Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Didn't Say I Love You

On our last day with the kids it snowed!  Such incredible beauty!  Mei Mei was delighted! She shrieked and hollered!
Lan Lan was especially thrilled because she had packed her toe shoes in hopes of getting a photo.  What a perfect backdrop.  This photo fills me with such emotion, knowing Lan Lan's full circle.  Once an orphan, and now back in her birth country as a ballerina. 
After breakfast we went to the "goodbye party."  I knew this day would be hard.  The kids delighted in the goodies and party atmosphere and then there were many long speeches from officials. 
 Mei Mei said she felt like a movie star because the officials all wanted a picture with her--a Beijing girl, adopted at an older age just three years ago.  I'm not sure about the "rules" of posting photos with the officials, but let's just say that they are all grinning in wide smiles--and Mei Mei has the biggest! 

Most of the nannies slipped out with the kids.  My guess was that it is too hard to say goodbye.  But when we went to lunch, the kids were there and we were able to officially tell some of them goodbye.  Some of the children (and adults) cried.  There are no words for the depth of my sorrow. 

I didn't cry.  I was holding it in and going into what I call my "newscaster mode," where I distance myself from my feelings.  I'm remarkably good at this.  It's a gift and a curse.  I can still be loving and empathetic, without becoming emotional.

We said goodbye to "Lee-Lee," such a sweet and gentle spirit who was nervous about being too close to me so I usually tried to keep some distance.  We exchanged high-fives as she left the dining room.  Lee Lee is going to be such a precious child for a family!  She has an "old soul" and I really believe she will bloom with the love of a family, just like our Mei Mei.
We couldn't find "Yummy."  At the end of lunch Lan Lan discovered that Yummy was eating in the next room over, which was odd because that room hadn't been used before.  Lan Lan and Mei Mei went and talked to him, and then they convinced me to go and say goodbye too.  I wasn't at all sure about the appropriateness of this--after all they were in a private room.  I was even more unsure when I was coaxed into the room and realized it was mostly adults, with only a couple kids including Yummy.  Surely they had a reason to be alone?

Lan Lan pushed me along and as I walked toward the table Yummy and the adults all gave me a big smile.  I bent down to Yummy and told him he was a good boy and I would never forget him.  He didn't understand my words, but I know he understood my feelings.  He then reached over, gave me a big hug, and then he said, "Wo ai ni Mama."  I love you, Mama.  Sob.  And then he placed the most precious kiss on my check. 

I still remember the feel of that sweet hug and kiss.  He had on a puffy jacket and his hug was gentle, soft and warm. He giggled and smiled at me.  When I heard him say he loved me I hesitated.  For some reason, the thought came to me that I shouldn't repeat those words back to him.  He had called me "mama," and I didn't want him to be confused.  I wanted him to hear "I love you" from the woman that would eventually be his real mama.  Someday.  I hoped.   

Instead, I squeezed him again, put my hand to his cheek, told him he is amazing and that I would never forget him, and then I did a hasty exit.  Newscaster Mode was dissipating fast. 

I walked out the door and I cried.  I cried for Yummy and all the orphans who just want love.  They want families and they want to belong. 

The girls and I headed back to our hotel room and I fought tears the whole way.  We were headed out soon for a free afternoon which was to include shopping, which suddenly didn't seem the least bit fun.  My mind whirled with emotions. 
After a bit we headed back down to the hotel lobby and the last of the kids were boarding the bus to go back to the orphanage.  I looked forlornly at that bus.  The snow was turning to slush and the grey skies fit the mood.  I couldn't see faces because of the tinted glass, but what I wanted to do was run out to that bus.  I wanted to run down the sidewalk, race up the stairs, and find Yummy.  I wanted to hug him tight, and kiss his cheek, and tell him, "Wo ai ni, Yum-Yum.  Wo ai ni." 
Because I do.  And I hope he knows that. 
I won't give up finding him his forever mama.  I won't give up trying to find mamas for all the kids.
If you feel adoption tugging at your heart, call Holt International at 541-687-2202.  To specifically ask about Yummy (Phillip) or Lee Lee (Ione) ask to speak to Jessica.  The kids are also listed on Holt's Waiting Child Photolisting


Anonymous said...

:( this one made me cry too.


Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Oh my. So many feelings. I'll be sharing this on my blog's facebook page. I hope interested families will see it.