Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today is the first day of the rest of our Lives
It is Gotcha day~the official spring your child to a freedom that is going to confuse the daylights out of her and give her a life that is our responsibility to convince her through language brick walls, that this is indeed, the life for for which she was made. A good life, with lots of new adventures. Last night we were offered the opportunity to take Marina from the orphanage grounds and see how she behaved. Our (my) bright idea was to take her to the mall, which was only a few blocks away. This had visions of grandeur that did not include one iota of reality from my perspective. We dressed her in her new coat, put her in her new chariot which she liked alot, handled Evan bawling because he did not get a turn in the stroller and off we went, through the gates that have held her for the last year and a half. To the mall, all was well. In the mall, it began to unravel a bit. Then we thought, in the game room, she can roam freely and enjoy that environment. We paid for her to go play in a jumpy bouncy thing with tunnels and a climbing wall and a huge slide at the end...then we were starkly reminded that Marina has no fear of falling. She got braver with every bodily fling from the top of the slide. I aged severely. Tully went pale. Finally it was time to leave. but only by our standards. By then Ms. Freedom had gone around the bend. She was having NOTHING to do with getting in that stroller. We wrestled and physically carried a howling squirming (mad understatement) child from a game room fraught with onlookers. It does not help that the average temperature in the mall hovers around 84*. We managed to get her into the stroller and I convinced Tully to go back and play with Evan as I walked Marina back to the orphanage. As I got to the door to leave the mall with a mad ferret determined to wiggle out of the stroller, i realized I had to put her coat on. Oh crimony. Another 15 minutes and I buttoned it around her arms creating a straight jacket. Once outside, the lights and cars and ringing of my cell phone took over the moment and she was perfectly over the temper. I crossed the street and we put her coat on right as we took up the entire sidewalk to do so. I gave her juice, and my cell phone, she put on her hat and gave me a kiss. Her idea. Then she talked on the phone most of the way home, interjecting waves to cars along the walk. I, meanwhile, worked to reduce my body temperature to a reasonable degree somewhere below the internal spontaneous combustible level. We arrived promptly at 6 pm where the little princess refused to get out of her stroller. I waved PAKA as the nanny wheeled this amazing child down the hall to dinner. This was all last night...today we take her for forever. This will undoubtedly be the most interesting week of our lives and we ask that you seriously pray for us to get through the embassy paperwork and medical exam with success. I already assume "with dignity"is out of the question. We pick Marina up at 3:30 and head straight to the train station for a 5 hour ride to Kiev. I am grateful that Melissa DeLlanos will be with us and we will continue to share the apartment in Kiev. I am grateful that God saw fit to pair us up on this journey because it has made this not only bearable but hilarious at so many intervals. We have laughed and cried and moseyed to the mall and through the supermarket so many times that I can imagine the folks of this town wonder how two crazy Americans can walk around giggling so much. Part of it is surely insanity to have come here when only 614 children were adopted from this country last year...but we all agree that the two more added to this years' list is beyond priceless. There is so much more to post later about saying Good Bye for the last 24 hours to people who have come to mean so much to us. Friendly faces at the mall, people who chose to attempt speaking english to us in order to help us, and all the work of our facilitator and driver to make our journey a true success. We have made friends along this path that will never be forgotten. They are set in our hearts. It will make leaving all the harder today.
The photos are from passport day and my favorite one of Marina and Evan on the see saw, and also from last night at the mall. I did not see the need to take photos of Marina bawling mad so you will have to take my word for it.:)