Heading to the Transition Home this afternoon felt surreal. It was familiar, yet different. We had taken this same trip seven times before, but today would be our last time. We would leave the Transition Home today with our son. He would never again live in an orphanage. Praise the Lord for this day that we had so long prayed for!
We arrived at the TH during nap time and as anxious as we were to hold our boy again, we decided to wait and let him sleep. We filled out all of our Embassy paperwork, met with the TH doctor, received Elias' medical records, and reviewed his daily schedules. Finally, we saw one little sleepy head up and out of his bed, and we knew it wouldn't be long before all of the toddlers started to wake up! Would he remember us? Would he be happy to see us? Would he cry? Anxiously, we waited.
And then we saw him! He had gotten out of his bed and was walking hand-in-hand with a nanny, towards the door, towards us. For a moment he continued walking, but when he saw us there waiting, he broke free of the nanny and began to run.... in the opposite direction, back to his bed. We noticed immediately that he had started to cry. It broke this mommy's heart to see him so upset to see us, BUT he knew that we were there for him. He recognized us!! One of my great fears was that he wouldn't remember us and that we'd be starting all over again, but he actually remembered us.
After the nannies changed him, they handed him out to us, and that was it. He was ours. Forever.
The feelings of excitement and rejoicing were ours alone. Our son was leaving everything he knew: his home and the people he loved. He was being taken from all that was comfortable and familiar to him and being placed with people who didn't look like him or speak his language. It was extremely overwhelming to him and he responded by becoming withdrawn and reserved. It was so hard to put him through all of these changes at once. It was heart-wrenching to see him so confused and overwhelmed, and even though his emotions and reactions were exactly what we had expected, it didn't make it any easier.
Leaving the TH for the final time.