I have been waiting for this day since the middle of January. Some families wait longer, some shorter, but all wait, and wait, and wait. Today, I was able to walk out of the orphanage gates for the first time with Patrick...the best part, it was also the last time I will walk through those gates with Patrick! I hardly slept last night. My mind was racing, "do I have this, do I have that", "what if...", "can I do this", "what if he hates the real world". All night I prayed for God to clear my head and give me the confidence I needed for today, to give me the strength to make it through today, and to give me the knowledge to raise Patrick the way he deserves to be raised. I finally fell asleep around 5:30 this morning, and woke up around 7. I got up, got ready, sat and waited. I couldn't eat, my nerves were in knots.
My driver picked me up at 9:30 and we headed to Vorzel. The ride took longer this morning that usual, not really, but it sure did seam like we were never going to get there!
I got to the orphanage, my facilitator was in the office finishing up on paperwork, so I went on in and played with Patrick for a little bit while I waited. My phone rang and I was told to head to the office to sign some documents. So, I gave Patrick back to his caregivers and went to the office. Here I signed several pages of something, and then waited some more. I was standing outside his gates for a little over an hour, just waiting. I still don't really know what I was waiting for, but when they said to go in, I did. His caregivers had dressed him in the clothes I had brought for him, the ones his daddy had picked out. He looked so handsome! It was a little sad taking him away from his caregivers, my favorite one was there today, she has known and loved him since he was 2. She was very attached to him and him to her, but she is happy for him and my family, she knows I love him too and that I will take good care of him.
I carried him down the pathway, through the gates, and that is when it hit me. No tears until I literally walked through the gates. That's when I knew this was real. I have never been allowed to walk through the gates with him before and today I did, and it was AWESOME! My friend Gillian was standing right outside the gate and she was crying with me. I am so glad I was able to share that moment with someone.
We piled into the car and drove to the photo place for passport pictures. Patrick LOVED the car. His eyes were so wide while taking in all the new sites. He walked nicely into the picute place, holding my hand and stood nicely and smiled for his picture (thankfully Nadia was there to direct him in Russian for this). He listens so nicely, if he understands what you are telling him!
After that, Oleg was taking us all to our apartments. On the way to Gillian's, Patrick started stinkin'. Thankfully he had a diaper on. But, I underestmiated what that diaper could hold. Before I knew it, my legs were covered in diaper overflow! Oleg's car will never smell the same again! We were stuck in traffic at this point, so I proceeded to line Oleg's seats with plastic bags to change Patrick's diaper. Welcome to motherhood, right? (no seatbelt or carseat laws here, so this was totally legal too). Oh, what a mess!!! I ended up, because of the limited number of bags I had (some lining the seat and now gross, and some used to hold all the grossness) having to throw away his gotcha day outfit. It's ok, I still have my boy!
We got home, nice and clean now, I fed him some yogurt and crackers, gave him some milk. We played, and played and played and explored. He wore me out! I gave him a bath, fed him dinner, we played some more and now he is sleeping soundly in my bed. What a great day! I wouldn't have changed a thing. Not even the blow-out, I mean, what a great story, right??
Here are the pictures from today...all 4 outfits. He starts out in his "orphan" clothes, on to his gotcha day clothes, to his back up clothes (good thing I packed those this morning) then to his lounge/ sleep wear. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings with my little dude!