Well, in keeping with the yes-maybe-no, hurry-up-and-wait, it's-impossible-oh-wait-we-can-do-that-right-away nature of international adoption in this country, we were kept in suspense right up until the very last moment about whether we would even actually have Gotcha Day on Monday. The night before, I had our bags all packed when I was informed that perhaps the boys' passports might not actually be available on Monday after all; it might actually be Tuesday instead. Well, the problem with that would be that Thursday is Women's Day, a great big deal national holiday, and everything shuts down for Women's Day. And if we didn't get passports until Tuesday, we would run into a big four-day shutdown of everything (due to this holiday) and would not be able to complete our embassy appointments until next Monday or Tuesday.
As you can see from these pictures, we did end up getting the boys out on Monday, but all morning on Monday we were waiting breathlessly for news of whether today was the day or if we should go unpack and spend another day staring at the walls of our hotel room, fuming and fussing and trying to remember to take deep, calming breaths so that our screams would not scare the villagers. Yes, it really does reach that point when you are the proud parent of one of the longest adoption processes ever to take place in this country. (We will be at 76 days from the time we left home for our SDA appointment until the time we land on US soil with the boys).
Thankfully somebody at the passport office was convinced to come to work on Monday and hand over the passports to us, even though Monday was supposed to be her day off. So once we heard that yes, she would agree to meet us at the passport office, but hurry up and come right away, before she decided to leave again, we all jumped into high gear.
The passport office was an hour from the village, so we had to buy train tickets, get the boys out of the institution, drive through a snow storm to the passport office, get the passports, and get to the train station. All very rush-rush. Not quite the sweet, leisurely photo-worthy moments I was imagining, so I am afraid I don't have too much to show you. Fortunately, my mom is brilliant and whips out her camera when I am too distracted to even think about commemorating an event. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have any pictures of Gotcha Day!
One neat little detail: March 5th is my dad's birthday. He died when I was nine years old, and every year I miss him so much on this particular day. My dad was adopted, and I think he would have been very happy to have met his newest grandsons. He would have been a fabulous grandpa. Now I will always be able to remember two very special days at the same time. (Actually, March 5th also happens to be my brother's birthday . . . so three special events in one! Can't leave that detail out! Happy Birthday, Frank! Love you, Buddy!)
|Heading into the institution, with our facilitator, driver, and|
the social worker
|signing paperwork to transfer custody of the boys to me|
|Free at last! Gideon busy taking in every little thing all around him,|
and Micah starting to really get worried. He does NOT like
being outside! (But notice his adorable owl hat? Thanks, Sarah!
It is SO cute on him!)
|So glad to finally meet you, big wide wonderful world!|
|Go away, world!|
|Mama, this is so scary! We are outside AND this car is moving|
AND you are hugging me!
|Proud parenting moment: my son's first meal with me was|
chicken nuggets on the train. Not quite what I had planned,
but oh well! He liked them!
|He loved to dip the potato wedges into the sauce!|
|Too cute! What is it about dipping that kids love so much?|
|Serious but quiet once we were in our quiet little train|
compartment. Praise the Lord! I had been picturing a 15 hour
crying jag! But Micah was quiet for the whole ride.
My first glimpse of Micah's self-soothing habits . . .
he does this A LOT.
|Micah's stubborn look after refusing to try Mama's soup,|
rice cereal, plain water, and baby food. He is glaring at
the bottle I am offering.
|Micah looks at his fingers to calm himself down|
|Gideon loved looking out the window of the train!|
|Love his wide-eyed wonder!|
(And yes, we were able to fix that curtain rod!)
|Gideon was very calm and happy on the train|
|He looks like such a big boy in this picture! I love it!|
|He doesn't like my flash, but Gideon sure was enjoying |
some banana bread before bed (thanks, Jolene!
He loves it!)
|Micah squirmed around and around in circles, trying to get |
comfortable in his little nest of pillows on the train bench
|He doesn't know it yet, but he is TERR...IFIC!|
|Aw, there's that sweet grin! As long as we are not outside,|
Micah tries to be cheerful, but he is so very overwhelmed
by everything right now.
|Sweet boys in their new pajamas|
|Um, I know you're not really sleeping, buddy!|
|Okay, now he really was settling down to sleep.|
Goodnight, little boys! Mama loves you!
Our first day together! Stay tuned for the next chapter . . .