March 28, 2009
3:45pm We visited the child this morning. We woke up late because Dave’s phone alarm didn’t go off. So, we got up and ready in about 15mins and ran out the door. He was in a bad mood again this morning. It seems he’s not a morning person, like me. Thank goodness! He was crying when he came to us, with big fat tears in his eyes. But all that stopped as soon as we pulled out the sweet cheese, a child’s favorite, and juice. I fed him a few bites of the cheese, then passed it on to Dave. But little Maxim (that’s his given name) didn’t want any more. We opened the juice (room temperature, of course) and served the juice in a glass to him. He can drink by himself. He holds the cup in both hands with the top of the cup touching his forehead looking from left to right to make sure no one steals his juice. He drank the whole box…even finishing it after he was full. Interesting because he didn’t finish the cheese. By the time we left, he was smiley…he even told us nyet when we went to leave. How sweet. And, of course, he wanted Dave to keep the puppy we gave him for safe keeping. We were only able to stay for about 15mins, then we jumped in a taxi and went to the notary to start the adoption process.
On the way to the notary, I had to laugh at the differences in me and Dave. Here I am taking in the architecture, the people and fashion, and the streets. Here’s Dave getting excited about all the cars he’s seeing here. He and Igor have a great relationship because of their love for cars. I end up being out of the conversation often because they are chatting about a car on the side of the road. Dave’s even taking pictures of some of them! He wants to buy a Lada (a Russian built car) and ship it to the US, maybe even autocross it. What a funny guy J
Igor tried to leave to visit his mother this afternoon. We told him we would be fine. We went to the supermarket and got two loaves of bread, spaghetti sauce, noodles, tissues, diapers, two large bottles of water, toothpaste, laundry detergent, and OJ for 94 grivna, or $12. I love that the cost of living is much less here. Otherwise we may not have the money to be here for so long. Igor called us in the middle of our venture and said there was not a good connection to his mother’s house, so he came back to the apt. I’ll be honest, I’m glad he came back. I enjoyed our venture by ourselves, but was terrified. Once it was over I felt more comfy with being out in the public and crossing a busy large intersection that had no lights or stop sign. I think NYC and Ecuador prepared me for that.
I’m waiting and waiting to see sweet Maxim again. I’m hoping we’ll be able to take some pictures of him to add to the blog. I want to cry every time I leave him because I miss him…so attached with such little time. We’re going to try to play with him outside today…it’s so pretty. Dave and I both noticed that it seemed much warmer earlier in the day. It’s probably about 50 or so degrees…Spring has sprung here (hopefully). I saw my first bug of any kind today. A bee. Yep, that’s it! It’s too cold for cockroaches (thank goodness) and mosquitoes. I guess I look for that because I grew up in Texas, where mosquitoes don’t take vacations.
I have to mention that Maxim has 3 other siblings. We asked the orphanage director about this and she assured us Maxim is available for adoption without the siblings. Our court date isn’t for another few weeks, so we’ll find out for sure then. Initially I wasn’t looking forward to this time, but it’s actually a good idea. This will help the transition for him. It gives him the opportunity to get to know us a bit better before we snatch him up from everyone and everything he’s ever known. Maybe we can build a little trust before we leave. I’m trying to learn some Russian phrases with the booklet I have so I can communicate with him. I can’t wait to see how he does outside!
5:15pm Well, our outside adventure was somewhat of a bust. Not all, just a bit. Maxim has a really hard time with balance right now. He can sit up just fine, but he falls over if he leans a little too much to the left or back. And walking for him is difficult. He walks a little like he’s drunk. We directed him to a swing set, the kind that has a slide and monkey bars. But he walked away, almost in a circle as if he was going somewhere aimlessly. He fell a couple times, so we had to have a hand on him at all times. I’m starting to believe he has something a bit more wrong with his legs, perhaps at his hips. I’d like to get him home and to a doctor right away to get him diagnosed and get him the help he needs. I saw a family who is adopting at least one child playing in the same playground. The kids were running and playing and sliding. But our sweet Maxim can’t do any of that.
On the positive side, he giggles at everything. He thinks we are wildly funny. He still doesn’t trust us completely, which I totally understand. But he, along with all the other 3 year olds in his group, recognize us. He gets excited to see us, but I think that may be because we give him individualized attention. I suspect he may like the attention more than us. He lets me hold him tentatively, which is expected. I know what to expect because I read a great book about bonding and attachment during our home study. I kind of wish I had brought it. When I hold him, he doesn’t lean in to me or put his arms around me. Instead he kind of leans back, which is his way of saying I know you, but I don’t REALLY know you. He’s a typical boy, wanting to dig in the dirt and pick up rocks.
I can tell it’s going to be a difficult journey. Today we weren’t able to understand what Maxim wanted…no translators. He would get frustrated when we wouldn’t do what he asked because we couldn’t understand, and would whine. But we’d focus his attention on something else and he would be just fine. But our journey home is going to be awful, I can just tell. The Ukrainian people find it offensive to restrain your child in public, but we can’t let Maxim walk without assistance (although that might be because of the shoes we had on him). Deep breath. Anyone know a good support group in the vicinity of Sterling Heights, MI? I think I’m going to need one.
8pm I talked to Igor about some of my concerns. Apparently children aren’t taken outside much, especially in the winter. It’s too cold. So Maxim probably hasn’t been outside for quite some time, which explains why he didn’t really know where to go. Perhaps he was just overwhelmed by the new experiences. You can really tell he really enjoyed himself, though.
Dinner tonight was spaghetti, tea, bread and cookies. Mmmmm….