Short but Sweet

Our second visit was much less stressful, too short but definitely sweet.  First of all, no paperwork!  Hooray!  We went just to visit, so the kids were not so restless and everyone was more relaxed.  We didn’t go inside today; they instructed us to wait and they would bring him out.  So I was worried that no one even knew we were there.  I walked around the side of the building and saw all the kids outside playing; Juri was sitting in his wheelchair.

One of the nannies spotted me and said all kinds of things to which I could offer only an apologetic look and a “We’re here to visit Juri?”  When she heard his name she nodded and left to go get him.  I thanked her and wheeled him over to where we were sitting.  When he saw me he was so excited!  He started waving and saying hi and talking to his nanny really fast in Russian.  It was great, and he was even happier when we turned the corner and saw “papa”.

We got to give him his first present, which he was thrilled about when I handed it to him, but then he had no idea what to do with it, so Evie very generously offered to help him open it.  He loved the Hotwheels we brought and guarded them like precious treasures!

Just like yesterday, the kids got along fabulously; Evie and Juri play well together and when Juri was on Jake’s lap and Stephen got upset about something and ran to Daddy, Juri put his arms around Stephen to comfort him.  It was SO sweet!

I got a bit of a closer look at his legs and torso area.  He’s definitely in need of some therapy to work out all those muscles.  He has pretty bad scoliosis, which is just so frustrating because from the pictures we had before his back was absolutely not like that even just a year ago.

Bonding seems to be going well so far on both sides, which is great!  I got to see him interact with one of the nannies a bit today and that was just plain hard to see.  It wasn’t abusive or mistreatment at all, just institutionalized care.  And knowing that’s all he gets all the time is hard.  It is very practical, hurried, with little patience or room for error and without any sense of deep love or compassion.  The dignity of the children is not protected in the same way we would protect the modesty and dignity of our own children.  It’s just not a family environment and all children should grow up in families.

One benefit of having to wheel him back over to the nanny for a change of clothes was that when we started over there he started whining and almost crying.  I could tell he was saying that he didn’t want to leave us!  I was able to calm him down and communicate that we were just getting new clothes and not going away, but it was nice to know that he was upset at the idea of our visit ending.  It means things are going well!

Overall it was a great visit, it was cut short, just one hour and we’re not going back this evening.  With the kids here two visits a day is just too much.  I would love to see him more than we are, but I keep telling myself that the separation is only temporary and this is the necessary way we have to do this so that he can be in our family forever.

Leaving him was harder today than it was yesterday and I’m guessing it will be harder tomorrow.  I am dreading going back to the capital for our second referral.  It is going to be terrible to leave him for so long.  He cried when we left because he couldn’t take his new cars with him.  I gave him a balloon and a little rubber ball to take, but those weren’t his favorite toys by far.  Hopefully we can explain better tomorrow about that.

Here is a picture of all the kids.  You can’t see his face in this one so I think it’s safe to share :)

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