Originally posted on June 6, 2012:
Last night went better than expected. I told you about how long it took to go to sleep, but then he slept until about 1am. We gave him a bottle and although he did not want to be held, he sat next to me on the bed and did stop crying while I was singing. He wouldn’t lay down, didn’t want us to touch him, but wasn’t crying. He fell asleep sitting up! So we laid him down and he slept until 6am. I call that a great first night.
Today we’ve seen more progress, and more grieving. The previous Holt families are probably not going to like this, but our court experience as DSDW was really not that bad. First of all, there are only 2 HSF families here this time, so when we both were done, we could leave. We also had a great time meeting the other families who were waiting for their board meeting. The best was meeting Monique, who is a friend of Gemma’s who is a friend of mine from the adoption online world. Gem and Monique live in Australia. Only a few of you will understand this, but I have met the Australian Myrna J. I KID YOU NOT! Myrna, you would have loved her. Monique walked in, hugging everyone, taking pictures, handing out candy and mints to everyone waiting, and she even had about a dozen battery operated fans in the shape of ice-cream cones to hand out. It was awesome. She was BFF’s with everyone in the place by the time we left. Gemma, I’m so glad you told me about Monique, but I’m sure I would have met her anyway! What a doll. She and her husband and daughter were there to adopt Pitt, whom I think is 8. We also met families from Canada, Ireland and Germany.
We did have to wait in the hall with no A/C for about 30 minutes before our meeting, which was brief. The board asked us a handful of questions, none difficult to answer. Why did you choose Thailand? How do your older kids feel about this plan? Why aren’t they here? What do you both do for jobs? At the end I did get a little choked up, which I didn’t think I would. They asked us to love him very well and thanked us for adopting from Thailand. I barely got out my thanks. It seemed a little final! I guess it was.
We waited for our paperwork with the rest of the besties in the hallway, and then we were home by 11:15. I won’t add it each time, but just to picture it, every time we come into the hotel, leave the hotel, or anytime we are in the hotel room, Asher is crying. We just assume this place just reminds him that he is not home and his traumatic meeting of us happend here!
We put our suits on and headed down to the pool. He did NOT want to go in. Very clear about that. So first Trent was in and kind of splashing us, then I sat on the edge with my feet in, and Asher sat in the crouched position for about 25 minutes just watchin us! (Kevin Marr…if you or your wife are reading this, we always call this position the Catcher Kevin.) Then I was too hot, so I got in the pool too. He would put his hand in the water, but not his feet. At one point we thought he was ready, so Trent just grabbed him and held him. Nope. That lasted about 2.5 seconds. But he still stayed at the side of the pool for several minutes, so we’re not giving up hope. (At least we can get in the pool! It’s crazy hot here!)
Then we walked to Moon House (the best!) to get food and bring it back to the hotel. We want to try to have as many good experiences as possible inthis room, and food is a good experience for this child. He did eat well, and then we decided it was naptime. Great progress for naptime. We all laid down and gave him a bottle, and he only cried for about 8 or 9 minutes before falling asleep. We all slept for about 90 minutes. He was very upset when he woke up and cried hard for several minutes as we were getting ready to leave. We’ve had to block the front door with a heavy chair, b/c the hotel deadbolt unlocks when you pull the handle, and the lock up top allows the door to open about an inch…just enough for little fingers to get slammed. We’d heard the stories about children crying and clawing at the door. Yep. They are true. Poor kid. He’s smart too…he always grabs his shoes and one of his big blankies and you just know if he could talk he would be saying “I’m getting my stuff and I”m getting out of here!”
Then we grabbed a taxi back to Big C to get some misc. stuff we’ve been needing and to kill time outside the hotel room. Have I mentioned I love Big C? They also have a food court downstairs with a DQ and we got two blizzards for about $2.
We took a taxi home and it was traffic time, but Saran likes to be in the taxi. He’s mesmerized by all the other cars, buses, motorcycles and scooters. Now, mind you, there are no seatbelts here, let alone carseats, so of course it’s a little more enjoyable than a ride in the Graco.
Trent and I decided we needed a little down time in the room—we’d hardly been there awake all day! So, even though he was sad, we hung out here for a while, giving him toys, drawing stuff, baloons, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn’t let us comfort him yet, so sometimes we just have to sit nearby while he cries. I started this blog post, and then a lightning storm came and knocked out the power! It was pouring down rain, so for dinner we just ran across the street to Mali, which is a nice little Thai restaurant. More expensive than Moon House, but just fine. They didn’t have any power, but served us anyway! The power came back on just before we ate.
The good news is that I’m actually writing this as Asher is awake. Trent has baseball onthe TV and Asher is laying on his pink silky on the floor next to Trent. He’s fussing, whimpering, but not crying hard. It’s almost his bedtime, so Im sure that will not be his favorite.
Overall, I think things are going well. We’re seeing him reach for us when we’re in public, he’s gettin much less scared of the elevator, he’s even starting to repeat some of our words. We taught him “more” and “please” in sign language, and he liked those little yogurt melts so much that he picked it up pretty quickly. We are seeing more of that difficult toddler behavior, which is not fun for us. It’s hard to attach and bond to a child who is being obnoxious. But we are trying to be very patient, while being pretty clear about some behavior that is unacceptable. Let’s just say, we learned the word for “no-no” and use it often. (mai-dai) But we are encouraged by all the small steps he is making, and recognize that his normal kid behavior means he is getting more comfortable around us. I’m missing my big kids like crazy, and trying not to think about the fact that I still have 6.5 days and an insanely long plane ride(s) before I get to see them again. So grateful my mom and dad have sent some good updates and pics of them. Thanks, M & D. Day by day!
So glad you all are along with us for the ride. Just like some of you have said you wake up to see if I’ve blogged, I wake up and go to the computer to read your words of encouragement! Although the time in the room is always a little sketchy now. Tomorrow morning first thing we head to the US Embassy to get the paperwork started for Asher’s visa. We’ve heard that too is a very long and hot wait. But that’s our last official appointment, then we just kill time until visa’s ready and flight leaves late Monday night. Much love to you all!
Here are some pics from our time at DSDW. Yes, Asher’s OTHER comfort blanket is also pink. It’s a huge pink fleece Nemo blanket. Poor Trent was soaking in sweat because he was carrying ASher and Nemo in the van and to the meeting. But guess what? We found Asher’s Minky in his stuff from his foster family! It’s the lovey that Carson and Sydney both have, and my mom made one for Asher & we sent it to him. It is not his #1 favorite, but he was clearly familiar with it. WE’re trying to substitute that for our outings, b/c a huge fleece blanket around Bangkok just isn’t practical.
The one pic is of us and Monique’s family, and one of her son and Asher playing together.
A couple of you have asked about why I keep using Asher and Saran. To be honest, it was a an unconscious thing, because that’s what we are doing here. WE think of him as Asher, and you think of him as Asher, but he doesn’t know that’s his new name. And no one here, especially anyone in an official capacity would know who we were talking about if we called him Asher. So we started using Saran only, then just yesterday we started calling him Ashersaran or Saranasher. We’ll just keep doing that until he gets used to both names. But we can’t legally change his name for several months.
Also, thank you for those of you who have been looking out for me and making sure that I’m not blogging out of obligation. I promise, if it is too much, I won’t. But other than my dear friend Catie (and Trent of course) it’s kind of lonely over here, and blogging not only helps me process through the day’s events, but also makes me feel connected to home, to you guys, who are my support system. But there will be days ahead, I’m sure, where you don’t hear from me.