Sunday, March 4, 2007

Thoughts from THE EVENT – Meeting the Kids!

Unpacking the Trip -- Part 1

The last post had a first round of photos from the trip which included when we first met the kids. As I look back over my journal, it is filled with random thoughts to remember from the day. Here are some of them.

When our car pulled into the care center, it was swarmed with kids. The workers shooed away all but three – our F.G. and K.D. and the child our friend who was with us was adopting. When the car door opened, K.D. was there to jump on me. "Papa! Papa!" he kept yelling over and over as he latched on to me and would not let go. It was not so much a sentimental moment, it seemed to me, but rather a moment where he was finally able to lay his hands on his trophy. I was a prize – a new dad from the land of America – to be ushered around and displayed to all. K.D. was quite possessive for the first few minutes, shoving away any child who came too close. He was also very determined not to be left behind. If I went too close the car or had to get something out of it, he would run and jump in the car. There was no way he was going to be left behind!

F.G. took hold of my wife as she opened the car door. She kissed her repeatedly and clutched her tightly for awhile. It seemed like she suddenly became aware that she did not know how long until we were going to leave and she took off and disappeared inside. She returned moments later with a small clear plastic backpack with an item or two in it. Nothing looked particularly valuable but I suspected that any possession could be a prize possession for a child at the care center. She gave it to K.D. to wear on his back. It was not until later in the day when we were back at the guest house that we discovered what was in the backpack. There was a small wallet/purse that had two square black and white photos about 1.5" on a side of her mother. What a treasure indeed.

It is fascinating to look back on this event with almost two weeks under our belts now. We have been told that the bonding that needs to take place between a new adoptive parent and child can take anywhere from one hour to one year or more. We are fortunate that the bonds seem to be developing quickly for us. F.G. and K.D. already at random times will say "dosycee" (Amharic for "I love you") to us. They love to crawl up in my lap, invite me to play with them, and F.G. in particular loves the game we play of catching each other's eyes. We would love them, of course, if the love we have for them was not reciprocated. But how sweet it has been for us that it has.

2 comments:

Rose Symington said...

This brought tears to my eyes - I can't wait to experience hopefully the same thing - we are about to go pick up our 7 yr. old daughter and 9 mo. old son!

CrazyD said...

I remember well what it was like to be so close to traveling. For me, living in such a high state of expectation helped me to notice and savor all of the small stuff in life.

Enjoy the anticipating!