Revelation 3:8 (New International Version)
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

The child is the beauty of God present in the world – that greatest gift to a family.” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday: We meet Benjamin!!

We were picked up early and off we went to meet his social worker and get some more paperwork. We then drove to the orphanage to meet the director and some staff who remembered us. They spent some time peeking at Noah's pictures. They loved seeing how in 1 year he had changed. Noah had been put on the bus to go to the institution for life but we had arrived just in time. They now could look at his pictures and see that God had other plans for him. After they looked at the pictures they had wet eyes and said through the translator. "let me tell you about Artyom" We will be naming him Benjamin. and then she continued "he is a gentle boy and loved my so many here in the orphanage" We knew he must be because he had not yet been sent away...they had been hoping a family would come for him. "He loves to dress up and play in the children's performances". We could tell this boy was special last year when we first met Blessed we felt to be able to return and get him. This child has a purpose and being in an institution for the rest of his life was not it.
After she updated us on his medical and social history....the door opened and there he was in his pajamas and tights with white shoes looking as if he had just woken up. His hand was being held by his nanny who had him sit on her lap. I looked at him and let them tell him that this was his "Mama and Papa" the nurse then put him down and he was encouraged to not be shy but to come to us and say hello. He was a doll. He came right up with a big smile but still a little shy. There was no doubt he remembered us. Steven picked him up and Benjamin laid his head on Steven's chest smiling. When I looked up the nanny's eyes were I knew why she had that hankie in her hand. She without a doubt cared very much about this boy. I then had to tell Steven that it was my turn to hold him! I held him and kept pointing to myself saying "Mama" and then on his own he said "Mama" touching my chest as if he clearly understood what my name would be. I just wonder if he knew what a "mama and Papa" is. I wondered if he thought "wow, I have seen other children with mamas and papas is this my own?" Benjamin has seen many parents go to adopt and he has always waved and welcomed them to the orphanage as they loved on their new little it was his turn. I wish I had pictures but didn't want to take out my camera because I think it was a little emotional for everyone. We will see him tomorrw and of course I will take pictures. After we left him...we went to do more paperwork then get a bite to eat then off to take 2 buses to see Ellia and Ian who we had not seen since Monday. We made sure for our facilitator to tell him that we would be back. He was not upset when we arrived but instead very happy.


So Wednesday came around and at 4pm we received what we needed (documents and official referral for Benjamin). Back on the train for 6 hours. This time we sat in first class ( I think that is what they called it) and they showed something similiar to the sitcom "Scrubs" only it was in Russian. Everyone would just break out laughing and sometimes you couldn't help laugh because everyone else was laughing and they seemed as if they were having a great time. Some parts were funny and you didn't need to speak Russian you could just figure it out but oh how I wish they had it in English the time would have flown by. I just read again and quickly finished my book.
The name of the book is Reckless Faith by Beth G (can't remember her last name). It was really a good book that shares her memoirs on her leap of faith in opening an orphanage in Mexico.
The train arrived back in our children's city at 12pm or so and the taxi was waiting. It was around 1am before we went to bed. I knew that when I woke up that the day to see Benjamin after a year would be here.

Almost forgot about Sunday Night

Let me stick this in here. I almost forgot that Sunday night Steven and Elijah went to a basketball game. They were given free tickets by our friend Nicholas who's friends play ball. The game was Ukraine vs England. Ukraine won and Steven and Nicholas feel that it was because they cheered and got the Ukrainian fans going and into the game. I guess they usually clap but are not very loud even during a game. Everytime Steven would yell something in English the fans around him would also yell. Guess what they made it to National TV! The camera focused and there they were.

Monday and Tuesday

Paperwork and Paperwork. We drove in the taxi for hours from Notary to social worker
and went to go buy some groceries. We were also told to be ready at 5:45am for the taxi to pick us up and take us to the capitol where our second SDA appointment would be. This is what what we need in order to have an official referral for Benjamin. I could hardly believe it. I figured we would see the SDA at 1pm Tuesday and take the train back that evening. There was a possibility that Wednesday we would see I thought.

Tuesday: At 6:15am there was no taxi but we called our facilitator and she quickly hung up and called the taxi driver..I think he overslept. "wait in the corner, he will be right there". 17 minutes later a screeching car comes to a skid. "So Sorry he said, lets go teh train will leave in a few minutes". Ok I know I live in NC and I thought how cool would it be to ride in Nascar. Not anymore. I experienced it here but with no helmet and no seat belt. I must have said Mama Mia a million times and I must have may the sign of the cross at least 10 times. He drove through red lights and the police was right there!! I pointed as we went flying by but he said "Corachon" which means "OK". At one point I was putting on my seat belt and he said that I didn't need it and he smiled almost in a laughing manner. Silly me..We are only going 90 miles an hour in a matchbox size car passing huge trucks. Well, we made it to the train. He parked on the sidewalk and said "hurry, hurry" this running does not work in flip flops but we made it. The train had 2 benched seats one on each side facing each other and a small table in the middle. This was similiar to the night train but the bench seats were not beds and there was no bunk beds on top. The train was 0645 to 1240pm.
There was the 3 of us and this girl maybe in her 20's. She slept curled up most of the time and would awake...have tea and a snickers bar and return to sleep. I just read a book but before I knew it I fell asleep too. The train stops and people do hop off to smoke and then hop back on. When we arrived at the capitol city...our taxi driver said it was to early for the SDA so it was better to just go walk around for another 2 hours.
We were finally hurried in to sit down and talk about Benjamin. He has lived in the orphanage all 4 years and was given up immediatly after his birth because of his diagnosis being conformed. "He has Down Syndrome". His mom was very young and single so placing him in the orphanage was what she felt was best for her and for him. Here he was adorable. We will be able to have his only baby picture once he is adopted.
Since it was already 4pm we would be unable to sign papers and get the papers needed to enter into his orphanage so staying in the capitol until Wednesday is what we would have to do. I hate that we have to pay another 60 dollars but there is no other choice. Adoption teaches you patience right from the very beginning. The apartment was very clean and it is the first one that had internet...but guess what my computer had no cord and it was dead. Just my luck!!


I told myself that this trip would be different with blogging. I told myself that everyday I would write but it doesn't help when you leave to go to back to the Capitol city and you forget your computer's cord to charge it.

Sunday: we found out at 10am that Ian and Ellias orphanage allows visitors on Sunday so even though we would be late...we wanted to at least see them. It was 11am by the time the van dropped us off outside the gates. When we arrived we heard all the kids screaming again Mama and Ian was sitting on the bench looking up but with eyes that were wet and cheeks that showed the salty tears dried up all down his face. The nannies told us he didn't want to go inside because he told them that Mama and Papa were coming but given the time...(we usually arrive at 0950 and it was now 11:05) the nannies figured we were not. Ian refused to go inside and sat firmly on the bench. My heart just broke. I also saw his ear red so not sure if he got in trouble for being adament about not going inside. Poor baby.
Ellia was also happy to see us but I don't think she figured out what time we arrive. Every day the kids seem happier and happier.