Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Choose your title

  • The no go horrible, good for nothing day
  • Are you FAAA-REAKING kidding me
  • Taking out the weakest member
  • and lastly...Mom's quote "This is why I didn't want to come!"
We went to tour a Buddist temple today...yada yada yada. Nothing much reportable. We then went to a factory where they make a lot of the traditional items from Inner Mongolia. We shopped for quite a while. Silas was a trooper! A lama at the temple had given him a small loaf of bread and he happily sat in the stroller (spoiler alert) eating his bread. We got some souvenirs and headed back to the hotel. We discovered that our room hadn't been cleaned, and when you live in a hotel room 24/7, it needs a good cleaning. We asked to have it cleaned and decided to take a walk to the store to get some chocolate, I mean milk for was all about Silas.

We got our milk and put Silas back in the stroller. We haven't been buckling him in because he loves to ride in it and we are stupid. HE FELL OUT OF THE STROLLER. ON HIS HEAD. He had a huge gaping, bleeding, meatly looking cut. The store owners came out and told us (I think) to come back in and got us kleenexes. The man signaled for me to follow him with Silas. We walked into what looked like a clinic or pharmacy. He couldn't find what he was looking for so we went into another building. In my head, I had a vision of them stitching up my kid in a foreign country and just decided to head back to the hotel for help. We asked the other American family at the hotel what they thought we should do. We all decided that stitches might be in order under normal circumstances, but that the trauma and uncertainty involved wasn't worth the possible trauma involved. We pulled out the medical kit that I brought and tried to put together some sort of workable solution.

We prayed. Mom went to the lobby and asked if they had a medical kit. The concierge came up with a big metal box with some stuff in it. I asked him if he was trained. "Me? No.First time." He applied betadine and this medicine and wrapped it up. It was just a horrible, horrible feeling. I didn't know how to comfort him well enough. This kid has experienced so much in a few days and it was just traumatic. It was also a bit scary because we are just vulnerable without language skills. So, when you see Silas with a huge scab or scar on his forehead, just know that happened on my watch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hohhot Day 1 and 2

We arrived at Hohhot without incident. Well, we don't do much without incident, but we arrived all in one piece.

I had been taking Ambien to help with the jet lag and sleeping issues and am certain that I was dealing with some pretty intense side effects. I was having really intense feelings of desperation and worry. It really was completely illogical. Anyway, that resulted in me not being able to sleep for more than about 15 mins of our first night here. Thank God, my Mom was feeling better and was able to carry the load for my sleep deprived self.

We met our guide at 9 am to do paperwork and make Silas officially ours. I had to do a short interview where I promised that Dan and I were going to care for him and not neglect or abandon him. Done!!

My mom and I decided to venture out with a map to try to find the "mall" where we could get some snacks. Those of you who know me and my directionally challenged tendencies should rest assured that is not a genetic trait! In spite of my mom's good map skills. We didn't take into account that there are no street signs and NO ONE speaks English. We did end up at the mall, which was 7 stories high and we had no idea where the groceries were located. We did find McDonald's! As a good American mom, I introduced Silas to his first happy meal. I ordered chicken nuggets with milk. The lady who spoke a little English said "you don't want milk, it's cold. I will give you a hot chocolate for him." I replied, "Milk is fine." She repeated. I repeated. She gave me chicken nuggets and a hot chocolate. My mom when up and exchanged the hot chocolate for milk. It was room temperature. Our guide told us that kids don't drink anything that is not hot. Silas liked the milk : ).

We had a restless night sleep. Silas slept like a champ. My mom and I would sleep a couple hours at most. We'd wake up watch a movie, read a book or listen to music and fall back asleep. Pretty sure our bodies just think it's a nap.

We went to the passport office today. Got some cute pics of Silas for his passport and stopped at the grocery store. Found some chocolate bars that might be our saving grace!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Silas at Shepherd's Field

It feels like we’ve lived a life time in the last 12 hours. Pretty sure that has to do with the lack of sleep. Silas went to bed around 9 and slept through the night (relatively) until 5 am. I was already up and Skyping with Dan and the kids when he woke up. We have spent more time in bed than out of it, but not nearly enough of that time asleep. Silas and my mom are napping now. Pray for my mom, if you think of it. She is having some stomach issues and seems to be hit pretty hard with jet lag.

We were able to go visit the “house” at Shepherd’s Field , where Silas lived. It is a big compound with gates around it with buildings that house different kids, offices, therapy center, dining hall and guest house (I am fully aware that something is grammatically incorrect with that sentence, I lack the wherewithal to discover what – if it makes it to the blog without Dan correcting it, it will be a miracle).

note from Dan: now why did she have to go there : )

Anyway… we walked into the house and all the ayis (nannies) start clambering and yelling for him. He was so cute and pulled at his shirt to show them that he had new clothes on. The ayis continued to compete for his attention and try to get him to come to them for quite a while. We saw the crib that he slept in. Note to Sophie (she’s a faithful reader, ya know): One of the ayi’s pulled out the blue bear that you sent to Silas so he can bring it back home to you! I will sleep with it every night : ) . I mentioned to the ayis that he hadn’t eaten lunch. They were happy to feed him some congee. I got to see his personality a little more over there, where he is more comfortable. He is very personable and perhaps a bit demanding – don’t get me wrong, that is celebrated by me. He will need that where he’s going : ). All the kids in the house were trying to hold him and play with him. It was reassuring to know that he won’t be overwhelmed by any of the goings on at our house. We are leaving here at 5:30pm Sunday night (5:30 am back home on Saturday) to drive the hour back to the airport and head to Hohhot, where bright and early tomorrow morning we will get the wheels rolling to bring this baby home. I’d do a countdown, but I am WAY too confused about what day it is there vs here and how many days till I come home. You’d be amazed at the brain power I use up trying to figure that out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aimee's First (proxy) Post

...and by that, I mean she authored it ; )

Flight & Day One:

The flight was pretty uneventful for the most part. Mom and I both tried to take some Ambien to be able to sleep for a chunk of time. No go. We were both just really tired, but couldn’t sleep sitting up. It was a rough landing. But, all in all, it wasn’t horrible.

We went through customs without incident, got our bags and met our driver, who would take us to the Shepherds Field (the orphanage where Silas’ lives). The driver spoke no English at all, so we had no idea how long it would take to get to the orphanage. It took about an hour. When we did finally arrive, Silas was standing in the courtyard waiting for us. I pictured us pulling up and going to find him where he was busy engaging in everyday activity and observing him in his element for a while - didn’t go down that way. Sara, the coordinator, held him for about 5 minutes and then said, “okay, I’m gonna hand him over to you. There is a crib in your room.” So, there you have it. He cried for a very few minutes and then was pretty quiet, but not crying. He slept great. Mom and I were up every couple hours, but managed to make it until 5ish before I got up to try to get in touch with Dan and the kids. We were able to Skype this morning once before Silas got up and then again when he could join the fun. We’ve had a few smiles and some good interactions this morning already. He will come to me and put his hands up for me to hold him, which is good.

I’m still feeling pretty weepy and emotional about being here without my family. Praying that I can be in the moment and just enjoy here now and at the same time praying it goes by really fast!

The First Pic!!!

I figured I would put this one here. The rest of the pics will be on

The whole family got to Skype with Aimee before dinner (about 5:30am there). She was obviously up early, but Silas was still sleeping. Then she "called" us back about 6:00 and he was awake. I'm not sure he knew what to think. Sophie just kept making silly faces and "performing". He did crack a few smiles - he thought Micah was pretty funny.

Can't wait to talk to them is amazing!

We're Here!

Email from Aimee at 7:45am on Saturday:

We are at shepherds field. Silas was waiting at the gate for us when we got here. The co-ordinator handed him to me about 5 mins after that and said he is ours to care for : )