So, on top of my normal joint pain, I rolled my foot this morning on the way out of the apartment to meet my driver. It was immediate and intense pain in the top of my foot. I can feel a sore pulling sensation when I flex my toes back or when I step on a rock or uneven ground. Great, just what I need. I pray that it is just strained ligaments/tendons. When it rains, it pours I guess.
This morning I had an appointment at the state run bank. Every orphan has an account, well, let me rephrase that, SHOULD have an account, that is setup by the orphanage director that accumulates state provided payments to the "invalids" (pronounced in-vul-ids, not like in-vall-id like something is void or no longer usable). This system was placed into effect several years ago when they realized that they were not providing for orphans who no longer qualified to live in an orphanage. Each month the state deposits money in to a bank account for them to help them later in life. BUT... there's always a but in there somewhere in this country... as the facilitator explained, it is solely up to the orphanage director to initiate this account for the children. Many do not, she estimated upwards of 80% do not have these accounts.
This is a failed system in my opinion. See, it puts the orphanage in a catch 22 position. The government funds the orphanages... however little it is. So, the orphanage directors can opt to set the account up, but it looks poorly on their record, like they cannot manage the money that the government provides them to run the orphanage. Not to mention, it is a ton of paperwork, and the government can come at any given time to inspect the bank books that must be kept for each child. If there is even 1 penny off, the director can be fired and placed in prison, even if the account has all the money in it that it is supposed to have. At the age of 16, the account ledger is provided to the youth and they can opt to withdraw the money, or leave it there to continue in the orphanage till the age of 18. Many directors do not tell anyone about the accounts. If the child dies, the money is provided to the birth parents, if they can be found or if they petition the orphanage (seems odd since they gave the child up and they would have no idea the account even existed in the first place). I guess it is a pretty painful process to get the bank to pay out the money too. It involves lots of paperwork that must be completed properly the first time, or fines can be levied for not following the directions properly and causing the government additional work. Uh... I guess they expect people to not be human, and I also assume the government here NEVER makes mistakes (sarcasm at it's finest there folks!). From this, you can see that the account is not meant for the kids at all. They never expect the orphanages to set these accounts up, nor does the government ever expect to have to pay out to these children or a beneficiary.
We had such a small window to complete the transaction this morning. My appointment was at 8:30 and we were told that all power to the bank was being cut off at 9:00. Yeah, see, they never expect to have to pay out. The lady at the bank had literally saved the document a mere seconds before the power was cut off. Funny, as there were about 40 retirees in line to receive their pension payments. The orphanage director took the money (this is standard for international adoptions... it's a donation to the orphanage to buy medicines and upgrade playground equipment and such) and like that, my paper chase in the region was complete. I was surprised how much money was in the account for Griffin. He had never needed a surgery or anything, so none of the money was ever taken out. It wasn't a grand sum, but I was surprised at the amount that was there. There was a lot of talk by the facilitator about how poorly this governmental bank stuff is. She spoke of pensioners waiting months, even years, for one payment. She summed it up best when she said, "They are not living, they are surviving." Really opens your eyes as to what we are taking Griffin out of. More and more everyday, I realize, God placed us here to save this little boy's life, and I am blessed knowing that we are! If that money helps just one other orphan either get adopted or have a decent experience in this place, it was a donation well worth it!
While I was walking down the few stairs out of the bank, the facilitator mentioned my foot (I had told her about the injury already) and she said it was best not to go for my evening visit today, just to relax and if I need any pain killers or to go to the doctor, to call her and she would get the driver to take me and a translator for me since she was leaving for the capitol. She was worried about my unsteadiness while walking and didn't want me to fall or drop Griffin. It hasn't gotten better, but it hasn't gotten worse either. Hopefully my normal Sulendac will help keep the pain level down and I will be able to begin visits tomorrow.
She provided me with a stack of papers and said I would get the rest, as well as certified English translations, after my embassy appointment in the capitol, where I get our dude's VISA and immigration papers. As much as I am ready to get through that appointment so we can begin our around the world flight to the US then to Germany, I am not looking forward to the 8-9 hour train ride. I'll survive! Hahaha!
I did manage to limp to the grocery store and grab some eggs, bread & mayo for a scrambled egg sandwich this evening... yummy, though it looked no where near as good as the one to the left! That toast looks pretty close to perfection! LOL!
See ya'll tomorrow!