On the way there, I tried to talk him up. "Aren't you excited?"
"No. Not really." He said.
"Well, I think you are going to love it. You love exploring and meeting new friends." Silence.
So, we walked in to the classroom. He completely avoided the teacher at all costs and went straight to the floor and started playing with blocks. This is so unlike him. Then he was ushered out of the classroom by the school director to do his screening. When he returned the director said all he could talk about was his mommy. She would ask a question and he would say, "I love my mommy."
Then it was time for the nurse. "Why are there nurses here?" he asked.
"They are here to test your vision and hearing, like at the doctors office, buddy."
Still silence as he reluctantly went back with the nurse.
Again, when he returned, the nurse said all he could talk about was me. This is so strange. I mean, I know he loves me and I think it's sweet that he can't stop talking about me, but it is a bit out of character for him.
When I told him it was time to go, his eyes lit up and he hopped in the car.
"Mommy.." he said. "Where was my bed?"
"Your bed? For what?"
"To sleep in at night."
"Honey, you aren't sleeping at school."
"But, you said I'd be going all day, every day."
My heart dropped. My sweet, little boy thought that I was dropping him off...for good. I battled the tears so as to not make a big deal out of the conversation. I wanted him to see confidence and boldness in my response.
I went on to explain that "all day, every day" is an expression used in "school lingo" to mean that it wasn't just a half day like his pre-school. And "every day" means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday. It doesn't ever include the weekends.
It is times like these that I am reminded of my son's past. Most kids do not come out of a context where there is even a possibility of ever being left anywhere. But in his little heart, it seems that there is still a glimmer of a former life. Perhaps remaining is a little fear that if he was dropped off for good somewhere once in his life, who's to say he won't be dropped off again?
We spent the entire weekend talking about time and the schedule of school. We put together dinner menus for the week and talked about what would be in the car waiting for him EVERY day after school so that he would know that every day he would come home. "The sun will still be shining and daddy won't even be home from work yet."
This morning Dima went to school for the first day of kindergarten. He was a different boy today than he was just three days ago. He walked into school smiling, having a confidence that we were coming back to pick him up THAT SAME day. A visible peace was over him. Never again will he ever be dropped off for good.
As I have been pondering and praying through this interaction for the past few days, I have been reminded of the love God has lavished on me.
Never will I leave you or forsake you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
These are God's words to ME. Promises to ME.
And how quickly I revert to fear and abandonment when I am put in a scary or uncomfortable situation.
How quickly I assume that God must be "dropping me off for good."
"Where's my bed?" I wonder. Because surely He isn't coming back.
And now I understand a little of God's loving heart towards me.
"Of course I am here, sweet child. I will never leave you. Your name is written on my hand and nothing can separate you from My love. No matter how scared you are. No matter how much it seems I am not there. You are MINE. I have adopted you as my child, my sweet daughter."
With this mindset, I can face the trials and uncertainties of life with confidence and peace in my heart. I may be nervous about the unknown, but never have to fear abandonment.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged; for the Lord YOUR God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
And it reminds me of our sweet precious daughter. Some day she will enter into our family...all day, every day. For good.
1) This is a fun story :)
A few weeks ago, we walked into the room where our high schoolers meet on Sunday mornings and as I looked around, I realized that many of them were wearing the same shirts. "That's weird" I thought. But then I saw a girl turn around and the back of the shirt said, "TEAM GARCIA". What?? One of our students, Renee came up to me, smiling.
"What in the world??" I was laughing and smiling in disbelief. For the last month or so, she had secretly been designing and ordering T-shirts to raise money for our adoption. And she already sold quite a few to other students via facebook, and had them all wearing the shirts that morning. It was such an awesome sight to see a group of high school students jumping on board and being a part of "Team Garcia". They are SOO cute and we are over the top blessed and thankful. So, we invite you too to be a part of "Team Garcia"!
- She is taking orders from now until September 15th.
- The t-shirts are $16 each and if she needs to ship them to you, it will be $18 each.
- You can place your order by emailing Renee: firstname.lastname@example.org
- (The t-shirts run a little large, so keep that in mind as you order).
- $10 of each shirt bought goes directly to our adoption account!
I am just continually amazed at who God uses to help bring our little girl home...like a high school student with a vision bigger than herself, who acted on that vision to bless our lives. I am very, very proud of these high school students and how their hearts are motivated towards action. If you ever want to see a group of passionate people who DO things with their faith, check out the high school students at the Chapel. So inspiring!!
2) People are asking where we are with our finances and where we need to be.
At this point, as a result of donations through this blog, personal gifts, two huge fundraisers, and the indiegogo campaign, we are at $14,478. So, so awesome!!!
- We have used about $6,000 of that money for our home study and agency fees.
- The next big chunk of money is due once our dossier is completed (which should be in the next couple of weeks).
- This money is used on translation costs and agency facilitator fees. The total is: $8000.
So that is the progress report. We are so grateful for what God has provided through so many people and we believe He will continue to provide the remaining $35,000!
This is a lot to pray for, and we cannot thank you enough for being a part of this with us!
Until next Monday...love, Kate, Steve & Dima.