Friday, December 16, 2016

Trip Journal: Day Thirteen



I got an earlier start than usual and did some work while Maren slept in this morning. At 0800 I roused Maren and we got ready for the day, heading over to the orphanage at 0900. It was the usual greetings and we went into the room and waited for them to bring Jonah to me. When they brought him in he looked very tired, but happy to see me. They said that this morning he had been crying and when the social worker told them I had arrived the nurses asked if they were going to bring him out even if he was crying – the social worker said “of course” and once they started getting him out of bed he calmed down.

Once they brought him in it took a few minutes for things to settle down and the nurses to leave, with only the social worker, Marti, Dani, Maren, Jonah and myself in the room. Once we had some isolation I laid out his blanket and played with him for a while so he could get used to me putting my hands on him as I changed his clothes.

Valerie packed some good clothes for each boy to try and I had a selection of *gulp* 3-6 month and 6-9 month clothes for him to try on. The 6-12 month onesies fit fine just like they did on Niko. The 3-6-month sleeper was too small but the 6-9 month fit just about right, with the neck being too small – he probably needs a 9-12-month sleeper. The 6-9 month pants and shirt we tried fit perfectly. His torso is more appropriately sized, but his limbs are so tiny.

After we tried on all the clothes, it was time for a snack and I fed him another turbo bottle of rice cereal and milk. He actively reaches for the bottle when he wants more and I tried to go a little more slowly, forcing him to breathe between every few gulps.

After the snack the caretakers took him to get him changed and ready for the passport photos, which were to be done downtown. They dressed him up in a jacket and cap and we were off to the races. The passport photo went *okay* but not great – he was over-stimulated and being propped up on a stool was obviously not his cup of tea.  I did not get a chance to do a photo with him as the store was busy and Jonah was very upset. After the photo shoot, we walked back to the car and drove back to the orphanage. Jonah settled down during the drive but certainly had his moments – a ride in a car is a very new thing for him so it’s going to take some getting used to. We got back to the orphanage and said goodbye so he could relax and get some rest before the afternoon visit. I gave him a kiss and said farewell, which seemed to generate a response which I was happy to see.

This was the last passport photo of the trip, and we’ve now started getting into the “lasts” of the trip. We exchanged money today for the last time on this trip – enough to buy some items in Sofia tomorrow and have plenty left over for the beginning of our next trip. We will be seeing the missionaries for the last time on this trip tonight when we go to dinner with the missionaries here in Pleven. I look forward to the “lasts” of the next trip much more – the last time our children sleep alone, the last time they wake up without a parent, the last time they spend the day wondering if we’ll come back.

We’ll be back, and we’ll be back soon. We have a lot of work ahead of us, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of boxes that must be checked in a very specific order. We pray that the process will be swift and that we can arrange the finances, child care and other resources required to accomplish the next trip as quickly as possible. To all those who have helped Valerie and I with this trip, or plan to help with the next trip – thank you from the bottom of my heart.