Andrew paid the hotel bill the night before. When the alarm went of, I didn't want to get up. I laid in bed for a few moments and a song to sing to E. popped in my head. She was always asking us to sing to her, so this song would just fit the occasion - May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You. E. wouldn't understand it's significance, but it felt like a prayer of blessing over her. I found the song on Youtube and listened and sang along as we packed up our suitcases. We had breakfast and loaded the car.
We had been blessed with beautiful sunshine on the first 4 days together. On our last day together, it was overcast and threatening rain. As our Ivan, our interpreter said, even the weather was mourning. E. greeted us and we spent a little time outside swinging while the rain held off. The rest of our visit was spent in a room inside due to the cold. To us, E. seem a little bit different than she had the other days. Almost like she was holding herself aloof slightly, to prepare herself for our separation. E.'s psychologist and speech therapist stopped by and we had a chance to chat with them. Then we had our last time with E. The aloofness was gone and the three of us enjoyed being together for ten or so precious minutes. We sang to her and snuggled her on our laps. Then it was time to say goodbye. Andrew carried her to the front door. I still have the memory fresh in my mind of her snuggling her head on his shoulder as we walked to the door. Then she wanted me to pick her up. I lost it for a moment while I held her, but E. couldn't see my face because her head was now snuggled on my shoulder. Andrew got a tissue and wiped the silent tears from my eyes. We had group hug and individual hugs and kisses, told her how much we would miss her. That we promised we were coming back for her as soon as the documents were ready. That we loved her so much! When we walked out the door, she was saying her final good byes to Andrew and I took a few moments to take deep breaths and get my tears under control. Then I said my final good byes and we walked out the gate and got in the car. We blew E. kisses from the car as it pulled away and she waved and blew kisses back. When E. was out of site, I let myself cry. How I miss my girl so much already! How cruel it is to have to say good bye to her! (We can email and send pictures to the director over the group homes in E.'s region and E. will get them. Nice to have some communication while we are apart.)
Before we left town, Andrew had to stop at a money changer and change some dollars to levs. Then we went to the Office of Social Welfare and our translator dropped of some paperwork about our visits. All this official business help distract me.
We had a drive of around 3 hours, maybe longer, to the town we would be staying in for our visits with M. On the way, we stopped for gas for the car and sandwiches from the gas station. Andrew and I also split a cherry filed croissant. It was delicious! We went through a mountain range on a windy road. Made me carsick, so we stopped and got out for a little while. Brr. It was colder up here.
The rain and the separation from E. had us all in a depressing mood. I am sure the drive was probably pretty and I tried to soak up my kids' country. Eventually, I fell asleep in the car for a while, laying across the bench seat with my head on Andrew's lap for a pillow. When I woke up he went to sleep.
Rain all the way to the town where we would visit our son M.
We finally arrived at the hotel. It was the only one in smaller town on the Danube River. A town that used to be a big and important but was now somewhat forgotten. The hotel looked like it was fancy back in it's day. It had dark wood interior and a cool painted ceiling. When we arrived it was felt cold, dark, and empty. Almost spooky. We were the only guest from what we could tell. I am sure our mood didn't help our perception at all. However, the rooms seemed clean enough and that was all I cared about. We had internet too, which was an extra plus. We weren't sure that we would in this smaller town.
|Hotel Lobby, photo taken a few days later on a day when the sun was shining!|
Click here to read about meeting our son M.
I know you all want to see pictures of our beautiful daughter. However, I won't be sharing any pictures publicly on the internet. In order to be allowed to take pictures with E., we had to sign papers saying we wouldn't publish her name or photos online.