Wednesday, September 12, 2012

For the children

I found this poem on Candice's blog and wanted to capture it here so I could remember it (thanks Candice!) As someone who wished and waited and wondered and then stared into the beautiful eyes and hearts of the children at the detsky dom, I remember and pray for my good fortune in my son and in sadness for his friends left behind. I will never forget the feel of your small hand in mine as you asked me to push you on the trike...  

We Pray for the Children
by Ina J Hughes

We pray for children 
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories 
and can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
who stare at photographers behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a pair of new sneakers,
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who sleep with the dog and bury the goldfish,
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those 
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children 
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
and never rinse out the tub,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried,
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on 
and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother...
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sometimes the world stops... Just for a second

On Thursday I loaded Corbin up with his twin cousins for a road trip to Grandmas house. They giggled and chattered the whole two hours and excitedly bailed like tornadoes into Grandmas house where I got placated with a kiss and lingering hug goodbye. I whispered to him, "I'm going to miss you like crazy!" he pulled back, cocked his head to the side and asked,"why Mom? I will always come home you know?" (I tell him this when I go away)I guess I didn't look convinced so he added, "if it will make you feel better, you can sleep with my lion, he will help I promise." last year I didn't think either of us were ready for him to be away for 4 days... This year it was like he was born for sleepovers. In that moment, as I drove away, time stood still just a minute. Click. A photo in my memory. He's growing up and growing so confident. I headed back for the 2 hour drive home contemplating how I would spend my time alone. Weird. However, my meandering thoughts were rudely interrupted by a misguided deer that thought playing frogger with a minivan in the dark was a good idea. Again, time stood still. The accident itself was scary but not terrifying. It sucked - my neck hurts a bit, van is written off (hooray!), and the next 24 hrs were inconvenient, but time stood still in the recognition of "what if"? What if I swerved and crashed? What if I were hurt? What if I... I can't even think about that... About my boy. That is what was the worst part. Time stopped as I caught my breath and thought about what if? Being here alone was strange and quiet and lonely. I did miss him like crazy (although I tested the theory that after you have kids you can't sleep in anymore - happily, I report that for me, it's not true!) he came home rarin' to go to pedal heads bike camp for kids. I came home tonight to excited tales of the day and 3 hot, sweaty, beet red boys in the bouncy house in the back yard. Just now I went into his room to kiss his sleepy head goodnight and as I snuggled beside him, time stood still. With his head cradled in my hand, I looked up at the pictures on the wall from my first trip. He was so small - not much more than a baby. His tiny body has grown strong and tall and that tiny blonde head that I cradled in the palm of my hand that Christmas not long ago is now filled with stories and adventures of a young boy - no longer the baby back then. As I kissed him softly and whispered,"I love you little man." I wondered if he ever thought he'd hear those words so often? They feel so good to say... And they are amazing to hear. Time stood still. Ya Tibya Loo Bloo.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Birth family search

What did they look like? Is he tall? Who do I look like? Will I go bald? There will be questions, of this I am certain. Corbin lived in the detsky Dom from 19 months to 3 years old and most people assume that children or people in general have no memories of being an infant. With my son as exhibit A, I can tell you that for us it is not true. There are memories. There are questions. There is hurt. There is sadness. There are happy moments. There is fear. Because he was from such a small village, there were also a lot of answers. The director at the baby home knew the family from when BM was a child. Anecdotally, I had many gaps filled in but for me, I felt like I owed my boy more. As his mom, I needed to anticipate the "what if" and go in search of the answers he may or may not choose to ask at any time in the future. Russia gave him roots and now it's my job to strengthen his wings so he might fly high in confidence and freedom. The topic of a search came up on trip two when I learned that my host who I stayed with was active as the on ground searcher for Mary Kirkpatrick. She told me about the heart wrenching stories of rejection and despair and that most searches don't provide much meaningful information. Even with that knowledge I asked her to pursue the search. Using my court documents as a guide, Anna located information that would lead her to the BF, maternal grandmother, Maternal uncle/aunt/cousins and another important family member. After the search was complete I settled in to digest and organize my thoughts on the information. There was certainly the bad and ugly - I expected that and it coincides with Corbin's memories. But, there is also an overwhelming amount of good, happy, loving, family ties that were flushed out too along with doors left open for future communication. I now have a file of photos and the answer to am I going to be tall or am I going to go bald? His roots aren't all bad. I've figured out how to manage the information and know it is his should he ask. I feel good about closing this chapter and have resumed grooming his tiny 5 year old wings. In the end, I'm really happy I did it. I didn't use Mary Kirkpatrick or Illich But both have an excellent reputation in the field. Buddy, you look JUST like your uncle who is strong and proud and loving and honorable. They are happy you are loved. There are people in Russia who are happy you are home.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Like sands through the hourglass...

Welcome to life with children. Time passes, priorities change, memories are played out daily and snapshots of the extrordinary mundane that populate my happy thoughts as I close my eyes at night are all that there is to record the turning of the calendar. It's been awhile since I've updated and the main reason is technology. My camera doesn't talk to my iPad, my netbook doesn't talk much at all these days and my work computer is for doing the things that pay the mortgage. The only thing that continues to talk is Corbin... incessantly. If using the TV to placate him and provide me with 15 or 20 minutes or a long hot bath's worth of silence makes me a bad mom... I can live with that. The Cat in the Hat has taught him words like "habitat" and "meteorite" all while I enjoyed some silence. My blog has been caught in never never land of never having time, never having access to the pictures yet never wanting to give up on the great tracking of history that this has become. So I'll try to combine technologies and get a quick update done on today which for posterity sake is our second Gotcha Day :)  2 years ago there was no going back. It was a day of contrasts: You left with nothing and everything all at the same time while you clung to me out of fear and excitement. As we settled into the van for the drive into Komsomolsk from Selikhino your squeals of "MACHENA!!! turned to heavy eyes of exhaustion and you slept in my arms. That was my favorite memory 2 years ago and today, I covered your eyes as I walked you into the garage to surprise you with a new big boy bike. In your excitement in pointing out that it has a Maple Leaf on the front and a fancy new kickstand you also found time to turn on a dime with open arms to say, "Thank You Mama for my new bike. It's super awesome and I love it." I was worried that it was just a bit too big, but with tip toes delicately stretching to the ground, in a block, it was mastered... just like riding a bike.
New Bike today!
The smile I wake up to every day :) There is one less tooth in there though. It didn't come out the old fashioned way  and I was the one who needed the laughing gas. Tough little cookie managed through an abscessed tooth and a trip to the dentist before "meeting" the tooth fairy for the first time.
Happy 5th Birthday! (His cake was a crocodile which he said was FEROCIOUS!)

Cousin's Grad

Soccer mates

Great day in my life: he offered to clean up POOP! (don't mind the scrape... Evil Canevil met asphalt)

CostaRica Surfer boy

amazing sunsets everyday

Playing soccer with the local boys who came to watch the tournament

White faced monkey x2


We're off to a wedding in the morning so more adventures await! So glad I gotcha buddy. Today, tomorrow and always. 

Still to cover: Birth Family search. Our experience and thoughts.