Exploring the Shore
Post Official Visits Begin
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 Post Official Visit #1
Kate was very late picking me up today. She explained she was at the Department of Care and Guardianship doing some paperwork. Once again – whatever it takes. I just hate the fact that it shortens my time with Robby. By the time I got there he had been fed and was well past happy playtime. I changed him and his clothes and had about 15 minutes before he started to fuss and fell asleep. Boo.
I needed to pick up some items and get some photos developed for the Baby House caregivers so I went to the Atrium. There I saw Francois and Zuny and the others. We ended up having dinner at the Dixie Pub (fab fries, BTW) and I had another click moment when I turned to answer Zuny. This one was from ages ago & just reassuring. Does anyone else have these?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 Post Visit #2
Christmas Eve Day! I can’t help but think what we would be doing at home if we were there. Maddie would be deciding which baby to play with, Mom would be nitpicking (read stressing) over everything, Janice and Todd would be sitting on the couch or at the computer. Mom said they are saving the Christmas stockings for us when we get back. I just miss that relaxed and easy holiday feeling. I haven’t felt that way in a while now.
Robby had been awake for a while this morning. I think his schedule has permanently changed due to the little babies. I arrived in time to feed him breakfast and we played for a while. I love the noises (grunts really) he makes when he eats. The doctor came in and checked him. He still has a chest rattle but the drippy nose is gone. He turns 7 months old today!
The time since I have met him has gone faster than I thought it would. It seems like the idea of bonding days were designed for the baby, but it is just as important for the parent. Especially in a blind referral situation like this where we don’t have a photo or profile to obsess over for weeks. For some parents this is an instant connection or an overwhelming feeling of joy & love. For me, there is a phrase from a book (by Janette Oke) and TV movie (thanks to Lifetime or Hallmark) that sums up the feeling: “You know, sometimes love isn't fireworks. Sometimes, love just comes softly”.
Tonight is Christmas Eve dinner. Chef Hassan is making something special from a global perspective. As usual, we had entertainment for the night – this time a string quartet that played a lot of Beatles. The best thing – his wife went into the hospital to deliver their daughter, Fatima. She will be born on the 25th, Christmas Day. How special is that?
Thursday, December 25, 2008 Post Visit #3
I woke up to a Christmas Eve skype call from the whole family this morning at 6:30 am. Eva (age 1) did not quite know what to think! That made it seem a bit more like Christmas has not passed me by.
When I got to the baby House today, I gave the workers a Santa hat I had bought. It is a silver-sequined one that has the light up and musical Santa and his reindeer on the brim. You push a button and it plays Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Just a silly gift but they seemed to like it. Later they told me that Robby looks for me in the mornings. I loved hearing that! It’s the next step in attaching!
I took Robby’s new Christmas sweatshirt and red pants with me today. I had Kate take the pictures so we’ll see if any came out. I am not looking forward to seeing them – my hair is driving me nuts so I trimmed the bangs a little. And yes, I do know better, but I just can’t stand it sometimes! The Baby House people had said their tree would be up and decorated but it wasn’t, so no actual Christmas photo on Christmas. He had already been fed as we got there late again. He fussed and cried while changing his clothes more today than he ever has. We played a bit with his toys and when it was time to go he was playing with his friends in the playpen.
Friday, December 26, 2008 Post Official Visit #4
Today was a wonderful visit. The caregivers told me he has been looking and crying for me and saying the syllables ‘ma ma ma’. True or not, this makes me happy (ok, not the crying bit) as he is searching for me. He was tired but a trouper. He was still dressed in his Christmas Day outfit and the tree was finally up and decorated. We went to take some pictures in the music room and he loved the tree, its lights, and the ornaments! They had also strung icicles from the ceiling and he was fascinated by them. We left to go back to his room and we saw the Father Christmas and his Grand-Daughter outfits being worked on. We chatted and I said how pretty they were. They asked me if I wanted to try one on – how could I refuse? We went back to the tree and took some more photos. By the time we got back, the visit time was over and Robby was exhausted.
4:00 pm - Pre-Court!
I was picked up on time but we were nearly late because we had to pick up and wait for the Dept. of Care & Guardianship lady. The judge introduced himself and we began. There was some minor issue over the spelling of “Katherine”. Apparently there is two Russian ways to spell it and they were both in the paperwork. I didn’t consider it a big deal but he did. Then there was a major issue when he could not find a paper in the giant bound pile in front of him. He and Kate were having a discussion about that and then she started raising her voice to him. To me, it sounded like she was yelling at him – at the judge! Yowza – that could not happen at home. Turns out the paper was there and had something to do with my home-study agency. Crisis averted. He then explained how the process would go on Monday morning at 10 am. And we were then done. Thank goodness – I was so nervous thinking that my name spelling could not set this back! I have a legal copy of every document with me so I was not too worried about the paper. Whoever thought a name spelling could cause a heart attack?
Saturday, December 27, 2008 Post Visit #5
I asked Kate if I could go to the Baby House alone. She said no, that I have to be attended. I then asked if I could go with Andre or Zuny and she said yes, so I agreed to split the cost of their driver with them for the day. Later, Francois said Elvira (F & Z’s coordinator) told them I could not go with them (4 in the car already) so I will take a taxi and follow them. I am going to be over 3 hours later than normal. I wonder if Robby has missed me this morning or if he even noticed? I guess I’ll find out.
Ok, I did find out – about how to do the wrong thing! The caregivers asked Elvira about where Kate was at the end of my visit. I was told that I was not allowed in unattended due to ‘control’ issues. Yes! I am so uncontrollable that I need to be watched - Ha! Those of you that know me – shush! I guess you cannot piggyback with someone else’s coordinator. Lesson learned. I made sure he had clothes and diapers for Sunday and Monday and told them I’d be back then. It’s too late to call Kate for Sunday. I wonder if Aliya could do it? But I also don’t want to get the caregivers in any trouble. I don’t know what happens to them if I knowingly do it again. So I will miss my visit for Sunday…
Sunday, December 28, 2008 Not To Pushing It Day
I had my last day as a non-mom. I went shopping and bought some more diapers and baby food. I also got some more tea for the Baby House party tomorrow. The rest of the day was spent rearranging the suitcases and deciding how to get everything in 2 suitcases, a tote bag, a diaper bag, and a backpack. How do some people travel so light? Do they never change their socks? Do they not wash their hair? Do they leave the kids at home? Never buy a souvenir? How do they do it?
One thing for myself today – I am determined to make some progress in the books I brought. I brought several with me and donated them as I finished. I have been stalled on one now and am saving one for travel back – I know - wishful thinking that I’ll get a chance to read with a 7 month old!