Since we are visiting both boys separately but in the same two hour time slot we only get to see each boy for one hour.
We finally got to see Valentin again!!! Boy, we have missed him!!! It was a much better visit too. It took him a few minutes to warm up to us but he was all smiles and giggles after that. He had a few yelling fits, mostly when he would throw his toy monkey and want us to pick it up. Each time we would take a little longer to go get it and we would tell him in Russian "nee plach, f-syo kha-ra-sho" (don't cry, it's ok) and that seemed to help calm him. Before, we were not able to calm him down before the nannies came out but today were able to. That's a great sign! He made quite a bit more eye contact with us too, even when we did not have a camera in our hands. When the nanny came to take him back he screamed and cried all the way down the hall, I hope that meant that he wanted more time with us. We sure wanted more time with him!
Then we went a few blocks and visited Joey. We have so much more access in Joey's orphanage. What a contrast between the two orphanages, in Valentin's we are only allowed access to a common area, not even down the hallway to his room and at Joey's we can go in his room, the room where they were watching a movie, and his class room.
They took us to the room Joey and his 'groupa' were in and they were watching a movie. What precious little kids in his groupa! It took Joey a second to turn around but once he saw us his eyes lit up and he got the biggest smile on his face. It was precious! As if it dawned on him that we really are there for him and that all that talk about taking him home was not just a cruel joke. I wanted to play with all the kids but they took us to an empty classroom to play. Joey had said his favorite toy was "cubica" (blocks) so we found a toy store near us and picked some up since that was one toy we did not bring. He was SO EXCITED when he saw them and played with them the whole time. He is not very interested in building with them just taking them in and out of the backpack and banging them together. We have worked with enough Occupational and Developmental Specialist to know that is usually the order of development, banging, taking things in and out, then building or purposeful play comes later. What could one expect from a child who until recently had never seen blocks. He had us stepping up our game for learning Russian! I was searching our book for phrases to say to him. He wanted to hoard all the blocks so I had to learn very quickly how to say 'please share' once I did he shared. We showed him a ball and asked him "shto e-ta?" (what's this) and he said "myach" we replied with "ball" and he giggled shook his head and said "myach" as if to say 'you crazy people that is not a ball, you really need to learn your objects' it cracked us up!!!
The hour went too quickly and they rushed us out, all we could say was 'bye'. The joy drained from his face and you could tell he was sad, we did not even have a chance to say 'we will see you tomorrow'. So now I have memorized "ya pridu zavatra" (I come tomorrow).
We have been so touched by all your comments, messages, and emails! They encourage and strengthen us and we could not be more grateful! Please know that we pray for all of you too, asking God to remember his faithful servants who intercede on our behalf. We are honored to be among so many! I love that whether we are here or you are there lifting us and the boys up, we all are doing it for the glory of God, and that is such a beautiful thing!