Tonight, I watched a video that I have watched at least a hundred times over the last six months. I have memorized every frame, but I still continually search the screen for something new. Tonight, I was rewarded for my efforts by a tiny little smile that lasted no more than a second or two that I had never noticed before until now.
The video is of my son in Bulgaria and was filmed at his orphanage over a year ago. It is the only video of our child that Rob and I have. A woman is holding our son's hands in the video trying to encourage him to walk and play in front of the camera. I do not know for certain who the woman is, but something tells me that she is his baba (foster grandmother - see one of my previous posts about the granny program). My little boy seems uncertain of what to do and a little wary of the camera man whose voice can be heard on the video calling out my son's name to get his attention. He clings to his baba, and when he is put down on the floor he reaches up to her indicating that he wants to be picked up. His face is serious.
At one point, someone rolls a ride on toy over the hardwood floors and into the room where my child and his baba are standing. The toy makes a lot of noise as it is pushed across the floor, and the sound is amplified by the microphone on the camera. At the same time, there is another child off camera crying. All of the commotion off camera is very distracting to the viewer. My son looks toward the toy as it is being wheeled into the room and then back at his baba. As she is picking him up to put him on the ride on toy, she turns him slightly toward her. There it is! At that moment, a very sweet little smile emerges from his face that lasts only for a second.
I look forward to the day when I can see that smile in person and even hear a laugh coming from those sweet lips, but for now, this will have to do.