Yesterday was Esther's turn to have a hard time. We once again didn't have much on the schedule so we were able to take it easy. We had a good start with Esther learning to dance with her dad. It was a really sweet moment.
Later in the morning Esther's friend from her orphanage was getting adopted and she was excited to see her again. She really wanted to be there for the gotcha day moment - meaning when this girl met her family for the first time but we didn't want Esther to draw attention away from the moment with their friendship. And we didn't want her friend to be too embarrassed to interact with her new parents like Esther was with us because her friend was there. But I went so I could take photos for her new parents and had to leave Esther behind in the room. They were meeting in the lobby of the hotel and it really frustrated Esther that I wouldn't let her be there for that but without the ability to communicate except for google translate it's pretty hard to explain my reasoning on that.
At dinner she gave me quite a few stink eyes. It is so hard because we know she is experiencing something more difficult than anything we have ever gone through but we also need to show her that we are her parents and that we are going to take care of her. She doesn't have to love us but she can't run off on a busy street or shout at us. The whole thing is compounded by how we are treated in public. It really bothers her to be such a spectacle. It bothers me too but I know it will get better once we get home. When I say spectacle it may be hard for some of you to understand - it means that everywhere we go everyone is stopping in their tracks to give us jaw dropping stares. Or to do a double take - and then a triple, a quadruple, and on and on looks at us. It meant that on our way home Esther opted not to hold our hand or to walk too close in the crowds. I love this image because you can see some people staring at us in the background.
After a while she let us comfort her and she finally started joining in the movie watching with Pearl. Pearl was so sweet with Esther's sadness - she would walk over and see if she was still crying - try to comfort her and then look at us and motion us over. It was sweet.
We know that Esther's behavior is because of the immense pressure she's under. We know that this is requiring so much of her. We understand the emotional turmoil she is in. We know every adopted child mourns the loss of their previous life. We look for the direction of the Lord in how to navigate this time and support her through it. So, in the end we all need time to be on our side. It will get better.