So when we finally arrived back at the orphanage, we were sadly told that a pre-arranged event was going on that we could not attend, and we would have about 2 hours to kill before we could be with the children. We sat in the little room that they always bring guests to, and thought about what we should do. Finally they decided we could go spend some time with the 'little ones' group, but no photos and no video would be allowed. We entered and for a split second the children looked confused, and then a huge smile broke open on every face and they rushed to me yelling gleefully 'Kitty! Kitty!' (this is what my name sounds like to them.) I got a thousand hugs and I made sure to say each of their names outloud when I greeted them, so they would know I remembered them. I introduced them to Kim and Bridget and in no time we each had our own little entourage sitting on our laps and about our feet, asking a hundred questions. The first thing I noticed was that there were sooo many more little ones. There was a new little girl Ksusha with dark hair and an olive complexion, very beautiful. She is about 3. Then there was a new Vanya, Tolya, and 3 other boys I forget the name of. Two children I love were missing -- Veronika, whom they said is visiting her grandfather, and Valya, whom no one seemed to know where she went. I hope to find out on Friday.
But all the other ones were there. Elena had a huge smile on her face, Polina was very very shy but sat on Kim's lap readily. Vanya asked me a hundred questions and then went off to play. Vlad, the one with autism, was thoroughly delighted to see us. He clapped and swayed and broke out in a huge smile. Nikita, to my surprise, was smiling! And talking! And interacting with us! To his special guardian angel who made his spiderman blanket...I went back later in the day to give it to him, but he was napping with all the others, so they gently laid it on him so he would see it upon waking, and one of the caretakers (one I adore) started to cry and hugged me and thanked me for caring so much about the children. I told her the blanket was made by someone else, who is praying for Nikita. She hugged me harder:)
Kirill had been moved up to the older group, so he was not there. But soon, some of the older children heard we had arrived, and came rushing in -- Anya, Christina, Valya, Lera, Galya, Rosa and a few others. They were all dressed in adorable handmade, make-shift costumes for their 'Spectakle', which was a small event they were throwing for the local coal miners. The miners come at the end of the year to congratulate the 9th graders, who are done with school. I'm guessing it is also to suggest coal mining as a career choice to the the graduating boys.
So we stayed for about 45 minutes and played with them, until it was obvious the chaperone was hoping we'd move on. And we were asked to either remain in the little room or go for a walk until their show was over. I'll write about the rest of the day in my next post. It's almost 1am and I need to go to bed. Today was a very intense day and I need some recovery time:)