We're not too sure if Halloween is a custom in Ukraine. Even if it was, I don't imagine alot happens for the orphanage kids on that day. The way I picture it, they would be lucky if the orphanage maybe had one costume that the kids could take turns wearing. I'm sure there are much higher priorities than costumes and fun, such as eating and trying to keep warm.
We took Emma costume shopping about a month ago. Halloween here is usually extremely cold, so we tried to persuade her into getting a nice fuzzy costume for trick or treating. She really enjoyed looking at all the fuzzy costumes until she spotted the rack of pretty princess costumes. Once those were in her sight, there was no turning back. Our little diva would have nothing else. I wish we had the camera that day. Once she selected the perfect dress, she insisted that she carry it through the store. It was a little long and it was dragging on the ground, so I told her if she wanted to carry it, she would have to hold her arm up over her head so the dress wouldn't get dirty. Picture this....kid with one arm over her head carrying the dress, her other hand is on her hip as she walks....well STRUTS to the counter with her new purchase. Emma's "proud" strut stems from when we took her from the orphanage in Ukraine. Everytime we would walk her through town, she would STRUT....her butt sticking way out and wiggling from side to side like you wouldn't believe! I think at that time she was trying to show everyone "Hey, look at me! I have a mama and a papa!" Now she does it everytime she wants to show something off.
As soon as we got home, Emma wanted to put the dress on. How do you tell the kid that she can't wear it for the month? So I told her it was for Halloween, even though she had no idea what I was talking about. Everyday when it came time to pick out her clothes, she would pick out the dress and I would have to tell her no, it's for Halloween. Soon enough, when Emma was picking out her clothes, she would point to the dress and tell me "Halloween." Once we got a little closer to Halloween, I began to tell Emma that on Halloween she gets to wear her dress, she would have a party at school and she would get lots of treats. This always got her jumping up and down excited. She was also learning about Halloween at school. She had to memorize a story about five little pumpkins.
This past week, Emma and I did a countdown...five more days till Halloween, four more days, etc. Finally, the night before Halloween, I told her "tomorrow is Halloween!" The next morning when she woke up, she went straight for the dress in her closet and told me "mama, Halloween!"
The school had a costume parade for the kids which parents were welcome to attend. Each class took a turn walking around the gym to show off their costumes. Most kids are shy and trudge around quietly. Not my Emma! She was the star of the show. When it was her classroom's turn, it was time for the Emma STRUT! Once again I was kicking myself for not having the camera. She had the whole crowd of parents in stitches as she strutted, danced and clapped around the gym. I was laughing my head off and trying not to cry at the same time! Talk about emotion overload. It brought me such joy to see how happy she is and how much fun she was having. I think we have a future performer on our hands!
Being the cruel pet owner I am, I decided it would be fun to dress the dogs up for Halloween. They are such troopers! Emma thought it was absolutely hilarious when I dressed Tifa as a ballerina and Anson as a pumkin. She laughed so hard she was holding her gut!
Trick or treating was fun. We had an unusually warm day, so it was nice to get out into the neighborhood. It only took Emma three houses to figure out that she had to say "trick or treat" and open her bag for people to give her candy. We only did our street, and she made out like a bandit! Our cute little girl and our dressed up dogs were quite a hit! By the end of the street, she could barely hold her bag and she kept saying "too heavy!" Although, when I asked her if we should go home, she would say no!
After that, we rented Emma a movie and came home to enjoy her treats. We let her pig out. I was hoping she could eat it all in one sitting, but that just wasn't possible. Now we have lingering treats to get rid of...not so good for little teeth!
As I saw Emma's joy and excitement yesterday, I couldn't help but think about her orphanage. What would she have been doing that day if she didn't come home with us? What are all her other friends doing? It still breaks my heart to think of it. I don't think it's something I'll ever get over.
When we first arrived home from Ukraine, Terry and I agreed our whole process was so terrible, we would never do it again. Now we've gotten to the point that if we had the money to do it, we might consider doing it again. Crazy, huh? Unfortunately, we would have to win the lottery to pay off this adoption and be able to afford to do it again. Who knows what our future will hold.
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