Tony Gibson Jr.
The Last Papa Post for a Few Days
We were a little nervous about our visit with Jon today since we would be headed out to his remote village with no translator. He hasn’t got a grasp on the using iPhone translator app which we have relied so heavily upon with the other kids. I don’t know why the heck we were ever worried about communicating with him. He makes it so easy. He just talks away, with so much animation and expectation that you have no choice but to understand.
Attachment is a huge deal. Some adopted kids never attach and some don’t attach appropriately. (They can sometimes receive or show equal affection from just about anyone without distinction.) Not this kid. With complete conviction, he really acts like we have been HIS papa and mama all along, and somehow we feel the same way about him. We got to meet him at the Black Sea today for an outing. The minute, we arrived, he ran to us, jumped into my arms, hugged us both, and then grabbed the football and Frisbee out of my bag. Without a beat, he immediately led me out to the water. We did lots of tossing and swimming; one of his games was to see how far he could throw the ball away from me. Then he launched, jumped and flipped off of my shoulders until I finally had to think of an excuse to go in (since I am also the American version of a “papa”). The minute we hit the shore, he began shivering, wrapped up in a towel, and went straight to mama’s lap to cuddle up. He has been in an orphanage since he was three years old, but that whole scene today played out exactly like it naturally should have. I am so excited for us, and we are so excited for him. This is not always the case in adoption, but our immediate and natural (actually supernatural) love for these kids has mirrored biological birth in that same way that you just can’t imagine the love you will have for your first child before they arrive, but somehow in an instant your heart is full and you can’t imagine life without them.
On another note, Jon did finally make some progress with the translator app today. Today, just before we left, two sentences actually came out clearly. First, I told him we were picking him up next Friday. He got the translator to say, “I want to go today.” Then just before leaving, he opened the iTunes store on Faith’s phone, switched to the translator app and said, “I want to download music!” Mama didn’t need a translator to say, “nyet”. Time to put passwords on our phones.