. The concept of adopting both Kazakh/Kyrgyz and Russian children never entered our mind as being anything at all to be looked at as unusual here. Sure, we talked with the boys about their feelings should others assume the girls were our bio children but we didn't give it much thought after that. Then the issues came up in court with a Kazakh judge, now with this individual who is Russian. It seems that here, it is a far, far bigger deal than it is for us and it is not understood at all.
I may have the opportunity to be placed in a position to visit with this person sometime in the next week or so. I would love nothing more than for God to use our family as a way of touching someone's heart about race relations here. I had asked God before we left to use us all in any way possible while we were here, and this certainly was not anything that ever entered my mind. But if that is what God wants, then if seeing 5 little faces of differing colors playing together and loving one another with their caucasian parents can have an impact or make someone think twice about outdated notions, then let the stares continue. Maybe we are making an impact in ways we will never know about. I know the heads are really whipping around when we are out with all 5 kids and now I know why...I just though it was more of the same old thing. Seems we are challenging ideas of race and adoption here all over the place without saying a word or even having been aware of it, but by simply being a family. We may not be able to do much, but that we are good at. Please, pray for God to use us in this area, to show those whose hearts are hardened by those whose skin is a different color than theirs...white OR brown...that love surpasses all...that love wins.
Somehow, without trying, that seems to be the theme of this trip.
Maybe it is the theme of our lives.