Our friends, the Parkisons, have returned to Ahmedabad to get their passport issue straightened out. After seeing the orphanage director again yesterday at the passport office, they were invited back to the orphanage for cookies and tea today! They were given a tour of where their daughter had lived and had the opportunity to see our children again along with several others who are being adopted by friends we've met online.
Because I stayed up past midnight last night to see if the government was going to shut down, I went back to sleep after the kids were off to school. Well, around 8:30, my cell phone started ringing and I shot up out of bed... It was a Facetime from the Parkisons! As soon as I answered, I saw my children on the screen! I had to turn on lights and move to a different room so that they could see me clearly. As soon as they saw me and I started waving and saying "hi," they got really huge smiles! Kelly prompted them to say "Hello Mommy!" several times! They were SO ADORABLE! Then I said, "Hello, Ajay!" "Hello, Smita!" They were very excited when I said their names! I was able to show them their bedrooms. Smita's mouth dropped open when she saw her bed! She was in awe! I could hear Kelly saying "sister" to explain that she would be sharing a room with her sister. At that time, Mr. Pandit came over to the camera to say hello! He seemed very friendly and reassuring that we would be there soon. I told him we were excited about coming to get the children and thanked him. Then I walked across the house to show Ajay his room. His room was a little messed up with Jeff using it as a makeshift classroom last night, so I had to throw stuff off the bed real quick and replace the pillows. He seemed excited, too. I tried to find a camera or the Ipad to record everything, but I was so flustered I couldn't find them or get them to work! Found my camera, but the batteries were dead! When I was searching, the kids either saw the Ipad or the computer monitor. Anyway, they said, "TV! TV!!" Wait till they see the BIG TV when they get home!!! Haha!!! I introduced the children to Willow! They laughed when they saw him and loved it when I made Willow wave his paw at them! We spent a minute blowing kisses to each other. Kelly had to show them what to do... then they did it over and over again. At one point, Smita turned her head to look at something behind her. Ajay tapped her to bring her attention back to me...his expression was like, "Look! Mommy is still blowing kisses! You better pay attention!" Scott told me that the kids had held hands the whole time. So Sweet!!! Toward the end of the call, the children stood next to Kelly so I could see how small they are! They looked like they came up to her waist, but I can barely remember because I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience! They turned the camera to the man who was making this possible...they have been staying with an American family who lives in Ahmedabad, and they were using his phone as an internet hotspot to be able to Facetime. The children and I said "Bye" to each other over and over again, waving and smiling. I told them that I would see them soon and that I loved them. I know they did not understand that part, but it felt so good to say it. They will understand soon.
I was able to Facetime again with the Parkisons once they left the orphanage. Scott and Kelly shared again with me how excited the children were during the Facetime session. Scott said they were GREAT and that they were READY to come home! They said that Ajay and Smita are really good at repeating English and their articulation of English words is clear. The comprehension is not there, but they should learn English quickly. I think when the Parkisons first got there, Ajay and Smita were standing on a balcony and saw them and waved with excitement and recognition. Kelly said that they might be a little confused because they had wondered if the Parkisons were back to take them home. Kelly had the director translate to them that they are not their mom and dad...they are friends of their mom and dad. I think it was after that conversation that we Facetimed. Hopefully they understand. If not, they will make the connection when they see us.
It was amazing to see their excitement and happiness. I love that I finally saw full-blown smiles with teeth! I think I might have the happiest Indian children ever! We were all three just about to burst at the seams! I really believe it is going to be a glorious first meeting when we get there! It will be more excitement than fear of the unknown.
I am so grateful to Kelly and Scott for all that they have done to prepare the hearts of Ajay and Smita for our coming and for answering so many questions for us. As frustrating as their passport issue has been, it did not come as a surprise to God. I am amazed at how this extra time in Ahmedabad has allowed them to develop a rapport with the director and enabled them to have a tour of where all of our children have lived for so many years. They have been able to gather valuable information and pieces of the puzzle that make up our children's past. The following families may not get the privilege of a tour, so for the Parkisons to have received this is a blessing for all of us.