|Here's my girl! My hair is crazy because of the constant putting the hat on and taking the hat off, just thought I'd throw that in.|
|Ever seen a more proud Papa?|
|She loved this toy! I think she may be teething because she would grab it and chew, chew, chew.|
|The hat's a bit big, Brenna (my niece that made the hat). She's tiny!|
I can't even put into one post all that happened today. And frankly, I'm too tired to write more than one.
We left our apt at 5 am. After being awakened at 2 by very loud music from downstairs. Then at 3 by my phone ringing...a friend from home that didn't know we were here.
We got up and finished packing and getting ready. Then we both had a quiet time and were ready when M and S, our facilitators, arrived. I took some motion sickness meds because I get very car sick and was advised that it was a rough trip.
About 15 mins into the drive I realize I hadn't taken it soon enough and I got very ill. So, I laid down on the back seat and slept for about an hour. When I awoke, I realized I had shut my skirt in the door. It was caked with mud and torn in one place. Good thing I don't believe in omens! I couldn't stay awake because of the medicine and because of the constant nausea. They drive crazy here! Traffic laws are more of a suggestion. I slept most of the 4 hour drive. We finally got the town where Alice is. We went to the social worker's office and M met with them to get us permission to met Alice and accept her referral in person.
From there we went to the orphanage. We were led around and around this place. I couldn't believe that I was about meet my daughter. I almost started crying, but held it in because I was afraid they would see it as a weakness. Finally we were led into a small room. Us, Erin and I, and our 2 facilitators, and 2 other women. Everyone but Erin and I stood off to the side so as to not scare her. They brought her to me very bundled up. I was expecting that, but it's still weird to see.
She looked exactly like her picture! I asked permission to hold her and I couldn't hold back the tears. She's just beautiful. I mean, look at her! Have you ever seen anything so sweet? I kissed her and hugged her. S asked why I was crying and I said because I was happy and because she was beautiful. He translated that to the 2 women. Then, because I felt I should, I gave her to Erin to hold. We had about 5 minutes with her. Then they took her back to her groupa, I still am not sure what that is. We went with the other 4 people into another room to meet with the orphanage doctor.
She gave us some info about our girl we didn't know. She was left at the hospital by her birth parents. She had heart surgery before she was a month old and was taken to the orphanage at 28 days old. I am so thankful her birth parents signed the papers we need to be able to adopt her. They asked us to formally agree to adopt her, that we know about her Down Syndrome and heart issue. We did! I found out later that the 2 women with us were the prosecutor and a social services rep. They were observing us and our reactions and will testify about us at court. I asked M if they liked us and she said, "Yes, didn't you see how we got to go first everywhere?" I hadn't paid attention, but we were fast tracked in front of another family.
After there we went to the notary. Not at all like the notary we are used to. Here they are lawyers that draw up official forms. They drew up 4 forms for us. One of them being a request for a new birth certificate with her new name on it. But, the don't have the name "Alice" in this language and don't have the "th" sound for "Faith". So, her birth certificate in this language will read "Elice Face". No lie!
From there we went to another stop to apply for something. It was after 1 and we hadn't eaten all day. It gets a little blurry from there.
Our driver came and got us. We went somewhere and got a modem so no more internet cafes for us! Yeah! Then we went to our new apartment to drop off our luggage. This one is way nice. I'll post about that on another day.
Then we got to go back to the orphanage to spend some time with Alice all by ourselves. We got lost in the maze of hallways. They are CRAZY! Finally found her groupa. They led us into the same small room from before and brought us a blanket to lie on the floor. This was really hard on me having to wait for someone to bring me my baby. It's tough knowing that she's under the care of someone other than her family. When they brought her to us we played with her on the floor and took a ton of pictures. The lighting in the room was poor so we were unable to get any video this time.
She rolls all over the place and even rocks on her arms. She loved the rattle we brought and chewed on it. She would roll over to me and I'd hold my hands out to her. After a while she started to hold on to my hands. I would pick her up and hold her close. I whispered in her ear, "Your name is Alice and I'm your mama" over and over. I can't wait until she knows it. She started getting tired toward the end of our time. So, I just held her more. We will be able to visit her 2 times a day everyday until our court date.
We went to the grocery store. It was packed, but thankfully not scary like the other one! When we got home I started a load of laundry and ate yogurt and a snickers. Erin ate a bag of chips. It was the first food we'd had all day. We are simply too tired to fix anything that would be good for us.
Not sure where I got the energy to write all of that. And believe it or not, there was more to the day! Hopefully tomorrow will be less eventful. Enjoy the pictures of our girl.