Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 18: A few steps back

My bible study today had me reading Psalm 146 and I love how timely His word is:

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lordmy soul.
I will praise theLord all my life; 
    I will sing praiseto my God as long as I live. 
Do not put your trust in princes, 
    in human beings,who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; 
    on that very day their plans come to nothing. 
Blessed are thosewhose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed 
    and gives food to the hungry. 
The Lord sets prisoners free, 
    the Lord gives sight to the blind, 
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, 
    the Lord loves the righteous. 
The Lord watches over the foreigner 
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow

Father, you meant it then and I praise you that you mean it now!  Thank you for Your word!

Valentin and I had made so much progress the last few days, I thought I would take him outside today figuring maybe he had built enough trust with me to go exploring a very small loop around the playground outside his building.  Nope.  He was writhing as they brought him out and would do so every time I tried to push him in the stroller.  If you want to know just one of the many things six years in a crib will do to a child, it will make them absolutely terrified of anything new especially situations they have no control over.  There is one nanny there who is not his nanny but is usually with kids outside, she is the only one who is ever kind to me and definitely the only one who has ever shown kindness to Valentin.  Even she could not calm him down.  We got him over to a spot in the shade and once we stopped moving for a minute he got used to it and quit yelling/crying.  He was generally ok as long as we did not move him.  He would get so excited watching the kids play that it seemed like he wanted to join in, but even if I turned the stroller to face the kids he would start writhing.  He is so used to living his life completely stationary, completely void of movement and stimulation that even being pushed in a stroller terrifies him.  I want to be angry, but that is not why God has me here.  He has me here so that HE can redeem those lost six years.  So we take a few baby steps forward and pull back when it is too much.  It's a daily process and a little piece of the puzzle comes together each day.

Now once I was still and not moving him, he did perk up a bit.  I can still see some sedation and a lot of agitation but he did have moments of laughter.  Those are the few moments I capture on camera.  I have thought about recording when he is in the middle of writhing but those are not memories I want him to have, so we celebrate the smiles and laughter and give God the glory. 

Joey was an absolute joy today.  When I walked in, his 'groupa' was doing their school work so I got to sit down with them and help.  I have such a great time with all the kids in the group and I am so grateful that I am allowed time to play with them and love on them, Lord knows they need it.  But it does make it harder to know that I have to leave them behind.  I almost cannot bear the thought.  I spent my time there mostly with the 'groupa' but Joey pleaded his case to the teacher about wanting to play with "mama" and "cubici" and she finally gave in and moved the other kids to the other room.

The block set that we got for Joey has quite a few pieces in it but I am only bringing small sets each visit (mainly because I can only count to twelve in Russian).  Today I brought a bunch and you should have seen the amazement when he opened his backpack!  I grabbed the video camera as fast as I could!  He shared very well with me today.  I rub his back a lot (not like a massage but more like just a little reassuring good job kind of pat), I don't know why, I do it with all my kids.  Today as we were playing he did it to me a few times.  I can tell he is still trying to figure out how to be affectionate.  Poor guy never had any affection shown to him until he came to the boarding school and then it is only from one of the nannies.  Sweet little guy is in his little ways showing me he likes me, and it gets me every time!  When it was time to leave the nanny told all the kids to get their shoes and hats on and she let them all walk me outside to the car.  What a sweet surprise!  Joey made sure he was the one holding my hand though :)


  1. I absolutely love reading each and every one of your posts. I praise God for sending you to EE to these boys to show them love and to give them hope for their future! Don't grow weary in doing are on an assignment from God to love the fatherless. You are rescuing these treasures from the darkness. I'll be cheering you home. Think about how glorious that day will be!

  2. I've been following Valentin's story story before you committed to him. Contemplating your experiences with him in recent days and your lack of a court date so far, I have to think that God has this extended time for him to become more comfortable with and trusting in you before it will be time to bring him home.

    Praying for peace in your heart with God's timing and peace for Valentin as he learns to trust you as mama! Also praying that the orphanage staff would see the need to remove him from the sedative soon in order to balance out his emotions and give his little body a much needed break.

  3. Once again, God uses you to minister to me:

    "I want to be angry, but that is not why God has me here. He has me here so that HE can redeem those lost six years."

    Jamie, I know you do not know my story, but I have sufferd through the most heart-wrenching 6 years trying to rescue my daughtet's bio sister ( whom I consider my daughter) and my current adoption of a sweet 11 year old boy with FASD has hit obstacle after obstacle. It's almost 2 years with him. The problem I have struggled with most is the anger and outrage I feel about their situations -- they are alone, scared, and have suffered so much. Sometimes (often) the anger paralizes me and it affects my ability to do MY part to help them. Your words hit me between the eyes as if I had never heard them before : "He has me here so that HE can redeem those lost six years."

    God bless you and keep you. He is using you in Powerful Ways, and not just for those two beautiful souls whom He gave you as sons:)))

  4. Amazing. I can't wait to see how Valentin is when he isn't on the sedation meds. You can see in his eyes that he is IN THERE! He's a miracle! Joey seems like such a sweetheart!

  5. I love reading your posts also, and thank you so much for sharing with us! Your sons are adorable and I love when Valentin cracks up laughing, so so so cute! your doing an amazing job. And what a huge surprise to hear Joey was included. I know it's not easy but it will all be so worth it when you have your 5 beautiful babies under the one roof to love on! Can't wait for that day. Please know that I pray for you and your family daily. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing for your boys to get more familar with you. I brought my son home 3 years ago and and prior to gotcha day (as they call it) we saw him 2 visits for 30 minutes, you can imagine his fear in the outside world, he had never been outside, he was a lot younger, but we managed and its all such a distant memory now.
    Sending you prayers and lots of ((HUGS))

  6. After reading this post, I am so worried about your plane ride home (and train ride to the big city). Our train ride and plane ride were no picnic and that is the most polite way I can say it (8 of 10 hours on plane-pure screaming top of lungs). Since your husband is home now, if there is any medication you need for the trip, I would have him get it in the USA. We went to a drugstore in the capital city and were told we were supposedly given some sort of soothing, calming, sleepy drug for the plane ride, but it worked the opposite of that. With that said, I'm sure that prayers and God will get you through more than pills, but it wasn't enough for us. Keep bonding, we found that for our two days in the big city, since we were all our child had (no nannies hovering over us), the trust level rose 1000X and those two days were the BEST bonding time ever. (of course that was after the train ride, which was not pleasant). Sending prayers your way...

  7. You should go home to your children and rest.