Thursday, December 20, 2012
Vitaly's cries woke me up this morning at about 5:00. The other boys woke up, too. We tried for about an hour to figure out what was wrong, but to no avail. At about 6:00, Malia went into his room and smiled at him, and that was all it took! He LOVES Malia! He kept giving her hugs, and insisted on sharing his breakfast with her. They ate dry rice cereal and apples, even thought I offered to cook eggs and meat for him. He made sure that Malia got the biggest pieces of apple.
V was enthralled by the school bus when it came, and then he took a million pictures with Shana's camera (I get my exaggeration tendencies from my dad). Things in our house that have never been photographed finally got their moment in the spotlight! He was fascinated by the Keurig coffee maker, so we made him some tea, which thrilled him. It is so interesting to experience common, everyday items through new eyes - the eyes of an enlightened child.
When V got dressed, he was worried that he wouldn't be able to take all of his new things back on the plane with him. So I gave him the large, rolling suitcase that we got for him, and you have never seen someone so ecstatic! He checked out the handle, the pockets, the zippers......and then proceeded to fill it with his stuff.
He made his bed, noticed that my other boys hadn't made theirs (no surprise there!), and did it for them! I asked him if he would like to go to the store to get new shoes, and he nodded. We first stopped at the bank, where he got a candy cane, and then continued on to Fort Wayne. He cried silently for just a short time on the way....we decided that he does not like riding in vehicles. At the grocery store, he had fun picking out his own food items, and was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices. I was looking at the store through new eyes, and realized just how ridiculous our American grocery stores are. There is a never-ending selection of items.
We checked out, and V was fascinated by the credit card machine and the grocery bag turny-thing (I don't know what you call those things, so grocery bag turny-thing it is). Chris then took him over to ride on the penny horse, which he loved. He gets so excited over things that the other kids have "outgrown", simply because they've gotten so used to them.
We decided to go to Kohl's for shoes, and Vitaly picked out the flashiest pair of light-up tennis shoes that you've ever seen! We indulged him, though, and you'd have thought he found the greatest treasure ever known to man. And now, he keeps stomping his feet to see them light up.
Please look past the dirty floor mats in my van. It was raining and muddy. That's my excuse.
We are getting pretty good (and that's using the word 'good' very liberally) at pantomiming things, though I'm sure everyone in the stores wondered what in the world we were doing and why I kept snapping pictures!
We chose to go to a buffet restaurant for lunch, thinking that V might like to pick out his own food. The cashier asked what he would like to drink, so I asked him if he liked soda. He wasn't sure what I meant, so the lady gave him a sample to try. He loved it! He did not want to eat at first, but when he saw all the choices he began to point to various items and Chris loaded them onto his plate. It turns out that he likes potato salad, macaroni salad, broccoli salad, cantaloupe, pineapple, tortilla chips, yeast rolls, and pizza. Score! And he loves ice cream, so I made him a cone with a jelly bean on top. Chris brought over some cotton candy, and V had to get his picture taken with it. I can't say that he had the healthiest lunch, but we did the best we could. I'm also glad we weighed him yesterday when he got here - I'm thinking it will look pretty good on his weekly reports to have gained some weight!
The sweet boy thought he should clean up the table in the restaurant when we were done eating, so he gathered all of the silverware together and attempted to clean it. He then stacked all the plates and napkins together, too.
When we got home, V helped to carry in the groceries and put them away. He grabbed Shana's camera again, and began snapping dozens of pictures. He then wants me to print the photos for his album, so I'm thinking this will become a daily ritual. He called his chaperone to check in, and then Chris sat down with him to teach him some English words on the iPad. He's starting to repeat some of the things we say, even though he doesn't yet understand what the words mean. He got a good laugh when he snuck up behind me and scared me half to death! We've seen lots of smiles today - yeah!!!
In the afternoon, we went to school to visit Adrian's classroom for a "chocolate tour." The class just read 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' and each child designed a house, factory, or other building out of candy and other materials. V was excited to be going to school, and he did really well. He just sat back and watched all of the other kids.
Vitaly could not wait for Malia to get home from school. He was thrilled when he saw the bus coming, and met the kids at the door with hugs. They had fun playing in the playhouse, making a gingerbread house, and stringing beads for bracelets and necklaces. V made one for Malia, of course! He then taught her how to play a Ukrainian hand game:
We soon ate supper, and then it was time for baths and bed. Once again, Vitaly was out like a light almost as soon as his head hit the pillow!