Friday, June 3, 2011

A cool night in Zap

It's so funny how one day here feels like several long ones! When I think about what to catch everyone up on, it seems like days ago, and yet it was just today.

We decided that we would spend the first hour with Levi and the second with Gabe this morning. Our boys are at the same orphanage but in different buildings. They told us we are not allowed to visit with the boys together because they could contaminate each other. Although one day we did have them together when we had our facilitator with us. Shame on us;)

We walked to Gabe's building and tried to go straight back to his room like yesterday. The nannies were all new today, a different shift, and they were pushing us back out to the lobby. We got our translator on the phone to explain that we need to visit where he is comfortable but the nanny argued and said no because there are very sick kids in his room.

I was not happy to say the least and I let them know it by looking at them angry and shaking my head. Oh yeah, THAT showed them.

A worker went over and closed the window. Thank goodness, it was a whole 90 degrees it felt like in there, I'd hate for Gabe to catch a cold.

They quickly brought Gabe out and as expected he started crying and shaking in fear. They put him in a stroller, buckled him up and wheeled him over to us. Guy was able to get them to turn off the lights, we aren't sure if he is sensitive to them being so bright. We all just sat quietly and tried talking with him. After that didn't work, I decided to take him out and hold him. I sat with him on my lap, his face full of tears, hands wringing. We talked, hummed, played music. 30 full minutes went by. I decided to try and see what he thought of the orange, squishy ball I had brought for Levi. I wasn't sure if it would be over stimulating for him. I held it out at a distance from his face and all the sudden he stopped crying. He stared at the ball then turned and looked at me with a smile.

For the next 30 minutes he was calm and interactive. At the end of our visit the nanny brought out a glass bottle with a nipple that had a huge hole cut in the top. It appeared to be filled with some kind of soup. Tomato maybe. Whatever it was he drank it in less than a minute. When it was gone he began to cry and shake. My heart broke. My baby is starving.
I hated to leave him so upset but our time was up.

On our second visit Guy sat and was prepared to hold him. They brought him out to the lobby again but this time he didn't cry! He looked like he had just woken up. He was full of smiles for us.

Half way through the visit Guy tried to hand him over to Genesis and me but he instantly began to cry and get scared. The moment he went back in Guys lap though he calmed right down. It seems that ANY form of change throws him off. Even just simply standing up with him.
I do feel that he is beginning to feel safe with us.

Our visit with Levi was as joyful as always. I think all 3 of us have a smile on our face the entire time we are with our little monkey.

He now goes straight for his favorite spot in the parking lot where the flag is flying from the building. He will look at the flag then walk away, then turn around and come back. I gave him the orange ball and it is now his new favorite thing. We found that he loves anything with a string of sorts. On the ball he can pull out one of the "strings" and hold it.
We fed him a banana and he loved it.

We have to work on manners. He will find out quickly that yelling won't get you far in our house:) I do understand that right now this is the only way he knows how to communicate.

On our second visit we gave him a cookie and juice. I am pleasantly surprised at how well he chews. His tongue doesn't seem to be a big problem for him. At first he couldn't drink from the juice box and I knew he would need something else. Then he surprised us by actually sucking from the tiny straw! By the time he was done however he had juice all down his shirt and on his hands. Then he would put his hands on the road and the dirt stuck to him and made the worst mess. He then touched his face with his sticky, black hands. The poor nannies must have wondered what in the world he was up to to get so dirty in such a small amount of time. But, he is a boy after all, they have that ability.

Funny story. We decided to buy a fan for our room last night. We have no AC and it has been pretty hot here. It's especially hot at night and hard to sleep.
We found a store in walking distance to our apartment so here we are walking with a big box, complete with a handle made out of tape by the service guy at the store.
We couldn't wait to put the fan together and finally have some cool air. Come to find out that the box is missing the fan blades. The funny thing is that we could see at a distance that before the guy sold it to us he took everything out of the box to be sure all the pieces were there and then carefully re-packed it.
Back to the store we went tonight hoping to be able to explain and get the blades. Try doing that in a foreign country! We called our translator and explained the story to her. She said she didn't understand the missing part we were talking about, she didn't have that word to be able to tell the worker but would try to explain our situation. We walked up to the front desk and after several minutes of complete confusion I told Guy to just hand the lady the phone with our interpreter on the line. After they talked, Guy was able to point out the part we needed.
We walked home with the fan blades in hand.

Finally, some cool air.

Guy gets the blades on only to find out that we have 2 front pieces that house the blades instead of a front and back.

I am lying here enjoying the cool breeze anyway. Just be careful not to get to close as the blades are not covered;)

Sorry there are no pictures tonight. This post already took me several hours to write and to upload the video. It's after 1AM here and I really need to get out of this habit of going to bed after 2AM. I do that at home and I thought I would be able to get out of that routine with the time change here. But no such luck.

Goodnight from Zap


Debbie June 3, 2011 at 4:05 PM  

Well, it's after dinner here and I couldn't wait to check out your blog. Thanks again for posting and for the videos. Tom & I are enjoying them. Praying for continued strength and wisdom for you,Guy & Genesis. Praying for Levi and Gabe to continue to bond and trust. Love you!

Ian & Ruby June 4, 2011 at 12:41 AM  

I guess Levi just has to be given the words or actions to get what he wants; it will take time, but he looks like a bright little boy, and I am sure he will learn quickly.
Poor Gabe. After spending his life confined to a crib, any change must be very traumatic. It is great to see him relax a little and begin to trust you. For a child who has not had any toys to play with, it must be wonderful to be presented with something bright, colourful and fun.

Denise June 4, 2011 at 3:24 AM  

I am thoroughly enjoying your posts & pix. Hope you bring them over to SLUMC when you return. Or, we will come over to see everyone at your "house" some Sunday morning.

The Monier Family June 4, 2011 at 4:09 AM  

We all gathered around the computer this morning to watch your videos and read your post. YAY! It looks like they are really warming up to you:) We will continue to pray for sweet Gabe- LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!!

Rachel June 4, 2011 at 9:39 AM  

Praying for the rest of your journey. Please be sure to join us on After the Rainbow. We'd love to get to know you better and support you as your family settles in.

Rachel Whitmire
Post-Adoption Care Coordinator
Reeces Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry

Nan and Dan June 4, 2011 at 11:15 AM  

sweet!!!! You will figure it out:)
happy to hear you are standing up and getting yoru mean face on :)

babyarnie June 4, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

All I can say is that you are one brave woman. What an inspiration! I watched your "first meeting" videos and bawled. It's not at all how you pictured it would go but you still pressed forward. I had a similar experience and stayed up all night that night praying and seeking wisdom. God came through and the next morning I saw that little girl through his eyes.

Even though I've never met you, we are bound by one mission and that is to save "the least of these". These children are precious in His sight and thank you for being part of that plan. We are rooting for you guys!


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