I want Polina to be proud of who she is and where she came from. I want to watch the Olympics with her and cheer for the Russian gymnasts and figure skaters. Those are my particular summer and winter favorites, but we'll cheer for hers too!
Of course we have been taking pictures of her country like crazy to have for her. We hope to take her to some of the major landmarks and take pictures with her there when we go back to get here. That's the easy part.
I've been thinking about what I'm going to tell her about Russia to help her be proud of her heritage. The thing I want to tell her most about is the Russian people. They have endured so much over their lives - living during the Soviet Era, the Cold War, and then the tearing down of the Berlin wall and fall of the Soviet Union. Nevermind the harsh winters!
When you see Russians on the street or in the Metro, they may seem rough on the outside, but wouldn't you too? It's not their style to smile and say hello. But when you get to know them, you see that that is just an outer shell.
The Russians I have met have been kind, loving, compassionate people. They love their country and families. They have been welcoming and appreciative of us adopting a special needs child from their country. We have received many thank you's and well-wishes from the orphanage caregivers to people we meet on the streets. Even the orphanage director who told us directly that she doesn't agree with adoption of these children really wants them to have what's best. She just has different ideas of that than we do.
And so, I will tell my dear Polina that her people loved her, they cared deeply for her, and they wanted her to be in a family that loved her and could care for her. I'm so thankful for those people!