We started the day kind of slow, enjoying a wonderful breakfast at our hotel and drinking coffee on the front porch. We were working on a list of questions to ask at the orphanage in regards to his routine, likes and dislikes, etc. and I looked up and watched a father and his newly adopted son building blocks and playing together in such a natural way. I couldn't help but think that very soon, I would watch Jacob sit in the floor and play with our son in the same manner.
Our guide arrived at 9:30 to take us to the orphanage which was about an hour away. We drove through the entire city of Cali to get there. We saw the nice areas and the poverty-stricken areas...the type of area where most of the kids at the orphanage come from. Maybe I'll talk about it more later, maybe not....I haven't decided and wouldn't know exactly what to say a out what we saw and how it broke my heart.
When we arrived at the orphanage there was a lot of construction going on. They are adding a whole new section so they can house more children. On one hand, this is good - Silas' orphanage is very good and the children there are well taken care of. But on the other hand....they need to make room for more orphans. MORE orphans... I'll just leave that right there.
We met with his social worker, medical doctor, and psychologist for about an hour and they went over his medical and family history, as well as his daily routine and favorite activities. He's a good eater, he likes to help, and he's very active. They told us that he loves animals and we've already seen evidence of that today. A favorite new toy of his is an animal board book that Anna Beth picked out for him. It's the best and most realistic "touch and feel" book I've ever seen. We plan to take him to the zoo tomorrow to see some real animals and have a family outing.
It was time for the moment I have prayed and wept and begged God for these past 2 1/2 years. Prior to our arrival, we had sent him a photo album with several close ups of Jacob and I together, U.S. And the kids, the kids themselves, and then each of us holding an 8x10 picture of Silas. When he walked into the room, he had the photo album tucked under his arm. He looked up, saw us, and recognition filled his face....he reached for his photo album and immediately turned to our pictures. Praise you, Jesus, for the great things You have done!!
The next five minutes were a whirlwind of emotions and then we left. Can you imagine being 2 years old, seeing some people in real life after seeing their picture, and then being whisked away by them? Try to imagine how that would feel - and that can tell you how it was for Silas. We gave him a sucker (praise Jesus for dum-dum suckers!) and a sippy cup of water which settled him momentarily until he fell asleep on the way back to the hotel.
One thing that breaks my heart is that, as a two year old, he can completely feed himself...incredible use of a fork and control over a large cup. Now before you start saying how great and how "advanced" he is....it has nothing to do with that. It ha everything to do with the fact that he was 1 of over 100 children in an orphanage and he had no choice but to learn to feed himself if he wanted to eat. It is what it is. That's the reality for these precious children. He can also give himself a shower, complete with washing his hair. At TWO. YEARS. OLD.
However, at lunch - right after we got back - he did let me feed him....which is really good for bonding!! After lunch he needed a nap....we all did....so he snuggled up in my lap and Jacob sat beside us and he slept for about 45 minutes. The rest of the afternoon was spent with him warming up to us and even giving us a few smiles and giggles. And those giggles are the sweetest sound...they completely drown out ever tear and scream of frustration that I've let out over the past 2 1/2 years of this process.
We sent the kiddos back home a picture of him and we will skype with them this weekend. They're still doing great and are very excited that we got their brother a day early. Side note: AB had her follow up appointment for her arm today and it is healing very well! She goes back in 2 weeks and may get a temporary cast at that point!
Dinner was more of the same and he let us feed him again. We spent a lot of time in the floor this afternoon and evening playing with play doh and pushing a car back and forth. We laid him down in his bed after his shower and he immediately started to cry, so we picked him right up and rocked him to sleep again.
Overall, it was a great first day - but who knows what tomorrow will bring. This morning I read from Psalm 52 (following a prayer through the Psalms outlined by our worship pastor) and I read this verse..."For what you have done I will praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name for your name is good."
People...no adoption agency, court judge, or even me and Jacob did the good things that happened today. None of it. Do you hear me? I praise for only my Heavenly Father for what ONLY He has done. And I will continue to hope in His name for all of my days. I invite you to do the same...