Let me start by saying this will probably be the worst blog post ever. I. am. drained. Today was such a mix of emotions.
We got here and went to the social worker. This time that was a much more fun experience. The same social worker, but she remembered us and was happy to see us. She just looked at our pictures of Eva Marina and put some on the wall of her office! Then we were off to the orphanage.
We went in and saw the director, who is super nice. She also loved seeing our pictures. And she was genuinely choked up at the sight of EM. Without any notice a woman came in with V and told her we were her mama and papa. She looked terrified. She walked up and just leaned in to hug me, but she was clearly very nervous. I don't think she had even looked at our faces yet.
Hope for Sharon and Mayah day 5
Then they told us to go out to the yard with her. She took my hand, but would not look up and was very shy. This was so different than the little girl who came running up to me last time, grabbing at my hand, clinging to me, and calling me "mama".
She immediately grabbed the photobook when I showed it to her. She walked right up to her nanny and the nanny remembered us. She asked if there were pictures of Marina. Then we all looked at it together. The groupa crowded around. The groupa is part of why today was so tough. But, I will come back to that. The other kids were climbing us and clinging to us. I think that when they see another child getting a mama and papa they want it so badly. But when it is a reality, the fear of the unknown, the change, hits them. I know how much V wants a mama and a papa but I think now that it is really happening she is a bit shell shocked.
Remember when it was EM's turn, EM was a bit stand offish and V was climbing me.
But this is actually a good, normal reaction. I was a bit worried that V would be indiscriminately clingy to anyone that came in. That she would have attachment issues. Not that she for sure won't, but I am glad she had a hesitant reaction to us. That is a healthy reaction.
We just mostly walked around with her. She was a ball of nervous energy. She clung to that photobook for dear life and would not give it back. I hope it isn't gone because she took it with her. It was amazing to finally be here with her. To be accepting the referral for her. To hear the director tell her that her mama and papa were here for her.
I don't know for sure if she remembered us. Our translator couldn't be with us today, but she is coming tomorrow and will ask. We also didn't get her medical or family history because of that. I am looking forward to tomorrow.
So, seeing her was amazing and wonderful, and we were over the moon about being with her!
But we had two other really strong emotions today. One is worry and one is sorrow.
First, the worry. That complication I talked about could be a mountain or it could be a mole hill. We don't know yet. I want this behind us so badly. Any thoughts, prayers, and nudity for this hurdle to be moved would be appreciated. It is hard to let go and enjoy with this looming.
And, now the sorrow. When we came here 6 months ago the groupa was about 15 children. Today I saw 6 total. That includes V. The other little girl that was so close to EM and V was not here anymore. She could not be adopted so that means she aged out of her baby house. Another little girl that pulled at my heart-gone. Most of these children were not available for international adoption. These kids were in the oldest groupa in the orphanage. Most of these children have been transferred. Whether they went to the institution or the internat depends on how severe their needs. But either place will not be what they are used to. It will also not be a family. And their chances of being adopted as they age gets smaller.
I looked into these children's eyes. I held their hands. I talked to them. For them to be gone, most likely transferred, is heartbreaking. I am hoping that some of the parents came for them. I am hoping some of them were adopted. But I will never know.
And how awful for V and the other little ones that have been left behind. Can you imagine losing most of your friends in 6 months? One after another. Being left behind. Can you imagine what that would do to your heart? How that would harden you over time?
I hope our girl was just nervous today. But I also imagine it has been a rough 6 months. I am so glad we are here for her. That she won't be left behind to age out and face the internat alone. But so many more have been and will be. It is overwhelming. They are all deserving. Where are the parents for these other precious children?
And that is what it is like to be over here doing this. Full of joy, love, devastation, heartbreak, fear, sorrow, happiness, elation, worry, anger, frustration, hope. It is so emotional. so hard. so draining. And yet I am, of course, so grateful to be here. Not only for my family and my daughter. But for myself. That my eyes have been opened. Better to see even when it hurts than to look away ignore the painful reality. These kids are real. These kids are there. waiting. wanting. needing whether we want to look at them or not. As hard as it is for us, imagine how hard it is for them. If we open our eyes and see, we can do something.
So many of you helped do something. And we are grateful. Thank you for looking with us. Thank you for acting. I hope so much none of us looks away again. Even when it would be easier.