Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bye for now

Well, Anya went home, back to Ukraine yesterday.  It was a very sad day, sadder than I ever expected. Before I went to bed last night I was online tracking her flight, and then first thing this morning I got back on to see that she landed safely.  It was 18 hours of flying with a layover in Amsterdam. She landed in Kiev, Ukraine about 5am Michigan time.  She is now on a 10-12 hour bus ride to Kherson where her orphanage is.  I hope she is doing well, she was a very emotional girl yesterday, and her tears showed just how much she is going to miss us.  Her first good bye was to Todd, Tony and Bella at the house before we left.  Todd could not get away from work to go to the airport, so I decided without his help, it would be best to leave the kids home with a sitter. 

Of course all her crying had me crying.  I tried to be strong and not cry, and I really thought I could do it.  Until I saw her crying.  She cried for the first half hour to the airport before she fell asleep.  We stopped for lunch, and she seemed to be doing okay the rest of the way to Chicago.  It wasn't until we got through the check out counter that she started crying again.  Maybe it's my pregnancy hormones, maybe it's the mother in me, but I felt horrible sending her back to fend for herself in Ukraine.  
Here we are trying to pretend everything is fine.

group picture

Getting harder to pretend...

Francie was able to come along for the tearful good bye.  (yes she was crying too.  Lol, we must have been a sight.)

Anya with her luggage.  I think it weighed about half as much has her.  

Going through security.

Last glance back before going through security

The goodbye wasn't just hard on me and Anya, there were 3 other kids there saying good bye to their families.  Lucky for them (although they do not know it) all 3 of those kids families have already started the adoption process.  Anya's future is still up in the air.  When I brought her to stay with us for the summer, I wanted go give this girl a wonderful 5 weeks in America, but had no real expectations beyond that.  Now I find myself wishing she was a permanent part of our family.  With a baby on the way, due in November, it's bad timing in many ways to be going through an international adoption.  

We are definitely planning on re-hosting her this Christmas... but between now and then, we have some serious decisions to make.  For now I'm holding onto this promise as much as Anya is.

I found out that Anya entered the orphanage on 5/25/2010.  Ironically that is my birthday.   It made me sad to think that while I was celebrating, Anya was moving into an orphanage.  I don't think I will ever be able to celebrate another birthday without thinking about Anya and where she is and how long she has been there (regardless of whether those answers change over time, which I pray they do).

Jill Lenkowski from two ring photography donated her time and talent to take these great pictures at the beach in South Haven for us.  

She loves to smile, now that she got her front tooth cavity fixed.

And here is a post I started a week ago and never finished... but I hate to delete it... so I'm not...

Last Sunday was the first day that Todd didn't have to work since Anya has been here, so we went to Notre Dame University (where Todd graduated from) and walked around campus.  I think Anya enjoyed it way more than I expected her to.  I think part of it had to do with spending time together with Todd, which we have gotten so little time to do that.  I let her carry the camera, and she took pictures of whatever she thought worthy.  I found it interesting to see the things that she found worthy of a picture.  She was constantly wanting to take pictures of Todd and I, statues and squirrels.  She was also pretty impressed, as was I, with the inside of the church.  Reminded me of the churches I saw in Italy with beautifully painted ceilings and stain glass windows.

Anya already gets Todd's passion for ND football.

The Golden Dome

Inside the church.  This picture doesn't do it justice. 

I can't remember what this is called, (I'm not Catholic) but it's a place where you can light a candle for a loved one who has passed away or is ill, or in need of prayer.  Todd helped Anya light a candle for her mother, who I believe passed away around the time she entered the orphanage.  

I've been to the campus many times, but never walked around and got the tour from Todd.  So I enjoyed the experience as well.  Although it was a very hot and humid day, and my kids both wanted only me to carry them around, so I was definitely ready to go, when we finally left.