Apr 11, 2010

Days 7 & 8

On Wednesday, we took a tour of Gladney's foster care houses, had a coffee ceremony and then had lunch with the other families in our travel group. I had read a lot of parents' trepidations about the coffee ceremony and about their children being whisked away by caretakers and brought back an hour or so later. I'll admit, after having to be with my son 24/7 for the last five days, I was worried about caretakers giving his angelic looking face anything that he wanted. Why? Because I had to live with him. I knew that part of the coffee ceremony was changing the kids into cultural clothes. Trying to avoid a melt down (mine or Alazar's) at all costs, I tried to avoid the dressing of our kids and had bought outfits for them both at a store when we were out shopping the day before.

I dressed them both before we walked over to the care center.

Ruta in her new dress:

Alazar hamming it up:
Halfway through our tour and my son still securely in my arms, I was sure that I had foiled the caregivers and that we would sneak through the coffee ceremony unspoiled, we were found out. Ruta and Alazar's special caregiver came and found them and changed their clothes! ARGHHH!!!! They never left our sight and they weren't gone for more than 2 minutes a piece, and despite all my fears, they were not spoiled beyond recovery.
They returned in the most amazing cultural outfits ever:
On Thursday night, we had a cultural dinner with Gladney staff and the rest of our travel group. Gladney suggests that if your adopted child is not at least 4 years old to not travel with your child in public. After being in-country, I couldn't agree more. Ruta was the only child in our travel group who was old enough to attend the event and Travis invited us to bring her.
So after much debate, we got a sitter for Alazar and headed out to dinner. Ruta was ecstatic to be going somewhere without her brother and I wondered as we drove in the car to the restaurant when was the last time, if ever, my daughter had ever been without the responsibility of her little brother.
You can see what an amazing time we had just by looking at her face. I'm not sure if it was the dinner, the singing, the dancing, being without Alazar, or having her first Mirinda, but my baby girl was given back her childhood that night and for the first time in five days, it felt like we could exhale together without incident.


Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

Ruta does look so happy and pretty pleased with herself in that photo! love it!

Ok, gotta smile a lil as I was reading the part about the caretakers and the coffee ceremony... Lindsey, it sounds as if you were surrounded by a bunch of mom-in-laws... at least based on my experience with one! no hesitation to do what they want with YOUR kids! haha. sorry, I know this was stressful for you but it did make me smile!

Gayla said...

i think i took that gorgeous fam pic!!! Lilah is sitting on my lap right now saying, "Ruta!!! Ruta!!!" :-)

haile said...

I wonder why they think you should not travel with a young baby, I'm just home after adopting a 9 month old baby from Ethiopia and I spent 2 months there. Had nothing but nice comments and praise from the local people

Micah said...


Heidi said...

Just catching up on your last few posts. Thank you for sharing so much. There are few stories of the transition with older children and I know it's because it is HARD and hard to write about. I have been trying to prepare for this for almost two years and I just know there is no real way to know how it is going to go until I'm in it, but I think often of how terrified the boys are probably going to be and I know that it will likely translate into some challenging behavior. It is good to hear that things started to go a little smoother toward the end of the week. You are in my thoughts and prayers for a continued transition. Give yourself time--I have been told that you shouldn't even begin to eveluate how everyone is doing for at least six months, and I think that's good advice.

Erin Moore said...

so precious!