Monday, January 31, 2011

Homeward Bound

View from the Terrace restaurant on top of the hotel Rockland

All of us thought those last few hours before heading to the airport would never pass, including Treya who kept picking up her moccasins and pointing to the door.

True to form, Devi was sick on the way to the airport, but after 23 days traveling, we were finally prepared with travel sickness bag in hand. Nothing like leaving Delhi with all our luggage and bag of barf in tow. Dev, the trooper, was proud that she was only a little sick this time, momma.

Every trip needs one snag. Ours was going through security in route to our departure gate. The examiner challenged the validity of our guardianship papers because they were copies...notarized copies...but still he thought we should have originals. He also could not understand why Devi had an Indian AND US passport. (the VISA office had stapled them together with a note in large letters not to take them apart) In a few tense moments, the examiner took our paperwork away to have a supervisor look everything over. When he returned he had softened, but then decided he had a few questions he wanted to have answered spurred by his own curiosity. Of concern were why we would adopt two girls and not boys, why we chose India and not some other country, and did Pat and I have a sound marriage. With the desire for idle chit-chat long since gone, we rushed our answers and got the heck out of there.

Split seats...3 together and 1 across the aisle made for an odd first leg to our journey home. Treya decided she was more fond of daddy, so he got to manage both girls for the first 8 hours because no one would change seats with us. Alone for the first time on the trip, one might think that I would enjoy a movie or a meal eaten in leisure, but I was a nervous wreck, feeling inept and unable to help poor daddy, who did just great without any help from me what so ever.

Kid's Forest, the kiddy play area in the Amsterdam airport, kept us all busy for the nearly 5 hour layover. The kids ran around getting rid of all their wiggles before boarding another plane bound for Seattle with a flight time of just over 9 hours. This time we had 4 seats together and the girls slept the majority of the least 8 hours for Treya. She woke long enough for lunch and then it was lights out again for her. In fact, the man seated in the row behind us commented on landing that he had no idea that two small children were sitting in front of him, as they were so quiet.

Both girls sacked out for the final leg home.

Going through customs was easy, but long. I missed the "families with children go first" rule enforced throughout India. Instead we waited in line for over an hour with two tired and whiny children. Their demeanor's drastically changed once spotting our warm welcome of family in baggage claim. As we rose up the escalator, there was our brood, wildly waving from all sides of the room opening to us. Devi could not get hugs from everyone fast enough and Treya waved hellos and did namastes for everyone.

We stopped at Oma's house for a little lunch and a chance for everyone to take in our Treya. She withdrew into the recesses of her little mind, trying to process the situation and watched intently through her bright eyes of her otherwise blank stare. This reminded me of just how far we have come in just a short week getting to know her. She is quite the crack up these days. So funny.

In need of a little something to ward off the nods we were both suffering, we stopped at Starbucks, for a sip of familiar to get ourselves home those last few miles. Mine didn't work as I fell asleep in route, dropping my coffee into my lap and drenching myself awake!

Balloons graced our table covered in cookies, muffins, and breads, not to mention the counter tops loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. Completely stocked, the fridge was loaded with all kinds of prepared foods. I won't need to cook for a couple of months! All this from our wonderful neighbors and friends. What a wonderful home coming!

Once a little settled, we all slept for a few hours and then got a second wind. I unpacked our suitcases and did the laundry, while Devi showed her sister around her new home. We got out her little book of pictures and she seemed to recognize the rooms. A bubble bath, to wash off the Delhi dirt and one broken toe for me suffered by tripping on the girls kiddie stool and we were ready for bed again at 2am. Treya, resisting sleep, cried for about 5 minutes before finally settling down. Since they now share a room, Devi soothed her into dreamland as only a big sister can....a little shouting, a little huffing and a few soft words.

Hoping to sleep until 6 or so, we awoke to find it was 10:45am! Boy did that mattress feel good. A far cry from the coconut husk mattress we shared in Goa. After breakfast, we went for our first story time and coffee time and then took Treya to her first search of a pair of shoes for her.

Currently, the girls are both napping upstairs in their room. It feels so good to say that. It also feels so great to be home with all 4 of us. The transition to this point has been going remarkably well and we all hope it continues. Today, Treya learned to say apple! Need I say more?

First breakfast at home!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Final days and Reflections

At last, everything is complete, and we are ready to come home. We will be flying Delta from Delhi to Amsterdam flight #9438 continuing on to Seatac with a flight #233 arriving on Jan. 29th at 12:25 in the afternoon for anyone who may be interested.

Yesterday was India Republic Day. Everything was closed! I mean everything. Military personnel were everywhere, but no cars were in sight. Not even a horn could be heard. The bustling Delhi that we have come to know so well was eerily quiet. We found a park online and took off on a hike to find it. 30 minutes later, we found a dusty park with kid's monkey bars and slides. The kids had a delightful time playing, but it really felt like Mt. St. Helens had just erupted here, as literally everything including every leaf, rock or flat surface was covered in dust. It felt so strange to go to a park and not sit on the grass, but you would have been filthy.

On the way home, we found one restaurant open for business...Dominoes pizza! Hilarious, I know, but they had probably 14 or more delivery bicycles at the ready and an equal number inside to take phone orders. Capitalizing on the holiday closures, they were incredibly busy and we were thankful for the lunch. We ordered room service for dinner and called our evening an early one.

Today we headed back to the doctor's office and as expected he saw no reaction on Treya's arm to the TB test, so with the final "healthy" report in hand we headed to the US Embassy to finalize the last details to legally be declared Treya's guardians. A long road has come to a close and it seems as though Treya knew and was smiling form ear to ear right with us. Treya has all ready brought us so much joy. Her smile is contagious and her laugh genuine.

A little about our newest family member...she is quite bright and we realize now that she understands far more English than we gave her credit for. To date her favorite new sayings are "all done" and "ut oh". When going to sleep, she sits criss cross apple sauce and then falls on her face or the opposite, laying on her back and then pulling both legs up to her chest with crossed feet. No doubt this is the position that she took while growing in the womb and seems to be that position of comfort today. When tired, she points to the bed, you lay her down and she closes her eyes. That simple, however, once asleep she is in constant motion all night. She loves white rice and probably has eaten it every meal since birth. She is quick to smile, once you know her and she eagerly gives the sign of namaste to everyone she meets. She also has the Indian head swagger for "YES" down pat. If I've not yet mentioned it, she is LOUD! I mean really LOUD! and loves to hear the sound of her LOUD voice.

Treya idolizes Devi and copies everything she does...both the good and not so good behaviors. Today they played dolls together with no adult intervention. It was darling to watch them wrap them up, kiss them, sit with them, feed them and then pretend to change their diapers. Then do it all over again and again. Treya loves to be organized so if you take something out, it quickly disappears as she has all ready put it away. If music is on, her head is bobbling. It is quite hilarious. The girls spent quite a time dancing together this afternoon and she seemed quite partial to Bob Marley. She is very excited about having a few of her own things, last night sleeping with her pride and joy...her leather moccasins! She also really likes her hoodie coat and wearing bows in her hair.

She also has a terrible temper when she does not get what she wants, that we are working on. She has been known to occasionally hit, kick, go limp and bite...tonight taking hold of my cheek almost drawing blood. I'm not certain of the reason, as she lifted both hands to be to be held, but when I picked her up she got me. The joyous times far far out way these struggles, and we are pleased for the progress she has made in excepting us in just a few short days. Her personality has seemed to blossom and we see a change in the tenseness of her face all ready.

Devi is really beginning to understand adoption. Today she chatted at length about birth parents, and the reason that they are no longer in her and Treya's lives. I was worried when the questions began, but she really was at ease with the whole conversation, reflecting on our time spent at SOFOSH with all those children, adding at the end that she wants another adopted baby because she likes babies and they need us. It was sweet, but I suggested another greyhound in a year or two and that brought the biggest smile!

Now a bit for a reflection about Delhi. This city is in constant motion. At a glance one would say it is chaotic and disorganized, but in truth, it runs quite harmoniously, just differently than the place we call home. For one thing, pedestrians do not have the right of way so walking requires one to be on their constant guards. No worry, as horns are used often and sometimes sustained to let you know to get out of the way. To make this a bit more interesting, the sidewalks are where cars park, so when walking, one walks in the streets, which are usually as busy as highways, with cars, trucks, auto rickshaws, motorcycles and bicycles and horses. Imagine walking down an interstate with no shoulder and that is what walking in Delhi is like. Add to this that there are really no lanes to speak of so every intersection is a bottle neck with as many vehicles passing through as humanly possible. No one waits in just go and look for an open spot.

When traveling to India, wear light fabrics, NOT light colors. Everything is dirty. Even touching a tree trunk will leave your hand covered in dust. An auto rickshaw ride around the block in a white shirt will leave it gray. We happen to be staying in a rather affluent part of town with house plaques listing most residents as doctors and their cars, mostly Mercedes, are washed daily, although we are asked everywhere to conserve water. The housing developments are called Pockets and most are gated. That said, we feel totally comfortable walking the streets even at night and have been taking a nightly outing always feeling the need to shower off the dust when we return. People are always milling about, but we have never been approached or felt uncomfortable, even when street dwellers are present.

One of the most odd things we've found this trip is that it is winter here, so everyone is wrapped up in warm jackets, scarves, gloves and ear muffs, but the temperature has not dipped below 60 degrees. The peanut roasters, flower stringers and other vendors, build small fires on the sidewalks at night, which is the funniest sight to us, as we are comfortable in a light jacket if we wear a coat at all.

Quite spoiled, I'll never get used to the constant power outages, although not great in Delhi, we lost power (known here as current) at least 4 times daily throughout the rest of the trip. No paper goods is another adjustment that is hard to get used to. No toilet paper, no kleenex, no napkins (unless cloth at nicer restaurants), no straws...becomes difficult if you've not planned for it by bringing a handkerchief etc.

Add to this a bit of every color in the rainbow and what you get is the vibrant city of Delhi. You end up loving and hating it all at the same time. The few outfits that we've brought are beyond dirty and no amount of hand washing could possibly get them clean. Socks? Well, I think we may just toss them. Even Devi has worn through one pair of shoes while here. Tonight for dinner, we ordered Mexican...guess that just goes to show it is time to come home.

Tomorrow we have a free day to pack and wander then it is off to the airport in the evening. Please say a few prayers that are journey home goes smoothly.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Delhi and more paperwork

We've been without internet or wi-fi for the past few days, so let me catch you up.

On the drive to the Pune airport we chatted with our taxi driver who spoke very good English and Marathi, of course. He helped us figure out what few words Sonalika has. She says ayee a lot, which means mother. I don't think she is referring to me when she says this, as it is said in a chanting manner both when she is happy and when she is crying. I think it is a term of endearment that she used with those who cared for her. She calls Devi DeeDee, which we just thought was her term for the name Devi that they taught her. It turns out DeeDee means big sister in Marathi, which for us couldn't be more appropriate.

The Delhi flight was somewhat uneventful except for when we started the decent, Treya's ears began to pop and she started to cry. If you can calm her before she gets too worked up she is fine, however, this was one of those bouts of crying that goes the other way, escalating into an all out uncontrolled sobbing and thrashing. A woman nearby who spoke no English, reached out her hand to her and spoke a couple of sentences and Treya immediately stopped, calmed herself, folded her hands and pouted until she fell asleep. I have no idea what was said, but she listened.

This language barrier is the hardest issue to date...well, and her strong will for what she wants. She will throw herself down on the floor and sob over a packet of sugar we won't let her have; or because mom is feeding her and she would prefer daddy to feed her; or she would rather eat with a spoon by herself, not with her hands. This list of specific wants goes on and on and makes life a bit difficult at the moment because she changes her mind so frequently, without words it is hard to decipher what she is upset over. We vacillate between whether to stand our ground with a NO or just let her have what she wants until we can firm up our rules when we get home. For now, we are standing firm, but the girl has a way of breaking you down.

We had planned to stay at a nice home stay in Delhi, however, our escort would not escort us from that location because it was not convenient to her. So at the last minute they booked us into another home stay closer to our appointments. The room was large, but with no windows, and as it turns out, no wifi or hot water. The girls have had bucket baths the past two nights, where I heat water in the coffee pot and pour it into the cleaning bucket. Not glamourous, but at least they go to bed somewhat cleaner than they were. The hotel also forgot to bring the extra blanket and the breakfast I ordered on the morning we were suppose to go to the embassy...a long day with no food available once inside. That was the final straw so I complained to our escort and as of today....we've packed and unpacked for the 7th time on this trip. The Rockland is home for our 3 final nights. It is nice...we are staying and happily have hot water and WIFI again, although, there seems to be major construction going on inside with lots of loud noise. I hope they have early quitting time!

Embassy day was LONG! Our escort was helping our family and a single NRI woman adopting a son. She required an Article 23 and her plane left that night. We thought we were suppose to be doing a full adoption, requiring an Article 23, but apparently something changed from the time we left he US until now and they had changed their minds. No matter as at least the adoption was going through and we don't need to fight for that Article 23 from CARA that everyone else is having to do.

The US Embassy (sorry no photos allowed) has been completely reorganized and remodeled since we were there, however Pat and I both commented that we recognized the desk under the huge tree where we first met the Welser family when adopting Devi. The new offices seemed to be run pretty efficiently. We handed over our paper work, waited for our names to be called and then raised our right hands and were sworn in as guardians. Done in about 30 minutes. Our escort left with the other woman to go to CARA to get her Article 23 and we were to wait inside the Embassy with no phones or cameras, for her to come for us. 3 hours later, they were back after suffering many delays. Luckily, I had packed lots of snacks, there were a few toys for the kids to play with and they napped while we waited. We also took the time to meet a number of other adoptive families, ours being the only non-NRI family and even one family that had just picked up twin 9 month old girls from SOFOSH.

In the evening, we walked to M Block Market and had dinner at the South Punjab restaurant. The manager offered dessert on the house because we had adopted Treya...a very nice gesture, but the girls had run out of patience for sitting so we walked home stopping at one of about 7 sweet shops in the area for a brownie for dessert.

Treya has had several long tearful bouts of crying in the evenings. It is hard to know if she is missing her old home, or just being stubborn, for I'm sure both are true. She has taken quite a shine to Pat and sometimes will just wail while I hold her until he comes to her. Naturally, sometimes it is the other way around. Always she is after us to put on her shoes so she can go out the door. She continues to like to help, so she is the one that takes everything to the garbage cans and also helps me organize the clothing and toys. She loves to brush her teeth and comb her hair, which both tend to be good distractions.

Devi continues to be a trooper. She is struggling a bit with the language barrier with her sister, as she so wants to play school or have us read every word of books that Treya simply is not ready for yet. Devi also has started acting up a bit, not using listening ears like she should, but I figure her world has just been rocked pretty hard, so all in all she is behaving marvelously. She is sweet with Trey and wants so much to love on her all the time. She begins each morning and ends each night by saying "I love you little sis" which is so wonderful to hear.

Today we went to the hospital for Treya's check up and TB test. We found out that she has had a second surgery to separate her big toe on one foot. Evidently, the bones were being compromised, making the ability to walk difficult. She wears braces to keep her feet positioned properly while walking, but seems to walk fine without them. Frankly, I don't think they do anything, but we were told to use them until the doctor appointments are done. At 30 inches tall she is 23 pounds and probably has Devi beat for waist size by at least an inch or more. She has also had chickenpox all ready and had one absess on her scalp treated about a year a go, which I have no idea what that was all about. Other than that, she is healthy as a horse as long as her TB test is clear (which will be rechecked in 48 hours). I suppose I should add too, that although she is two years of age, she is not yet potty trained and I would guess her motor skills appear to be that of a 14 month old and her verbal skills at about 12 months. (Really guessing there as I don't speak her language) In playing, she is able to sort colors and sizes, can stack blocks like a champ and can pick up the tiniest of tidbits with both hands. All and all, I was quite surprised at how well she does after being in an orphanage since birth.

With one more appointment out of the way, our escort whipped us in and out in no time. Good thing, as the hospital was extremely hectic and chaotic and I am not certain if Pat and I could have run that gauntlet alone. This particular doctor is used by our escort because she has developed a relationship with him so adoption cases do not have to wait in a waiting room. We just get to walk right in.

Two more appointments left to complete....nothing tomorrow, as it is India Republic day. I wish I could respond to everyones comments. We are enjoying all of them so much and all of our support. It means the world to us....especially now, as I believe without a doubt, we are all ready to come hom

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

And then there were 4

In all the excitement I forgot to mention that the day we left SOFOSH with Treya, was her 2nd birthday! It was quite the celebration indeed.

So our first night together, the sleeping part anyway was okay....I'll just say it....HELL. Four people in one queen sized bed has got to be choreographed just right to work and with a four year old and a child who we've just met, lets just say it was a worse experience than the time that Pat and I were asked to leave the dance floor during a Tango lesson...yes it was that bad.

We started the evening just as we did when we were joined with Devi...we went out to dinner. When in doubt - EAT. The wait staff with the most broken of English and we with no recollection of Marathi ended up with an odd assortment on our table trying to find something that Treya would eat. In the end, she wanted nothing to do with Indian food we ordered, but rather managed to stuff 3 pieces of Devi's cheese pizza down her gullet, which was more than Dev eats. Apparently, Trey has eaten little solid food. Everything is mushed together and slopped up with bread so she easily chokes because she just stuffs the food in and does not take time to chew. It is something to work on. She also has a huge sweet tooth and is constantly motioning to our table full of snacks for more.

Home we went where we thought we would try a relaxing bath. Wrong! It became play time and both girls delighted in splashing each other to the point that the hotel bathroom walls where running with water. All the while Trey squealed with delight and Devi echoed. (Guess we will be enrolling her in swim lessons once home!) Bath time brought on the biggest smiles and belly laughter we have heard or seen to date. She loved it and it was a wonderful bonding time for the girls.

Finally in our jammies, the hard part began. Treya grabbed me by a finger and started leading me to each door looking to go "home" I suspect. Once the closet doors and the door to the adjoining room were checked, the whimpering began and she sobbed heavily for a good 15 minutes in my arms, while huge crocodile tears streamed down her face. It was that mournful hurting kind of cry and just needs to come out. It is heart wrenching to hear, and although we had prepped Devi for this, she was still shaken and became so wound up herself that trying to get her to sleep was futile. Once asleep, Treya dreamily searched for a corner...just as Devi did, meanwhile each time Treya settled down, Devi would say something to her, or wrap her arms around her, squeeze her, poke her or ask if she was asleep and the whole wiggling process would begin again. Treya ended up sleeping between my legs in all sorts of contorted positions most of the night and Devi came within inches of spending her night in the bathtub or out in the hall.

The girls slept until well past eight; Devi with the covers on, Treya, having never slept with a blanket before, with the covers off. Pat and I simply gave up and ordered room service milk coffee. Off for VISA photos by 10 with our escort Meenal, our day was well under way.

We were treated to lunch by C.P. Kapur, the soon to be father-in-law to my bosses daughter. It happens the groom was born and raised in India, but completed his studies in the US where he met Amy. Not only did C.P. take us to a grand Rajastani restaurant, but he also made sure we made it to Pune safely, that our hotel reservations were confirmed and researched the orphanage where Sonalika lived before we arrived to make sure everything was in order. I believe this is the Indian way and it was much appreciated.

After naps we took the girls to do a bit of shopping and then let Treya taste her first french fries...she loved them. Normally we would probably not do bath time two days in a row, but Pune is the second dirtiest city in India and just an auto rickshaw drive around the block is enough to have you covered in dust and exhaust. Most people keep their faces covered except for their eyes with scarves to limit their exposure. So into the tub with a repeat performance of last night.

Tomorrow we head to Delhi and so this evening as I packed our bags, Treya began to help. She delighted in giving me one item of clothing at a time to pack into the suitcase. She also likes to clean up, so much of our play time has been spent emptying a bag of something and then letting her put it away again. Beauty shop has also been a big hit with the girls and since mom's hair can't be combed, daddy has become their only customer.

The crying tonight lasted only a few minutes...with tonight's arrangement taking form in the bed. Dad and I are bookends, Devi is at the pillows and Treya in sleeping horizontally at her feet. I have no idea if this will work, but it is worth a try.

Small the end...Devi ended up happily sleeping on two chairs pushed together beside the bed. Treya rolled around in between Pat and I and at one point fell off the end of the bed (that is how active she is in sleep). Jumping up I found her on the floor rubbing her head, but still ASLEEP.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Circus Circus

Devi has been fantastic on this trip. Both Pat and I could not be more proud of her behavior, her patience and her grasp of this situation and Indian culture. From the day we met, she has been such a wise soul and continues to be just that. Even yesterday afternoon when we needed to do paperwork, she willingly left us to go play with all the kids. This may not seem like such a big deal, but at 4 she left the comfort of us parents to enter a very chaotic area of about 100 kids where no one speaks English. Need I say more?

After such a wonderful morning with Sonalika, we were so looking forward to continuing our bonding after the signing was done. This did not happen. She was a mess. She wouldn't let us near her and if I tried she would do the limp routine and would swing her leg braces like weapons. There was a LOT of stimulation going on, however, as there were several university students there doing volunteer work. We felt it was best not to fight the situation, so only spent a few minutes with her and left, deciding to take Dev to the circus for our last night as a family of three.

We walked the 20 or so blocks to get there, getting ourselves a bit turned around, known as a little lost, but when in doubt just keep asking the same question over and over and eventually, you find your way. Once there, the only Westerners, you can imagine how we were glommed onto by the vendors and beggars. We try to always be polite, but when surrounded momma bear comes out and I had to be down right rude. Pat quickly asked to have us admitted ASAP and they let us buy tickets and go inside the tent to await the show and escape the obvious mobbing.

Rambo Circus, Pune's first, was the most bazaar set of acts I've ever seen. It was not the glam that we would typically see and everything was said in Marathi (Mar-at-hee), but still delightful. Devi's favorite was a little person clown act and Pat and I enjoyed the cricket playing elephant. We both commented there would be no way we would be allowed that close to an elephant without some safety precautions in the states.

We were home very late, past 11pm but it was no matter. After the afternoon meeting with Sonalika I couldn't sleep anyway, for I was worried sick about how today would go and could only imagine a second circus. Throughout the night Pat and I whispered back and forth a game plan, deciding the best approach would be to strap her into my hip sling to keep her somewhat contained in the auto rickshaw, remove her leg braces for my protection and head for the hotel. As for the planned ceremony, well....I was just hoping for the best.

Midnight, 1:13, 2:45, 3:22...each waking I was just praying for God to help us through today. Let little Babi find peace and give her some understanding that we will love her forever and keep her safe. I was begging for some wisdom to be bestowed that we might understand her behavior and help her through this huge transition.

We arrived at SOFOSH at 10am and left our donations, which oddly had to be inventoried and receipts given for everything. Then it was on to Shreevatsa to see what state of mind our tiny head strong tot might be in today. Once again, rare form. It was a struggle to even get close as she would run and hide in a maushi's (auntie's) arms. Because we don't speak the same language it was hard to know if they were telling her or me to do something, but on went the morning. Meanwhile I decided a little dancing was in order...perhaps song would bring her out of her shell, so I lead a boisterous version of Hokey Pokey that of course no one knew. They all caught on quickly however, so we did it many times until there were just no body parts left to sing about. Sonalika....was in the kitchen with her favorite Manda. Nice try!

Preparation for the ceremony began which included changing into traditional Rajastani dress for both girls, which was presented by the group of maushis. Then, the most remarkable thing happened. As if on cue, Sonalika turned to me, raised her arms, and wanted me to dress her! I helped to dress both girls in their Indian outfits and they then were both presented with beautiful necklaces. Their arms were smoothed with scented lotions and their faces powdered. It was quite a procession as each caregiver took a part in this preparation. One care giver brought her bracelets and a new outfit for us to take with us - a special something from her and she wept as she gave it to us. From the time that the ceremony began, Sonalika would not let anyone else hold her anymore and she fell asleep in my arms.

I asked the director about this change in her behavior. She explained that the children have witnessed this ceremony many times. They understand that some day each of them will have their day that they will leave this place with a family. Many, especially the one older girl....Sonalda (I think that was her name) ask often when her day will come.

Seated inside the rangoli blessing our children, the prayers began. Rounding the tray of offerings around us three times...once for health, once for happiness and once for prosperity the ceremony began. Each girl was presented with a lei of marigolds - Devi's presented by the director, and Treya's by Manda, the closest representative of family. Next, each of us received a red stripe of powder...the bindi of life, followed by sprinkle of rice upon our heads for prosperity and finally a spoonful of sugar to know life's sweetness.

This ritual was performed by the director, Urmilla Treya's social worker, Meenal our social worker. Then again by the maushis and again by the other workers. Finally, the oldest orphan girl offered her blessing. We were offered a plaque for the girls room and a set of diyas to light when we think of this place. So very sweet.

Then it was our turn to offer our prayer. That is when the waterworks started for Pat and I who were sobbing so hard we could hardly speak. I thanked God for this place, these people and the compassion in has put into their hearts...although I don't know that much of it was understood. It was so moving...touching...the true love these people have for these children. We were really taking their child away today, and although they were crying tears of joy with us, it was so very very hard. Many tucked themselves behind doors, as they just couldn't bare to watch us go.

Our last gift was the medical file that was started the day Sonalika entered SOFOSH and it is complete with even a set of her twisted footprints from before the correction of her club feet. They also sent us home with a packed lunch of treya's favorite foods...chapati, of course. We said the last few goodbyes and headed for our first auto rickshaw drive as the Ross Family of 4.

My countless prayers were answered today in so many many ways. We are so extremely blessed. Treya is a changed girl. She has received our love with open arms today. Since home at the hotel things are going great! And Daddy has just changed the first diaper!!

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