Visa fotos went extremely well this morning. Ana did super in the car and walking through the mall (I got to carry her on this walk, which was nice). She had no issues with the middling-busy crowd, and sat for her photo like a champ, though the lady wanted her on a stool, so both the nurse and I worked to steady her, keep her head up, and point her nose generally at the camera. Bravo, Ana. It waa also nice to hear the staff calling her Ana and Anastacia. Since the visa photos, I think they are generally convinced that we are serious, love Ana, and want good for her. This has resulted in a degree of thawing in their attitude toward me. They have made it easy to take Ana outside, for instance.
I would like to attribute as much of their reservation as possible to a concern for protecting kids from random foreigners and/or journalists, and I think this is a real concern for them. Nobody needs a media circus, or even noise on the internet. The direction the orphanage is heading seems positive, there's a lot still to do, and you cannot erase the consequences of the past. But you can take better care of them.
Babas are in evidence everywhere. There have always been a few (three to six) babas with kids out and about when I have visited. I spied a baba reading to a group of three toddlers on our way back from the exercise room. When the storm blew through, there was a stream of babas and kids filing in the back door. Good things to see. (I continue to say baba because the term lelya has not penetrated into common usage yet.)
One more visit tomorrow. It will be hard to leave Ana, and I look forward to the next trip. I look forward more to when she is home with her brothers and her mother and me. I look forward most to the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Even so, come Lord Jesus.