What a day! The day we have been waiting on blew away my expectations and biggest hopes. I'll start from the beginning. The train ride was pure misery for the first hour or so. We left after 11 so we were all pretty tired by that point, and Eli was completely exhausted. He was also apparently freaked out by the train moving. There was lots of screaming and pleading and rocking till he finally gave it up.
We were met at the train station this morning by our amazing facilitator and our awesome driver. I can't say enough good things about this pair. They are efficient and get it. I really appreciate their hard work today. We were shown around our perfect little apartment and how to get to the mall and all the restaurants and the we were left for about an hour to get ready to go.
When we were picked up it was a flurry of activity. We went first to meet the social worker. We had heard that she can be a bit difficult somedays and we had been praying about the situation. Turns out, she was out of the office today on an emergency and her assistant, who happen to take a liking to us, filled in her place. Thank you God for that small mercy. We then went to the orphanage and met with the doctor. It is clear that both our children have been well taken care of over the years.
Then the big moment came and the kids walked in. I can't even describe that moment. It was beyond anything I even thought it could be. Grace is a firecracker. She walked right up to both of and started charming us right away. She was saying hi mamma like she says to all unknown adults. The moment was priceless though when she realized something was different this time and she started to say Grace's mamma (but using her given name of course). Wow. Malachi is more cautious and reserved. He is very comfortable with me and completely fascinated by Michael although he won't really go near him yet lol. Soon.
We went back to visit this afternoon. Bubbles were a huge hit for both of them and Malachi really relaxed then. He was chatting a good bit by the end of the visit. Leaving them was really hard and I am sure it will only get harder. Grace was so sad. I should also say she is quite the parrot. She will be speaking English in no time. Malachi reminds me so much of my nephew. We brought both kids a little photo album of home and they were mesmerized. Neither wanted to put them down. We talked and talked about each picture. I have no idea what they understood but we could hardly get the away from them to put up. Malachi in particular seemed to be processing the my momma and daddy idea this afternoon. Both made great eye contact, wanted to be with us, didn't run off with friends or other adults, and were very open to hugs and touch. It is just the first day I know but it was a great start.
In between visits, we finalized paperwork to start the process to get a court date. It can't come soon enough! Our schedule now is visit the kids twice a day and wait on that court date. Pictures coming!