Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Gotcha Day

Today is Nikolai's first Gotcha Day...One year since the day we picked Nikolai up from the orphanage in Moscow. Can you see that little eye peeking out from my coat? Jason and I had flown in from Boston the night before. Our driver and translator drove us around in the early morning to take care of some more paperwork and to start getting Nikolai's Russian Passport in motion. Around 11am, we were brought to his Baby Home with our trunk full of gifts for his caretakers and orphanage staff. I had made a purse for each of his 17 caretakers as well as the doctors. I wanted to give something of meaning, but how on earth do you thank the women who cared for your son? Many of the caretakers have little to nothing...they work double shifts to provide for their families. However, you can see clearly in their eyes that this is much more than a job to them. They love the children...they hug them...they kiss them...they do their best to meet their needs with very limited resources and not enough time to comfort these children who have already had such great loss in their lives. I had a small bag packed with Nikolai's clothes and two diapers. The bag was whisked away as we waited in a small room to see him again. It had been about two weeks since our last trip and we could barely wait to hold him in our arms again. Three caretakers brought him out...dressed in his new clothes...tears in their eyes as they handed him to us. It was such a solemn moment. The caretakers ducted back into the room to care for the many other children who weren't going home with families that day and many that likely never would. The second diaper was saved for another child. We met next with the orphanage director to thank her and say our goodbyes. Nikolai saw her in her white doctors coat...he cried and clung to me. We walked outside into the crisp Russian air and climbed into the car. Our translator ran back in to get one more piece of paperwork. Jason took this photo of Nikolai and me. We held each other tight. We were both scared...the most incredible day...the most life changing...new parents in a foreign country to a child that was 20 months old and was about to experience so many new things! Happy Gotcha Day Nikolai...we are so blessed to have you as our son!


lgaumond said...

What a great picture, and a great memory. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it has been that long. Nikolai is blessed to have you and Jason for parents. Hope to see you soon. I still owe you a jelly lesson.