Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, Father's Day

When we arrived at the Orphanage this morning the children were still inside their house. Most were watching TV while others, including Beck, were sitting at a table looking at books. As soon as he saw us he flashed a big smile and came over and hugged me. He then went over to our translator and pointed at me and said, "Mama". That was the best greeting.
The caretaker was preparing them to go outside to the play area and we asked if we could take Beck out early, just to see if he would leave the others and come with just Joe and I. I took him by the hand and he followed happily, chattering away. We when got to the play ground we opened up a can of Pringles (or Krack as it is called here) and he immediately enjoyed them, making a mess everywhere (guess we weren't going to be able to sneak those without being noticed!). After he had had his fill we were joined by the other children and I took out the bottles of bubbles we had purchased in the market. I sat on the floor and blew bubbles while the children laughed wildly and chased them. I couldn't make bubbles fast enough for them as they crowded around me waiting to pounce on the next round of bubbles. Beck laughed and smiled like I had never seen before. One by one I showed them how to blow the bubbles which usually resulted in me being covered with a mix of spit and bubble solution, but the looks on these children's faces were priceless. After some time Beck grew bored of the bubble madness and decided he would play with his Daddy while the other kids were preoccupied. Joe and Beck played with a ball, tossing it back and forth. Undoubtedly he is very comfortable with Joe. Watching the two of them play, you would never know they were strangers just days ago. I couldn't help but to think this Father's Day holds some very special meaning.
We continued to play all sorts of games with the kids. I thought to myself how the sole caretaker of these 10 or so kids would probably be happy to see us leave that day. Our mere presence, added to the fact that we were willing to play whatever games or foolishness they wanted, got these kids a bit wild. They soaked up all the attention with such enthusiasm, laughing at the top of their lungs. Several times she tried to quiet them, but to no avail. They were simply children being children.
As each day passes it becomes clearer that Beck understands that we belong to him. When he isn't directly playing with us, he keeps an eye on us. But the time he spends doing activities away from us has become less frequent. It is obvious that he wants to be doing what we're doing, or at least bring us to what he wants to do. No longer does he sit off to the side by himself. There is a definite change in his confidence, even in his dealings with the other children.
One of the little boys in Beck's group is being adopted by a couple from NC who we had met on the plane from NYC, and who, ironically we ran into at one of the large markets in Bishkek. They were leaving Monday and had bought Morat a little book, Hilary volunteered to bring the book to him. Today when Hilary gave Morat the book she said "Mama and Papa". It was obvious that he understood that the book was from his new parents. He sat down and focused all his attention on it, repeating "Mama". The other children, including Beck also wanted to inspect the book, but Morat held fast his treasure. Beck went to reach for it and I said "No, Morat's" in Russian and he immediately complied, but as is expected of any 2 year old, he still wanted the book. So I picked him up and he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me. With that, he forgot all about the book.

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