I will say that this process has been long and hard. But nothing compares to the trials we faced on our pickup trip. All of those who went before us could have never given enough advice to prepare us for what would take place on our trip. Praise the Lord He hears prayers and we had so many people praying for us and Easton that we saw the hand of the Lord all over our son and we are now at home where all 3 of us belong!
I'm going to try to do a quick recap and then do another post about Easton's progress since we've been home!
Fortunately our flights were smooth and we didn't miss any. We arrived in Bulgaria as scheduled but had to wait for 2 other families to land that were also with our agency during the week. So glad we got to meet these families. Such precious people and nice to have other people to talk to that completely understood where we were at and what it felt like!
We went to our apartment which was incredible (and had a tub which is quite the commodity in BG)!! We went to bed way to early because we woke up at about 10:00 p.m. ready for the next day. It was a long night needless to say. The next day we left early with another family in tow behind us. We stopped in the city their daughter was in (Plovdiv) and got to walk around and grab some late breakfast while they went to the orphanage to pick up their daughter. Once they got her and got back on the road to Sofia, we were on our way to Stara Zagora to pick up Easton.
We were so excited for this moment. Two years we had waited for this moment! We felt nerves and excitement all at once. Aparently the excitement took over that morning because I had forgotten my camera at our apartment. I had my phone so we got a few pictures in the car on the way back to Sofia but that was it! Don't worry I've taken plenty since then so I can make up for it!!
We walked into the orphanage, up those many many flights of stairs, and talked with the same social workers we had talked to 6 months earlier. It seemed like we had just left. We gave them Eastons clothes and waited. We heard those little foot steps coming down the hall and it was like we were meeting him for the first time all over again. He seemed just as little, and his clothes barely fit him. He was holding the bear we had left! We walked out into the hall and we are pretty sure he didn't remember us. Dustin knelt down to pick him up and he let him, but it didn't last long. He walked over to the wall almost to hide but Dustin knelt down and Easton grabbed his hand. Soon enough we were out the doors, breaking our boy free and we didn't look back!!
The car ride home was fun! He loved all of the cars and it was so late in the day we saw the lights of the city, which he also loved. He peed on dustin just like old times!! He rode like a champ and didn't get car sick to our amazement. We got back to our apartment and he ate rice and vegetables like a pro, even feeding himself for a few of the bites (which they said he couldn't do due to a coordination problem). We thought things couldn't have went better, we were on our way to being a family!!
We were flat wrong!
The next day, Easton woke up early. The whole day he laid around refusing to eat or drink anything. He wouldn't let us touch him and wanted to be left alone. We were devastated. We were heartbroken and didn't understand such a quick change in demeanor for our little guy. We knew he might shut down but this was way worse than we anticipated. We were worried for his health and wondered if he would make it through the week with us if this was how he was going to be. After all we had taken everything away from him, we were strangers, and he didn't appreciate us for it.
The amount of prayers we had come in from all around was the most incredible thing. Dustin and I spent most of the day crying and praying and crying some more. We felt defeated. Its hard to work so long for something then feel so rejected. We had not prepared ourselves for this battle, mentally, spiritually, or physically.
Later that evening due to stress, he vomited twice. At that point we knew we needed to call for help. Our agency came to the rescue with a ton of medicine and an enema to stop the vomiting. Easton however did not appreciate it! There was some sedative in the medicine and after administering some hydrating liquids through a syringe we put him to bed. Dustin and I sat in the living room thinking to ourselves "what have we done".
The Lord is merciful and heard our prayers. While it wasn't easy, the next day Easton would take pudding from a syringe. He lived on that for 2 days. Finally we could mix yogurt in with pudding and sneak it in. He was very smart because he would watch what went in the syringe and if it wasn't the pudding he would down right refuse it. We survived a few days like this.
We took him to the medical appointment on Thursday and he weighed in at 24 lbs and 38 inches tall. The pediatrician recommended some baby food for toddlers and we went to get it. Easton began to take that through syringe. Eventually after persistence by the time we left he was eating from a spoon again. Still pureed foods only, but nonetheless he was eating!
As the week progressed we started seeing the little boy we remembered from our first trip. He loved a bath and we took 2 a day sometimes just to keep him occupied. He loved throwing a ball and boy does he have an arm. Knocking things over and being turned upside down kept him laughing...he's all boy!!
That week was one of the hardest times we've ever had to endure, but today we can say it was all worth it. We praise God for it because He was glorified.
While in country we were even put in contact with some incredible missionary families who took such good care of us! Cooking us a home cooked meal and even taking us to church to worship with our son for the first time! That also was an incredible experience!
I'm going to add a couple of pictures here just to give you an idea of what our week was like. We spent a lot of time in the apartment due to cold weather at the end of our trip. The same cold weather that created a 31 hour travel time back home. Maybe Ill do another post on that sometime, but lets just say Easton travels better than Dustin or I either one do!!
|Love this sweet face|
|eating like a little birdie|
|lovin bath time|
|this face had just filled up on KFC mashed potatoes!|
|learning to sit close and accept love!|
This boy is learning what it's like to be in a family. Every day he accepts more love and trusts us more. We praise God for bringing this child into our family. He fits perfectly and makes our lives more enjoyable than we could have ever imagined.