Voss looks kinda happy.
Family photo at the Christmas tree lot with Voss's new sled.I mean....really! Why do they have feet, pieces of fur, blood and an axe at the open market!? Seriously!
There is a cow tail in the photo. For real.
So, we have been here a few nights already (right? I have lost track of time) and have gone for long walks in the neighborhood. We found the local gym (see pictures later), an outdoor farmer's market, a really big supermarket, and a christmas tree lot. There really isn't much here and we have been getting stared at a lot. It may be because I stop to take photos of strange things like cow's tails and pig's feet, but I just can't believe what I see sometimes! I mean, what do they do with the cow tail (in meat photo on metal part next to meat)? Marty?
We were able to visit Ruslan at the orphanage today. He looks really cute and was all smiles when he saw us. We were a little nervous about our first meeting. Maybe he changed his mind? He signed the official paper that says he will change his name to Ruslan Moon Issel. What's up with the hippie middle name you say? Well my grandmother had a saying, if you can't beat em then join 'em. I have never been one to pass on sage advice, so Ruslan will now have an opportunity to fit in more in some California circles. Actually, that was his nickname when he came to visit. We used it as our "code word" when we didn't want him to know we were talking about him (his head looked like a giant moon). People seem to ask a couple of times to see if they heard the name right, "Moon?"
Even Ruslan asked twice. It is the same reaction we get when people look at Voss's long hair... A.k.a. The creepy Ukranian Santa said he was going to bring Voss a doll which led us to believe that he thought Voss was a girl.
The orphanage was out in the middle of farmland. The grounds were pretty barren- not a lot of trees or bushes, just a bunch of plain buildings. Several boys were just sort of standing around.
We entered one of the buildings to talk to the director. A rumor was going around that he always serves coffee and cognac to all the parents. We were hoping he was out of the cognac. He was very nice and everyone seemed to respond to him with laughter so I guess he is pretty funny. Two kids walked through the door. One was our Ruslan. He looked bigger already. His hair was the same strange mauve color that Voss's was when we got him. All the blonde was gone. Several comments were made about the length of Voss's hair (again) and Voss threw his arms around his head to protect his blonde locks. He knew well what was being said. I think they were discussing the buzz cut with long bangs style. Oy!
Both children began to write the paper to change their names. Our family was then sent out to wait in the other room. We tried out our new Russian words with Ruslan and he didn't laugh. I guess it was understandable then. Voss began to climb all over Ruslan and kiss him. Ruslan just smiled.
Some coffee and shotglasses showed up with some cookies. The director came in with the bottle of cognac and we all had to drink. Blah!
We are on our way back today for a longer visit. We need to find the internet to download some pictures.