Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meeting Aleksei (...Soon-to-be Alex )

Two of his caretakers and a doctor from the orphanage brought him over to us. Our jaws dropped and we both teared-up when we saw this beautiful bundle of joy. He was all wrapped up and we could tell he had just been woken-up from his nap. He was looking at us as the primary caretaker walked towards us and started to cry as soon as he was handed to me. The scared look in his little face broke my heart. I tried hugging, kissing and talking to him but he would not calm down. The three women rushed out of the room in a big hurry. Now it was just Chris, little crying Alex and me. My instincts switched into gear right away and I worked hard at consoling him while I was trying not to cry.

It was such an intense and emotional moment…impossible to describe. He calmed down a bit about ten minutes later but the scared and sad look on his face would not go away and that was heartbreaking. We had been warned that the baby had never been close to any males so Chris stayed in the room but far enough to not cause the baby to cry again. What an honor for Chris to be the first male to hug and kiss him!!! We sat on the carpet and he quickly discovered the little baby table with all the toys, but he would still cry on and off, especially when he heard the voice of the caretakers but was not able to see them.

The lady doctor came by to check on us and the baby started to cry again, and extended his arms out reaching for her. It was really easy to see he had a strong attachment to her and the main caretaker. She came to tell us that we only had another twenty minutes before he had to go back. Why? We don’t know. I think they told Roma he needed to go back and finish-up his nap. They keep a very strict schedule on meals and nap time, all for a good reason. There are so many babies to take care of that these women are occupied every minute of their day. We were so happy, overwhelmed with emotions about meeting, hugging, smelling and kissing this precious baby boy that I did not want to leave in twenty minutes but we knew they really meant well. As soon as his main caretaker came for him he completely calmed down and seemed to really enjoy her voice and cuddling. She stood there for a few minutes and told us to we could come back to see him from four to six.

We were there right on time and spent two awesome hours with him. Monday afternoon he was still a bit apprehensive about us and preferred it when Chris stayed a few feet away and didn’t make any fast moves towards him, but by our Tuesday afternoon visit he had started to play with us, he was hugging us and liking the attention he was getting. Every day our visits got better and the difference was huge from that first encounter on Monday at noon. By the time of our last visit on Wednesday afternoon he would get fuzzy when the caretaker would drop him off but within a couple of minutes he was playing with us, bursting bubbles, playing with the toys we brought him, pulling my hair and laughing when we would make funny faces. The caretakers arrived and let us change his clothes to one of the outfits we had brought for him. We also got to feed him, meet some of his little roommates and do lots of cuddling before it was time to say good-bye.

May God have mercy and bless all these little children and the wonderful people caring for them. It is so heartbreaking to imagine them without a family to call their own and sadly but true, that will be the case for many of them. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving Aleksei behind and kissing him good-bye instead of good night. Chris and I marveled if he would wonder why we didn’t come back on Thursday. That was not a good moment; even Roma showed his soft side when it was time to say good-bye. By then Chris and I were on first name basis with the caretakers and they kept telling us that they would take really good care of him until we came back to get him. We have no doubts.

If anything was comforting to us it was to see the care and attention he is being given by these three wonderful women. The ride back to the hotel was a very quiet one other than my crying. How cruel can this feel? Even knowing that they follow all these rules for the right reasons it is so hard to know this precious little creature, that you know in your heart is your child, then have to leave for God knows how long and wait for a judge to review your entire life history and make sure we are worthy of him. But, it is what it is. We have fallen in love with this little boy, and we have to bite the bullet, go with the flow and do whatever it takes, no matter what or how hard it is so we can bring him home with us very soon.


kelly said...

Oh, its sounds like a great time you had with little Alex(I have an Alex too) I know its so hard to leave after just meeting your child! Just think before long he will be home starting a whole new life with a great family!