Our Adoption Journey (Part 5)

This was the day we’d been waiting for….on this day in 2004, we made the trip to Ben’s orphanage for the final time. We were so anxious as we entered those doors that morning and were escorted by the orphanage director to our “waiting room.” It had been 3 days since we’d last held our son, and we could barely contain our excitement as we waited those last few minutes for the moment we’d been dreaming of for almost a year. On this day, we wouldn’t have to say good-bye. This day would mark the end of one journey and the beginning of another for all of us.

After waiting what seemed an eternity, one of Ben’s caregivers came in to discuss his schedule and allowed us to ask any final questions. (Of course, our interpreter was with us during this time, as the sweet lady spoke not even a word of English.) Then we were asked to sign a little red book which released him from the care of the orphanage. Finally, the orphanage nanny who had first introduced us to our child walked through the door with Ben in her arms. She was faintly smiling, and I noticed a sense of sadness in her eyes. She quietly spoke to our interpreter, telling him she was happy to know that he was going to a home where he would be loved. Then, I watched as she whispered something in Ben’s ear and kissed him on the cheek. I realized how fortunate we’d been to find him in such a caring environment. And then, she handed him over to us.

To our great delight, he was all smiles!!!

Because the orphanage was in desperate need of baby clothes, we were asked to change him into clothing that we had brought on the trip for him.

It is their custom to keep children very “bundled,” even when temperatures are in the mid-70’s (which they were on this day). So, we put our precious boy in a turtleneck, a corduroy long-all, a wool coat, and a knit hat. Bless his sweet soul! It made me claustrophobic to look at him. (As soon as we got him in the van for the drive back to Moscow, I peeled away most of the layers.)



There was something so profound about the moment we stepped outside of the door to the “home” where Ben had lived for all those months. And I made certain we took a photo of him on the steps outside of that door just before we loaded up in the van. Because it was this moment that marked the end of a very significant chapter in his life that, although we knew he would never remember, we knew we would want to share with him one day. We also saw it as a new beginning…an entrance to a whole new life. And it was the same for us! Our lives, and the lives of our entire family, would forever be changed.


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