Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Orphanage Staff Awaits Update on Little Natasha

Earlier this week, I stopped by the orphanage (Home for Babies, literally) to visit my favorite wee ones. Shortly thereafter I was ushered into an administrative office and surrounded by medical staff in white lab coats.

Stick out your tongue, they said. No, actually we all gathered around a computer to see digital photos of dear Natasha, the little girl adopted in March by a wonderful family from Atlanta.

But first, a look back. Here's Natasha with Dr Marina, last March
just before she left the orphanage.

When they were in Rostov last March to adopt Natasha, Maynard and Jill invited me to visit them in Atlanta on my next trip to the States. Lucky, lucky me. Just happened that I was scheduled to be Stateside early April for a visa-renewal trip and visiting Natasha and family would be too easy - Atlanta being the hub for Delta, my airline of choice. So I got to overnight with them before heading on to Dallas. Of course I took lots of photos!

The orphanage staff remembers Natasha with great fondness and they could hardly wait to see photos of her new life. So here she is. . .

Natasha with her dear family. She has three older brothers, but only three. Think she can handle that? It is quite an adjustment. After all, she had 12 younger brothers at the orphanage.

Natasha is the princess of the family, I told the staff. They nodded knowingly. She was the princess of her group at the orphanage. Not hard to pick a princess when there's only one girl. Here's Natasha holding court from the her new steps there in Atlanta. Natasha is enjoying her new clothes and happily wears almost anything. As long as it's pink.

Natasha's beautiful bed. Oh, see her doll - that's Baby Olga, named in honor of a beloved doctor at the orphanage. Actually, the director of the orphanage.

At the orphanage, Natasha had her own bed too. See her, back there in the back?

Natasha, think you can adjust to having a room of your own?
Are you sure you don't mind? Here she is, keeping castle.

A bathroom of her own. Well, she does share it with one brother.
But he pretty much stays out of the way. See, he's good that way, understanding already that a girl needs to be in the bathroom, in front of the mirror quite often.

Nice bathtub! Careful there, girlfriend!

Oopsey-daisey! There she goes, over the edge.

Well, at the orphanage Natasha had her very own potty too.
Say Natasha, let me know if you'd like one of these as a souvenir. I can bring it home next time. Chances are, you won't have to share that with a brother!

Okay Natasha, just hop up there on the counter-top and smile.
Come on, Smile! Show me your teeth when you smile, for pity's sake, you are in America, after all! Well, that's not quite what I meant! What's wrong with you girl? Can't you understand plain Russian?

Hey Natasha, imagine getting to play the piano! Well, of course you might have to wait until a few other people finish their practicing. But still, can you believe you can play it most any time? Think you can manage?

Well, after the administrators saw these photos of Natasha in her new home with her new family, they were all smiles and so delighted. Such love they still have for Natasha and wish the very best for her. They're especially attached to Natasha because she has special physical needs and has been through so many surgeries in her young life.

Natasha's adoptive parents knew that, of course and said, We can help! Here in Atlanta, there are wonderful doctors and wonderful hospitals!

The orphanage staff still finds that amazing. Someone said, Here in Russia, families don't adopt children with medical problems.

Well, in the US they don't either, I said. Unless they're very special people.

And that's just it. Natasha's parents are extraordinary people. A salute to you, Maynard and Jill. . . and to your three boys. You are the heroes! It can't be easy, sharing life with a princess.

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