**For anyone who didn't follow along during our first trip, know that posts will be long. This is my way of documenting our journey and getting details back to the boys -- even if I read it to them myself when I return. Haha. You have been warned!
First, a few things I forgot to mention.
DAY 1 - We were told (and passed along) that they might not leave the orphanages with anything, including the gifts we took them before. We were quite pleasantly surprised that they were given the choice to bring anything of theirs they wanted as long as we said it was okay. They brought all of the things we had given them except a few things they had given out to their friends -- which was certainly fine. Vanessa also brought a couple of very worn summer dresses that I'm sure she will be too big for by next summer and a new looking stuffed animal. Milcho brought several toys and what looks like a brand new down-filled nylon vest. And someone even gave each of them a little spending money -- equal to about $1.32 each
Have you wondered, like I did, whether they got our letters? They did. Yay! Milcho has them all with well-worn creases.
For those who may be traveling soon (Jill), triple check the weather even as you leave for the airpoirt. Last week as we prepared to make our one big shopping trip to buy clothes for the kids, I checked the weather here to seen what kind of clothes to buy. The temps were very comparable to ours at the time. I thought I was over preparing by bringing all long-sleeve shirts. The jackets we brought were in case evenings were chilly. When we got here, not only was it much cooler (i.e. cold), but I learned that last week when I checked was an unusual warm spell. Grr! Add to that, the fact that our heat hasn't been working (see last post), and we've been wearing jackets inside! We complained (to ourselves) that it was hot on the plane. No complaining this time. I might just be thawed out by home.
DAY 2 - Yesterday, I thought this was cute at the clinic. The doctor must have asked their names because I heard Vanessa give her first and new middle name -- Vanessa Elizabeth. I didn't know they knew that. Milcho then finished it as Vanessa Elizabeth Thomas. Okay, not quite. Thomas is his middle name. He corrected himself, though, pronouncing DeMoss to rhyme with Thomas. We'll work on that.
DAY 3 - Today was a free day. Last night we had to call Deliana (our translator) to help us with Milcho. So she decided to come and get us this morning and take us for an outing. It would have been a very long day without it. We walked about 15 minutes to a mall. We went in a toy store to let them look. Yes, we decided to let them pick out something. We set a price, but once I told Vanessa she could pick out one more thing to go with a book, she wanted to pick out everything in the store. I got a few girly heavy sighs, but nothing serious. Tim and Milcho looked at small cars. He has been talking about getting one since Monday, and Tim has told him they will pick one out when we get back to America -- more choices, possible better price, a big one, and we don't want to risk going over our flight's weight limits. We were close to them coming. Anyway, there were two cars he liked, so we told him to choose one. The next thing we know he is acting like last night. He stopped answering us, looking at us, etc. He wouldn't choose and once quietly just sat down in the floor. Our first American assumption was that he didn't like that he couldn't get both. Tim decided to just pick one himself so we could go. We asked them if they were hungry. No. We walked some more.
Then we came to The Sniper Store. I wasn't too sure about the name, and I could see lots of camo and guns in a dimly lit store. The kids wanted to go in, so we did. Turns out it was Airsoft and paintball stuff. Best of all they had a shooting range. Vanessa was the first to speak up wanting to shoot. (Looks like we may have a tomboy on our hands after all...one who her likes her bling.) She and Milcho each fired ten round with a pistol. It was interesting. The lady gave all of us safety glasses. Hmmm. Okay. The targets were digital but the ammo was real. When you fired, the target registered a red dot where you hit, and then the pellet ricocheted all over and landed somewhere else in the store, often behind you. When the kids finished, Tim wanted to shoot a rifle. (I thought, "Yay! That means I can have a turn.") For the record, I don't know why everyone was surprised at my shooting. I don't go for speed, but I aim well. Of my ten shots, maybe only two weren't at least touching the bullseye. Tim talked for quite a while how fun that was. Colton is all about Airsoft right now. I hate he wasn't here for that.
We got lunch in the mall at Subway. Afterward, Milcho picked up is new car and said something to Tim that included the word America. My brilliant husband quickly deduced that Milcho was worried that buying the little car here broke Tim's promise that they would get one in America. Tim assured him that he still intended to buy the bigger car when we get home. This perked Milcho right up, and the afternoon began with everyone happy.
After lunch we made the walk back to the apartment and snuck in a few catnaps while the kids played and watched TV. This was followed by a round of wrestling and swords. Finally we set out for supper. We wanted to try a place new to us but recommended. We walked in circles and called Deliana for directions. When we finally found it and were about to go inside, Milcho grabbed my hand and started saying something including "no" and "restaurant". Thinking he wanted to go to a place we just passed we let him lead. Nope, he kept going. We wandered. He used the words for restaurant and apartment, and I thought I heard a less common word for needing to go to the bathroom. We made it back to the main strip, and he had an "aha" moment. We now thought he was leading us back to the Pizza Palace which was just ahead. Passed it. We walked and walked. Finally Vanessa said SHE had to go to the bathroom. Since we were almost at the end of the street, I suggested we head to McDonald's. Found the coed bathroom upstairs with the keypad outside to get in. Yes, we sat down outside the door and waited to catch it open as someone came or went. Vanessa then Milcho went. As we prepared to begin our quest for the missing restaurant, guess what? Yep. We were in it. He had dragged us blocks to have McDonald's a second night in a row. We did, but I don't think I could handle it a third.
Remember last night's episode with Vanessa? The original "punishment" for ignoring my instructions was to sit 5 minutes in a chair beside me. This turned into 4 attempts, and finally moving her to my lap so she couldn't leave her chair. That really made her mad. By the time she had stopped throwing a fit (and long since served her time), Tim guesses an hour had passed. Tonight Tim told her no to something she was about to do. She immediately did it. He assigned her the 5 minutes but started with her in his lap. Five minutes later, I brushed out her wet hair, and we had to tell her she could go. She went and got some toys and grout them back to play in the floor in front of us. Talk about a complete turn around! Next Milcho asked to use the phone. This has become quite a problem. We explained (twice ) that he could talk if his teacher called, but we were through making calls. Heavy sigh. Then he moved on to play with Vanessa. Another big improvement. So to all of you who prayed for us after last night, thank you -- we certainly had a different night tonight.
We just put them to bed. Earlier than the last two nights and without us for the first time. We'll see how it goes.
(Shhhh. They went right to sleep.)