You just cannot believe how indescribably happy I was to see the boys today!!! My heart is so full! It was a rushed and hectic day so I did not get to interact with them too much but just to be able to see and hug them was such a sweet gift!
We picked up Joey first and poor little guy, he was very pale and had little scabs everywhere from the chickenpox. He looks like he had them pretty bad, I found scabs in between his fingers, in his ears, everywhere. My heart aches so bad that he had to go through that alone...I am so crushed! Like I said he was pale and was also more withdrawn then usual. He was happy to see his 'cubici' but did not seem all that excited to see me. Who can blame him, he has been through so much. I can tell there has been a little regression and the CP is more noticeable in his legs, he had a much harder time walking and climbing stairs. I imagine laying in a hospital bed for days on end without any natural stretching that comes from just being able to move around has his little muscles tight again. But even with all he has been through you can still see the joy he has, he is such an absolute blessing!
Then we went to pick up Valentin. He was whining a bit as the nurse brought him in the stroller to the car, but seemed content. He smiled at me but was busy looking at everything around him. My goodness even just the trip to the car was probably the farthest from his crib he has ever been! His eyes were VERY red and I don't know why. I pray he does not have pink eye!!! I felt his head to see if he had a fever but he felt okay. I am hoping I can get a better look tomorrow.
My driver was very much controlling everything today and it was all about business. He did not let me go into the orphanage to get either one of the boys or to drop them back off. I was made to sit in the front seat so the nurse could sit in the back with the boys. Really the only time I got to even touch them was while we were waiting in the passport office. But the good news is that I will be back to regular visits with them tomorrow.
So how did the long car ride and time at the passport office go????
Both of the boys did great in the car. I worried most about Valentin because he has had the least exposure to stimuli and I wondered if the car ride would be too overwhelming. God gave both those boys so much peace in their little hearts, it was not over whelming for either of them. There was no motion sickness although Joey did start to look like he was not feeling well on the way back. I am a little worried about him since he seemed so pale and fatigued so I will try to take some fruit or something for him tomorrow. Valentin did pretty good in car, he cried and screamed just a little bit (mostly after the car had stopped and then suddenly started moving again) but for the most part I think he really enjoyed it! He laughed a lot when the driver would go fast. I remember a while ago when I took him for a walk at the orphanage I took him by the road and he would get so excited every time a car would go by. Each time a car went by I would teach him the noise a car makes. Sure enough when we started to leave the orphanage in the car he made the noise I taught him. Smart little guy knew he was finally in a car!
Once we got to the passport office and even on the street after we parked we were quite a spectacle. Valentin did scream and cry quite a bit at that point and it was hard to get him to calm down. As you can imagine everyone within 50 feet of us was staring, especially inside the passport office. Valentin did eventually calm down but spent most of the time babbling. His babbling is loud at the orphanage but it was especially loud at the passport office. And you know what, I was not about to try to shush him, no matter what anyone thought! Babble away my sweet boy!
Joey for the most part just wanted to play with his 'cubici'. But the funny thing is that since I always bring him blocks in either my bag or a little backpack I think he thinks everyones bag is fair game. I had to work hard to keep him from going through everyones purses and bags there. Little pickpocket. Also, I think I have described before that he really does not know how to show affection so his way of hugging is to come behind someone and put his face or mouth on them. He really is trying to be sweet. He tried to do that to a man sitting next to him so I had to keep a close eye on him but he played so well with his blocks and let me hug him more then I probably should have :) Sorry for the blurry picture.
This was the first time the boys had met so it was interesting to see how they would get along. They ignored each other most of the car ride but at the passport office Joey was taking his blocks in and out of his backpack and Valentin wanted to take his toy in and out of it too. Joey was having none of that but quickly let him after I asked him to share. I think it will be harder for Joey to get used to Valentin then for Valentin to get used to Joey. I am just so happy I finally had them both in one place!
Can you see how red Valentin's eyes are?!?!
We had to wait about a half hour at the passport office before we got into an office to take their pictures. They did pretty well having their picture taken but the woman could not get a decent picture no matter what we tried so we just took what we could get. They are pretty funny pictures!
I think the hardest part of the day was all the staring at the boys. The stares don't bother me, God made up my mind long ago not to worry about what people think (as long as I am in His will of course). But my mama instincts come out and my first reaction was to scream "they are children, created in the image of God and precious in His sight. You are not better then them, they are not animals to be locked away" and I could go on. But the Holy Spirit gently brought to mind the fact that this may be the first time many of those people have even seen a child with a mental or physical disability. I have been in this country a while now and I can tell you I have not see ONE person out in public with an obvious disability. NOT ONE. They are so shut away in this country, banished to orphanages and mental institutions. Have I mentioned that other then the 2 groupas that get to go outside I still have not seen one single child from the over 7 other rooms in Valentin's building? When I say Valentin and most other children at that orphanage spend 24 hours a day in a crib, I mean 24 hours a day! I wanted to scream but that would have been counterproductive so I smiled and I spent the time playing with the boys and showering them with hugs and kisses as I prayed that God would change hearts and minds. I pray the light of Jesus came through and I am happy my boys got to be precious little testimonies of God's love today!
All in all it was a great day and it showed me that we can totally handle the train and flights home. It won't be easy but I have complete faith that God will give the boys enough peace in their little hearts to handle it all, just as He did today!
I love that they got their first taste of freedom...soon my boys...soon your new life will begin!!!