Monday, January 26, 2015
Valerie Here: Day Three - Gotcha Day!
What a day it has been! Full of ups, downs and in between. I woke up in Ruse to a sweet boy who was physically ill from anxiety. Gabe did not want to leave his foster mom and grandmother and I understand why. They are both wonderful women who have given themselves completely to his care over the past 2.5 years. They have loved him so deeply and so well. If only all children could know such love. It was a very tearful goodbye and the grief of this separation will be felt for quite a while. I was certainly not Gabe's savior today, but a strange lady who took him away from a wonderful life with wonderful people. It will likely take awhile for him to see me as mama (and not the catalyst of his grief), but we will get there, one day at a time. Gabe cried for about an hour after we left, The fell asleep. When he woke we listened to his favorite Bulgarian children's songs on YouTube and bonded over a shopska salad (which I ordered for myself and he ate most of)! My mom went to Stara Zagora this morning and sprung Jesse and Eli from the orphanage. They were so excited to be going home that my mom said you could hear their voices ringing through the halls of the orphanage. My mom returned to Sofia before we did so when we got back to the hotel they were waiting for us. We knocked on the door and were almost bowled over by Eli who gave me a huge hug and told me over and over that he loved me! After he greeted me he gave Gabe a hug and kiss then took his hand to lead him into the room. Jesse was already glued to the tv watching cartoons when we came in, but when he saw me his face lit up like a Christmas tree and he ran over to give me a hug and kiss (before promptly returning to his show). Gabe LOVED being with Eli and wanted to be everywhere he was. Eli is such a sweetheart that he obliged. We ordered pizza for dinner and not a crumb was left when we were finished. After dinner I told the boys it was time for showers. You would think they had won the lottery smile emoticon Jesse and Eli were thrilled to use their new body wash, shampoo and deodorant (I had to demonstrate what that was for) and put on new pajamas, socks and underwear. They were in heaven. It took Gabe about two hours and some melatonin to settle down enough to go to sleep, but he is finally sleeping deeply and peacefully. Once Gabe was asleep, Jesse and Eli wanted to show me all of their things. In addition to clothes, toys, notebooks and other keepsakes, they had used their money to buy books for Richard and I, as well as my mom and step dad and lots of shoes for their brothers and sisters. Jesse and Eli were still so wound up I was starting to think they might be up all night. Every few minutes, "Mamo! Can I have some water?" "Mamo! Do you have any lotion?" "Mamo! What will we do tomorrow?" "Mamo! Look! It's snowing!" But they have finally settled in for the night as well. Friends, I am so in love with these sweet boys and feel so blessed that they have been entrusted to Richard and me! There is so much more that I want to share, but we have to be up early for medical appointments and I am running on empty. I wasn't able to take many pictures today because the boys absconded with my technology the minute I walked in the door but I will try to take more tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers! They were felt!
***Richard here. Back at home we're doing well. It snowed last night so there was no school today for Benjamin and Thomas but the rest of the kids certainly had their home-school work to do. The day was full of math, spelling and reading. We got to Skype with Valerie a few times (mostly with Eli) and I am increasing my skill of using Google translate.
Posted by R- at 7:17 PM