Sunday, January 1, 2012
2011-WHAT A YEAR!
Can you believe it, its almost gone! 2011 that is. Wow, what a year it has been for us. As I say that, I have a smile on my face and my heart is busting at the seams with joy and thankfulness for what the Lord has allowed us to do. We started the new year of 2011 knowing in our hearts and praying that it was God's will, for us to adopt a little boy from Russia. We committed to him on Jan. 9th but didn't get the green light that he was ours until Jan. 14th. And then the race began! We filled out tons of paperwork, chased after this document and that document, and before we knew it, just 2 1/2 months later, we were headed to Vladivostok Russia to meet our little guy. And what an adventure that was!!! I'll never forget waiting to see him for the first time. Waiting to see if I could hear him coming up the stairs, waiting to see if I could hear him saying anything. Just waiting. Waiting for my son to walk through the door so I could touch him to make sure I wasn't dreaming. And then there he was.
He walked right in, with his pretty little pink tights on under his shorts (bless his heart)and stole our hearts immediately. He was much smaller and frailer than we expected, but that didn't matter a bit to us. And although we didn't see much of a smile or any kind of emotion out of him, we knew it was there. It had just been contained for almost 5 yrs. That makes me sad even now as I type this. Oh how I hated to have to leave him when it came time for us to return home. We promised him we would be back to get him and he would never be alone again. But what we had hoped would be only 1 to 2 months, turned into almost 4 months. And to make matters worse, even though they knew we were coming back to get him, Gabe was transferred to another orphanage for older mentally impaired children. We were absolutely sick about this. But rules must be followed and this is what they said had to be done. This is what happens in Eastern Europe to orphans with special needs when they turn 4 or 5 yrs. old. Actually Gabe had been lucky to have gotten to stay as long as he did in the only orphanage he had ever known. And I do believe that his caregivers there were very sad when they had to say their goodbyes to him.
So for us, and I'm sure for him, the next 4 months seemed almost like 4 yrs. But finally on July 31, we crossed that ocean again, this time to bring our precious little boy home. We had been told that he was not doing as well at the new orphanage. We really didn't know what to expect this time either. We knew he was so little and fragile 4 months earlier so naturally we expected the worse. But you know what, we were pleasantly surprised by his size when we saw him. He had grown some and was much more stable on his feet and more active too. But the smile I longed for still wasn't there. There was just no joy or sureness in his little face the first day we met again. Bless his heart, he was so unsure of everything at first.
After our first visit with him, Rick and I both left that orphanage in tears. Our hearts hurt for the brokenness and confusion we saw in the eyes of our precious new son. Our hearts hurt for the other kiddos who we knew no one was coming for. And just as we had done many times before, we turned to the only one who could make sense out of this. And just like always, God delivered. The next time we went back to see Gabe, he seemed like a different child almost. He was happier and there was a connection with us that wasn't there before. Yep, the Lord did it again:)
After our court date on Aug. 5, we had to wait 10 days before we could take Gabe from the orphanage, but I got to visit him during that time. And then finally.......August 23, 2011, we landed in Dallas, Tx. U. S. A.!!!
Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to make sure its real.
The adjustment Gabe has made in just 4 short months is almost unbelievable. I have said it before, but he is like a little sponge, just soaking up everything he can. Sometimes I watch him and the tears begin and won't stop. I sit here in awe of what God has allowed us to do. And the tears begin again.
Yes sir. What a year it has been. No longer alone, no longer confused, no longer unloved or unwanted. Will you just look at him now!
You little one, ARE love, sent by God above.