Thursday, July 19, 2012

I've Seen That Smile Somewhere Before

We arrived at the airport at 11 PM (about an hour before their flight was scheduled to arrive).  I was so incredibly nervous.  I felt absolutely sick to my stomach with nervousness.  After meeting with all the other host families and going over everything that would be taking place over the next few weeks we sat back to wait for the kids to arrive.  My nerves continued to make me crazy until they walked into the room and right past us.  As soon as Albina and Alina walked through the door I recognized them from their pictures.  I was overcome with emotion and had to turn around to the wall so no one would see me crying.  I had to work really hard to avoid becoming a complete emotional wreck.  I regained my composure and prepared to be introduced to these two beautiful girls.  They approached our family and we introduced each other and discussed a few things while we had a translator available.  At one point during the conversation, we told the girls who they would be sharing a room with.  When Alina found out that she was sharing with Isabel her face absolutely lit up with joy.  Micah asked if they liked our family and they responded in the affirmative (so either we made a good first impression, or they were just very polite). 

We took the girls to the car and made our way home.  On the way home we tried to communicate, but it was a little challenging (Albina speaks a little English and Alina speaks little to none).  Unfortunately, when we arrived home we realized that Alina was very carsick and felt like she was going to throw up.  She was crying in the back seat and obviously very uncomfortable.  However, we got her some fresh air and water and it didn’t take long before she was her happy and silly self. 

Once we got into the house we gave the girls a tour and showed them their rooms and bathrooms and such.  Alina wanted to unpack and hang up all her things (she only had one outfit, some pajamas and a hairbrush).  Both the girls got their baths and got ready for bed.  After baths we met for family prayer (something they had likely never experienced before).  Everyone was kneeling except for Alina and she decided that this was the perfect opportunity to show us how well she could Cha-Cha.  We all laughed and then showed her how to kneel, fold her arms and close her eyes for a prayer.  After prayer we gave our usual hugs to our kids and Albina and Alina took their turn right along with the other kids.  Everyone was tucked into bed and tried to calm down and get to sleep after a very exciting night.

I got into bed and felt so much joy.  I couldn’t get to sleep because I kept thinking about how these girls had only been in our home and with our family for such a very short period of time, and yet… they already felt like they belonged here.  Could that really be possible?

Picture at orphanage before the kids left for Utah

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