Greetings Friends and Family! Nastia, my brother and I have just returned to Moscow from Siberia after an entire week with my soon-to-be daughter #2 (and Nastia's sister!)...Anya.
Aside from visiting Anya's orphanage, I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit one of the local baby orphanages in the city. Nothing could prepare you for such an experience. I was able to sneak off from my 'guide' at one point, and wander through some rooms on my own. I was speechless to see rows of cribs with babies rocking themselves, in silence. Children with down syndome, CP, cleft palate, and other special needs were all hidden away in here. I had heard about these 'lying' rooms, but couldnt imagine that they really were as silent as those documentaries has reported.
We also made the 3 1/2 hour trip to Nastia's former orphanage. I am so glad we did. The welcome we received was remarkable. The entire staff swarmed Nastia, tears in their eyes, hugging her and telling her how healthy she looked. They didnt get back to work for at least 45 minutes, while they prodded her with questions about her new life. It was a very good experience for Nastia to return there. She left with an understanding that although they had nothing materially speaking while living there, they were truly loved by these people. The director said over & over that she was 'shocked' we came back.
There is so much more to tell, but I only have a few more minutes left on this computer. Please forgive any spelling errors...the keyboard is in cyrillic so it is VERY confusing to type. Hope all is well with all of you. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
PS: For those of you who donated socks & gifts, here is where they ended up: 60 pairs of socks,and dozens of beanie babies to the Kemerovo Baby Home #1, 400 prs of socks & about 2 dozen beanie babies to Kemerovo Orphanage #2 (Anya's orphanage), which houses 450 kids. About 50 pr of socks went to Prokopyevsk Children's Home #5 (Nastia's former orphanage), the remainder went to a special rehabilitative orphanage for unadoptable children, many of whom have severe physical or mental disabilities. So, there are literally hundreds of children across Siberia enjoying the fruits of your labour. Thank you!