Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Friday, May 27, 2011

The others

I knew in the beginning that I would have a hard time seeing the other children here at the orphanage and knowing that I would one day have to leave and that I could only take one of them with me.
Mia's orphanage is very private and we are not allowed anywhere in the building except the few designated areas; one waiting room near the entry where we wait for them to bring her to us, one waiting area upstairs where we play when it is rainy outside, and one playground outside. We don't see much of the day to day routine of the children. We just catch glimpses of them going to and from different areas, if we are lucky.
Since day 1 here I have been SO curious to see the other children, especially because another RR family will be coming in the next few months for little Spencer and I would so love to see him for them. I have wanted to see what the other children are doing and what condition they are in.
As time has gone on, we have caught a few more glimpses of these sweet children and it is already wearing on my heart.
Yes, they appear to have their needs met and yes, this orphanage appears to care for these children from the little bit we have seen, but these kids know they are missing something, something big.
Up until yesterday we had mostly just seen a few groups of kids going on their walks outside. One little boy always tries to come and talk to us as he passes and in his cute little voice he speaks Russian to us and then when instructed by the caregiver to stay with her and keep walking, he smiles at us and waves and says "paka paka" (bye bye). The children are trained to hold hands with eachother as they are walking outside. There is usually a group of maybe 8-10 kids and maybe 2 caregivers with the children and so they each hold one anothers hands as they walk. Unfortunately we were instructed that we were not allowed to take pictures of the other children here or I would be snapping away at these precious little ones.
We often see cars coming to and from the orphanage and a caregiver will get out with one of the children and it appears that they are going back and forth to doctors or some kind of appointments.
The babies are pushed around the grounds in these little strollers that snap together side by side so there can be up to 3 babies being pushed by one person at a time.
We were told there are about 110 kids here in this orphanage from birth to age 3 or 4 and we have maybe only seen about 30 kids total on and off, and usually from afar.....until yesterday.

Yesterday was a cold and rainy day so we were told to stay in the inside visiting area and we have never been inside during the morning hours, which are much busier than the afternoon hours there. As we sat in the visiting room with Mia there was constant action going on around us. Different groups of kids walking through, nurses and staff back and forth, and for one Mia was enthralled with all the commotion. She couldn't keep her attention on ANYTHING because she was so curious about what was going on around her. If someone coughed she wanted to know where it came from and what it was. Interestingly enough a few of the staff who walked through did not get a welcoming reaction from Mia....she waved at them to leave and squealed "Nyet (no)". Otherwise she seemed to like when the children came in and most of the staff.

As we got to see more of the children up close I realized that this may very well be the reason the orphanage keeps us seperate from the other kids because it is just too hard....both on them and on us. Some children are happy and want to run over to us to talk (but they are usually not allowed) and others just look so sad and so lost that it breaks your heart. One little girl saw us and tried to pry free from the caregivers hand to come to us and when she was not allowed to, she started crying "mama, papa" as she was taken out past us. How could they explain to these kids that Mia now has a Mama and Papa but they don't?
I can only imagine that allowing these children to be around someone elses' "mama and papa" would only cause more problems and more heartache, but oh how I am just dying to reach out and wrap my arms around each of them as they walk past us. To kiss them and smile with them and give them a hug. It just breaks my heart!
I feel so helpless watching these little ones walk by and knowing that they may never find what Mia has found. They may never know the love of a family or life outside this big white building. This country has just now changed laws again and is now not allowing international adoption of "healthy" children ages 0-5. These children are now off limits to international adoption and will only have a chance if someone from their country finds them or if they are found when they are older.
So as part of me wants so badly to be allowed to play with them and interact with them, the other part of me knows how hard it would be to leave once I did that. With just the little interaction we have had, and the views from afar of these precious little ones, I am already heartbroken that I can not do more for them. That I can not find them all a good home and tell them all it will be ok and they are loved.
As we finished our afternoon visit I watched Mia being carried down the long white corridor back to her "wing" of the orphanage (this was the first time we had seen this hallway-usually we are not even allowed to that point) and so many thoughts were flooding my mind...what does it look like down that hallway?what does her room look like? what other children are there? where do they sleep? where do they eat? where do they play?
I want to know what her life has been like for the last 4 years and what she calls "home". Maybe before we leave we will be allowed to find answers to these questions and maybe we won't.

Of course the emotions on this journey run high and tears are often (ok almost always) at the surface, and I felt the weight of these other little ones on my heart yesterday, and I watched as while being carried down the long hallway, Mia was looking over the caretaker's shoulder at us and with those big beautiful eyes she seemed to say, "it's ok mom and dad, because you are making a difference to me"

"It matters to this one, I can't save them all I know. It matters to this one, she deserves a chance to grow. It matters to this one and it matters to me..."


  1. So cute! Darling pictures. I can't imagine how hard it would be to se all those other children who are all so deserving of love and a family. So glad Mia has you guys and that you found her. It's beautiful. Can't wait to hear on court date. Will keep praying for a quick smooth process.

  2. I've decided that the first thing I need to do in the morning is come and read your blog. Regardless is the post is happy or sad I still cry and the tears come and then my mascara is all ruined! :) Love, love, love reading about your sweet Mia.

  3. It just doesnt seem to make sense! There HAS to be a way to make a difference. We sit and we see so many people in America who long to have a child, a baby. There you have so many of them and they are just making it so hard! There HAS to be a way to improve international adoption and get these kids a mama and papa when they are YOUNG. I believe there is a difference that can be made, we just need to find a way to do it!!

  4. sam and I are in Pennsylvania, but I had to get online (in the car!) to see what you guys are up to. I just read this post with tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for these words, dear friend. Love to you and beautiful Mia Kareen.

  5. You sharing this beautiful story of your adoption is planting seeds all over the world. Seeds that may bloom into a wonderful journey of adoption. Not only are you giving Mia a family, but I believe you are helping children in need of family. Planting seeds with your words, words that are powerful. You indeed have a gift of documenting this journey, sharing your joy that it will touch many hearts to the idea of adoption. Thank you.

  6. Just remember the sand dollar story. That is what you are doing. That would be really hard to see them and not just want to take them all.

  7. It really is a dark, helpless feeling to know you can't help them all. We had one little girl come up to us in the hallway at Anya's orphanage as they were passing by. She was the only one in the groupa who had DS. She hugged my neck so tight and cried when the caregiver made her go. UGH...it makes me so sad. Some day there will be no sorrow on the earth and all of these souls will have joy like the others. Some day.

  8. Oh, wow! This post really hit my heart - not that all of them don't - but, oh, how I wish we could help them all! Thanks, Kecia and Kris for sharing with us! Prayers, hugs, and kisses to you and Mia Kareen! I KNOW that you will all be home with us soon! xoxoxo

  9. Kecia, I just have to tell you how inspiring you and your family are to a single girl. I stayed up all night last night getting caught up on this amazing journey you are on. I couldn't help but think how lucky you and I are to have been born into beautiful loving families and grow up in the nice neighborhoods that we did. We were playing together at beautiful little Kareen's age and had not a care in the world. My heart breaks for you and your desire to love all of these beautiful children. THANK YOU so much for posting all of your daily blogs. They are so interesting and enthrawling. Those of us back at home can feel like a small part of us might be on this journey with you. I am sending tons of love and prayers your way for a quick court date and a safe journey home for all three of you!! Stay strong in what you are doing and keep the faith. You will be able to bring her home soon I just know it!!!

    Lots of love!
    Amanda Franson

  10. Here is one of my favorite quotes.

    "I am only one, but I am one. I can not do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do, and with the help of God I will do."

    Just think how Andrea must have felt when she first started RR. She probably had no idea how many children would find homes in the 5 short years.

    Your blog has so many people reading it now and you do such an excellent job of helping others understand how much joy can be found in this journey.

  11. my heart it actually hurting! i am crying and i feel the pain you felt oozing from your words. how very sad and tragic for these forgotton children, oooo how i wish they all had families.xx