We had a difficult morning. We planned a special program at church to bring attention to this hosting program and we really needed to be there on time. I knew getting Diana dressed appropriately would be an issue too. I had to use a little child psychology to get her to wear what I wanted her to wear and it worked! Okay, that hurdle crossed. She had some pennies and wanted a purse for them. We searched high and low and nothing suited her. Finally! I found one. Then there was an issue with underwear. We were already buckled in the car and a little late and from what I could tell, she still had on her night underwear and wanted different ones on. But too late, we had to go. So off to a bad start.
Diana cooperated in church, thankfully. There was a slide presentation and then all the children and families came to the front and our pastor prayed for us all. At the end of the service I met a woman who was deeply touched and with tears in her eyes said that she was considering adopting an older child. She was invited to our closing picnic today and may be interested in one of the boys who does not yet have a home.
We had to rush from church to the picnic. I had to feed the kids and make a potato salad. Diana doesn't understand rushing. She found roller skates in the basement and wanted to skate right then. Then she got up into the crawl space under the kitchen and I had to speak harshly to her to get her to come down.
We made it to the picnic and kids and adults alike had a wonderful time. A generous, loving couple with grown kids had hosted Larissa and Vladimir the whole time, driving them around and entertaining them. This couple participated in all our events and decided they want to adopt one of the boys. They had all the host families and all the children at their house today for a cook-out. The kids enjoyed playing badminton, riding bikes and throwing balls around. The adults shared their adventures, along with a few miracles, and it was an emotional time. Like the families we traveled with to China, we have all participated in a life-changing event and we are bonded together in the memories of this week.
Diana and Sergei were riding the bikes up and down this dead-end little street. Then we noticed they had disappeared. Fred went out in the car looking for them and couldn't find them. Finally they came back, but Larissa was upset with them. She probably thought we should have been watching them better too.
When we got home we packed Diana's clothes and toys for the trip back home. It is hard because everything has to go in one backpack. That remote control car takes up a lot of space too! I took my compact flash to Target to get pictures developed so I can make a little album up for Diana. No one wanted to go with me until Diana realized Arielle and Liana were staying home. Then she wanted to go. While I was ordering my pictures, she found a cell phone and cried when I wouldn't buy it for her.
Cho-Cho (Marissa) came over with ice cream. Diana really likes her and showed her affection by wrestling and being rough with her. She also hugged and kissed her. We had our last bedtime prayer circle, but Diana was laughing and acting silly. I think she is stressed about leaving tomorrow. She even asked me if Arielle and Liana were flying on the airplane too. No, Diana, they get to live with us forever. Of course I didn't say that. But the fact seems cruel. Arielle and Liana, our precious Chinese babies, get to stay. You don't. What a terrible reality.
For the first time Diana would not settle down and go to sleep. I don't know how many times she's been back up. The girls were playing with the glowsticks Grandma sent and that got them fired up and excited. I wanted tonight to be special for Diana, but instead I am becoming impatient because she won't stay in bed. She slept in the bed last night, but just now when I went in to put her back to bed AGAIN, she decided to sleep next to Arielle for the last time.
Nor will Diana ever be the same after meeting you. My heart is heavy today knowing the pain you are feeling. I have no doubt that Diana had a wonderful time while she was here, in spite of the language barrier. She will always have those wonderful memories of her American family and the love you shared with her.
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