June 7, 2012: US Embassy Day in Bangkok

Originally posted on June 7, 2012:
Last night, even as I was writing a blog post, the craziest thing happened.  Asher fell asleep on the floor with his pink silky.  No crying, nada.  Then this afternoon, we tried it again.  We just pulled the shades, laid his blankets on the floor , gave him a bottle and we both started reading quietly, and he fell asleep.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer if he let us hold him and feed him the bottle, but he’s making strides.  (we’re also making strides in reducing the number of bottles.  He’s used to 10 a day!) He’s not crying, he’s dwelling peacefully in the room with us and relaxing enough to fall sleep.  Right now we’re trying it again, but he keeps getting up and looking at a toy or playing with the Thai flag.  Our plan may backfire.  But did I mention? He’s not crying.  We’re gonna let it play out. He just walked over here and peeked around my chair and gave me a very guilty looking smile.  Now he’s reaching through the slats in the chair to poke my back.  :)   And now…I smell poop.
I’m back. Since it’s early and things are calm, I decided to put the pics in the post tonight.  There aren’t a ton of pics anyway.  It’s hard to take pics whilst chasing a toddler.  But this is a pic of our guy in the morning.  He is always very, very sad when he wakes up.  I’m sure he remembers what happened all over again and is thinking “You guys?!?  I thought that was a bad dream!”  So in the mornings we definitely let him have a bottle to help deal with it.  Pretty cute, huh?
This morning at breakfast we skyped with the big kids and aunt tara.  It was the first time they had seen Asher!  He was nonplussed about seeing them, but they seemed excited to see him.  Then we met Pat and took a taxi to the US Embassy to process and interview for ASher’s visa to enter the US as an immigrant.  Heads up to future adoption travellers, don’t bother bringing your camera, your ipod, your USB drive or ANYTHING with ANY type of batteries or “on” buttons.  We had to go through security a few times b/c of lack of communication (and memory on our part about what was buried in those diaper bags.)  However, if I hadn’t brought my camera, I wouldn’t have snagged this pic outside in the line:I know right?  Totes presh.  Asher is definitely preferring Daddy, especially in public.  This morning, that was a really good thing.  Have i mentioned that my husband is awesome?  The wait for our interview was LONG, and the only room with AC was completely packed.  We sat on the floor or stood for a long time, but this little 20 month old boy was just not having that.  Trent and I went outside with him and he was behaving…well, probably like most rowdy toddlers would behave when forced to wait in the heat in a small area for a couple of hours.  He kept wanting Trent to hold him, but then was just FLAILING constantly.  My shoulders hurt just watching them.  I offered to try to relieve him, but ASher wasn’t taking it. Trent did set him down several times to just walk around, but still…it was a long morning, and Trent was just a rock.  He wasn’t phased by what would have had me in a major mommy tizzy.  Love you, babe.  ;)
The visa interview itself was brief and painless.  Although before the interview, Pat takes our papers to someone up front, and they told her that they were extra busy today, and we might get our visas this week or next week.  WE’re supposed to leave Monday night.  Just the THOUGHT that someone might tell me we have to delay our flight gave me a lump in my throat the size of Texas.  I had to fight back the tears.  But our agent was very friendly and understanding and said he’d make sure it was ready by tomorrow afternoon just to be sure.  I wanted to hug him.  Afterwards I confessed to Catie that if they had given me the bad news there, I would have had my first public meltdown in southeast Asia.
After that long morning we tried lunch at Just One, which an outdoor restaurant down the street from the pantip.  I don’t recommend it.  It cost us 4 times as much as moon house and the service was not great.  Fortunately, there was only one other couple in the huge outdoor layout, b/c Asher was in full boy mode, throwing sippy cups, clanging silverware, screeching, and yanking the tablecloth so all the waters fell.  NOW I remember why we didn’t eat out during entire years of late 2006 through 2007.
But the best thing happened after lunch.  We came back to the hotel room, and he just…played.  I remembered the fun part of having a toddler is…they can find lots to do if they are not restrained.  Just get them somewhere safe and let ‘em go. There’s not a lot in this room for him to mess up, and we have lots of toys out and he finally started kind of interacting with them. I got a great video (which, again, will have to wait until I get home) of him playing with the inflatable duck bath we brought.  He HATES (all caps) baths, even with the duck, but turns out it makes a great game of basketball with some soft blocks.  We let him draw a little too…it made me wonder what, if any, experience he’s had with a writing utensil.  He even put himself to sleep again on his silky while we read and he had a bottle.
While he slept, I went downstairs and skype/called Korean Air to see if we could get an earlier flight.  It turns out all the Seoul-Seattle dailies are full for the ENTIRE month.  So they put us on a waiting list for Saturday & Sunday, and I have to call back each day to see if anything opened up.  BUt the other thing is they can’t guarantee the flight from SEattle to PDX, so we might get stuck in SeaTac!  It’s not looking good, so I’m bracing myself for four long days of killing time in Bangkok.  We just aren’t in the mindset to be really touristy with a toddler. We’re thinking ducit zoo or safari world…suggestions?
After naps we took the subway/sky train combo to the infamous MBK with the Brenemans.  Ashman is not a huge fan of crowded trains.  We decided it’s worth a couple extra bucks (and often more time, b/c of traffic, but time? Is something we have plenty of) to take a taxi.  Here’s us in a rare moment of non-crowdedness.
We stayed for dinner and came back to the hotel to wind down and go to sleep.  We had a heartbreaking moment of grieving when Ashersaran found this gift (see below).  It is a special thing sent by his foster grandmother.  It is a model of the hanging cradle that ASher slept in as a baby, and still hangs in their home for the new baby.  Our social worker said grandma made both the big and the little cradle, and in the excitement of the day, forgot to give this to us, so she sent it with his things on Tuesday.  But when Asher was dinking around tonight, happily distracted, he found this and just fell apart.  Oh, it was so sad.  It is encouraging to see all the strides he is making in trusting us, but still breaks my heart how badly he misses his foster family.  I was thinking about how an adult or older child would feel if their life were changed so drastically so quickly.  No one in the world would ask or expect them to be “over it” by the end of the week.  I just have to keep telling myself that this is a process…a long one.  A friend of mind compared adoption to an arranged marriage.  It’s not love at first sight, but it is meant to be love.  We fall in love a little more each day and drive each other crazy along the way.  We laugh and we cry and we bite (OK, not me and Trent) and we bath and we walk and we sleep and we eat and we carry on and learn more about each other each step of the way.  And I know before we know it, we won’t be able to remember a time when we weren’t madly in love.
PS: Asher didn’t fall asleep on the floor tonight, but we laid down on the bed with him and sang him to sleep fairly quickly.  Baby steps to love.

1 Comment

  1. Oh that sweet gift and bed. I totally echo what you said about the arranged marriage and falling in love slowly. I remember thinking of how much I loved Layla before I met her and I did, but it took time to really feel it all in my heart. Attachment is a two way street and doesn’t happen automatically. It is so encouraging to see how FAR Asher and Layla have come!! Their hearts have healed and attached to ours. It is hard to remember life without our girl. Thanks for sharing this blog again and helping me relive all the memories of your journey that intersected with mine.

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