We watched the 2pm show, and Dasha sat transfixed for two straight hours. Mind you, the play is in English. And, mind you again, it's Shakespeare! But she loved it. She asked hundreds of questions and even acted out some of the scenes for me during intermission.
After the show, my plan was to head home, but she wanted to stay and see the second one. I weighed the pros and cons. Would she get over-tired? Would she have a meltdown in front of everyone? Would she fall apart later? I ended up staying because it was obvious she truly enjoyed the show and wanted to see it a second time. We walked Matilda, left the island for some food, and then returned at 5pm in preparation for the 6pm show.
As shy as she can be around other people, she has really taken to one of my students, named Zoe. I was able to go to the bathroom alone, which was a nice change, while Dasha stayed with Zoe. And later she started taking a liking to one of my very kid-friendly directors, Hannah. This really was a minor miracle, because Dasha has been very cautious and slow to let other people into her 'inner circle' Today it was absolutely wonderful watching her open up a bit.
The best part of the day was just before the 6pm show. Dasha was on the stage acting out scenes for me and a few choice others. They were adorable. After about 20 minutes of doing this, she announced she wanted to do a Cinderella dance in front of the entire audience before the show. I doubted this would happen, but I humored her, got her Cinderella dress from the car, and waited. About five minutes before the show, she asked to change into it. She told me to explain to Chris (my head staff person and dear friend) that she wanted to wait backstage until the pre-show announcements were done, and then, she said, Chris should say the following : And now, Cinderella will dance for you.
I fully expected her to run off scared, but to my surprise, she took the stage on cue, smiled, and, when Chris started singing A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Dasha danced. She danced so beautifully and was so present, I burst into tears. Turns out I wasn't the only one. The crowd was dead silent. And when the song ended, and Dasha curtsied, a roar of applause rushed to meet her. She smiled and very gracefully walked off the stage.
I could never explain how meaningful this moment was for me. But watching her dance, and hearing the very apropos words to the song, and thinking about this amazing little girl I love having to return to the orphanage in a week...I just lost it. I was proud and amazed and sad and grateful all at once.
I'm hoping my friend will post the video she made of it tomorrow, and then I will share it here. I can't promise you'll be as moved as I was, but you just might.
Please pray for our Cinderella, would you? She soooo deserves a happy ending.
And I soooo want her every wish to come true.