Hello, friends! We had a fun visit with our little guy today. We are not sure if the caregivers feel sorry for us or think we are less than “bright” but they had pity on us and our same few toys in the hall each day and they gave us 3 new toys to use while we were playing! It was tons of fun for us. Little Parks LOVED the one that was a dump truck. It made plenty of sounds and played music. It was a shape sorter in which each shape went through the hole in a different part of the truck. Let me just say, our little guy spent nearly an hour just playing intently and trying to figure out how the shapes got in and how to get them out. He was very involved in his playing today and was not very interested in much guidance either. By the end of that little marathon playing time, though, he definitely knew how to get them in, how to take the driver out, and sometimes he remembered how to get the shapes back out again! It was so wonderful for us to be able to be with him, but mostly for us to watch his little brain working hard and watch him as he kept working to figure it out. I certainly take for granted how many times I get to see Anna or Ryan work hard at learning something new. This was the most intense learning we’ve been privileged to watch him do. He is so adorable about the music. His caregivers had said through the translator when we first met him, that he loves music. Today, each time I pressed the music button on the truck, he would begin to sway his little body while he worked on firguring it out. I also had some fun today with mirroring he moves. He was playing with a ring from some stacking rings they loaned us, and I copied exactly what he did with the ring. It only took him an instant to catch on to the fact that I was mirroring him, and he began to laugh out loud each time I did what he did! He loved it.
We can hardly believe we only got to meet him for the first time one week ago today. It feels like we have known him forever. Really, I feel as though I have studied his face, his smile, his mannerisms so much this past week that I could recreate them all in mind simply by closing my eyes. With that said, we are doing a little countdown each day ( just the two of us) to when we are praying he will be declared our son. We are down to only three more days of regular visits at the orphanage. I am already prepared to break down in tears when we actually get to take him away from the orphanage and he gets to be in our care!!!!! On that note, Jon and I have been selecting a few favorite pictures and few favorite short videos (about 30 sec each) to post and share once he is offically ours. Just the excitement of choosing them and setting them aside is fun.
We got to spend about 2.5 hours this morning “touring” our region and the sites. It was incredible the history here as well as the museums. We have seen several artifacts today during our tour that were older than our entire country! Even though we are here in winter with snow around and cold weather, our drive stopped and showed us several large fountains that are turned on during the summer months. I could picture how beautiful this area is during that time. I am glad we got to tour and that I can honestly tell my son in the future a little more about his hometown.
We also got to talk to our case manager by phone today (from the USA). She said we have blessed with getting th youngest referral from Ukraine this entire year. She could not believe we were able to get a referral of such a young son and that things have been moving along so quickly. She said that we should be so thankful that God has poured his blessing on our case so far. I whole-heartedly agree, but I thought it was interesting that she would say that to us. She sees and manages all eastern european adoptions for our agency. For her to say that made me keenly aware that I am not sure I even realize right now how much God is blessing our process. What a great reminder–in case I needed another one!