Saturday, September 25, 2010

She Remembers

Many people have asked whether Alina misses the orphanage, and whether she remembers the people or her time there.

Alina is becoming more verbal, but she doesn't have the words to tell us what she remembers about her groupa or her life at Solnishko.

Tonight Chris discovered a few pictures on his Blackberry that we had taken while we were there.  He showed one picture to Alina.  Her face lit up.  She started pointing to the faces, one by one.  I asked, "Alina, can you show me Sasha?"  She moved her index finger to Sasha's face.  "Katya?"  She moved her finger to Katya. 

When we got to a picture of the sweet, little dark-haired girl who took special care of Alina (we still don't know her name), she leaned forward and kissed the screen. 

She remembers.


  1. That is really interesting because I too have wondered how much Nadia remembers as well. I notice little things and wonder what she's thinking and if she's having flashbacks to her days in the orphanages--especially when I find her sobbing in her sleep. :( I need to try showing her some pictures of Irina, her special caretaker, and look for her reaction!

    Glad to see you came out from under the pile of dishes and laundry to share this post with us! :)

  2. Oh,why does that make me sad? They are so precious. Oh my.

  3. Kristin, get ready...I am working on four new posts simultaneously :).

    We showed Alina some orphanage pictures soon after we got home. She had no noticable reaction. That is part of why her reaction tonight was so interesting.

    Gretchen, I cried. I am still crying...for all the reasons we both know. They are so precious, every one of at home and those still waiting...

  4. Dying to see Maria's pictures!!!!

  5. Oh the sweet little munchkin, what a tender little girl she is.
    Touched my heart

  6. My son Alex (not Down syndrome but some degree of prenatal alcohol exposure) was adopted from a particularly bad Russian orphanage as a 3.5 year old. Not quite two years post adoption, we were traveling and ate at a restaurant with many Eastern European servers. When they found out Alex was Russian they started speaking Russian to him. Within a few minutes after they walked away, Alex was doubled over in pain and we thought we might have to call an ambulance.

    God must have whispered in my ear because I finally realized that Alex thought we had tricked him into coming on this trip so we could give him back to the Russians. I immediately stopped comforting his physical pain and started comforting his emotional pain by telling him he was always our child and we were always his parents and no one could take him away. Within a minute or two he was fine.

    I noticed on subsequent occasions when folks would start speaking to him in Russian (and it's always so sudden; no warning that they even knew any Russian!) that he would have some sort of behavioral issue later that day. I think hearing spoken Russian evokes a visceral reaction. He could no more articulate it than the man in the moon but he always needs to process it. It's just so sad, so heartbreakingly sad.

    Alex is now 15 years old and still refuses to go back to Russia for a trip. (Not that we've continued to push that; I honestly think that would be like making a rape victim go back and visit with her attacker.) Russia has so many beautiful places I'd love for him to see but to him there's nothing there but misery.

    On that cheery note...
    My four other adopted children thankfully haven't had such an extreme reaction but most were either in foster homes or 'better' orphanages.

  7. Oh Lisa, that made me cry, what a precious little angel she is!

  8. oh what a sweet tender-hearted little angel... looking forward to seeing new pics of the girls :)

  9. aww, how sweet. this brought tears to my eyes!

  10. You better print those pictures and make her a little book! Many more aha moments ahead for you Mama!!! Keep sharing them!


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