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on my own

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Isn't there a song by that name?

Who sang it anyway?
No, wait! Don't look it up! I've got time...I'll google it!
Today was my first day absolutely on my own and I have to say I did alright...except for one little trash throwing incident but let's not tell Meshack about that, shall we?
It'll just be our little secret. ;)
The day started out bright and early with a phone call to Meshack to find out how his train ride went. He said he did great...slept the whole night. So he's finally on Kiev time...just in time to head home. ;)
I hung up and got ready to visit Maddie.
I have a standing order in with the Odessa Exec. Suites to order me a taxi every morning so I can go visit Maddie at 10 a.m. They make the call...the taxi shows up at 9:30.
It's a pretty sweet deal. (sorry, I couldn't pass up the pun...again)
The biggest thing I have to worry about, is showing the taxi driver the little piece of paper with the orphanage's address on it and then making sure my strawberry nutri-grain bar stays where it's supposed to (if you know what I mean. ;))
Our visit this morning was a little rough. Maddie came running as always, but immediately started looking for Meshack. I tried explaining he went home (dom) or bye-bye (baka-baka or das vedanya) but she wasn't having any of it.
Yea, sweetie...I feel the same way.
I finally distracted her with a new coloring book and all was well in the world once again.
We didn't go outside today...the other kids did, but for some reason they didn't invite us. They just kept pointing back to the kids' playroom, so instead of rocking the boat, we stayed inside.
I think we would have been better doing a little rockin'.
Maddie has shown me a new side of her personality. One that wasn't entirely unexpected, but a new wrinkle non-the-less.
She is a pouty fit thrower.
She doesn't scream and cry (which is a blessing). She just drops to the floor and sticks out her bottom lip.
I've been tempted to laugh. If that's the best she can throw at me then she's in a heap of trouble. ;) But I know (a) it's probably not her best attempt and (b) laughing will only make it worse, so she had her first little bit of correction today.
Unfortunately it wasn't too effective because a caregiver walked in at that moment and my message was lost. I was trying a form of time-out and as soon as the woman came in she called Nastya over to her.
That's another of the frustrating parts of this process.
She's mine...and she's not.
I won't really feel comfortable in getting serious about discipline until we get home or at least until I get custody of her. Until then, I'm at the mercy of the caregivers.
After that little incident however, things went swimmingly. And here's where it gets good...
She cried when I left.
How sweet is that?!!!
Okay...I know it's a little mean of me. The idea of being happy that she's sad is a little twisted, but it's how international adoption works. You want them to be sad when you leave.
It means you're making a difference...an impression.
It's a start.
Coming home from the orphanage is always an experience.
First I have to find someone to call me a taxi. This is usually done with an extensive round of charades (Does anyone know how to say, 'Can you please call me a taxi?' in Russian?) followed by the wait.
This morning even the pantemiming didn't work.
The poor security lady didn't have a clue what I wanted.
After five minutes of wild gesturing and then staring at each other, obviously hoping to use our telepathic powers, I called Lev.
Five minutes later the cab pulled up.
Why don't I just do that every day?!
I came home,fixed macaroni and cheese for lunch (aren't you glad I'm including the details) and then headed out for a quick walk. I wanted to pick up some trash sacks and try to find a toy for Maddie.
The trash sacks were relatively easy.
I found a neat little store a block away that had a lot of English products, so it was easy to figure out what was what. I'm going back there.
Finding the toy was a different story.
I finally found a five story mall tucked inside a relatively obscure building near the Mikky-D's. The top floor was dedicated to kids stuff...I keep forgetting the malls here are organized by gender. I ended up traipsing through each and every level looking for anything kid related...all I came up with was a men's floor, a jewelry and makeup floor, a women's clothing floor and a floor with shoes.
Finally success.
The fifth floor was full of kids stuff...expensive kids stuff.
I bought her a sensory ball.
It's meant for toddlers, but I figure with the orphanage delay we can probably get some use out of it for at least the next two weeks (maybe longer).
Then I headed home. It was getting late and I don't like being in my alley at night. There are scary shadows out there. I pretty much lock myself in for the night at 4 p.m.
I got home just fine and decided I had better get the trash out before nightfall, so I gathered it up and headed across the street to throw it in the blue bins.
I had just tossed it into the bin when an older woman came up to me and started yelling loudly telling me something in Russian.
Is there some sort of trash removal protocol I'm not aware of? I evidentally insulted the woman somehow but honestly I don't know what I did.
Maybe I threw it in the wrong bin?
Who knows?
The only thing I know for sure is the next time I take the trash out it's going to be early in the morning before ANYONE is up! ;)
Above: Maddie shows off her artwork on the Doodle Pro. Talented, isn't she? Me? No, I'm not biased...I just know a talented artist when I see one! ;)

13 salty messages:

Anonymous,  January 14, 2008 at 3:07 PM  

What a sweet picture of Maddie - she is such a cutie. I think it's wonderful that she cried when you left - and I don't think it's twisted at all that it makes you happy! It's normal. And I agree with you - looks like she's going to be a great artist! :-) The macaroni and cheese sounds great!! Wish I had some. --Melinda H.

Nataliya January 14, 2008 at 3:21 PM  

I'm glad Nastya didn't want you to go - it's great! I hear you about the discipline - I had the same problem with Raisa. Oh well, we have to wait until we get home to start the process!

I'm not sure why you got yelled at - from what I understand, everybody can throw garbage into these blue bins.

Waitingonmyua2 January 14, 2008 at 4:06 PM  

Did you have a hat on? Was your coat buttoned up? Did you have on four layers of clothing? It may not have been about the trash. On the other hand, it may. Maybe she was yelling at you because she didn't recognize you and thought you ought to throw your trash in another neighborhood's bin. Who knows. As for the taxi - use your cell phone to motion and just say, "Ya ne pinny-my-o Ruski. Telephone taxi, pa-zhausta?"

Anonymous,  January 14, 2008 at 5:25 PM  

I've been following your posts and am so excited for you and the family! Maddie is so cute! What a blessing your family is receiving! It's amazing to think of how our families have grown when we thought for so long that we may never have children! I hope the time goes by quickly and you can bring Maddie back home soon! Sarah E. in NM

Michelle Paras,  January 14, 2008 at 7:56 PM  

Keep the posts coming! Your storytelling abilities are excellent! We are leaving March 9 and I am gleaming any and all information I can from your blog! If we land in Odessa, you bet your butt we will be staying at the Odessa Executive Suites!!!

Adrienne January 14, 2008 at 8:20 PM  


I'm sorry I've been away and just now catching up. Maddie is beautiful, and I know you can't wait to have her with you to stay. As hard as it might have been for each of you, it's wonderful she showed concern Meshack was gone and became upset when you left--she's already attaching to her Mama and Papa! I'm looking forward to reading more about Maddie and your time in the Ukraine.

Yummy, mac 'n cheese? Made my stomach growl reading about it!

Amy K-S crew January 14, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

Congratulations Tami! She looks so sweet! I'm glad to hear that she's starting to attach to you and Meshak so quickly. We'll pray that the next couple of weeks will pass quickly for ALL of you!

Ruslan, Inna and Victor January 14, 2008 at 10:49 PM  

Thanks for your detailed posts, Tammy! We hope time flies by and you and Maddie are on your way home. She is such a sweet little girl. Wish we could be in Odessa right now..

DoveFamily January 15, 2008 at 5:30 AM  

Ah, the struggle of disciplining your child when the staff still feels that he/she is their child. That was so frustrating for us. We didn't really get to start any structured discipline until we were back in the states. But it will all be over soon and you'll have the pouting and defiance all to yourself :)

Praying that these next days go by quickly!

Irina January 15, 2008 at 7:07 AM  

Tami, at you very beautiful girl! Listen, you can write some helps for different situations, Russian phrases. For example, about Meshack: "ОН ПОЕХАЛ ДОМОЙ" (ON POEHAL DOMOY) (it has gone home)), "ОН ГОТОВИТ ДОМ ДЛЯ ТЕБЯ" (ON GOTOVIT DOM DLYA TEBYA (it prepares for the house for you)), it for conversation with Maddie. It is possible still "МНЕ НУЖНО ТАКСИ, ПОМОГИТЕ, ПОЖАЛУЙСТА" (MNE NUZHNO TAXI, POMOGITE, PLIZ (to me it is necessary for a taxi, help, please)). Why LEV does not help you with it? :(
Important: teenagers and taxi drivers sometimes well know English language.
To the opposite woman near dust tell: "YA NE PONIMAYU RUSSKY!!!" (I do not understand Russian) :))))

Troy and Rachel January 15, 2008 at 8:44 AM  

I think it is good that she looked for and wanted Meshack. Sounds like you are doing just fine. I would have been frustrated with someone yelling at me about the trash - maybe she thought you weren't staying there and just dumping the trash. Your little girl is a s cute as a button!

Mike & Tara January 15, 2008 at 2:13 PM  

We also had a hard time with discipline while still in UA. We kept telling ourselves that it would be easier when we got home and he was all ours....and it has been so much better now that he only has two parents to listen to.

Good luck!!!!

kate January 17, 2008 at 8:25 AM  

I'd just say help,please. is it possible telephone taxi? (pomoGEETee, puhZHALsta. MOHzhnuh TEE-leephon tahxi)

I don't understand Russian is a good phrase for you to know (it sounds like, but isn't really, YAHnee PAHnee My-yoo pa Rooski) NEE is not, so emphasize that if you need to. ;>

But, yes--use your translator!

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