We're on Day 3 (I think) and the 2nd day actually in the region. We went to the business center at our hotel this morning and used the Skype phone there to call home. Yea! It worked! The boys aren't big phone talkers, but it was great hearing their voices. This has been a very emotional trip for me and I admit I've been a bit weepy at times, but it sure made me feel better to know they are having fun. Our friends have so many things planned for them that it is like camp without the 2 hour bus ride (as Preston described it.)
We visited our little girl twice and played outside both times again. She really gets cuter each time we see her and a tiny bit more personality comes out. We're getting more and more smiles but of course never for the camera. Actually, she'd rather eat the camera than smile for it at this point. She was dressed in green velour again and it really brings out her eye color which is green in the middle with a dark blue outer ring. She reaches out to both of us when we take turns holding her. She seems facinated with Martin's nose. She was still very serious today however, we did get to hear her babble and it sure sounded like she said "Da Da". She'll play for a few minutes, but mostly she just wants to relax in our laps.
One of the care-givers told us that after we left yesterday, she wanted a lot more attention from them then she ever has before and she kept reaching up to be held. That breaks my heart and makes me happy all at the same time. I'm glad that she responded to all the snuggling time we had and that she wants more. I can hardly bear the thought that she may have to wait for months for us to come back for her. But I will say that the care-givers all seem to be very loving to the children and they work very hard to to give each child personal attention in a fun and cheerful atmosphere. There are bright colors and story book characters all around as well as a beautiful flower garden. This morning a care-giver was teaching some four year olds about the flowers when one little red-headed girl looked up and saw us. She ran over to our translator and asked "When our my Moma and Papa coming for me?" She is being adopted and is waiting for her parents to come back for court. Then, as the children left to go back inside they all looked at Martin and me holding our baby and they said "Paka (goodbye) Mama and Papa!" I'm telling you it really makes you want to come back for a few more!
I wanted to see what size clothes our little one will need when she comes home so I dressed her in an outfit we brought with us. It was size 12-18 mo and swallowed her. I had to turn up the sleeves to find her little hands. Then I looked at the dress she had been wearing and saw that it was size 3-6 mo. It fit perfect. She's sure got some growing to do before all the little dresses already hanging in her closet fit.
Between visits, L (our translator) and A (our driver) took us into the heart of the city to do a little shopping. I'm so glad we didn't buy very much in Moscow because prices are much cheaper here. We found some really nice items that were hand-made right here in Novokuznetsk. As we went into each store, L would say "Shhhh" and she would do all the talking. I'm guessing if the store owners knew we were American the prices would have gone up. We also saw four wedding parties around town today. That was kind of cool.
We'll have one more visit with our sweet heart in the morning and then spend the rest of the afternoon sight-seeing. Now, we are headed outside to see the Total Solar Eclipse!