April 9th, 2007
If fortune continues to rain upon us, this will be my last entry written in Russia. Tomorrow is the day we are to pick up the resolution of the court and file all the documents that need filing to finally, finally, pick up the children. We are hoping, then, that by late afternoon tomorrow, we will depart Baby House #5 one last time; this last time, though, with our two precious ones in our arms.
These last 18 days (18 days!) have been rewarding, exhausting, terrifying, delightful, chaotic, peaceful … in other words, a great preview of our life to come. It has been an important time for both us and the children. We feel as prepared as we think we can be to bring them home. We understand enough of their moods, expressions, and temperaments to make a beginning – and what a beginning we hope to make.
They, in turn, are ready to leave that place which has been their shelter and their refuge. They leave behind the only world they have really known. They leave behind Sasha, the speech therapist, whom they love. Sasha has had such great care and love for the children and a light always shines on their face when she is around. They leave behind friends (Natasha and Paola – who are like sisters to Dascha). They leave behind their caretakers and music teacher. They leave behind all that they know.
But they are ready, for even if we are but a few minutes late on our morning visits, the children begin to cry – so fearful are they of us not returning. When they need comfort, they come to us first now, even when a favorite caretaker is in the room. If they have done something they are proud of us, the call is to Papa or Mama. And when they are unsure if they should do something, there is always the wary glance towards one of the two of us (then, depending on how mischievous they feel, they go ahead anyway, or move on to something else).
Somewhere along the line, in these last 18 days, Dascha and Nikolai became our children, and we their parents. There are many things I am grateful for in life, but in all my life and for the rest of it – it is for this that I am most grateful.