Friday, October 17, 2008
Day 4 was a blast!
I promised you more good news and here it is. Our 4th visit to the boys was incredible...but first, let me tell you about our morning.
Craig and I walked into town on a mission; we had used all the minutes on our internet card which allows us to have access to internet service from the apartment and we couldn't email or post to our blog until we purchased a new one (the technical difficulties I mentioned yesterday). We enjoyed the hike as a nice change from our long afternoon ride in a small car and it had stopped raining. We also enjoyed the lattes we rewarded ourselves with after our walk; we know all the places in Ust that serve good food and coffee and today we chose Pizza Blue for our morning treat. Then we headed across the street to purchase not one but 4 more internet cards; this will give us 20 hours of internet service. We did a bit more shopping for food, bought roasted chicken and more salads, juice (it's so much better here than at home; Tanya and Max, Dad got apricot juice...your favorite. Kate, I got apple and it's just as good as we remember. We also bought the boys a couple of Legos sets to take to our visit. We walked about 4 miles before taking a taxi back to our apartment in time for a light lunch.
Our driver picked us up at 1pm but it wasn't Arman. We think he couldn't face another drive like the day before and we can't blame him. This driver doesn't speak English but he's not very chatty anyway. Alma called to let us know that a translator would met us at the orphanage so we settled in for a quiet ride. No rain, ice or sleet...just as well since this guy drives really fast and passes everything in his path. Thank heavens they passed that seatbelt law here in KZ! We made good time, arriving 15 minutes early for our visit.
Someone must have told Madiyar that we had arrived. He came running down the hall to greet us, jumped into our arms for a big hug, then went to get Aniyar. They joined us in the director's office in seconds and there were hugs and smiles. We gave them the Lego sets and they were very pleased; we began building motorcycles on the floor of the director's office before the translator or ministry lady even arrived. That lasted until the director's administrative assistant came in and scolded him for letting the Americans sit on the floor. She moved their fax machine and insisted Craig and the boys move their building project to the table she had cleared. The director smiled sheepishly; it was clear that like many orphanage mamas, she is used to getting her way. By this time, Craig was helping both boys and I was chatting with the ministry lady (Natalya) and our translator (Tatyana). Yes, we are now on a first name basis and the climate was much warmer during this visit. I was able to tell them about our reasons for adopting, show them pictures of our home, and answer their questions about where we live and what kind of life the boys would have with us. I came away from this visit knowing that they are beginning to see us not as faceless Americans but as individuals who truly respect their culture and love these children. In turn, I am realizing that they do want to protect the children and do what's in their best interest and I respect them for their dedication to these children who have no one else to care for them. I feel the barriers falling on both sides of the cultural divide. By the end of this visit, the boys had created cool motorcycles with Craig and there were smiles all around as the boys proudly displayed them. We headed back to Ust feeling even more hopeful than the day before, convinced that we're creating allies for our day in court.
I've saved the best news of the day for last; Aniyar and Madiyar asked us when they could come home with us. It seems that they are as ready as we are for that day to come!
Back at the apartment, we fixed a quick dinner...as you can see, some of us were starving!