Orphanage Day 3 part 2
October 9, 2011
The program was about to start.
Excitement was in the air as the children were rushing about to get to their places backstage.
Nerves were flaring and emotions soaring as I sat next to the man who stands between my daughter and I who had just said
Those dreaded words were playing over and over in my head as though they had a broken record playing over the loud speakers.
Turn it off!
I don’t want to hear this anymore.
Just start the program already!
Please, make this go away.
As much as I wished it away, the fact remained; grandpa was here, next to me, unwilling to budge in his wishes.
Tanya is his baby too.
He loves her and looks forward to his visits with her too.
He was here to see her program as well and I’m sure this is the last thing he ever expected or wanted.
I had no way to talk to him or to do anything other than to sit back, enjoy the program, smile and be there for my daughter.
So, that’s exactly what I did.
Proud mom in the audience, camera in hand, smile on face, heart full of joy, I watched as my daughter performed.
Tanya was the cutest potato I’ve ever seen!
Her costume included a brown striped sweater stuffed full of paper with tan tights and a belt around the bottom of the sweater to hold in the paper, a necklace made of small potatoes and a black hat with potatoes around it where a ribbon would usually go. Then of course there was the dirt all over her face as potatoes are very dirty when harvested, and this play is all about Autumn and harvest!
The director of the orphanage came and sat next to us and rattled off something to grandpa about us again and again he said “nit hoiches” and “nit hirocho” ( I don’t want it and not good) she then told him it’s good and we’ll talk after the program, watch the program. I mean, honestly what could we expect from the man who loves her so much and comes to visit her. He’s done nothing wrong to her after all. He must be in severe shock and dismay! Here are these people he doesn’t know and cannot communicate with that are here to take the only thing he lives for away from him. I’m not sure I wouldn’t react the same way.
The program started and I anxiously awaited our Tanya’s turn on stage, camera in hand and ready to go!
I saw her on the stage behind the curtain on the side of the stage waiting to come on and she nervously looked out and saw her Daddy and I sitting next to her Grandpa and smiled.
She has such a beautiful smile!
I waved and smiled back at her; she sheepishly grinned and waved back then covered her mouth with her giggles and turned to her friends giggling away.
She came out and did her part perfectly!
The play was over before we knew it and it was time.. time for the talk. The director hopped up and smiled at us, went to grandpa and said “pashli” (let’s go) and led him out the door to her office. Tanya nudged her way through the crowd and came straight to me, threw her arms around me and smiled so big! We told her “molydets” (good job!) and again she grinned! We walked around the room taking pictures of all of the things the children had made out of the vegetables until we made it to the doorway. She grabbed our hands and led us back out the door and down the hallway where she stopped off to change.
Changing isn’t a private thing here.
It is done in a room full of both boys and girls with a bag of clothes that a teacher is passing out underwear and socks to each child and handing them a pair of pants and shirt to wear. The door remains open and people just walk on by as though it is not happening.
After she changed we went back to her classroom and waited for the director to come and let us know what happened with Grandpa.
A few minutes later, in came the director.
Man, I wish we had a translator today, of all days, but Sasha had to be at a meeting and couldn’t be there. We’d have to just figure it out.
The director came in and called for Tanya, she took her to the office to talk with Grandpa.
The next few minutes were killer.
We couldn’t communicate with anyone and had nothing really to do at this point other than to wait.
Wait for this life changing meeting to take place and trust that she would tell Grandpa that she wants to come with us and be a part of our family. Trust that he would be open to hearing what she says and that we would take care of her. Trust that the director will tell him that she thinks it is in Tanya’s best interest and trust that it will all be ok.
The seconds felt like minutes and the minutes like hours; time kept ticking.
Finally, the director was at the doorway.
She was smiling.
I hoped this was good – she smiles most of the time.
She tried to tell us what happened but we couldn’t understand. I simply asked Grandpa? Good? Bad? Using thumbs up and thumbs down to try to get what I was asking across.
She said good.
She said “pashli” (let’s go) and led us to her office.
As we followed her to her office we looked down the hall and saw an image that will forever be ingrained into my memory, Tanya walking ahead of her grandfather to lead him out of the building with her head hung low as he followed her out.
How hard this must have been for both of them.
Please, sit down she said.
We sat and told her we will try to call Sasha to translate.
The funny thing is that the cell service in this place only works in one spot in her office, in front of her desk right in the middle of the desk beside a chair. If you move to the left or the right at all, you lose service!
Ask me how I know?
Both Tanya the director and Bryan had to find that exact spot to talk to Sasha. Ha!
Thankfully we were able to get Sasha on the phone right away and the Director spoke to him and told him what all happened.
Then it was Bryan’s turn to talk to him and get the translation.
Grandpa was shocked.
He didn’t like the idea at first.
He said “what will I do without her? I will die.”
The director pleaded with him that it was the best choice for Tanya to come with us.
She told him that is what she wants and she is happy with us.
After a bit, he said that if that is what Tanya wants then that is what he will do.
So, my question was, did Tanya say yes?
This hadn’t been answered yet.
I need to know!
Did she say yes?
I kept asking Bryan so he would ask Sasha b/c at this point all we had been told was he said he would not stand in the way if she wanted it but did she say she wanted to??
I probably whispered to him 5 or more times and the director figured out what I was saying and nodded her head and said,
“Dah! Tanya says Dah!”
I ran over to her tears in my eyes and hugged her telling her thank you! Thank you so much!
We were then given the rest of the details.
Tanya came in to talk with them and she did tell him that she wanted to come with us.
He then obliged and agreed that it would be ok.
He was very sad and I’m sure a bit ashamed as he knows he cannot take care of her and yet his son couldn’t either.
He promised to support her and not to make any problems during the process.
Thank you Lord!
We ended the call with Sasha and I leapt into Bryan’s arms, wrapped my arms around his neck and cried tears of great joy as I said “YES! Thank you Lord, thank you!”
We headed back to hug our daughter and tell her we were so happy that she decided to come with us and to tell her grandpa.
As we approached the room, it was quiet.
We entered and saw Tanya in her teachers’ arms with tears streaming down the teachers face.
She must have just told her teacher and now it was a real deal for them. Before it was, ah, maybe grandpa will say no and she will stay but now, now it was real.
This made me happy to know that they love her that much that they are hugging and crying over her.
As we were going in the director was telling me “tell Tanya Dobre” (it’s ok / it’s good)
The director told the teacher to let her go to her Mama.
She let her go and she came immediately to my arms.
I held on so tight and cried tears of joy and tears of sadness for her loss as well.
I said over and over, I love you, dobre, dobre..
She buried her face into me and just held on tight.
I kissed her forehead and told her “I am so proud of you, it’s ok! We love you! We are so happy!” Now, I know she probably didn’t understand much of that but she knows it was from my heart.
As I was holding her and comforting her, I looked up and saw the teacher now in full on tears. She was hurting too and yet happy at the same time.
I handed her off to Bryan to hold and I went to comfort the teacher and to thank her for taking care of my baby this long.
I hugged her and we cried together.
I hugged the director again and she smiled and said “dobre, dobre”.
It’s good, It’s good!