Chalk it up to taking an overnight train that neither of us slept much on, or the fact that our facilitator had given us a laundry list of things we were out to accomplish for the day, or the fact that most of the interaction happening around us these days is in a completely different language--alphabet even than our own. Regardless of reason, we piled into the car at about 8 in the morning and took off.
As we drove, we soaked in the contrast to the last city we were in. There are vendors lining the streets, countless smalls kiosks to purchase a number of different items from magazines to vodka, and old women selling flowers dotting the sidewalks.
We neared a building with gates around it and we both suddenly perked up. What very little we knew about orphanages started running through our minds and we instantly remembered that most have gates around them. As we got closer to the building, we knew where our first stop was for the day!
Pretty similar to the SDA appointment (post about that coming later), we were full of nerves but listened dutifully when we were told once again, 'you sit and wait here'. We sat and waited and then were brought in to meet the orphanage director.
We were asked why we wanted to adopt and asked if we had any biological children. We presented our small photo album and she studied flipped through it. She stopped at the first picture of Lily and smiled. She put her hands up and motioned pinching her cheeks. Sorry, Lillers, you will never escape that, even from across the globe! haha She saw the picture of Melissa and pointed at her hair. She said the picture was old and they'd cut her hair short because it was so hot this summer.
A few people came in and out of the room, mostly to discuss our paperwork we were told. Every time the door opened, I think both of our hearts jumped to our throats. Then it happened.
She was led in by the hand with one of her nannies. She was directed over to us and the nanny kept explaining 'MaMa and PaPa' to her. Then the caretaker lifted her up and set her on Robert's lap and she gave him a hug. She let us hold her hands and talk to her quietly, content just to sit and be held for a moment.
The facilitator said that this is when we needed to tell the director that yes, we wished to proceed after making initial contact with the child. We both immediately nodded and said yes. Then they asked if we had a couple toys to keep her entertained while they proceeded with some paperwork. Again we pulled out the photo album and she eagerly grabbed it and stepped back a bit. Her face lit up when she saw Lily's picture and momma's heart could not have danced more! She had the best time flipping through the pages, stopping only occassionaly to look very closely at what was on them.
Then we took out the stuffed little lamb and she held it for a moment. The nanny named it to her and she lost interest pretty quickly. She wanted the pictures back. We took out some cheap bangle bracelets I had worn on a tip from another family (thanks, Renee!). She wore them for a few minutes, but was much happier holding onto them tightly just in her hand. Next, I dug into my pocket and pulled out my cheap sunglasses. Jackpot! She wore them much of the time that we were in the office and loved having them on. She tried Robert's on and wasn't as taken by them. Mine went back on and she wore them with a smile most everywhere she went!
When she decided to go for a small walk out to the office area, one of the ladies walked her back in with a paper and some markers. And that's how we got these pictures...
It also gave us an adorable drawing that will be going in a frame as soon as we get home!