Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back in the USSR!

Drasvoyte from snowy Vladivostok, where the temperature is a balmy 5 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Today (Wednesday) we saw our son for the first time in 2 1/2 months! When he first saw us, he didn't remember us, and (just like last time) took one look at Rich and burst into tears. He was even a little scared of Helen this time. The care-takers explained that this was probably because he now understands Russian quite well, and our foreign language seemed strange to him. When we saw him in November he didn't seem to care what language we spoke, but in the last 2 1/2 months he has become very responsive to Russian (although he doesn't say any words yet, just syllables). He was inconsolable for about 5 minutes, then gradually we won him over, and suddenly he was back to the old Roman we remembered ... an absolutely lovable bundle of energy!

This time we played with him in the orphanage gym, with a couple from Chicago who are adopting a little boy called Alexander. The care-takers also brought some of the other children in to play. This was the first time we had seen Roman with other kids. He was the most outgoing and rambunctious of the lot, and we noticed that the other kids followed his lead. They had all kinds of activities in the gym, including some equipment that we don't think would be allowed in a toddler gym in the US (not really age appropriate). This included a set of wooden monkey bars, which Roman managed to climb up to the third rung (we are so glad we have bought a crib tent, not only to keep the cats out, but to keep Roman in!) He also played on a tricycle, and while his legs are too short to reach the pedals, he will definitely be riding one soon.

We've realized that our house doesn't just need to be child-proofed, it needs to be Roman-proofed (which requires an extra level of safety). He's very curious about everything, especially our video camera and, unfortunately, the other couple's video camera too (fortunately Helen managed to catch it before Roman got hold of it).

Roman doesn't seem to have grown much at all, and doesn't have any more hair. We were surprised to see that he was wearing a 9 month size onesie, which is a lot smaller than we expected. We brought a variety of sizes with us though, so we're hoping that we will have something small enough. He's just a tiny little guy but very active and inquisitive. We can't wait to fill him up with some good American food (not McDonalds). Actually, what we will be filling him up with is formula, as he still needs all the nutrients. Unfortunately, the orphanage has already taken him off formula so it may be difficult to get him back on to it, but it's necessary for his physical development.

Well, we will sign off now, as it's 12:15am on Thursday here.

Our court date is Friday and we have a rehearsal for it tonight.

Paka Paka! (bye bye)

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