From goodnight kisses to goodbye kisses…

It’s hard for me to even fathom how this experience has shattered my heart. I don’t know what I expected going into it, but I think the excitement of being able to help these two boys over shadowed the idea of how heart breaking this journey could have been. The harsh reality of the pain that goes along with this situation is finally setting in. I’ve been through a lot in my life, but tonight is ranks pretty high on shittiest moment of my life.

I just put in their final load of laundry, gathered their suitcases and backpacks, and sat down to make them a photo book to take with them when they go. All of this, as I’m sure you can imagine, has left me with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and an aching pain in my chest that can’t imagine how I will ever get over the void that leaving these two boys will leave in my heart and my life.

Every single night, I smother Zhenya and Valerii with hugs and kisses before they go to bed. They each climb into their beds and wait for me to come cover them up, tell them I love them, and say good night. I come downstairs to try to make sense of the huge mess I’m left with after dinner, baths, and crazy last minute play sessions that seem to get all their energy. When it’s time for me to go to bed, I sneak into their bedroom and give them one last kiss before I head off to sleep. Some nights, I have to do acrobats just to get to Zhenya because he sleeps so wild. Some nights, I know Valerii is awake and pretending to be asleep because I see him smile when I kiss him cheek. But every night so far, I have made sure that I don’t miss that opportunity to give them one last kiss goodnight.

Tonight weighed heavy on my heart as I squeezed them extra tight knowing that this would be the last goodnight kiss I would be giving these two boys who have become my sons. Valerii squeezed me extra tight tonight, not because he knew it was his last night but because they both had an exceptionally good day. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I held on as tight as I could. Both boys saw me crying and looked to me as if they had never seen someone they truly love be upset.

Zhenya climbed out of bed and over to Valerii and I and we sat there hugging each other for a while. As if I wasn’t enough of a mess, they both wiped tears from my cheeks and said OK Momma? I lied and told them that these were happy tears because I love them so much. Zhenya patted my head and hopped back into his bed. Valerii hugged me one more time just to make sure I was ok. I wish somehow they knew how they have completely changed my life. I wish somehow they knew that what I thought was going to be an opportunity for me to provide them with the best experience of their life has actually turned into one of the most amazing journeys I have ever been on. I wish somehow they knew that they gave me more than I could ever give them. I wish somehow they knew that this experience, through them, beside them, and now without them will be something I think about for the rest of my life. I wish somehow they knew how deep my love runs for them and that I would do anything in my power to keep them if I could.

Tonight I gave these boys one of their last goodnight kisses. Tomorrow I will kiss them goodbye. There won’t be a moment in my life that I don’t think about them, wonder what they are doing, hope that they become successful, loved, amazing adults, miss them, and love them with every ounce of my being. I can’t imagine what tomorrow will feel like knowing how hard tonight has become. But there is no doubt in my mind that I will do everything in my power to make something happen for these boys. For now, I hope they sleep with sweet dreams not realizing what tomorrow will bring, in the house that has become their home, knowing that their Mom will soon be up to give them a goodnight kiss just like she has done every night. Sleep tight my sweet boys. Mom loves you so very much.

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