Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dec. 3--Visa Appointment, Shopping, Mehndi

The kids woke up extremely happy and energetic this morning, although we saw tears for the first time during the night.  Jeff nudged me around 4 or 5 AM to show me that Smita was crying.  She had tears running down her cheeks, but was absolutely silent.  I wiped her tears and cuddled her until she quickly fell back asleep.  Not sure if she was sad, scared, grieving, or reacting from a bad dream.  This is why so many friends have recommended that the children sleep in our room with us initially.  Children will typically cry silently in their rooms without the parents ever knowing during the night which is sad.  They need to be comforted during these times so we will keep them with us during the night for the first few weeks or months, however long it takes for all of us to be emotionally secure.

The kids ate another huge breakfast...about triple the amount of what I ate!  I reread something about food issues in relation to children adopted from orphanages.  Children can exhibit gorging, hoarding, refusal to eat, etc.  I have not seen any of these issues present in our children at this point.  I would not consider their huge appetite to be gorging...they do not eat to the point of getting sick, just to the point of being fat and happy with huge smiles on their faces.  

After breakfast, we headed to the U.S. Embassy for our Visa appointment.  The children must have a Visa for entry into the United States.  We left all of our electronics back at the hotel because nothing, including cameras and cell phones, are permitted in the building.  Later I was kicking myself for not rereading all of our friend's blogs because bags are not permitted either.  We had to call our cab driver back to have him hold our bags for us.  We did not see a single American worker at the U.S. Embassy.  Everything is outsourced to locals, including all of the security.  That's not very comforting.  We were able to bypass a short line due to being Americans.  We went to one counter where Jeff had to present all of our paperwork including the sealed medical reports from yesterday.  There was a little excitement over the passport photos because they were not happy with Ajay's.  His had a light blue background for some reason.  They needed two photos per child.  There was one other photo of Ajay that was on a white background.  They accepted it and made a photocopy for the second photo.  What a relief.  The process at this counter took about 15-20 minutes which seemed like forever because Ajay and Smita realized that we had the attention of everyone in the waiting area and they wanted to be little entertainers.  They rearranged yellow plastic children's chairs into a game of musical chairs then walked around the chairs for awhile singing.  They spun in circles, they laid down on the waiting room chairs, they covered me in hugs and kisses, they chattered chattered chattered.  These kids never stop talking.  Half the time I had no idea what they were saying.  This is what makes me uncomfortable in situations like this, because everyone else does know what they are saying.  I always wonder if they're being polite or if they're saying things about us.  Haha!  Jeff eventually moved to another counter to pay for the Visas, then we were called up for our interview.  A nice man asked the questions.  He asked if there had been any problems with the adoption.  We kept all of our answers very brief.  He specifically asked the kids to tell him their names.  Then he wanted to know how long the adoption took, then he asked about the length of time of the court process, the passport process, and finally the state process.  When we said the state process took nine months, he said, "Oh! So that's where the delay was!"  He took notes on all of this.  He told us that our Visa would be ready the next day at 11 AM.  After that, we found our driver and headed back to the hotel.

We did a little site-seeing in New Delhi this afternoon.  A driver took us past all of the embassies, the Indian governmental buildings, and the home of the Prime Minister.  We are actually in Delhi during a very historical time right now as the elections for the new Chief Minister of Delhi are taking place.  In fact, Delhi has become a dry city this week so that people will make smart decisions and not break out into fighting.  Interesting.

The India Gate has always been on my list of places to visit in Delhi and it did not disappoint.  All of the hockers (I think that's what Jeff and the driver called them) were totally annoying trying to get us to buy things while walking up to the India Gate.  I got real firm with some of them.  Once we got up near the arch, lots of men wanted to take their picture with me and women wanted pictures of me with their babies.  That was unexpected.  I don't know if they thought I was a celebrity or just very white.  Anyway, they were all polite about it, so I let them take a few pictures.  It was fun to me.  Jeff was in shock.  No one asked for a picture with him.  Haha!  I think Ajay got a little uncomfortable with the situation because he held on to me tightly afterwards.
India Gate is the national monument of India.  It commemorates 70,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Army in WWI.
Ajay and Smita in front of the India Gate...
This is the first crew walking towards us that took their picture with me...

A young couple from Dallas, Texas took our family photo.  They were in town for a wedding.  Glad we found them because I was concerned that anyone else in that area might run off with our camera.
Guards around the monument...
The Canopy which is situated behind the India Gate...

Ajay and Smita pose with the guard...
Daddy's arms is the safest place to be!
Yes, that appears to be a dead dog in the middle of the road.  
We went to a market to do some shopping, but did not really purchase anything.  It was very overwhelming with the two kids and so much merchandise to sort through in order to find what we wanted.  We may try to tackle it again later now that we know what is available.

All day long, Smita kept saying "mehndi," so we all got henna tattoos outside of the market.  

Even Ajay got in on the action.  He requested a peacock and the lady immediately grabbed his arm to give him a peacock without asking us if it was okay.  I don't think boys usually get mehndi, and the male hotel staff teased him about it later, but hey, whatever makes the boy happy!  

And of course, Mommy had to get mehndi, too!

I'm sure the hotel staff cringed when they saw us walking in with all of this dye on our hands and arms, but we had no mishaps! 

After lunch in the room, the children had their first round of grieving.  It came out of the blue.  We have been expecting this to happen as they have left the only home they have ever known to live with strangers.  They both sat in my arms together and cried silently for about five minutes.  Ajay made the tiniest little wimpers.   I cried with them.  We dried eachother's tears.  Soon afterwards, we looked through our photos of the day and we were all laughing again!  I expect other episodes of grieving in our future, but the way they are handling things so far is amazing.  They are the happiest children I've ever met.  They are loving, kind, fun, peaceful, generous, and they want to obey.  We are well aware that we are in the honeymoon phase right now, but we could not be more pleased with what we are witnessing and experiencing with these two blessings!

After a second evening of nightswimming, Smita showed her sense of humor in the tub.  She surprised Mommy with some funny hair!
Photo of Mommy and Ajay cuddling during breakfast.
Everyone was in bed tonight at 8 PM.  I fell asleep while blogging, hence the late post!

1 comment:

  1. Love the top you are wearing today or the beautiful teal sari that your mehndi artist was wearing if that helps you in your shopping quest. heee heee. love reading your story. I can hardly wait for you to get home. Praying for you hourly. What a trip of a lifetime!