Tara made a good guess earlier. She thinks that the orphanage caretakers are telling Elizabeth that we will be taking her away from the orphange soon. They think they're doing us a favor, trying to prepare her. But now, every time that we come to visit and they leave the room, she freaks out because she thinks it's happening now.
I would have preferred that they just pretend that nothing was going to be different for her, until that moment when she simply leaves the orphanage and comes "home" to the hotel with us. See, by then, she might have been comfortable enough with us to let us take her wherever we wanted. But now, she just freaks out whenever she sees us, making this whole thing more difficult than it had to be.
We had a fire drill in the hotel yesterday. A woman knocked on our door and asked us to please go downstairs to the lobby. I told her in Russian that I don't speak Russian [phonetically, Ya ne gavaryu pa-Russki], so she repeated it in English. She was very polite. When we got to the lobby, of course there was a crowd down there. One of the women from the front desk was very nice, going out of her way to come up to us and say, in English, "Don't worry. It's just a drill." There are some really nice people here, and I try and focus on those. There are quite a few pimp/thug type men around here, too. They're usually middle-aged men. They walk around with a swagger, just daring you to look them in the eye. People like that have barely evolved, and I just try and avoid them. Let them think they "won" the staring contest, when in fact it is they who are the pathetic losers who are lower than most animals. I'm sorry, was that too harsh? :) I usually do try and focus on the positive, actually. I might speak negatively or sarcastically out loud fairly often, but I'm usually fairly positive. I just don't always verbalize it. The younger men seem normal.
The other American adoptive couple here, Joel and Nancy, left yesterday. They are great people. They're adopting boy and girl siblings. Unfortunately for them, their return trip will happen in January or February, the dead of Winter. But they're from Michigan and Montana originally (though they now live in Phoenix), so they can handle harsh winters. I have added their blog to our "blog roll" on the right.
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Here is the complete blog of the adoption experience in paperback form, Russian Adoption: From Nashville to Astrakhan and Back (PDF). And here is the fictionalized, future "homeland tour" (action adventure) version in various forms: on Kindle, various electronic formats, and in paperback.
This time next week.... Preparation The day before Travel day In the air We're in Moscow Moscow Check out time We're in Astrakhan It's only Monday? What a day... Tuesday (2007-10-02) It's a girl! It's a girl! Wednesday Thursday Great visit Sights of Astrakhan Another great visit Last visit for a while Atlanta! We're home! (10/06) Round two Skora mweh tam boojum Internet access Elizabeth's room Mweh yeddum v aeroport eta ootra In the air again Back in Moscow (11/26) Tuesday (2007-11-26) Back in Astrakhan Russian adoption consultant Comments welcome Showtime! And the judge says...... Success! The day after Saturday morning Much better visit today Beet salad Went for a walk ... Its going to be a good week She's warming up to us Light at the end of the tunnel Picture of us before court More pictures She's ours! The first hours of parenthood Bowel movement Sleep, what a concept Update Nothing much to update about 51-1/2 hours Just another week to go Pictures of our life in Astrakhan Back in Moscow (12/18) Moscow update continued Update to the update's update To the embassy Can't leave early Still in Moscow Riding the Metro Riding the Metro, part deux We're home! (12/23) A few pictures Airport arrival Stay tuned More pics Summary Doctors say she's normal Adoption video Holmes Russian adoption videos Adoption videos updated Our Russian adoption story