Today was a big day. First, we spent the night on the train. That was a lot of fun, and I slept like a baby. It kind of felt like I was being rocked all night! I dreamed of meeting Vova. I had already planned when we got to Jonkoi, to shower, put on some nice, but casual clothes, and look my best for this first meeting. But to my dismay, our coordinator told us we would not have time to do any of that. Instead, we just dropped off our bags at the apartment, then headed straight to the bureau of adoption, and then right to the orphanage....scruffy hair and all...But, as it turned out, it didn't matter in the least what we looked like.
Here's what happened once we arrived at the orphanage. First, we went to the director's office. In that room, there was the director, us, our coordinator, the inspector from the bureau, a social worker, and two doctors. They began to go through Vova's file when, all of a sudden, in walked Vova!! I thought he would be shy and quiet, but he came in with his head held high, and a BIG grin across his face! When I saw him, my heart just about burst out of my chest! They introduced him to us, and he put out his hand to shake Jeff's hand. But I couldn't just shake his hand, I had to hug him. So I did. After the hug, though, I noticed he was blushing. After that, there was no where for Vova to sit, so I scooted over in my chair, and he shared a chair with me, sitting right between his new parents. He was very quiet while they went over his file. But then they asked if we would like to spend some time alone with Vova. Yes, we did.
That's when Vova took charge. We stood up to go to a more private room. I reached for my backpack, but Vova got to it before I did. He wanted to carry it for me. What a little gentleman! Then we followed Vova down the hall. I couldn't help but notice how cold it was in there. I wonder how much heat they have in the building? Anyway, as he lead us to the room, we passed a few boys in the hallway. They all stopped and stared, and then said something nice to Vova. Vova smiled back at his friends.
Once in the room, he immediately went to the far wall where people draw with chalk. The first thing he drew was a picture of himself, Jeff and myself...all with big smiles. Jeff and I picked up some chalk and began drawing with him. Then we gave him the remote control car we bought for him. His eyes got as wide as saucers when he saw it! But we needed a screwdriver to get it out of the packaging. So, he jumped up to go find one. He was so happy that he found one. He picked up the car, and tried to get it out, but it was hard to do because the screwdriver was broken. So Jeff got to have his first "Let me help you out, son" moment, and helped him to get the screws out. After that, as you can imagine, he had loads of fun with the toy.
We also began to color in a coloring book together, but couldn't do that long because we had to leave to go to Simferopol to keep the necessary paperwork rolling before the weekend hit. We walked down the hall together, then he hugged me goodbye. I hugged him back, and then let go. But he hung on for another 3 or 4 seconds. He gave Jeff a hug goodbye, too, then he went down the hall to play with his friends. That hug melted my heart. I could tell that it touched Jeff as well. We left the orphanage knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that Vova was meant to be in our family. We could easily picture him playing with the other 4 kids, and thinking that he would fit in beautifully. It's such a miracle to me that God would choose this child, half way across the world, to be a Miles child. Amazing!