Monday, August 8, 2011

The Day that had to come...

First off, here is a family shot: Artem was all dressed up too, but he spilled ketchup on his button down shirt! Oh, well...he is still adorable!
This is my brother and sister and law and their youngest, Nathan with Artem. Thanks to them, he even went home with some Spanish words (Tia and Tio mostly)!
And here he is with Nana and Papa (Shauns parents):

And finally Babushka and Dedushka (sp?): This boy is very very loved!

So, departure day. I really thought I was prepared for it. I mean, I was dreading it the whole time, but we went into this with a host only mentality and I thought I was alright with that. It. was. awful. The days leading up to it there was plenty of talks about it. He was so open about not wanting to go back, so free with his emotions and affections. We got plenty of hugs and kisses and I love yous the whole time he was here. One night in particular broke my heart- we were having a chat on the translator and he was expressing his worry about what would happen when he got back to Ukraine. I guess the older boys can be bullies, and if they see something they want, they just simply take it. All the little gifts we got him were such treasures to him- I seriously doubt he has ever had so many possessions in his life. The thought of someone stealing from him made me so sad. I asked if there wasn't a teacher or a caretaker who could look out for him and he looked at me like I was completely crazy. He got a set of earrings for his sister whenever he sees her again- I went ahead and wrapped them in hopes that they would be more likely to stay in his possession that way. He basically told me that if someone tried to take those, he would fight them, but I cringed at that and told him to be careful and look out for himself- no material things are worth his safety.

Packing his bags was tricky but we got it done. Photo album full of memories with our contact info in the back. His Russian English Bible in which I highlighted some of my favorite passages. Clothes, toys, shoes, school supplies, and gifts. Poor kids carry on weighed a ton though! And I managed to slip in a letter and some unseen goodies after he went to bed.

The flight out was really early, so Shaun stayed home with the two younger kids and Ashtyn and I took him. We were such a wreak! Artem was somber at first, but as soon as he got around the other boys, he separated from us and took on the tough boy act. They were all in pretty good spirits- several of them had been through this before so I think they were coping the best they could. When it was actually time to say goodbye however- the tough boy act melted away and he clung to us and choked back the tears. For Ash and I there was no hiding it, we were complete saps. My sweet sweet boy- I don't think he has any idea how much we miss him!!

The one thing that made it all slightly more bearable however is that we do have hopes of seeing him again. I cannot mention any names and it is certainly not a sure thing yet, but some friends of ours that met him while he was here are seriously considering adopting him. So we are praying for that to work out, and hoping they might host him for Christmas. Couldn't let Artem know anything about it poor kid. He is so strong though, and so brave. And he is always in our thoughts and prayers so I know God will take care of him!


Rachael said...

Oh, that makes me so sad and yet so hopeful all at the same time!!

And I'm also sad to hear what Artem said about kids stealing things. I really loaded Sergiy up with everything he could possibly need for winter, and he said that he will send it home with a teacher who will keep it safe for him but, who knows if it will all still be there when he gets back from camp since I think the luggage got sent to the orphanage and the kids to camp. But, maybe that's better. I don't is so hard to not be able to talk to and check in on them and take care of them and protect them!

And I'm so so happy that Artem may get to come back and maybe will find a forever family. Will keep that situation in prayer and please keep in touch. I would love to follow up what happens to the kids from Sergiy's orphanage.

Rachael said...

Jamie, please email me. I don't have your email, but mine is connected to my profile. I am in touch with an American family who is at the boy's camp right now and I got to Skype with Sergiy. They might be able to connect you to say hello to Artem, if you wish, or at least send a message to him or bring you a letter or something.

Jackie said...

Wow, Jamie ... hugs to you. Miss you guys. xx