Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reality check

Today Axel and I had a dose of reality spat at us. Literally. This is Eastern Europe, where kids "like him" aren't accepted by society in general. I know this. I've read about it plenty. I should not be shocked when I see it in real life, right? I don't think there is a way to prepare for this.

Axel and I take two, sometimes three long walks every day. I use the walks to break up our days spent in the hotel room. He's now figured out at a certain point that if he gets his shoes and jacket on, I might just take him out. (he's also figured out that if he's naughty Mama will put on her "mad mama" look, do an about face and march him right back to the hotel, even if we've only gone 30 feet!)

Today I took him into the city center. It's the furthest I've taken him without a behavior problem, and the first time I've taken him in that general direction without a problem as well!

We had turned to head back toward the hotel, and I had just asked him if he wanted to eat. When I looked back up, I noticed a group of teenage boys coming toward us. They were just walking along the sidewalk like everyone else, nothing unusual. They were all dressed nice since it was the time of day the kids were just getting out of school. Two of the boys were eating hamburgers from a stand just down the street.

As they approached us, and were about 20 feet away, I noticed them looking at Axel and talking kind of excitedly. It was obvious they were talking about Axel. As they passed us, one boy turned and spit at Axel!!!!

OMG! I was FURIOUS!!! I wanted to turn and SCREAM at him, and put my hands on his throat! And DEMAND that he take me to his mother so I can tell her what her child has done!

But I didn't.

I couldn't.

I couldn't protect my child this time.

I couldn't stand up for him.

That boy got away with it.

I bent my head down and looked at Axel, who was looking at me very confused. I wiped the spit off his sleeve with my jacket and we kept walking.

All I could think about was my trying to scream at the kid with my ZERO language skills here, and ending up in a jail cell because here's an American woman screaming hysterical English at an innocent teenage boy, while dragging a child who speaks some type of martian/chinese and she doesn't have any papers to explain why she has this boy!

Yeah, being in a jail cell here would be a bad thing.

I cannot explain to you how SICK I felt when I heard that boy spit. Surely he was just spitting in general, not AT Axel. I couldn't believe I was actually seeing someone's spit on the sleeve of my child. The very child who does nothing but laugh and smile all day long, who although he's been taken from the only life he knows has only cried once for about 2 seconds then CAME TO ME for a hug and cuddle.

HOW could they do that? HOW??????? What makes teenagers like that? Did their parents teach them that? This culture is soooo different. The GALL to do that with me RIGHT THERE????

And there are the eyes of my child, wondering why someone has just spat on him, and I have no way to explain.

I prayed that God would do something to that boy's heart. And in a second I knew that 20 years from now this day will come back to him. The day he will hold his newborn child and hear the words so many of us have heard, "The tests have come back, your child has......" And in that very moment, that boy now a man and father will remember the day he spat on the little boy in blue. It is in that very moment his heart will change.

Oh, how I can't wait to get him home. Where there is acceptance, and inclusion, and LIFE.


  1. Oh, Leah, how awful. Why do you have to stay on in the country for 9 more days? Do the adoption authorities check out Axel after a week to see how's he's doing with you or what? Why the delay if you've already "got him." The sooner you both return to the states the better. I'm glad that Axel is learning to trust and obey you.

  2. I don't even have the words to express how appalled I am at this. Thank GOD you have him. I cannot even fathom. Hugs to you and your beautiful beautiful boy!

  3. I'm sick to my stomach. I can't even imagine how angry, furious and just plain mad you were. Thankfully you held your temper, becaase the last place you need to be is in a foreign jail. Hurry home my friend, praying for a smooth process.

  4. Leah, I've been reading along since you got there and so happy for you. Reading this brought the same reactions from me. I can't imagine how furious I'd be if that happened to my son! Good for you for thinking first and moving on. I pray that these countries catch up to the rest of the world! No one should be treated like that. :(

  5. Aww. I am crying for Axel and for you. I pray that Axel forgets that moment. I pray for a lifetime for happiness for your beautiful little boy.

    Be blessed

  6. How sad....what a sick culture to our sweet children.

  7. Now, looking at it from the European point of view, you are not in Eastern Europe. You are on the Balkan. Most of Eastern Europe takes pride not being the Balkan. The Balkan means a degree of backwardness and lawlessness. The Balkan is where anything can happen.

    The country where you are at is also the country where Americans are much hated by many, so the attack on your son, most likely, happened because in addition to having a visible difference, he was mistook for American. I'm actually surprised he was spit on instead of you. Probably they just didn't have the guts. (I have a few stories from that country in rural areas where it was better for us to look like the also unpopular Hungarian minority than Americans, even if I'm Irish...)

    Now hang in there, it will be over soon, and you and Axel will be home, and all this will be just a bad memory.

  8. Uggghhh, Leah! I am sorry this happened to you. You must feel so alone. I can picture the look on sweet Axel's face, confusion and looking to his brave Mama for understanding. My very, very brave friend hurry home from that dreaded place! Deep prayers for that signiture today!

  9. I'm so sorry. I'm stunned this happened in front of an adult--it says volumes. Remember Axel had really loving foster parents though--not everyone in like that. I admire that you prayed for them. I'll pray for both of you two as well. Get him home!

    Winona sort of near Eagan MN (where it is COLD today!)

  10. Oh, Leah! I am so sorry this happened to you both. In Ukraine people glared or crossed the street or jerked away from her when she came near and she was confused but it never occured to her that there was something "wrong" with her because my dad and I just laughed at them like they were odd --- no we did not make friends among the natives! I tried to remember these occurrences to better understand why Lera (and Masha) were given up in the first place. What a miserable environment to grow up being different in!

  11. So, so sad. I'm sorry this happened to you both. I hope you can get him home soon. I'll be hugging my girl tighter tonight.

  12. How heartbreaking. Thank God you are getting him out of there soon.

  13. Leah

    How awful for you both! Hard to find words to comfort or to condem! Just shocked that any human being would be treated this way!
    You did the right thing in not reacting. The most important thing is to get Axel into the heart of your family. Chin up my friend....not long to go now! Sending you and Axel love and positive thoughts....LinMac from Downsyn ( Roberts mam in Dublin)

  14. Oh my gosh!! How can anyone do that? You did the right thing, I'm sure, for the situation. Makes me sick that people think like that and act like that.

    I hope Axel is only shown respect the remainder of the stay.