When we arrived at the orphanage today we were told that we could join her outside while she was playing. The temperature was around 34 degrees and it was snowing. She, and about four peers, were playing in a concrete shelter behind the orphanage. Most of the well bundled children were on little plastic ride-on toys in the shape of cars and trucks. When she turned and saw us she immediately jumped from her toy and ran to us with a smile big enough to reach across the ocean.
On the little plastic toy, Sveta would push herself right into the wall ... then look back to see if we were watching and if we would come and spin her around to go in the other direction. Soon about 6 more children showed up and we were encouraged to go to our own structure to have time alone with Sveta. We entered one which didn't have any toys. Jessi's bag remedied this as it had a coloring book, two reading books, a yellow nerf ball, a bag of playdoh, and (Sveta's favorite) a little pink toy camera. We'd picked the camera up at a local store after seeing her give so much attention to the camera we were using to record our time with her.
After only about an hour she was taken for lunch. She would then have nap time. And we had a long drive back to Vladimir.
Jessi is now sleeping beside me. It's about 5:30pm here. My heart still seems to be racing with excitement. Every minute here has been filled with emotion of some kind. We are overwhelmed with this sweet child,with work to be done, and finally with so many friends who have prayed, given, and loved so much.
We love you.