Today was our last visit for this trip. I am glad to be going home, but it is sad to say goodbye to Alyona. Today was a good visit for us. I felt like we interacted with her a lot. Alla and Alyona’s nanny talked a lot and Alyona seemed pretty content to play with us.
I am not sure why I brought toys. Next time, I am going to go around my house before we leave and find odd little things to bring. On a whim, I grabbed one of the disposable combs from our hotel room. What a hit! I thought it would be good bonding for me to brush her hair, but her nanny suggested that she brush mine. Even better! She was very interested in brushing my hair. She kept asking me “does it hurt?” And I’d say “nyet, nyet” and then she’d ask again, like she didn’t believe me. A little 3 year old brushing your hair tickles more than it hurts!
After that, I got out the scarf. Hours of fun can be had with a scarf. I am not even kidding. R&L enjoy a scarf as well. Alyona likes to wrap it around her head or others’ heads. She looked like a nun, a model, little Red Riding Hood or a babushka, depending on how she wore it.
This is another game that she really likes. It is difficult for me to do this with her.
Later in our visit, she decided that she needed to style my hair again. She has this little bubble blower, which blows air. She saw a big girl using a blow dryer one day, and now she uses her bubble machine to “blow dry” her hair.
We played a lot of hide and seek/peekaboo or as they call it cuckoo. She always recites this little poem, with help from Alla or her nanny. I really wanted to get a video of it, since it has been a staple of our week here. She got distracted by the camera and forgot to look for me! Oops!
Another favorite moment of our visit today was when I was trying to get her to play cuckoo again. I covered my eyes. She came over and said “ne plach” (don’t cry). It was so sweet. I pretend to cry some more and she told me again and gently grazed her hand over my cheek. It was a very loving gesture. I think that says a lot about the kind of care that she gets at the hospital.
We brought a Russian-to-English CD to give to Alyona and her nanny today. We have the English-to-Russian version. It teaches lots of basic things and I got it thinking that perhaps she would have an opportunity to listen to it, since she has a 1-on-1 nanny. I was afraid it might seem like we were forcing English on her already, but both Alla and her nanny seemed very excited about the idea. She has a CD player in her room, so they can listen to it right there. Alla joked that they ‘d probably be speaking English when we get back, and it’s true– they’ll probably know more English than we know Russian!
We had a lot of fun, and then she heard her friends playing. She was not so happy. This whole week we have been trying to entertain her in a tiny little 5’x15’ room. It is understandable how bored she was! We had a hard time entertaining R&L in the large playroom at their orphanage. Alla said maybe it was time for us to go. I agree, as I’d rather have shorter fun visits with her than long, exhausting ones. We said goodbye and she kissed us both.
I know Alyona is getting some really wonderful care at the hospital. I am not concerned about her physically or emotionally at all. Her nanny is like a mama for her and she has some wonderful friends to play with. However, I am anxious for when we get to come and bring her home. For those of you who are not familiar with Russian adoption, we will have court in about 6-8 weeks, probably the end of January, a 10-day wait period and then we can do all of the paperwork to bring her home– passport, birth certs, embassy stuff.
A few people asked about the nannies. Alyona is an exception that she has a round-the-clock nanny. There is a special fund in place that allows her to have the nanny. The other child only have a nanny during the day. Either way, it is really wonderful for them to have that kind of one-on-one motherly care. Alyona’s nanny assists her medically, but she also spends a lot of time playing with her.