Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Final Day With Our Son

Saturday, May 10th, we were able to see Jaden Biyagegn one last time before we left to go back home. It was a great surprise for us to be able to go again. Normally, the orphanages are closed for visitation on Saturday and Sunday. However, our driver, Abey, asked the director if we could come back again on Saturday. She said we could. We didn’t expect to see him anymore, but we were so grateful that he asked so we could see our little boy one more time.

On the way to the orphanage we stopped by the store. This is the same store where Anna Grace got sick. So Ashley and Anna Grace made Clint go in. We got a ball for an older boy at the orphanage, and we got a coloring book and crayons for the kids in Jaden’s room. When we got to the orphanage, the caregivers told us to wait in the lobby. Again, we didn’t expect them to bring him down to us, but a few minutes after we were there, they brought him down the stairs.
 Waiting in the lobby

Jaden does a lot better when he is in the room with the other kids. We are definitely okay with this. In adoption, if a child attaches too quickly this could be a concern. Also, we do not want him to be attached to us since we would be leaving for a few weeks. When he came down stairs, at first, he did not want too much to do with us. He wanted to go outside and walk around the courtyard area. After about 15 minutes, the caregivers told us to go upstairs with him. When we got upstairs, he stayed in a corner area for 10 minutes. We thought that he had enough of us, so we decided that we would leave him. We don’t want him to be distressed. We were telling the caregivers and the children bye, and that is when Jaden decided he didn’t want us to leave. It broke our heart because of what might be going through his little mind. We are so excited to bring him home, but it makes us sad to think about what he must be thinking. This is the only place he has ever known. He will never see these caregivers and his friends again. We know that ultimately he will be with us, and all will be well. But we do not want him to go through these transitional days.

 He loves his coloring book and crayons.
 Admiring our boy

Over the next few minutes we took full advantage of the time. Jaden pulled all of the colors out, and he would hand them to us one at a time. The nurse told us that while we were away he told them that he hugged and kissed “momma & poppa.” He colored with his little friends for a little bit. One funny note is that Jaden noticed Anna Grace’s braces today and was very interested in them.  It occurred to us that he probably had never seen any before. Ashley had to step out of the room for a few minutes towards the end of our time because she began to cry. She cannot bear the thought of leaving him for these weeks. As it started to rain, Jaden grabbed Clint’s hand, and said in Amharic, “Look Poppa, the rain is coming!” Ashley came back in the room, and we spent 5 minutes telling the caregivers and the children bye. Jaden ran up to each of us and hugged and kissed us over and over. This was so tough for all of us.
 Mommy's boy
 Hugging Mommy goodbye
 Kissing Poppa Bye 
Kissing sister goodbye

Right before we left, we studied his little face. We wanted to remember each detail about him. His beautiful big brown eyes … his charming smile … his perfect little lips … his smooth skin … his sweet little cheeks … his soft hands … we couldn’t quit staring at him. We were leaving a part of our heart here in Ethiopia. It took everything in us to not cry as we were leaving the room. We got in the car, and there was silence. No one could speak a word. Clint stared out the window of the car with tears flowing down his face. Ashley sat in the backseat of the car tears flowing down her face. We were emotionally drained.
As we were leaving out of the orphanage gate, we looked up to second floor of the orphanage, and we saw Jaden Biyagegn staring out of the window waving goodbye. Be still my heart! He waved … blew us kisses … and we left.

The time cannot come soon enough for us to return to bring him home! Lord, we pray you protect him. Holy Spirit, somehow would you let him know that his family will return to him soon and bring him to his forever home. We thank you, Lord, that You chose us, and we do not take it lightly the responsibility we have to teach him all about His Heavenly Father!

We love you, Jaden Biyagegn Smith! Your mommy and daddy will be coming soon for you!

5 comments:

  1. Whew, made me cry reading this. I am definitely praying that soon you will be able to bring this precious boy to the States to live with you and that the transition will go as smooth as possible. What a blessing the Smith family will be to little Jaden! Love to all of you!

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    1. Thank you Debbie for your prayers, love and support! We can't wait until we get him home. Hope you & Jeff are doing well! Love to you both!

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  2. This brought back so many emotions. Leaving is hard. Taking custody is hard. The whole transition is hard! But it is all so full of love too! Good luck during this next phase of the waiting. I really really hope you guys get clearance soon and can get back to Ethiopia to bring your son home!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! We hope it is soon too. Seems a lot of folks are getting clearance 3 to 4 weeks after court. Hopefully it is either that or sooner!!

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