Well, Tyler left today. We really were handling it very well...until the train station. We spent the day walking around and enjoying our last stroll around town together. We knew we would miss each other but we both felt we could handle it, after all he would be back in a few weeks.
Because of the bombings the train station was blocked off by police. I figured I would have time to go get him settled on the train and say goodbye, instead because it was all blocked, it was pull up real quick, jump out of the car, and your on your own. We were blocking lots of traffic of others trying to be dropped of so it was a quick hug and a kiss and jump back in the car. Because the train tickets here are obviously not in English but also hard to read in whatever language they are in it is hard to tell what numbers are what. Usually the driver walks us through the station to the correct train, to the correct car, and to our correct seats. Today, in very broken English, Tyler was quickly given all this info. When I left the train station we went straight to the orphanage and I was trying so hard not to break out the 'ugly cry'. I just kept praying "Please Father, help my husband get on the train and keep him safe all the way home" over and over again while trying to choke back the tears.
I had no idea it would hit me this hard. Still as I write this I am crying and feel extremely lonely. I knew this was coming but I also know the One to turn to because with Him I am never alone. If ever I had to trust Him and lean on Him during this whole process, it is now!
So, still very emotional I visited with Valentin first. I waited for him outside and I could hear him yelling and screaming from outside the building. I knew that was not a good sign. Already emotional I just kept praying "Father, help me connect with your beloved child, touch his heart and mind with peace and trust." He was very distracted outside (since he has spend so little of his life beyond the walls of the orphanage) so I could not get a smile out of him. We sat for a while and I prayed over him a lot, sung some songs, and we played with some toys. I took him for a stroll and every few feet he would scream (even bitting his hand once) so we would stop and I would speak some Russian (sometimes not even sentences - just any Russian words I could think of) and I would rub his back and he would calm down. We would sit for a while and pray some more. Then we would go another few feet and the same routine. Again and again. We made it about 30 feet and did the same thing back. It was painfully frustration at times but I think it is such a good exercise for him. I cry, mom helps calm me down, I cry, mom helps calm me down. Hopefully it is teaching him to trust me. The good news is that when the nannie came down to get him they gave him a cookie to eat and started pushing him around (away from the door to go in) and they motioned to me to hurry and go while his back was turned. Now I hate that in his mind I just disappear, but I am happy to see that the nannies recognize he hates it when I leave. Not a great way to handle it but it encouraged me that he is beginning to know me and miss me.
With Tyler gone I did not have much opportunity to take pictures but snapped a few, like I said I could not get him to smile but now you can see the face that he makes 95% of the time. A little confused with mouth open wide. Even still he is such a handsome boy!
We went down the block to see Joey. He again was very excited to see me but I think a little more excited to see that I was carrying the backpack that just might still have his "cubica" in it. He loves his blocks! A different nanny was there today and I think she is the most loving, happy, and caring nanny I have ever seen. She knew a tiny bit of English so she wanted to talk to me. Through broken English and broken Russian we had a very nice conversation. She told me more about Joey and his family. She told me about another child she had in her 'groupa' that was adopted by a U.S. couple that she stays in touch with. She wanted to be able to stay in touch with me. It also sounded like Joey's sisters who were all adopted domestically want to stay in touch with him. I absolutely love that! We want all of our adopted children to be able to find their birth family if they chose to. For our kiddos adopted from China they were abandoned, one in a hospital and one literally on the side of the road, with no information at all. It makes us very sad that if they want to find their birth family and as much as we would help them, it is nearly impossible. For these two boys though they have a chance if they want it and I think that is such a blessing for them. At least they have the option. And if Joey's sisters love him and want to keep in touch then we welcome that!!! Anyway, the nanny wanted to take pictures of me with Joey and in turn I took a picture of her with him too. I can tell she loves him very much, and all the other children. They kept coming in the room and she was so good with them and I could tell they loved her too. In all the brokeness I have seen, it was refreshing to witness this today! She told me she works every other day so I look forward to seeing her again. Little Joey was happy as ever with his blocks. And guess what???? He actually gave me a kiss on the cheek...is that the sweetest thing?!?!