Karen’s Blog 3/1/10
Here we are! The day we have been waiting for! The day we are able to pick our son up at the orphanage and start his new life with us. Our son… our son…it still hits me at times and I get emotional and a bit dumbfounded. This journey, this wonderful, beautiful, difficult, faith-building journey, lead us to this precious child. I look at this beautiful little boy with big brown eyes and a mischievous, impish grin and think, “How lucky are we! What a gift!” I’d attempt a back flip, but I have no gymnastic ability whatsoever so I will just smile huge and thank The Lord.
I was trying to prepare myself that he might cry when he saw me at the orphanage. That wasn’t the reaction I wanted but one I needed to be prepared for. But no! His caregivers carried him out to me (he was wearing only a diaper and was wrapped in the big blue blanket we had given him on the first trip). So there is my little guy, swaddled in a blanket, stripped of all else, and handed to his momma. He went right into my arms without flinching. My momma heart was relieved that he didn’t start sobbing. J The moment he was in my arms, I just hugged and hugged and held on tight! This was it!!!!!!!! I held him on my lap and just sat there and kissed his little head. I put my cheek right next to his, closed my eyes, and thanked the Lord for this gift. Our son… (a few tears fell also but that’s just who I am J)
When I opened my eyes, I realized we had a small audience waiting for the moment in which I put on his new clothes- his new life. Very symbolic… The social worker, our coordinator, the translator and several caregivers all had gathered for Yarik’s special day. As I looked at them gathered around the room, they had beautiful smiles on their faces- they were so happy for our Yarik. So happy that he had a family. I’m sure it is always bitter sweet to see a child leave the orphanage but they know it represents hope for him. Then after he was dressed, the people at the orphanage said good bye to him and wished us well.
While we were preparing Yarik to leave the orphanage, another woman (a single mom) was meeting her son for the very first time. He is a precious little one year old (that looks just like her!) It was a privilege to see their first meeting as mother and son. She is affiliated with our agency back home and we knew she was traveling soon. Jim and I had hoped to travel with her as we knew she would be traveling alone. We are so glad that it worked out! After leaving the orphanage, we took her to lunch and have just served as a listening ear as she processes through all that is entailed. We answered questions for her to try to help prepare her and to clear up confusion/concern that can be all encompassing at this point.
Let me interject a side note: It is such a relief to be able to call our son by name and to use his name in our blog. For those who don’t know, his name is Christian David Snyder. J
Christian - means follower of Christ
David- means beloved
At the advice of others, we will call him Yarik Christian for awhile so that he realizes we are calling him by name. Then after awhile, we will drop “Yarik”.
Anyway, Yarik is doing fabulous!!!!!!!!! He just sat quietly in the van and looked out the windows. He looks like a total “Bob Gregory” guy, for those who remember the commercials from yesteryear. He has his tights (orphanage preference but the last time he will be wearing them J), undershirt, kackis (thank you mom), long sleeved shirt, snow pants (thank you Julie Egge), a heavy coat, hat, mittens, snow boots and a scarf. You can barely see the kid!!!!!!
I can’t believe how peaceful he is. It’s like he knows.. he understands… he feels safe. He is pretty solemn. Tatiana remarks that he is sad to leave the only family he knows, back at the orphanage. But he doesn’t cry. Not usre if that will last but I will enjoy it for now.
We went to the room because it was time for his nap. Nope! Busy, busy, busy!!!!! Too much to see and explore, mom. We gave him a little shortbread biscuit- whooeeeyy! He liked that. After he finished his biscuit, he just started carrying the box around. J
I accepted the fact that there was not way he was going to sleep, so we bundled him back up and took Linda (the adopting mom) to lunch. It was sooo fun to walk outside with Christian and watch his eyes take it all in. I am so happy to see my little boy getting some fresh air and some new sights! After we ordered, I walked Christian around inside the hotel because there was no way this busy 2 year old was going to sit quietly on my lap for long. Christian had already had lunch at the orphanage and a shortbread at the hotel so we just ordered him some bananas. Well, we quickly realized that he is going to have no trouble eating (we thought he might be so distraught with leaving the orphanage that he wouldn’t eat). He was downing the raisins (came with my tea) like they were m&m’s- he was grabbing them by the handful. (that may make for interesting diapers later). Then I introduced him to sliced bananas. At first, he wanted nothing to do with them. I insisted a bit and just got a taste in his mouth. He licked the sweetness off his lips, glanced up at me with a little grin and grabbed the fork. He then proceeded to use the fork to pierce and eat every last bite. When the banana was gone, he kept going…he scraped the fork around on the empty plate and licked the fork. Then he looked at me and patted the empty plate. Jim took pictures of the poor little guy pretending to continue to eat.
Guess I’m going to the grocery for bananas!!!!!!
We returned to the hotel room, Jim left for some errands at the orphanage, and it was my task to get Christian to sleep. It was now 2 hours past his routine nap and he didn’t look sleepy at all. But I knew he would soon fall apart if he didn’t rest. He just stood in the crib and cried (found out today that he sleeps in a toddler bed at the orphanage), so I laid down with him. I gave him his blue blanket and really forced him to lay next to me. Then I just rubbed his back, caressed his cheek, and sang “Jesus loves me.” Pretty soon, his thumb went to his mouth (I didn’t know he sucked his thumb) and he stopped squirming. By about the 4th chorus of “Jesus loves me”, Christian faded off to sleep.
HMMMMM… a full belly, a warm twin bed, momma rubbing his back and singing “Jesus loves me”….not a bad start. J
I’m so happy for my son.
I miss my big son and sweet daughters so much and can't wait to hug them. It is so hard being away from them, but we all know that this is it...we can now all be together. Thank you God.