Well, let me bring you up to speed on how the week has gone thus far. We left home Friday afternoon and had a series of three planes and travelled for about 16 hours by the time we arrived at our destination airport on Saturday evening here in Eastern Europe. Of course, just to test us a little, our bags were THE last ones to arrive on the baggage carousel. But all was well, everything arrived safely. Our driver met us and took us to the apartment that we will call home for the next week. It is a nice little two bedroom apartment. We got quickly settled and then ventured down the street to the local market to get a few items to make meals while we are here. After that, we went a little further down the street to get something to eat and then we retired early that evening, knowing that the next day would be big as we would travel 3 hours to get our son. The next morning, the driver was to pick us up around 8:45 for the drive to the mountains to the orphanage where our son is.
Satan perhaps thought that he could throw a wrench or two into this day, but we serve a mighty God and His ways and plans are already in place and satan will have no hold on this process. We were anxious to get started and we went outside to wait for our driver a little before 8:45. We waited....and waited....and waited. Then our driver called, "I'm trying to get to you", he said. "All of the roads in the main part of the city are closed for a marathon being run today. You may have to walk somewhere to meet me." After a brief conversation, we decided that we would walk to a church that we knew about. He found us there, and we were on our way. A little later than planned, but still on our way. As we travelled a few hours southeast, into a mountainous area of the country, Michelle and I both shared how we were getting a little nervous. So many thoughts were going through our heads and what the day would have in store. We weren't sure how it would go, how he would respond to us, how the caregivers would respond, or anything. We arrived at naptime, just after lunch. Our little guy was awake and waiting on us, and all the other precious children were tucked away in their beds for their naps. As we entered, he seemed excited to see us. We were certainly excited to see him. He had a recent haircut and was wearing some clothes that we had previously gotten for him. You could see that the caregivers wanted to make sure that the process started with the connections that we had longed for. We asked a few brief questions, signed a couple papers, and we were on our way. It was so precious to see the tears of the caregivers as they told him good bye. We gave them a hug and thanked them for the care that they had given to our son. As we left, we were headed to the stairs to walk down to the car when we were asked to wait while one of the caregivers walked up. She had a little tradition to perform, pouring a jar of water onto the stairs before he left. We asked what it was for and were told that the symbolism of the water was that they wished his life to flow easily as the waters traveling down river....effortlessly. Very sweet. We all said our good-byes and got back into the car for the ride back. That lasted about 30 seconds as our driver discovered that we had a flat tire. He also discovered that the tire wrench would not work on one of the lugnuts that was a slightly different size. A few minutes later, one tire store later, and two tire changes later (from flat to spare, and from spare to newly repaired tire) and we were again on our way.
As I mentioned, we were in the mountains. Traveling down the mountain with the winding roads and with our little guy being on a long car ride that he is not used to did not settle well with the fact that he had lunch just before we arrived. After the moment of car sickness, followed by a quick stop to clean up, all was fine and he soon took a nap in the car. Very precious to see him with his head leaning against Michelle's arm. We finally got back to the apartment and it was time to walk a little. Being cramped in the car for a few hours we all just needed some exercise. After a walk and another trip to the market, we got something to eat and then headed back to the apartment to hang out and just spend time getting to know each other. He is such a wonderful boy. He is very inquisitive. He goes through bouts of being overly active, to bouts of being very quiet and intrigued by the toy or item in front of him as little boys often do. The evening felt natural.
At bedtime, we laid him down in a bed in the same room that we would sleep in. He wanted a special toy that he had latched onto, and we smiled from the other room as we heard the sounds of the toy over and over and over. After a few minutes I went in and told him it was time to go to sleep and I took the toy to the other room. No cries, no complaints, he just said good night and went to sleep. He awoke the next morning with giggles and excitement for what new things would await us today. As I write this, we are dressed and playing, just waiting for a couple appointments that we have today. He is the same boy this morning that he was last evening. Thank you God that he does not seem afraid or worried. I pray that he will always trust us and know that we are always here to love him, to protect him, just to be with him......forever.
More soon as the week progresses. Thank you all so very much for your prayers in this process. It is so exciting seeing the new path set before us. We know the road will be long and we know that the path will get quite narrow at times. We are prepared because we know that God is leading the way. The path might be narrow, but it is well lit. God Bless.