I've already written about our first trip. Now that we've been home for a while and I've been able to process all that went on, I thought I might share a little more detailed account of our first visit with Asher.
We left late on Saturday night, I had to say my goodbyes to our sweet daughter Jaylyn (hardest thing I've had to do). At our connecting destination, we had met up with a wonderful couple whom are also adopting from the same country. We were so excited to have "company" while we embarked on this journey. We boarded our next flight & we arrived at our final destination, Asher's country, around 3 AM, Monday, their time. We were greeted by our super sweet driver and he brought us to our apartment. We had a few hours before our first appointment to catch some shut eye. Well, with being as excited as I was...I didn't get much sleep.
Around 9AM we were picked up by our driver & translator and brought to the Ministry of Justice. Here we had to ask for permission to visit the orphanage. We told the Minister a little about ourselves & signed some papers and off we were.
That day we were supposed to meet Asher. He had gone to the hospital that morning for his chemotherapy treatments & we were not sure if we would be able to meet him. Our translator/guide made some calls and was able to get us to the orphanage to at least meet with the director.
When we pulled up to the orphanage, it was surreal. We were within feet from our little boy. The orphanage was protected by a giant blue rusty metal gate & we had to get out the car to walk the rest of the way to the directors building. When we met the director of the orphanage, she greeted us with kindness and asked us a little about ourselves. She showed us some paperwork on Asher & talked with us about some of his background. We spoke with her for a while and asked some questions regarding the adoption. We then asked what types of items they were in need of. DIAPERS & BOTTLES were the main concern. (TO HELP SUPPORT THE NEED OF HIS ORPHANAGE CLICK HERE) She asked if we'd like to speak with orphanage doctor. We agreed that would be a good idea.
We met with her in the same room that all of Asher's group was sleeping in. She had a stack of papers that she thumbed through in order to give us accurate information on Asher's case. She spoke with us (via translator) about his Leukemia and the treatments that he had been receiving. Though she tried to be as thorough as possible, we still had a lot of questions. He had been receiving treatments once a week for the past few months & needed to spend nights in the hospital on certain days. (We will talk about the hospital condition later)
Once we finished up with our discussion with her. Justin kindly asked if we could just "peak" in on Asher as he slept. The caretakers allowed us to go in. I literally did not think my heart could beat so fast...
There he was. This little boy who we'd only seen pictures & videos of. He was right in front of us, sleeping, so peacefully. It was very hard not to just reach down and hug him. We took a few pictures & knew that we'd be able to see him tomorrow.
As we walked out the orphanage, I tried to take it all in. Where we were. The condition of the buildings, etc. It was still so very surreal.
The next day when we got to the orphanage, my heart was racing again. We would meet him in moments! The atmosphere when we walked into his room this day was much different than yesterday. All the children were wide awake and full of energy. When we walked in, all of the kids were in a play pen in the middle of the room. The "nannies" took Asher out and introduced us as "mama" & "papa". He smiled at us & came towards us. He was very intrigued by Justin. This part is a little blurry to me but I remember him running for the toys. Haha, you see, the kids don't get out of the pen by themselves very often. So, when they do they want to make the best of it. He made a b-line for the bucket of toys. (he wanted them all to himself!)
At some point within the first few minutes of meeting him, we were on the floor playing with a ball (his favorite thing to do) And Justin had his GoPro out recording the whole time. Asher noticed that GoPro, and he WANTED it. So naturally, he grabbed it. So we have plenty of footage of Asher's face, hands, nose, mouth :) hehe. Anyway, we were able to play with him for a while in the room. Then they nannies started to take the other children out as well, they ALL wanted to play. It was fun & overwhelming all at the same time. We were new people and they wanted in on the fun.
At some point in the morning/afternoon, the nannies allowed us to take him into the hall. This was so special as we were able to have some one-on-one time with him. Justin picked him up and flew him around the hallway, Asher loved every second of it. It's not everyday that a male comes around & I don't see any of the female nannies flying the kids around on their shoulders, so this was extremely special for Asher. We played with him most of the day. We had to leave during "nap" time and came back later in the afternoon.
Asher is very loved by his nannies, you can see he has a bond with certain ones. (specifically the ones who take him to/stay with him in the hospital for his treatments) He is also a very loving boy. He seems to get along with most of the kids. I'll tell you a few stories of that later. I will write more during this week on the other days, until then, to be continued....