Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 8 - Saying Paka! :(

Posted by Jennifer at 7:25 AM
Well, it's here. Our last day.  Last night was rough, I cried a lot knowing that I had to tell the girls goodbye today.  I had NO idea we fall SO fiercely in love with them this week, that our hearts would be knit together as a family so well.  When we get home, we'll be working our tails off to get back as quickly as we can.   We're ready to be a family! 

I woke up early today, spent some time praying for our girls - and for ALL of our hearts today.  Praying that the girls' hearts would be prepared for this, praying that Brandon and I would have the words to tell them how much we love them.  We were picked up at 9:30 to head out for our final visit with Abigail. 

When we got there, they were setting up for a party outside.  It was pretty neat to see, the celebration was happening all morning, and the kids had a great time!!  They had some of the older children's art work/handiwork on display.  We were VERY impressed!!

As we walked through the doors, they asked if we wanted to see the part of the building where Abigail lives!  Um, of course we do!!  We didn't even ask to be able to see this, they just offered.  I tell you what, the staff at this orphanage, are SO wonderful!  They have been so gracious and welcoming to us, they truly love the children, you can see it - and they were SO proud to be able to show off their facility to us.  They showed us a lot more of the artwork the children do.  We were followed by a troop of older girls (I would say 11-14 year olds), and you could see the pride they had as their work was being showed to us. 

After our tour of the older girls' hallway, they took us to the younger girls' hallway. We were able to see Abigail's room, her little bed, and the rooms where her group play and have their lessons.  We were able to peek in on a few lessons, and one group was playing with toys and the other was making a craft.  She met us in the hallway today, as we were looking at her room. She seemed a little confused why we were in her space, but quickly took my hand, and then we walked upstairs together to the visiting room. 

Abigail was in a GREAT mood today, and our visit was just wonderful. She was engaged and having a great time.  I think she knew this visit was different, I believe her caregivers were already beginning to prepare her.  We did find out that typically the children nap from around 12:30-3:00, and yesterday the caregivers told her that her parents were coming to visit her after nap, well, she was SO excited, she didn't nap - which explains the cranky/distracted girl we had yesterday! :)  Today, she was SO happy - and we had a really wonderful time.  She played in the ball pit for the first time today, and had a BLAST!!!  Oh my goodness, we got the best laughs ever!! :) They were playing music outside at the party - and so we had our own little dance party.  We sang too - it was beautiful. :)

Then came the time I was dreading.  We had to say goodbye.  We cleaned up the room, and she grabbed both Brandon and my hands and we walked down the stairs together, and out the door.  Once we got to the front doors, she wanted me to carry her.  So I carried her to the gate. As we were walking, I whispered to her how much we love her, and how we'll be coming back as soon as we can possibly can.  She gave me the first *real* hugs, I'd gotten some snuggles before, but they were real hugs today.  She did not want to let her mama go.  And her mama did not want to let her go either!  At the gate, we gave her the album and her favorite light up ball to keep with her.  We hugged her tight, and I gave her a kiss.  Then she looked at Brandon and pointed to her cheek.  She asked him to give her a kiss.  This was HUGE as she had not accepted any real affection from Brandon yet!!  So papa gave her some kisses and I handed her to Yelena, the social worker - who was also crying.  (She was taking pictures of our visit today, for the orphanage to have)  Abigail squirmed out of Yelena's arms and came running after us through the gate.  I snatched her up and gave her the biggest hug I could - she just clung to me, and I kissed her and told her again how much we love her.  I handed her to Yelena, and her face fell - I know she was crying as we walked away.

I know she is loved, and I know she is cared for.  And I know the staff will be explaining to her, and helping her to understand that we had to go away for awhile, but that we love her very much and will be back as soon as we possibly can.

After that emotional goodbye, we headed back to the apartment. We had lunch and had quite a long break before we headed to visit Emily.  It was nice to have a long enough break to look at our pictures of the morning, watch some of the videos and process through all that had happened.

Emily was feeling much better today as well, her tooth wasn't bothering her as much - although she had a really runny nose.  But, she was happy today, and active!!  :)  I know it sounds ridiculous, but both girls literally grew and changed right before our eyes this week.  Their confidence and countenance changed.  Abigail learned how to show affection and to be loved this week.  We were her first and only visitors in her almost 6 years of life!  The first people EVER to go visit this precious little girl!!  Emily was showing her assertive and independent side today - having the love of a mama and papa gave her the oomph she needed to start blossoming even more!  She was on the move today!  She wanted to stand,  she wanted to DO things, she wanted to sit in a chair like a big girl, oh and she wanted papa today.  :) 

Then the time came that we had to tell her goodbye.  It wasn't much easier the second time!  The only thing that made it easier, was that although she was sad, and I know she could tell this was different, she couldn't come running after us. 

I feel like the Grinch at the end of the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - my heart grew this week.  At least two sizes, one for Abigail and one for Emily.  My mama arms are empty tonight, and aching to hold my babies again - but not for a few more months.  We pray that they will understand, that their little hearts will be protected and they will know that we LOVE them SO SO SO very much.  Lord, please bring us back here as quickly as we possibly can.  Help us to get the documents we need, the funding we need, so that we can come back for court, and then bring these girls home!  We saw them grow SO much with the love only a family can provide just this week alone - and can't wait to be able to give that to them forever. 

Paka for now girls!  We love you!!!!!


Janelle said...

I'm glad you had such good visits this week! Praying for you and the girls!!

Jeanette Overby said...

Such a beautiful family. My prayers are with y'all for safe travels and speedy return to your adorable girls. I love them already!!!!!

Sadie said...

Madi is looking at this post with me. When we got to the 2nd to last pic of Abigail (you're holding her), Madi said "aww momma's big girl". So then my waterworks started. Lol. She wanted to know all about where everyone is and what's I explained a bit about what's happening. And got choked up again. :) I've been praying for peace and for things to go so quickly for you. {{Hugs}}

Holly B Campbell on July 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM said...

So amazing. I'm in tears as my heart aches for all of you, but I rejoice in knowing your family will be together soon!!!! I love y'all!!!!

Lisa on July 13, 2012 at 8:10 AM said...

i'm crying for you too - as many prayers as I can muster heading your way

The Idaho Neumanns on July 13, 2012 at 8:33 AM said...

They will not forget you both! That is awesome that your week was so fruitful! What a blessing that they are in nice places. Your family is beautiful! Time to rest up at home, you have a lifetime of love ahead of you both! May you have travel mercies and a peace that passes all understanding, God Bless you all!

BrokenButterfly on July 14, 2012 at 4:34 AM said...

This was beautiful but heartbreaking to read. The love I have been witness to through all four of you has been nothing short of an amazing miracle and I thank you for being so willing to be an open book throughout this journey. Blessings and Love to ALL of the Willis family!

my family on July 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM said...

catching up on the past three posts. so glad your visits went so well. This post has me crying ugly! Praying for quick travel and that the girls understand you will be back soon for them. I have enjoyed all of your precious pictures

Kelly on July 14, 2012 at 9:49 PM said...

I stopped and had to read the sentence again when you said that you were the first visitors ever in Abigail's nearly 6 years. It's unimaginable. What an incredible blessing you and Brandon will be in these girls' lives.

Jocelyn on July 15, 2012 at 7:27 PM said...

Hi, I only "know" you guys from the RR Facebook group, but I'm praying for your journey!


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