It’s august 29th, do you know where your adopting friends are? Well they are in Katowice trying to figure out how we were chosen to be blessed by a petite little blonde chick. Today was our big day, we thought. We did get to meet our daughter, but the day was not as big dramatically or emotionally as we thought. The day started with an 8am meeting with Polish officials. Get that mental image in your head. We thought we'd be in a big room, lots of old ladies in nun outfits staring at us, looking for something wrong with us, speaking all fast and genuinely being scary and intimidating. What we got instead were two young folks, in a meeting room with a kitchenette and a flat screen tv who looked just like we did. They both spoke English and were very welcoming and accommodating. The meeting went well and we just reviewed Wiktoria’s file and talked about our family, childcare, and casually chatted. Most of the talking was in Polish so we just sat there and smiled and hoped it was something good. It must have been good because after about 25 minutes or so, they decided to let us go to the orphanage and meet her.
Upon arrival at the orphanage, it was nothing like the horror stories you hear about or the old school orphanages you see in the movies. It was very modern with lots of toys, books, flat screen tv and looked just like an American day care and actually better than one I have been in most Sundays. All the toys, shoes, clothes, jackets and whatnot were organized. I thought this may have just been because we were coming, but later, as we were playing with Wiktoria, we saw that after she played with each toy, she put it back where she found it. So anyway, back to the story…..we were waiting in a therapy room with a plastic ball pit, which I loved, talking to the social worker and psychologist about ourselves. Again, a lot of conversation in Polish between the ladies there and the lady that is representing us. They must have bought everything because they brought Wiktoria in for us a few minutes after talking.
She was all dolled up in a little dress and had her hair fixed. She was/is a doll. We were prepared for screaming, gnashing of teeth, and the worst. It went perfectly. God could not have answered prayers any better or ordained a better child. She was very content to play by herself, with us, whatever. She was laid back, never cried, and soon began to open up to us. There are a couple guys who work in and around the orphanage so she has some contact with males thankfully. Before long, we were playing with a ball, blowing bubbles, and hammering stuff. She looked like she was checking for studs or something. She would walk over to a table, hit it two or three times, make a noise and walk away. Then to a door, then a wall, and then to Leigh. She took up with Leigh first, as expected. We later joined the other kids outside after seeing the room where the kids slept. She played well with the other kids. They were precious. Not all are up for adoption as some have been taken away temporarily by the state for various reasons. While playing outside, Wiktoria ran up to Leigh, made a babble sound similar to Jake Lawrence, reached up for her and after being picked up, gave Leigh a hug. The workers enjoyed seeing this and seeing that there weregoing to be any attachment concerns.
After being outside for a while, we went back in and prepared to leave. After lunch, we would return and spend another couple hours with her, playing and bonding. Upon our return, I knew I had some ground to gain. As with most small children, you can throw them up gently in the air and they either respond with a smile or a look of terror. I took my chances. Sitting by the ball pit, I lured her over (sounds creepy) and we played with a toy. I went for it. She smiled and laughed. We did this a couple more times and she loved it. Later, she would run over to me from across the room and put her arms up which eventually led to a hug. She would come and spread her arms out and lay her head against mine. And you, like the SNL church lady are probably saying, “Well, isn’t that special.” It was. Wiktoria had taken to both of us on the first day. The orphanage ladies liked seeing this and upon our departure this evening, she even appeared sad that we had to give her back, or she did not like what was on her supper plate.
All in all, I would say that day 1 with her was a success. We seemed to make a positive impression with the workers there and our representative said they liked what they saw out of everyone and that there is a chance that things can move quickly after we leave as far as the return bonding time is concerned.
Random things from today:
· Dirty diapers stink worldwide.
· It cost 100zl to get a boot off of your car for parking illegally over here
· The cry of an orphan is a terrible sound, but one that has a remedy if Christians stepped up.
· I learned that my aunt Shirley borrows Facebook accounts, like Paul used to.
· Having friends at home that take time out of their lunch break to ask if they can pray for you is wonderful.
· Mushroom lasagna is not very tasty.
· My wife apparently requires one Bounty candy bar a day to function properly.
· Driving 100+mph on the highway is okay.
· Bums don’t stop asking even if you say in English, you don’t speak Polish.
· Churches here and at home struggle with politics in the church.
· The imagery of spiritual adoption and physical adoption is humbling, incredible, and amazing. The God that brought us here wants Polish, Russian, and all orphans to grow up and love him just as he wants our middle class biological American kids to. But how will they ever hear?
· We have to have a major stuff reduction sale when we get home so we can come back here and bring this little girl home with us. Adoption fees are bad and unexpected costs stink.