The Final Visit

February 23, 2010

It’s truly difficult to believe that I am writing this blog from my 17th day in Russia. In my many ways the time has gone by fast, but in most ways, I feel like I’ve been here forever. I’m starting to “think” in Russian…with the limited words and phrases that I have learned 🙂

This morning was our last day to “visit” our little man. Tomorrow is a holiday, so we will be unable to go to the orphanage and Wednesday is THE day. I tried to take everything in today.

Pulling up the drive and walking in the door. I wish there were words to give to the familiar smell that we are greeted with as we walk up the three flights of stairs.

We got to go pick up our little man from his room today. He was sitting, very properly, in a chair by the door waiting for us. Steve lifted him up and he just buried his face into Steve’s neck as we walked him down the hall.

When we got into the “family room”, it was obvious that D just wanted to be held. Steve held him and kissed his sweet little cheeks for a while and then handed him over to me. I just stood there, holding him in my arms rocking him back and forth, whispering how much I loved him and how sorry I was that we couldn’t visit him yesterday.

I told him how much I missed him and what a good boy he was. It was obvious that he was sad that we weren’t there yesterday – and I think he was afraid that we weren’t going to come back. So today he was relieved to see us again.

Normally, he darts out of our embrace and heads straight for Steve’s bookbag which is the source of all things good: goldfish crackers, fruit and juice. But not today. Today he just didn’t want to let go. So we held him and pretty soon, a big smile started to spread across his face.

Papa lifted him high above his head and the giggles started to come out. From there, our hour went on as normal: Papa feeds him his banana, piece by little piece. He loves being fed banana.

Then we took out his flash cards, his animal crackers and juice. Then the 2 year old boy play-rampage begins. He is so curious and loves to understand how things work. It is so cute to see his little mind try and comprehend how a toy car goes and how a piano makes a sound.

We had a great morning…then just like that, just like every day we are with him, the hour passes by like seconds and it is time to go. This time, the care taker came in to get him. He went over and gave papa hugs and kisses and Steve had to practically pull him off of himself.

It was so sweet and hard to watch. Then, he came over to me and just collapsed into my arms. I hugged him and kissed him and then stood him up straight and told him he was such a good boy and that we would be coming back soon.

The care taker was getting impatient, but today, more than any day, we just didn’t want to let him go. I had to keep reminding myself of the bigger picture, than in just 2 short days, we will NEVER have to hand him back over again.

As we were walking out of the room, Ludmila said, “well say goodbye to this room, you’ll never see it again.” That statement hit me pretty hard. Tears started to well in my eyes as I stood in the doorway.

A flood of memories rushed through my mind as I thought about all of the firsts that took place in that room: the first smile, the first laugh, the first dance, the first song, the first kiss, the first tantrum, the first time I was overwhelmed by God’s grace and goodness when I looked into the eyes of the most precious boy in the world.

In many ways, I am glad I will not have to see that room again. But, that room also holds some of the greatest moments of my life. So, I said goodbye to the room and hello to a new life that will begin on Wednesday – a life of new firsts.

Thank you for following our journey. I can’t even begin to tell you how encouraging your emails and comments have been to my soul while I have been here. It is amazing to think of all of the people who are lifting us up in prayer.

We desperately need your prayers as we continue this journey in Russia. Prayers that were about strengthening our heart during the wait now become prayers for wisdom and strength as we begin to parent this sweet, amazing, hilarious boy that God has entrusted to us.

Updates:

  • Tuesday is a holiday (Men’s Day…similar to Veteran’s Day)
  • Wednesday is the day we bring him out of the oprhanage
  • Thursday evening we leave by train for Moscow…all THREE of us
  • We’ll update the blog next week with pictures & videos

Prayer Requests:

  • That Dima would be okay on Tuesday without seeing us
  • For us as we prepare to have him in our lives for good
  • All the transitions that are about to hit

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

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19 Responses to “The Final Visit”

  1. jen said

    It’s amazing the bonding that has taken place already! Even though it is so hard to see him sad, it is so good that he has you both to miss so much. It is clear that his heart and mind are connected/attached to you. Really, when you think about it, the limited amount of time you have had together and the amount of bonding that has taken place is incredible!!!! God has been at work, so cool. love!

  2. april said

    what a beautiful post! so beautiful to see already how much he has bonded with you guys and loves you! Praying everything goes well for you! so happy for you!

  3. Mama Mary said

    Can’t type – too many tears running down my cheeks.

  4. Victoria said

    Loved reading every word! It is so hard to let them go back to their harsh little baby world. Not that the caretakers don’t do thier best, but it is not a sweet atmosphere. I can smell the cabbage in the air when I see your pictures! Can’t wait for Wednesday – you’ll be the best parents EVER! Post those pics! 🙂

  5. Carala said

    Wow, I’m a teary mess after reading your blog. I’ve been following all along. What an amazing journey you have been on. Know you’ve always been in our prayers. I know I’ve rarely written on your blog cause I didn’t have the words to say. Our journey has been a struggle. 3 years now, and no real hope in sight. We completely trust that God knows and He has a great plan for us. But, it’s just hard to be without our girl after 3 years on this path….I know you completely understand all too well. I’m so happy that you will have your son in your arms forever more…in just 2 days! That is so incredible. Boys do rock! Enjoy Moscow and get home safe! 🙂

    Carala

  6. Stephanie Fabricius said

    That is very amazing and I am so thrilled for you! My little girl (17 months) LOVES bananas too (and it is convenient that they are a healthy snack). She learned the word and can get most of it out -that is always so cute! I usually make her say it rather than point just so I can hear her mix up the syllables! 🙂

    I’m banning myself from the internet Tuesday, but Wednesday evening I will be looking forward to catching up on twitter posts and whatever else you can put online! (I take the Bar Exam Tuesday and Wednesday).

    Have very safe and fun travels! Your little man should enjoy taking it all in!

  7. Sarah said

    I am so happy for you and your family. There really are no words to describe how exciting, emotional, joyful, tearful it is on the day when you get to pick up your child forever. When all of the waiting finally comes to an end and a new incredible chapter of your lives together begins.
    My only advice would be, do what you need to do to get home with as little stress as possible. I realise now that an airport is not the best place to start establishing and enforcing boundaries! Also most of the ‘naughty’ behaviours that my 3yr old displayed on the way home were a reaction to the huge change and were not an ongoing issue once we were home in our child proof home with good routines and sleep patterns. Writing this now it seems like a bit of a ‘no brainer’ but I really did struggle with wanting to look like I had everything under control and I worried a lot about my child having public meltdowns, now I’m completely used them and can actually continue a conversation with a screaming child tucked under my arm! It is quite strange going from being a person who, when out shopping alone, walked along in complete silence, to a person who now shops, with at least on preschooler in tow, and can be heard having a continuous (mostly one way) conversation, hoping that if you distract them for long enough you will get all of your shopping done and not have to abandon your trolley half way around the shop! Although I am joking, I did find that after being home for a while I had become so much more relaxed when dealing with meltdowns, a messier house, my kids playing up in church…I think I may have discovered the bigger picture.

  8. Wendi said

    Kate,
    I got tears in my eyes reading your latest posting and was hit by a huge surge of emotions when I saw the last photo – you leaving the room with the piano for the last time. We too have so many beautiful memories in that room…and we can’t wait to see it again. D is so lucky to have such wonderful parents, and in just one short day you all will be united as a family forever. Thanks for sharing your stories, experiences and words of wisdom. Those that are following in your foot steps are forever grateful.

    Hugs!

  9. Terry W said

    Katie and Steve, I have been so touched when reading your blogs and when talking to your mom. In this last blog I could sense what D and both of you must have been feeling. I know that you cannot wait until Wed. Michal’s little girl is just about the same age; I picture what she would be thinking and feeling. You will be wonderful parents. Hurry home.
    Terry W

  10. Jen Reilly Eaby said

    I’m SOOO happy for you. I’m just joyfully giving God praise for His gracious gift of a son to you. Can’t even explain how much joy I have for you. Joy is sweetest after one has to experience the pain of hoping for a long awaited desire. Praying for you all!

  11. Victoria said

    It is 4 pm on the 23rd here in the states, so I am assuming you have actually picked him up! Can’t wait to see the news on Twitter. Send some more pictures of the family of 3 when you can! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    Victoria

  12. Victoria said

    I meant, it is 4pm in Russia – sorry!

  13. donna said

    I’m glad I haven’t put my makeup on yet, because if I had, there wouldn’t be any left. I’m rejoicing with tears of praise for you!

  14. amy&jason said

    cannot wait to hear your news of busting him out!!
    overjoyed for you!
    xo

  15. Angie F said

    Dima! What a cool name! I am so thrilled for all three of you. Blessings on your family.

  16. Kathy said

    Hi kate! I am in moscow now. we spoke a few week ago. We left st. petersburg with our daughter on he train on monday night. It was an experience. Make sure you have a bag with easy access to things for D. And make sure you have bottled water for the train ride. I wish I had filled a container with cereal and had it easily accessable in the morning. She woke up and I had her bottle ready and a jar of food and diaper but the jar of food was not enough so i had go go digging for the cereal. I think the train scared our daughter a bit, she had a little melt down on the train. I held and wanted her to feel safe. the trick was some warm milk. I put milk in the bottle and then got hot water for tea (it just happen to be right outside our sleeping car) to warm it up. it helped so much. It is cold at that train station so bundle up, its a walk to your car, but not too bad. I thought I would have time to sight see and such but her sleeping and napping keeps me here at the hotel alot. I just want to tell you that I have been thinking of you and Steve and am so very happy you are experiencing this blessing. It had been mostly cloudy in St. Petersburg except the day we went to pick our daughter up it was so sunny. I just closed my eyes on the drive there and felt the heat. I knew is was Gods touch and it was amazing. He has been so incredibly good to me. I am honored that he chose me to be this beautiful little girls mother. I am so grateful that I have the faith I do, it has brought me through storms! God is good and when I look into her face, I can see his face. I hope your train ride goes well and I can’t wait to touch base when I get home! Love, Kathy

  17. Karen said

    Pictures, pictures, we want pictures!!

  18. jodi tucker said

    Oh yes!! and still praying!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Three smile faces for THREE Garcias!!!

  19. Liz said

    Wow!!! We have been following your journey all along and I can’t believe that a new life and family is about to begin. We are so excited for you and “D”. He is so adorable and precious. God is so good and amazing!! We will continue to pray for your new life together. You and Steve are going to be great parents- it’s so evident just by watching the videos. Praise God!!!

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