Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 1

What a day.  It's 10pm now.  So here is how the day went...

Joe and I went down to breakfast at the hotel.  They had both American and Russian items.  I had salmon with tomatoes and cream cheese on a wheat cracker with some coffee and an omelette. Joe had yogurt w/cereal and an omelette.   After that we packed up our cameras and toys and headed to the Ministry of Education.  It was here that we met our coordinator Natasha and our translator.  We went inside and met with a lady that went over Polinas basic information and ask if we wanted to meet her.  We said yes and sighed a book showing we had been there.  Then we left for the orphanage.  It was about a 40 min drive but still in a very populated area.  Along the way our translator pointed out some historic buildings and explained how things used to be under the Soviet rule and how they are different now.  When we got to the baby home we went in the back door and down a long hallway that kind of felt like the lower level of a hospital.  The kitchen and maintenance area.  We went up some stairs to the music room and waited.  The orphanage reminded me of a very old school or hospital.  It was not updated but seemed well maintained.  The music room had laminate floors with a large rug in the center, toys tucked away in a cabinet, tiny little chairs for the children and some adult chairs lined up out of the way.  I would assume the room is used for performances or parties.  When they brought her in she took one look at us and started crying.  I picked her up and she buried her head into my shoulder.  When she started to calm down, she would look at Joe and start crying again.  She was terrified of him.  Apparently this is very normal since most of the children have never seen men.  It took about 20 minutes before she could look at Joe and not cry, but she remained very cautious of him the remainder of the visit.  The rest of the visit we spent with her on my lap playing with toys and Joe sat on a chair off to the side of us.  Toward the end of the visit she was rolling a ball to him and she took a book that he handed her and smiled.  When I watched the video she was smiling and laughing a good portion of our visit which made me feel good.  When her care giver came in to get her she hopped up and walked

After our visit we came back to the hotel and had their "business" lunch.  It was very Russian and Joe was not impressed.  I thought it was good and very healthy. After that we went and took a nap and then got up and walked down to the river to a coffee. The coffee shop had something for the whole for Joe, wine for me, ice cream for kids, they even sold cigarettes Marge!

The people here are most interesting.  Most of the women under 35 are wearing stilettos with tight jeans or short skirts.  We have seen quite a few rather intimate couples and it appears that any night of the week is a party night.  Tonight, Monday we passed a huge limo with quite the party inside.

 The people here are very proper and quiet spoken.  It appears there is quite a separation of wealth.  Things are very expensive and you can tell many people are poor.

Tomorrow we go back to the baby home at 9 am.


  1. love the update! I bet Polina will be much more calmer around Joe soon. Tom didn't force himself on Ava Grace at all, and she warmed up to him by the end of the first visit, and then took just a little while on the 2nd visit. How about those stilettos the women wear? they do that in the coldest of winter also, on ice ladden sidewalks, amazing. Hope you are taking lots of pics.

  2. Don't worry Joe you know what a ladies man you are to Charlotte. Polina will love you just as much real soon I'm sure. Sounds like everything went real well the first day. Happy for you. Love MOM*

  3. This sounds almost identical to our first day with Crosby except for the part where he was sick and they almost wouldn't let us see him. He didn't cry, but he was stunned.

    Do you have any toys that play music? That seems to calm them. I know it worked for us.

    Congrats and one thing I will tell you is that tomorrow will be better. It was about 100% better for us the second day because it's a bit more comfortable and you know what to expect.

  4. i am totally addicted to your blog. i cannot wait to read more tomorrow. :) i love the details about the food and the looks of the baby home. sounds very interesting. do you plan to post pics or video of polina?