Sunday, February 12, 2012

Primetime Parenting (Aaron)

Adam is driving us to meet the boys for the first time.  It is about 45 minute drive though about 6 or 7 villages to where the boys live.  Winding and turning through each village.  Malyi then Nylekhaldaza, Muhi, Nagysecs, Sajosozed, Sajooros, then we come to a long single lane bridge over a river with a small village on the other side.  Adam says “this is the village.”  It is called Keszynyeten.  Adam is very matter of fact, not much emotion, not too wordy and to the point.  I like him.  He is 31 years old and apparently a veteran at this.  He obviously knows what he is doing and can talk to the boys in a calm stern voice that gets them to respond.  I joked that we were going to buy him a ticket to Amarillo also.

I am feeling anxious, almost hoping that we have to drive another 45 minutes before we get there.  We drive into the small village, probably a few hundred houses that all have smoke coming out of there chimneys.  The firewood all of these villages burn has a distinctive smell that comes into the van.  We get to a peach colored stucco house and we stop, we are here.  The foster dad comes out, he doesn’t have a coat on, even though it is 10 degrees F.  He is young, stocky, shaved head with a barb wire style tattoo wrapping his arm between his shoulder and the upper bicep.  Their house is 1000 sq ft max but tiled out nice, and clean. 
I don’t have any expectations for this first meeting.  I don’t expect them to come to me or I to them.  They are there in the living room and they smile and are a bit shy.  We all just stand there and look at each other for about 2 minutes.  We give them each a small little toy car and they smile and take them and start to play with them.  The foster mom tells Adam to tell us that they have been telling them that they are “getting new parents and will get to go on a big airplane with them” 

We play with them in their room for a while and they pull out all of their toys and show us everything.  They are not shy and are warming up very well.  I teach them high five and also the “fist bump, blow it up”.  They like this especially Christopher (Drew).
We stay about an hour and then leave and come back Miskolc and then go back after lunch for about another hour. 

The program is to work us in slowly, spend some time with them, leave, then come back and spend a little more time and then leave.  This is best for everybody.  The kids are getting small doses of us and we are getting small doses of them.  And the foster parents have time to make their adjustment and have their peace with the transition.  Sam and Drew have been with them since they were 9 months and 22 months respectively, this is a long time and I am sure will be hard for them to part.
During these first couple of days, I have never had such a “spotlight” on my parenting ability.  It is “Primetime” and time to perform.  The whole stadium is watching.  Everybody is waiting to see what your next step will be and how you will react, how quick are your reflexes and am I making instinctive plays?  Adam is the veteran coach, critiquing certain moments/plays and giving his feedback.  Kimbo/teammate is really pulling her weight and making some spectacular plays during the visit.  She dropped a couple of passes early on but recovered with an excellent lego structure that the boys really liked.  The foster parents are the loyal original fans who have been there with the team from the beginning through good times and bad and now have tremendous faith in their newly traded for veteran quarterback (me) and pro bowl tight end (Kimbo).  Sam and Drew are the highly touted rookie 1st round draft picks who are seeing just what they can get away with.  Look, Sam just refused to round up the cones from practice (pick up his toys) what are the veterans (me and Kimbo) going to do?  Will they discipline this early or will they let it slide?

Okay, that analogy is a reach, but what I am trying to say is, that everybody is just standing there watching our every move and there is some pressure.  I will be ready to get them on our own and be ourselves and I think we will be good parents. 
I can really relate to the pressure of Tom Brady and Giselle (Kimbo).  Ha. 

Saturday the 11th
Another visit with the boys in the morning and then off to the mall with them.  Before we leave, Christopher (Drew) keeps looking at Kimbo and saying the same Hungarian phrase over and over.  Finally Adam says that he is saying, to her “Why do you keep talking like that?”  Drew, we can relate.  We can’t understand most everything they say, but we can tell when they have to go to the bathroom and I discovered at the mall today that a firm squeeze of the arm and taut “stop” is a universal message. 

Everything goes well.  
On the way back we first find a Greek Orthodox church that we decide will fulfill our Sunday obligation?  Maybe not, but we have looked a lot for a church and nobody seems to be able to help and the internet is not helping. 

Luckily we find a Roman Catholic church that has 6 pm Saturday mass and we attend, you can see details of this experience in Kimbo’s entry but, what I find amazing is that is it literally the same temperature inside the church as outside, about 15 degrees F.  I guess churches built in 1735, Minorite Church, don’t get central heating and air.  Also, it is beautiful and gothic with chapels lining each side with beautiful paintings on the very very high ceilings.  I read the pews were built in the mid 1800’s and we notice that they have names carved in them, like the domino tables at the Dixie Chicken.  I want to know what happened in the church if anything between the end of World War II and the end of Communism there.   I am sure the upkeep of this church is not a priority during this time. 

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