Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day To My Teen and Tween

11 years ago today, Bill and I went from 0-3 children in a matter of minutes!  It is so hard to believe that it has been so  many years.  Yesterday as we went to church I reminded Bill that 11 years ago on a Sunday in Romania we were attending a pentecostal church, which was just a tad charismatic for our tastes back then.  Yesterday I stood in our local church and watched my Latvian daughter, who was holding hands with my Ugandan baby, who was holding hands with her Latvian cousin.  They were dancing, swinging arms, shaking beaded heads to the rhythm of the music (OK, so the Ugandan was the only one with beads in her hair, but she was shaking it enough for all 3 of them).  I thought to myself, "Wow, we've come a long way since that 2 1/2 hour pentecostal service in Romania!"

The following day we traveled about 30 minutes from our guest house to a rural village in Romania where we first met with Dee's foster family. I still remember the foster dad, who had to keep excusing himself from the room so that we couldn't see him tearing up as this sweet baby was placed in my arms. We spent about 30 minutes with them before walking up the street to meet with Grace and Sarah's foster family.  When we arrived, Grace and Sarah were napping (even though it was 10 o'clock in the morning). We all sat in a very small room, which was unbearably hot due to the wood stove which was cranking.  The foster parents insisted on feeding us lunch. I still remember the chicken and the corn on the cob that they served.  The girls finally got up, we played with them for a few minutes before the foster mother whisked them away and presented them to us dressed in the clothes that we had brought to them when we had visited in July.  With the help of our social worker, we finally started to make our way to the van and to say our good-byes.  It was an extremely emotional event!  The foster mother hugged and hugged Grace and we finally had to pry her out of her loving arms.  By this time, the entire village was there watching, saying good-byes and giving us all hugs and kisses.  We finally had to grab the girls, jump in the van and tell the driver to "GO!"

I will never forget that van ride back to the guest house.  I sat holding Dee, who at 20 months of age, was a happy, bubbly little baby content to sit on my lap and watch the scenery as it zoomed by.  Our dear friend, Sarah, held little Sarah in her lap and they sang and talked.  Bill had the hardest assignment of all....he had to hold on to Grace who was sobbing and screaming the entire way!  When we finally arrived "home" she crashed in his arms and he laid her down in her bed to sleep.  Whew!  So many emotions packed into 4 hours.

And that was how it all began for us....11 years ago in a small village in Romania.  We are so grateful for the love and care that our girls received from their foster families.  They have had the privilege of returning to Romania twice now and meeting these special people again.  Grace and Sarah's foster mom died a few  months after we adopted the girls and I rest fully assured that that sweet lady has found sweet Grace and is continuing to love on her in heaven!  She probably pried her out of the arms of Jesus so that she could hug that sweet girl all over again!
 Dee's foster parents and foster sister. Dad is holding Dee.
 Grace and Sarah's foster parents.

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