We were picked up and brought to "the commitee", this is a division of the Ministry of Education (MOE). We went in and checked our coats at the door. We waited in a waiting room for them to call us back. When we were called back, we went into an office where there was one lady. She spoke to us in Russian, and our translator translated for us. It is customary to look at the person speaking to you in russian and not your interpreter, it is difficult sometimes to remember that. She gave us our formal invitation to go meet our daugher and then we left. We then drove, not far to the orphanage. When we arrived at the front gate it is closed and they opened it up for the car to drive in. We drove around to the back and were able to see the areas that the children play in when there isn't so much snow all over. The conditions of the yard are beatiful, very well taken care of. It looked like new playgrounds and play houses along with a fountain. When we went inside we checked in our coats again and were given blue booties to put over our shoes. This is to help keep germs out of the orphanage. We went upstairs to a waiting room, we were called into the Directors office and she was an older lady, along with another older lady (not sure what she did tho). We went over all the medical information that she had on our daughter and there were no surprises per se. We really felt that they knew our daughter and really loved her. We had a time to ask questions and answers were given, no surprises again. Then the other lady talked about how our daughter came to be in the orphanage, about her family and some updated information regarding our daughter. Once again no real surprises here. I was able to take notes of everything and they once again answered all questions we had. We were then taken to a different room and we waited just a few minutes for our daughter to come in. When she was brought in, she was wearing the cutest stripped dress, tights, and really cute pink boots. It was love at first sight. She was a little timid and had closed fists, but she did not cry, or even get upset when I picked her up. I held her for a long time, and started to play with her and show her some books and the photo album. The thing that really got her to loosen up were Gymboree bubbles. She was able to track them with her eyes and she even tried to pop them with her fingers. She has good hand eye coordination and loved to watch them float in the air. We played with her for about 2 hours and she did great. We got her to laugh, she loves to have her stomach tickeled. When her caregivers came to get her, she just lit up like a sunbeam. I can tell that they love her and she loves them. They helped get her to smile for us and talked to her in Russian and we got to see all 7 of her teeth. They took her away, and we left.
Some things I want other pre adoptive parents to know:
- Gymboree bubbles are awesome,
- but ask first before bringing them. When the baby home director found out we had bubbles, she was very upset. They like to keep the floor in there nice and free from dirt, she was afraid that it would attract more dirt. We won't bring them tomorrow
- Gerber Puffs work wonders.
- Bring a variety of toys. I didn't have a teether toy, and I needed one. Our little girl is getting some major teeth.
- Books with the buttons that you push she liked, remember I told you she likes music
- Bring a blanket you can lay on the floor. I felt better having that to sit on and explore with her.
- I was told to wear a necklace that she can play with (thanks Amy), and that she could remember when we see her again. I will wear it everytime I see her.
Oh for those of you unfailiar with International Adoption, we are forebidden to post pictures of her until after she is officially ours. You will have to wait to see her, but she is sooooo worth the wait.