River of Thoughts

Christine Royse Niles — Changing the world one word at a time

Day 2 – Monday, 7 August, 2006

We have learned that Masha is a very quiet riser…We awoke at about 7:30 and listened, expecting to hear her when she got up and around. We finally began making a little noise at 8:00. A little noise came back from behind her door…she had been awake for quite some time. In fact, she had already made her bed, tidied her already tidy room, and was quietly coloring.

Breakfast of apple juice, double oatmeal, and a banana disappeared in short order, and Masha disappeared upstairs for a few minutes. Before I finished putting her bowl in the diswasher, she reappeared wearing yesterday’s clothes. An online translation of “Would you like to wear some of your new clothes today?” earned a very big smile and a quick change.

While I popped into the home office to check work email and make a couple of phone calls, Masha discovered the treadmill. After more exercise than I do in a week, Masha hopped off. We dug through the Sports Bin out in the garage and discovered a soccer ball and a frisbee, and then we headed for the park with Simon.

A side note about shoes. As we discovered during our shopping trip, shoe selection is of the utmost importance to Masha. This remains true in daily wear as well. When she got dressed this morning, she put on the leather flip flops from yesterday’s shopping extravaganza. In preparation for some play at the park, Mark suggested that she might be better off with her new gym shoes instead. With one look, she replied “Oh, Mark, you silly silly man. How could you possibly suggest such a thing?!” It was only when the soccer ball appeared that sensibility overruled fashion.

After the park, we headed back home and assembled a Veggie Tales puzzle, followed by a lunch of Mac and Cheese. Masha made lunch disappear faster than David Cooperfield, knowing that once lunch was done, we would go visit the “cousins” and their swimming pool. Masha fit in very quickly with the kids, and language presented no problem at all.

Masha especially took to Julia, pulling her around the pool in the floatie ring. Julia ate it up; each time Masha would stop pulling her around to do flips with Rachel, Julia would paddle back to the ladder, climbed out of the ring, let it float away, and then call out, “Masha, I’m out of the ring again!” At that, Masha would stop, swim over, scoop Julia up and pour her back into the swim ring, just to have it start all over again!

When the prune factor was high enough, we rallied the kids out for a quick snack, then off to the doctor for a wellness visit. Doc says Masha is in excellent health, and is right about the 25th percentile for both height and weight. With a call to a very helpful translator, we resolved a couple of questions the doctor had, and we were out the door. Special thanks to Doctor Lucinda DeMarco of Auburn Pediatrics for such gracious and sensitive care!!

Once we were all settled back home, Mark ran out to Wal-Mart and over to another kind friend’s house to borrow a bike. While Mark was gone, Masha spoke to Simon in English, encouraging him to “sit down” on the couch near her. When he left a bit of a space between them, she asked me the same. Not one to refuse a spontaneous request in English, I sat down and Masha and I watched a Veggie Tales tape.

When Mark returned, he had more than a bike…the Ukranian daughter of our friends volunteered two treasured Barbie dolls and several sets of clothes for Masha to borrow during her visit. All future smiles will be measured against the Barbie Smile!

Before we could get serious about Barbies, though, food was calling her name. Dinner consisted of bratwurst, saurkraut, and smashed potatoes. Not much green there, but it was quick after a busy day! Further, it was quite a hit, and nothing was left on Masha’s plate at the end of the meal.

Following dinner, a shower, a little more Barbie, a little more Leap Pad, and a Dr. Seuss story from Mark, Day 2 ended with a very very tired little girl and two very tired host parents!

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About Christine

I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.

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