Have I kept you all waiting in suspense long enough?
Here it is! The post you've all been waiting for . . .
We met our boys!!!
They are both beautiful, sweet, precious and perfectly created in the image of God. I am so so SO in love already! It is surreal, to finally meet these dear ones that I have loved from afar for so long!
First we got off the train, were met by our wonderful facilitator, and traveled by taxi to the small village where our boys have been living for the last year. We met with a social worker, then met with the director, and explained to both of them a bit about who we are and why we chose to adopt children with special needs. They all seemed very nice and kind and real. They asked us some questions, read through our file, looked at our family photo book, and asked us if we understood what we were getting ourselves into. We assured them that we were ready for it, so we were led into a meeting room and asked to sit on a couch and wait. (By the way, all of this was done with the interpreting help of our facilitator. There is nothing to take you down a few notches like not even being able to understand what anybody around you is saying. We sure feel dumb here! All those phrases I memorized and vocabulary I studied, and I feel helpless as soon as anybody starts talking! They are totally not following the scripts I memorized in my Easy Russian program!)
A few minutes later, we heard crying in the hallway behind us. The crying grew louder and closer. Derek and I looked at each other, trying to guess which of our boys we were hearing for the first time. Then they brought him in. Micah. Oh, dear Micah.
Scared and overwhelmed to be out of his usual surroundings. The nanny laid him gently on the couch next to me and I crouched down and looked into his eyes for the first time. And he stopped crying. And looked right at me. And smiled. And reached for my hands. Oh, be still my heart! He has the absolute sweetest little smile you can imagine, a shy little smirk like he knows something that I don't know and he is still trying to decide about me, whether to share the joke with me or not.
He is beautiful! He is also incredibly tiny, about the size of a twelve-month-old perhaps? But much, much thinner. His grip is weak, and his hands were shaking. He is not doing as well as we had hoped. Perhaps that is a major understatement? He is fed here, we are assured, but he has feeding issues and perhaps is not getting the vitamins he needs? He prefers to lay down, because his head is so heavy due to the hydrocephalus. But he can sit up. He demonstrated that skill for me and looked up at me, as if to say, "Look, see? Do you see that I can do this?" and then he would lay himself gently back down. He is pretty good at moving himself around, though, using his feet to push himself around in a circle. We held hands and stared at each other.
Then another nanny pushed in a little guy in a wheelchair. And I would know that sweet face anywhere! Inside those two coats, and under that winter hat, it was Gideon! Child of my dreams! Alive, and in the flesh!
|we took the hat off for his picture . . . not sure if|
the nanny liked that or not, but look at that hair!
And when the wheelchair stopped, my little boy hopped right out of that chair and ran across the room! Can you believe it? He walks! He runs! He is strong and healthy and so SO SOOOOO busy!
I honestly had no idea what to expect, because I have not spoken with anybody who has seen these children in a year. We did not know what to expect regarding Gideon's cerebral palsy and the effects of a year in his current placement, so I am just delighted to see that Gideon is doing so well. He is a curious little scientist, racing, always slightly off-balance, around the room on tip-toes to examine every single thing. He pulled leaves off the potted tree in the corner. Tasted them. Then spread them out across the table and examined them. Then crawled under the table and fiddled with the lever that fastens the two halves together.
Then climbed onto my lap, hugged me tightly, pressed his face against mine, stood up on my lap, smelled my hair, pulled my barrette out, tasted it, then he was off to check out Daddy. Smelled his hair, tried on his hat, checked his pockets, then off to explore the room some more. And that was all within his first four minutes in the room! Oh, my dear darling Gideon! I have waited so long for this day! I just could not stop laughing and smiling.
And then, right about then, the doctor came into the room. I was asked if I was ready to hear the boys' medical information. Seriously? It was a bit overwhelming, to say the least! I was sitting there, trying to hold Gideon (a.k.a. Tigger) down on the couch next to me, and keep Micah from rolling off the couch, and trying to pay attention to my one chance at getting medical information and details about the boys' lives up until that point. Oy! So I did learn some details that I had not known before, but I have to admit there were some questions I did not think to ask that I wish I had. (Word of advice for parents coming after me: write down all the questions you have beforehand, in case you get the pleasure of combining your first meeting with your child with the doctor meeting!) Then Derek and I were given a few more minutes to get to know the boys some more before they were whisked away for their lunch.
Micah did not want me to pick him up. He was not quite ready for that yet, and preferred to stay next to me on the couch instead. He wanted to hold my hands and look at me. He is ferociously ticklish, and has the cutest giggle you can imagine. He watches everything going on in the room, and scootches himself around so that he can have a better view of the action.
And by action, I mean Gideon! Wow! We were woefully underprepared for this first visit, having absolutely zero toys with us (we had not realized we would be meeting them right then so we left the toys in the car . . . poor planning on our part!) So we spent most of the time telling Gideon, "Nyet," and trying to stop him from knocking over the Christmas tree and running out of the room. Gideon was obviously very over-stimulated and quite excited to be out and running around.
We learned that the boys were transferred together on the same day, and that they are in the same groupa. They obviously know each other well, and are close. Perhaps my favorite part of the entire visit: Gideon was bouncing all over the place, my beautiful untamed wild-child, and I was trying to get him to sit still on my lap, and then he saw Micah, and he stilled. He reached down for Micah, and the boys held hands. Ah, the calm. The gentling in Gideon's demeanor when he was close to Micah! They held each other's hands and smiled at each other. Do they know yet? Know that they are soon to become brothers for real, forever? No, they don't know yet. But to see that bond. I know that God has orchestrated this journey, this day, this meeting, this moment, for me to see that these boys belong together. Brothers.
So before long, the boys were taken back out of the room, and that was it. The end of Visit Number One. Stay tuned for Visit Number Two!