As Lena left for the Ukraine three weeks ago, there were actually two things that I didn't have. One, was that I didn't have the peace of knowing that she knew she was loved and wanted.(as previously mentioned) The second one was that she had never referred to me as Momma.
Now, that seems simple, however, the other thing was that she also never called me Julia. She never called Ronnie by his name either. She would talk directly to us, she talked to Josiah and Lydia - but she never called us by our names. The only reference to Ronnie that she made was when handing Lydia back to him - she would be talking to Lydia and say something along the lines of "back to Papa." Now, I don't know even now if it was because she didn't know our names? The kids are introduced to so many people while they are here, I can imagine that at a certain point, everyone begins to look the same - especially at the point of introducing names and such - and that once a bond is beginning to be established, it may be a bit awkward to the kids to be saying things like "I love you, what's your name?"
We have gotten to message with Lena about 4 times now via chat and even in this, I really didn't know what to call myself. I am not yet, legally, her mom. I am also, (hopefully) moving past the point that she would need to simply call me Julia. So, on chat, she still hasn't called me by any name. She just talks directly to us, there isn't really a need to use personal names most of the time.
Today was an emotional day on chat, she had cried to her instructor to get time online, we didn't know how long it would be and it was the first time she started asking when we will come to get her, and when will she be in America. She pressed us to try to give specifics - and the truth is, we WANT to go NOW! But we honestly have no idea when we will get to go get her.
Our conversation was complicated. It is always challenging due to the language barrier. We sit with both google and bing translators open and Ronnie with his Russian-English dictionary for the words that don't translate well. We work for every sentence. We wait on each phrase.
Today, it was more emotional than usual. But the point that just broke me was this. We were trying to be encouraging that we will be able to send her some packages when she gets finished with camp. So, we asked if she wanted us to send her anything specific. I was hoping she would list a few things that she maybe saw when she was here and wanted us to send to her. I was even kind of hoping that she would ask for some things that we would not be able to provide until she is ours! (or even some things that we will say "no" to?!"
Her response was not easily translated. The first words were "I want normal..." But there were more words in the sentence it that both google and bing wouldn't translate.
After we looked in the dictionary, but still didn't find it, I sent her back a message that said that I didn't know what those words were - I put that text in quotes. She simply wrote back "НУ МАМУ ПАПУ" - I am not sure if you know much about Ukrainian.... but even not knowing the letters.... momma and daddy. In all capital letters.
When asked what she wanted.... her answer was "a normal mom and dad."
She still hasn't called me momma. But I felt today like we took a great step forward. It is hard sometimes to not get mechanical in this process. It is hard to keep working sometimes. But then, on a day like today when the emotions were flying, and it was so obvious that she wants us, it pushes me to go prepare for another fundraiser - to fill out some more papers - and to go find the furniture and decorations we need for her room. She still hasn't asked for things. She didn't provide me with the list I was hoping for. She provided me with a giant step forward....
She will call me momma one day. It will be worth every second I am waiting while we build this relationship over the internet.....
Day 17 done - 17 days closer to bringing my baby home!