Thursday, January 3, 2013
Preparing To Bring Our Son Home
This has been a week of readjusting to our time zone, not having to dress in layers, everything being in English, and, surprisingly American food. Since Ukrainian food isn't filled with all the preservatives that ours is, it has been a bit rough. We'll leave it at that.
Even though we just got back late Sunday night, we are already preparing for the return trip. The only difference this time is that only Danelle is going. There is a part of me that wishes that I, too, were going with her; not only to help her with Cava, but also because I grew to love the country and I would, of course, like to see the children again.
In packing, Danelle has learned more of what to and not to take.
We are also getting the things that Cava will need, especially clothes. When he leaves the boarding school, he leaves with only what we give him. Whatever clothes he had will be left at the school to be passed on to another child.
My sister and Dad have been a big help in providing some new clothes for our son. I bought a few things I found on clearance (some sweaters). And people from our church and Adoption Foster Care Group are already e-mailing us, asking what they can help with.
Since Cava wears a size 6, it's amazing how small the clothes are. In looking for a backpack for him, I held some up to Benjamin to figure out how big the backpack would be on Cava. I ended up with a small Cars back-pack.
As I'm helping to get all of Cava's things ready, I can't help but think about all the new experiences he's about to have. I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like for an 8 year old boy who has lived his whole life in orphanages to leave the small village and go to cities like Odessa and Kiev. How overwhelming that will be.
Then to fly in an airplane.
Does Cava have any understanding of what an airplane is?
While we were at his boarding school, I don't recall a single plane flying overhead the whole time we were there.
What will be going through his mind at the airport, boarding the plane, during take off or landing?
Hopefully Danelle will get the more docile Cava and not the wild boy while they're on the plane. There are those small monitors that he can listen to music or watch a movie on but he won't be able to understand them. I also bought him one of the small Doodle Pros to play with. We already gave him coloring books and crayons. Some friends of ours gave us flash cards. If any of you who have adopted an older child from another country and flew back with them, what did you do to entertain them on the long flight (it will be an 1 1/2 from Kiev to Munich and then the 9 hour flight back to the U.S.)?
While we were in Ukraine, our family had to get used to not hearing our language spoken and not understanding what was being said around us and, sometimes, to us. Is it any wonder that American families latched on to each other whenever they met (such as when we were at the SDA office)? In fact, when we were asked at church how we had come to be there, I joked that I just heard someone speaking English and followed them here.
But how much more stressful and overwhelming will the language barrier be for an 8 year old boy?
Cava has so many firsts that he will experience. Just thinking about them makes me excited and nervous and a whole host of other emotions. It all feels sooooo big!
He is going to have to learn to adjust to being a part of a family, just as our family will have to adjust to having a new member in it.
I've been asked by quite a few people if I will continue to blog after we have brought Cava home? The answer is, "Of course! That's when the real journey starts!"
Again, thanks to all of you who have been so supportive, encouraging, and have been praying for us.
If you have any tips or suggestions that would be helpful to us, please e-mail and let us know.