We spent the morning hitting the books hard, and Yannik came over while Jocelyne and Sven went to visit their daughter at the baby house. I spent the morning and early afternoon writing…processing…thinking…praying…not even knowing what to pray for actually. Do we pray to bring them home? Do we pray to know how to let them go? For insight…certainly, for wisdom…absolutely. Other than that, I don’t even know what to ask God for right now.
We gather up our things and head over to the RBS at around 3:30 PM, all 7 of us in the Lada which still makes me grin. Irina is so good natured about having Joshie always on her lap. Every time I see her I still marvel at just how beautiful she is…and she has a wonderful heart as well.
This time we wanted to see around the orphanage and capture a few photos. I was looking for so much more than photos, but what I wanted was far less tangible. We get settled in our room again, and the girls come in and give us all easy big hugs. They seemed happy to see us. We immediately went for the mini-tour, seeing their lunch room, the library, their music room, a costume room and were taken near the gym but there was some sort of game going on and we couldn’t look inside. We had a young boy as an escort who asked to show us around and saw Dominick as a new friend. When we walked by the ping pong table, Dominick grabbed a paddle and whacked a few with the kids there, and they seemed to think that was pretty funny.
The music room was so cool though we only got a peek. As we headed up the stairs we heard something muffled but I couldn’t quite make out what it is. The door was opened for us and there were 3 or 4 boys playing the accordion!! One of them was quite good and did an impromptu number for us, then we quickly shut the door so as not to disturb them. The girls were giggling over this and found it quite funny. Behind Door #2 we were fascinated to find a hallway filled with costumes for the various performances and holiday events held at the orphanage. A beautiful array of color was before us with traditional Kazakh designs, white dresses for graduation, and many more. We were invited in by the seamstress to view her fitting room which was warm and cozy with potted plants in the windows and costumes hanging for the New Years celebration which is quite a big deal here. It turns out that the seamstress was once Angela’s group Mom and she lovingly embraced Angela and Angela returned it. After thanking her for allowing us to visit we returned downstairs and went back to “our” room.
I had brought along the Russian – English picture dictionary that had been a gift from our dear friend George, and it was a hit! We all spent quite awhile looking at the pictures, tentatively naming things in English and Russian with each other, discovering which foods the girls liked by using the pictures, and when we got to the picture of bugs and a praying mantis was shown we shared Joshua’s story about capturing them and watching them eat each other…which got grins and disgusted looking faces. Turns out Olesya likes to capture spiders, so Josh likes to hear that. Irina in particular was enthralled with the book and talked about how she could really use one in teaching her class. She asked if she could borrow it and try to copy the whole book, and I offered to give it to her and get another when we return (Sorry George, look at it as educating the masses in English here!). She was thrilled to find a couple of pages which gave vocabulary on cars which is what her class that she teaches each day is studying right now. I let her borrow it to copy those pages but promised her she could have the entire book when we go, she was so thankful and declared “I think anyone who has this book and reads it all will know all there is to know in English!”.
Then we went on to play Black Jack. Gathered around the table, taking turns dealing and watching as Angela and Matthew sat side by side trading cards so one of them could win, then the other…it happened.
Dominick and I both got a glimpse of the family we had envisioned for so long.
The next hour held such promise…such hope…as we saw what we barely have the courage to dream will be all 5 of our children laugh together, tease each other even with limited language, giggle and tickle one another, and gang up to beat Dominick. We finally saw the real Angela and Olesya, they were relaxed, they were witty, they were warm…they were girls we could see joining us. Perhaps they too caught a glimmer of what life just might be like someday.
It was time to pack up as Alexander had arrived to drive us to the Doner Café for dinner with the Oborn’s. This time, the girls lingered and didn’t race out the door, this time the girls giggled as they were bear hugged by all 3 boys at the same time. This time, they didn’t turn away.
We are still being very cautious. Both Dominick and I said we need to see a lot more to feel confident enough to stride into court and request that Kazakhstan make us the parents of 2 new daughters. But we are a giant leap closer than we were 10 days ago. I still have reservations, I am still fearful, but mixed in with those emotions is one I haven’t really experienced since the first day…and that is hope. Hope that we all can regain our footing and start over, hope that this hodge podge of biologically unrelated people can somehow become a family, hope that at some point every single one of us can look around at our little group and say with supreme confidence “Yes, I want this to happen.”.
Today I saw some of what I had wished to see…Matthew and Angela interacting well and enjoying each other. Everyone more relaxed. A sharing between possible siblings as cards were traded and sneakily viewed in order to beat up on poor old Dominick. I saw Angela be a kid for a little while and learned she had the capacity to do so.
I almost don’t dare to hope, that wall that surrounds my heart crumbled a lot today and I am so very afraid of being even more deeply hurt should we find ourselves close but being unable to leap the final hurdle to making this happen. Oh how I don’t want to go through a repeat of Monday night!!
We also have to continue to be realistic and make sure we are not too caught up in the emotion of it all so we don’t make an unwise decision. Too much is at stake for everyone, the girls included.
My mom shared with me that on Monday night she was terribly upset, and sat out on her stoop to think of us and pray for all of us. This was such a long held dream for our family, and that dream had come to an end. After Angela’s coldness towards us I would have said today’s warm visit would have been impossible and would have laughed out loud derisively at the thought. I know many of you held out hope that what happened would actually take place…but being present here on the visits both Dominick and I were totally surprised by the call. My mom said that as she sat there praying so fervently for her family so far away, so brokenhearted for us all, she saw a falling star and felt an overwhelming sense of peace as if all would be all right.
Tonight, as I write this, I have hope that maybe…just maybe…she just might be right. I am still not at all ready to declare victory or to arrange a court date, but both Dominick and I can see possibilities unfolding.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support. We are all doing the best we can to remember God is in control, to do what we feel led to do even if it seems counter to what others think is best, and to always, always walk in the Spirit no matter what happens.
And once again, our church’s motto which so spoke to my heart a few years ago when we decided become members, rings true…
Never place a period where God places a comma.
The LaJoy’s are definitely comma people. There may be a period here somewhere along the line, but it won’t be without a few commas thrown in that are not ignored.