Sunday, December 12, 2010

A few things about Bella (with her approval)

  • Bella is turning 15 next week, and she is in 8th grade (on account of her corresponding grade level in Russia at time of adoption). She is in the same grade and now in the same class as Craig. Bella's forte is sciences, especially applied sciences. Her weakest points are History and Geography. She is also good with languages. 
  • Bella also uses her original Russian name, Zhanna. She was born in Birobidzhan, in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the Russian Far East where she lived till she was adopted about 2 years ago and she was taught Yiddish in kindergarten/early in school. She is not Jewish, though. It's just a compulsory subject in schools there. I'm not sure of she took Yiddish once she went to the orphanage, but she speaks it pretty well (and it probably helped with her reading Hebrew so well).
  • Her first mother passed away due to Huntington's disease when Bella was 9. Her father left soon after her mother was diagnosed and later also passed away. Bella was soon registered as available for adoption. After her arrival in Israel she was tested for HD, and the tests were luckily negative. Her mother had been a hair dresser and beautician and her father a mechanic. 
  • Bella has one older sister, who was already too old for adoption when she was adopted 2 years ago. She is an orphanage graduate, who, with the help from some Christian missionaries finished her secondary education and is now studying in the the city's pedagogical institute (like a teacher training college). She is engaged to get married in the summer of 2012, and Bella might very well be a bridesmaid! 
  • Bella wanted me to point out that Russia's chief Rabbi is from the same city as she is, and in addition his training took part in Budapest and his wife is Hungarian. 
  • Bella is fluent in Russian and Hebrew, and speaks Yiddish and German well. She has taken English at school for the past two years. Her adoptive family are ethnic Russians, so that helped with the language skills. 
  • She likes studying together with Craig and is not bothered by the 3.5 years of age difference between them when it comes to school work. 
  • Bella likes cooking Russian food, and is kashrut conscious, so she is pretty good at turning recipes kosher. She also likes doing the dishes by hand, she says it's her thinking time. And singing time...
  • ...because Bella is a great fan of the program Kokhav Nolad (Israel's equivalent to American Idol). She is especially fond of Kokhav Nolad alumns Bo'az Ma'uda, Roni Dalumi, Harel Skaat (Yes!) and Harel Moyal....
  • it might not be a surprise that she wants to name her baby Harel if it's a boy. If the baby is a girl, the dad will get to pick her name.
  • Bella either wants to go on to get a trade (hair dresser, or seamstress) or, if she will be eligible for the Bagrut (school leaving exams/certificate) she'd like to study tourism or something related to catering. Her dream job is working in event planning/catering.


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