Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Until We Meet Again....

Ughhh this is the hardest day...this 3rd and final vist! How did it go by so quickly? It took months and months to get to that point, and it took 3 days to end. Time is so tricky. It can stretch out for all eternity, or it can go by in the blink of an eye. Why does it always do the opposite of what we want?

We get to the orphanage earlier on the last day. I am hoping and praying that we get to stay longer than the 20-30 minutes that we were allotted the first 2 visits. The route that we take to get to Dima's building is endless on the last day. I just wanted to get to him, pick him up, kiss him, and take him outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Again, we go through the stinky check in building, a yard, an administration building, more grounds or yard, the playground, and finally his "home". The prior 2 days we had not run into any unpleasant people or rudeness of any kind. Well...not that I know of anyway. I can't understand but more than 2 or 3 words during a conversation. But this time was a little different. We were greeted by an extremely unpleasant woman in the foyer. I have no idea what she said, but I know it was bad because even our coordinator made a comment on how mean she was! I guess it's a good thing I don't speak the language! One thing I do know is that she commanded us to put on sterile booties over our shoes. So, we did as we were told and headed up the stairs to get our little boy!

There were kids EVERYWHERE! Where had they all come from?! I couldn't believe it. There were teenage age kids doing "chores". Running around with trays of food delivering them to the appropriate rooms. There were kids on the stairs, and on the common areas! All the doors were open and the rooms where filled. None of them were hidden away like before, and all the doors remained opened as were walked by. I was amazed and shocked for more than one reason. One of the reasons I'll save for a blog post all on it's own. The other, I have mentioned before. I could not believe that they were allowing us to see everything. When we got to the commons area that we had met in before, Dima was not there. I was a little disappointed. I was hoping that they would have him all ready so we could get as much time with his as possible. As we were standing there, one of the care givers told us that we could go to his group's room. This was exciting to me, I could see some of the other children in his group. I wasn't ready to it when I saw it. I had to bite my cheek to the point I could taste blood in order not to cry in front of everyone. This was so overwhelming. There was so many little ones in the room. They were all doing things that I had read about. I read about things...but I guess that I wasn't really expecting to see them in real life. Kids crawling on the floor that should not be crawling on the floor, kids rocking in the corner, kids rolling around on the floor as another means of transportation, and kids doing all kinds of different things to self stim. I just wasn't ready. I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall to see my reaction. I hope and pray that I covered up my feelings. That you could not see on the outside what I was feeling on the inside! In no way did I want to disrespect anyone there...to include these precious angels that were so crazy excited to see us. I didn't spot our little man so I continued to return hugs that I was getting at a cyclic rate! I loved it! A little nervous at first, but I loved these little boys! How in the world were Charlie and I going to pick up our baby and walk out of there without the others? But soon Dima came "walking" down the hall all bundled up for us to take him outside in the beautiful sun! I picked him up and make my way through the sea of little boys wanting just even a smile. At at time when I thought I should feel overwhelmed with joy holding my baby and taking him outside, I felt the opposite. I felt ashamed and guilty that we were only taking 1 boy. I almost couldn't look the rest of them in the eye. But I had to...I had to smile at them and let them know that they were not invisible!

We took Dmitri outside to play on the old warn out playground equipment like we had done the day before. Shortly, about 5 boys from his group were coming out to play as well! The caregiver tries to get them outside as often as she can. There are 15 of them and 1 or her. She tells our coordinator that she brings out a couple children at a time so she can play with them and keep an eye on them. At first she didn't want them to interfere with us and Dmitri's time but I kept playing with them so I think that she relaxed a little and let them play. They just wanted to be boys and play! Twenty minutes or so passed and I started to get worried that we were going to have to go in and leave our little boy that we had come so far to see. But nothing was said, so we continued to play with him and watch him play. I loved to just watch him watching the other play and take everything in that was going on around him. He loved throwing the ball but his favorite thing was giving us kisses!

Soon, about 1 1/2 hours later, we were instructed to bring him inside. It was time for them to eat and time for their naps. What a sick feeling I had in my stomach. This time I didn't notice anything around me while walking back to his room. I just hurt all over. His caregiver could tell that we were hurting and heartbroken and she felt bad for us. While I was holding Dima, giving him my last kiss I started to tear up. I had done so good not crying this whole time. I think his caregiver was scolding me a little and telling me not to cry in front of him. She urged me to go into the bathroom and dry my face! I'm glad that she did cause I got to stand in that little bathroom and have myself a good quick cry. I gave him a billion more kisses and hugs before I handed him over.

The rest is a blur and the rest of the trip is really not important. I just wanted to sleep so we could pass time and get back to him. I think this would be easier to endure if I new that we didn't have to wait so long to see him again. There is a lot of vacation to be had in his country apparently so court dates won't be assigned until everyone involved comes back to work. I wish that I could go on vacation and take a break from all of this! Better yet, I wish those boys could take a vacation from their life. Just get away from it all for a little bit. Unfortunately, their life is all that they know and they have no other happiness to compare it to. Maybe that is a good thing...or this is something that I tell myself so I can stop feeling guilty about not being able to bring more than one of them home at a time.

So sweet Dima...my little beautiful man...please know that I am thinking of you all day every single day. I still dream about you since that is the only way I can see you. Please feel our love baby and know without a doubt that we are coming back to get you. It's just going to be a little longer than we had hoped. We pray that you stay healthy and safe and you can feel our arms around you until we meet again.