Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 5: Our last day together

This morning I woke up to snow...lots and lots of snow.  Here's the view from the teachers' room where I spent the night last night, the groupa where Max and Kate live.

Max and Kate's groupa.
I must say I loved waking up knowing that they were just across the way from me.  Still not close enough, but I'll take it for now.

Today I got to watch Max "swim."  Technically, it's not exactly swimming that they do as much as it is a compilation of some hand motions with a bit of some water aerobics flair.  After all, not a lot of swimming can happen when the water comes only to one's knees, but nevertheless that's what they call this "sport."

I definitely got the feeling he wouldn't mind losing the Speedo.

A little bit of marching through the water...kind of like treading water if only there were more of it.

Another move that's not entirely swimming related, but at least they were enjoying themselves.

After swimming, we got to spend some more time together just the three of us.  With my little photographer on duty again, Max and I played Chess.  Neither one of us is very good.

"Mom, what's Checkmate?"
Then we discovered "Photo Booth" and had a blast distorting our faces and laughing at one another.  That was the most laughter I have heard from the two of them since being here.  I'm sure the people roaming the halls wondered what in the world we were doing that could be so much fun.

Is he not the most handsome boy ever?  That smile!

Later in the day Maria insisted that we go outside to take more pictures, what else?  For as much as the last thing in the world I wanted to do was go outside, I do appreciate that she wants to take pictures and encourages me to take as many as humanly possible.  And if I don't, she certainly will.  It's actually really nice because there have been times when I was unsure of whether it was appropriate to take yet another picture until I see her out of the corner of my eye saying "photo?" as she is motioning as thought she is taking a picture herself.

All bundled up again, we set off to check out the orphanage grounds.

Orphanage "neighbors"

Kids' play area

Kate not exactly thrilled to be outside, but a good sport nonetheless.

Maria and the kids

Entrance to the orphanage behind...and check out those gorgeous pine branches.

The tour outside was short-lived...thankfully.  Inside we went for some more time together just the three of us...our last bit of time before we had to say goodbye.

Rainbow looming with my son.

Little performer.

So.  Much.  Fun.

This was the last picture we took before we had to say our goodbyes.  So hard.  They were so hard.  Kate was in tears before I knew it...her whole mood had changed.  I expected this because it's what happened at LAX, but it was still so hard to see.  What do you do with that?  I did the only thing I can right now.  I hugged her so tight, told her I love her and that Mommy and Daddy will be there "skoro."  As soon as humanly possible.  There's nothing else I could do in that moment to comfort her.  Nothing I could do to make it better, to change the fact that I had to leave.  Max and I said goodbye minus the tears, but still with big, big hugs and the exchange of an "I love you."  The only thing that helped me hold it together better this time than last is the fact that I know it will be soon.  I have a greater sense now of when we will really be there the next and final time.  Kate, though we tell her it will be soon and though she knows it's sooner now than it was over the summer, is still at the mercy of our words.  At the mercy of us coming through on our promise.

And that was it.  Our time over.  For now.

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