Saturday, September 15, 2012

Big girl panties and a great visit-day 22.

I have been sitting here wondering if I should start or end on the upnote.  I have been quite the downer lately and finally have some good things to say.  But, I also have some not so pleasant things as well.  I suppose it is always better to leave it happy, so I'll start with my frustration.  If you don't want to hear it-skip down to the bottom.

I have been open and honest cause I don't really know how to be anything else. And I have hoped that I haven't been too annoying or whiny, but mostly, I have just been too exhausted to care much if anyone is irritated with my bitching.

I posted a little bit about some of the challenges in daily life over here in this post.  I have also posted about some of the other rough things going on here and here.  But, here is the thing. Unless you are over here you really can not understand it. The family that had DAP with us and then rode to region with us (currently at home during the 10 day wait) even stated that they had not at all expected being here to be so hard.  People just can't understand without being here.  And that is fine, Most people are still very supportive and sympathetic.

But, yesterday someone told me to put my big girl panties on.  She probably meant this to be funny, but in my overly fragile (read whiny) state I took it pretty harshly.  And then I saw two more families that are over here posting about how people at home are being less than supportive.  That is pretty lame.  Especially from people who have never experienced anything like this. So I wanted to address it.  This is not directed at the person who made the statement, but to anyone who  might not understand why it is so hard over here, and why those of us here might not have a sense of humor about it.

Believe me, I have my big girl panties on.  If I didn't, I wouldn't be here.  And if I had gotten this far wearing tiny girl panties, I certainly wouldn't be making it through the day.

Yes, my days are monotonous and less than awesome. Yes, I am tired of the food, the language barrier, trying to convert money in my head every time I go any where.  But these are stupid little inconveniences.  These are things that wouldn't much phase me at all if I weren't completely broken by other aspects of being here.  My own irritations are not the problem.  This isn't about me.

Yes, I miss my children at home worse than I could ever explain on Blogger or even in two books of French poetry.  My children are my life.  I physically ache for them.  And I don't know who is keeping them from one day to the next. That is extremely stressful. I also miss my husband.  800 times a day I want to call him and tell him something. I want to hold his hand, and hear him laugh.  But, I do know my children will be safe somewhere.  They will be cared for and loved on.  I know I will see my husband and my children soon, even if it doesn't feel even remotely soon enough.  This is very hard, and it weakens my reserves drastically, but it doesn't kick my feet out from under me.

All of these other things are not the reason that I can not seem to pull up the strength to act cheerful and upbeat. At the center of this trip is a child.  A child who is currently living in an orphanage.  I know that is an abstract idea to many of you, but it is a very harsh reality. I go to this place for 2 hours every day and I visit the child that I desperately long to take home. I see her blackened eye. I see her rotting teeth.  I see her pain and her fear.

With Eva the biggest challenge was discovering and learning to work with her unexpected diagnoses.  I can see that, with V, the biggest challenge will be dealing with her past trauma, and the fear of attachment that will come with it.  Helping her learn to be and function in a healthy family.  It will be hard, and I admit, it is a little scary.  Right now it is like being poised at the starting line of a very important race waiting to hear the gun.  The race will be hard, but the waiting to start is agonizing. I am ready to pull the trigger and get running. Get healing.

Right now, looking into her eyes and seeing the trauma is brutal.  That is how each day begins.  Two hours looking at my child who has been through more in her 5 years than most people ever go through.  She has suffered for it, is suffering for it.  And, yet,  I am not yet in a position to be able to help her heal.  I feel helpless.  Maybe you can imagine how that might affect your overall mood.

But even with V, I know there is an end, a beginning really, on it's way. As long as we pass court, she will be home within a month.  It will be a long road from there, but we will, at least, be on the right path. She will have hope and a future.

But there are dozens of other children that will not. In groupa 5 alone there are over a dozen children. I have, so far, spent 6.5 weeks with these kids. I hold their hands, look at their faces, speak to them in terrible Russian.  Most of these children can not be adopted internationally and won't be adopted domestically. The reality is that the future for these precious souls is very bleak. The numbers vary, but about 10-15% will commit suicide before 18.  70% of boys end up criminals.  And almost as many girls end up prostitutes.

These children that line up to hug me goodbye each day.  That call out to me in excitement when I arrive.  These children who smile shy smiles and wave at me repeatedly during my visit. Those are the odds they face.

And this is why I am broken over here. This is why the other little things going wrong sends me over the edge. When I say I have no reserves to pull from-this is why. These children are the reason.  I want to fix it and I can't.  This isn't about some distant, global orphan crisis.  This is about Tania.  This is about Sasha. It is about Dima, and Masha, and Kola, and dozens and dozens of REAL children.  IT IS NOT ABOUT ME.

And it certainly isn't about just putting on my big girl panties.  I wanted to clarify that for someone who might think that I am whining for myself. Because I am not. I am broken for the millions of children all over the world who will go to bed tonight feeling unloved, unwanted, and unseen. It is for the dozens of children that I look at everyday who will also feel unloved, unwanted, and unseen.  It is for my child who remains in that place, waiting for her time to break free.

And all this doesn't even get into how hard it will be once she is free and the race has begun.  But this blog post would take a year to read if I went into all the reasons why this is all so excruciating and brutal. 

So, now that we have that clear-

Today's visit was amazing.  Really, truly, wonderful visit.  V interacted more than she has in a week.  She was upbeat and playful.  I loved, loved, loved being with her today. It wasn't hard. It wasn't work. It flowed.  I felt like Mom and she felt like my child.  What a gift!!

Then I came back to the apartment and moved into my new room. It is my favorite so far.  I hope Amy and I can get this one when we get back.  It is perfect for 2 people.

2 days left till I should hear some news about court.  Getting through the weekend one hour at a time!


Pictures-
hording walnuts. she was filling that bag. it is very hard to keep her from spending the whole visit searching the ground for walnuts.

remnants of the black eye. 

too small shoes


it is also hard to keep her from hoarding berries and eating them the whole visit. from the way she acts, I don't think she is supposed to be doing it. The nannies do it a lot and I think they don't want the kids eating them.

super fancy second room-living room

super fancy 2nd room-kitchen

super fancy second room-hallway

super fancy 2nd room-living room
super fancy second bedroom

super fancy 2nd room-bedroom





view from the super fancy second bedroom/loft
view from the balcony of the super fancy 2nd room
current room kitchen





bedroom number 1

bedroom number 1

bedroom number 2





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