We arrived yesterday and had to do the paperwork chase and then we went to the orphanage. We were so excited! How do feel when you know you will meet your child for the first time? Like when they laid our bio children in our arms, it is an unbelievable feeling when you meet your child and begin the process of marveling over them and getting to know them.
The director had told her the night before that a family was coming who might want to adopt her so she was expecting us. They finally ushered in this absolutely adorable and precious girl. We got up and met her halfway coming in the room and we hugged her. I am crying while I tell you about this meeting. She was beaming from ear to ear. She is very pretty, wholesome, and so poised and self confident. We spent the day with her and we bonded very quickly.
When we came back in the afternoon she came running down the path and threw herself into our arms with the biggest smile. We gave her the photo album that the girls and I had made for her showing our family, her new home and her old friends. She was so delighted, and in it I had put pictures I printed from the computer of her friends in America who had been adopted. That would be E, K ,M(A) and she was so thrilled. Today she took us to the music room and she played the piano which she does beautifully and sang for us. She is an incredible young lady. Lena is everything we heard and more. She is well loved by the other children and our facilitator said she is so kind and has a sweet heart. She is nice to all the children even the ones who are younger. She shared everything we gave her with the others and would pull in the ones who were shy and standing in the back to make sure they got something too.
Later she came and sat between her Dad and I and she laid her head on my shoulder and started crying and kept hugging me so tight. I thought maybe she was sad that she was leaving, so later I asked our facilitator to ask her why she was crying. Sveta talked to her and said, she was crying because she was so happy to finally have a family of her own. She kept showing everyone her album and saying my papa is a pelot (pilot) and mama a teacher and my brothers and sisters and my home. Does it get any better than this, and people think we are so wonderful for what we are doing. No, this is so selfish because we love the feeling of being able to give such a deserving child a family and a future.
I never have the words to express the orphanage children. We have spent so much time playing with them and every night we go back to the apartment and cry for them. Such beautiful children with no family. They wander around a pitted asphalt area. The teachers are wonderful they are so kind and try to do so much on so little. I brought two suitcases loaded with games, hair clips, paints, and so much more. Tonight Mark played for two hours with the football I brought. That was very new to them and he showed them how to play the game. Quite funny when there is no common language, but amazing how that barrier can be overcome. It brought tears to my eyes to see these boys of all ages just loving the attention and how they hung on everything he said or did. In the meantime I brought big bubble makers and we had them running and jumping, blowing and catching bubbles. Then I brought all kinds of earrings, lip gloss, and nail polish so I spent the evening doing manicures with the girls. We also made paper cranes and they were so incredibly patient. I teach paper crane making to my 6th grade class and my students are not nearly so patient.
They have so little it is heart breaking. I see them running around in the plastic shoes and half of the bottom will be missing so only the heel will be covered and the toes will be on the pavment. This is an extremely poor orphanage. There is one little girl who is 8 and she looks to be about 5 she followed me everywhere, but kept her distance, she is extremely shy. I would talk to her and she would not make eye contact so I just kept trying. I finally won her confidence and now she stays by me the whole time. She is really a stand out in many ways I would love to see her get a home. Everywhere you go they just want two seconds of your time to show a drawing they have done or to hope you will speak to them. I had two little girls about 7 bring me a drawing today that had both their names on it and had mama and papa written over their names. I told Mark this is always the part that is the hardest to bear the ones we know we are leaving behind. They are forever etched in your hearts and your memory.
There is so much more to tell but I must close for now.