Our hearts were heavy, the weather matched.
We had been praying for Maria’s heart to be prepared for months, and months and months, and it was. Miraculously, as were ours to say goodbye to a 10 year old for a short time before we brought her home.
As we held and loved him in the orphanage, we saw the other babies, on their hands and knees, rocking themselves back and forth cause no one else would. Because he was in our arms, we never saw Elijah rocking, staring at us from behind white bars from where he was all month, and where he would be for months to come. But us leaving means he will be. He would be just another baby, rocking himself for lack of mama and papa.
“Stop,” I told myself.
I needed to stop torturing myself, stop thinking about this. This is one of the reasons we almost didn’t say yes. Once he’s yours, it hurts like nothing else to leave.
As we waited for Dasha and Sveta to come pick us up one final time, I turned my thoughts to God, making them more productive, “God, comfort Elijah, preserve his heart, his mind and his body.”
I flipped through my phone to the bible app, since I was praying anyway to see ‘the verse of the day.’
As the rain streaked the windows, it was this:
I just stared at it, not even rereading it. The day I leave them, the day God tells me that He is the father to the fatherless, He will be caring for them. I don’t remember seeing an orphan verse before from the ‘verse of the day.’
I seriously felt better, God is good, and my job is to rejoice and thank Him, because He’s the one who gave us these gifts, not to pout and be sad about it.
We had time to visit Elijah one more time before we headed to the airport, and we took him into the play room full of toys that no one ever plays in….
“Andrew, I think we need to sing,” I said. “I think we need to sing together, to praise God.”
“OK, but why?” he asked.
“Well, that verse God gave us today, saying He would care for our kids, the beginning said to ‘Sing to God,’ and since it’s really the easiest thing he’s asked us to do all week, I think we probably should.”
We put on Finley’s ‘birth mix’ on Rdio, worship songs, and let it play. And sang to our son, and to our Lord, sang it out in that empty room.
I remembered in birthing class, they said that singing helped, because it happens in the opposite side of your brain than pain, and helps you to push through the pain.
Push through the pain to meet your son. I’ve had to do it once before, and I can do it again. God is here, guiding even in the small things.
We got on the plane, Korean Air and it was amazing. I mean, seriously, wow. It would have been an hour flight to Korea, but we had to fly all the way around North Korea as not to fly over it, making the flight 2.5 hours. The Korean airport was INSANE!!!!! We were in such culture shock. Every high end, name brand store was PACKED with people, buying everything, a parade, live music, delicious food.
In Russia, they didn’t even have McDonalds or Starbucks, and we both felt our appetites go down, being satisfied with soup. But, in the Korean airport, we had dinner, then walked by Burger King and wanted a hamburger! I suppose we aren’t as impermeable to advertising as we’d like to think!
From there we flew to LAX, and it was glorious. We watched movies, ate yummy food, Korean air had metal utensils, and glass cups. Their slogan is “Excellence in Flight,” and it’s true. Did I spend my time wallowing in my sadness for my kids left behind? Nope, I watched The Artist, and 21 Jump Street and we laughed our faces off. (If you are a RR family, or a family member, do NOT watch this movie…seriously not appropriate! We don’t endorse it, but, it’s funny I tell ya) And I don’t like love movies, so when I turned on The Vow, I told Andrew he should watch it instead, because he loves them. And he did. Then, we drank our electrolyte water, put in our ear plugs, got out our amazing flight pillows and crashed out until it was time for brown rice and green tea porridge for breakfast. No wonder those Koreans are so skinny! It was an amazing time.
On the drive home from LAX, I started getting so impatient to see Finley. My heart was racing. I didn’t know if he would act out, be mad, happy to see us, upset…
I ran in and saw his little face, and he smiled and raised his arms to me. “MAMA!” he smiled. He looked HUGE and HEALTHY compared to the babies I was used to. He was just himself, like we had only just been gone that morning. We read books, played, and he went to bed. It was great!
In the morning I thought he would be so happy to see that it was me coming in to get him from his crib. I walked in and said, “Good morning Finley!” He smiled at me and finally the words I had been waiting for.
I laughed and got him out to get him his milk.
I seriously can’t believe we almost didn’t adopt our children because it would have been too hard to leave Finley. I can’t believe it. He had an amazing week, so did all of his grandparents, and we had one of the best weeks of our lives. We both feel like better parents to him after having come back, we feel closer as a couple. I guess God knows what he’s doing when He asks you to do things…
One day I’ll learn that for keeps!
Ok, and how’s THIS for cool. Russia is one day ahead of us….so, when we got home, and I looked at the ‘Verse of the Day,’ guess which verse it was.
Yep, same one. How’s that for some kind of crazy time travel miracle. God really wants to comfort me into know that He is the father to the fatherless here and in Russia. God, you’re so rad.