Gabe spent those early moments playing with toys and dressing up in Mama's clothes.
|He had to go show Vika how he was dressed in mom's pajamas and boots.|
|Relaxing while watching the Disney Channel in Russian. He was quite impressed!|
We went down to breakfast, which was an interesting experience. At this point, Gabe hadn't wanted to each much, I'm sure from the stress he was feeling about this new change in his life. I gave him lots of options of things to try, but he most often gave me his disgusted face and entire-body shudder, "nyet!" He seemed more interested in the people and the large room in which the breakfast was served than in eating. I did manage to get him to try some apple juice, and was relieved he was drinking more. He also ate a little bit of plain oatmeal, which was what he was used to eating at the orphanage.
Later that morning I offered him more foods, and finally got him to try some things as long as I ate some first and didn't give him too big of bites.
As you can see, Gabe has quite the cold sore on his lip, so we headed to the pharmacy across the street to try and find something to put on it. I was hoping I could just point to it and the pharmacist would know what I needed. This would be our first outing together, so I was a little nervous about how we would do! We bundled the kids up and off we went! Gabe was ready to get out of the hotel room for sure.
|Walking to the pharmacy....so far, so good.|
On the way home, things got a little bit tricky. Gabe wanted to stop and play in the snow, which was fun. We stopped on the sidewalk and he leaned into the snow bank and began scooping snow down between his legs. It was so fun to watch him just have time to stop and explore.
When it was time to go, however, he wasn't happy about it. I picked him up and started carrying him back toward the hotel, but he soon threw his hat off his head. Normally I wouldn't mind if he didn't want to wear his hat such a short distance, but the wind was blowing and I just knew I would get scolded by the next passerby if he wasn't wearing his hat :-) So we struggled to keep that on, then he figured out he could swing his legs and kick his boots off. Aye! Now things were getting tricky! So here I was, trying to figure out how to get his foot back in his boot he had kicked off, his hat back on his head, and juggle my grocery bag and purse! As a mother of three, this situation normally wouldn't even make me break a sweat, but this time, being our first time out together and having people watching what was going on, I was sweating bullets!
Finally I just scooped him up, boots and hat and all, and lugged him back to the hotel lobby. We somehow managed to make it back to our room, where we both plopped on the bed in exhaustion! He was happy that I had something for his cold sore, loving all the attention I was giving him and his "owie."
Once he was all undressed from his snow gear, we had some lunch and read some stories and then watched the city below us out our window. The weather had warmed up quite a bit, so the snow was melting quickly. We watched it slide in big slabs down this dome outside the hotel window. He was getting sleepy just sitting there in his chair.
|Sleep soundly, my little angel.|
|Teddy had to get in on the action, too.|
|Peek-a-boo, I see you!|
The second day was a great day. We learned a lot about each other and began communicating better. He struggled a bit with wanting to hit and resisting my instructions. I can't imagine how frustrating and scary it must be to suddenly be placed with people who don't speak your language, taken from the only life you've ever known. I showed him each time he hit how to touch nicely, taking his hand gently and stroking my face and arm with it while saying, "soft." I watched his eyes as he tried to understand. I will be patient with you, my dear little boy.
As we fell asleep that night, I got this photo from Brian. I was surprised how I instantly had tears streaming down my face to see our front door had been "heart-attacked". I wrote back to Brian and simply asked, "how will we ever repay all of these people?" I don't have the answer, except that I will share our story as often as I can, and pay forward all of the love, sacrifice, and friendship we have been shown.