We are adopting older boys. The first question we hear almost every time we say that is, "Aren't you afraid?" Don't be afraid. My husband met Barton yesterday. He is amazing. Just an amazing child who is going to have such a wonderful life. He came so close to missing out on a family and we came so close to missing out on him. Our immigration papers were sent in just before he turned 16 and we weren't even planning to adopt him when we did it!
Here is an update from my husband. You might need some tissues. I did. I am so thankful to be married to such a wonderful man and for the chance to have this incredible child for a son.
"I cannot even tell you how surreal today was. I am sitting in my apartment on a street I don't know in a city whose name I cannot even pronounce. I was so nervous going in to the orphanage I was probably shaking. The children were painting the orphanage as I walked in. I sat in the office with the facilitator and the director for a few minutes before Barton and his teacher came in. The facilitator asked me if this was the same boy and I said yes. Then the Dr and social worker walked in and we were off to the races! I talked to the Dr about his diagnoses and they were the same as we thought. However, the director then asked Barton a few questions and I almost fell out of my chair when he started to answer. He can speak! I almost started to cry! We talked about his family history. I was asked at that time if I wanted to start the paperwork or if I needed more time. I jumped at the chance. I was then told that I could visit Barton twice each day that I was in the city including Sunday. I am spending Easter with my newest son! It only slightly takes the sting out of missing the rest of my family at home.
Then I was told to take Barton by the hand and take him out to the playground. For two and a half hours I pushed him on his favorite swing and played ringtones for him to hear. He loves music but that was all that I had at that moment! Not soon after my phone died! But by then I had to leave him and travel to the regional capital to get my forms notarized and buy a toy for Barton. The mall was nice although you have to pay about 20 cents to enter the restrooms. We got Barton a little monster truck, a soccer ball and some playdoh like substance that is very popular but themed around a version of a Bratz doll. I am told the other kids will want to share it with him which should make him popular.
We got back to the orphanage about 30 minutes before I was supposed to visit him but I was allowed to see him while the facilitator went over the newly notarized paperwork with the director. Keep in mind nobody in this orphanage or the entire town understands any English except the word "American." I walked into his classroom but the teacher was putting up chairs and closing the door. I said "Barton?" She took me to his dorm room where he was taking a nap. The teacher quietly called his name and he opened his eyes. I crouched next to him and said "Prevet Barton". He opened his eyes again, smiled, and hopped right out of bed to get dressed to play. The teacher only had to fix his socks and his collar. Did I mention that he was in a suit to play in the playground with me? I knew I only had a short time with him so I took him to his favorite swing and we played for a while. Every time the wind blew in his face, or a bird sang, or I touched his shoulder he would smile. He would smile like this was the greatest day of his life and he did not want it to end. And it hadn't yet. Not by a long shot. The facilitator came out and he played with his monster truck a bit just pushing it back and forth on the wooden edge of the sandbox. After a few minutes of that the facilitator went to his car to put on his athletic shoes to play soccer with us. This is when the day went from awesome to once-in-a-lifetime.
The building happens to have a junior size soccer pitch including artificial turf sitting right behind it! Barton and I walked over to it, hand in hand, and began kicking the ball to each other. His reaction is slow due to the cp and the vision problems, but he could still see the ball moving with his left eye! As he and I kicked the ball back and forth, a few boys came over to watch us and sat on the sidelines. Then a few more. Then a few more. Three of the older boys came over as well and wanted to kick the new ball a bit. By the time the facilitator came over 15 minutes later, there were 8 boys watching along with the other three that were nicely kicking the ball to Barton and I! I doubt Barton had ever interacted with these older boys before, including one boy who asked me my name because he had learned a few English phrases watching TV. I told him my name and as we were leaving I heard a few boys who had not been playing whispering my name! Barton had become a very popular boy indeed!
As we were pulling down the pothole-ridden road out of the orphanage(let me tell you that driving down the highway at 100k/hr you need to do the Lightning McQueen serpentine move just to survive) the facilitator turned to me and said "I think this boy will really open up to you. I am seeing it already. Much of his conditions seem to be institutionalization. He was playing soccer for Gods sake when they said he only likes to be alone. He may really open up to you".
As we drove back to my apartment, both before and after my "final exam" where my facilitator sent me in to buy groceries myself, I was left to think about the unlikeliness of us finding this boy. There are approximately 6 billion people on this planet. Roughly half are 16 or under. Roughly half are male. That makes him one in about 1.5 billion and God led me right to him!
We are all human, but some days the good parts really show through. By God's grace, today was one of those rare days."
We are home with Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Meanwhile we have jumped in again for one last very special girl. If you would like to help with that, you can make a non-tax-deductible donation HERE that we can access immediately. You can also make a tax-deductible donation HERE that we can use once we receive travel dates. Or by donating HERE you can help provide her and other children at her orphanage the care and nutrition they desperately need. See all of our current fundraisers HERE. We are thankful for any support you can offer!