I got the pictures back from the disposable cameras I left in Vladivostok back in October. I left two cameras with her caretakers - one was "full" the other had "some" pictures taken - or so they said. The cameras had a built in flash and it appears that the Russian caretakers didn't understand that because most of the pictures came back very dark.
I am thrilled that even though they are a little dark, I have a peek into Tatiana's early days and the "friends" she spent time with. Someday they will be great to share with her to show her where she lived for two years. It's a great look at how the kids spent their days and in a couple of the pictures there are even "Christmas" type decorations up so I suspect it was around the holidays.
These pictures also show her hack job of a hair cut in the early days! When I left her in October she had longer hair with the best curls. She must have gotten a chop shortly thereafter - look how short it is in this picture. And to think I was complaining about how short it is now!
I have also been thinking about some of the things that the Baby Home director and the Social Worker were trying to say back in Artem over a month ago. I dismissed some of what they said back then as "over-reaction" and "institutional response". I realize now what they were likely trying to explain and believe some of it was lost in translation.
1) I shared with you that Natalya, the Baby Home director kept preaching about "not spoiling" her. I took it at the time to mean what we'd literally think about spoiling children here in the US, giving into their every whim and giving food and toys in excess. I believe now that her message was more about providing limits to a child who isn't used to "freedom". Tatiana is a GREAT girl - but she's also two! She's got her "terrible two" moments and sometimes when you give her an inch, she takes 5 miles! She's used to boundaries and she needs to continue to have them - all children do. It's hard when you want to give them all they've missed - but boundaries are good!
2) One of the things that I didn't share with everyone back in March was that the Social Worker said that Tatiana had ADD. Internally when she said this I honestly laughed - but I kept a straight face to Svetlana. I shared with this a couple of my friends who are teachers and their response was the same as mine. I've told you all that Tatiana is a SPITFIRE. She's got a ton of energy and wants to see and do everything NOW. Likely compared to many of the more sullen children at the Baby Home - she was a handful! Imagine trying to harness all that energy while living in basically two rooms. NO THANKS!
I am grateful for the insights they provided and I don't doubt their best intentions. I wish I wouldn't have discounted the information up front and listened to the meaning vs. the words! But it's good information now.
11 hours ago