Saturday, June 5, 2010
Day 3: Wonderful & Hard
So today was a mixture of wonderful moments and hard moments. First I will tell about our time with S* and then I will write about our tour of the orphanage and the kids that we saw... I'm pretty sure that we saw almost every single one of the 200 kids there!
S* was feeling much better today and we had a blast playing with him in the morning. It is a little hard because we are still being observed by the psychologist but at least it wasn't as crowded as yesterday! He was such a joy this morning. He is still hesitant when he first sees us, the strangers who keep coming and taking him from his room, but it doesn't take long before he is full of laughs and smiles. We played A LOT that first hour, from about 10 to 11. He loves the music player we brought and pushes the button all the time and gets a big smile when the music starts. He then sometimes "dances" by groovin' to the music with his arm. It is very cute. He also already recognizes the little backpack we brought him full of toys. He kept looking at it wondering when we were going to get all the fun stuff out. I took out a bunch of plastic beaded necklaces today, something you might see at Mardi Gras, and he loved those. He already had two rattles on his arm that he was jingling around and then he wanted me to put the beads on. Each time I put one on he would look to the next so I kept putting them on and he ended up with an entire arm full of stuff. It was really cute... I took a picture but we are still trying to work out the picture thing with our computer. Then, he started getting tickled and held up in the air by his daddy, or tata as they call him here, and he LOVED this. He really loves being flown around in the air and playing like that. He just cracks up! He also loves rubbing his tata's head since it is shaved.
After about an hour, he was just very overstimulated and overwhelmed with all the intensive play and he had a breakdown. He had a full on 19 month old breakdown with his back arching and piercing cries. So all the play time was the wonderful part of the day and the breakdown moment was the hard. I am used to picking up my sons when they cry and are sad and they are immediately soothed by being in their mama's arms. They snuggle in close and feel safe and begin to relax. This is not the case with S* because he still does not know us very well. We are the last people he wants when he breaks down. He just would not calm down with us no matter what we did or how we tried to comfort him and as his mama, this was very hard... completely understandable and expected but still hard to say the least. He then went into J*s arms (who he absolutely LOVES by the way... he just lights up when she is around) and he was instantly calmed. You can tell that right now, she is the one he trusts and that is how it should be. She is the one he has known for the last 19 months of his life, she is the one he knows he can trust. It is actually kind of good that he doesn't just go to anyone for comfort... he wants those he knows and trusts. And in time, that will be us as well. In fact, that type of bonding happened a little while later for us which is back to the wonderful.
After he broke down, J* took him to rest in his crib and gave us a tour of the orphanage. We then went and watched him eat lunch and took him back to the play room when he was finished. We knew he was tired and we didn't want to overstimulate him with play, so I just held him snuggled into my lap and caressed his legs and little feet. I don't think he actually gets to see his feet that much because his clothes are always covering them. But, he was getting so hot (more about this in a bit), so we took off his shorts and shirt so that he was just in a onesie. He LOVED having me rub his legs and arms. You could tell that it was really helping him relax and it was a very sweet, calm time for him and I. I LOVED it. He also was cracking up at one of his feet because when he kicks his leg it bounces around. He thought this was hilarious. It was so cute.
He gets so overheated so easily. We have known all along that he has had unexplained high fevers all his life but nobody has been able to figure out why. He has been to every specialist you could think of and they can't figure it out so it will be good to get him back home where we can have a lot of diagnostic tests done to try and figure out what is going on. He will be perfectly fine and then the next thing you know, he is dripping with sweat on his forehead and his body just feel so hot when he is next to you. The other thing that is strange about it is that when he has some fluids, his body temperature goes back down. We know he is chronically dehydrated so it will be nice to get a handle on this but we are not sure what else is going on with all of this. We shall see but for now, we just try to get his layers off and let his body cool.
There was also another family in there while we were there playing with their son who has DS. They come and visit him a lot and take him home a lot but he lives at the orphanage. They were wonderful, absolutely wonderful with him and you can tell that their son adores them and they him, so it really saddened me that they felt that they had to have him live there. This is what they have been told by many doctors that is best for him... I honestly think they will see after some time though that he is able to live with them. I hope so. S* loved watching them play so we just relaxed that entire time and he just quietly watched them. It was the sweetest part of the day for me and I was having a really hard time saying goodbye. I did not want to take him back to his crib and leave him. Tears were in my eyes when I knew that we had to go. It is so hard having to leave your child behind somewhere... so, so hard. So like my post title says, today was filled with both wonderful and hard.
Oh, and I cannot forget one of the most wonderful moments of the day. He has been pretty quiet the entire time he has been with us so far except for his laughs. But you could tell that he is beginning to feel more comfortable with us because when I was walking him around, I heard his voice for the first time today as he did a little babble. It totally made me cry. What a sweet, wonderful moment that was.
I think I will actually write a separate post about the orphanage tour since this one is getting pretty long. So as of now, I know that I have two posts I have to write... one about his birth mom and one about the orphanage and all the wonderful children. Don't worry, I won't forget.
After we left the orphanage we took a cab back to the apartment. Our cab driver was funny. A warning light came on in his car and he didn't know what it was for so he kept asking us to help him figure out what it was. I told him that the light he was pointing to, in the states, has to do with the interior light so that made him feel better. He even handed me the manual to look it up while he was driving... he was too funny! He was so nice too... he didn't take the long way back from the orphanage like our driver did yesterday and even gave us a 20% discount when we were paying.
We then gathered up the family and headed down to the pizzeria again for a late lunch/early dinner because it is only two apartments down from us and oh so good! Our waiter was the same as yesterday and he was so sweet as well. He gave us complimentary drinks because we came back. Most everyone has been so nice to us here and so welcoming. My mother in law and I then walked to the store in the rain to get some groceries. The bakery with the eclairs was closed which was a huge bummer. They are seriously good! We then came back to the apartment for a relaxing night.
It truly was a wonderful day!