Hard times always lead to something great. Betsey Johnson
Well – I thought I would be updating this blog last night with a picture of the joyful arrival at Dulles and a story to boot… however, by the time we had 3 kids bathed and in bed… I was too tired to push the power button on this computer. And truthfully, I’m still falling behind the sleep curve… so this might not be too lengthy.
We have had a sugar/lack of sleep – induced attempted escape at Dulles Airport… a couple of tantrums… tears… screams and LOTS of “nyets”… However, I believe I can say that our first 24+ hours have been a success… exhausting and trying… but a success none the less.
Now that might sound contradictory but considering jet lag and this very black and white language and cultural difference… I’d say it speaks volumes that we’re all still under the same roof and no one has run away from home… well, mostly that Bob and I haven’t run away from home. The kids are basically living in Disney World and if we weren’t here to set the limits we probably would’ve avoided at least 2 of the tantrums.
Prior to the kids getting here I was not overly concerned about the language difference… and, really, I’m still not. However, I will say that it is absolutely black and white… there’s no putting a french accent on “don’t stick the pen in the light socket” and hoping that it was understandable… different alphabet… different sounds… DIFFERENT! And these kids will walk right up to you and tell you something 5 times over… and you have no idea… zero, idea what they are saying. Seriously, they could be saying… “I am going to take your car for a ride around the block… Yes? Yes? Yes?” and clearly, you learn very early on that you should not automatically nod your head or answer in the affirmative. I’m pretty sure before we learned this lesson we have already told them that they can take the TV and couch back home with them.
At the end of the day today… we have two kids who are trying to repeat our words and who are clearly understanding more of what we say… so… success!
Rachel has been fantastic… and I mean a rock star. I expected her to be shy at the airport and she walked right up with the stuffed animals that we brought. She helped to hold hands on our walk out. She actually located the attempted escapee… thankfully… and all day today she has given up her belongings and toys to kids that came in here and want to touch and use everything that is in front of them. At the end of the night… she came to Bob and me… teary-eyed… feeling that Mariya was taking everything… and Mariya WAS taking everything. But we explained that Mariya wasn’t “taking” anything… she was borrowing and she probably doesn’t understand what borrowing means. We explained what it might be like to live in an orphanage (and we were probably generous) and so, Rachel is sleeping with us tonight. Again… cannot say enough about this girl – awesome!
So… before they got here I had grand schemes of hitting Target today to get some necessities. HA! No trip to Target! Sugar overload might be one thing… but single-handed Target overload – NYET! Instead, we spent a good day with my college friend Will Delea, his wife Sara and son Mick. We are also grateful to the Brunners who dropped off a card… but, more importantly, made themselves completely available and to the Braces… who rescued us with tiny boy swimsuits as Aleksei is 7 but probably a size 4.
So tomorrow we head to the beach for a week (and no… we have packed nothing as of this typing)… who knows the adventures that await us.
What I can tell you is that this is not a freebie… it is not an easy “we did the right thing”… it is not without challenges… BUT, today I got at least 10 completely unsolicited open armed hugs (including at least one from Rachel) and when Bob got home today I heard the scream of “Papa!” upstairs as I was folding clothes. So… we are on a good path… just not an easy one… and this is not foreign to us. Every difficult step we took with the boys was in fact a good one because we were with them.