Today is Kate's 10th birthday. This birthday, this day that she was born 10 years ago is a big deal to us and we couldn't miss it which is in large part the reason I made the trip out. And, of course, meeting my son was another really big deal!
This morning my driver picked me up from the apartment and took me to the nearest grocery store where we purchased cookies and candy for the children at the orphanage in celebration of Kate's birthday. I brought my own special gift from home as well as one from Grandma and Grandpa to give to her, but needed something for the rest of the children. So, after a conversation of multiple"Da"s and "Nyit"s, Nicolai and I managed to work together to purchase a box of chocolates and a package of cookies so I didn't arrive at the orphanage empty handed. Amazing the things you can accomplish despite a language barrier. Smiling and nodding has taken me far so far. Ha.
I arrived at the orphanage and was escorted back to the groupa where I found this beauty...
I can't even describe the look on K's face when she, knowing how fancy and beautiful she was, saw me walk in the door. It was like, "Look at me, Mama. Aren't I beautiful? I know I feel like I am, but will you please tell me so and make it real." And, naturally, that wasn't hard to do. She was stunning with a twinkle in the bright blue eyes that makes this mama's heart so happy.
I mean think of what this moment must have been like for this orphan. I don't know if she's every had a mom, or any other family for that matter, there for her on her birthday aside from the day of her actual birth. And now, 10 years later she has a mom to notice how pretty she is and to tell her so. And to squeeze her tight, to love her, to bring her gifts, to know her, to celebrate her...because that's what a mom does. That's what family does.
|"Just for you, sweet girl."|
|"You are beautiful."|
The table was set with treats and tea, but first Kate took a seat and the rest of the children gathered around and proceeded to sing and lift her up from the floor 10 times, counting the years of her life.
|"Odyn, dva, try... desyat'"|
We were all then seated at the table, me between each of my kids as the cook presented Kate's birthday pie.
|Apple pie for the birthday girl.|
|Delighted over a babockha necklace from Grandma and Grandpa.|
|Her teacher agreed it was very pretty.|
|She asked for help to open both her cards because she didn't want to tear a thing!|
|We can't wait until you're home. We love you. Love, Grandma and Grandpa|
|I think she knows she's loved.|
|Opening Mom and Dad's gift.|
|Music box with a special song just for her, our Little Mermaid lover.|
After some play time with the kids, lunch was served. A classic dish.
I even got my very own spread...again. Notice how I received a lot more than just Borscht and bread to eat!
|My first ever bowl of Borscht. Tasty.|
Naptime followed lunchtime and I found two sleeping beauties...
|...and one princess.|
|The girls' sleeping room.|
Naptime was followed by performance time.
|Maria gets the show started with another little girl.|
|Cutest 3 year old in the orphanage. Like seriously. She's adorable. I should probably not find out if she's available for adoption!|
|And there's a handsome and familiar face. SO good to see this wonderful, happy boy again!|
|Ukraine's Got Talent.|
|Another beautiful face. She's extra happy because her family is currently packing to come get her out of here forever!|
|And my own handsome boy in the audience.|
|He decided to participate in a song that's a worldwide children's favorite...If You're Happy and You Know It.|
Things turned real special when all of a sudden Maria looks at me and says, "Ashley photo", takes me phone, instructs Max to come over and take my hand and lead me to the dance floor.
And I danced with my son for the very first time. No words for that moment. This boy's got my heart...enough said.
|This boy thing is gonna work out just fine.|
|Teaching Mom how to drive!|
|Finally, the day ended with another orphanage meal. The soup was so good it gotten eaten before I thought to take a picture.|
Another wonderful day full of so much more than I can share right now because I've to go to bed so I can get up and do it all over again!