Pat and Bob return from their morning walk to the baby home. It's about a 35 minute walk and easy to find. Beth I pointed out things of interest on the route and where the bus stops are in case the weather is bad. So far it has been beautifully sunny. We decide we will walk or take the bus in lieu of the car. We can save some money and get some exercise. We will begin today.
The walk to the baby home goes smoothly. It is warm out but the streets are lined with large trees and there is a good bit of shade. We have all remarked at how similar the trees and plants are to what we have at home. I don't know what we were expecting but it is nice to be in familiar surroundings. We go to find the children when we arrive. I look for Molly while Pat heads off with Beth and Bob to find the boys. I make my what to Molly's room. I say "Dobry Dyen" which is good afternoon. The caregivers and I communicate through gestures. I find out that Molly has she has eaten already. I let them know that we are staying indoors today so she does not need to be bundled (a babushka is still required). I leave with Molly and attempt to navigate to Aidan's room. The hallways are not lit very well and look similar. I get lost in the maze and we wander around for a few minutes not making any progress. I recognize one of the caregivers in one of the halls and ask for Artyom (this is Aidan's given name). She points me in the right direction and we find the others. We all play on the floor for a few minutes. I finally remember to video. Next it's time for Aidan to eat. Daddy's turn today. Pat does a good job shoveling lunch. Some assistance from Mama Natasha is required when Aidan becomes more interested in the boy being fed next to him than eating. I hold Molly on my hip and video tape the extravaganza. After lunch we take the children to the marble room. This is a small room with walls and a floor made of.....marble. Most of the floor is covered by a rug and there are several couches. We play with the children on the floor. We encourage movement and exploration. Aidan "crawls" around. He is quite mobile and is facinated by his surroundings. Molly plays, giggles and gnaws on her toys (she is teething). Both children are vocal today. Molly begins to grouse a bit, finds her thumb and falls asleep on my shoulder. She sleeps peacefully until the end of our visit. Pat plays with Aidan on the floor and in his lap. Aidan gets sleepy and Pat holds him as his eyes get heavy and he drifts off to sleep. We wonder if the children are not used to this much activity and are tired from playing. Or, maybe this is what 7 1/2 month old babies do. At 2:30 we take the kid back to their rooms. I get lost again after I drop Molly off. Somehow I stumble into Pat and Bob and Beth who are waiting in the lobby. Another visit has flown by. Back to the hotel.
When we arrive at the hotel we meet Dana. She teaches English to 16-17 year olds at a local school and is Olessya's weekend assistant. Dana is not associated with the baby home or adoption process. She is responsible for looking after us, making sure we have what we need, and taking us to dinner. She is 21 and a sweet girl. We go shopping at the mall then out to dinner. We go to a pizza place. The pizza is very good. It is made on flat, crispy bread and you can order many different toppings. It has cheese but no sauce. Pat and I try a Baltica 5 lager. It is quite nice. After dinner we stop at the Gros to pick up a few things. Bob buys ice cream for everyone (btw, ice cream is hugely popular here). We meet in Bob and Beth's room when we get back and watch a movie. Bob hooked up his DVD play to the TV. Bad Boys II was the evening's feature. The movie is over shortly before 11:00pm and it's still light outside. Off to bed. We have arranged to be picked up tomorrow at 9:45. There is a catholic church nearby and we will be attending the Russian mass (Polish and Ukranian are also offered at different times). We will only be able to receive communion if Olessya's friend is there to vouch for us.