Some of you might be curious about the state of Diana's orphanage. On our drive in, our wonderful driver, Andrey (pronounced Andre) informed us that her orphanage is one of the best in Russia. Well after spending 3 days there, and having not been in any other orphanages around the world, I must say I am most certainly and utterly impressed.
First off, the director is also a licensed physician, she had a very in depth medical report prepared for us on Diana. The halls are very clean and in good condition. There is a play area outside that looks to be in good condition as well, right now probably not used much due to the cold weather. This is orphanage is for children aged newborn to 5 years old (we think). Andrey is also the driver they use for deliveries or to run errands, he is a very good driver, considering the roads are not all in the best of condition, but to be honest not that much worse than American roads after a hard winter. And the staff are very caring toward the children and have them on a very tight schedule, which of course is needed for such an atmosphere. Today's staff went beyond the call of duty by giving us her current weight and height and saying some very nice words about Diana. The dresses she wears when she comes to visit us are adorable (you can see pictures of her if you become friends with us on Facebook, but eventually we'll be posting some here as well.) She always has barrettes that match her dress, and on one occasion she came out wearing pigtails, it was so cute!
Each visit they have brought us to a new room to play with her in. The first day must have been the whole group/music room, the back wall was beautifully decorated with a bright sun, and one wall was full of windows so the children could see outside. There were numerous children sized chairs, well built as we were even able to sit in them. A full sized piano, a cabinet of various musical instruments, recorders, maracas, xylophones, tamborines, etc. Finishing off the room was a huge puppet stage for entertainment.
The second day we were in the Montesorri room. So many developmental toys (fine motor skills and puzzles galore) I couldn't begin to describe them all, some I wish we had in the States for Hayden to use. This is the room that held the magical toy "The Rainmaker" which led to our first full out gigglefest and huge smiles with Diana! It also had a working sink which Diana used numerous times to bathe the baby doll we brought with us. I think we'll have her teach Hayden how to take a proper bath. There was also a mini-slide which Diana impressed us by climbing expertly, although the slide down led to her getting scared. We will never forget this room and we are so bringing out the rainmaker in storage and placing it in her room for when she arrives home in a few months.
Today, the third visit, we were brought to yet another new room! This one was the gym, I took pics of this room before we left. It had a little exercise bike, a trampoline, roller stepping mats, mats with beads inside them, clearly thought to help with sensory input! It had a cute tunnel, which Diana loved climbing through, a bouncy ball for the kids to ride, and other obstacles to work on their gross motor physical development.
Should be interesting to see which room we visit in tomorrow on our last day (sigh)...so hard to have to leave her Thursday for possibly 6-8 weeks before we get to bring her home. But it is comforting to know she is in a good place with warm hearts and caring hands.