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

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Karen said...

Your photos say it all... what an adventure! Love the bucket & box pics of your sweeties... "Old Smuggler," HA! The photo of the 4 of you at the top of your post is so precious - a framer! A real, true family of FOUR. Can't believe it has finally happened.

We're thinking of you every day and will be sending up all prayers and good wishes for safe & smoooooooth travel on the way home. I'm sure your super-mom-bag will be stuffed to the gills with all the right things. :)

Sending love,
Karen & crew

The Harmons said...

Thanks for the update! Treya has 3 year old Leah beat in the weight department!

Take the braces off! Once we got home Leah's orthopedist said they have no purpose at all!

Dying to hear who your escort is!

the Harmons

Teresa said...

Glad you made your way to Delhi and are getting closer to coming home. It seems like you have been gone forever!! I love reading about all your adventures there. Love the pictures!!

Wishing you a safe flight home. Take care.

Teresa..waiting for Karuna's NOC

Anonymous said...

Jules and family -- wonderful to hear you made it to Delhi ok... praying the paperwork and appointments continue smoothly -- so glad everyone is healthy. Don't you wish you knew what the women on the plane said to Treya?! Our thoughts are with you. Hugs DD

Kristi said...

Glad u are through with most of the paperwork now. Hopefully every day Treya will understand more English and become more at peace in her fabulous new family. I remember that feeling at the end of the trip when it's just time to head home and get into the business of the new normal. You are almost there! It's the home stretch! I am sending more prayers up for you guys. :)

Peter and Nancy said...

Hang in there, Julie & Pat -- you're doing so well coping with the language barriers (not to mention the normal mercurial temper of a 2-year-old!). You win the official award for coping wtih changes, too!

We will be praying for you as you wait for the TB results, and especially for the plane rides. In my opinion, labor is easier and usually shorter than those flights home! :o)

BTW, "didi" is the Bengali word for "big sister" too -- seems some words translate into many languages.

Justin and Tara Evoy said...

So happy to be following your beautifl journey! Yours is a beautiful family...praying for you as you approach the days leading home!

Emily said...

You four are doing so very well, with so many changes and hurdles to jump!! And you're almost done, and soon will be on your way home to what is familiar, comforting, and cozy.

I am super curious to know what that woman said to Treya on the plane, and am so grateful she was there in your time of need!

Nice advocating for a better homestay Julie, and I hope that is the last of the bumps in the road on your journey home to us. We're with you in spirit!

Love, Emily

Sandy & Butch said...

We have been excitedly following your journey to India and the addition of Treya to your family. So happy for you all. Will be praying that the rest of your travels will go smoothly. Love that DD means big sister! Sweet!
Hugs, Sandy & Butch

heather_and_nathan said...

Kudos to Devi--she sounds like she is being a superstar! It is so impressive she has been doing so well.

It is great that the Embassy went so smoothly (for you anyway). That was a big headache for us last time. I am confused about the finalization/guardianship thing and the article 23 so I would be curious to hear more at some point...

Treya is beautiful and seems to be doing so great given all the changes in her life.


Our Family of 5 said...

Julie,I so remember when we were at the embasssy,they said we needed a article 23...they finally figured out that all we needed was a article 5 which we had,SHEW! I was about to break a sweat and my heart hit the floor...almost.LOL:)So neat how that lady calmed Treya.:) Wonder what she said.:) Hang on,you are almost ready for that fly home. Sounds like you are having a good trip...besides the hot water deal!! Anyway...hope you all have a great trip back home! Hoping Treya's test comes back clear for you!! Take Care...Blessings,Gidget and Family

The Pfeiffer Family said...

What a blessing it must be to have an escort to help you move through these last set of hoops. The photos of the girls together are precious and I love the bucket shot.

When you said you had to wait outside the embassy for 3 hours my heart skipped a beat, as we had to wait about 30 minutes for our ride to pick us up. The difference was that it was 115 degrees that day and it sure felt like 3 hours. So glad it was MUCH cooler and you were a wise mommy with lots of snacks :-)

Sounds like you are all doing well while managing all the daily changes. Safe travels home and then you can start establishing a new "normal".

April :-)

Candice said...

You all have been such troopers! I don't think I would have survived the trip you've had! :) I am glad that you are almost finished and will soon be on your way home. I'm sure the language barrier will disappear quickly! Can't wait to hear that you are home safely. Thanks for sharing your journey!

Anonymous said...

It's cute that the girls are playing in a "smuggler" box...

good thing the "au-thor-ih-tays" did not see that!