He was more or less a different child today than he was just yesterday. There was never a moment that he seemed overstimulated, but was focused on us, looked into our eyes, and melted into our arms every chance he got. Kids are resilient I tell you.
But he is just so painfully thin and small. At a year and a half, I would be surprised if he weighed 12 pounds.
As we delight in him, rock and cuddle him, I can’t begin to imagine even a fraction of His love for this boy, while we pray over his heart, as we hold him close. Today was a day to pamper our son, so first he had a lotion massage with Dr. Bronner’s lavender lotion. He just loved it, and when I rubbed the dry spots on his feet, he stared deeply into my eyes, wondering. Peaceful. Contemplative. “Where have you been, mama?”
I even got his little face, which he thought was pretty funny.
Then it was time for the covert mission to feed him the baby food pouches, even though, “lunch is soon…”
|my poor, thin baby|
Oh gosh, I may be biased, but I think this child is just the sweetest. How did we get so blessed, I can’t believe there was a time that Andrew and I were contemplating for more than a minute whether or not we should bring this child home–shifting our gaze from God to concern and fear, but reading and remembering that the only true freedom is surrender. In a moment when our flesh was consumed with “what ifs,” and “hows.” But remembering who Beauty is, and the freedom and joy in a yes to Him–and today it is so tangible.
Massages, watered, dressed, fed, this may just be the best morning he’s had all month!
Then it was time to take some visa and passport photos, cause you know, this boy’s got some traveling to do soon.
|I love my mommy and daddy!!!|
No ‘cuddle therapy’ needed. All he wanted to do today was be held and rocked and kissed. I can’t believe how fast this boy has learned. I just can’t wait to get him home and hold him all day long, which is pretty much the plan.
“but in Him, it has always been ‘Yes!’ For no matter how many promises God has made, they are all ‘Yes’ in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1: 19-20)
|“Me too, mama!”|
While Andrew was feeding Elijah, I got up my nerve, and pulled out one of the stacks of blankies donated by Comfort Silkie.
I have learned it’s easier not to ask permission for something that seems so simple, because, well, I’ll explain some other time. I slipped into one of the open doors, and quickly pulled one blankie at a time out of the stack, pink, yellow, white. I quietly held it up to the babies’ faces, who looked at me in silent wonder, stroking the silkie part along the curve of their cheek. Their tiny fingers touched the blankie.
They couldn’t get enough.
As quick as I could, I gave one to each and went back to the room with Andrew and Elijah, even though I still had more blankies. A little while later, I went in to see how the babies were doing with the blankies, did they cast them aside, did the pay no attention to them? The blankies are specially designed to bring comfort by simulating the sensation of amniotic fluid within a mother’s womb, bringing comfort.
Much to my happiness, the babies tenderly clutched their gift of comfort and had dozed off to sleep, the silkie part brought up to their little faces.
They held them in their hands silently, and stared at them in awe.
Each child held onto their blankets tenderly, many growing very quite.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw around a little hall, a boy had taken his blankie and was carefully, slowly folding it, holding it under his chin to line up the edges just right.
Smoothing his hands over the silky side.
I asked him if I could take a picture of him with his blankie. He held it up to his face, and a smile crept across his sweet face. His own blankie a mommy never gave him. Finally all his own.
I had purchased this “cool” tiger art project at a garage sale for 50 cents, thinking we could do it with Maria. But the moment we poked all the pieces out, Andrew and I were over it. “You must work hard, never give up!” Dasha and Sveta said, and our two R friends diligently worked at it.
Someone donated a transformers toy, and the moment I saw Vanya, I knew I wanted to give it to him. I don’t believe if you don’t have one for all, don’t give. Any giving is good, they all can benefit. Two boys came later and just wanted the empty box, and poured over it, looking at all the details.
|I think he wishes he was in our family as much as we do.|
“Do you like your blankie?” I asked him.
“I love it,” he said in his soft voice. What other 11 year old boy would say that? He is the sweetest thing.
Then we got out some bows handmade from a friend who is starting the adoption process, and Maria picked out two she loved for her hair.
I asked some of the teenaged girls if they would like one too, thinking they may be too old for these little bows.
“Yes please, ” they said.
None of these children have had a typical childhood, they have never experienced the things most children take for granted, and so when little bits of comfort, care or fun are offered, they humbly accept, relishing the love.
|Two big girls, coloring Russian book donations.|
|Oh, this sweet girl.|
We even got to hook up their new cool pencil sharpener which was donated. It works amazingly well. Now the pencils will last longer!
|Wow, they did really well with the art project, right??|
|Little Tanya, with beautiful bows in her hair. “A mommy made this for you!” “Wow!” she said.|
Maria passed out all the jump ropes to the kids outside, and the children were in heaven. We saw a cat, tip-toeing along the edge of the roof, and they all wanted to make sure we saw it.
We had to leave early because we had our medicals at 4. But we had time to see some cool sights from early times in R.
Then we got some green tea at this lovely place called, Face Control. Haha, I am not sure they realize how funny that name sounds.
“Do you want to take a picture in front of our new monument?”
“Oh, I mean, yeah!”
Medicals went fine. Tomorrow is our last visit with Elijah, we will visit Maria too and give her her court outfit. Thursday is court (prayers please) and it is also the start of our 30 day wait, after which the children will legally be freed from the confines of cribs and walls. Friday we leave, just two more days. This trip is flying by.
Thank you all for your sweet support and donations. Honestly, no words can describe the difference so many people have made in the lives of forgotten children, we are forever humbled and grateful. We received some books and markers in the mail and a note said, “Sorry it couldn’t be more.” SORRY! Never, ever say sorry for giving, no matter what it is, no matter how much. I think this post so perfectly describes the 25th chapter of Matthew, when Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Everything given, whatever it is, is a blessing.
Also, thank you for the kind words after our last post, which mean so much on a journey so far from home.
Amy and Andrew