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Friday, February 25, 2011

When we were there

I am sad to admit that when Honey and I were in Europe, we did not enjoy our experience like we should have. :( Neither of us had ever been anywhere.....I mean other than Canada and Mexico (the part of Mexico you go on vacation) and other places on a cruise. But those places aren't really different. Those other countries, or the parts that Americans normally go to, are so "Americanized" that we don't feel the culture. I didn't truly grasp the concept of culture shock until we were in another country.....thousands of miles from home.

First of all, we were exhausted. We had decent flights and our layovers weren't too long, but neither of us had slept well in almost a week. Nerves do that to ya. :) On the way to our apartment, our facilitator told us what she had learned from Vlado's most recent medical. He had regressed and was more delayed than before. She also told us that he had started hitting himself when he would get frustrated. With our tired state and our nerves....this freaked us out! We spent the night worrying about what we had gotten ourselves into.

Our facilitator took us around the city a bit after we got there to help us get some food. We were both craving something familiar...anything familiar. We ended up coming back to the apartment with some eggs, bread, water...and a few specialty items that J said we needed to try. :) For dinner, Honey ended up having a hard boiled egg sandwich. He had wanted a fried egg sandwich, but somehow, I missed the drawer that held all the pots and pans so I used a coffee pot (metal) to boil up some eggs. This was just the beginning of our food woes during the trip.

I have to say that now that I've been home for a while, I realize that I was a baby while there. I was just so emotionally overwhelmed with everything that I didn't take time to enjoy our son's culture and country. We saw many things (forts, zoos, churches) and I enjoyed them....but I didn't soak it in. I am ashamed to admit this! There is another family there now and when I read about their experience....I am jealous. I wish I would have let myself experience it like they are. They will come home with so many wonderful memories. And the worst part is that I know that it is my own fault.

So, to future adoptive parents.....I beg you.....when you are in your child's country, enjoy it! I know that is easier said than done, but unless you plan to adopt again, chances are you will never see your child's country again. When you get home, there will be things that you wished you had done or seen or eaten. LOL! We brought home some food stuff that I have rationed. I bought some chips (ketchup flavored ones were my favorite) and we just ate the last of them last week. I also bought a bag and season thing for chicken and it was amazing! Oh, how I wish I would have bought more of those! The last thing that we have here are soup packets....kind of like really big oodles of noodles soups. I haven't made any yet, but the girls Honey works with that are from that area said they are delicious!

If/when we go again....I am going to be prepared. I am going to make myself realize this is a special occurance and home will come quick enough. I will let myself enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. And I will be happy to have the opportunity!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why it's painful

This post of for those of you that haven't been there...the ones who haven't "done that." I hope it makes you understand just a little bit of my heart.

The pain I'm talking about doesn't really have to do with adoption, but at the same time has EVERYTHING to do with adoption. It isn't about the pain one experiences when they are going through the seemingly non-ending paperwork process. It's also not the pain of waiting, once everything is done, to get your travel date. Or the process in country (although that is a whole other post I've been trying to compose). It's not even the pain of parenting an older child. (Luckily, our experience has been very mild compared to some)

This pain is all consuming. It is caused by the knowledge of all the children who are left behind. It is caused when we know that we want to adopt again but can't get peace about any specific child. It is the haunting eyes I see in my sleep begging me to choose them. When we were at the orphanage, child after child came up to us and raised their arms to us. They weren't just begging to be picked up...they were begging to belong to someone. They didn't know us, but they wanted us to take them away. And this orphanage was one of the good ones! The ladies who work there truly care for the kids. They have doctors on staff that work with the children for physical therapy. They are given good nutritious food. But no matter how good an orphanage is....it is in no way a good substitute for a family.

I know that I should be satisfied with our son...and in one way I am! He is amazing and so smart! He amazes us everyday with what he has learned and how much he loves to learn. When he snuggles in my lap and rests his head on my shoulder....my heart melts. But at the same time, we know that we have more room...more love....more of everything. And we know that our family isn't complete. Vlado NEEDS a sibling. But I know that we have to wait until God reveals to us who our next child is. I don't want to force the issue. I want my heart to leap like it did when I first saw Vlado's picture in July 2008. I want to know in my heart....THAT IS MY CHILD! Please, God.....show me quickly!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Too cute

Before I tell you the cute part of the story, let me give you a little background. When I was a little girl, I always slept with something silk. It probably started as a baby with a blanket that had a satin border....but as I got older, anything satiny would suffice. It was usually Mama's old slip or nightgown. Even as a teenager, when I would go to a friend's house for the night, I would bring my own pillow so I could put my *silky* in the pillowcase to be pulled out once everyone else was asleep. I just loved the feel of satin between my cheek and my pillow. I don't think anyone ever knew.

When I went to college, I decided I was too old to sleep with a silky anymore. But not long after I was there, I woke up one night from a bad dream. The only way I could get back to sleep was to pull out a slip from my dresser and sleep with that between my cheek and my pillow. Since I tell my mom pretty much everything, I told her about this embarrassing situation. She is the most amazing Mama and within a week of my telling her, I received a package from home. Inside was a satin pillowcase....pretty smart, huh? :) I slept with that pillowcase for years but somehow it got lost (probably during a move) a few years ago.

When Honey and I were living in the mountains, the house we rented had very flimsy blinds in the bedroom. I wake up pretty quickly when light comes in the room, so I had to figure out something. One morning (after the sun came pouring into our window at about 5am), I had had enough. I went to my dresser and pulled out the only black piece of clothing I owned....a slip. I put it over my eyes and ahhhhhh, darkness! But strangely, I fell right back into the habit of sleeping with a silky like I had never stopped....all night long, not just during the morning to block out the light. UGH! But the more I thought about it, why should I care? Yes, I am an adult and I shouldn't *need* a security blanket, but it is still very comforting and Honey doesn't mind. So, my silky is always there. Now to the cute part. :)

The other afternoon, Vlado was being quite the grump. So, I decided we needed a little nap. He very seldom actually takes a nap in the afternoon, but this day he REALLY needed one. So he didn't feel like he was being punished, I went with him and we slept in Mama and Papa's bed. At first, he was restless...tossing and turning and making sounds. For some reason, I put my silky on his chest. He immediately balled it up and rolled over on his side. The silky went between his cheek and the pillow and he was sleeping within 5 minutes. I had big tears in my eyes.....he's just like his Mama. :)