Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gotcha Day

Day 7

Our coordinator picked us up to go to the Civil Affairs Office today.  We got there before Claire.  When they brought her in, she wanted nothing to do with us at all.  She kept trying to get out of the room.   From previous experience, we knew that the best way to get her to come to us was to ignore us.  If we approach, she draws back.  If we wait, she eventually comes looking for attention.

Unfortunately the people from the orphanage and our adoption coordinator here didn't get that.  We got scolded and told to "please pay more attention to her."  Of course, all that did was make her withdraw even more.

It was a really rough morning.  First, Lifeline didn't get our paperwork here as promised.  Fortunately the woman in charge accepted a photocopy of the document that we had printed out from a pdf Lifeline emailed when they told me they had forgotten to mail our papers to us.

This paperwork made us foster parents for 24 hours.  During that time, we could take Claire and decide if we wanted to complete the adoption the next day.  

(Believe me, some calls and emails were made back to the agency.  Not only was our paperwork missing, but the itinerary we were given did not match the one our guide was given.  Sigh.  I hate depending on other people who don't have as much invested in the outcome as I do.  More on that later.)

After signing and putting red thumbprints on several documents, we went downstairs where Claire's mama from New Day was waiting.  Claire went to her and held on.  We had to go next door and get a picture made for the adoption pictures.  While we were getting situated, Claire's other mama arrived.  This was her foster mom from her time at the orphanage.  A month or so after Claire was abandoned, she was placed with this woman.  She stayed there for 5 years until her health was so bad that she needed to be sent to New Day for help.  This precious woman brought Claire a pair of shoes, some candy, some other snacks, some apples and a plastic cup full of milk.   We stepped out of the photo place and took a few pictures on the sidewalk.  There were tears everywhere as both of Claire's mamas struggled to say goodbye and my heart broke because we were causing so much pain.

We had to quite literally drag Claire to the van and pull her reaching arms inside to shut the door.   As we drove away she crawled into my arms and buried her head in my shoulder and sobbed out her agony.  All I could do was hold her.  She would occasionally look up and see me and try to push me away, but she had no one else to help her handle this awful emotion, so she would just bury her face and hold on tighter.  The two of us just cried together as we drove away leaving the weeping mamas on the sidewalk. 
Claire's foster mama.  She took her as a baby and cared for her for 5 years.

The mama who stayed with Claire all those longs months in the hospital.

Claire with all her mamas.
By the time we got to the hotel, Claire had run out of strength to cry anymore.  She allowed us to lead her in.  She was a little surprised by the glass elevator as we headed up to the 11th floor.  She thought our hotel room was America and looked for Ben and Dan.
All that crying caused her breathing to be pretty ragged.  We did a breathing treatment to help calm her airways.

We distracted her with some toys.  Eventually she sat with a coloring book and crayons and sang, "If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands."  She looks to me to clap, stomp or shout on cue.

We went to the McDonalds for lunch because we had heard that she really liked it.  This time, though, she ate a couple bites and just sat.  We headed back to the hotel as soon as we could.

We picked noodles for supper.   She was doing much better by then.  Noodles always make her happy!
There was some wrangling to get a bed for her in our room.  There had been a mix up, but we finally managed to get bed, towels, and breakfast tickets for 3.

Then I filled the big bathtub and put Claire in.  She stood at first, waiting for me to wash her and spray her with the hand held shower.  Finally I convinced her to "swim" and she had a ball splashing in bubbly water.

She loved the long night gown that I made her.  It swishes a little as she moves.  She kept it moving.  :-)  She also liked the hair dryer a whole lot!

We tucked her in her bed and read a story and prayed over her.  Then we set about getting the room straightened and clothes ready for morning.  She watched us and sang to herself and fell asleep after about an hour.

Oh, sweet girl, someday you will understand that today's pain was needed to bring you a greater good.  These things that hurt were done because so many people love you and want you to have the best.

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