Sunday, October 07, 2012

One Year Ago - The First Meeting

{This post was originally published one year ago when we were in Ukraine adopting our sweet Carter}

Today, we met our boy.

It went exactly as it has in our dreams.

No - better.

When we arrived, we waited in the van with Niko for the social worker and Yulia to arrive.  He told us how beautiful this orphanage was, and he said "roll down your window - do you notice something?  No car smoke!".  It's true - the air is clean here, just a few miles from the city.  And this orphanage feels just like the woods of Wisconsin.  Birch - Oak - Maple.

We went in to the orphanage, and waited on a couch.  Yulia finally told us we could enter, and we met the director, who is also a doctor.  He seemed like a very kind man.  He obviously cares about these children.  We also met who I would guess to be the 'head nanny' - she also seemed very kind, and she gave Jake a wink that made us both think of his Grandma Rosie.  She even has Grandma Rosie's 'coffee lips'.

The doctor started telling us about him.  His name - Antony.  He was the first pregnancy and delivery for this couple.  She delivered him at 36 weeks in a c-section.  Because he was so big.  Ha.  And as you'll see in the photos (if you haven't already scrolled down...!) - he IS a big boy :)

Then the doctor said something that touched me deep.

He was a 'desired child'.

His parents wanted him.  They looked forward to his birth.  They waited with great anticipation for his delivery.

He was born May 30, 2008 - he weighed about 6 lbs, and was about 19 inches long.  They were almost certain he had Down syndrome.  But do you know what they did?  This shocked me.

They took him home.  They loved him.  They cared for him.  The doctor said he was nursed by his mother until he came to the orphanage on September 16, 2008.

What a traumatic day that must have been for him.  What loss and feeling of abandonment he must have felt.  What deep wounds he must carry.

Other than his Down syndrome, the doctor said he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism - but it has since 'left him'.  They also said he had a hole in his heart, which has closed on it's own, which is common.  He had bronchitis in January.

They explained to us that his parents used to visit him.  They brought gifts for him.  They really, truly loved their child.  Because of the c-section, Carter's birth mother was no longer able to have children.  So they decided to adopt.

Once they adopted another child, they stopped visiting.

They said that his parents would be thrilled to know that he would be adopted internationally.  We're wondering if there's a chance we may meet them.

They told us that he loves to eat.  He eats everything :)  They also said he loves to 'feed his toys' - which is exactly what he was doing with the baby doll in the photo from this post.

He's walking okay with assistance.  They said he could walk alone if he chose to - but that he's not yet confident enough to do so.  This does not bother me one bit - there is a part of me that was hoping he wouldn't quite be walking yet.  It will be something we can experience together, as a family.

He's very calm, affectionate, and quiet.  They tell us he is never 'harsh' or 'violent'.

Many of our friends and family know that we had a specific prayer before we came here.  We've been praying it for months.

"Lord - introduce us to Carter supernaturally.  Help him to KNOW us!"

Did Carter know us?  I don't know.  We'll never really know.  But I do know that I got down on the floor, and he wrapped his little arms around my neck.  I cried.  He cried.  No noise from him - just one tear.  Maybe for the loss he's suffered.  Maybe for the love he felt in that moment.  Maybe it was allergies :)  We'll never really know for sure. But I feel that God answered our humble prayer today.

believe that Carter knew us.

Now - if you've read along this far without looking at the photos first, you get a gold star :)  I know the photos are what you're all here for!

It's my ugly cry.  Sorry.
I think he looks so scared - so unsure - so skeptical.

We were so blessed by the staff.  They said "if you want - you take him outside for some time."

WHAT?!  I didn't know that would be an option.


In other news...we're not moving today.  Maybe tomorrow :)  Niko says he found us a better apartment, with 2 bedrooms!  And it's very close to TGI Friday's!  Hoping it's as nice as this one...!

One Thing I Know For Sure: Love at first sight...!

1 comment:

  1. Awww...look at him...I can't believe how different he looks now!! He's changed so much! That vacant, scared look is long gone and he is ALIVE!!!

    (Still teared up - one year later - about his mom bringing him back after a summer at home. :( )


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