Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Pachyderm, Piglet, Puppy, Peacock, Parrot

Pachyderm, Piglet, Puppy, Peacock, Parrot. I suppose at this late hour one might throw in other P words, such as Preparation, Panic, Perserverence or happily, PACKED, but in truth the combined gestation of the animals listed above equal the 904 days this adoption journey will take once we meet our sweet Sonalika on the 19th of January.

The other P words came into play this week as we hit road block after road block, sending our stress level at times through the roof. I was on the phone for the better part of two hours one night trying to explain to the airlines that Sonalika does not have a last name yet. To which they explained, no last name, no ticket. If we booked a ticket that did not match her passport, it would be null and void. If the plane that Pat, Devi and I were scheduled to be on became full before we acquired her passport then one of us would have to buy a new ticket and fly with her...and although she offered, it was not going to be Devi. With some patience we found out that we are the first family to adopt a child from Pune under the JJ Act, making Sonalika a US citizen as soon as she stepped on US soil. Typically this type of adoption is only done if you are Hindu, but they are waiving that requirement for us. The reason is that CARA is finding that many families get their children, bring them to the US and then don't finalize so they never become US citizens. The way we are doing things, not only is she a US citizen, but she also has a last name. Dilemma solved! We could buy her a ticket...and did I mention that we will be traveling 7 days past her 2nd birthday, so no lap fare for her. Her ticket is full boat!

A small altercation at the pharmacy while trying to pick up travel meeds, nearly had Pat sending me to the car - a precautionary safety measure for everyone. I tactfully pointed out an error they were about to make with one of the mixable prescriptions which made the pharmacist feel the need to show a bit of his power. He obviously had us over a barrel and in the end would not fill the medicines without first chatting with the adoption specialist about who would have responsibility if the medication was administered incorrectly. This makes no sense to me as we all know that people choose to ignore the directions on vials of medication all the time, but no one has you fill out forms to state that you might take a pain medicine, for instance, 15 minutes before the prescribed time so don't sue the pharmacist. Geez...don't get me started.

Then there was the urgent emails I got saying that our home study update files had been lost and that there were no more originals left fo send to me. Or that the top five places I had hoped to stay in Delhi were all booked, or that the internet was down so the retainer we had sent to reserve a hut in Goa may not reach them in time and the last meager dwelling in Goa would be rented out from under us. At long last, the itinerary was finally set and I was cleared to worry about the important things....our girl, our first meeting, our first hugs.

Holding a tiny pair of jeans down to the ground in anticipation of her approximate height, it hit me that in a couple of weeks another tiny living human being will be relying on Pat and I for everything. Egads, that thought is thrilling and frightening all at the same time. I spend a great deal of time thinking about her life now and how it will change so when we meet. And, my it will change making the hope of ever sitting down to read a book during day light hours an even more unattainable goal than it is now...though happily so.

Then there is Devi, so excited to have a sister and yet, so upset by all the change in the house. Each day, we try to prepare her for a bit of what we might expect to see while in India. She was beside herself when I mentioned that some places may not have the sort of bathroom amenities that we are used to, like for instance, some might only have two spots for your feet and a whole in the ground in the middle. After a long EWWWWWWW....she said, "Well, I'll just sit down on the hole." "OH NO YOU WON'T" I replied with a shutter. After much discussion, I think she gets it now. She is baffled too, that if the beggars want money and need homes, why can't we just give them money and build them a house? So simple, yet complicated in ways that a 4 year old simply can not understand. She nearly went through the roof when I told her that the elephants in one of the spots we are going have a chain on their from legs to keep them from charging. Thinking quick on my feet, that chain has now become a bracelet and has got her to stop saying that she is just going to reach down and take them off.

We leave tomorrow, or rather at this late hour today. First stop after a few minutes shy of 30 hours of traveling, Mysore and then up into the mountains of Madikeri to see the Golden Temple.


Irish follower said...

Hi There,

So, so excited for you and your family! My husband and I are eagarely awaiting being matched with a child in southern India
and cannot wait to be at your stage.
I follow your blog avidly and it gives us great hope and dares us dream that someday we'll be on a plane to meet our daughter for the first time.... just like you guys are today.

Anonymous said...

Safe travels to you all!!! SOOO excited for you guys!! Can't wait for the updates!!
Jim and Michele

The Pfeiffer Family said...

It sure takes a lot of preparation, stress, organization, etc. to finally board that plane to India, but SO well worth it. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you travel to meet your precious Treya. I am looking forward to reading about your amazing adventure.


April :-)

Jennifer said...

Wow! Travel safe, my friend. I am very excited for you, and glad that you were finally able to get everything ironed out.

And may I just say how pleased I am to see that someone else in this world besides me uses the word, "Egads!" :-) Love it!

Take care, and enjoy every minute. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Kristi said...

I will be following your journey every step of the way! So glad the p's are taken care of and you are all well on your way by now. Praying that your meeting with Treya is just what you hoped and that Devi and little sis are best buddies from the start.

P.s. Looks like we will be coming through your area on Monday Feb 7th. We'll connect after you get home and firm up plans to meet (provided you are still feeling up to it). :)

Hugs from all of us!!

Peter and Nancy said...

Whew! Glad all the t's are crossed, i's dotted, and p's . . . done with! I remember all those middle-of-the-night phone calls to secure reservations on the other side of the world -- nerve-wracking, to say the least.

Glad that your roadblocks are cleared, and the joy of exploring India and meeting your sweet Treya are close at hand. We will be praying travel goes smoothly, and following along with you.

Love to you all as you meet your daughter!

Emily said...

Bon voyage and safe travels!! Now all you have to do is enjoy the ride :) It is hard to put into words how thrilled and joyful I am that you are finally able to make this journey. Blessings and love to you Julie! Emily

The Labontes said...

I cannot wait to hear more about Devi's travel experience - can she keep her own blog yet :) ?

Enjoy every minute - I know you will!


Not By Chance said...

Can't wait to hear more!