Monday, April 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye (Friday in Eastern Europe)

Though we found out late Thursday night that it was possible to take a train from the next town into the capital, my husband made the executive decision.  I was sick, allergies or a virus, we weren't sure.  I think I may have been trying to convince myself it was allergies at that point. 

Side note:  In complete honesty, I think part of it could have been/could be physical exhaustion in combination with either.

The executive decision?  To hire a car instead of taking a cheaper train.  He felt that at this point, both Ben and our children at home needed me and a seven hour train ride (instead of a 3 hour car ride), followed by 45 hours in transit was not wise.  At that point I felt so bad that all I wanted to do was sleep.

We woke up that morning, our facilitator already gone to complete some paperwork, and slowly got ready.  Exhaustion, dizziness, and a headache were my greatest complaints at this point. 

Luda (the facilitator) picked us up at the house.

The house belongs to a kind woman named Tatiana.  We rent a room in her home and Luda actually sleeps on the couch.  She didn't have to open up her home to us, but she has and we are forever thankful. 

A building in the back of her house and a picture (for Anna) of one of her sweet kitties.

Hopefully we will have more pictures of where we are staying in the future.

We signed paperwork in the car and quickly arrived at the institute.  I felt so foggy, some of the morning is a little of a blur. 

Ben's two seconds of shine....I will ALWAYS remember though.  I will always remember Benjamin throwing himself in my arms...ALWAYS.  What a blessing...what a gift....


When we visit Benjamin at the institution, we stay in the same area.  We are very limited where we can go.  When you walk in the green gates there is a little courtyard and colored gazebo to the right.


A wall is in the back of it and the other two sides are enclosed by an "L" shaped building.


 
Though what we can see is very little, we have seen some of the older boys and men in the distance, peeking at us.   As we've watched groups pass, the older boys were pushing wheelchairs and helping some of the younger, higher functioning boys. 

Moaning, grunting, yelling came from the occupied sheds where the boys sat.  Usually though, it was quiet...very very quiet...except for Ben's laughter as we played.

Our thoughts sometimes stray to the laying rooms.  I have to reel them back in though.  I can't focus there or the tears come as we think of Jonathan.

Thomas having Benjamin look him in the eyes before throwing him the ball.

As our morning visit drew to a close, we went to lunch at our usual restaurant.  It literally costs us around $5.00 for a BIG meal of stuffed (with mushrooms or pineapple) pork chops (covered in cheese), French fries, salad, and drinks.  We (again, I think I shared this) wait as they cook it from scratch.  We're usually there around two hours.

Though maybe not the wisest choice, we chose to walk back to Tatiana's.  Man, I was dizzy.

The village, which we look forward to REALLY getting to know, is filled with dust.  It seems to get everywhere.  There is one main restaurant, though quite a few little shops which we look forward to exploring.  Many greet us with smiles, and when we get the serious and somber looks...it's not intimidating, but a challenge to bring joy.  There are loose animals throughout the town.  Yes, we are the odd ones talking to just about every animal we pass.  We may be seen barking occasionally (smile).  Horses and carts can be seen periodically.  There are schools with children playing in the play ground.  Teens, well...look like teens.  They walk together and probably get in trouble together...lol.  A quick walk through the open air market which takes place three times a week, has just about everything...including cages filled to the brim with different animals. Fish thrown out in the open air.  I can just picture our Bekah having a blast if she were there with us.

Though feeling ill I needed to pack.  We left one suitcase and small duffel there, knowing we were coming back.  It's funny when people exclaim, "You left some of your things there?!"  Yup, we left our son there too.  Not easy...a suitcase is nothing. 

Finally, the time came.  The time came to make our final trek (for this trip) to see our son.  We had 30 minutes to visit before leaving...two seconds of the beautiful joy lighting up our son's face, and thirty minutes.

Our camera's battery had died, so we took one last picture with our phone.

 
It's a beautiful word...family.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prayer requests are below.  We will be posting soon, not only a video, but also a blog answering many of your questions.  Feel free to ask any question and if we can answer, we will.

"About Benjamin He said:
'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
 for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.'
Deuteronomy 33:12

Prayer Requests

*Please pray that God sustains Benjamin.  Please pray that He continues to prepare his heart while we are apart and Ben dreams of us...knowing us...in ways that wouldn't make sense to the world.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  Please also pray that God calms him.  This will be scary for him and we pray that God calms his spirit.

*PLEASE pray that satan's hands are tied.  He does not want us (or anyone) to enter that village. 

*Please pray that the village gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.
*Please pray our children at home are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them.  Please also pray as they try to stay organized in our absence, that things go smoothly for them and time passes quickly.
 

*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time. 
 

*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friends as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

*NEW~ Please pray that the next trip is as short as possible, while successfully completing Benjamin's adoption.  Please pray that the trips have a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God.

*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups).

*Please pray that court goes EXTREMELY easy and quick.  It doesn't always.

*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
 
*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution. God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.

*NEW~ Please pray that the head of this institution shows us where Benjamin has resided these last two years...and around the institution and laying rooms.  Our intent IS just to see, and we pray she understands that.

 *Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every hiccup...is ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.

 
*PLEASE PRAY GOD'S WILL IS DONE*

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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