Today was a day of very mixed emotions. We started our day with a prayer before we left the apartment, and then Katia and Anton picked us up at 10:00am, and we headed out for our last visit to Kolomna. Traffic was better, but it still took us almost 2 hours to get there. I was feeling very tired in the car. A combination of jet lag and emotions, I think, knowing this was our last visit with him.
When we arrived at the orphanage, we discovered we were allowed to take Eli outside. His caregiver brought him out in the stroller, and he was dressed very warmly. We took him out, and pushed him around the playground. It was very sunny outside, and even though it was chilly (about 45 degrees), it was good for him to be outside in the sunshine and fresh air. After a few minutes, I took him out of the stroller, and just walked around carrying him. Of course, he liked that much better! I sat on the swing with him, and we swung gently for a few minutes. He seemed to like that too. After 30 minutes, we took him back inside, because we didn’t want him to get cold.
After we came back in, we went upstairs to find Katia, so she could have the music room opened for us. We were standing in the hallway, talking to the doctor and Katia, and his caregiver came to take off his outer layers. For the 1st time, he turned away and resisted her. This was new behavior. We feel he’s very bonded to us already, which is good and bad at the same time. We feel he will attach easily once we have him with us, but for the next 12 days, he will not understand why we are not there. It is very difficult.
We went downstairs to the music room, and played with him for almost 2 hours. He was very quiet at first, but he warmed up. He made some baby sounds, and even said ma-ma-ma! He loved that lamb rattle/teether that my sister got for him. He liked to shake it and listen to the noise. He crawled a little, but he was tired after going outside. So much stimulation. He was sitting on the floor next to me, and he started rocking again, this time more forcefully than he did yesterday. I picked him up immediately, and he sat in my lap or R’s for the rest of the visit. That was fine with me, because I love holding him. He put his hand up and explored my face, touching my mouth and teeth. He was making good eye contact again too. Toward the end of our visit, R was holding him, and he fell asleep. His thumb was in his mouth at first, but then it fell out as he fell more deeply asleep. He was completely out again! I hope he falls asleep this easily once he’s home! Instead of the caregiver coming downstairs to get him, we were allowed to carry him upstairs. We gave him to the caregiver right outside his baby room, so we didn’t see where he has been sleeping. We left a small journal behind, for the caregivers to write notes for him if they wish.
He was wearing a Carter’s onesie and pair of pants that my mom bought and that we left on the 1st trip. Those were a 12 month size, so the clothes that we have should fit him perfectly. I was so glad to see that they were using the things we brought.
It was very hard to leave him this time. These last 2 days have gone so well, and we feel so attached to him. It felt good to know that was our last visit, and that in 12 days, he’ll be with us forever, but we miss him so much already. This process is definitely a marathon and not a sprint!
We found out today that we will need gifts for 10 caregivers. We had already bought for 7, so I’ll buy the items for the other 3 gifts as soon as we get home. I think our week at home is going to fly by, because we’ll be so busy. That will be a blessing.
On the way home, we stopped at a grocery store that was about 1/3 the size of the convenience stores we have at home. We got more water (a 5 liter bottle of Bon Aqua), which we like much better than the brand we bought on Sunday, frozen broccoli (yum!), eggs, and orange juice. It was 213 rubles, which is about $10. Not bad. I enjoyed the broccoli for dinner. I had really been craving a vegetable.
We have court tomorrow morning at 10:30am (2:30 am US time). Please pray that everything goes smoothly. Also please pray for Eli. I know he will be confused when we are not there tomorrow. Please pray that the Lord takes care of him and holds him close until we return.