Sunday, June 8, 2008

We got smiles and giggles

After a morning full of patient waiting, we got to meet T today. It was difficult waiting in the room this morning to go downstairs to meet our son. I was very nervous, and Robin was very calm. Don't worry...I was cool as a cucumber when the big moment arrived.

We started by going to the lobby to meet Mo, from the agency, who is coordinating the whole week. She got us up to speed on how the week will go and I asked her what T's nickname is. We found out it's Ohm.

Once the other couple arrived, we were led to a meeting room where we first watched a video about the agency's work in Thailand, and then walked through the week's schedule. Then, Mo provided us with the most recent reports on the children from the social workers and the doctors. We marveled at what T is eating...we may not have to adjust our diet much. He's eating a great variety of food. A few other highlights included his daily schedule, sleeping habits, and some suggestions for us. We then waited with the other couple (Jared and Sarah) while Mo went through our children's documents. We received pictures of T's birth mom, which is a really special gift we are so glad that T will have. We had about 15 minutes of waiting before the children would arrive.

Sarah and Jared had the great idea for all of us to sit on the floor to put ourselves at eye level with the kids...and finally, we could hear them outside. T came in the room quietly, but it didn't last long. He's got a great set of lungs on him...he can REALLY cry. Our hearts broke, but we knew this is how he would react. The social worker tried to entertain him with some toys and the view of the sky train going by, but he wasn't having it. She showed him our picture in the album we had sent him, and pointed to us, hoping he would make the connection. I can't be certain what he was thinking, but I think he made the connection between us and the pictures. The only evidence I have is that the look on his face seemed to indicate that he got it...and during a few occasions today, we heard a "da da", which is what his foster family would have been calling me. I'm not getting excited...he could have been referring to any number of objects that start with "da".

Finally, when it seemed T was not going to stop crying with gentle play and misdirection, the social worker surprised Robin by abruptly shoving T into her arms. She held on tight to him and walked around the room. This didn't really improve his assessment of the situation. The good news is that while he was crying, he wasn't really rejecting fact, he was holding on tight. Robin could finally see, feel and smell him. His huge dark inky pools of eyes, his beautiful eyelashes soaked with tears, his smooth cool skin. She buried her nose in his wispy hair and kissed the top of his head as he cried. A few minutes later, Mo suggested we leave the room and walk around the hotel. This seemed to work. He calmed down. I pulled out some toys and we splashed some water in a fountain. He was content, and for awhile, very focused on some stacking cups. He proved to be excellent at knocking them over and placing the top cup on the stack. He also enjoyed throwing the top cup across the floor for me to fetch. Robin enjoyed this too.

We were suppose to have lunch with the social workers and the kids, but they decided that, based on the situation, it would be best for us to take the kids to lunch on our own. It seemed both kiddos would most likely start crying again if they could see the social workers.

So, we sat down at the hotel restaurant, ordered some sweet and sour veggies, and waited to see if T would melt down again.

As you can see from the pictures and video, he didn't:

(I've added videos from the rest of the trip below. I've had trouble with You Tube videos playing in my version of Firefox...if you run into trouble using Firefox, try using Internet Explorer.)

T took down a bottle and also ate some rice from our fingers...and some from his own. I found out that his teeth work great...he liked using them to chew on my finger. He seemed to enjoy my reaction. He didn't like the sweet and sour so much, but no matter, the rice and bottle seemed to satisfy him. The waitress played peek-a-boo with him and he really enjoyed that.

We were so happy to see that he still had his little bells on:

He also still has the holy string on his wrist and a chain around his neck. I didn't spot it, but Robin later told me the chain has a Buddha amulet on it. He was also wearing one of the shirts Robin had made for him.

Although we didn't use it today, Robin was pleased we have an Ergo...he was quite heavy and we couldn't put him down the entire day.

After lunch, the social worker rejoined us to visit our room. She talked to T while we showed him around the room. He enjoyed some of the toys, the view out the window, Robin's wallet, and seemed to enjoy getting attention from us. He really liked a board book with animals hiding behind flaps - he's determined to rip the flaps off just as soon as he can figure out how. Robin's very pleased that T hated the little squeaky squirrel toys we brought - he must be her son, as she hates squirrels too!

He had a few meltdowns...once when we were having diaper issues. His diaper needed changing at one point (Robin figures she's officially a mother since she's now been peed on) and later we needed a new diaper because the one we had were clearly too small and making him very uncomfortable. During that meltdown, out of the blue, he leaned out of Robin's arms reaching for mine for the first time. I walked him around the room bouncing all the while, and eventually he calmed down again. We kept telling him to go ahead and cry...he had good reason to. We also told him how brave he was and that we loved him very much.

We were having a lovely time on the bed...he was crawling around, shooting smiles and giggles all over the place...but we could tell he was getting tired. Sure enough, he finally started crying again, and this time, he cried himself to sleep as I carried him around the room. Mo helped me into the chair, where he got to take a nap on my chest for about a half hour.
Robin and I knew the next part would be tough...and it was. We had to take him back downstairs to go back to his foster family for the evening. He made it to the elevators before the crying started, and he was crying on and off through the process, until the moment came where I handed him to the social worker in the van...the screaming took on a whole new level, and the look on his face was so hard to watch. That's when Robin finally cried and I almost did. He looked like he was in such anguish.

The good news is, both Robin and I feel like we've made a connection with him.

After they left, we were feeling pretty good about the day. We hadn't actually eaten much of our lunch, so we headed out in search of spring rolls. We got four little plates of food and a beer from a Dim Sum restaurant and talked about the day.

Now, Robin is napping, and we're waiting for Jared and Sarah to return from their trip to see their daughter's foster family. We plan to go to dinner together tonight. We visit T's foster family tomorrow, after our trip to the mall in the morning.

It was a tough day, but Robin and I are very happy with how it went. T was very upset, but he has the right. We're grateful that in his time of mourning, he was able to come to our arms.

And, we already know he's capable of smiling for us.



Judith said...

Unbelievable and fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing all of this. We especially liked the video. What a little sweetie. We're so happy for you! Love and hugs - Mom

Bob said...

Congratulations! The photos are great but the video is priceless. You really get a sense of his personality. He's a keeper!!

Chris, Terri, Matt and Mark said...

What a sweet handsome little boy! I'm so happy for you guys - it looks like Day One was fantastic. Love the video!

Jessica said...

What a handsome dek poo chi (little boy) and what a wonderful first day. I don't know how you managed to stay calm. The video alone is a tear jerker. Congrats on such beautiful first moments. Here's to a lifetime more. Jessica

Nonno Leo said...

Really emotional moments. We enjoy it even here, we follow all moments online. Great Robin, you' re a real mother already and Kyle you've a steady hand with the camera in such emo moments. We are very happy and have a this moment "nonno and nonna" feelings. Of course we are a some kind of "grandparents" too ! We can't wait to meet "our" grandson and his proud parents. Hopefully we can make already this year.
Hugs !

Jay and Chandra Regan said...

Your pictures and video were so beautiful. When I got to the part where he was separated from you and started wailing I ended up with tears streaming down my face. What an adorable little boy! What a gift! You must feel overwhelmed with emotion.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you all!!!
What a gorgeous little boy!
Thank you for sharing your first moments as a family with us!
He's beatiful!!!
And has a great sense of humor already!

Best wishes,

Hannah said...

FINALLY!!!!! That was the best post ever (to date). I can't wait to see and hear more about your new live with Thanu. I'm so happy for you guys!!!

Gator said...

I'm speechless. I'm so happy for you. And Ohm. He couldn't have a better name.

Nichole said...

Congratulations guys. He is so sweet. I love the video.

Anonymous said...



Becca said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. Thanu is so handsome and precious, and it looks like he knows who his mommy and daddy are. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Such a cutie. Many tears in my eyes reading your post and watching the video. Congratulations!!!!!

Hanna & said...

Speechless! Priceless! We are very happy for you both and are enjoying your blog intensively. Word is being spread around in Belgium too... people are congratulating you all ofcourse. Hanna cannot wait to meet her nephew. We are sure they would be getting along together. Thinking of this specific moment to share one day together, refills us of joy... (not so speechless after all, as I wrote more than initially felt like ;-))

All the best
Maarten, Hanna & Elke

TracyMcGal said...

I was at church today thinking about you three. I couldn't wait to get home and get on the computer!!!!! Oh how super excited I am for you. Ohm is adorable and chubby cute!! Brings back such sweet memories. Thank you for sharing! I teared up when I read about you drinking him in when you first met him. Smelling his hair, looking him over. Oh...just wonderful.
Happy Family Day to YOU!!!!!!

Emily said...

Yea!!!!!!! I jumped out of bed this morning so I could read about your time with Thanu - it sounds like a truly blessed first day. Congratulations Mom & Dad!

Glen and Andrea said...

Congratulations new family!!!!! We are ahead of Thailand time down here so I stayed up waiting to read the post but it got too late so I had to go to bed knowing that yoou'd post while I was sleeping. But it was great to get up and read it too!! He is absolutely perfect; a beautiful baby boy. Although the fact he is so young won't lessen his grief, hopefully it will mean that he will let you in sooner. It sounds like he has been quite impressed with you so far! I can't wait to read more (Glen is reading too) and hear how you all get on. I had goosebumps all over reading this so soon after our own journey. You like wonderful together - the video was brilliant!

Glen and Andrea said...

Sorry - lots of mistakes in that comment. I meant you 'look' great together, not 'like' great.

JiLL said...

oh my gosh!! I am soo happy for you guys!

Sharon said...

You had me in tears too! The first thing I did this morning as coffee was brewing was check out the photos! I had to wait until the morning kiddie chaos calmed down to read and take it all in, but what a treat it was! I read it over and over and the tears just poured. Thanu is just so sweet, that smile just melts your heart, and you guys have that look now that sets you apart, the look of a Mama and a Papa! You are doing a great job of reassuring him and it shows in his comfort with you. He will grieve, but this is a good thing, he actually feels comfortable enough to go ahead and let it out, and I am sure he feels your love and the security that you offer him. Congratulations!!! We are SO happy for you.

The Whole Crew said...

Robin and Kyle,

Was thinking of you today! What a great first day! Welcome to the "rollercoaster"!

Amy Holland

John and Nancy said...

Forget tears in my eyes, they are running freely down my face! I cannot begin to tell you how I happy I am for all of you and how much it means that you are sharing all of this with us. Thank you so much and so many congratulations to everyone in your families!!!