First – check out the post from yesterday about our official Adoption Day. I just posted it tonight, as we were tired and I didn’t have time to post.
So, today was another unexpected day outside of our routine. This morning we woke up pretty late because we were up late last night taking time to sink in all of the reality of what has been going on. When we got up, we knew we had to try to schedule our United States Embassy appointment. As were having breakfast and trying to get ready for our routine visit to the orphanage with Jackson, we received a call from Tatyana. The news she shared with Lindsey was shocking. First she asked Lindsey if we had a picture of our house. We didn’t, but I remembered that I took a video of the exterior of our apartment a few days before we left for Ukraine because I was testing out the video camera on my iPod Touch. Then she told Lindsey, “Good –Bohgdan’s family is meeting you at the orphanage and would like to see pictures of your home. They are supportive of the adoption, but would like to meet you.”
Woah! Surprise! Lindsey’s eyes got really big as Tatyana told us this. In less than a half hour we were going to be meeting Jackson’s biological family and this was the only warning we had. When we arrived at the orphanage we walked with our driver Valentino to the music room where we usually play with Jackson. The room was dark, but an older man, probably in his seventies walked out, who was dressed very nicely, wearing a jacket. I didn’t suspect anything as we thought maybe we would be meeting Bohgdan’s grandmother who we had heard had custody before giving it up. At first we ignored this man and starting walking up the steps to Jackson’s room to get him. Then Valentino realized this man was Bohgdan’s grandfather and Valentino shouted my name, so I turned around. He tried to explain to me in Russian the best he could that this was Bohdgan’s grandfather. When the two of us made this realization, I shook his hand and held on to it, and he started to cry and we hugged and he kissed me on the forehead. Yes, there was a language barrier, but his actions spoke a lot and it was a very special moment for us, one that I will never forget!
Then, to our surprise Boghdan’s older sister walked out of the room. We knew from Jackson’s original medical information that she was 20 years old. She was a pretty young lady, with long blonde hair and dressed well, and wearing makeup. We all kind of nodded our heads and said hello, and then she walked back into the room. As I walked away to go find Jackson, I noticed that I could hear that she had started crying. It broke out hearts.
Finally we brought Jackson in and we all kind of sat around in a circle of chairs. At this moment the orphanage director came in and by her side was another nurse who knew a bit of English. Jackson behaved very well and sat in his grandfather’s lap. They had brought some bananas, cookies, and a juice box to drink. At this point the nurse translated to us that the grandfather apologized that he appeared troubled, and explained to us he was very happy that his grandson would be able to live in America and that he was happy with knowing this.
With this said, you have to remember nobody knows where Jackson’s biological mother is or her whereabouts. This man and his wife (who we did not meet) raised Jackson’s sisters but felt that at their age they could not take care of him as well. It was translated to us that he was okay with putting him in the orphanage in hopes that Jackson would be adopted, but was troubled at the thought that he might never see a picture again. I know it’s such a touchy subject and you are put on the spot, but we agreed we would share photos with his family. We were given their physical address, so we will try to send them some things. We gave them an email address to contact us and our address, so if they are able to translate it into Ukraine and initiate any contact themselves it would be easier to send pictures form time to time.
We spent the rest of the visit letting Jackson play with his family and showing them video of our home. They were very happy to see it! Sadly, a couple of times during the visit the sister would get upset and leave the room. Finally at one point she told us she was sorry but that she felt she needed to leave and she said good bye and that was the last we saw of her. I pray that one day she will have complete peace and understand Jackson is in good hands. When it was time to go, the grandfather said his goodbyes and Jackson gave him a kiss. It was really sweet. Then he hugged both of us real tight, got teary eyed again and told us “Thank You, Thank You”. Whew, what an experience!
We praise God in the end that we were given this opportunity today. We also are thankful that the family understands this is best for Jackson and did not contest any point of our process. We are relieved that they waited until after the ten day waiting period to say their good byes. This will be a day we will treasure.
As for our schedule. We did end up getting our appointment scheduled at the U.S. Embassy for next Monday! It is a two day affair, so we should have everything wrapped up and have Jackson’s U.S. Visa/Passport by the end of the day next Tuesday. This means folks – We should be home by the end of next week! If all goes smoothly we could leave as early as next Wednesday! We do have two tickets for Thursday that we already booked before we came, but we are seeing if it is possible to get a third seat for Jackson. We are doing well, and can absolutely not wait to come home and be united with all of you again, and with our new son!