Day 1 (This was already posted on Facebook yesterday, but day 2 was not.)
We went to the Orphanage to meet Ruth today. She was scared of us at first and they had to take her back outside. Then they tried to just have Beth meet her and that didn’t work either.
So they had a couple of older kids named Moses and Nicki come and play Allen then brought Ruth in and let her watch from the corner.
Eventually we were able to bridge the gap with Fruit Loops! Allen had some in his bag and wanted a snack so he gave some to Moses and Nicki then Ruth let him get close enough to give her some.
Eventually we were able to hold her for a little while before we had to head out for the day.
We do have videos of us meeting her for the first time and again later but they won’t be able to load on this internet so a couple of pictures will have to do.
Other Random Things
~ We made our first trip to the grocery store today. The exchange rate is 360 of their currency for $1. So we spent 45,000 of their currency today at the store.
~ Allen had a rough night last night sleeping. He is still adjusting to the time change and our daily activities are way outside of his routine/comfort zone
~ That Ruth will continue to bond with Allen and with us and feel comfortable and safe with us
~ That the process will be smooth and go fast
Our day started at 9:20 this morning when we were picked up by our driver to go to an appointment at the Ministry of Youth and Social Development. At this meeting we were seeking a letter of release that would allow us to take custody of Ruth and bring her back to our apartment for a bonding period prior to the court date. Our appointment was scheduled for 10:00 but we arrived late after our driver was stopped by security at the exit of our compound we are staying in. Security didn’t recognize us and made us wait on a call from our agent to confirm we were supposed to be there. Fortunately time is somewhat loosely adhered to here so it didn’t cause any problems for us.
11:30 – After filling out separate interview forms about our occupations, education, and adoption process we obtained the letter of release allowing us to take Ruth home! We were also told that we are the first white American family to adopt a Nigerian baby and we will have to bring her back there prior to our court date for a photo op. We are pretty much going to be Nigerian celebrities. Ok, maybe I made that up, but really who knows? Maybe my 15 minutes of fame is destined for another country.
11:50 – our agent called the orphanage director to set up the release of Ruth. The director informed our agent that she won’t be back to the orphanage until Thursday so we will not get to bring Ruth back with us until then. So we proceeded to the orphanage for a visit rather then a release
3:30 – we are leaving the orphanage to go back to our apartment. Ruth didn’t cry when she saw us today but she also wouldn’t let us hold her. She was very uninteractive today. She stood in the same place on the ground and didn’t move or acknowledge our attempts to interact with her outside of when we offered fruit loops or water. She never spoke today, but she did feed us a cheese puff once.
She let Allen put his arm around her but didn’t reciprocate. She let us touch her arms and her hair but wouldn’t let us pick her up. We stayed for several hours today but the last hour she spent very little time in the room with us, becoming increasingly upset before we left. She was tired and hungry and ready for something familiar.
We have met several other children while we have been at the orphanage. They like to gawk at us as they walk by the door (they have probably never seen a white person before and are very curious). Then when we motion for them to come in they act shy lol. They are all so polite and have smiles that could melt the room around them. They have been through so much in their young lives and yet they seem so happy.
Speaking of happy, Allen continues to be himself. He is making friends at the orphanage and not wanting to leave when it is time to. He alternated between being concerned about where Ruth was when she was out of the room and playing with some cars in his own little world.
Tomorrow we will go back to the orphanage for a final visit before we bring Ruth back to our apartment on Thursday. We hope to see some more progress tomorrow, but regardless are anticipating a pretty rough transition on Thursday.
- Allen loves all of the motorcycles on the roads here. He is determined to ride one before we leave lol
- I learned how to use a rice cooker today… I probably should have learned that before I left
- Apparently people do NOT eat lunch in Nigeria
- I may not have brought enough books with me. I will finish the first of 4 I brought tonight. We take a lot of long car rides.
- That the release will go though as scheduled on Thursday
- That Allen will continue to do well in this unfamiliar environment
- That we will have patience and know how to care for Ruth in the transition
- That Ruth will begin to open up and feel more comfortable and secure with us