"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything,
but I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do."

~ Helen Keller

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What does it take for your emotions to show?

So on the surface, today appeared to be not much different than any other. We had a pizza party (well, I just brought pizza and cokes for every one in the suite) and everyone was excited and thankful. One of my favorite things to do at home is to treat my kids and their friends to something special. Anything from treating them to McDonald's or taking them to the doughnut shop after a sleepover, the kids always seem more appreciative when their friends are involved. Today was no different; everyone enjoyed the food and the company and we all felt good for that little speck time.

Last night while talking to Twila a stark realization had come to me. Previously, we joked about our experience in Jonkoi as something like that movie "Ground Hog Day". You know the one where Bill Murray wakes up to the same experience day after day, until finally he has a change of heart and sees his life differently. Well, this joke, was less funny to me yesterday and today, because I realized that the "Ground Hog Day" experience for these kids is just that: the same basic routine day after day. For some the end may not be the same as for others. If nothing else, at least I know that I have given them a small break in the daily monotony of their lives.

So after the party settled down and we got to "talk" a little, the phrase we developed to describe the current feeling was this: "Завтра большой день". For those who don't speak Russian, the phonetic sound is "Zaftra bolʹshoy dyenʹ" which means "tomorrow is the big day". Tomorrow is when our coordinator will arrive, we will go to court to obtain the court documents, and then the remaining steps of this process can continue. Everybody in the orphanage knows that when we have the documents we can go pick up Vova, and he will get to leave with us. But right now nobody knows when that will be. We all ask the question "когда?" (when?) but nobody knows the answer. It can be likened to a pregnant mom who knows the baby is due any minute, or to the Jews knowing that the messiah would come and be from the house of David. They all know that it is coming and that it will be soon, but nobody knows the exact time.

Finally, upon leaving today I had a little emotional spell. I am not the kind of guy that gets emotional over just anything, so this was nice. Leaving my kids for a trip or sending them off to Grandma's house is never a problem for me. Sure I miss them, but usually don't get emotional. I am a firm believer that this type of space can be healthy as long as is not habitually distant. No, the things that get me excited (or emotional if you will) are when I see my kids do the things that God has enabled them to do without a lot of input from me. Watching Jeffery perform on the drums, or seeing Abigail receive every award possible during the 5th grade graduation; these are the things that cause the emotions inside me to well up. Maybe its selfish and personal, I don't know. But I really love it when any kid gets the opportunity to express the talents that God has given them, and I always get emotional when I see the results. For some reason today in the parking lot at the orphanage, I had the same feeling. Vova was exchanging words with the driver concerning the time schedule for tomorrow. I didn't get everything, but I understood enough to know that Vova was asking Oleg what time, and that nobody really knew what time :) Anyway, surprisingly, this exchange gave me this same proud feeling that I mentioned before. I don't know why, but I believe that knowing that he is my son played a very large part.

Once again, thank you all for your support, and please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go through our "большой день" tomorrow.



  1. Jeff, Please know we are praying for you and Vova. Say "hi" to him from Aunt Gena and Uncle David. We can't wait to meet him!

  2. Wow, Jeff. You write REALLY well. Sure you want to stay in the computer field? :-) Prayers to you and your growing family.