Thursday, November 17, 2011

Walk Down Memory Lane

Here's what we were doing on this day three years ago, when we were still doing the in-country visitation phase of our adoption:

Today we planned on visiting the Preschool Orphanage after our visit with Julia, so Bella could walk down memory lane at her old stomping grounds. On impulse, I asked if Julia would be able to accompany us. The director at Julia's school, gracious and kind as ever, said yes. So after spending some time with Julia, and feeding her the snacks she so looks forward to (today she ate a banana, a yogurt, and two cookies. And her "veetamin"), Julia found a big, bright orange coat to borrow and we headed out to the car. I had our translator tell Julia that one of Papa's favorite colors is orange. She just looked at her hands in her lap and said the coat wasn't hers. I told her that soon she would have a coat that belonged just to her and it was all pink. She looked up, clearly delighted, with a big smile across her face.

Sadly, we were not able to tour the orphanage as we had hoped. When we got there, they had us wait in the hall for a bit, and came out after a few minutes to tell us that many of the children had an illness, so the school was temporarily closed to visitors. They told us we could try to come back again on Monday, though. As we walked back to the car, I asked Luba about the pictures I had seen displayed in the hallway that had peaked my curiosity. There were several enlarged photos, in frames, of young cildren standing in the snow, barefoot, in their underwear. In one of the pictures, the children were pouring buckets of water over their heads. Luba explained very matter of factly that this is a process the children go through to build their immunity. Well, since the school is closed today because of rampant illness, I'm thinking they either need more water, or to stop the practice entirely. Although I'm trying to educate myself on local traditions and cultural practices, this is one practice I think I will NOT be following with my children back home ....

Interesting post note --on the drive back to the hotel, we passed an older man jogging along the bridge through the slush, while a wet snow/rain fell. Naked save the cap on his head and either a pair of short sorts or some underwear. Guess he's building his immunity. Tell ya' what, do me a favor? If when we get home, any of you see Fred or I out and about in the snow and ice in our underwear, slap us hard, OK? Thanks.

Still at 20, keep clicking this brown button, please. Every day. Back into the teens we will climb!
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