Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 5, visit 4

I can't believe tomorrow is already our last visit. Every day the time goes by quicker. Every day we grow to love him more. Every day we see how perfectly he will fit into our family.

Today we found him outside with his groupa. It took a moment to recognize him because he was in new clothes and a different hat, but sure enough, when he saw us, he immediately pointed and started shouting, then turned back to his caregivers to ask if he could go to us, then ran like mad into Brian's arms. It is so sweet how he runs with his arms wide open, just waiting to give hugs.

We settled into the little pavilion thing and he went through our bag again. I decided today was a good day to bring out the beach ball. Other adopting families had recommended it to us, and boy were they right that it would be a hit! It was pure joy for me to kick the ball around with him today. We kicked that thing all over the yard for at least twenty straight minutes, only stopping when he would trip and fall. When he falls, he does a pretend little cry to get your attention to make sure you've seen his poor situation! Then he comes over to me so I can inspect his hands and clean them off. They have been taught to be very clean here. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to all the dirty play at our house- the kids love to dig in the garden and mud.

The other funny thing is that he was just as excited about the package to the beach ball as the ball itself at first! He carried it around as he ran after the ball. He even showed it to one of the workers who was walking by, so proud of it!

We colored some more and I was able to trace his hand. He doesn't have a lot of patience for coloring yet, but he knows just what to do with the pens.

We also did more singing and dancing, and it cracks me up how seriously he takes it all.

The most special thing about our visit today was seeing him with his dear friend and other "mother", Olga. This kind woman has been visiting Arnold since he was just a baby, and it is clear they have a strong bond with each other. He was so excited to see her. He calls her "Bola" and knows just what to do when she brings out her toys and things for him. She brought some bananas for him to share, and he was so sweet about handing each of us a napkin and a banana, saying, "for you" when he would hand it to you. He ate it like a pro and was happy to show off.

Olga then got out a doctor kit and he was a most excellent doctor! He fixed Brian and Olga right up, including band-aids and all. He listened to our hearts and made a little "shhhh" sound for the heartbeat. I caught a picture of him right as he was about to "fix" Brian's head with the hammer! Boy that is familiar. Jake and Leah love to play doctor and will be thrilled to have another colleague :-)

We talked more about how we are his mama and papa today, and boy does my heart melt to hear how sweetly he says "ma-ma", almost like a little Italian! When I point to myself and look him in the eyes and tell him "mama", he smiles shyly and tilts his head, like he understands how special it is that he has a mama and a papa now.

The other very touching thing from today was how the caregivers made a point of talking to Alla about how glad they are that Arnold is being adopted, and that they all approve of us and seem to think we are a perfect family for him. That was so wonderful to hear. This will be the first adoption of a child with Down syndrome from his orphanage. I can see that they all truly care for him, and he them, and that they will miss this little "king" of the orphanage.

Olga told us today that his dark hair and features suggest he is of Armenian decent. I knew he had to have had some middle eastern relatives because of his looks too. He is so handsome, we got to see more of his sweet brown hair today because he kept throwing off his hat! It was freshly clean and shiny and so cute. I love in the photos with Brian to think that he will now have a son with his dark hair! I have always thought we would have a child with dark hair like Brian's, I just didn't know we would get to choose him!

My heart is already breaking a little to know that tomorrow will be our last visit with him until likely November. It usually takes that long to get all the necessary paperwork filed and get a court date.

After our visit Olga took us shopping to buy some things for the kids. She is an incredibly generous woman (who would hate that I am bragging about her!) we went to an ADORABLE children's clothing shop called Mothercare and picked out the cutest things for the kids. I can't wait to dress them in their cute clothes and take some photos of them!

I was also finally able to give Olga the necklace I had ordered for her. I wanted to bring her something special, because how on earth do you thank the woman responsible for you finding your child? How do you say thank you to the person who has been like a mother to the son you didn't even know you had until he was nearly four years old?! Anyway, I had a beautiful sterling silver necklace made with two intertwined circles, to represent Olga and Arnold, and how they would forever be joined through the love they share. They will always be a part of each other's lives. We will always consider her a part of us, and hope that she will be able to visit us in Idaho soon. She has shown us such kindness, even arranging friends of hers to show us around the city when she is working. There really are no words to describe actually meeting her and seeing us all together, with Arnold. A large part of a long and winding puzzle has come together, finally. I am posting the photo of Olga wearing her necklace here. She took us to a cafe for lunch, which was delicious, at a shopping center (mall). I posted a photo of that too, because it was funny to see people leaving the mall with grocery carts. They have an actual grocery store in the mall, which I guess makes sense! Why not grab some groceries while you're out? It was a very modern mall, with many familiar stores. I have been impressed with how modern this city is, and how fashionable all the people dress! It puts me to shame, with all my casual clothes. I mentioned the fancy way the women all dress to Olga's friend Julia, when we were at Gorky park here in the city. She said,"do you want to know our secret? There are not many men in [this city]!". It made me laugh.

Well, congratulations if you've made it this far without skipping straight to the photos (I wouldn't have made it myself!). I wish I could insert captions on the photos, but this will do for now:)

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