I was able to Skype with the kids just before Christmas. Though the computer they were using had no camera so I couldn't see them, they could see me. And I could hear them, their voices sweet, eager and clear. Toms wished me a "Happy New Years, Mom!" and Mairita begged me to send gifts. Sadly, I have sent three boxes with gifts that still haven't arrived at the new address. The Asian woman at our post office sighed when I asked about this. "I can't send anything to my country either. It all gets stolen by corrupt officials." So somewhere in Latvia, some hairy bureaucrat is wearing a hand-knit winter cap and flying a remote control helicopter.
During the call, I could hear Tomas crying as his foster father struggled to convince him to go to bed. Tomass hates bedtime. So I sang an out-of-tune Baby Beluga into the computer. He quieted down.
And the family laughed boisterously in the background. That was comforting as our kids have such fantastic senses of humor. I'd hate to think that whoever is caring for them doesn't laugh with them. The foster father told Mairita to tell me that he coaxes Tomas to bed at night by warning him that he can't return to America, to us, if he isn't a good boy.
Mairita posted pictures of her new foster family - it's a bit confusing but I think it's a mother, father, and two boys - who I am not sure are biological or foster. Mairita's posted no pictures of Tomas but I keep asking. The photo below is from Christmas day. Mairita is dressed in new clothes while Toms still wears the hand-me-down "Big Fish" shirt that Jacob wore when he was ten.
At any rate, my silly plan is to toss my fishing line of hope out into the universe (loudly) and see what I can catch. Every day, I will write a letter to a contractor, enter a sweepstakes or write to one of those home makeover shows. In this way, at least I will be doing something towards bringing the possibility nearer. In the meantime, we've told the agency that we are more than on board to have them back for summer 2014, and one of my friends is trying to arrange for Mairita's best friend, Lasma, to stay with them this summer. Because Lasma is over 15, she can stay in America on a student visa and Chris and Nancy could avoid the massive hassle and cost of an international adoption.
Lasma's mother died two years ago. Her father is uninvolved and she is determined to come to America. In some ways, she too spent the summer with us as Mairita Skyped her every day and Lasma would say hello to us and ask, "Do you know of anyone who would want to adopt me?" Her English is quite good and I'm hoping the girls will have an amazing summer - both in America and loved by families committed to a lifetime of support.
Fingers crossed, universe. I am counting on you.