Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Monday, August 27, 2012

The first few weeks of hosting

I remember picking up Vitaliy at JFK like it was yesterday.  I was nervous.  He was older than the child (his younger brother) we had originally hoped to host.  I was afraid we'd have issues with an "older boy," but I figured it was only 5 weeks and then he'd go back to Ukraine.

Wes and I flew up the night before and stayed in a hotel near the airport.  We arrived at the airport 4 hours before the kids' plane arrived so we had LOTS and LOTS of time to stand around and get nervous.

 When the kids and their chaperone finally walked out and I saw Vitaliy just standing there, so small and nervous I think my heart just went "kahplop."

Something like, "Hello, I love you."  

He was so skinny, tired, pale, and nervous.  I knelt down in front of him and asked "Vitaliy?"  He said "da" and kind of gave me a half smile.  Things moved so quickly once the kids arrived.  I had a flight to catch so I told the chaperone we were leaving and she said something in Ukrainian to Vitaliy.  He nodded and took my hand as we went up the escalator.  When we got on the air train to our terminal, I heard some quiet sniffles.  As I looked into his insanely blue eyes brimming with tears I felt so sorry for him.  I tried to hug him but he was so stiff and trying so hard not to cry.  I had been afraid he might be wild and crazy, trying to run away from me but he just stayed next to me sniffling all the way to our gate.  Break.my.heart. 

He did happily pick out some chips, like another Ukie I know!

Then he fell asleep on the floor. 
I stared at him for hours while we waited for our flight...

We did all kinds of fun things this summer.  He was really wild at first (back flips in the hot tub are not ok!) and needed some redirecting and rule enforcement, but the boy has so much potential.

He loves animals and they love him.
Some even look like him!
 He was so darn brave at the dentist.  He needed 4 teeth pulled immediately and 8 more filled.  Not.one.tear. 

Once those horribly rotten teeth were out of his mouth, he was actually able to eat without being in constant pain.  We won't discuss how many thousands of dollars of work he had done because that's not important.  

What's important is that our Sunday School class generously donated enough money to send him back to Ukraine able to eat and not in danger of having an abscess.  Every child should be able to happily eat. (even if its smoked fish on rye bread with ketchup)

He got a haircut at the Barber Shop.

Handsome boy!

He cleaned like a Merry Maid.  I am so not kidding. 

We went bowling.  He LOVED it.  Can you tell?

He so wanted to be loved.  He copied everything my husband did. 
Boys need Papas.

He just loved playing outside.  "Silly" was a word he learned pretty quickly.

Cucumber fresh from the garden.  Nom Nom

Kapitahn Amerika!

Jumping in the pool to Papa.  
He would ask to jump, but never seemed to get that RUNNING was not ok...

He loved riding a bike.  We got him a "new" one off Craigslist so he & Wes could ride together. Vitaliy was hell on wheels, quite literally.  He rode like a bat out of you know where, and more than once wiped out in the yard or driveway.  Tough little nut.  
He could be such a roughneck, but he would spend 30 minutes at time in 90 degree heat pushing Mariah around in this broken power wheels truck. 

How can a mama not love a boy who vandalizes the local park landscaping to bring her flowers?  Sweet boy, I wasn't quite ready for you to melt my heart so.

In my next post I'll cover the end of summer hosting.  I'm not quite ready to re-live that yet.  
It was so.very.hard.
I didn't expect to shed so many tears over a child I just met 5 weeks ago.  
I thought I'd just give him a summer in America and send him back.  
I very well may have sent back a piece of my heart.


Just Another Day In Paradise said...

And this my friend, is exactly how it all began...
Love this post, and that cutie pie boy of yours ;)

keebadders said...

I just found your blog via No Greater Joy Mom. Do you have a post explaining this hosting program? I'm not familiar.

Mama of 3 said...

Yes. http://www.enteringtheborderland.blogspot.com/2012/10/want-to-help-us-host.html that post has a video by our host agency on it that is very informative :)

Mama of 3 said...

www.heartforhosting.org is their website :)

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson