August 11, 2008 (Tuesday)
The Lord’s Hand in my Life: Feelings of peace and comfort after I said goodbye to Andrei and my orphan kids.
This morning I woke up feeling sick. I knew I had to say goodbye to all my kids. I was not excited about it…not at all. I met Whitney S. at her apartment to print something off for Andrei and then we made our way to the orphanage for the last time. I was dreading going – because I knew it would mean goodbye forever.
When we walked into the orphanage I couldn’t help but think that it was the last time I would walk through those doors and smell that smell of mashed up food. We got our scrubs on and I grudgingly went up the stairs. The second we walked upstairs the first little person I was saw was Andrei sitting at a kid’s table. He signaled for me to come to him with his hand and did a big cheesy smile and laugh. I waved at him and signaled to him that I would come in a few minutes. I wanted to say goodbye to my kids in the other room first and Andrei last. Whitney S. and I went into the other room for about 15 minutes and quickly said goodbye to our kids and kissed them. Then we went to the other room.
I hate reality sometimes. I hate it even more when reality doesn’t feel real. That’s what it felt like when I walked into the second room. I kissed my kids goodbye, and then I turned on a cd that I had burned and danced with Andrei to a couple of songs. In between songs I gave Andrei his gifts. The second I gave him the stuffed monkey he kissed it – I was glad he liked it. It made me feel good. Then I opened the photo album and showed him the pictures of the girls and me that were in it, and he looked at it intently and smiled. I was really surprised because he is three. I didn’t think it would interest him in the slightest. It made me feel good that he recognized I was in the pictures, and he seemed quite pleased. In between songs Whitney S. and I also asked the workers if we could take a picture with them and Lumie said “Yes, and you with Andrei?” I was like “yes!” So I got a couple pictures of Andrei and I on my last day which is amazing because they normally don’t allow them. At least I have something to remember him by.
As we danced Andrei was his usual cute self. He kept giving me hugs, winks and smiles. He is the best dance partner ever – I’m going to miss him dearly. Then the last song I danced to with him was I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack. I had remained strong (when I say that I mean I hadn’t cried) until the end of the song – that’s when I fell to pieces. I started bawling. One of the workers came in and said they were going outside so Whitney S. and I decided we would help the workers take the kids outside and then leave. I put Andrei in the swing for the last time and pushed him in it for a few minutes as I continued to cry. I looked across the playground and Whitney S. was bawling too. After a couple minutes Whitney S. signaled to me that we needed to go. I knew we needed to go…after all this was torture, but when I tried to get my feet to move it was like they couldn’t. I felt like my feet were in cement, like I couldn’t take the step because once I stepped it would be stepping away from him forever…Finally I forced my feet to move, kissed him one last time and walked away. It was the worst feeling ever. I would be gone, and he would have no idea why. When Whitney S. and I got into the dressing room to get changed out of our scrubs we both looked at each other, hugged one another and started bawling. In between sobs I was like “I just hope the Lord takes care of our kids.” Whitney S. replied “He will, he will.” I know He will…but it’s still hard to leave – really hard.
Before we left the orphanage I left my orphanage shoes for Maria (one of the workers). She had requested my shoes a couple weeks after I arrived at the orphanage. I have been given so much I figured what the heck she can have them. Then we left for the last time.
As Whitney S. and I walked back to our apartment and we were able to stop crying I felt feelings of peace. Heavenly Father answered my prayers. Even though it was horrible to say goodbye to him, I knew it was what was necessary for me to do at this time. The Lord is so aware of us. Thank goodness.
After I got home I worked on some homework the best I could. Then Kenz came home. Her and Mindy had gone to say goodbye to their kids after us. She came in and was like “I have to tell you something.” She said that she saw Andrei sitting at the little table in the lunch room eating and smiling and when he saw them walk in he looked up and gave them the nod that guys always do. I was cracking up! He is so cute. He is such a little charmer. It just breaks my heart that he has no idea what’s going on. Maybe it’s better he doesn’t know that I’m gone forever, but as of right now he thinks I’m coming back just like I always do.
I talked to Mario on the telephone. I wanted to make sure the workers kept the photo album for him in a safe place. Mario said she would personally make sure they keep it for him and that she would check on it from time to time. She said that she would make sure that he knew I was a part of his life – a part of his history. That made me happy.
A few hours later we made our way to the hospital for the last time. I said goodbye to all the regular kiddos Alexandra, Mihait, the twins and Marion. They are all so cute! I’m going to miss seeing every one of their faces. In Alexandra’s room there were a bunch of girls, and I put fake tattoos on their arms that I had brought. They loved it! They thought it was the neatest things ever. Then I walked away and said goodbye forever.
When we got home we had a group dinner because we hadn’t Sunday because Sora Genevias. Then we went straight to our final Family Home Evening. We had a lesson by Radu and played Musical Chairs and Do you love your neighbor? for the activity. It was a lot of fun, but musical chairs was getting pretty aggressive. Elyse will buck you out of your chair at all costs. Then Kenz was on one – she was so hyper. During the lesson I kept trying to listen and she would make some goofy comment. I was having a hard time concentrating. Then to make matters worse for the opening song they sang Love At Home. I have hated that song ever since my parents would always sing it to us when we were fighting in order to help create peace. The girls all know I dislike that song so they looked at me and smiled and sang it extra loud. Thank you girls – thank you!
My mom called soon after I got home from Family Home Evening to make sure I was feeling okay about saying goodbye to Andrei and my kids. She said she had been thinking about me all day and cried when she thought about me saying goodbye to him. It meant a lot to me that she was concerned enough to call me and see how I was doing. I told her that it was hard to say goodbye, but that I felt peaceful about things…She said she had been praying really hard for me. The prayers of my parents and mine were answered…
After I talked with my mom we decided to have roommate bonding time for the last time. We went outside and looked out over the city and chatted about family traditions and other random topics. As we were looking outside I looked up and saw the moon. I remember when I was real little and I had to go back and forth between my parents my dad told me that if I was missing him to look at the moon because the moon meant “Daddy loves you.” He always told me that when I looked at the moon he was looking at the same moon and he wasn’t far away…good memories.
Then I did my fifth and hopefully final scabies treatment and went to bed after an emotionally exhausting day.