Calmer Seas

Hey, no emergencies to report today! Lara is still nursing her shoulder. Between that and her foot, she’s pretty handicapped, but she is fighting through it like you know she would.

I’m going to keep this short today. We really need to work on some sleep. The boys simply refuse to take a nap during the day. They are both obviously so tired. They will even admit it when we ask them, but unless they both lie down at the same time, it’s no use. At least one of them is constantly fidgeting around, and as soon as one goes, they both go. So, our only down time is after they’ve been put to bed for the night. Luckily, we’re managing that pretty well. They’ve been asleep by 9 or 9:30 the last 3 nights.

Today wasn’t overly exciting. We went for two more walks. We managed to find a small playground behind an apartment building about 10 blocks to the west from our apartment, though it wasn’t very nice. We decided to head back towards the familiar grounds of the city center (near the Chernigov Hotel) in the afternoon. There is a decent park next to the soccer stadium.

I will pass on a couple of anecdotes, as much for documenting our story as for interesting reading. There are a couple of challenges we failed to appreciate with adopted children. First, is that they REALLY have no idea what real play is. They continue to be more interested in sweeping up the floor than with any of the toys we brought. My only guess is that they observed the orphanage staff cleaning, and they are just imitating that behavior. One example of the lack of play experience is the blocks we brought (a gift from Emily). At best, we’ve managed to get them to stack 2 blocks on top of each other. Then they knock them down. All they really want to do is throw them around. If one of us sets a few blocks together, one of the boys will immediately push them over. We’re working at getting them interested in arranging the blocks and using their imaginations, but it’s slow going.

The other challenge is meal time. I’ve mentioned some of the odd eating habits, but it occurred to us today that they have never seen someone cook. When it is meal time, the food is just presented. So when I tell them that I am going to make lunch, they think they need to immediately sit down and prepare to eat. This does not blend well with a 2-3 year old’s patience. Even waiting 10 minutes to eat is too much to take. They don’t complain, they just come over and reach up on the counter, or stove, or in the oven, or… We’ve tried to explain that things are hot, but that’s one of those lessons they will probably learn the hard way eventually. We’ve avoided accidents so far, but it seems to be just a matter of time.

We did find that the boys LOVE yogurt. With the digestive issues (that have now hit all of us by the way), Lara thought some yogurt would help. We didn’t know what to expect from the boys. Wow, they now beg for yogurt. We shared a small container at lunch. It was such a big hit that we decided to do it again at dinner. As soon as I pulled the container from the fridge, Alex’s eyes about popped out of his head and he reached up as hard as he could with both hands. When the container was empty, Evan continued to scrape the edges for another 10 minutes. I’m thinking they’ve never had anything like it before.

I guess I can’t keep from telling stories.  Just one more… Last night Evan fell out of the bed. We have been worried about them alone in the bedroom, but the double bed just isn’t big enough for the 4 of us. That leaves us no choice but to have at least one side exposed. Both boys tend to squirm a lot in their sleep. Around 3:00 this morning, we heard the crash. I jumped out of the sleeper sofa (I only beat Lara because of her handicaps) and rushed into the room to find Evan on the floor, obviously shaken. We’re learning that when the boys are truly afraid, they don’t cry out loud, but the look on their faces is obvious. That’s probably another side effect of being in an institution. Luckily he wasn’t hurt, it was just shock. I spent the next couple of hours in bed next to him to try to keep him calm and off the floor.

Enough for now. Here are a few pictures, mostly from yesterday, as well as some fun around the apartment. The video also has some action from last night and today.

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6 thoughts on “Calmer Seas”

  1. such great photos and video. They are SOOOO cute! I swear, Evan looks like Chris and Alex looks like Lara. So fun to see you all together. And, it really is amazing how comfortable everyone seems together already. My heart totally melted seeing Lara playing with their toes and reading that Chris was rocking them to Russian lullaby:-)
    The experience of the being there sounds a bit scary- dislocated shoulders, broken down elevators, trash, depression. I’m impressed at how much you have explored and tried to find places to run and play! I’m sure I would be scared silly! The boys are going to LOVE your yard and the parks!

  2. Don’t apologize for the stories! We’re eating them up.

    With regard to the bed, Do you have a couple of chairs that you could back up to the exposed side to use as a makeshift barrier?

    Toddlers love to imitate. Don’t worry about the blocks and the sweeping. They’re exploring, learning and having fun in their own way. The rest will come. 🙂

    Love you all!

  3. I had a meeting in town this evening… so this is a bit of a late start for me, meaning it will be near midnight Monday and 9 AM Tuesday in Bryansk, as I finish this. “That” makes merely trying to keep up with you guys seem something of a “challenge”, as you have a 9 hour head start on the day!

    I was able to view (and download) your Monday afternoon pictures and watch the video (several) times! The video of Evan and Alex appearing to “mock” Lara’s steps is a “keeper” that they, in time, will remember forever as a benchmark of their childhood… and so, I suspect as well, volunteering to be “tickled”. Such “play” is so, so “telling” of the manner of how trusting they have become, in only these few days… and more seriously perhaps, more revealling of what a wonderful relationship lies ahead…

    Wow… just think of the “gift” that’s been given to all four of you!!

    OH… I’m supposed to suggest an old “home remedy” to kids falling out of bed. Try placing a couple of kitchen chairs placed against on side of the bed (backs turned to the bed)…
    As one who can still remember falling out of bed as a child… sounds worth trying!

    Love
    Dad

  4. I am sorry I haven’t commented until now, but I had to read all the updates.
    I laughed, cried and went OH MY many times. Lara, I was concerned about your toe,until I read about your shoulder. I am so sorry it still gives you a hard time. Between the write ups and the pictures, I am so happy, proud, in awe,
    of both of you. It sounds like each day gets alittle better. The way Chris and you describe the day’s “adventures” is as if I am there. Some are flashbacks of raising Lara. Ups and downs, but smiles of joy and love.
    My love, inner strength, hugs and kisses to you and the boys. Love Mom and
    Babuska Dani

  5. You guys are doing a great job dealing with all the challenges — both for the boys and for you. Your love and patience and care are shining through. It’s fun to see you all continuing to grow closer and more comfortable with each other!

  6. So glad to hear your comments in this posting – sure am happy there wasn’t a single emergency to report! The stories, the pictures and the video are great- just simply love the smiles! Sure wish I could stop in for a visit and help out a bit 🙂 Take good care of each other…..

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