Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fifth visit, good-bye for now....

Driving to today's visit, the weather matched our mood: gray and somber. We knew this would be the last visit for likely two months until we come back for court to make the adoption final. But as soon as we pulled up to his orphanage, all we felt was excitement and anticipation at seeing him again.

We found him upstairs with his groupa, and we were able to get him dressed to go outside. We were told we'd only get a short visit today, since it was colder outside.

When he was all dressed in his outside clothes, we headed down the stairs. They have a cute handrail that is down really low so the kids can help themselves down the stairs. He had no problems maneuvering the stairs, but he did stop when he noticed dad hadn't done the snaps up on his coat! He had to have it snapped all the way up, good and proper.

It is easy to see that he understands we only know a few words of his language, but he takes it in stride and gestures so well it is pretty easy to understand what he wants.

Outside we kicked the ball around again, but this time I carried him while we ran and kicked it and he giggled up a storm at that! His laugh is so addicting, sometimes he snorts when he laughs and it's even cuter.

We got to have some mom-and-son time alone in the pavilion, where he got out some wet wipes and motioned for me to sit on the floor with him. At first he didn't want me taking the package from him because he thought I might put them away, but I told him and gestured that I would help him get one out, so he handed them to me. He wiped down the walls, then came over and wiped my hands for me and then my shoes. He loves to do "grown up" things like that.

He wears a diaper, but today he told us when he was going potty so we took him in to change him. I think it won't take too long for him to go on the toilet at least during the day, since he was so aware.

When we came back outside, he was counting the stairs as we went down (our facilitator said he was saying "one, two" over and over, but with the right inflection so that we could tell he was counting. So Brian started counting his fingers and he loved it! He would stick out his hand and copy Brian for each number. It was sweet to hear him speak some English. But to me, his little words in his own language are far sweeter! Some of the photos below are of him counting his fingers. You can see him mouthing "two".

I also let him hold my camera while he was sitting down and take some photos of me. It was so funny to go through those photos later today and see all the pictures of my mouth, shoulders and head. He loves the camera, so we're pretty sure we'll need to bring him a toy one on our next trip :-)

We asked our facilitator to take some photos of us all together, and I was amazed that he actually looked at the camera and smiled when she told him to! He could teach my youngest two a thing or two about that! I always seem to get a grimace or a silly face when I ask them to smile for the camera! I love the photo, it is definitely getting a spot on our mantel at home.

Soon enough we had to bring him in. We got him changed into his inside clothes (did you notice the photo in the last post with the #1 sewn inside his pants? He has his number sewn or written on each piece of his clothing). We told him he could keep the book that says the words, and he was so proud to show it to his groupa. We also left the beach ball and a photo book of pictures of us, the kids and our home. They have told us they will show it to him often and talk to him about his mama and papa who will be coming back soon.

He gave us big hugs and a kiss on each cheek before joining his groupa. We kept it very upbeat and happy, but when that door shut our hearts broke a little. I won't complain though, because this boy is well-loved by all who care for him. And of course he has dear Olga who will visit him like always. Before we left the gates of the orphanage, two caregivers wished us safe travels and told us they hope to see us soon.

Could this experience have gone any better? I doubt it. Although it was full of different emotions, we have been beyond blessed to have many reassurances that this was our child, that we were doing what was right. I look at him and wonder how it took four years to find him, he feels already a part of us. I tried not to set myself up for disappointment if I didn't immediately feel connected to him. And I will freely admit that after our first visit, I was still terrified. But I have prayed for my heart and his, and those prayers have been answered. Even I have been amazed at the way my heart has just opened wide for this child who was a stranger to me only seven days ago! Adoption is a miraculous thing! The human heart is capable of a kind of love even we can't grasp, until we're in the moment. I know it will take time to fully become attached to each other, and I am sure there will be many bumps in the road along that journey. But I am so, so grateful to be leaving this first trip with no doubt in my mind that he is ours, and that our attachment WILL happen, I am sure.

So, Arnold, paka paka, until we meet again. Mama loves you...


  1. So wonderful. So glad it was such an amazing trip. he is an amazing little guy.

  2. Beautiful photo of Arnold with his mommy and daddy! What a sweet boy he is! Four years is a long time for you all to wait for each other! Cannot wait to see Christmas at your house this year! That will be wonderful if Arnold can be in Idaho to celebrate!

  3. Looks like he already likes play houses! Good thing since he has one waiting at home in Idaho. These pics are all so great. We'll pray he's home for Christmas!

  4. Looks like he already likes play houses! Good thing since he has one waiting for him in Idaho! We'll pray too that he is home for Christmas.