To the sweetest girl I know:
After a sleepless night, I rose, showered and went downstairs for the continental breakfast offered by the hotel. As she had yesterday, a young blonde waitress brought me bread with jam, a plate of salami- like sliced meat and cheese, and an egg soufflé of sorts. Yesterday, she asked me something I could not understand and I told her i only spoke English. I did not, until she returned with coffee, realize she was asking what I would like to drink! Oh how I wish I had known, for I know the word for tea and I would have loved a nice hot cup. Today, however, when she looked at me after setting down my plates, I asked "tea, please" in her language. She returned with the eggs and tea and then brought by two creamers, remembering that I had asked for a second the day before. I ate my breakfast and marveled at how little food I actually require to be content and hoped to maintain a more modest appetite when I get home, how ever unlikely that may be!
The facilitator arrived and we left together, stopping on the way out of the city to purchase bananas and cookies for you to share with your friends.
After the hour-long ride down a road much afflicted by the damages of weather and overuse to your home, we parked and went inside where we were greeted again by your director. She showed us the picture of your friend Anna proudly displayed clipped to her pencil jar. She marveled again at how wonderful it is to know that she is so very loved. Yesterday, I had shown the directors information about your scho at home and they were amazed and said "we hope you will be able to get her into that school!" I explained that there was no special requirement for admissions, and that the education laws in our country allow for the special needs of students to be met whether in ones own district or another. They could not believe it and seemed sad as the translator told me "it is not this way in our country." as the translator continued the conversation from the day prior, a receptionist brought you to me. This time you greeted me with a giant hug which made everyone smile. We played with the ball from yesterday and i gave you a cookie. You loved every minute and it was clear to see that you must not refuse any food offered you. When you were down to the last piece in your hand and were chewing i snapped a photo and before i knew it you crammed the last piece in your already full mouth! We all laughed at your healthy appetite and then I asked if we could use play doh. The translator explained it would not leave marks and the director consented. Several times you tried to eat it, but we told you not to. I began taking pictures again and just as I let my guard down you took a giant bite of blue play doh, which I promptly removed from your mouth in the resusci-Annie finger-sweep fashion familiar to any mother of a toddler. The translator laughed and said "maybe you should try a banana!" You must have agreed because it was all I could do to get you to take small bites. You basically inhaled it and then climbed in my lap. For the remainder if the visit, a longer 45 minutes today, you stayed in my arms, while we learned new signs, all of which you copied perfectly, discussed parts of our faces and gave hugs. You kept squeezing me with your whole body wrapped around me like one of those long-limbed, Velcro-handed monkeys. I snuggled you close to me and kissed your cheek. How surprised I was when you immediately reciprocated and kissed my cheek exactly as I had done to you. Such an affectionate little girl! You will fit right in our family. You continued to cling to me, happy and smiling, all the while the translator was taking pictures. What a wonderful t.
They told you it was time to go and we gave some more hugs and said our goodbyes. This time I swallowed hard, packed my bag, and thanked the director. Thankful the language barrier eliminated any expectation that I converse, I fought the urge to cry while we waited for the driver to bring the car around. It had begun to rain heavily.
We went back to the Adoption Center where the director gave me a gift of postcards to remember the city. There we filled out the petition to adopt and took it to the notary. I gave the translator all of my court documents and they took me back to my hotel. I paid the driver and retired to my room to ponder the events of the day.
Tomorrow I will sign a paper with your new name and it will be added to your other documents. We will visit one more time. I do not think it is coincidental that the verse of the day in my Bible application is Isaiah 41:10. I will need its words today as much as I ever have as we part at the end of this last visit, at least for a time.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)
Just as God said to us...I want you to know this:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine." (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV)
These are my two favorite photographs from our visit today: