Monday, May 31, 2010

From Daniel's mamma:Day 1

I held Daniel for the irst time as his mamma and he my son at about 9 this morning! He was sleeping in his car seat when I stroked his hair and his cheek for the first time in over a year, when I kissed his face and his fingers and said " I love you little son". He awoke as I was changing his diaper and his clothes for our visa medical appointment, and seemed to not be wigged out that "a stranger" was messing with him. Melodie had been assuring me that he was VERY EXCITED that I was coming, and she'd wink and say "well maybe I exaggerated just a bit  but the nannies and the other children are excited for him". YES YES YES my baby boy wore his  "LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN"  outfit with his new red, white and blue sandals and he was adorable! He smiled at me  a lot as I spoke to him and stroked him; he is ticklish and responds sweetly to gentle tummy tickles and "typing finger" touches to his back. He is about Grand Baby Charlie's size, but where Charlie is a strong healthy active baby  who wants to  stand and walk and lift his own weight far too early for THIS Grammy's liking, Daniel is soft with not much muscle tone. There is  a world of difference in carrying a 20# baby  who supports his own head and hold on to whomever is carrying him and a 20# baby who can't support anything. I carried him around town in an infant carrier seat, and when he got a bit too heavy or when I looked like I was having a hard time, Kim (the other mom who is here adopting her long-ago decreed son Moses, ) . would take one side of the handle and share the carrying with me Truly many hands make light the work! . Our visit to the medical cllinic only took two hours and considering that the doctor ordered an x-ray of Daniel's head, this was AMAZZZZZZING!! The doctor asked me many questions about our plans for care for Daniel when we got him home and I was happy to tell him that we had already  lined up a neurologist and neurosurgeon for WHEN HE GOT HOME, and explained to him plans for MRI, CT sscans and shunt surgery. He seemed quite satisfied with that and assured us that the report would be at the embassy for our visa  interview tomorrow morning.PRAISE GOD!!!
Melodie our agency director is so super  at getting to the right people  and gettng things done and she shome today in my opinion! She grew up in Liberia so she speaks with the low toned consanant dropping dialect of the Liberians and they love it. The older men who worked int he x-ray clinic were joking with her about things Liberian and it was so fun. I'm sure when people see this young blonde "girl"  (she's a newlywed) they expect a "kid" and she is totally a confident Liberian woman and they respond to her very positively.
Ok so after the clinic experience..lots of people staring at the older white lady with the big headed baby, most trying not to let me see the stares and some just puttin' it all out there in the very crowded waiting areas, squeezing through long crowded halls, trying not to jostle Daniel too much or bang into people with the infant seat, we heaeded out to go eat lunch at Diana  restaurant: Mediterranean food. If you know me in person you know I LOVE middle eastern dishes so this was a yummy treat. Not enough bulgar in the tabouli but yummy nonetheless! I am so praising God for glucosamine and His Hand  on my hip! The plane trip from Chicago to Belgium was so crowded that I was truly in a  lot of pain, more than I have had in weeks. Aswe walked the uneven streets of Monrovia, I was a bit stiff, but by the end of the day I felt GREAT! I don't know if I needed a really hard walk with extra weight to carry to be therapy or  what but it worked!! No limp today and no pain tonight!
Getting into our vehicle drew a small crowd of young men and a few girls too, looking at Daniel. I thought "Phoey! Some of these people think that my baby is cursed, I will tell them what they are looking  at. " So I did, telling the growing crowd that he had too much fluid in his head and in America he would have an operation to put in a tube to take away the water and make his head get smaller.they started to tell it amongst themselves and a bigger crowd grew! They kept  asking "He will have an operation to fix his head?" and as we drove away they were saying good luck to Daniel and blocking traffic. I told my baby he was the most famous person in Monrovia today! I hope that what little I got to say will help even one of those young people to break away from the repeated ignorant teachings about something medically wrong being a curse, because Daniel was out in the streets of Monrovia today. Who knows!
We went grocery shopping after that and people were very  kind to us as we navigated his car seat and groceries . The clerk laughed when I thanked Daniel for helping me keep the items from falling off the edge of the cart.
Feeding Daniel was not so good, and my appreciation for his sweet nannies (whose gifts were left in the States in my haste to not forget all the items I was bringing for others) who know just what spot in the back of his throat to get the food to so he can passively swallow before his salivary glands add tablespoons of liquid to every bite and the food slides right back out of his mouth onto  waiting bib.  I do not yet have this skill but Daniel was very patient with me!
We had several hours back at our guesthouse to spend together before he had to go back to the orphange: hopefully for the last time  of his life! We played and talked. Since he can not see, I would make sure I spoke as I was coming close to him and before  I touched him. Melodie commented that he was really respondingwell to me, and not doing his "Strangers are touching me" cry. He didn't really  cry at all excpet when we had to put hm on the hard x-ray table, and he didn't cry much even at that. Too soon the driver came for he and Moses to take them back.  So we don't need to re-dress him in the morning for our visa interview, I sent his plaid button down shirt and matching shorts, shoes and socks for Mary to dress him in. I wanted her to see that Iwas doing right  by "her baby". (She had no short list of instructions for me  concerniing Daniel's care, I have to tell you! She loves him deeply!)
Tonight was dinner  upstairs with our host family in this guest house. I love  chili and corn bread so dinner was a welcome favorite meal. Add fresh pineapple and you've got a great dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kim and I poured over our all-important documents for the visa interviews tomorrow. So many pages of explanations (some of which are pretty '"legal-ese") and so many forms to fill out which look just like so many other forms already filled out, but each critical to their part in the visa process. HOW I YEARN for the day thatour adopred children are acknowledged  AS our children and not as our ADOPTED IMMIGRANTS. ALL of this process is actually not  "legal" in the truest sense. Adopted  children ARE a family's children. Adoption makes them a member of a family, but the government has far too-long been able to relegate them to immigrant status, like people  coming to the US as foreigners to become citizens. There is legislation in Congress slated for vote later this year I believe, which will do away with this whole immigrant visa step, and rightfully so. Adopted children should be granted citizenship automatically. Children born to illegals in this country are given citizenhip , but children adopted legally by legal citizens are not: they have to apply for and be granted a visa. I think I will use the words of Forest Gump here:"and that's all I have to say about that."    Kim and I got  all our docs in order, both of us had to call our husbands at home to ask for a this or a that, had to trade a copy of this form for a copy of that form, compare notes on line 28, block3 or whatever, but WE ARE READY!
If it does not rain tomorrow perhaps we will celebraate visa day with a trip to the ocean for a swim and some beach frolicking! Not sure that Daniel will like that, but we can give it a try.
I have several other errands to do an friends to see, and packages to deliver as well!
IF I could find my picture card reader I would post some photos. I ahve a sneaking suspicion it got left at our hotel in OKC on Saturday morning.
Goodnight from Liberia, where Smithsoups' newest ingredient is about to be officially added to the mix!!


Mom to 9 Blessings! said...


Oh how I miss you!

I'm so excited for you and will be praying as I go to sleep tonight for your appt in the morning!

Love you,

love2bmom said...

Thank you for the great update. Praying for you that all is smooth sailing tomorrow, and for no rain, so that you can enjoy the ocean with Daniel!

So happy things are going so well for you on Day 1!


Stephanie said...

Oh my word...I am SO behind! You are there and I am so thrilled. Praying for your interview knowing God has already gone before you and made a way!

Kat said...

Again, I'm not sure much could make me smile more than this. I am praising God that He has brought you to this point, moving governments and judges.

Thank you so much for sharing the day with us. I can't wait to hear more!!!!

Kelli said...

I am bursting with happiness for you and your family!!! Be safe and hope to hear from you again soon!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

So excited ... Daniel in your arms. No need for pictures ... I can see it perfectly. :)

Hugs & Prayers!

Laurel :)

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

WAHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Happy and excited for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see pics :)

Autumn Mist said...

What a wonderful post to read today, my heart is with you and baby Daniel. I am praying that all goes smoothly and that he can be home with you all soon.

Kelly said...

Sounds like things are going so well for you. Keep those posts coming!