First, lets start with what's most important: praise. Thank you, my God and Sustainer, for listening to the prayers of so many and granting us a clear path into the orphanage. It may not have been for as long and as free as we'd like, but the fact that we were able to visit after such significant roadblocks were thrown in our path is nothing short of a miracle. I felt God's presence with us all day. I knew He was close by, giving us the energy and calm we needed to deal with such a stressful situation! I could write pages in praise of what He did, but I know you all want details on the orphanage.
We left at 7am and drove the 3 hours to Prokopyevsk. We got the the orphanage, but we were given strict instructions by the 'higher-ups' in Kemerovo that we could not 'set foot outside the car.' Nadezhda's secretary came out and joined us in the mini-van to direct us to where to pick up our official Chaperone. Worst part? I could see D sitting on the steps out front with two older boys. He was craning his neck to see us, and I waved and waved, and he looked so sad when we drove away.
As we drove back into town to pick up the chaperone, Nadia, the secretary, bubbled with excitement over our visit and asked hundreds of questions. She likes me, and supports our visits, so I felt free to ask her questions. I asked her why we were being monitered this time when we've come freely for 6 years. She was honestly dumbfounded, too. 'Keri, I do not know! It is very strange, but do not worry. It is ok.' I then asked her if the chaperone would be nice. " Oh, Keri, she is wonderful! It is L.P., the Social Worker. She loves the children and she knows you!" I tried to think of who it might be, and when she exited the Ministry building, my heart was relieved -- it was the very Social Worker who had been at my first meeting with Nastia and who accompanied her to court and who spoke in support of my adopting her! It was such a miracle. The ride back to the orphanage was actually not stressful but joyful! I told her I remembered her, and she smiled her big gold-toothed smile and said "Kanyeshna!" (of course!) She asked Nastia how her life has been these past six years and told her she was happy to see her.
Oh no! Anya is here and we are heading to Nastia and Anya's father's gravesite. I will post the rest in a few hours! So sorry!