It started over a month ago when we started considering adopting more then just Valentin on this trip. It really had not occurred to us to do so but we just could not ignore the fact that so many children need homes. We again started seeking God's guidance. And in His perfect timing we heard about "Joey". If you have read this blog you know the struggle we had with whether or not to adopt Valentin and how much we agonized over that decision. Now here we were thinking about 2??? Are we crazy??? I am sure that is what some of you are thinking now. Well, we prayed and discussed it and it really did make a lot of sense to adopt two. This would probably be the last international adoption we could both travel for without splitting the kids up (or being able to leave at all) plus it is FAR less expensive to add a second child to one trip rather then coming home and doing it all over again later. So in the end we decided to leave it all in God's hands. So we sent a request to meet Joey and decided to just see how it would go after we met him and Valentin and let God either open or close that door.
So we arrived in country and thought we would be able to see both boys files at the same appointment. But they told us there was a problem with Joey's paperwork and we would have to come back the next week. Hence, the second trip to the capitol. We thought maybe this was God shutting the door. Having this second appointment was adding more time to our stay and adding more expenses we did not budget for. We started to question what we were doing. The appointment came and we were told that he had just become available for international adoption THAT DAY. That's what I call God opening a door!!!
So today we got to meet sweet little Joey! We had very little info on him other then he had Cerebral Palsy and did not know what to expect. He was once at the same orphanage Valentin is in but in September 2011 he was moved to a boarding school, praise God! When kids 'age out' of the baby house orphanages at 5 or 6 they either go to school type orphanages or to mental institutions. What a difference between the baby house Valentin is at and the boarding school. I don't think the little kids at Valentin's orphanage understand adoption much so they don't think all visitors could be their mom or dad. Very different at the boarding school. All the boys, dressed in their school uniforms, met us at the entrance. I don't know if this was a show for us made by the staff or if these boys were coming down hoping they would be picked. I got the sense as they made deep eye contact with me that they longed in their heart and knew exactly what was going on. I almost can't bear it, my heart has not stopped hurting.
They took us in a room with the Assistant Director, the Psychologist, the Doctor, and his teacher and we discussed his medical needs, behavior, etc. They are not sure he has CP but said he had "spinal birth trauma" and is diagnosed as mild developmental delay.
And then they brought him in and we knew in an instant, yes, this is our son. God gave us great assurance of that! He came to me and I said "pree-vyet" (hi) and he responded the same. I asked "kak di-la?" (how are you) and he assured me "ha-ra-sho" (good). He was watching me take notes and asked what I was doing. He wanted to show off his new mad writing skills. It was explained that since coming to the boarding school he has made huge strides in development. Whereas he was probably left in a crib with no teaching at the baby house, he is blossoming with now having a teacher. His teacher was very proud of how much he could do and the progress he has made. He drew his lines and circles for us very well and showed us how he knows all his colors.
They left us alone to play with him and it was as if we were already family! We had a great time playing! When our facilitator came back in she asked our decision...a million times yes! We asked her to please ask him in Russian if he would like to come home with us. We held our breath for his answer..."Da" (yes)! She asked him if he wanted us to be his mama and papa..."Da" said with a smile and hugs! I am crying still!
So now to introduce our new son:
He was so excited by the toys we brought
I mean REALLY excited
Showing them off
The staff really wanted us to see how far he has come so they brought out the contraction paper balloons and had him match the string color to the balloon. He did so well.
He is so obedient to everything they say, and it is not a fear type obedience. He just seems to have a very kind and gentle personality...with the energy of the tasmanian devil :)
So for the next few days we (or just me when Tyler leaves) will be meeting the boys separately until the director of Joey's orphanage gives us permission to take him with us just a block away to Valentin's orphanage and I can meet with them together. Honestly I think this is really going to help with bonding with Valentin because he will have a brother who shares his language and as Valentin see's Joey interacting with me I think he will become more comfortable with the idea.
Oh, and by the way we asked our kids at home if it would be ok to have two new brothers and they thought that was cool...such amazing kids!