Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears... part three

Monday July 10th, 2006... the race is on
We get to the hotel in Novokusnetsk and all I'm thinking about is a shower. Well, a shower and an air conditioned room, that is. It's 8:15 and they're coming back to get us at 9:00. We pay three times the normal room rate to get a renovated room with a/c. I don't care. We fly upstairs and there is an explosion of clothing, hair products and toys while we both try to get ready at the same time.

I'm in the shower when DH comes in with a stricken look on his face. The camcorder some how got turned on/left on and the battery is completely dead!! We're about to meet the most important little human in our lives and we can't record the moment? Find the power adaptor!! Quickly!! Now we have 25 minutes to finish getting ready...

Some wonderful soul has given me the hair dryer she purchased in Russia during her journey. I've never tried the thing as I don't have any way to plug it in Stateside. Imagine a gentle summer breeze... a gentle HUMID summer breeze... that's my hair dryer. When I turn it on, the lights dim like some sort of prison movie. Fine, I'll have big hair for the first meeting... he's a baby, he won't care. My husband is cursing that someone has stolen his contact lenses. That's right honey, someone rifled our bags and all they took were your contacts? How about we look again? Panic over, contacts found.

We make it downstairs with seconds to spare. I, with big, high humidity hair, and my husband with his shirt buttoned askew all wild eyed. We're a handsome people! We once again pile into the car and beg for the a/c to be turned up so we can cool down a bit before the big moment.

We arrive at the orphanage... this is sooooo cool!! I've seen the photos on the message boards and now I'm here!! We walk into the Directors office. She's so kind, and dressed a little like a christmas tree... all red and green. They sit us down and immediately launch into the social and medical history of our little man. Mom's young, yes... can't care for him, yes.... he's got all the normal orphanage ailments, yes, yes....all the while we're sitting with our ears cocked waiting for the door to open behind us.

We finally meet our son...
The door opens and in walks a woman with an anxious looking little man in her arms. It's clear he's not been in this room before, and he doesn't understand what's going on. I whip out my best baby Russian.. "Ee-dee syu-da Malish" I say to him... come here, little one in English. She hands me the most beautiful baby I've ever seen and he bursts into tears.

Now there's a babble of Russian in the room as all the ladies start talking at once trying to soothe him. I put him up to my shoulder and he stops crying immediately. I close my eyes and inhale the baby smell of him. They've taken great care to dress him and put him in American diapers, and it shows. My poor husband has been designated "camera guy" and is trying to film the moment at the same time he's trying to get a good look at his new son. The video camera is all over the place, then it zooms in on his face... just as it screws up and he lets out a big loud bawl!

After a few minutes of walking him around muttering in my bad Russian they let us go to the playroom to visit. I put him down on the floor at arms reach to let him get a look at the both of us. He's stopped crying, but is still giving us those big, hiccoughing sighs as he catches his breath. We start to offer him toys and he looks a bit perplexed... what in the world are these people up to? Twenty minutes later, we get our first tentative smile.... it was at that moment I knew I'd lost my heart forever.

We continue to play with him and get him up on his feet. He looks down at them, then does a double take, like "How cool is THIS?" Once he's up, he's up for good. We see his little personality start to unfold. It's amazing... sort of like watching one of those stop action flower movies... do you know what I mean? He gets more and more animated, smiling and clapping his hands together. Every time he does something he looks up to check our reaction, we smile at him and murmur encouraging words... he beams.

Before we know it the two hours are up and they're asking us if we want to go ahead and sign the petition to adopt. Are you kidding?!? Can we take him home now? They laugh... they've heard all this before. On the drive back to the hotel we look at the photos and watch the video of what just happened. It's completely surreal. Eighteen months of tears, trial and heartbreak forgotten in one short second.

After we get back in our room, we watch the video... again. Then at some point we fall asleep, heads together, the camera forgotten on the bed between us.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness - what a doll!! The first meeting is never quite like you imagined, but unforgettable for sure!!