I woke up yesterday morning and realized that exactly five years ago, we were in Ukraine, just a week into our five-week adventure for Masha’s adoption.
One funny thing I noticed as I read: Because two leap years have landed between then and now, the days of the week line up perfectly. Five years ago, 21 May was also on a Monday. Because of that (and maybe because i’m just a little weird), I’m feeling even a little more connected to these daily anniversaries.
I won’t forcibly subject y’all to the 1,500+ word daily reports that talked about what kind of tea I drank or what movies we watched, but to give some of my newer friends a flavor of the experience, and a nostalgic reminder for those of you who’ve stuck with me all that time…I’m going to pick through and post excerpts and a photo or two from each day. Sometimes funny, and sometimes proof of how naive we were, I hope you’ll enjoy our little trip down memory lane…
…Around 3:00, we ran out to Papa Karlos for a quick lunch with the girls since we were due back at the courthouse for a 4:00 appointment.
At the cafeteria, Masha chose a piece of cake to split with Papa, and also asked for a bag of these odd-looking dried fish things…they looked like cat treats. But they looked harmless enough, so sure. At least it wasn’t a candy bar, right??
Being the kind child that Masha is, she offered these things to each of us at the table. Sveta started into a story about how she loves them, but her husband banishes her to another room after she’s eaten then until she’s brushed her teeth three times and eaten 5 mints. Mark sniffed one, made a face and gave it back to Masha. Lisa and Fred wouldn’t even look at them. . So what do I do? I accept one and make an attempt to EAT it. Note to self: when no other adult at the table is willing to eat something, do not eat it or at least smell it first!! When we got back to the orphanage, Masha tried to give one of these things to a stray cat. The cat walked up to it, sniffed it, and walked away. Even the cat wouldn’t eat it!!!!
After dropping the girls off and meeting briefly with the orphanage doctor, we went to the courthouse to file the application for a court date; on the way in, we realized that this is the time we need to provide the name that we are requesting to be given to Masha on her adoption paperwork….in other words, if we wanted to change her name or give her an American middle name, now’s the time! We had been spending a lot of time with name books evaluating options and narrowing our choices down to a short list that we had planned to review with Masha. Time had been short today, and we just didn’t get to that conversation.
We submitted the paperwork with her new name, and then drove back to the orphanage to talk to her about it. We printed her full name on a bright green index card so that she could keep it. We explained that Maria is a pretty common name in America, and that we kept that as her first name (note that we dropped the “y” for simplicity!). Then we explained that Americans don’t have a patronymic name (middle name as a derivative of the father’s name), so we chose an American name for her middle name: Elizabeth. So there we have it….Maria Elizabeth Niles. She approved, and when she ran to get one of her friends, we overheard them talking about her new name…it’s so cute to hear her say it!
What anniversaries stand out in your memory? Leave a comment…