Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Life lately.



We never fully knew what we were getting into, hosting two orphans from Latvia. Sure we knew there would be good moments and bad.  We hoped for fun and excitement, but I've done enough babysitting kids that are in foster care in the states to know this could be the biggest challenge of my life.

I am very thankful to say, that so far, after 19 days in (with only 8 more to go :( ) this has been one of the most amazing month in my entire life.

18 days ago, we went to Louisville airport, with two hand made welcome signs done by 3 overly excited children, two new teddy bears, 5 small children, two adults, and a huge van.  Scared/Excited/Don't know what to think.  The kids were more sure, they KNEW this was going to be great. They were right!

Kristaps walked right into my arms. "Mama??"  I nodded yes.  Justine was very scared. Kristaps took her by the arm, pointed to me "Mama!!!"  He was all smiles.  I give her a hug and she stiffens.  Not only was there fear in her eyes, there was so much pain.  Kathryn was ready for this!  She had her purse with her (we don't call her the bag lady for nothing!) and she had packed away little gifts of her own, silly bands for all and a couple 25 cents trinkets she had picked up here and there. Candy too.  The quickest way into an orphan heart is candy. Justine was smiling and more sure of herself with every step she took to the van.  Kristaps was excited.  Then we get to the van.  He sees it and wouldn't budge an inch, he started crying and pointing at the van, saying something in Latvian.  He was clearly very afraid.  I still don't know why to this day, might never know, but I will probably wonder what made him so scared of the van for the rest of my life.  I walk over to him and hug him, take him by the hand and tell him it's okay. He looks me square in the eye, puts on his bravest face and climbs in.  I sit in the back and hold his hand the whole way to McDonalds.  He stiffened with every turn and bump, and I kept promising he was okay.

They drink 2 or 3 small jugs of milk, down a bunch of nuggets, apple slices, and fries and we hit the road.  He came over and gave me a hug and with his huge smile, goes right to his seat.  They gave us the most beautiful gingerbread cookies I had ever seen, they were too pretty to eat.

We get home, Kristaps sees the house and starts crying again.  He was really scared and we like to have never got him inside.  Once he was in, used the bathroom, met the dog... He was home.  They were up till 3 am checking things out and playing with Jesse and Kathryn.

Morning comes and it was as if they were always here.

                                                                     Chocolate fix
Video Games
Bumper Cars!
Silly Faces
Air Hockey
Sisterly hugs
Slumber parties
Huge smiles
Things you can call your own

Sure, there have been moments I have wanted to pull every single strand out of my head one by one.  The kids have got into little fights, that's normal, full blood siblings do that.  The only real difference is this, babies born to you grow up their whole lives knowing mama is there for them 24/7, for every single boo boo, to calm every single fear, to wipe away every little tear, always a lap to sit on, a neck to hug, a cheek to kiss.  My born to me kids know I am never ever going to go away (no matter if they like it or not ;)).  These kids do not. They want me around them every second of the day, when I go to the bathroom they have been known to sit outside the door and wait. (they are getting better about that!), the come into my room in the middle of the night just to peak in and make sure I'm there, sometimes even wake me up for a quick hug. When they do something wrong, a look comes across their face and I know they really wonder if I will still love them anyway... They are learning I will love them no matter what.  They know they are only here for 8 more days, they are taking full advantage of being loved.  I can't say I blame them.
Justine is such a smart young lady.  She is a preteen, but in so many ways, she's still a little girl. I'm sometimes mama and I'm sometimes Sarah, she's still processing what feels right for her.  She bounces down the stairs every morning "Good morning! I love you!" with a hair brush in her hand, wanting me to fix her hair.  She was very happy when she found out I can do just about every sort of braid one can imagine, we go for a new style every day.  She has the loudest laugh I've ever heard.  She is very brave.  Trying new foods has been really fun.  I either get thumbs up "super!" thumbs to the side "just okay", or thumbs down "yuck"  For the most part she loves everything, only didn't like one thing so far.  She can read and write some English! You can tell she does very well in school.
Kristaps. This little boy always has a smile on his face, ALWAYS. I swear he even smiles in his sleep.  Even though he's good sized for an 8 year old, he's very much just a little boy on the inside.  More on Liam's level. than Jesse's.  Super easy to love this little boy!  He loves video games, nurf guns, and thanks to Jesse, baseball!  He has a bit of an issue with speech, I think he has a slight stutter as well as can't make the s sound.  He does try hard though, and I think once he's in school there will be a huge improvement! He is very smart! He fixed my video camera Ryan had been working on for months the first night he was here! :)
We have become a family.

No one is going to be happy when the day comes we have to send them back to Latvia.  Justine and Kristaps love it here, they don't miss home, they want to stay.  At the moment though, they have to, and they know that.  It's so very hard NOT telling them we WANT to keep them FOREVER.  I wish I could be there when they are told we do.




1 comment:

  1. Ah this gets me! I can't imagine them having to leave...it breaks my heart for them. I'm so very glad they have fit in so easily and so well. They look like they were made for your family. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us

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