This was on my mind this morning because all the little ones that I held and took pictures of during our visit to Ukraine are meeting their new Mommy and Daddy. Yes, Timur, Alina and my little unstoppable tank, Slava will be coming home soon! This makes me so very happy. As I was daydreaming about these meetings, I started to think of Irina. Irina was the translator that directed us through Ukraine with such efficiency. She is very sweet but a tough negotiator and very good at her job.
Lera was the first child with Down syndrome that she had ever met. She was trying all the way to Izmayl to understand what possibly motivated us to want to adopt another child with Down syndrome. She understood that we loved and adored our Caelia but to come all this way to bring home an untouchable child baffled her. She smiled when we told her about our daughter's insistance on doing things her way and was genuinely intrigued by the idea that our daughter would most likely live independently at some time in the future.
She translated everything that we told the director of Lera's orphanage about the opportunities for Lera in our country and of our plans to provide for her future and her care if at some time we were not there to help her but she really didn't understand. She did not really interact with Lera until we came back to get her. She was pleasant and friendly and so very helpful with those first days away from all that Lera had previously knew and I believe we changed how she viewed a child with Down syndrome. I was even told that she uses "the Green's little girl" as an example of a well behaved child.
This video clip was taken at the Meat and Wine restaurant in Odessa. Irina said it was very expensive and I don't think she quite knew what to do when we obviously were taking Lera to eat in such a place. We did get a few odd looks but if you never take kids someplace nice to eat how will they learn to behave properly? Afterall, someday she will go to dances and dinners and (much to Randy's dismay) perhaps she will even date. Actually, I am sure she will date - she is the biggest flirt I have ever seen. Hopefully, she will always delight in every new experience the way she did this one.
Back to what sent me off on this line of thought. Irina is the translator for these families returning to Lera's orphanage. I wonder what she is thinking as she sits there and watches these other crazy Americans meeting their new child. I wonder how much they will change what she believes and if she still thinks we are all out of our minds? I think maybe she sees these children differently than when she first entered our Lera's life.
I firmly believe that if you don't like people with Down syndrome its because you never met one or let yourself get to know one. I haven't figured out how to imbed this link but I adore this short film (thanks, Leah for finding it for me). Here is the address:
I particularly like the difference in how the woman shakes hands intitially and how she says goodbye. I like the very end too.