I'm sure every parent has experienced hundreds of "firsts" with their children. Today I experienced a few firsts and now I can't wait for a lifetime of them. Landon and I arrived this morning at the orphanage and there was a big celebration going on. It is International Day for the Protection of Children. They had music and several performers in costume dancing around. Landon and I made our way close to get some pics and video and spotted Inna standing next to her favorite caregiver Olga, a.k.a. "Number One". "Number Two" was also there so Inna was in good hands this morning. I was taking pics and video of here dancing to the music and then she saw me. She lit up and started waving. She tugged at Olga's dress and informed her Daddy was here. (She could have also been telling her that she saw a bird, but I choose the former) They handed out stuffed animals, giant butterfly cookies and juice boxes to all the kids. Everyone was so excited!
To this point Landon and I were just standing around at the edge of the crowd taking pics. Inna's caregivers caught our attention and called us over. Inna instantly wanted to be picked up. I didn't hesitate. Once the crowd died down we played for about an hour and a half. There were 3-4 new pieces of playground equipment, and everything has a fresh coat of paint on it.
First Car Ride
Then came a real treat. We got to take Inna away from the orphanage for a trip to the passport office. I wasn't sure how she would do. Would it be scary for Daddy to carry her outside of that iron gate that we have been careful to avoid with her for fear someone would think we were trying to make a run for it? Well, I guess Inna hasn't seen as many prison movies as Daddy because she wasn't creeped out at all as we walked through the gates. I however kept waiting for the spotlights to find me and sirens to begin blaring. We got in the car and started off. Now, there are NO observable traffic laws in Ukraine. As far as I can tell the rules are summed up with try not to make contact with other vehicles or pedestrians. Also, the pedal goes all the way to the floor so you might as well exercise it. No seatbelts in the back seat either. Despite the obvious safety deficiencies here, I felt like Inna was as safe as she could possibly be. A meteor could strike our car and she would be unharmed because she was in Daddy's arms and I felt like I was bulletproof. Funny how these man of steel feelings disappear the moment a tear forms. Even Superman had his kryptonite.
It was very hot yesterday and the ride was fast and bumpy. I don't have full Daddy instincts yet so I wasn't sure if she was going to be sick or fall asleep. You can imagine my relief when her head nodded and her eyes got heavy! My little girl was drifting off to sleep in my arms. We got her back to the orphanage, and carried her up to her room. A bowl of food was waiting for her and I assume she then went and joined her group for a nice nap. She had to be wiped out from such a busy day. I am hopeful that she is as calm during the long journey home.