When we arrived at the baby house this morning, we learned that our normal visitation room was unavailable. We were assigned a small anteroom that is located adjacent to Olesya's dorm area. This made it difficult to engage in many of our normal activities, but she seemed rather quiet today and did not seem to mind. She was able to see her first snow from the upstairs window. It was actually a good vantage point and we were able to see large flakes float quietly down on a windless day as a few dogs and birds scrambled about for her entertainment. We gave her a new stuffed dog that we got at the grocery store yesterday. She seemed to like it as her other toys are hard plastic rattles (which hurt when she bangs them on you).
Today was our third attempt at the Guardianship Council meeting and under the rouse of "third time is a charm" we actually had the meeting. When we got inside, the panel members and our interpreter engaged in a lively Russian dialogue while shuffling through our paper work. As the minutes passed, I could see that a problem was developing. After about 15 minutes, we were advised that an additional paper was required and that our meeting could reconvene on Monday. There is another family that we know from the baby house who had their meeting immediately after ours. The script was the same. They will also be coming back on Monday with some other paper. Once we have this meeting satisfactorily archived, we can move on to the court date. It is our understanding that December 16 is the magic zero day and our court date is likely to be scheduled for some date beyond that.
When presented with her soft new puppy, Olesya immediately put one of its ears in her mouth - which is a sign that she likes it! When she was starting to get tired, she held the ear of the puppy and sucked her thumb. Usually, she likes to hold onto part of her shirt while sucking her thumb, so the puppy was a nice replacement. We heard her laugh again today when I was making silly faces at her. That always makes Joe laugh too. Since we did not have the CD player that is in the regular visiting room, Joe sang Christmas carols while rocking Olesya. If any of you have trouble sleeping, let us know - Joe should be releasing his first album sometime soon.
We were surprised to actually be meeting with Guardianship Council today because we were told that they only meet on Mondays. I guess today was a preliminary to let us know what paper work we were missing. Of course there is always something missing. Since we finally made it in to the building, we are optimistic that Monday's meeting will occur as scheduled and we will have 1 step of this long process completed.