Today we first met his director. We were a little nervous about the visit because we were told she was very stern. I felt she was warm and loving from the moment we arrived. The director told us some things about E’s history. He has a living father, but his father has never visited him since he arrived at the orphanage. His grandmother is too old and never visits him either. The sentences “He has no one” and “His dad does not want him” kind of jabbed me in the heart. Tim piped up, “Well this dad wants him a lot!” The director went on and on about what a wonderful boy he is. She said he loves sports, he is very smart, he works hard, he loves to help, he is in charge sometimes of cleaning (leadership) teams, has good reputation with teachers, keeps his bedroom area spotless, likes to keep himself neat, hair combed nicely and clean clothing (we also witnessed that he wipes his mouth as he eats and washes his hands before he eats). She said that she has been there 34 years and she can predict the ones with wonderful potential with 99% accuracy and she thinks he has GREAT potential. She very much hopes he will say yes to our family because she likes our family very much. She said she wishes every single one of the children in her orphanage could have a family.
She had a little table set up in her office in the morning when we first arrived where we drank tea and had cookies and chocolate. Tim doesn't like tea but he drank it anyway and smiled the whole time. haha
E gave us a tour of his orphanage. He carries on a wonderful conversation. There is a statue outside his bedroom window and Tim asked him if he knew what it was. He ended up giving us a brief history lesson about whoever that man was on the statue that protected the territory. He's VERY bright, polite and a born leader. I can't believe that I am absolutely smitten by him. When he hugs me, he holds me tightly. It is so sweet. His hug for Tim is swift and manly, but me, he hugs tenderly and holds the hug for a few moments...And his blue eyes and long eye lashes...he is going to attract too many girls! ;)
(Below picture...E standing beside his bed and window. He keeps his area very neat! The next photo is Tim giving E a motorcycle Pez candy dispenser.)
We stayed and watched a show that the different classes videotaped with different skits. E was in the 5th grade class's show. He acted out something and clearly has a sense of humor.
Then the assistant director had us attend a private lunch before the other children came in. We had some delicious borsht and potatoes with chicken and gravy (?) on top. It is nice to know that he has been fed well for the 2 years he's been at the orphanage. There were fresh tomatoes from their "kitchen garden" (E told us he helped plant and pick them) and bread along with more tea. E ate every last bite, wiped his mouth, carried on conversation politely, then took our dishes when we were finished and wiped the table off and then used a rag to clean it. He looked like a little waiter at a very fancy restaurant. (The below picture he is politely offering that we sit before he does. You can also see their entire dining room and how each table has a vase and flowers. It was SO clean.)
While we had our tour of the orphanage E eagerly ran ahead and opened all the doors for the ladies and held them as we walked through.
Anyway, it was a wonderful visit. Since tomorrow is Sunday we are not going to the orphanage. The director asked us not to come because E is in charge of some cleaning team and she needs his help. I guess on Monday some inspector is coming to check for cleanliness. I'm not sure what they need to clean because the place is immaculate.
As we left, he hugged us, and then ran upstairs as fast as he could. He knocked on the window above us and waved and smiled. He watched us leave. (You can see him peaking out the arched window above the door in this below picture).
On the way home we stopped at a shop and finally found an umbrella. Our driver also drove us to a huge mall with a toy store so we could buy him a few toys. We really like our driver Vitaliy. He's definitely one of our favorite drivers of all of our trips to Ukraine.
We are going to miss visiting E, but glad for a day off tomorrow because it is tiresome getting up so early and going out there. This is Ukraine and somehow 50 kilometers (31 miles) takes 3 hours to drive ONE WAY LOL (I'm not really exaggerating either).