Sunday, November 04, 2012

One Year Ago - Reality

{This post was originally published one year ago, as we were adopting our sweet Carter}

Today we woke up late - and headed out to finish up our souvenir shopping.  Our goal has been to get it all finished before Gotcha Day...and today, we're officially finished :)  We even managed to get a few Christmas gifts, too!

We came home after shopping, and Jake wasn't feeling well - so we rested up for the trip back to the orphanage.  When we realized it was getting close to time to leave for our visit, we decided to call a taxi :)    It was just one of those days!

When we got to the orphanage, we heard crying coming from the potty room.  We knew right away that it was Carter.  The good thing about this, is that we recognized his cry.  We knew that was our boy.  When I peeked in, I saw him scooting his potty chair, and the nanny using her foot to shove the potty chair back. Carter's head banged into the radiator....more tears.  What she didn't know is that this boys mama was standing by - watching.  I stepped in and crouched down and said 'Anton....' - he looked up, knew it was his mama, and stopped crying.  The nanny looked like a deer in the headlights.  Pretty sure she was ticked that she got caught.  Did she try to calm him?  No.  Did she check his head to see if he was okay?  No.  Did she even care?  No.  That's orphanage life.  Sobering moment #1.

After taking their dandy time getting him ready, he came out - dressed for outside.  Okay...I guess we're going outside :)

We walked around for a bit and he seemed to enjoy it more this time, even though it was practically dark out.  We saw two kids from his groupa come outside - with who we assumed to be their moms.  Both kids, we assume, have HIV - a boy and a girl.  Both as sweet as can be each time we come into the groupa.

We headed inside, back to the couch.  A few minutes after we came in, the little boy and girl came in with their moms.  The boy was crying and it seemed like he didn't want her to go.  They went into the groupa, and came out a few minutes later with the nanny.  She was holding their hands, as their mothers went to leave.  The boy was really, very upset.  We can assume that he was saying 'no - don't go! don't leave yet!' - the mothers just smiled and waved.  Expensive boots.  Luxurious coats.  Probably off to 'enjoy' their weekend.  As they left, we heard them laughing in the stairway, as their children went back into the groupa, crying.  The next ten minutes or so were hard.  Really hard.  All three of us shed tears for those kids.  Kids who may never know the love of a family.  Sobering moment #2.

This is not day care.  This is not 'like' a family.  This is not right.  Not right, at all.


Our visit was good.  We tried a few different things with Carter, today.

First, we brought a sippy cup filled with watered down apple juice.  We know that he's never used a sippy  cup before - he went straight from a bottle to a regular cup.  But it's just not going to work to have him drinking only out of a regular cup at home.  We brought two kinds of sippies here - and he seemed to like the one we brought today!  I showed him how to use it one time...and he totally figured it out.

He does pretty good - he's not getting tons of juice out, probably because he doesn't have the sucking motion down yet - but he'll get it soon enough.  At least we know that he'll be able to get some liquid out by using this cup, and won't be dehydrated in the first few days.

I know...really, is there anything cuter?!

We also brought the baby carrier to try again.  We brought it last trip, and tried it once, just for a minute.  This time, we wanted to see how comfortable he would be for an extended period.  We learned that he did not care to have his arms strapped down, so we pulled them out over the top, and he seemed much more comfortable.  I know - it's not the correct, 'safe' way - but it works.  I don't feel like he's going to tumble I think we're okay.  I'm sure he's on the higher end of the weight it's probably not meant for kids quite this big.  But it will work!

On our walk home, we noticed that some of the storefronts are '...beginning to look a lot like Christmas...'!  We were hoping to see some of the Christmas decorations while we were here...we heard this city is beautiful around the holidays.  I'm sure all the stores back home are totally geared up for Christmas...I can't even imagine!

We saw this crazy music guy in the street - and we just had to give him some money to see him perform!  He was so - so - SO still, it was amazing!

We also started our 'chocolate collecting' - between now and when we leave, we decided that we needed to buy out the Billa each day in order to have as much as we want to bring home.  It's NOT all for us, please....believe me :)  We have some big plans for these chocolate bars!

This is today's purchase...35 bars!
As these videos were uploading, I enjoyed dinner with my Grampie :)  Okay, well - we skyped during dinner - but it was just like eating dinner with him at home :)  His phone rang during our dinner date - it was my mom (she sent some kisses) and it made me realize something I missed from home.  When my Grampie answers the phone, he does it in his own special way.  I wish you could hear it.  Instead of 'hello' it's more like 'yeallow!'.  It's so good to have little memories like that - you know?

So - now it's movie time, and soon - bedtime!  Tomorrow we'll go to our morning visit so that we can go to church tomorrow night!  Just a few more days, and that boy will be HERE, with us!!  Oh, LORD - I can't wait!

One Thing I Know For Sure: Rachel may or may not be swimming in a pile of Milka bars right now...  :)

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