Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 11, Monday

Diana and all the other children are on their way back to Russia. We had a peaceful morning. Arielle and Diana played a TV video game. I took all the girls to Target to pick up the pictures I dropped off yesterday. Diana wanted a headset and CD player that cost $139. I said no and she gave me a look, as usual, like I am so mean. I did let her get some candy and gum for the trip and I bought her a jacket. It is rainy and chilly today. At first she refused a jacket, no, she didn't like any of them. I thought, I can't send this child back on the plane without a jacket! But finally we found one she did like, a sporty black one with a red stripe. She looked pretty today. The allergy on her face has cleared up and I combed her beautiful blonde hair one last time and put a red scrunchie in it.

I wrote on the translation site that we loved her and we would miss her. She read it and went to sit on the couch in silence. I came and sat with her and held her for awhile. She had fun packing her backpack with lots of candy and little junky toys. I put together a photo album with pictures of all the things we did together. On the one family picture we had taken with her, I printed up "We love you" in Russian and taped it on.

We met with the other families at church at 1pm. Diana at first was clingy, wanting lots of hugs. Then the other kids came and she was excited, showing them her candy and her photo album. All the kids were excited, running around and talking to each other. Diana wanted some paper money. I gave her two bills and then she went and asked Fred for the same! She was pleased with herself that she ended up with $4. At this point, we would have given her anything. Except a home. It still tears me up we can't take her.

It was time to load the vans headed for JFK. Suitcases first, then children. Anastasia, the 15-year old we worked so hard to find a family for, was sobbing. The other kids were just jumping around not knowing how to act. I held Diana a long time and she didn't pull away. I told her I loved her over and over in English and in Russian. She said, "Papa," and turned to Fred and hugged and kissed him too. The girls hugged her, and then Diana climbed into the van. Her little face kept peering out the open door, never taking her eyes off of me. I got in to give her one last kiss, trying to smile at her and not cry. But she knew I was upset. The van didn't leave for a few more minutes and I got back in a couple more times to hug and kiss her again and again. How do you say good-bye to a child you love and know you will never see again?

As difficult as she was at times, Diana knew how to give and receive love. She knows we love her. And I know she loves us. I am so grateful I got to be her mother for these past 10 days. I am so sorry for what has happened to her, and so sorry we cannot be her parents for the rest of her life. She so much needs a loving family, one who has a lot of time to focus on her needs and help her reach her potential. She's a good girl with a kind heart. Das-vi-danya, Diana. I will never be the same after meeting you, precious child.

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