Friday, December 2, 2011

First Hug

Written in my journey on Wednesday 10/12/11

I asked many times when we might see the kids. I asked our driver (as if he would know). I asked the manager at the hotel (as if he would know). But no one knew. I was hopeful to see them soon but also set in my mind that it probably would not be until the next day. We settled into our room. I busied myself by organizing our bags while Josh conked out for a nap. About an hour or two later our driver reappeared at our door and asked us if we had time to see the kids today. Ummmm...... YES!

I woke Josh up. He was completely disoriented and groggy. I had showered earlier but wanted to put on some make up. In a way this felt like a first date. I got ready just as quickly as I could.

We arrived at the orphanage and all the children (not just ours) were in a group in the front yard. We got out of the car and approached them. It was without ceremony. I said hello to our 4 and asked each for a hug. Then we just stood there and I was thinking "now what?" My day dreams of this moment had never gone past that first hug.

JoAnita's English is very good. She understood almost everything we said. Oh! We had Sarah and Sylvia backwards in the photos. I had suspected that but it still caused me to stutter every time I went to call one of them by name. Sylvia (who we had thought was Sarah in the photos) also speaks a fair amount of English. She understood all of the basics. Sarah and Ryan speak no English at all. But JoAnita is a huge help with that.

After a few minutes, I sat down on the grass. Instantly all the children were sitting too. All just looking at me. I pulled Sylvia and Sarah next to me. Ryan wouldn't make eye contact with me. JoAnita explained that he wants to leave with us. He was sad that we were not taking them with us right then (We would learn weeks later that all prior parents had taken custody on the first day. Some parents have felt overwhelmed in the past by such a quick transition and so our agency recommended that we give it a week or so before taking custody. However the kids did not know this. It had to have completely unnerved them when we said that we were there for them but then left without them twice. We took custody on the third day). We saw a guest book inside and it shows that they get lots of visitors. Ryan obviously does not feel confident that we really are going to take them with us. After a while with him on my lap, he started talking. Ryan kept saying (JoAnita translated) "I want to go in the car. I want to leave with you. I want to go now." Sarah was saying (again, JoAnita translated) "I want to go to America. I want to go to America."

We played with bubbles. We ran out of liquid within about 10 minutes. Those kids are bonkers for bubbles. I tried taking pictures but they were all mobbing me so much that most pictures had a hand right in front or something. It was completely exhausting. But we had a great time.

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