Hey Everybody! Forgive the lack of blogs from the in-country side of things. Thanks to Mom, though, you guys have been able to keep up with all of our comings and goings. But I'm back with the general run-down and showing plenty of pics!
So Christmas Day 2010 was Gotcha day for us! The orphanage asked that Julia stayed until the afternoon so they could celebrate Christmas with her and say goodbye. My heart really does break for those ladies.
Even though they were happy to see someone come who was just as in love with her as they were, I can imagine how tough it must be to say goodbye to someone you've taken care of for four years. Our time in the orphanage was pretty quick, but during that time, another little girl captured my heart.
This is sweet Sonya from Reece's Rainbow. she is too darn cute for words to describe. She wrapped me around her little finger and I got to play with her for a good 10 or 15 minutes. The meeting was indeed a bittersweet one though. Besides having to leave her without the comfort of knowing she had a family on the way, the countdown to transfer is coming up very quick. Someone needs to step forward for this adorable little girl. She has so much potential and beauty inside and out.
Once we got back to the apartment with miss Julia, we spent the night adjusting and enjoying each other's company. Julia adjusted like a duck to water ,and mealtime and playtime were no problem. When bedtime came, it was a little tougher, but given the circumstances that she was in a completely new environment and all, she did pretty well.
The next day was already departure from Julia's Region. After walking down to the church me and Dad had went to the day before and saying some prayers, we headed back home and started packing. After that was done, our good friends the Winkles came over for a visit.
We were all happy to see each other one last time, and Julia definitely liked them a lot. It was very hard to say goodbye. They had had us over for an awesome dinner on Christmas Eve, and they had been great company and support in general. From there, Tatianna and Valentin took us back to the train station, and we all said our goodbyes. Tatianna and Julia spent some great time together too :)
From there we boarded the train back to the Capitol. Julia was a little bit cranky because she was still running on her orphanage schedule, which we obviously couldn't follow with trying to pack up, board trains and whatnot. Once we were in the capitol, our good friend/driver Nikolai picked us up and brought us to our apartment....
Which is quite gorgeous! It was also nice to have a bed for one exhausted traveler to crash on. ;-)
The Next day was one of two U.S. embassy visits. Our first stop on the first one was to the embassy itself. After filling out a few forms and meeting another adopting family that had the courage to bring their five kids (besides the two they were adopting), we headed over to the U.S. Medical Clinic. The wait there lasted a good hour, and was a bit frazzling for all kids and parents involved. After a quick checkup, we went over and had a nice meal at a little cafe attached to the clinic.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the apartment, catching up on laundry, updating pictures (just click one of the ones in the post and you'll see my full album), and giving Julia her first bath (which she loved!).
Today was one more quick visit to the embassy for Julia's American Visa. We were there for about an hour, and got to meet some other adoptive families while we waited. Tonight we are scheduled to have dinner at a nice Italian restaurant with some other Reece's Rainbow Families.
As this trip draws to a close, so much is thought of. I can't believe it's only been 10 days. This trip has certainly taken up a lot of time and energy, but it's all totally been worth it. We have met so many great people. I could really sit in these buildings all day just to meet these beautiful people who walk through those doors, following a call from God. I am really happy to be going home to my family.
At the same time, though, I think the trip has changed me personally. I have so much I want to say and do for this cause now, for these little kids who can't speak for themselves, who need a voice.
Please pray that all goes well in the coming hours, as we fly back home to the US, and have a happy New Year!
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