Saturday, July 21, 2012

Families Are Forever

Today after waking up Alina walked by my room, saw me on my bed, and blew me a big dramatic kiss.  What a great way to start a day!  Alina is a very loving girl.  Twice while making breakfast she brought me pictures with hearts and the written words, "I love you".  Then she would give me a big hug and kiss.  How could I not love these girls?  I have noticed that Alina is very open with her love and feelings, while Albina is a bit more guarded.  I wish there was a way to communicate better so we could make a better emotional connection.  I wish I knew more how they felt and what they thought so we could know them better.  I want to really understand them.   

After breakfast we all got ready to leave for Temple Square.  Once we arrived on Temple Square we requested missionaries that spoke Russian.  Two darling Sister Missionaries arrived (one missionary from Russia that grew up in an orphanage and another missionary from Latvia) and took us on a tour.  The first missionary spoke to Albina and Alina while the other missionary tried to keep us aware of what was being said to Albina and Alina.  We learned that Albina and Alina know a lot about Jesus Christ and the Bible.  Not only do they know the stories, but they know the moral behind each story.  The sister missionary said to me: “These girls have been prepared to come to your family.”  Toward the end of the tour we went and saw the Christus Statue.  While sitting in that room one of the sister missionaries asked me if there were any questions I wanted to ask them while they could translate for me.  I said that I couldn’t think of any, but shared my desire to know more of their thoughts and feelings.  I told her that if she became aware of any thoughts and feelings they had throughout the discussion that I would appreciate knowing.  She asked if I wanted her to tell the girls that I wanted to know them better and I said, “yes”.  She spoke to them for a bit and then told me that Albina told her that it was easy to know how Alina felt because she frequently draws her feelings.  I told the sister about the heart pictures this morning.  She said, “See.  You know how she feels about you!”

After the Christus we went and saw a movie presentation about the family.  It started in one room and worked through 4 rooms.  By the second room I was an absolute wreck.  I told James to go to the next room without me because I had completely lost my composure.  I thought I was going to break down to the point of audibly sobbing uncontrollably.  I got myself back together and met up with everyone in the final room.  By the end of the final room my entire family (besides Micah) was weeping.  We were so overcome with emotion.  I wasn’t sure exactly why I was so emotional, but I knew it had to do with these beautiful children.

After the tour we walked to Deseret Book and purchased each of them the Book of Mormon as well as a Bible in Russian.  Then we went to get some food.  While sitting and eating, Albina was reading through our pages of “Russian Phrases” that we have to help us in communicating.  She read and read and finally looked up and said to James and me: “I am happy to be a part of our family”.  It was the first time she really expressed any feelings to us.  We walked around after we ate and then headed to DI to shop for some clothes (the girls needed church clothes and a few other items to help them over the next few weeks while they will be here).  We had great luck and were able to find some cute things.  Alina was in heaven picking out everything pink!  Albina also seemed to enjoy trying on clothing and getting our opinion on what looked nice.  She was very open to our input.  They also got some shoes for hiking.  After DI, we went to Walmart and purchased underwear (Alina was SO excited that she found Spongebob Square Pants underwear!  Haha!) and socks.  We also got some paint and some embroidery floss so they can do some arts and crafts projects. 

Once we arrived home, we made some snacks (popcorn, crackers, and fruit) and sat down to watch a movie in Russian (it had subtitles in English).  It was almost exactly like Spiderman, but the hero in the movie was the owner of a flying car instead of a spider-bitten super powered person.  Not the most brilliant movie, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. 

As soon as the movie was over, everyone went to bed.  I think everyone was worn out from a long day of activities.  It was a good day.  I felt happy and comfortable with having 6 kids throughout the day (although Micah is struggling with the fact that currently he isn’t the center of the family!)  Albina seems to be opening up a little more emotionally.  She has been laughing and smiling more and seems to be happier overall.  Alina has been happy the majority of the time since she has gotten here (not that Albina hasn’t been… she has just been more guarded and not as obviously happy).

It still makes me nervous when I think too much of adopting three more children.  But just going about my day and spending time with these kids feels so natural and wonderful.  I really love these girls already!

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