Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After Christmas

Nastya-bless her heart-spent more time on the phone this morning and was told that the head judge was in another court this morning but would be back during the afternoon so we again took the chance to meet him right after the 1:00-2:00 lunch hour. And again we did not get to see him. His deputy, however, informed Nastya of the way cases are assigned to judges here. The deputy said that the court gets about 200 cases per day and the cases are assigned to the different judges in the order they are received. So there is no way our case can be pulled out of order and heard next week. (I didn't even think the courts were supposed to be open next week.) It was the deputy's speculation that a judge would be assigned to our case within 7-10 days. He said the head judge would NOT be hearing the case so there would actually be no benefit in speaking with him. But that it would make sense for Nastya or Alexi to talk to whomever IS assigned to our case. I have no idea how far out they are on actual court dates. So realistically I'd guess that it will possibly be toward the end of January. And yes, we are still planning to fly home next week--if there is anywhere we can land in the US that isn't buried in snow and ice :)

So we decided to head for the orphanage and take our chances of getting to visit with Steven. We ended up getting to watch another holiday celebration first of the older children and then with the younger ones. And as usual at such impromptu times, my camera phone was dead--totally aggravating. When we entered the room where the little guys were there was a decorated tree and a big stuffed bull with tinsel draped over it. Steven's group was seated in little chairs along the right side and another group of 7-9 little guys on the left side. Several in Steven's group, including him, were dressed in white shirts, off-white skirts (yes, you heard me correctly!) white shoes that almost looked like ballet slippers and had sparkly garland tied around their heads and wrists and waists. Several in the other group were dressed in animal costumes. I saw a chicken, a cow, a pig, a sheep, etc. One kid had a red outfit and a red hat with a white band that had 2009 written on it in gold numerals. After we waited in there for what seemed like a very long time, people started coming in bringing keyboard, speakers, bags of stuff, even a machine that said 'Bubble Maker' Finally a lady gave what I assumed to be a speech of some kind. A teenage boy dressed in a tall blue pointed hat and a blue cape recited something. The music began and the boys and their workers moved out on the floor dancing and swaying. Part of the time they seemed to be speaking/singing about the tree which I understood to be a New Year's Tree. Eventually they welcomed in a tall guy dressed in a red suit and red hat whom Nastya said is kind of like Father Frost (not Santa Claus or St. Nicholas) and a young lady dressed in light blue who is supposed to be his granddaughter. With his entrance Steven again started crying. Father Frost did various things with the kids--showed them a variety of animal puppets (which also scared Steven), led various songs and dances, turned on the bubble machine and handed out candies. Steven was popping them into his mouth paper and all and was not at ALL pleased when Kevin was trying to unwrap them first. Steven had a death-grip on the candies and I think he really thought Kevin was trying to take them from him. He does the same thing when he gets hold of anything--whether a glove or a kleenex. I hope no one will be offended when I say it is kind of like jungle-behavior but it really makes sense if you think about it from his point of view. He also sticks thumb and finger in his mouth when he is stressed. Today we were trying to teach him about soft touch because he kept hitting at us and laughing. I would softly take hold of his hand and touch it softly on my hand, saying 'soft.' Our nyet didn't seem to have much effect. I think part of the behavior today could also have been influenced by the extremely stimulating environment. (One little guy in a lion suit was having a meltdown most of the time.)

We found out it is a fairly short walk to the Metro from the orphanage so we are hoping to go back tomorrow on our own.

When we got back to the apartment I was stunned and excited to see that one of the moms from the Ukraine DS group here in Kiev had actually responded on my blog and wants to talk to us!! I am certainly no expert on DS but maybe I can be encouraging to other mothers. I certainly would never have imagined such an opportunity.


Megan said...

I know that every thing will go good cause it is in Gods hands.

Tania said...

Dear Joy! I'm glad you saw my comment. I'd like to repeat my invitation to meet. It's not a matter of you being a DS expert (although I'd guess you are the one :-)), but my strong belief that a picture is worth a thousand words. What you're doing is unheard of here, where doctors still encourage moms to give up their baby with DS. It'd be great if at least some of our parents could talk to you and Kevin. They'd spread the word. It's VERY important in a country where even one child with DS is considered a curse for the family. My ph,# again 8-066-4875703 (mob) or 518-8186 (home)

AZmomto8 said...

You are certainly having some adventures dear Joy, I hope you can meet with the UA DS group, what a blessing for you and for them. Give Stephen a hugs from us.


Anonymous said...

I hope you get to adopt Steven. It's sounds like it is not for sure. I will talk to you when you get home next week. I know this adoption means a lot to you so again I hope it happens. I love you both, be safe, and talk to you soon. Jonita