What a whirlwind! On April 12 we left the states for Poland. Our trip was nearly 24 hours but we were energized with the realization that we were on our way to our little girl! We had a layover in Amsterdam and flew into Warsaw where we waited for a driver to take us to the region where Karolina is. It was a 4 hour drive and gave us a great opportunity to see the sights along the way. There were so many thoughts going through my mind, most of all the amazing way that God lead us to Poland, so far outside of our little bubble and in a way that only He could've ordained. Over and over I just kept thanking God for this experience, and Karolina.
Our hotel was clean and nice. The currency is the Polish zloty, and the exchange rate was very good (as opposed to the Euro). Magda met us there and we felt we were meeting someone familiar after hearing so much about her from other families! She was just as delightful as we had hoped.
After we got cleaned up, she took us straight to the orphanage to meet...(as my heart skipped a beat) our daughter! When we arrived we met with officials and were impressed with the cleanliness and atmosphere of the room. They told us about Karolina, I cried and asked questions and then they asked if we would like to meet her. Are you kidding?! Jim and I looked at each other with our palms sweating and our knees knocking. We nervously awaited her arrival until the door finally opened with a little bundle wrapped in a pink blanket. They unwrapped her...and there SHE WAS! What a beautiful face! Her skin was so perfect! Her cuddly body was so healthy and strong!
We held her and I prepared myself that she might not look me in the eye or respond with affection. In our adoption classes, we were told to expect that might happen, and we understood completely. However, she DID look me in the eyes AND SHE SMILED! Here are our first photos together:
In the days ahead we bonded beautifully. Thanks be to God. We spent a lot of time together just falling in love.
Here is one video where a spontaneous moment made her laugh (and made me cry tears of joy). :) I will forever cherish this video.
Our last day was excruciating. We knew the sooner we went home, hopefully the sooner we would return for her. However, I never expected to bond with her so quickly, so completely. We held her, prayed over her and I sang to her, hoping chisel every last detail into my memory for safe-keeping.
It was devastating to say goodbye. I didn't sleep for days and had a harder time than I had even expected. I think the woman on our flight to Amsterdam may have thought I was losing it. I was sobbing one minute, and then hysterically laughing because the person next to Jim bit into an apple and shot juice across the isle into his eye and on his face. I had tears of laughter and sorrow at the same time...it's been a while since that has happened! Lol.
It's impossible to adequately convey our gratitude to Lina, Magda, and everyone involved for changing our lives for the better, forever. There were moments of impatience on my end, and of lack of understanding in the process, but I have learned a lot and have a greater appreciation for the entire journey. In the beginning we were so fearful of the cost, and although it was a valid concern, I realized then when God calls, God will provide, and He truly has. Holding her, everything else seemed to fall away, and I realized the things I often place value in, are of little value at all. Every single penny we spent, and will spend was more than worth it. Clothes and eating out, vacations and cell phones are all nice, but I would sacrifice it all again in a heartbeat, in order to experience the joy and love that has come with Karolina.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change
Going private soon.....
4 years ago