Monday, August 9, 2010

I miss her

After Ian's bath tonight I went outside to take him for a little walk. As I walked up and down the sidewalk I couldn't help, but think of Nastia. She loved going for walks and riding her bike up and down the sidewalk.

I miss her terribly. Her name is mentioned often in our house. Just this morning Miles said, "I'm getting big just like Nastia." Ian still loves to play this little game in his crib that Nastia played with him every day. I had to console Lauren a lot a few days ago. She asked me not to even mention her name, or anything that begins with the letter "N." We measured Nastia on our door frame where we have measured our other children...even that was pointed out yesterday.

I miss her smile. I miss having her next to me as I make dinner. I miss telling her to go take a shower each night. As crazy as it sounds...I miss doing her laundry. I miss her giggles as she tickles everyone. I miss playing games with her. I miss turning around when I am on the computer and seeing her staring at me. I feel like I am missing out...most of all...I miss going into her room each night and watching her face light up as I walk over to kiss her on the forehead, or cheek, tell her I love her, and that I will see her in the morning.

I wonder how she feels. Is life back to normal for her? Does she miss us? Does she miss a mama coming in to kiss her goodnight? Does she miss the hugs that she was finally starting to enjoy?

Life hasn't "just moved on." I don't want anyone to think that Nastia is "out of sight, out of mind." I miss her...we all do.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lots of confusion and an uncertain future

A week before Nastia was to leave she and I sat down at the computer and she opened up to me. Usually, we would go on google translate and ask her questions and she would give us simple answers, but she finally got to a point that she trusted us, and wanted to share more. We sat there for an hour and a half typing back and forth. In the end...Nastia told me that she goes home every weekend and lives with her grandfather, mother and brothers, but lives in the orphanage during the week. She said she has a 16 year old brother that lives with her mom's sister, as well. This was all very shocking to us! What was even more shocking is that she said she did not want to come live in America. We were not expecting this at all! We brought her here to find a family, but to find out that she loves her grandfather and brothers (not her mother, so much), that she spends time with them, and that she does not want to leave them was disheartening to say the least. And at the same time, we were so happy that she has someone there who still loves her. I definitely have mixed emotions.
Some people will say, "But she would be so much better off here!" Well, in some respects that is true. But is it fair to take her away from her family, even if she only gets to see them on the weekends, or even periodically? She loves them! Again, mixed emotions.
The truth is...when Nastia goes to orphan court the judge will ask her if she wants the Lewis family to adopt her. And, as of right now, her answer is, "No." The day she was leaving us we sat down at the computer again and I asked her again if she would like to live in America someday. She sat there with tears flowing down her face. She wouldn't answer. I put my hands on her cheeks and made her look at me and told her that I needed her to be honest with me and tell me what she wants. She, again, said that she wanted to live in Latvia, but she wants to come back and see us.
I was told that she is probably making up the story about spending time with her family, because "that is what orphans do to make their lives look better than they really are." In fact, her orphanage was contacted and they said she does spend time with her family, and she is close to her grandfather and brothers.
I talked to a chaperon from her orphanage and she said to give Nastia a week to get back into her normal routine at the orphanage and then to have the Lewis family ask their adoption agency to contact the orphanage director and ask her if she wants to be adopted by them. If she says no, they will wait a month and ask her again. She may get back to Latvia and miss the family life she had here. She may get back and her grandfather may tell her that she needs to go to America. Or, maybe her grandfather won't want to let her go. (?) Or, she may decide that she misses America, but she still wants to stay in Latvia, so she can be close to her family. We really have no idea!
The Lewis family has started their own blog, so you can follow their journey here:

No matter what happens...we love her! And we know that God loves her even more!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

5 weeks and over 4000 hits on the blog later...

...Nastia is on an airplane and on her way back to Latvia. We said our goodbyes on Friday when we dropped her off at the Lewis' house on Friday. It was a very tearful morning for Nastia and I before we even left the house. Leaving her at their house was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. I cannot tell you how many times I was tempted to turn around and go back and get her, so I could fly with her to Atlanta.
She cried as I was getting ready to leave, so I just held her close. She came out to the van to say goodbye to all of the kids. This was so hard on Lauren! She sobbed part of the way did I. When it was time for me to say my final goodbye to Nastia she held on tight and sobbed. I held her tight. I stared in her beautiful face and told her I would love her forever. And then one final kiss...

For those of you who wonder if it is possible to love a child who is "not your own"....I have the answer. It most definitely is!!!