Yesterday our little girl turned two!!! It was a joyous day for us. I woke up and thought about how her birth mother must be feeling. I hoped that she wasn't too sad and I thanked her for bringing this beautiful, special child into the world.
We spent the morning going to stores to find gifts for E and the children. We were also looking for juice, cookies and bananas for the kids. Let's just say there was no luck on the bananas. Apparently they are hard to come by in places covered in two feet of snow. The bananas were either too green or completely black. We met with our team at 11:15 to go to the orphanage. When we opened the door there were about 6-8 babies blocking the door and one caregiver was trying to put E'S hair in a little bow. Our hands were full with food and presents so we had to squeeze past the kids to put down the presents. When we opened the door, E let out a squeal of happiness, but by the time we got to the other side of the baby room after finding a safe spot for the bags she was having a complete meltdown complete with the biggest tears you have ever seen. I assumed that she hated having her hair fiddled with and didn't want the bow. Daddy picked her up and kissed her, mama rocked her and hugged her...she was having NONE of that. The meltdown was going on and she was MAD. The nurse came over and said that everyone in the orphanage came by to wish her a happy birthday and tell her that mama and papa were coming to see her. When she saw us and we didn't pick her up she started crying. We felt horrible (but I still think it was getting her hair done while we came in that made her mad). Poor baby. Daddy picked her up and carried her around and lifted her high so she could touch the stickers on the wall. The caregivers dressed her in the same plaid dress she wore on our last visit in October. She looked adorable. They also decorated the baby room with balloons. We played with her and the other children. Then it was yum-yum time. At that point we knew that we wouldn't be able to stay for cookies and juice. After yum-yum is nap and we were told that we only had one hour (the kids have colds). So we decided to let E open her gifts. She loved opening presents! The first one was a pull toy duck shape sorter and when she opened it she started saying "cawk cawk cawk cawk" and immediately jumped down on the floor to play with it. We then had her open her second present which was a board book and she loved that too. I put her birthday hat and pin on her so we could take some photos of her with her presents. We let her play a bit and then it was time to say paka-paka.
After we left the orphanage we hired a driver and translator for a few hours to drive us around Pskov and show us important sites. We took quite a few photos. The highlight for me on this special day was seeing the hospital where our girl was born. For all of you in the process, I recommend hiring a driver to see the special places in the city, and hopefully the place where your child was born,
We went back to the hotel and celebrated with piva for mama and papa and a delicious plate of cheese and bread.
Today we are going to the orphanage at 11:15 again and then we have the train tonight. You can bet we will not pass E today...but will pick up and squeeze her as soon as we walk in.
We don't have definite plans yet, but it seems that we need to be back in Pskov on March 13-14.