August 21st was officially gotcha day for our girl! It was quite a bit more emotional than we had anticipated. When we arrived at the orphanage one of the caretakers was doing Sveta's hair and getting her dressed in the clothes we brought. She was Sveta's favorite and vice versa so she was already very emotional about her leaving the orphanage. After Sveta came out of the room with her small backpack and a going away gift, she was sobbing which made this mama cry too. We tried to comfort her and the caretakers tried to comfort her but nothing was working. We had brought treats for her to share with her group and she cried all through that too. She knew that she was about to leave the only world she's ever known with two people she barely knew and no idea what was beyond the fence. We were able to tour the orphanage to see where she had been living for the last five years and by the time we were done with that her tears had stopped. She wasn't completely her happy self, but more content than earlier. We finished the last of the paperwork we needed to do and then it was time to go. Sveta left the Baby House for good with us as her mama and papa! We were overwhelmed with joy that this day had finally come and are so blessed to be together as a family now.
Since she had been so sad earlier in the morning we had already planned with our driver to meet up with Sveta's best friend who had left the orphanage with her family from Italy one week earlier. It was so fun to see the two girls interact and talk together and it made Sveta very happy. We went out to lunch together (Sveta's first time in a restaurant) so the girls could have some more time together. Sveta was quite funny (or embarrassing) at the restaurant. She was very adamant she wanted soup and pizza and let the waiter know right away. Then every time he walked by she would ask him about her soup and pizza. Since we had ordered a pizza to share, Eric and I were given plates while we waited for our food. Sveta wanted a plate too so she got the attention of the next waiter that walked by and eventually got her own plate. She also got plates for the other people at our table even though they didn't need them. Apparently Sveta didn't care for the soup because she didn't eat it and told multiple waiters about it as we were leaving!
After lunch we came back to our apartment and Sveta did great through the afternoon. We tried to all go out to get some dinner but weren't having luck with Uber so Eric took the bus on his own to get something to bring back while Sveta and I stayed at the apartment. She was fine for a few minutes but then lost it completely and threw a very loud fit. It's so hard not understanding most of what she's saying but I kept hearing the word "papa" so I was hoping her only problem was that he wasn't there. She was completely inconsolable. I texted Eric and told him to hurry up! We went outside and walked around a bit watching for the bus which helped some until he got back. Then when she saw him she got louder again and for the next hour or so would only grunt at him when he tried to talk to her. She had calmed down though and eventually was back to her happy self. Whew! We were taking it cautiously after that through the night and decided that at least for the time being, all three of us will stick together at all times! Sveta had a great night and is still happy and content this morning. Pray for our girl though. This adjustment cannot be easy at all, and is probably downright scary. Pray that she will have peace and we will be able to comfort her when she needs it. It is such an adjustment for all three of us. Also pray that we can figure out what foods (besides juice, candy, and ice cream) she will eat. So far she has said no to just about everything else (besides the pizza at lunch yesterday). This is our last full day in Odessa and unfortunately it is raining so we're not sure we will be able to do much outside. Tomorrow afternoon we will take a train back to Kiev. We continue to pray that her passport will be in our hands by September 1st (or earlier!) and all things needed for immigration at the embassy will move quickly and smoothly. We continue to hope we will be on our way home by the first week of September.