Today this girl giggled and laughed and hugged and gestured for me to sit next to her. This girl cuddled and held my hand in the car all day. All things she hasn't done since being in America. She was waiting to let down her walls for the day she knew it was official, she really had a mom. And I am taking her back home.
I gave her the phone she left in California, the one she didn't want to take to Ukraine because she knew it would make her a target. Uploaded on her phone were candy crush, panda punch and a hairstyling game. In her phone there are 3 numbers; Kimmy, Adam and Sanya. The first thing she did when she got it was edit the names to read Mama, Dad, and Alex.
Today did not goes as plan. (Shocking I know!) We woke up early and drove 2 hours to change Alex's Tax ID number but when we got there, they informed us that Alex needed to do it because he is "of age." The boy is 16 years old, how is that of age? We get back in the car to go get the kids. Apparently we need to bring Alex to get a Ukrainian in-country passport (basically like an ID card) so he can change his Tax ID number.
We arrive at the orphanage and Alex has just started his championship soccer game. I walk into the double doors and there is Yana, waiting with her blue bag packed to the brim in the hallway, "Hi, Mom," she says cheerfully.
I was not suppose to be there for 3 more hours but she was ready anyways. Love that girl.
Roma starts the necessary paperwork to release the children, my children into my custody, while I take the large bag of donations into Yana's now empty room. I unload all the items, seeing only a few of the orphans that have become so close to, we leave most of the items underneath pillows and covers, so they are not as easily stolen from each other.
I tell the ones I do see that they are special and incredibly loved, I hug each of them and I discretely hand them 4 pairs of new panties/boxer shorts, and socks. The other things like hair brushes hair clips, and jerseys I just pass out. Yana helps distribute...but the entire time I am trying to get to Alex's game to see him.
Torn between the duties to my friends back home and their children at the orphanage, and with my own sons last soccer game. Finally, I decide Yana can handle passing out the remaining things, when I start to hustle outside.
However, the director had spoke to Roma and had headed out before me, knowing we were behind schedule and had to submit the passports today if we had any chance of leaving next week.
The game had ceased when I arrived, but Alex in full soccer gear comes running up smiling at me. "I need to change" as he starts to strip down the hallway into his room.
It was almost the perfect end to this chapter of his life. He was able to say good bye to his friends one by one on the soccer field, as well as the spectators (like a cute little brunette that still remains nameless.)
We found out later that the orphanage won the game 3-0, which was probably the cherry on top.
My children will never be orphans again. And as I sat in the car with them and we drive to a million places, I am free from worry, I will never leave them to be orphans again. Never. I am bringing them home.
It was a bittersweet leaving today for all of us. Yana and Alex are leaving everything they know to a life that is so different.
"No, I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."
As for the donations, I am not sure if they were all passed out, except the things that were sent especially for children from their host mommies.