Sunday, June 24, 2007


The baby is simply amazing. She is just.... wow. Guess what kind of personality? Laid back, easy going, go with the flow, mellow.

She did not bond with us instantly. She bonded according to her personality, actually. She's a very serious baby. She studied both of us and then held on tightly. The next morning- Hello Mama Hello Baba! I'm yours, never let me go!!

But I'm jumping ahead.

Gotcha day was a bit of a let down. You build it up in your head to be this event where angels are singing and it's just you and the baby and the world just stops. Nope. It's madness. Pure chaos. No order whatsoever. We got to the Civil Affairs building shortly after another group had arrived to get their babies. So there was no, 'Wait for your name to be called, the baby will be presented to you." We walked in and there were so many waiting parents, we just moved to wall and tried to search for our baby in the chaos.

We finally saw her in a corner of the room, seated with the orphanage director and a nanny that we recognized from pics in our Yahoo Group. She looked so tiny in her nanny's arms. She did not look like her referral photo at all. To me, she looked so frail. When in reality, she's solid! I guess it's her eyes. They are huge and she was leaning forward and all I saw were these big brown eyes. That's when my eyes started leaking. Oh I cried so hard!! There was my baby!

I did not approach them. I just stood there and cried while Matt got out the video camera. I assumed someone would call our names. But no, the nanny looked up, saw us, and walked over. She asked for our passports and when she felt comfortable of who we were, she handed over the baby. That's about when our translator walked over. I mean it was madness in there and I think they were overwhelmed with the group already in there, us, and the group waiting to get in!!

What happens is that a confused baby is put in your arms and they usually search around for the caregiver. They don't know what is going on. It's extremely hot in that room, the babies are so tired from the long bus ride, and very hungry. So what is what I mean by no angels singing. The moment can be very distressing for everyone. The baby can be so upset and you as a parent just want to make everything ok. Yet this baby is going, "WHO ARE YOU?????" And we were so rushed because of the next group waiting to get in. I stood there with the nanny and the director of the orphanage- neither spoke English- and we just looked at each other. The Director was in a huge hurry. He kept pointing at his watch and staring into the hallway. Maybe he had another baby to hand out to the next group or he just wanted to get going. He was not looking happy. The nanny was feeling the pressure from him to get going. Finally a translator came over and was able to help me ask a few questions.

This orphanage usually sends along formula- which is a milk mate and rice type combination. They did not do that this time. I did get a hand stitched pouch that held rocks from the orphanage garden- very sweet for her to have. If the Hammer Family is reading this- please know the nanny told me that Anna and our baby were best friends and when Anna left, my baby was very sad for many days.

I held the baby first, then Matt held her. Oh, she LOVED Matt instantly. Reached up and stroked his goatee and nuzzled against him. She clung tightly to his shirt. When her caregiver said goodbye, she held even tighter. She did not want to go back to her caregiver at all.

THe baby began to fuss and the nanny started repeating something over and over. Then said, "Hungry!" The translator asked if I had any snacks in the bag. No, I didn't. How about a bottle? They watched as I made a bottle for her and the nanny and the director tsked tsked. Oh great, nothing like that kind of pressure. It appeared they did not like the bottle I was using- a Playtex Drop In.

As soon as I sat down to feed her, we had to get up and make room for the next group, so we headed to the bus. That's when I could get a close look at the baby. She was wearing brand new Carter's pajamas in blue. Probably a donation from a waiting family. She was clean and did not smell at all. She appeared to be well fed. And very, very serious. Just studying us and the bus and then us again. Especially Matt. She wanted him and kept reaching out for him. Once in his arms, she was content to just look out the window.

We got to the hotel room and she began to get very fussy. We tried the bottle again and she was not happy. She did not like the nipple. Ahhh so that is why they were tsk tsking. We eventually took a few ounces. But that's when Matt had to race downstairs in the hotel to do some paperwork. That was about 7pm and we were all wrecked at that point. The baby was rubbing her eyes, so I changed her diaper and her onesie. Her bottom wasn't too clean, so I decided to give her a bath. I filled up the tub provided by the hotel and she seemed very interested in the water. Eased her in and used a disposable cloth. She was fine with that. She did not like to be rinsed.

Quickly got her dry and into her fireworks pajamas and that's when I noticed she has a boil on her arm. Boils are common in her orphanage. Easy to treat. Otherwise, her skin looked great.

At this point, she was clearly telling me it was time to go to sleep. I laid her on the bed and cuddled her against me. She fell right so sleep and so did I. An hour later, Matt came into the room and told me I had to go downstairs to do my portion of the paperwork. I could hardly get out of bed. I was so far gone at that point from days of not sleeping properly, plus the stress and excitement. Let me tell you, for me to fall asleep like that means I was so happy and content with that baby in my arms. Me, the difficult sleeper was out like a light with her next to me.

I wandered into the hall and a dad from our group took pity on me and escorted me to the room where we were to do paperwork. Got it done in a daze, hope it was right. Went upstairs, fell soundly asleep at 830.

To be continued in the next post.... I am not going to proof this, so sorry for the errors. Baby is sleeping and I want to get this done before she wakes up.

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