Wowee! What a last couple of days it’s been! I started writing yesterday and had to give in to the pillow and my need to process everything that’s transpired these last several hours. I tried to combine some highlights of the last two days, so hope it’s not too overwhelming for everyone! We’re having difficulty getting video footage up, but oh, do we have some goodies. In the meantime, pictures will have to do. Here ya go!
We took the high speed train to Kramatorsk yesterday morning and made it there around 5:30 AM. Crawford was so excited and had been looking forward to it!
Crawford slept great….the kid can sleep anywhere if you just give him a good blanket and pillow. Dustin and I, on the other hand, did not sleep a wink. We couldn’t shut off our excitement to finally get to meet Roman. Of course, by the time we checked into our semi-luxury suite here at Hotel Kramatorsk, our heads were desperately seeking pillows. We were expecting to meet Olga around 9:30, but got a call to meet closer to 9:00; thus the rushing around began! I didn’t want to keep Olga waiting too long, but I also didn’t want to smell like I’d just stepped out of a garbage can for our first time meeting Roman. With a little help from Colgate, Clif Bar, and Tresemme hairspray, we were ready in about 10 minutes!
Before going to the orphanage, we had to meet with the social worker and the director of social services. Then, once we got to the orphanage, we had additional meetings with the orphanage director’s wife and Roman’s doctor to go over his file. We got to learn more about his birth and developmental history which was very helpful. Most of the information was not new, but rather, more detailed. The doctor left, and we expected that they would take us to him or take us to another room to meet him, but all of a sudden there he was walking through the doorway with his little flannel outfit and big brown eyes. I was in disbelief. Could it really be the boy we’ve been longing to see with our own eyes and touch with our own hands? “Yes, Lora this is happening dear. Snap out of it!” I say to myself. At first, he seemed slightly more interested in the stimuli in the room than hanging out with our stinky ol’ selves. He showed particular interest in the director’s desk (we were in his office). I hope the director has good job security because someone was trying to steal his position. Understandably, I don’t think he was real sure what to think of us at first, but once we all went to the orphanage gym and were able to roam freely, he began to warm up to us. Here are some pictures of our very first meeting!
Everyday, we get to see Roman from 9:30-11:30 and 4:00-6:00. When we went to pick him up from his room for yesterday’s second visit, Roman raced to put his shoes on and said, “mama.” Then, he ran up to Dustin and said, “daddy.” I lost it right there. Tears of overwhelming joy struck this momma hard. I wasn’t expecting to hear those words so quickly from him, but will absolutely take it! After our visit last night, we were a hot, sweaty mess. There was jumping, tickling, wrestling, racing, and eating galore! We were all so pooped that Crawford fell asleep at the dinner table. A good night’s rest worked wonders on us all, and we were ready for day 2! Roman is slowly becoming a Murphy boy! He loves being chased and tickled. He is already beginning to sign “more” and is imitating vowels, reduplicated syllables, and says mama, papa, dada, and ball so far. I’m sure he’s attempting some Russian words that we’re not understanding, but it will come. He loves bananas, cookies, and juice. For my speech path friends, I’m not seeing any feeding-swallowing issues as he stuffed an entire cookie in his mouth and chewed it up without delay. For my OT and PT friends, he’s donning his shoes and loves these sticks in the gym (shaped like light sabers)that he’s been running around with double fisted. We are amazed with how much a child can change within one day! It’s been wonderful to watch. Here are some pictures from today.
We’re still adjusting to our new routine and how to utilize what time we have in between visits as we have Crawford to love on too. It is so important to us that his emotions and thoughts are tended to with vigilance throughout this process. It has been such a beautiful experience to watch the relationships within our family taking shape, remembering that not just a bond between two loving parents and a little boy is in the works, but one, just as important bond is developing between two brothers. With that comes a little tinge of pain knowing that our past life as three is no more as we journey into the world of four. So many parents that have made or are making that transition from one to two children can attest to this I’m sure. I had a few bittersweet moments as a mother yesterday watching Crawford struggle a bit with the realization that we will be a different family, which reaffirms that having him here was undoubtedly the best choice for all of us. He is such a sweet and resilient soul and has been more and more thrilled each time we go visit Roman. I can see a precious bond forming between the two of them and it’s so exciting to watch! We will post another of today’s second visit and hope to get you all some video soon too! Hope everyone’s doing well! We love and miss you all!