Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Boo Hoo and Boo Boo

Sorry, just haven’t been in the mood to blog over the last few days. Been trying to spend as much time with Grant as possible, and just kind of bummed. Grant left on the train this afternoon to go back to the capital city. He has his U.S. Embassy appointment Thursday afternoon and will be flying home on Sunday (for those of you who might have the same question we did – fill out ahead of time, if you like, the I-600 and Health Acknowledgment forms for the Embassy appointment if one spouse is leaving early, but do not sign either one. And yes, you do need to schedule an appointment – we just emailed for Grant’s. When the leaving spouse gets to the Embassy, they must sign the form in front of an Embassy official, and then the papers will be held in your file until the second spouse arrives back in the capital to finish the adoption process. This is when the second spouse will sign the forms – also in front of an Embassy official. This reminds me – bring a couple of black pens with you in your suitcase – they come in handy!). Even though I am used to him traveling for work, this was a lot harder to see him go. Not only for me, but I feel so bad for Gerry – he is going to miss out on seeing his daddy for the next month. What will go through his two-year-old mind when Grant isn’t there tomorrow morning? And even though Gerry wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain in his native language why his new-found playmate (Gerry loves playing with Grant) didn’t show up, I sure wish I could at least try. And Grant is going to miss out on seeing Gerry for the next month, too.
I do have to admit that I am glad that Grant will get to be home soon – our poor boys (yes, I do mean the cats!). They have been well taken care of (thank you neighbor Gary!!), but we have missed them, and they are so used to being spoiled – I am sure Grant will get no peace when he gets home – 2 cats in his lap at all times! And I am glad that Grant will be able to work on some things around the house - who knew that we would have furnace trouble while over here. Fellow adoptive parents, I should NOT be surprised by this, right!? For the rest of you, it is a running joke (though often not very funny) that families know that they are getting closer to traveling to their little ones because the devil starts throwing all kinds of curve balls at us right before and during our travels. It is amazing and uncanny to read about the flooded basements, broken washing machines and cars, unexpected bills, strange illnesses - just to name a few items - that families report! So a couple of our “signs” were our dwindling water heater right before we got our travel date, and now the furnace during the trip!
And yes, I did write “month” above. Ugh – I will be navigating around three different holidays while in the region (which means offices being closed for multiple days) – which means that I will probably be here an extra week at the least. It is not so bad here, but I am ready to come home – with our son!! Ok, enough of me whining! I am thankful that my Mom was able to come with us and is able to stay for the entire trip. And I am thankful for our beautiful new son – sooo sooo thankful! I am thankful for all of my wonderful co-workers at Ayco, our family and friends, and church family at The Chapel and First Church of God in Ravenna, who have all been so generous and supportive. I am thankful for Reece’s Rainbow and Helping Hands (and dear Henry who has been so helpful over here with our apartment and making sure we have what we need and that we know how to get around) and the other adoptive families (who are so willing to share information) and Eldon at Golden Rule Travel (who came in twice to the Kansas office over Easter weekend to help us get Grant’s airline ticket home even though the office was closed) and and and . . . . I could go on and on about all of the good things – so that is what I will try to focus on for now. And there is a chance that Mom and I will get to visit Gerry twice a day now – woo hoo!!

I also have to report that we survived our first test as parents yesterday. We had such a great visit with Gerry, and he was so active and animated during the morning – we all had a blast. This was all right before his face plant onto the cement when we took him outside – oh, I wanted to cry. Ok, what they say is true – even though I’m a nurse, it is different when it’s your own! I thought for sure I saw front teeth flying across the playground and a one- inch gash inside his lip through all of the blood and tears. I was afraid to look and kept wondering how in the world we could take him to a dentist and to get stitches – and would they still let us adopt him! I am happy to report that there were no missing teeth and just a little hole in his lip that the orphanage doctor/nurse cleaned for us (I think he is a doctor or nurse – he wears a stethoscope?!?!). Gerry did (and still did today) have a fat and bruised lip, but it didn’t slow him down for long. What a trooper; he handled it better than we did! Grant and I were both emotionally drained from the whole experience – but we better get used to these boo boos – especially with a little boy!

One other thing that is worth mentioning: I know that maintaining routines is so important with children, especially for kids that grow up in an institutional setting and are about to have a huge change occur, but it is amazing to witness how in tune kids are with routine. For the past two weeks, we have been visiting Gerry from 9-11:30. We play from 9-10, and then he eats his snack with us at 10. Well, on Sunday the buses were packed (due to people trying to get to the Easter church services) and we just could not get a bus to the orphanage (this was the first time we saw people yelling and fighting over getting a ride on the bus!). Anyhow, we finally got to the orphanage at 10. We figured we would set out Gerry’s snack for him since it was that time, at least by the clock. Wrong! Didn’t we know - we were supposed to play with him for an hour first! So he sat with us and played for exactly an hour, the whole time hanging onto his two banana halves – one in each hand - and not letting his cheerios and juicebox out of sight – but not taking one bite or sip (and this from a kid who sucks down a juicbox without taking a breath as soon as we pull it out of the bag, and who will shove half of a banana into his mouth at once – he loves them!). Guess what? At 11:00 – after his 1 hour of playtime with us and without any prompting – he commenced to eat his banana and cheerios and drink his juicebox in record time. Wow – I have my job cut out for me over the next few weeks – to try and learn as much as possible about his routine at the orphanage. Because if two weeks of a certain schedule can have that much influence on a child, can you imagine what kind of imprint two years of the same schedule can have – and the possible consequences of upsetting that schedule? Yikes!

So, after loading some photos, I feel much better! I know these will make lots of people smile. I wish I could post one of the short videos that Mom took of Gerry during a music group that he had with some of the other kids in his class - they were all playing the xylophone. Grant was kneeling right behind Gerry - it was a good thing Grant had his glasses on or he might have lost an eyeball! Take care everyone!

Spiky hair after a water "fight" with Daddy.

Paint-with-water books. Of course he likes them - it involves water! (thank you Grandma Saunie!)

"Thank you Auntie Maggie for the bib - it helps keep my clothes dry during water play!"

"Pop rocks rock!"

"I LOVE to wash my hands!"

"And dry them, too."

Last photo of the two of them together for a while. "Hope to see you again soon Papa!"


  1. Nice to see this post, Bobbie! : ( Sorry to hear Grant is headed home, I'm so glad your mom is staying the entire time and YAY for 2 visits a day!

    I had a dream last night I was there in country (with all my children) we stopped in your region to visit you and meet Gerry. That would be so great.



  2. Oh I know how it is when my hubby is away :( It was so fun to talk to you on skype Bobbie and Grant. Who knows maybe we'll see each other in the airport at least.
    We must be getting closer.... fridge died Saturday before Easter, unexpected medical expenses and on and on. Whoopee !!
    I know keeping things very predictable here at home helps a lot.
    Thanks for the Embassy reminder. I copied it and put it in my travel folder.

  3. Hang in there Bobbie!!! I know how tough it is to see the hubby leave! I was there four weeks without John (well, same country, diff region lol). You can do it!! Prayers going up for you!!

  4. Bobbie,
    I'm with Melissa - thanks for posting (you have done a fabulous job of blogging by the way - thank you!!).

    I'll be praying the month goes by fast and you and your mom savor every minute with Gerry without the fast pace routine of Chicago.


  5. I hope your month in country goes quickly and you can get back to your real, non-Groundhog Day life asap! :) I've enjoyed following your journey. Gerry is a sweet name and it really fits your boy perfectly. Also thank you for putting Caroline's button on your blog. If you happen to see our girl, please let me know. We learned recently we can't travel to get her until...well, maybe this Fall sometime. It was hard news,because we thought we'd be traveling next month. We're hoping someone will run across her during playground time and tell us how she's doing during our long wait to get her home. Have fun with Gerry!

  6. Haha! Love your comment about curve balls. I shattered my wrist roller skating 3 weeks before our travel date!

    Glad you are home now. Gerry is so adorable! Such a blessing! It's a tough adjustment though so hang in there and get lots of rest. Sometimes I think we worry so much about how the kids will adjust that we forget to worry about ourselves!

    Came across your blog on RR Already Home page. Keep the posts coming!



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