This post today will probably be hit or miss, scatterbrained thoughts. Bare with me..... sleep deprivation plus home sickness are making for a pretty useless Kristen.
After our appointment this morning we came back to the hotel and tried to just relax and spend some more time with with Haylie and no other distractions. She had a really good morning, super playful, 100% potty trained, eating and drinking, we couldn't have asked for better time with her. Sleeping is definitely an issue for her. She gets very nervous when you put her on the bed or go near the crib and makes a noise in protest. I say a noise cause I'm not sure if it's a cry or if she is actually saying something. Then she refuses to lay down, instead she sits up and while sucking her thumb, rocks back and forth until she falls asleep. This is pretty common for institutionalized kids, they have to learn ways to comfort themselves, this was her coping mechanism. So when she falls asleep she is pretty much folded in half until she finally rolls over. It's just another thing that is hard for us to watch her go through. Jason, our guide, told us this morning that in her orphanage there are 3 nannies for 40 babies during the day and only 1 nanny at night. The only reason they get picked up at night is if they are seriously crying, like something is wrong. So babies have learned ways on their own to comfort themselves. Once she woke up from her nap she was back to being sad and crying. I just held her and swayed again, luckily it only took about 5 minutes for her to calm down, and about 20 minutes to get up and play silly with us again. Not too bad!
We finally got up and took her out around the island to check things out during day light. We weren't sure what she would think of a stroller so we brought it with us and let her push her baby in it for awhile, then we successfully got her in it and went for a nice walk around the island. She really enjoyed the fresh air!
Afterwards we found a play room in our hotel for kids 3 & under, she LOVED it! Our case worker had told us not to bring many toys, 3 to be exact. And that these 3 toys should be all she has for 4 weeks or more so as not to overwhelm her. Girlfriend knew what to do with each and every toy, including knowing how to read a book and talk on a phone at the same time! It was obvious that she has spent more time playing then we had given the orphanage credit for. So we borrowed a couple of small toys from the play room and brought them back to our room to play with!
People have asked what is next? Tomorrow we will go apply for her passport in the afternoon, Thursday she'll have a medical examination that will include a TB test, Friday our guide will pick up her passport and bring it to us. Friday is also when the other 5 families that we started with will be joining us here in Guangzhou....I can't wait! I seriously need the company of other families, and other Americans! Saturday and Sunday we sight see, Monday we have an 8:30 am appointment at the United States Consulate to apply for Haylie's visa, Tuesday we relax, that night we'll get her visa, and Wednesday the 29th we fly home! Seriously, the 29th cannot come soon enough! Others have asked why we are having to be here so long and split things up so much... Guangzhou calls it a 9-day bonding period. Even though the adoption is finalized, the country requires us to stay here for that amount of time afterwards.
So how are we all doing? Some days are better than others! Some hours are better than others. This was not an easy journey for any of us. I had done a lot of research and we took a lot of classes to prepare us for the behavior or reactions that she would probably have, even with all of that... I was not prepared for how hard it would truly be. I think I secretly hoped that we would beat the odds and she would let me hug on her, or that she would take a nap on me. Even though I knew in reality it wouldn't happen. I also knew that I would miss my boys insanely, I just didn't realize it would feel like a broken heart. 8 more nights.... looooong nights. But, a week from tomorrow night I'll be sleeping in my own bed. Well probably not, I'll either be sleeping on the floor in Haylie's room, OR sleeping in the living room with the boys. I can't wait!
Alright, that just about covers my random post for the day! Hope everyone is enjoying this journey! If not, too bad! Keep reading and commenting, it makes me happy! And if you see my boys in passing, tell them hello!!!! BTW: Skype may just be the very best invention EVER!!!!
Scratch that.... one more thought. I just finished brushing her teeth for the first time, she handled it amazingly! Even let me brush her tongue! When we were done we high-five'd and then we gave each other the thumbs up. How cool is that? The things that she knows blow my mind, she continues to amaze me. It all shows that she has definitely be given attention, the orphanage had helped her learn things. Her behavior over the last day and a half shows that she has loved someone, she is capable of bonding and attaching. While it's hard for me now, she just needs her time to mourn, and she needs Sage and I to be there for her, to prove to her that we aren't leaving. And in time, she will learn to love us as well. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later! ;)