We got a glimpse into his real personality today.
We started the day with Mrs.P’s daughter-in-law instead of Mrs.P since she had to take care of other business. She is a facilitator for other adoption agencies for this region. So she knows the ropes and took good care of us. Though her driving is a little more scary. We did not know she was going to be picking us up this morning so we kept looking for Mrs.P's vehicle but she eventually found us and we were on our way.
We arrived at the orphanage around 9:30am and were taken back to the closet from yesterday. We then waited for director to go get A. Soon enough we heard them coming down the hallway with A sniffling. He was upset to have to leave his friends and the safe place of his room (we were told that the children are often scared when the director takes the children from their rooms because it means they're going to the doctor to get poked and prodded or in trouble). When he came in we were able to comfort him and he didn't resist our hugs and affection. After 2-3 minutes we were left alone with him.
Once we had been alone for about 30 minutes or so he really started to open up to us. The shy and quiet boy from yesterday was slowly drifting away. He still has his quiet moments but he also was talking up a storm (of course in Russian) and in full play mode. Food is one of the keys to get him to open up. It's such a big deal to these kids to get food and never mind getting extra food! He is a very caring boy and even trusted us to share his food with him. He thought it was funny when Mr.Slick would make funny noises eating goldfish. He was still stuffing as much food as possible in his mouth and saving some for later in his cheeks but at times he was able to forget completely about the food and just play.
Today we were told we could bring the clothing donations to the orphanage and a change of clothes for him so we did. We started by changing his socks and shoes (we had to get rid of the flower and heart shoes he was wearing) to see how he'd react to us changing him. He seemed excited to get new clothes so we then went on to his clothes. We held up his new shirt to him and said "new shirt, new shirt, new shirt!" several times over the course of a few minutes making it into a game and then we changed him. As soon as he got his new shirt on he said, "new shirt" - we were shocked and didn't even realize for a second that he just said his first words in English! It was a crazy moment and we know he was just repeating us but it was awesome. We changed him into pants first but then it got too hot so we switched to shorts. He really liked his new socks and would play with them and even said, "ocks" one time after we said socks a few times. Again, it was awesome to hear him repeat us.
He was talking a lot today, several words at a time and pointing at toys and objects in the room. I wish we could understand him! He especially loved his stuffed toy dog - his Gunner. When we showed him a picture of Gunner in his picture book he began to point at the book then back at the stuffed dog and would make dog noises. We think he gets it.
We found a toy hammer in the toy pile that made squeaky noises when you hit it on something. This is when we were introduced to A the Destroyer - the normal 2 year old boy we had been waiting to meet. He loved to build towers of toys and blocks just to hit them with the hammer and knock them down. He would jump up and down, giggle and laugh when he did this (of course Mr.Slick showed him how to do all of this). He then started running, jumping, talking, and crawling under the table/chair (that takes up half the closet!) and having a good time. We did not know that the shy little boy that we met the day before had this in him. We are so glad the real A trusted us enough to be himself. He loves having his belly kissed and having raspberries blown and will give you a full belly laugh when you do this. He also loves for you to kiss his cheeks and neck and will giggle when you do this too.
After almost 2 hours A started putting his toys up unprompted. We figured this meant he was hungry so we pulled out more snacks which he ate all of. We were able to tell him to take something to Mama and he would carry it to me and we could tell him to take something to Papa and he would take it to Mr.Slick. The caretakers at the orphanage started referring to us as Mama and Papa too (they don't use the word Dad there). After two hours our ride finally came back (we thought she said 15 minutes) and that's when we had to say goodbye to him. He seemed excited to go to lunch but disappointed to see us go. He had big smiles when we kissed and hugged him goodbye.
We were then took us to the director's office to meet with the orphanage doctor and Mrs.P was able to come back to translate for us. We got all of our questions answered with good information to pass along to our pediatrician. They seemed very pleased with A and us and think we're a good fit. They excitedly approved of us adopting him - which is required for court here. We then signed the papers for the Intent to Adopt and we were then on our way to lunch. She took us to a nice restaurant to celebrate and wanted us to have a nice Russian meal. She recommended we try the pickled herring for an appetizer, which sounds gross but it was really good! We're glad we tried it. We then both had the best Beef Stroganoff we have ever had and a delicious dessert made with local berries.
Today it was fun to play with a rambunctious two year old and we can't wait to see him again tomorrow.