Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Family's View

I consider it a joy and an honor to work with families who pursue adoption and especially from Ukraine.  The process in country can be long and tedious.   I am grateful for families like the Huitt family who have pursued these beautiful children, just as the Lord pursues us, and brought them home.  But more than that, please consider the children who are left behind that also need a forever family.  Adoption and caring for orphans and widows is at the very heart of God.  Let this blog from the Huitt family challenge you and your faith and your call to adoption.
“but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV
Below you will read the story of the last day of the Huitt's of the adoption journey.

Thank you for reading,
Jana Lombardo, International Social Worker

The Last Day:

 Five weeks ago today, Hannah and I walked into a room in the main building of the orphanage that we’ve come to be so familiar with and met two of the sweetest and wildest little girls that we’ve ever known. Today, the four of us piled into the back seat of Dema’s black car and left there for the last time.
Yesterday, we went to the grocery store and bought a few cakes and some bottles of sparkling apple juice to celebrate Olivia and Sveta’s last day with their friends and classmates. When we got to the orphanage, we met with the director and assistant director to thank them for how much they’ve helped us and to give them a few personal gifts along with a donation to the orphanage. After that, we were off to Olivia’s class for the first round of cake and juice.
We went upstairs and walked down the hall by the windows where Olivia would wait and watch us leave almost everyday. When we walked into the room, Olivia was waiting there along with her half-brother and the other four children that live on their floor. After the assistant director announced that this was Olivia’s last day, her brother bounced up and ran over to Olivia to give her a little stuffed cow as a parting gift. He looked as if he experiencing a mixture joy in giving her the gift and sadness that she about to leave.
It about ripped my heart out. I’m not a very emotional person, but in that moment, I wanted to go out in the hall and cry. Although we’ve had some ups and downs in the process, I can say that overall, I’ve loved our experience over here. But I hated this. We’ve done everything that we can to try and bring this boy back with us, but it’s simply impossible at this time. The fact that we’re leaving him behind is something that has been difficult to deal with and today compounded that feeling by a thousand.
For the rest of the time, we ate cake and talked. Olivia’s friend, Leeza, told her that she would miss her and that she needed to be a good girl. All of them told her how much they would miss her and asked for her to send pictures from America once she arrived.
From there, we grabbed our other cake and headed to the kindergarten to celebrate with Sveta and her friends. When we got there, we were greeted enthusiastically by Sveta and the 12 other little friends that we’ve made over the past 5 five weeks. This little crew has become very close to us, so we were looking forward to spending our last day celebrating with them.
The first part of the party was spent watching a little video of the kids from a dance and talent competition that was held amongst the local orphanages this past summer. Watching Sveta was hilarious. She did a great job. During the video, the other kids started saying, “They’re taking our most talented performer!” which was both funny and sad at the same time.
When the video ended, Sveta’s caregiver gave us a tour of the younger kids facility, which we hadn’t had a chance to do yet. After that, it was back to the primary meeting room for our second round of cake and juice along with some more pictures.
At the end of the party, we went outside for a few pictures with Sveta’s caregiver, who has been and is an amazing woman. Before parting, she knelt down and was telling Sveta how much she was going to miss her and to be a good girl for Mama and Papa. The whole time, she was doing her best to hold back tears but wasn’t doing a very good job. Before leaving, I started to say something and then collectively, we all just lost it. Between Daniel and myself being a little emotional, the translation was rough, but I thanked her for how well she’d done for Sveta up to this point. I also added that some people who are teachers teach as a job and others because they have a gift. She was one with the gift. After collecting ourselves, we said one last goodbye, grabbed Sveta’s hand and walked away.
As I looked back, I shifted my focus from Sveta’s teacher to the window of the kindergarten that had twelve orphan faces pressed against it who were smiling and waving goodbye to their little friend one last time. It’s an image that I’ll have burned in my memory for the rest of my life. Just as we were about to round the corner and pass out of sight, Sveta turned around one last time to wave and say, “Das vi danya (goodbye).
Back at the main building, Hannah and I sat down and signed a stack of papers that needed to be processed for the girls to leave. We met back up with Olivia and gave her the new clothes that we’d bought yesterday. Seeing her leave with Hannah in her worn out shoes and old orphanage clothes that never did fit quite right and then coming back in a brand new set of garments served as yet another reminder to me of the Gospel. The old clothes that were characteristic of the old life are gone and in their place are the new clothes that come with being adopted into a new life.
So with the girls in their new clothes and the paperwork completed, we were ready to go. The only thing that we had left that we wanted to do was to get a picture of both of the girls with their brother. As difficult as it was, we all managed to hold it together while he was there. After snapping a few pictures, I told him that we were going to try and come back to visit him and that we would try to call and send pictures to keep in touch. We don’t want to give him any false hope, but this was our way of saying that at the moment the opportunity arises, we’re coming back.
And with that, we were done. The girls threw their little pink backpacks into the trunk of Dema’s car and as we left, we looked back at the orphanage one last time as we waved and said, “Das vi danya (goodbye).” When we pulled out onto the main road that goes to Don’etsk, Olivia leaned up and asked, “Where are we going now?” Dema just looked in the rearview mirror, smiled, and said,
“We’re going home.”
The Huitt Family

1 comment:

Ransomed~Redeemed said...

This was a very beautiful story! May I ask why she is unable to adopt the brother?