We were delayed this morning in getting to the orphanage because our driver had car problems... so we had to call our facilitator to get us another driver. We only had about 45 minutes with our little boy today but it was time very well spent!
As we arrived at the orphanage, the same little groupa was headed outside to play. All of the children get so excited to see us and one little boy came up me and said, "mama!" Oh mercy, how that breaks my heart. I would take everyone of those sweet children home with me if I could!
We made our way past the kitchen, smells like cabbage was on the menu today, and made our way up to the 2nd floor to "Finn's" room. We rang the buzzer and waited. As we waited, we noticed a family in the play area and could hear a child's laughter. The nanny came to do the door, took our passport, and closed the door. Then I heard laughter again and noticed a beautiful little girl scooting across the floor, her little legs were so limp that they almost appeared to be boneless... I am assuming that her family was visiting her and are probably unable to care for her at home. Then the door swung open and our little boy was all bundled up and ready to go outside. This particular nanny stopped us, stood "Finn" on the floor and showed us how to properly help him walk by holding both of his hands (that's how we do it) instead of only one arm. We nodded and thanked her. Then she motioned that we shouldn't give him any food and we nodded and smiled... and away we went!
This little boy loves being outside! I wonder if this is new to him or if he's been taken out regularly. We found our favorite spot and practiced his walking and gave him a lot of hugs and tickles. He was in great spirits! After our 20 mins of outdoor time, we took him inside and took him out of his winter clothes. He moves around so much easier inside because we can put him on the carpet and remove all of those layers. He "bridge" walks and while he does that, he keeps his little head on the floor. He will do this until he is close enough to a wall to bring himself up into a standing position... However, I know he can stand without a wall because he does it at least once per visit! Our time ended very quickly so we sent him back to his group and let him enjoy his lunch. (seems they were running a little behind today).
(Since we didn't get a lot of pictures today... enjoy this video!)
We went upstairs to get our "Finn" and the nanny brought him out to us in his hat and jammies. She handed me a coat so I sat in the chair and put it on him. I noticed that the tag said 3-6 months and it fit him well. I got him all buttoned up and we made our way outside to our usual place... and we did our usual thing. We practiced our walking, we tickled, we hugged, and we sang! He loves to play patty cake. He really doesn't laugh or respond other than keeping our hands moving after we finish saying it. He will continue to try to clap our hands together so we just keep doing it over and over again. Once our time was up, we slowly made our way around the building and just let him soak up as much fresh air as possible. On our way back in, I had him facing away from me and he reached out and wanted to keep his hand on the wall as we made the walk all the way up to the 2nd floor. We made our way to the carpet, undressed him, and I took it upon myself to take the huge panda bear off of the piano and let him examine it. He seemed so interested in it and so I think we need to buy him a large stuffed animal to put in his room. I heard people coming into the area so I grabbed the panda and put it back up on to the piano. The couple came in and I believe they must have been waiting on their own child to be brought out to them. They stood close by,watching "Finn" as he crawled around. I was relieved to see that they were actually smiling and acting like they thought he was precious. And he is. He definitely is! He began to get tired and he just layed down right on the carpet. Our sweet boy popped 2 of his little fingers into his mouth, placed his other hands over his eyes, and was done! MELT MY HEART! I ran over to Chris' backpack and got his little blankey out for him, covered him up, said "night night" and that was that. He never fell asleep, but he stayed really quiet and still. He was truly exhausted. He stayed there for about 15 mins and I stayed right beside him, occasionally rubbing his back and kissing his cheek.
I have been a bit guarded since meeting him. I guess I won't fully relax until the judge grants us custody... but yeah, I'm falling hard for this little boy. Praising God that he put him in our lives and excited to get him home. Very excited!
Yeah ya'll, it's pretty hard to follow that! LOL! Maria summed up the visits extremely well today. He was darling this evening as he lay on the floor. He would move his hand away from his eyes every once in awhile, as if to see if we were still there watching him. It was so stinking cute!
As Maria alluded too, our original driver did not show up. Come to find out, she had car troubles, so we called our facilitator who dispatched us a taxi. She told me what sounded like, "He'll be in a blue Lada and will be there in 10 minutes." (See the picture I posted yesterday of the Lada's) Well, as time passed, a couple cars pulled in that were not the taxi. Around 10-15 minutes after her call, a blue Lada pulled in. I took a deep breath & prayed that this was NOT our taxi! The car was blue, yes, but I would call the color mostly dirt! Both the driver & passenger side back seat was being occupied by large, white garbage sacks. When I say garbage sacks, I don't mean Hefty sacks. These are bushel sacks, like my paw-paw used to have us pack peas, corn & potatoes in to take to the auctions to sell! These things are probably 4 foot tall and could probably easily hold 50+ pounds of garbage. The driver pulled in, parked in the area out front, pulled both bags out and placed them in the dumpster, then proceeded to the front passenger seat where he removed several Wal*Mart style plastic bags of garbage. I'm thinking to myself that this guy had to rush clean his car to come pick us up! I could also imagine "garbage juice" in the seats! After he was done, he backed out, and pulled slowly to the end of the sidewalk where we were standing... NOOOOO! This cannot be happening! Then he sped off! Talk about being relieved! Our driver finally arrived, in a light blue, and pretty clean, Lanos! I guess I miss heard.
He dropped us off and we had our morning visit. It was short, but man, it was a good visit, especially after his off evening visit yesterday. We spent our time outside and then went inside, so he could have a good mix of sunshine & some time without being bundled up, as we really think he blossoms with more life when he isn't covered by their mandatory 40 layers of clothing. He was crawling around and standing up and cruising along the wall. He does a mean bear crawl walk, and today he had a "Plumber's Crack" going on! It was darling!
After our time was up, we had our driver drop us off at the local shopping center called Karavan (like caravan, not sure why they use the K though). We ate a place called Mafia, and for the price, you really cannot beat it. It's an Italian food place, and we shared a calzone & a cheese pizza, and had enough to bring home for dinner tonight. All of this, plus 2 drinks was less than $19, plus they gave us a couple complimentary glasses of homemade lemonade. A couple things hit us while we were eating:
1- We don't know the culinary customs, or any customs, of this country. Is it okay to take food away in a doggy-bag, etc? So, I looked it up. It didn't say anything about that, but what it did say was that these people are suspicious of those who do not drink alcohol. Uh... we're in trouble! It went on to say that it's also better to fake a medical condition to justify why you cannot keep up with another person's drinking! Wow! That explains a lot about the culture here. I wound up having to call our facilitator to find out if we could take uneaten food away, and it is... she does it all the time!
2- These people LOVE their sushi! The Japanese love sushi, but these folks L-O-V-E it! Every place has a sushi menu. It's pretty crazy. I haven't looked to see if McDonald's has a McSushi menu, but it really would not surprise me. There are maybe 8-10 different eateries in this shopping center, and I have seen sushi at 7 at the very least. This also does not count the 2 dedicated sushi bars! It is a huge deal in their culture.
We noticed today that there was an enormous amount of activity around the cemetery on our route to the orphanage. We asked our evening driver about this. Apparently it is a holiday called "Father's Day" where the living go to pay their respects to the dead. They make a day out of this. I saw that many of the metal crosses in the cemetery looked cleaner, and there were families that brought a lunch and were eating at tables inside the cemetery. It is definitely interesting to see this culture. We have to be able to provide our little man some background on where he is from.
See ya'll tomorrow, hopefully with more pictures!