I am reposting my visit....because I said it best in October.
Two weeks ago, my life became a dream.
I left my comfort zone, my family, my country, to go on an adventure.
An adventure that has left my heart forever changed.
I flew to Amsterdam, ran through that airport, boarded another plane and landed in Eastern Europe.
The next day, we took a bus for 6 hours.
And ended up in another world.
A world where all the women are tiny, dressed beautifully, and walk everywhere.
A world where there are beautiful, old buildings in the centre of town.
A world where people stroll, talk, and eat in the centre of town.
A world where a part of my heart was snatched by a small, brown eyed, brown haired beautiful girl.
On Monday, I was so nervous.
What if she didn't like me?
What if she didn't respond at all?
What if she wouldn't let me touch her at all?
What if ...what if...what if.
When we went to the orphanage, I had knots in my stomach and shaking hands.
I was introduced to the orphanage director who was so very sweet.
And then....they brought Sofi in.
Tears rolled down my face as I finally was able to see her after 14 months of guessing what she would look like.
I touched her hand softly, and was so happy when she smiled when I talked to her.
Then they asked me if I wanted to hold her.
For some reason I thought I would have to gradually work towards holding her.
They handed her to me and I pulled her into the biggest hug.
I touched her beautiful, curly hair, and I talked to her.
I played with her.
And I reveled in her smiles.
They were frequent.
All of my fears went away.
She is so beautiful.
Her eyes are HUGE and her eyelashes are impossibly long.
Her hair is thick and curly.
And her smile is much like Kumaka's, it lights up the room.
She is a favorite in the orphanage.
For that, I am grateful....I can tell that she will be well attended to until we go back to bring her home.
I was able to feed her.
And I hugged her and kissed her for five days straight.
The days became routine, get up, eat breakfast, have the best hot chocolate in the world, get a cab and go visit my girl.
Play with her, feed her, play with her again, leave so she can nap and we could eat lunch.
We would get lunch in the centre, eating outside, watching people and talking.
Then we would go back, I would play with Sofi, feed her a snack, and leave her for the day.
I learned that she liked to be tickled.
I learned that she loves music.
I learned that she loved her daddy's voice.
I learned that she has a ready smile, an adorable giggle, and untamable hair.
I learned that she loved me....when by the fifth day she purposefully rubbed my arm and kissed my hand repeatedly.
Those precious days were a dream.
And then Friday came.
That day was more somber.
I drank my hot chocolate in silence.
I looked over at the buildings and knew I wouldn't see them again for awhile.
I watched the people walking by, envious that they would still be in the same town that my girl lives in and I would be halfway around the world.
I didn't put mascara on that day. I knew that would be futile.
We took the cab, went into the orphanage for the last time.
I held her close and whispered a story about a little princess named Sofi.
I told her that Princess Sofi has a new mommy, that came to visit her.
But before Princess Sofi gets to go home for good, her new mommy had to take care of more paperwork.
I told her about her daddy, the strongest, most loving man in the land.
I told her about her five big brothers, and how much they love her and are waiting for her to come home.
I told her to remember how much I loved her.
And my tears rolled down my face as I told her to remember these hugs and don't forget her mommy.
And when I had to hand her back to the orphanage director, a piece of my heart fractured.
And that piece stayed in that orphanage with that little girl.
When we got on the bus, my tears rolled down.
I said goodbye to that town, and a see you soon to my girl.
When I close my eyes, I relive that week.
I imagine the hell she lived in for two years.
The first two years of her life, those formative years, were shattered for her.
She was in an orphanage that has now been thankfully shut down.
It was the stuff of nightmares.
She literally never left her crib.
For over two years.
She was never held, she never saw the sunlight.
The only time she was touched was when they changed her diaper.
And I'm sure they didn't do that very often.
She was only fed from a bottle, so she still does not know how to chew or eat whole food.
Thankfully, somehow a miracle happened
She was moved after two years to the orphanage she is at now.
There are only 7 children there, and the change in her has been drastic.
The director told me that when Sofi came to them, she couldn't even move her arms or legs.
She told me that she was tiny.
They taught her to eat mashed food from a spoon.
They held her.
They let her out of her bed to play.
They taught her to laugh.
I have so much love and gratitude for these people, who have saved my girl.
I will never be able to express how grateful I am