Step by Step

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This morning we went to the orphanage bright and earlyish to get Carlos and Yamilet for the last time- because now they will always be with us. 🙂 We expected to pick them up quickly and leave to come back to spend the day at the apartment, but things went a tad differently than that.

Carlos and Yamilet were thrilled to see us once again. They came running with two gift bags- one each, which contained everything they have to their name from birth up; a very sobering thought. We brought clothes for them to change into because normally children cannot leave even with the clothes they are wearing. But today, the kids were allowed to decide if they wanted to take that one set of clothes with them or not. They decided to bring a couple of things but they changed into the clothes we brought them before leaving. They looked so cute and handsome! You could tell they loved their new outfits.

We were supposed to sign the documents that gave us legal guardianship for 7 days (I’ll explain that in a sec…) at the orphanage, but because of a strike going on that prevented someone from bringing some key documents, we were only able to sign some of them. Soon the strike ended though, so we went across town to sign the others. The kids weren’t running out of the orphanage, but close. They were very anxious to leave with us.

After the papers were signed at the other office, we were free to spend the day however we wanted.

Things have gone well today. There are times when I am tempted to worry when Carlos and Yamilet seem very quiet. I am learning not to analyze everything. I am learning to simply take the steps over and over to keep showing love even when I am not understanding expressions and emotions and reactions. I am striving not to bow to my emotions and tiredness, things that often lead me astray- And to just keep hugging. To keep choosing love and grace and compassion- the realm where Jesus is glorified. Because I am tired. Sometimes I want to understand what’s being thought in the silences. But in time, things will be better communicated. Right now, love is what is most important.

So when we got back to the apartment I showed Carlos and Yamilet their clothes and things, and you’ve never seen two more happy kids. They were thrilled. Yamilet probably hugged me four times after she saw her small stack of clothes. A little later she wanted to try on the two dresses I brought her, for me. I wish I could express her excitement as she put each one on and giggled loudly over in over in nervous excitement. She twirled around and then would cover her face because she felt a little embarrassed. Pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve seen. By her response, I’m not sure she’s ever worn a dress. Then she hugged my neck and told me thank you again.

It turns out that we are working out a sort of routine of meals, games, an afternoon nap and siesta time, and then playing at the park before supper. We have a small travel size DVD player that we sit around together and watch a movie on while the littles get a nap.

This evening things were more relaxed than they’ve been. Carlos loves to cook and wanted to fry eggs for everyone. He and Danny were able to talk and have fun together in the kitchen. Yamilet adores Salem Matìas. She plays with him constantly and he seems to mutually adore her. She wants to help with everything and still holds my hand everywhere we go.

Tonight I finally was able to tuck in my seven children and hug them all. All of them here, together. My heart is full.

Tomorrow the seven day guardianship period begins. During this time we simply get to know and enjoy one another. Two days during this period, a psychologist will come to our apartment to check on the children. If she thinks the kids are adjusting well, then she will write a report over the few days following the last day of the guardianship period, stating that all is well. There is one day called the day of silence that follows the 7 day guardianship. After the day of silence, we can sign the official adoption decree as Carlos’ and Yamilet’s parents. Next we go get a new birth certificate for each child with our names on them. When the birth certificates are signed Danny can come home with four of our children.

Unfortunately, the end of the guardianship period is the weekend. The day of silence has to occur on a business day- which would have been on a Monday. But the Peruvian Independence Day is on Tuesday, July 28, and Monday and Tuesday are counted as a national holiday. So our day of silence cannot occur until Wednesday. Which means we can go get the birth certificate on Thursday and probably return to Lima on that same day. Danny can then go back to the States while I stay back to obtain the kids’ passports and visas. So to sum it up, with the holiday and weekend delay, it looks like we have another two weeks here in Arequipa.

I can’t stay awake anymore tonight. I’m trusting God to work out all of the details of our paperwork and time. He is faithful!