Things certainly got much better. Kuba, our driver picked us up and took us to the Bishkek Baby House. First of all, there couldn't be a nicer person who speaks perfect English. We felt like we were in good hands. Then, we get to the baby house and met our coordinator Saule for the first time. She is this kind of petite lady and she was very sweet and very warm. She brought a couple of boxes of gifts for the caregivers and she explained to me that they love this cake so she brings these to them when she comes.
But let me digress a little before I tell you about D boy. when we told them about our luggage being lost, first thing Kuba asked is, "Was it BMI?" I guess this is a pretty common occurence with BMI trips to Kyrgyzstan. Note to self, do we want to use them again for trip 2?
The Bishkek Baby House in December has no children playing outside. They have several brightly colored gazebos (for a lack of a better word) scattered along the path to the buildings. Rightly so,it is literally freezing. It didn't feel that cold when we were walking through but I couldn't imagine that they would be letting the kids play in that kind of cold and damp. But I imagined that in the summer, the toddlers may be taken outside for some playtime. I hope so anyway.
As we walk in, I tried really hard not to show how nervous I was about meeting D. We went up a couple of flights of stairs and Saule finds the doctor whose name I can't remember or say correctly and forget about spelling. I think it starts with a G. I think I should try and ask again for sure later. And I may even write it down this time. We talk to her a little bit. We talk about our language skills. She speaks very little English and we speak absolutely no Russian. Off to a wonderful start. We walk down one flight of stairs and into this big room with a playpen in the middle where the older babies play with each other. There are some cribs lining one wall and another community crib where the younger babies are put next to each other.
Then there he was was being held by one of the caregivers!!! Dr. G says his name, and the caregiver hands him to me. I didn't know if I was shaking or what. I must have been. He is so much smaller than I imagined. And he was not as animated as I thought babies were. But he was so cute and precious. He didn't show any opposition to being handled by a total stranger. He was fascinated by some cotton balls on a string hanging from the ceiling. And maybe the shiny Christmas decorations also hanging all over the ceiling. I don't know for sure but the world around me disappeared at that moment. I don't know where anyone or anything was. I don't even know where Bill was. I was just holding D and gazing at him and nothing else mattered just then. I didn't cry like I thought I was surely going to though, maybe because I have run through this moment a million times in my head and I teared up each one of those times.
He was bundled up in another big PINK sweater and some pants with the built-in feet things. Then there was a big swathe of a diaper wrapped around his waist. They don't use diapers like we do. They kind of do a hybrid of cloth diapers and no diapers. They basically put on a cloth diaper that is not secured by any pins. And then, they put big pants over them and then wrap the waist, not unlike a geisha with the large sash around her waist.
A few minutes later, the room came back and I realized Daddy hasn't held him yet so I handed him over to Bill who was just as enthralled by him. We got to visit him for about an hour and a half in the morning and then the afternoon. Between Bill and me, we just played musical baby and never put him down. Bill sang to him and played a little harmonica.
As for development stuff, which was a huge concern for us, he seemed to respond well to sounds. I think he actually responds to sounds better than he did visual stimulus. I was a little concerned about the staring at the ceiling thing. He was very determined not to lose whatever he was looking at out of his sight. If I moved him around, he turned his head as much as he could to follow the object he was gazing at. I'm not sure if this is normal for his age. He's eleven and a half weeks old. His chin also quivered a little when he was first handed to me. Then again when I handed him to Bill. It only happened a few times and it stopped after a couple of seconds but nevertheless, I emailed Dr. Bledsoe about this.
I left Bill with D for a little while so that I could visit the other baby rooms to look for 2 other children at the request of their mommies waiting to take them home. The rooms where the individual cribs were had about 4 to 5 cribs to each room. Each baby in the crib has a small paper tag pasted on the way with the name and dob of the baby. I found one of the 2 precious girls I was looking for and she was adorable. I guess she is a little bit older than D, about 5 months or so. She was such a happy girl. I played with her and held her for a while and made faces at her. She was cracking up at me. She had a strong grip and she was noticeably heavier and longer and just plain bigger than D. I just kept thinking of her her mommy at home and how she would just love to hold her right there and right then. We took several photos of her to send home. I wonder if they will let me play with her again later today when we go back.
Back to D. I walked back into the room and Bill looked so happy and content to just be holding him and moving him around the room. It was really wonderful to see this. He was making faces at him and as we held him longer, he started to smile and gurgle at us. His favorite was when he spit up and we were wiping his chin. He seems to like this a lot!! He also let out the biggest belch I have heard from a baby. What a trip. Such a big sound coming from such a small guy.
As long as I am on the topic of natural bodily functions, I may as well tell you about our fist stinky adventure. No, not No. 2, just No. 1. Naturally, with the way they have the diapers on, there is no leak proofing. In my case, D was on my lap as we were sitting on the rocking chair and he leaked onto the only pants I had at the time. The whole time we were holding him, I was a little concerned about him being so warm against me. I couldn't tell if that was warm or wet. Well, I just found out there is a diference. The wet kind leaves a stinky wet spot on you. But at least, it's just pee. Bill chose to make this a sentimental moment and memorialize my first pee stain with a photo.
After a few more minutes, then they told us it was time for him to nap and they took him away from us. They told us we could come back at 2 if we wanted to. Are you kidding me? Do we want to?
I went shopping for a few new clothes to change into and then had a wonderful lunch. And then back to the baby house to hang out some more.
D fell asleep in my arms today. He was getting squirmy when Bill was holding him. He was sleepy but I think he just didn't want to miss all the action so he tried not to fall asleep. He didn't want to but I just held him laying down until he gave in. After 2 big yawns, he closed his eyes and finally fell asleep. I can't begin to describe this moment. I have never cradled a baby to sleep before. D was so fragile and tender and so helpless. He needs his momma and daddy to take him home so he can be cradled to sleep every day. He doesn't like to be held in a laying down position but I realized if I held him closer to me, snuggled more against my chest, he gave in and stopped fighting.It is very very sad to leave the orphanage without our baby, and a few others. I'm looking forward to our time tomorrow.