Sunday, January 25, 2009
So we found out today that Nuu Dang does not mean "petite and loud" as we thought. Instead it means "red baby". Not really sure that that means and after today petite and loud sounds a little more fitting. I am not sure how to sum up the events of the day and the way that we feel. I will start with what happened and then try to explain how we feel. We met the two social workers for our agency this morning in the lobby just before 10:00 AM. We fell asleep last night at 8:30 and both woke up around 3:30. We stayed in bed until 7:00 trying to go back to sleep, praying and thinking about the day. Just before we met the social workers we both felt sick. After waiting for two years to meet this child we were both incredibly anxious. We went to a meeting room and heard more from the social workers about the agency here and got a detailed update on Grace. She came in about 10:45 with her social worker. We found out very quickly that she was very bonded to this social worker. We spent about an hour with her and the three social workers trying to win her over. It was difficult because it felt like there were four moms in the room...one of which spoke no Thai and was the most different from her. This was all during her normal nap time so she was a little cranky from that. After almost falling asleep in the meeting room the social workers accompanied us upstairs to our room to try to make her comfortable with it. Her social worker explained several times to her what was going to happen and her response every time was to scream. She does not really talk yet but seems to understand everything. The social workers tried to get her to take a nap in our room. Have you ever tried to put a child to sleep with five adults standing over them. As you can imagine it did not work. Next we went to eat lunch in the restaurant in our hotel. Grace ate very well and warmed up to Nathan and I some. After lunch she actually let me carry her with the social workers across the street to the store. Nathan and I took her upstairs with us to get our gifts before going to the foster family's home and it was at that point she started screaming again. Loud. She walked to the door of our hotel room and just stared at it screaming. I guess it is good that she seems to understand what is about to take place...even if she does not like it. When we got in the van to ride to the foster home she sat in my lap and slept all the way there. When we got to the foster home the foster mother grabbed her from me as soon as we got out of the van. It was obvious that the foster family loves her. We got to spend some time with them, ask questions and take pictures. I think it was there that we got to see more of Grace's personality and our family will be glad to know that she smiled. After about an hour long visit we said good-bye to the family and to her for the night. We will meet her for another outing in the morning and she will be placed with us on Wednesday (Tuesday night in Mem).
What we learned about her today...she is very smart, she likes to dance, she is strong willed (Lord help us...four strong willed Cooks!), she can throw a mean temper tantrum, she sweats like her brother, she is playful, she likes helping with laundry and playing dress up, she is big (my back is killing me) and most of her weight is in her legs (Carrie, she is a little bigger that Emma Sanders I think...24.2 lbs), she naps three hours a day and still drinks formula. She also uses a bottle like it is a pacifier.
My feelings on the day...
I, Kim, felt like it was hard to find my role with Grace. It was like experiencing separation anxiety with a child yet the one they did not want to be separated from (in this case the social worker) still being present so there is no way to calm the child. I have been sad tonight because I know that she is about to be stripped from all that she knows. Being with her today made me excited to bring her home and made me really miss Caleb. I am a little anxious about the next few days most of all because we are not at home and I am completely out of my element. I am excited as well and really grateful the time has come to bring her home.
Okay, Nathan is sitting next to me in the lobby of the hotel and looks like he is ready for bed. Below are our favorite pictures of the day. Thanks for all who are following our trip and praying for us.
Posted by The Cook Family at 5:19 AM