Sofia got a package in the mail today.
Can you see the writing on the plastic bag? It's in Russian.
There was a letter enclosed, addressed to Stefan and I . . . I started reading it to her without pre-reading first, which was a mistake because I was moved to tears at the sentiment. Here is an excerpt:
"We were in the orphanage just recently and told them that Sofia sometimes recalls her friends. This is a small gift from the orphanage to Sofia, which they asked me to deliver to her. Tatiana, Galina (the doctor) and all nannies hope that Sofia will like her new Mischka (Teddy Bear)!" The letter was signed by our coordinator, representative and driver in Russia (but it was written by the coordinator).
What made me cry was the simple appreciation for the people that Sofia had in her life. I have read other stories of Russian adoptions that describe some orphanages as uncaring and cold. We are so fortunate that Sofia was in a children's home where they truly cared for her. There is no doubt in my mind that it was because of the care she received there that she has made huge strides in her transition here. Imagine - they sent her a gift over nine months after she left!
And let me tell you, she is so proud of that bear. His name? Vlad Glad Max Joel Daniel Steve Sergei Holm. It's a mouthful. It got longer as the day went on. It may get shorter as the days go by . . .
The outskirts of St. Pete
Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.