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The First Hours of Parenthood
Oh my gosh! She's a handful!
Well, we left the orphanage without much incident. She told the orphanage staff that she wanted to leave in the car. But, she refused to let me or Bill hold her hand or touch her other than put her snowsuit and boots on. The orphanage director walked her out and then Vika, our interpreter took her from there. She would only sit on Vika's lap the whole way to the hotel. Just as we pulled up to the hotel, she threw up all over herself and Vika. Vika was so surprised that she actually pushed Elizabeth out of her lap! Nothing personal I'm sure, just a reflex. So, we cleaned off Elizabeth and Vika outside the hotel. Bill went ahead upstairs to put away the groceries and other things we had bought earlier. Then Vika tells me that we need to go to Aeroflot's office to present them with the Adoption paperwork and Elizabeth's ticket. Apparently, Aeroflot needed documented proof that we are Elizabeth's parents. Aeroflot is about 3 blocks from the hotel. Galina needed Bill to stay and sign paperwork for the Elizabeth's passport. So, Vika, Elizabeth and I walked to the Aeroflot office in 6 inches of snow and puke stained coats (go figure). At this point, Elizabeth still would not let me touch her, even hold her hand. She even wanted Vika to walk between me and her! She's very temperamental! But, she wasn't much happier with Vika at this point, either. Vika kept talking to her about the snow and other things we saw, Elizabeth would just turn her head and ignore Vika. So, it made me feel a little bit better that she didn't like Vika much either.
We finally got back to the hotel where Bill was waiting on the front steps for us. We finalized some details in the lobby and because Elizabeth was still being so temperamental, we asked Vika if she would walk up to our room with us in order to hopefully save us from a scene in the hotel lobby with a screaming child. She agreed and walked to our room. I had laid out all new toys, coloring books, play-do, her own bowl and fork/spoon on a chair and floor (kinda like Christmas) so that was the first thing she saw. We opened the door and she ran to see her new stuff. She never noticed that Vika did not enter the room. Vika closed the door behind us and stayed outside for a couple of minutes to make sure she would be okay. Within five minutes Elizabeth was talking to us about her toys and exploring the hotel room (what there is to it).
Within a few hours (actually within less an hour) she had tired of her new toys. She wanted other things, like to turn the TV on and off, on and off. Finally we had to unplug the TV. We've discovered that she has a very big vocabulary, much bigger than we originally thought. Unfortunately, we're not sure what she's saying most of the time because it's all in Russian. That will be our next big hurdle I think. I can already see that it's going to be hard to deal with her while she is still speaking Russian. Although she did help us communicate with the housekeeper. The housekeeper came in to change the linens on our bed. Elizabeth stood there watching her. The housekeeper asked me what her name was and I didn't understand. Finally, Elizabeth said "my name is Mosha." I then realized what the housekeeper was trying to say to me. Right now, we're still calling her Mosha. We certainly hope to change it to Elizabeth, but, one thing at a time.
She is also quite the fashion diva. She found her suitcase and pulled out more clothes and demanded that we change her out of her current outfit and into a new one. We did. Then later she came back to it and wanted another shirt and pants to be put over the top of her first pair. By the time we were done, she had a t-shirt, sweater, sweater vest, and long sleeve blouse on top, a pair of tights, a pair of cotton pants and two pairs of socks on the bottom. Then she found a pair of Bill's socks in the dirty clothes bag, pulled those out and put them on top! She is so funny!
Another time, she gathered all her toys in a bag, put on her coat, hat and boots and headed to the door carrying the bag of toys. She was turning the doorknob wanting out of the room. She kept saying something, but of course we could not understand. I told Bill I knew she was saying "I'm outta here Suckers!" I could just tell from her tone. Finally Bill was able to understand a little of what she was saying and she was saying "See you later!"
I can tell that she's really going to test us. She already is. I've had to scold her multiple times today for hitting and throwing things. Of course, this is a very confusing time for her and I'm hoping that part of this behavior is because of the drastic changes she has endured today. But I also know that a lot of it is just being 2 years old. That is their main purpose in life at two — to drive their parents to the brink of insanity.
So, while I was writing this, Bill was entertaining her by walking her up and down the hall. Suddenly I hear her screaming and crying. We don't know what happened, but I took her and carried her back to the room. We sat down and I rocked her to sleep. She missed her nap (although we tried very hard to get her to sleep) so I think that was the problem. I finally laid her down in her baby bed. I hope she is still asleep when I get back. I'm not counting on it though. The bad thing is that it's only 7:00 here. I'm afraid she won't sleep through the night. We'll see how that goes.
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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