Those damn little shoes

Today was a roller coaster of events ranging from destructive moments to loving breakthroughs. We started the morning with Zhenya in rare form-breaking blinds, picture frames, hitting me and my Mom, throwing himself all over the house-and I just wasn’t sure how I would make it until the time they went to bed. With some extra efforts, Zhenya turned the corner and we were able to enjoy the day at the aquarium followed by a Hibachi dinner where we celebrated their birthdays.

Unfortunately, as Zhenya engages in bad behaviors Valerii quietly makes amazing strides in his life here with us. My Dad insisted on buying him a 100 piece activity set for Christmas. (Yes all you who know him know he just did it to drive me crazy) What he didn’t realize when he bought it was that Valerii thrives in his artistic abilities. We finally gave him the gift since my Dad can’t be here and right away he took out a piece of paper and started drawing. He drew the most intricate and thoughtful piece of art and lovingly signed it “To:Dedushka Love, Valerii.” We plan on bringing it to him at the nursing home tomorrow so he can put it up in his room.

Zhenya’s bad behaviors began again when it was time for bed. I tend to have a lot of patience when it comes to Zhenya because I know that his impulsiveness is not something he can help and my heart just aches for him. As always, Valerii agreed to go to bed to help Zhenya fall asleep easier. As I came down the stairs after tucking them in with goodnight kisses and I love you, there laid a subtle reminder that this whole crazy, love packed, ready to pull my hair out experience is quickly coming to an end.

One more night. I came to the bottom of the stairs and looked at the two pairs of sneakers that seemed to jump out and grab me as if they were staring at me as a reminder. Zhenya and Valerii picked out those sneakers when they first got here. They were much more comfortable than the heavy boots they came in that didn’t quite fit. Zhenya picked his Adidas because they were soccer shoes. Valerii picked his because they had flashlights on them. He would even stop me going out the door at night, hold my hand, and turn on his lights to make sure I was walking safely in the dark. Tonight those shoes pretty much kicked me in the face. They reminded me of all I’m going to miss.

The chaos. The constant running around. The messy house. The huge piles of laundry. The loads of garbage that is scattered throughout my car. The marks and bruises I have. The dings in my walls. The broken toys that lay throughout the house. I’ll miss all of these because of what has gone along with them. The smiles. The long hugs. The fact that my heart has now tripled in size. The oohs and ahhs of new experiences. The excitement of meeting new people. The laughs. The blaring of music throughout the house as the cutest efforts to sing in English are accompanied by a strong Russian accent. The kisses and the love. The sound of footsteps pounding around my house as all three boys run and play and laugh and fight together. And those two pairs of shoes that Valerii meticulously places at the bottom of the stairs every time he knows he is home for the night.

I will miss these boys with every ounce of my being. I can’t imagine what life is going to be like when they leave because part of me can’t remember what it was like before they came. One more night and they will be flying far far away from their safe home filled with so much love for them here in America. One more night and 2/3 of my heart will be gone forever. One more night and everything changes for everyone. One more night. I have no more words for what I’m feeling tonight except that I’m going to miss those shoes.


One thought on “Those damn little shoes

  1. You should be so proud of what you have done for these boys. There were ups & downs but you got them through it, and you made it through it. The emotions you are feeling certainly goes along with this journey.
    The roller coaster you and the family is on with Mikes’ health issues are heartbreaking but yet you did this amazing thing for the boys. You and your family gave them a life long memory, not to mention the love they have received from everyone.
    Tomorrow will be a difficult day for all of you but you will make it through it. It is very apparent that you are a strong person from the top of your head to the tips of your days.
    Good luck with everything you are dealing with and I pray everyday for Mike.


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