We committed to Oskar 4/08. Unlike many others, we were fortunate and several other adoptive families had already met our son. I received pictures and of course the inevitable, he is adorable. Yea, I know my son is the next Calvin Klein model. Still, I did not really know much about him at all. I really knew nothing about Estonia either. In February 2009, all that was about to change.
Another wonderful family was adopting their sons from the same orphanage as Oskar, actually the same groupa. They said that one of the caregivers named Raili wanted my email so she could tell me about Oskar. WOW! I thought for sure I was going to stop breathing. Our agency had gotten me no updates on him at all. I had not even received a medical up to this point! I looked up Estonian people. I looked up Estonian etiquette. I was petrified. What if I said the wrong thing? What if Raili did not like me? What if she did not think I was good enough for Oskar? After all, sometimes I still wonder if I am good enough for him.
Those first few emails I was treading on ice. I did not want to appear to greedy for info, but I was dying to ask a million questions. Raili hung in there like a champ. She answered each and every one. No question was too silly. Nothing I wanted to know was too small. From February to November I was able to get to know my son through Raili. Oskar was also able to get to know us as well. Raili told him about our family and home and told him he would be going on a plane ride to America. She also let me send him a birthday present. Oh how I grieved missing his 5th birthday. Only money stopped me from flying over there to be with him.
Nothing prepared me for meeting Raili though. Everyone says that Estonian people are reserved. Raili wasn't. It was as if I had already met her, and she was so kind. Oskar ran and got the present we had sent him and came right up to me. He was not shy at all. He hugged me too. That meant the world to me. I just wanted to touch him. I knew everything in the world would be okay if I could just touch him.
Saying goodbye to Raili was one of the hardest things I ever did. As we walked out of the orphanage she asked for a moment alone with Oskar. I could hardly swallow at that point in time. It was as if I could feel her pain. As she walked us to the car, the last thing she said was, "take care of him". I told her I would. I saw the tears in her eyes and as we drove off, the tears fell down my husband's and my face.
There is nothing I will ever be able to do for or give Raili to repay her for what she gave me. She loved my son, and that is more than I could have ever hoped for. He was taken care of, prepared for a family, and thrived because of her. I know it could not have been easy for her to see him drive away and fly to the other part of the world. I have Raili on facebook and she has my blog address too. I post pictures for her. I want her to know that I am taking care of him. I want her to know that he is okay. I want her to know that he is my everything and she will always mean the wold to me too. Thank you Raili for taking care of my son until I could bring him home. Thank you for loving him when I could not. Thank you for being a good person and making an 18 month wait more bearable.
Raili, I am taking care of him. He will always have the best. He will always be loved, wanted, and treasured. God willing, he will live a LONG healthy, and happy life, and one day you will see him again. Hopefully he will visit Estonia one day proud of where he came from and know that someone from his home land loved him and wanted him to have the best.