chapter 7 {meeting Kavita}

 

it was a half hour drive by car to the ashram. we did our best to soak in the sights and sounds on our way. i was glad when M {our in country case worker} told us we were just about there. we exited the car onto a bustling street and entered into the office of the ashram. we were greeted by Mr. P and what an absolute joy it was to finally meet him. within minutes we were talking about how hard an adoption this has been for all of us. how hard the denial was on his end and how he did everything he could to get CARA to see that we were a good fit. he applauded M for all her hard work and truly it was her and our US case worker that helped get us the NOC. while we have spent days and months wondering what was taking place on the other side of the world with our case, it was satisfying to see the binders of all the paperwork and how hardworking and caring a man Mr. P really is. we were given documents that we will need for the appointments starting saturday in delhi and her passport! oh her passport! her name is listed as Kavita Benjamin Pilgreen! even Mr. P said this regarding her passport, "it is your life! protect it!" we  experienced a moment in the office when we were all relieved to be there and the celebration that was about to happen!

Kavita's caregiver then escorted her into the office. Kavita, with her school backpack on, came and greeted us with a shyness, yet with such courage. Imagine this moment for her and all that was going through her mind.

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we were then taken out through the courtyard into the conference room. it was there we were greeted by madam secretary for the handing over ceremony. another family who had come to adopt a newborn came in and out of the conference room for the same celebration. other staff from the ashram were present. i knew two worlds were colliding for Kavita.  she sat quiet with a beautiful grin in the conference room as the handing over cemerony happened. we brought sweets that are culturally shared when you are having a GIRL! the secretary offered Kavita a bite of the sweet and then offered me a bite off of the same one. she offered ben one and then I offered her one and Mr. P one. it was beautiful to see respect shared and the bond that was thicker than i ever imagined in taking care of this precious child over the past 4 years in the ashram.

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the sign behind us reads in gujarati: the mahipatram rupram ashram family welcomes you with a warm heart!

i gave kavita her necklace. a necklace with her full name. while documents might state Kavita FNU {first name unknown}, she has a full name now!

while we waited for business to be conducted, the secretary motioned for kavita to get her photo book out of her backpack. it was in mint condition. i asked Mr. P if she got to see it often. to which he replied, "oh yes, many many times." she looked very comfortable with the book. that made this momma's heart happy.

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we were brought some delicious chai to enjoy before we would be given a tour by Kavita's caregiver. we certainly weren't expecting a walk around the ashram. but in the few hours we spent there, it was clear that our time was 100% orchestrated by the Author of this story. no. doubt. in. our. minds.

the pictures that follow are about to bring tears to the eyes of some dear friends of ours. friends who have or are about to bring home their children from this ashram. for we got to see where the children live and sleep and eat and play. and i will personally send photos that contain the children to them privately. for friends, i hugged your daughters. each one of them. i voiced to the dozen or so girls in the room they they were so beautiful. they are well taken care, very respectful and happy. they are enjoying life at the ashram, but they whole time we were with the girls, i longed so deeply in the pit of my soul for you to come soon. i voiced that prayer in that room to the One Who is making that happen!

here is where the children hang their clothes to dry after they wash them.

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here is kavita's bed. pink and purple and yellow dinosaur sheets!

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the children's plates and cups. this room is where their clothes hang and is right off of the tv room and their sleeping area.

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the view of the courtyard.

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where the children eat their meals.

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we were at the ashram for about 2 hours. it was as thorough as it could be. so much could not be asked or answered about Kavita because of privacy laws and what is culturally appropriate. we learned that Kavita just started grade 4 {not the same in US} and knows some english. she speaks gujarati and knows hindi as well. she seems very smart. the secretary told us that there are about 60 children that live here and another 30-40 children that live in the slums that are brought here for free schooling that otherwise they would not get. they also told us that the ashram has done 64 adoptions in the past 3 years. we were able to see how hard this entire staff works, despite the red tape, to see that the adoptable children are given to forever families.

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kavita gives her hugs and good-byes and my lump in my throat bulged out. i will be forever grateful for her care by them. forever grateful. she was loved the past 4 years here. that is true.

we left in the car that brought us on the bustling street in ahmedabad. she is holding some pictures that she took with praise's instafilm camera. {genius idea on praise's part. i tell you} kavita was able to give some photos directly to her caregiver. we took a group photo of all the girls in her care.

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as we drove, she began to tell us the names of her friends. softly. she held tight to them. a very precious gift. she told us what grade they were in. it blessed my heart to know some of these girls have forever families coming for them. we showed her pictures of her brothers and some funny videos we have of them on our phone. she giggled to see asher and sam dance at a recent giant's game. she was trying so hard to say their names, but i had to remind myself, no one was saying those names to her for the past few years. we showed her pictures on my phone of two of her friends who have been with their forever family for 1.5 years now. she was delighted to see them and know immediately who they were. {how's that amanda?!}

and she would see pictures of me and ben and point and call us mom and dad. softly.

while i know that's my title, my heart is full to see that become more and more of who i am to her.