This is the room where we've been visiting daily with Abby
Marty, Toni and Kevin
Abby and Mommy
I think Abby must have taken this one
Here was the little medicine cabinet so nicely decked out for imaginative play.
Daddy squishing out Play-Doh
Daddy's Play-doh eyes
Toys seated nicely for their picture
Here is Abby preparing us some fish soup
She has me properly dressed for dinner!
Marianne and Toni
Villi, Marianne, Mr. A, Marty; Toni and Abby in front.
These are the parting gifts Abby gave to us
Here are the gifts she gave Toni
Here we are together
Our last picture of our sweetie--dressed in Marianne's coat out by Marty's car
The sausage and cucumber sandwich I had on the way back to the capital
The Restaurant at Hotel Budapest
My wonderful tomato soup
Kevin's chow (He'd missed having beef all week. Smile.)
My yummy food
Suitcases packed and ready to go
Clothes ready to put on for the flight home
Friday morning, 7:15 am
Packed up. Jeans are almost dry on the radiator. I'm waiting as long as possible to put them on.
Hard. Sad. Heart-breaking to know this will be the last time we'll see Abby for quite awhile--probably June. I'm dreading this visit.
Happy. Excited. Glad that today we are heading back to the capital and flying out early in the morning to see the rest of our kids. I miss them. Most of the time when I check my watch and calculate the time difference they are still sleeping. Even by bedtime they are still in school.
As other mothers have said before: it's hard to have children on two continents.
Friday morning, 9:15 am
OK at breakfast just now Toni clarified a couple things: Marianne is actually the psychologist. The long-haired younger lady is also named Villi (like Toni's helper) and SHE is the teacher and social worker for the children. Villi is Marianne's daughter. I asked Toni if I can get a picture of them. She said yes. I don't know whether Kevin got a picture of the director last night or not.
Today's visit was fun and hard.
We started with Play-Doh. Made several shapes and figures. (Abby) made a cute little girl figure. Then she decided to cook. We kind of insisted on cleaning up the Play-Doh first. There's a cute kitche set up in that room: cupboards, pots, serving utensils, hot pads, aprons. She was cooking a pot of fish. Served it up in bowls. Had Kevin and I sit down. The big fish was for Daddy. She put on an apron. Put a bib on me. Tried to put one on Kevin but the snap enclosure was too small.. Then she made us put our arms down by our sides and pronounced some words which Toni translated as something like, "Dear children, now you are welcome to eat." Villi was laughing--she said that is how do it at the Center. So we ate including the baby doll who didn't sit up I the chair very well (kept sliding down.)
Then Dr. (Abby) was in service. She had Kevin lay down on the little bed. She draped his left leg with her pink baby blanket. (She'd first listened to his breathing.) She gave him tons of medicine and he was making terrible faces. She was giggling and laughing. She gave him a shot in the wrist. She cut and cut and cut on his leg with a little plastic knife. Then thumped on it rather hard--I guess like testing his reflexes. Villi or someone mildly criticized her for hitting him and her reply was, "He is a big man. He shouldn't feel pain." I was cracking up!!!
Then she was the patient and I was the nurse.
Lastly I was the patient. She kept pronouncing the results of my check-up as something that sounded like "lay"--which I was told meant "bad"--my x-ray, my temperature, maybe my breathing were all "lay" So I got medicine, too. And "ta-da" I was fixed.
We had a round of matching which she soundly won. By then we were discussing us having to leave, not coming back until summer. She said, "that is a long time." It seemed to me she started pulling back emotionally. I was trying not to cry.
I gave her one of the paper-fold thingy where you pick a number and read the message hidden under the flap. The 4 messages were: Mommy and Daddy love you very much; Mommy and Daddy will come back; Mommy and Daddy will think of you every day; Mommy and Daddy will pray for you everyday. We played the game: I read her the messages. Toni translated. I gave it to Abby. She said, "That is the best gift."
We also let her keep the baby doll, bottles, blanket, bowl; coloring book and crayons; matching cards; 1/2 of the foam flowers, letters and foam cards.
She gave each of us gifts: flower and butterfly for me; flower and fish for Kevin; flower and picture for Toni.
I took a picture of Marianne, Villi, Director A., Marty, Toni and (Abby) And of us with her as well.
I'm so used to hearing her called ---- that it seems natural. We do want to keep some form of her given name in her new name. It's important--more important than passing on the Anne/Ann/Anna for a middle name, I think. She very obviously LIKES her name.
Abby walked out to the car with us. She walked down the ramp without rails or help. She was wrapped in Mariannes's coat. She told us good-by very politely and sweetly but no eye contact. She was staying close to the people she is comfortable with. Of course, I would have loved a big hug with lots of feeling and emotion but this probably was healthier. She is attached to these people. They are her source of comfort and security.
On the way back to the capital city Toni discussed the Stage 2 paperwork. Most importantly I need to get the I-800 submitted to USCIS. I will need a couple documents from Carla and I need to copy the forms Toni gave me here in-country--those go with the I-800, along with Form Something-else. These forms are about adoption education and one saying the documents are correctly translated, one says we'll support her, one is the official referral. Apparently the I-800 is somewhat of a bear. Lillian had hers returned because she wrote "same" in one area rather than re-writing the address. Good grief! That is crazy! Then there are also a couple forms for Toni that will need to be signed, notarized, apostilled and sent to Toni, hopefully with another traveling family to save money.
This paperwork doesn't sound too complicated (except the I-800)--the important thing is I just need to get right at it because USCIS can take quite awhile. Good thing is we're supposed to have the same officer we had for our I-800A and he was quick before--once He got everything. The speed of the whole process I guess hangs on THAT. (I mistakenly thought we wouldn't have to update our physicals and local police clearances--but we will--they are only valid for 6 months, must be valid at time of court, ours expire in May, I think.
Along the way back to the capital city, we had to stop at the side of the road for awhile. Toni had prayed for the whole trip as we were starting on Sunday. We prayed more today. Marty called a trusted mechanic. He was told to turn the car off. He loosened the gas cap. He disconnected something under the hood and reconnected it--reset the car computer. The car worked fine. PTL!
Lord, please bless and use that car and just over-see all of its parts and systems. You see that Toni uses it to facilitate MANY adoptions. This is YOUR work. You are the one who said we are to visit orphans in their distress. Adoption is one very powerful way of doing that. So please Lord, just put your touch on that car. I can't really thin k of a biblical precedent but there probably is one. Please continue to bless Toni and Marty. Please dray them closer to you day by day. Hold them securely in your mighty hand.
We are now back in the Budapest Hotel in the same Room 609. Protesters in Libya are in the international news. Our wake-up call is to come at 3:45 am. We are to pay our bill, leave Toni's phone at the front desk and get our "dry" breakfasts. The taxi is to be here at 4:45. We need to be at the airport about 5:10. Plane leaves at 7:10 am