Aug 30, 2013

Saying good-bye

Watching the clock.  Seeing the minutes quickly slip through your fingers.  Soon, way to soon, he would be gone.  And life would be flipped upside down once again.

We stayed up late, telling him all the things we needed to tell him before it was too late. "We love you. You are special.  We are praying for you.  You are such a good boy. God loves you more than you know."

In the middle of it all we asked him if he would like to move to Canada?  And he answered with a confident "Yes!". 

We joked and giggled.  Soaking in his million dollar smile and laugh.  Enjoying him, holding onto him.  Soon he would be gone.
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And all to soon it was time for bed.  The good-byes began.  Hugs were given.  A crying boy was tucked into his bed one last time.  He refused to go to sleep.  Refused to lay down.  We turned on some music and slowly the voice talking to us in Russian faded. 
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4am hit and we were up again.  Instantly the tears were on his face.  We loaded up his stuff and headed out.  Thankful that the tears stopped quickly and Ruslan began to perk up a bit.  We got to the airport, found the other families and children.  It all happened so quickly. They were checked in and we found ourselves at security. Ruslan hugged Papa one last time, eyes squeezed shut.  And than he was gone.

Gone.

There was nothing we could do about it.
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There is an empty spot in our family that wasn't there at the beginning of the summer.  In time that spot will close again as life moves on.  We have each other and a schedule that keeps getting busier.

However Ruslan does not.  And that thought is overwhelming.  We are okay, but we have no way to know if he is or not.

We are processing.  We are praying.  This summer was more than we ever thought it would be.  And it all happened so very quickly. 

Please continue to pray that God will provide a family for Ruslan. Currently he does not have anyone committed to him and every day he spends with out the guidance of a family is one to many

Aug 28, 2013

When you have no more words

Tonight you can literally hear the hearts breaking in this house.  And I have no more words.  No way to form them if I did.  All I know is that the little boy in the next room will no longer be there tomorrow.

Pray for Ruslan.  Pray for us.  Tomorrow and the coming days are going to be unbearable.  The sound of a little boy crying proves it.
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Aug 17, 2013

The truth about 10 year old boys (they really are not that scary)

When it comes to adoption and summer hosting there are always the children that are picked last (or never picked at all).  Sadly those children tend to always be the boys, especially the older boys.  It seems that horror stories are all you hear. So these boys continue to wait and get older.

Like many families, when we adopted, we adopted a girl.  

We used to be leery of the boys and figured a girl would fit better in our family.  However when we decided to host an orphan this summer we figured we would give a boy a try. We didn't know how it would turn out.  We were a bit unsure.  Would this boy listen?  be rebellious?  Be hard?  Would he even want to engage in activities with our family?  Would he be unmanageable?  At age 10 he is already well in the 'older child' range and we were scared about what we had gotten ourselves into. 

Turned out our fears were unfounded!  After he arrived we looked at our 'older boy' and we just saw a normal little boy.  I'm not sure how we were ever scared of him.  He brings us so much joy.  We have been blessed by him.

The truth became clear.  The truth told us that there was nothing to be scared about.
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We have been blown away.  The things we have learned have changed us forever.  Older boys are not scary.  There is so much to them, so many good things.

1) They are never to old for affection.
Older boys are cool (at least they like to act cool) but despite the rolled eyes they are secretly thrilled with hugs and kisses.  You are never to old for love.
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2) Daily visits to the pool are the highlight of each day.
Boys are pretty simple.  Teach them to swim and give them a chance to use those skills, and they are perfectly happy.  Always looking at the clock to see if it is time to swim.  Overcome with excitement when you tell them YES now we can go.
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3) Music never gets boring.
It doesn't matter if it is playing the piano or listening to light up toys. 
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4) Big brothers are the coolest thing ever.
Having a big brother figure in your life is just right.
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5) Boating is the best adventure.
Boys love adventure.
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6) Playing games will never get boring.
Card games or board games.  Literally hours of entertainment can be found there.
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7) Dressing up is the silliest thing ever.
His favorite is a big floppy hat and a glittery jacket.
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8) Having your own bike and the freedom to ride it is the best.
Riding back and forth behind the house.  For hours.
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9) Finding an old doll house is thrilling.
He came running up the stairs the other day.  Grabbing my hand and pulling me in the direction he had just came from.  In the closet he had found our old doll house.  He was so excited and kept saying "Doma, doma!/Home, home!"  He proceeded to play with it the rest of the morning by himself. 
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10) Merry go rounds and trains at the zoo are what little boys are made for.
The smile says it all.  When he finally got his turn it was like the world was smiling down on him.
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11) Playing with stuffed animals with a little sister is still fun.
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If you have ever considered adoption or hosting, please consider the boys. 

They really are not that scary.

Aug 10, 2013

He wrapped his arms around my neck

He was already tucked into bed for the night when I walked past his room.  

I heard a Russian voice call out "Joanna??"

So I turned and walked into his room.  His huge smile spread across his face as he sat up and stretched his arms out to me for a hug.  Except this wasn't a normal hug.  This was a hug that wasn't about to let go.  A hug that pulled my head down with him as he laid back onto his pillow.  Determined to keep me in that awkward position all night. 

He stroked my head.  Pausing every couple of seconds to giggle and say "Dobre utro".  Giggling even more when I would respond "Dobre utro?  No way!".

Finally he let go.  Releasing his death grip around my neck.  Flashing me another one of his charming smiles.

I blew him and kiss and told him "Lyublyu tebya" which he responded with his typical "blachhhh".  10 year old boys can't be all soft after all.  

Some moments just aren't replaceable.  I wouldn't want to replace them if I could.
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Aug 7, 2013

We feel like screaming, our host child has to go back soon.

We have been hosting Ruslan since the beginning of July.  He came from an orphanage in Ukraine and stepped of the plane with a handful of things to his name and a shy dimpled smile.  We were strangers and knew nothing about each other.  We already knew we were going to try to find him an adoptive family.  A family that could bring him home forever.  But it wasn't personal.

In just 3 weeks Ruslan has to go back to Ukraine.  And now it's personal.

We still have no hope of an adoptive family stepping up for him.  Tonight as we were talking it dawned on us that he very well could be one of the children that goes back to the orphanage and slips through the cracks.  What if we can't find him an adoptive family?  What if we lose track of him?  What if even one more year in the orphanage hardens him?  It could happen.  It happens all the time.  And we feel like screaming.

However we won't give into the despair (not yet anyway).  We are trusting that someone will see him and fall in love.  Because he is so very lovable.

If it comes to mind please pray for a family to step up for this boy.  Our hearts can't bear to send him away with no hope.  He is more then ready for a family and it's going to hurt to send him back.  So very much.
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