The Pitman's Journey To Russia

Our journey to adopt three beautiful children from Vladivostok, Russia

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 2 & 3

Day two was a very, very long uneventful day. We drove 2 1/2 hours to see the oldest boy and when we got there we found out that he was at camp! The orphanage feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere. We talked to the secretary and the doctor and got some info on him so it was not a complete waste. We then went to the division of social services and met the lady that is going to stand up for us in court and say it is OK for us to adopt the oldest boy. We headed back to Usserisk to the baby home but were early so we stopped for pizza at a pizza place that was just like anything you would see in America, if you did not look at the menu there you would have thought you were in America! We had a great visit with the little ones. We think they are getting very comfortable with us. The girl just LOVES our cameras. She is very smart, it does not take her long to figure out how to work things.

Day 3 down. Nothing seems to amaze us anymore. We left the hotel at 8:00 am again with just our driver Alec, who cannot speak any English, to pick up Lana. We didn't go but a mile and he got stopped by the police. They do things alittle different here, they stand on the side of the road and flag you down if they want you to stop. Alec had to show his papers and then they made him get out and gave him a breathelizer. We just laughed, of course this would happen when we were alone without anyone that could speak English! We picked up Lana and headed to the baby home. On the way there we saw a women on the side of the road changing her pants (she was standing there in her UNDERWEAR!!!!!). No problem though (ha, ha), it didn't even phase Lana or Alec. We tried to go by the toy store but it was still closed. It is crazy here though because when you walk in the building you expect to walk right in the store like in America but when we walked in the building with the toy store you first walk through like a grocery store and the toy store is down the stairs! Crazy! We finally got to the baby home and when they brought in the kids they were still kind of shy but the girl went right to Eric and gave him a hug and sat on his lap (she definitely has the daddy's girl thing down already). It was a very good visit and we were glad to see how they were at a different time of the day. They loved playing with the cars and coloring. The little boy sat on Becky's lap for a while and cuddled. Poor thing is so congested though, he must be miserable but acts just fine. We traced their feet and hands and will measure them tomorrow. Before we left for the long ride to see the oldest boy we both used the restroom and sure enough it did not have a toilet seat. When we got in the car Becky asked Lana about it and she said that they did not put seats on the public toilets because that is gross and you aren't supposed to sit on public toilet seats anyway. Makes sense right! She said they do have toilet seats in their home though. For living in such a poor area they seem to do things to stay clean. We see all these people crouching on the side of the road like baseball catchers behind home plate and when we asked about this again she acted like we were crazy and said "what else would you do, you can't sit on the ground because it is dirty". Again, makes sense right! We had a good ride to the oldest boy's orphanage. We thought it was such a sad place when we saw it yesterday but the people their could not have been more wonderful. As we walked up the drive all eyes were on us. The girls upstairs were all looking out the window saying Hello to us and speaking to Lana asking questions about who we were. The boys that were playing outside started showing off to get our attention. They have only had one other adoption out of this orphanage. The oldest boy was outside riding a skateboard with a lady holding onto him. He saw us and smiled but was of course very shy. We gave him the cars we brought and that made him light up. I don't think he will let those things go now. He held onto them and played with them the whole time we were there. The director insisted we eat lunch with the boy (a real Russian meal). It was interesting. They serve a huge meal. We had vegetable & meat soup, bread (homemade), a warm tea (they like everything warm here) with dried fruit and sugar in it (it was really good), a squid salad that looked something like a potato salad here and cabbage and meat. Eric ate just about everything! The boy was a great eater and had very good table manners. He ate everything with this huge spoon very well. He played with the cars while we finished eating. We then got in the car with the director and the boy and took a tour of the village (it is a little village so it did not take long) then we went to a little place for ice cream. Alec the driver hit a manhole that was open and we thought he popped the tire but he didn't! The director went in to see if we could get ice cream while we waited in the car and the boy kind of freaked a little (he had tears in his eyes). He liked the ice cream but when he started to drink his apple juice box he said he did not feel good (we think he just ate his ice cream to fast). We then toured the city a little more and he really wanted to go back to the orphanage. He was not ready to go with us he said. He played with his cars some more when we got back and hammed it up for the camera. He said we could come back to see him tomorrow. We think that he will have a hard time leaving the orphanage because so far this is the best home he has known and they are like a family to him there. He seems like a very healthy, strong and very sweet boy. The other children and caretakers seem to like him too. We will head to the toystore tomorrow morning then to go see the oldest boy first and the little ones after 3.


Tony and Dawn said...

How about that pizza place! Compared to other places, that is a pretty cheap place to eat! Glad to hear the visit with the oldest went so well. You know, with all the traveling we did on both trips, our driver was never stopped by the police. I think it is just a random decision by them t stop a car. Anyway, we will pray for safe travels -

Cindy said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a descriptive story of your latest couple of days with the kids. They sound so wonderful. I bet your two little ones are at the same home as my daughter in Ussyrisk. They have taken such wonderful care of her there and loved her. I cannot wait to return. When I was there Irina had pneumonia, so I didn't see her all week until the day I left to go home, but Lana took care of us. She was so busy we didn't get to do quite as much as you have on getting out, so I look forward to that when I return. I would love to keep in touch with you by email if you'd like. I hope the rest of your trip goes as well as it has thus far and you bond with those sweet kids.