I found this box on Natalia's bookshelf... It turns out that she has been putting spare change in it to donate.
Last week the girls and I met up with a family from Tennessee that was in Moscow finalizing the adoption of their 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. The mom had contacted me with some questions after reading my blog. The age span was perfect for our kids to all play together, so we met up for some time in the park and dinner.
As you saw from my earlier post, life has been hectic around here... But it's really good for Katya and Natalia to spend time with kids like this... It's so nice for the newly adopted kids to be able to talk with bilingual American peers, and I really enjoy meeting the parents.
The evening started out on a rather frantic note; I had mistakenly thought the subway stop where they were staying was on the same line of where we had agreed to meet... It, um, wasn't, and that poor family figured it out mid-travel and had to do some harried transfers!
As the mom pointed out, however, it was a nice chance for her daughter to be a leader, reading the subway maps and signs for them all and helping out.
The kids' moods were gruff to say the very least when we first met... They had been expecting a quick 20 minute ride instead of an hour schlep! It didn't take long, however, for them to open up to my girls as they ran around the playground and enjoyed having their own table at TGIFriday's.
Another "glitch" during the evening occurred when their daughter thought she was going to be served actual chicken FINGERS, as in digits. Even when we convinced her otherwise, she was still quite peeved that the meal would be so inaccurately named both in Russian and in English! It's funny the things we never even notice!
The mom and grandma were so happy to just speak English...! We had a great time.
It turns out it was the little boy's 8th birthday, and the waiters at the restaurant were rather enthusiastic to help out. They made a big deal out of bringing him balloons and a free sundae, dimming the lights in the whole restaurant and getting everyone involved.
It was very timely for some Russians to see such a kind and supportive American adoptive family with their new and much-loved children...
The little boy was DELIGHTED.
He even tried (awwww...) to eat the candle... I guess he'd never had one before!