What a day... We ( The Chellson's and us) both had successful appointments with the DAP. What a relief!! I still am in complete and total disbelief that this is actually happening. It is all so surreal, really. The Chellson's learned a few things about their sweet Aaron and saw a couple photographs that they hadn't yet seen. When it was our turn, we were hustled into a small office building along with a women official from the Social Services and ordered to sit down. One of our Reece's Rainbow facilitators, Serge, came in and began to interpret Olivia's file for us. We were shown a baby picture of her that we have never before seen and that's when I lost it. Serge told us that Olivia's parents relinquished all their parental rights and that nobody has EVER visited her. My heart was broken and I don't remember anything after that. I guess I had fantasized the perfect scenario of Olivia's life... One that included the love of a Mama, even if it was behind the iron gates of orphanage number 5.
These are the gates that have hidden and locked my precious, perfect baby girl away from the world all 14 months of her life. Not once,has she mattered enough to anyone (except you Ashley) to venture through these rusty old gates. How can that be? Im trying hard to understand. I really am. I pray that God will open my heart and help me find forgiveness because it's buried very deep.
The trip to the orphanage was amazing! We boarded the metro and it was about a 10 minute trip to the stop we needed. What an experience! Just the escalator down to the platform itself was enough excitement for me...
It was, no exaggeration, a full 5 minute ride down this escalator. When you stand at the top of it you cannot see the bottom! Just awesome!!!
The rest of the trip was quite the adventure.. We did get a little turned around and came up the wrong side of the station but it all worked out after the boys found an English speaking barista at a coffee cart. It was freezing and switched off between snow and sleet for the entire trek to the orphanage. You would all be so proud of Melissa and I. Not one single complaint:)
And it was cold!!!! Such good sports!Here's a few more pictures of the sights leading to the orphanage including one of a very modern looking fire station.
The orphanage itself was actually very pretty and very well maintained. They have play structures and the most darling painting on the wall outside of what looks like the main door. It did live up to all the expectations that I had but when it comes down to it, it is still a prison...
It's funny because we all found ourselves saying things like, "It's so pretty here." "They must really care for these children." I'm even guilty of that kind of crazy talk! Sure, they have play structures, nicely maintained buildings and even a playful mural on the wall, but they don't have the love of a family. They don't have a Mama and a Papa (that's what they call us here) that cherish them the way God intended. I can't explain my feelings but they border on anger. I'm angry with myself because I was guilty of that kind of ignorant justification today. I realize now that it's simply a protection mechanism that instantly kicks in to save us the anguish that would creep in and take over. How dare I complain because it took an extra day to get a bank paper signed, or pay twice to get the same paper apostilled because the 7 was illegible... There are 1000's of children locked away behind rusty gates in this country alone that wish these were there only worries! It's a crime and I will never allow myself to justify for self preservation again.
Coming home Melissa and I talked the boys into jumping on the American food wagon with us. We found our way to Fridays for some home town cooking! A cheeseburger has never honestly tasted so good!
I'll leave you with the countdown picture of the day, taken outside the orphanage gates. I forgot to say that we will pick up the referral letter tomorrow and we will meet our sweet girl Wednesday!!
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