If adopting children lacking a family to love them, care for them and provide for their temporal and emotional needs makes me a child collector, then I guess that's what I am.
If setting my own personal pursuits aside and focusing on the needs of my children makes me a child collector then I guess that's what I am.
If having a strong moral foundation upon which I live my life and attempt to teach my children to do the same makes me a child collector, then I guess that's what I am.
If overcoming my own fears, concerns and hesitations to find a place in my heart for children that are not born of my own flesh makes me a child collector, then I guess that's what I am.
So, from your neighborhood child collector here is today's melancholy update:
Today was the day I have had mixed feeling about since I arrived in Stara Zagora. After packing up last night and getting up early since my presence was "required" by Eli at 0900 sharp we arrived to find Eli and Jesse waiting for us at the gate. First, we hung out on a bench and talked about their latest question assignment (I asked them to write a few questions each as a way to help them open up.) I recorded the questions and then we went upstairs to their bedroom. I had put together a large bag of miscellaneous items that I did not want to carry home (drinks, snacks, candy, spare change, etc.) so I went through the items and gave them to the boys for them to enjoy.
We then went outside and while the boys played with Nerf guns I met once again with the director and the psychologist who have both been very supportive and helpful throughout the week. We discussed plans for the boys but mainly lamented about the slow adoption process due to government bureaucracy on both sides of the ocean. After our discussion we went back outside and I sat with the boys on the front steps as they played with some of the other kids.
I really didn't want to leave because I knew it would be hard on the boys. Ultimately the time came and we said our goodbyes. It's difficult to think about them being on their own for now, but I know that Jesse and Eli will be able to rely upon their common bond to help them get through the waiting period.
As a quick aside - we have been able to identify four other boys who were at the SZ baby house with our daughters and our boys as well as other children who have been adopted in the states. We hope to put together a longer list and see what can be done for those "left behind" during the past few years.
We then drove to Sofia and not wanting to sit down and write yet, I hit the streets and went wandering around Sofia to clear my head and do some last-minute shopping for my lovely wife and the kids back home. Shopping is done and aside from dinner and re-packing, I'm ready to go for a 0400 cab pickup and a 0630 flight from Sofia to Munich. Following my first flight I have a long (5 hour) layover in Munich before flying to Charlotte and then ultimately to Dayton - arriving home around 2130 in Dayton.
Pictures for today:
|A Goodbye Note Written to Jesse and Eli From Another Child|
|Goodbye Stara Zagora|
|Hello Sofia - Good to See You Again|
|Ignore the minibar selections - this is all the chocolate I'm bringing home.|