We had five weeks with Vitaliy. I never thought that in five weeks we would all fall in love. The day we had to put him back on a plane to Ukraine was really hard. We drove to Dulles airport where Papa & the kids said goodbye.
I cried all the way down the escalators to security, but pulled it together for our flight to JFK. Vitaliy seemed REALLY nervous about flying and he didn't want to look out of the window. It was a repeat of flying up to JFK with Wesley. Every button got pushed, every switch got flipped, and that was before we took off... the entire flight up, Vitaliy wanted me to hug him.
He was pretty excited about looking out of the window and getting a coca-cola. Yeah, he went all summer without having a soda so he got that American experience on his last day.
All of the kids who flew into JFK together were flying back out so he got to meet up with his friends who also got to spend summer in America.
Saying goodbye was not easy. I was trying so hard to swallow the huge lump in my throat and keep the tears from spilling out of my eyes. I knew he missed his brothers all summer and he was going back to see them, but MY heart hurt.
I barely got out, "Paka, Ya tehbah loobloo."
(Goodbye, I love you.)
He didn't cry. He just kept waving at me.
Standing in line looking around.
The kids seemed so small back in their little group. The host parents stood around pretending not to cry while the kids went through departures. Someone asked me if I was ok.
Vitaliy kept waving at me.
His face just ripped my heart out. Yes, he was going back to his brothers, but he was leaving a family who loved him. He was going back to a place where no one loves him and he has to share everything. Nothing is his. No one tells him he's special or praises him when he learns something new. No one tells him they love him as they tuck him in at night. He is part of a sibling group of 4 boys. No one in Ukraine wants to adopt boys, let alone 4. They are destined to spend their life growing up in an orphanage surrounded by other kids who are unlucky enough to have the same fate, and then on this VERY day a few years from now they "graduate" from their orphanage with the clothes on their back. They'll be sent out into a society that views them as second class and within a year the chances of them turning to drugs and crime is 80%. Why? Because no one cares, so why should they?
Looking at that face in line made up my mind. He's coming back. I can't have THAT look being the last time I ever see his face. Its the same look as in his passport photo. Resigned to the fact that he is being sent back. That just rips my heart out. He is USED TO no one caring.