Tuesday, April 19, 2011

hosting: day one

Day one began with waking our 4 ewoks up at 5:00 a.m. so that we could leave our home by 5:30 a.m. for our drive to Dulles. No real challenges - just a little traffic on 495. Surprise, right!

Arriving with the four other host families, a Grafted Families rep, and other supportive staff was exciting. You could actually feel the energy/excitement in the air. All of our children were running around, meeting one another, and just enjoying the shared experience of waiting for the children to burst through the International Arrivals door.

We didn't have to wait too long before our little army of five children and a chaperone arrived. I cried, of course, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one. We were all leaning over a glass fence-like wall, trying to spot our child and when we did, there were huge smiles and hugs for everyone. David and Jayda immediately took our little guys hands and Stephen and Abbie were quick to welcome and embrace him as well.

There were lots of special little moments before and after the children arrived. I wish I could share a photograph of all of us, but again, I am not allowed to post any pictures of him. :-(

The rest of the day with him went very smooth. We took him to Kohls and let him pick out a pair of sneakers - he chose a great pair of Nikes. The swoosh is important! He fell asleep on the sofa for a few hours, and we went to Bob Evans for dinner.

"Table for Seven, please."

A few things off the top of my head worth mentioning:

1- Communication is hard for me. Abbie is phenomenal at finding clever ways to ask him questions and she understands him well. I stand back and watch her in action, amazed and thankful for her ability to step right in!

2- He loved my iPod touch and knew exactly what to do with it when it was placed in his hands!

3- He is excellent with David and Jayda - playing with them, holding their hands when we go outside, carrying them over puddles so their shoes don't get wet, and even picking up after them. I'm impressed!

4- He is amazing with a soccer ball.

I wish I could speak his language. I want to ask him questions and understand what he is feeling and thinking. He is so polite and sweet. Super challenging for me to not communicate as freely as I'd like.

But it is only day one!

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