Thursday, April 30, 2015

It's Been a Long Week!

Yes, I know - it's been over a week since I last posted :(. Let's just say it's been a long week :). Nothing horrible, we're just getting to the point where we are kind of ready to get this show on the road and get home. Grant headed back to the capital last Thursday and made it home on Saturday.  We were able to FaceTime with Grant on Sunday and it was so comforting to see him inside our home.  Gerry kept asking to see his playroom and toys, and his bedroom.  I think he felt reassured that everything really was still there, just as we left it. It was fun to talk to the cats on the phone, too, even though Spaghetti and Meatball weren't too sure what to make of the whole situation.  
Our facilitator showed us how to get back and forth to Big Sister's orphanage via the buses on Saturday.  On Sunday we were all geared up to venture out on our own but I just couldn't make it - some kind of bad bug got me.  On Monday, we were able to visit Big a Sister again - yay!!  We also had the privilege of meeting the woman whose blog led us to Big Sister!  What an amazing moment!
Then on Tuesday I traveled with our facilitator to get more paperwork for Little Sister and have a short visit with her. Hmm, on Tuesday morning either the bad bug came back or it was a bad hotdog from the market (but they smelled so good!).  Either way, 6 hours on a bumpy road through rural villages with very few gas stations with bathrooms just about did me in.  I think I prayed more on that car ride than I have this whole trip!  
It was worth the worrisome car ride to be able to spend some time with Little Sister. She looked right away for more Pez in my backpack (phew, good thing one of the gas stations on the way had a Pez dispenser since I had forgotten my entire "bag of tricks" at the apartment). She was so sweet and shared her candy again.  Even though I couldn't understand what she was saying, I knew she was asking me where Papa was.  Luckily I had a short video of Grant on my phone and she played it over and over again.  She is definitely a little camera bug and loves to push all of the buttons and turn all of the dials. Then of course she wanted to play with my phone!  I tried to show her some games but the problem is I don't know how to play most of them - Gerry is the expert in that arena!  As the other kids were getting ready for nap time and walked by the visiting room, Little Sister had to call them all in and excitedly introduce her mama :). Of course they all chattered away and I had no idea what they were saying except when they asked if I was "mama" and I just nodded. The caregivers shooed them to their rooms to sleep and Little Sister and I had another hour in a room with no toys or activities to do.  I did find out that she likes piggyback rides and can open a backpack, purse and camera case in no time flat :). Boy was I tired after this visit!  (Mom also had the pleasure of experiencing the bad bug/hotdog encounter, but thankfully we are all feeling healthy today :))
Little Sister's orphanage is a poor one but I loved seeing the way they tried to spruce things up with all of the flowers, and how nice and neat the grounds are kept.
On Wednesday and Thursday we ventured out on the bus, and found out the hard way that the bus doesn't always stop at the stop that you want, even if you yell "Stop!"  It's ok, we just got a little extra exercise :). It was awesome to have the ability to explore and get out on our own according to our own schedule without having to depend on someone else. It was at this point that our week started to take an upward swing.  We even found a park that had a kiddie area for Gerry and he had a blast (and was able to let off some steam). And we had lunch at McDonalds - with Transformers toys in our Happy Meals!! Who could ask for anything more perfect?!
The end of the week culminated with a special surprise - I was allowed to take Big Sister out shopping for a few hours! We looked and looked for a pair of shoes for her to wear with her court outfit that I brought (this coming Thursday!).  This is where not speaking each other's language can get pretty tricky - and I am not just referring to linguistics!  She eventually found a pair that she liked - platform high heels.  Very fashionable but I had to be the mean mom (at least I sure felt like it) and say no.  We eventually chose a pair of sensible pink flats, and then at the very end of our trip she found a really cute pair of sneakers - trendy but very cute!  Of course I had to let her get these too, especially since I had to say no to the heels :). She was sooooo excited to have two pairs of new shoes! (and I was glad that she had something to wear that didn't have big holes in the soles).  It was fun to finally get a chance to spoil her a little, and it was neat to learn a little more about her likes and sense of style. It was probably the best $28 I've spent in a long time (which is a ton of money here).
I have more to write, but it is a lot harder this time to spend the time posting. There is a certain 6 year old boy who needs lots of my attention, especially before his world is turned upside down. Only 5 more days until court, and 17 days before I am allowed to pick up the girls.  And 29 days left in May (a possible end date to our time here).  Can you tell that I am counting down?!  Hope to post again soon! Here's looking forward to a good week :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Just One!!

We are allowed to complete both adoptions in one court hearing!!
:)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

Goodbyes and Thank Yous

Today is a hard day because Daddy is heading back to the capital tonight on the overnight train so he can catch an early flight home on Saturday.  We will sure miss him :(.  This morning was the perfect time to open up my email and see a message that our AdoptTogether fund had received another donation from our Ravenna First Church of God family!!!  Over $500!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
We also have some other good news to share - We have court for Big Sister D on May 7 - woo hoo!! We should find out today if we will be allowed to combine court for both girls, or if we will have to have a separate court.  A separate court (3 1/2 hours away) will mean several more long trips to Little D's village, more money, more paperwork, and it could add a couple weeks to our trip :(. Please pray that the judge will allow us to have one court date. 
After the court date, there is a ten day waiting period before I am allowed to pick up the girls.  After that, we will travel back to the capital (overnight train) to start Embassy paperwork and medicals. If all goes well, we may be home at the end of May :)
Here are some pics from the last few days. Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement!
Our wonderful facilitator - she is amazing and is such an awesome advocate for the kids here:
Getting a manicure from my daughter and her friend:

Daddy's first bracelet!
Some photos from our daily life, and yes, I had to buy some cat food :)

A restaurant at a nearby hotel:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Busy Week, Big Decisions

We had a very busy week!!
The Easter Bunny came to our apartment on Sunday (Easter was celebrated here on April 12)! Then we went to a small street carnival.

We traveled by overnight train (first class on the way there, complete with a velvet headrest!) to the capitol city for our second referral appointment, and spent one day enjoying the city while we waited.  Our apartment was rather fancy - the one with the special doll.

Then we traveled back to our region by overnight train (second class this time; first class was all booked up. I sure did miss that velvet headrest 😟).

As soon as we got off the train, we ventured by car for 3 1/2 hours to meet with the officials for our Little One.  Then we got a chance to meet each other for a short time.  Grant and I traveled back to our apartment and took a day to really think about becoming parents of three - a huge decision for us.

On Wednesday we were able to visit with D - we had really missed her!!

On Thursday, we decided to take the Big Leap and then traveled back to start the paperwork process for Little D!! Wow, what a difference we saw in her when we returned for a second visit! This time she had been told that we were her Mama and Papa.  When we saw her in the hallway with her caregiver, she started skipping down the hall and kept looking back over her shoulder (she had to go change her clothes first) saying "Mama! Mama!" I think that long list of diagnoses that we had been carrying on our hearts flew out the door in that second :)
We didn't get a chance to take many photos for two reasons.  For most of the visit, we had the camera taking video of Little D chattering away and doing a puppet show for us.  Then we had to cut our visit short and run back to the notary office to try and get our last paper of the day signed - but no luck :(. Thankfully, one of the notary office workers will be traveling close to us on Tuesday and will bring our signed paper.  Until then, we cannot apply for a court date. Thankfully, we can continue to visit big sister D while we wait.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thank Goodness for Moms

While Grant and I are 1/2 way across this country for an appointment, these are the texts I received from my Mom, who is taking care of Gerry: 

Monday: made pudding. Watched minions. Chased flies. Played Hulk. Played transformers. Chased flies. Nose rinse.spray. Slept 11 hrs. Dry. Oh, chased flies! Going to playground soon. Feeding pigeons, chasing pigeons, playing on both playgrounds.

Thank you, Mom! What would we do without you?!!!!!!!!

The Weekend

We were able to visit D on Saturday, but Sunday was Easter here and the orphanage had an outing planned for the kids.  D did not want to go at first since she was afraid she would miss out on a visit with us but it was not her choice. We heard that she did have fun with her friends and I'm so glad that she was able to spend time with them. How hard it must be for her knowing that soon she will leave them behind. There is one close friend who is very sweet who always comes to the visits with her (and she has a little brother) - our home study only approves us to adopt two children, not three. :(

Gerry always has an entourage of kids surrounding him - makes no difference that he doesn't speak their language.  Whether we are at the orphanage or the playground by our apartment, he is making friends :)

We had interesting visitors in the region this week.  Since the weather has turned much warmer recently, lots of insects have been waking up.  We have had the biggest stinking flies I've ever seen hanging out in our bathroom. Seriously, it is like the movie "The Birds" when we shower or go to the bathroom - complete with arm waving, ducking and screaming! And those suckers make big shadows!  
I think we are finally starting to respect each other's space, or maybe we've just given up on trying to kill the new ones each day. It could be a long couple of months!

Time for a rest after our overnight journey on the train back to the Capitol. It was like a sauna at first, so we stripped down to our skivvies but then woke up freezing! No photos for this leg of our journey, thank you ;). 
Here we are at breakfast after our train ride.

Here are also a couple of random photos of our favorite drinks here and Grant doing laundry.  Please think of us the next time you turn on the faucet and use the water to drink, cook, brush your teeth, bathe your child without earplugs . . . . Or turn on your coffee pot :) But really, we have everything here that we need and are so grateful for the support we have here and back home!

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