We began Day 3 in the cafe eating blini (my new favorite Russian food). As soon as we finished, we headed straight over to the administration building to meet with the regional inspector. The meeting was fairly uneventful. We just had to sign a piece of paper that stated we wanted to visit "little man" that afternoon and the next morning and that we were interested in pursuing adoption. Of course, when they showed me his database picture (which we already had at home), I cried. We were going to be holding that sweet face in our arms later that afternoon. I could hardly wait!
Once the paperwork was signed, we headed outside to meet our driver. Once loaded in the car, we began the 3 hr drive to Kudymkar. It was a LONG, but beautiful drive. There were miles of gorgeous snow-covered pine trees and then miles of snow-covered fields. We passed through a few villages along the way and in each one all the people were out and about walking around (in Texas we'd all be inside complaining about how cold it was)! The entire 3 hours I felt like I was either going to cry my eyes out or scream. We COULD NOT get there fast enough (for me, anyway)!
We arrived in Kudymkar at about 1:00pm. All the children in the baby house take a nap until 3:00pm, so we went to check into our hotel. There is only one hotel in Kudymkar (it's a very small town). Again, I was quite nervous going in but was pleasantly surprise at how clean and large the rooms were. We dropped our bags off in our room and headed to a restaurant to have lunch and waste a couple of hours. We stopped and asked some people walking down the street where we should eat. Off we went! We were all surprised once we got inside. It was an extremely nice restaurant! The food was incredible. We later found out the chef had won many awards throughout Russia and Europe for his cooking. Although the food was fantastic, I think I was only able to force about 3 bites down because my stomach was in such knots. I kept checking my watch every minute or so to see if it was 3:00 yet. Once the clock struck the magic number, we loaded back up in the car and headed down the street.
I don't think I'll forget that short drive as long as I live. Every turn, every building....I was taking it all in. We were about to hold our son for the very first time! The car began to slow down and my heart began to race faster and faster. I don't think I've ever experienced a feeling like that in my life.
As we pulled up to the door, what I saw was not at all what I had expected. The baby house was very nice! It was a newer building and it even had a new playground out front. Troy, Tatyana and I went right inside and headed for the director's office (the baby house doctor). We all sat down and the doctor began to go over all of "little man's" file. I was trying my best to write down everything he was saying, but all my heart and mind could think about was seeing and holding our son. I think the doctor could tell I was having a hard time concentrating because he asked his assistant to go ahead and get "little man".
The next minute seemed like an eternity! They asked us to put surgical masks on and led us into what looked like a small clinic. I stepped through the doorway and there stood....our son! Every fiber in my body wanted to run straight to him and scoop him up in my arms, but I knew we'd have to take this first meeting slow. He turned and looked at me and in that moment I completely melted. All the paperwork, all the money, all the traveling was completely worth it in the one moment!
I walked towards him and sat next to him on the floor. He wasn't quite sure what to think about us at first. There was a toy car sitting on the floor and so I began rolling the car all over the floor (and making crazy car noises, of course). The next thing I knew, he was down on the floor wanting to push the car with me. Once I knew he felt a little more comfortable, Troy handed me the backpack we brought (filled with toys) and I got out the toy cell phone. It was a HIT! He would push the buttons and put it up to his ear and then put it up to my ear. Then I pulled out the bubbles. He LOVED them (but then again what child doesn't)! I would blow them and he would pop them. Troy would blow some more and he would pop some more! Minute by minute he was becoming more comfortable with us. Then it happened, he let me pick him up. I will never, as long as I live, forget exactly how he felt and smelled at that moment. Even as I type this, I can smell him and tears begin to roll down my face!
It's extremely hard to put into words exactly what that moment was like for me. What I do know for sure though is that in that moment, God's love for me has never felt more real. I realized right then just how much God truly loves me. He gave his one and only son for me, so that I could be one of His children. So that He could adopt me! I've known that my entire life, but God used that moment with our "little man" to show me just a glimpse of how much He loves me.....loves us. "Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes." Ephesians 1:4 "But God is so rich in mercy, and he loves us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)" Ephesians 2:4-5 "How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 36:7
Day 3 to be continued.....