After check-in the translator informed us that we would be leaving for the baby home a little over an hour so we hurried to our room and had a short debate about shower vs. sleep. Shower won and we had our first experience with the new telephone booth shower...
It looks pretty harmless but what you can't really get a feel for in the picture is that there's about at least a foot or so step down from the shower to the floor, definitely not good for me as I'm both blind without my glasses and clumsy (with or without the glasses). I did manage not to injure myself on this trip though, at least not in the shower.
I can honestly say that I really wasn't nervous about the upcoming trip to the orphanage at this point. I think both of us were so tired and worried about forgetting something (the question packets from the agency, toys, treats, etc) that we just didn't have the time. Before we knew it, time was up and we were headed back down to the lobby and on to the orphanage.
Once at the orphanage the excitement and anticipation took over and I honestly didn't care when I slept next. This is the front of the orphanage we were taken to and yes, that's me or my back at least (in the blue)...
And the outside play areas in front of the building...
We had a very good experience every time we visited the orphanage. Everyone was kind to us and we felt really good that these caring people are taking care of our soon to be son. We were first taken to a social worker's office where we were given some information on our little guy, were given the opportunity to ask questions, and were shown a picture. I think I scared the social worker for a second because I pretty much burst into tears as soon as they handed the picture over. I couldn't help it, it hit me hard that we were finally there, where he was and we would finally be able to play with him and hug him. And he was so cute, that didn't help things either. The translator had to explain that nothing was wrong, they were happy tears.
And then it was finally time to go see him. We were led upstairs to a large playroom and prepared to meet our kids. The other couple we were traveling with got to meet their boys first so we took a few pics for them as we waited.
The social worker walked him up to us and told him in Russian that I was Momma and Erich was Poppa and left him with us for the next hour or so. We were a little shy about picking him up for a few minutes because we didn't want to scare him (one of the other little guys in the room had a really bad reaction to being picked up) so we gave him a truck that we'd brought and started trying to talk to him and play with him.
I'm not sure he knew what to do, he just kind of stood there without much reaction until the translator told us to please pick him up already. And that was all it took, a couple Cheerios later we had a happy baby though smiles were hard to catch on camera. We have tons of pictures but a lot of them turned out blurry because one of us would move at just the right moment.
For the rest of our time we played with the toys and read the books we brought. He was fascinated by the board books with different textures to touch and we read them over and over. Another favorite was the stacking cups though we probably helped that since we'd hide Cheerios in them when he wasn't looking. We played in the ball pit in one corner of the playroom. Well, sort of. All the kids loved to play with the balls but none of them wanted to be in the ball pit. Too soon the boys' caregiver came back in and all the kids ran to her, new Mommas and Poppas forgotten. That was okay though, I'd rather see him run to a caregiver and know that he's got someone he is so attached to there. I know she's doing everything she can for him and I'm grateful for it. And I also know I'm going to have lots of time with him shortly.
After we cleaned up the play room, we headed back to the hotel and this time we would have approximately 3 hours before we'd be collected and brought back to the orphanage for the afternoon visit. Another short debate over whether sleep or food was now more important and sleep won. It had been over 24 hours since we slept and that bed felt great.