Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nov. 30--First Plane Ride, Arriving In Delhi, and Medical Appointment

We got up around 5:30 AM, had breakfast in the room, literally threw and dumped our stuff into suitcases, then hurried to the airport to catch our airplane from Ahmedabad to Delhi.  But first, Ajay had to strike a pose in the lobby of the hotel.  Ajay loves to pose.  He has watched a lot of Bollywood at the ashram, so it has rubbed off on him.

Let me mention at this time that the kids have very strong opinions about their wardrobe.  They have turned up their noses at quite a few outfits I brought for them. I'm finding that laying out three choices and letting them pick their outfit for the day results in happiness.  Ajay likes for me to put the clothes on him, but Smita insists on dressing herself, so I hand her each garment and she puts them on herself.  They LOVE shoes and sunglasses.
Looking out at the fountain...  
Fountain...  Around this time, they took my phone and started taking photos of strangers.  We had our first conversation about strangers and how it was not appropriate to photograph them.
Smita and Ajay prepare for their first plane ride...just to clarify, Ajay is always very smiley, but when the camera is pointed at him, he strikes a pose and gets a sassy look on his face.  
First plane ride!  Smita's ears hurt while landing and it was challenging to explain how to yawn or swallow to release the ear pressure.  At that point they had each swallowed or spit out two pieces of gum, so that was no help at all!  She cried silently and I held her.  It was pitiful.

Land between Ahmedabad and New Delhi...
Airplane after it landed.  No terminal here.  
Arriving at the hotel in New Delhi!

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted in the entrance with flowered leis and red dots.  That was a surprise!  The kids flash a lot of hand gestures and signs...some are good, some are not.  They have flashed this one several times...not sure if it's the okay sign, the eye of India, or something Illuminati...  ha ha and hmmmmm.  Well....after that we went to the room, washed our faces and then went to the hotel restaurant to eat lunch.  
First of all, I was a nervous wreck to take these two to lunch in a more formal setting...the hotel is on the formal side and they have not been trained on how to behave in certain settings.  As we were walking toward the restaurant, the hostess opened the door for us.  Ajay pulled his hand out of mine, ran to the woman, fell to the ground, and touched her shoe.  She immediatedly snatched him up and said, "Don't do that!!!  Don't you ever do that to anyone again!!!"  That upset me pretty badly.  I researched online that touching someone's shoe is a sign that you are making yourself lowly before the other person.  I'm wondering if this is a caste thing and why he chose to do that to this woman out of all the people we've encountered on our trip so far.  We had another weird incident at the lunch table when Ajay made a gesture at the server to dismiss him.  We asked the server if this was rude.  He said Indians do that a lot.  It's not necessarily a rude gesture, but rude for a child to do it to an adult.  In hindsight, this is how the director dismissed them at the orphanage.  We managed to get through the rest of the meal with little incident, although I had to fight tears the whole time.  
After eating, we went to the hotel rooftop to view the city of New Delhi.
The rooftop has a beautiful swimming pool!  We'll probably take the kids swimming one day while we're here to see how they react.  Haha!  

Our medical appointment was at 3:00 PM at Max Medcentre.  The cost of the medical appointments has increased to 2200 rupees.  We were expecting to see the doctor today, but he was not in.  Ajay has been fighting a cough since we got him.  It sounds like Alaina does when she is struggling with her seasonal allergies and has not taken her meds.  His cough becomes worse when we are outside or when he has physical activity.  The director told us that he did not need meds for his cough, so we do not know if this is allergies, a chronic cough, or a cold.  We have told him over the course of a few days to cover his mouth when he coughs.  He did not like Jeff enforcing that new rule, and at one point, he gave Jeff a gesture which is the Indian equivalent of flipping the bird.  We won't be tolerating that for long!  Haha!  But ultimately, Ajay is very eager to please and as a result, he now remembers to cough into his arm just as we taught him.  At Max Med, they took the kids height and weight, and did the TB skin test.  It was interesting to see how the kids handled injections and pain.  No tears, no wimpering, no crying...they grimaced, but toughed it out.  Because the doctor was not there, Ajay was not examined for his cough.  We return to the doctor in two days to have the TB tests read and will meet with him then.  Ajay will have to tough it out for a few more days.  We have been assured that we will receive the medical report necessary for U.S. Immigration on the same day.  

We headed back to the hotel, ordered room service for the kids, then got ready for bed.  I hit an emotional and physical wall at 5 PM.  I decided to soak in the bathtub, and just couldn't stop crying in the bathroom.  In hindsight, it was from pure exhaustion and from all of the emotions built up from getting the kids and visiting the orphanage, but I scared the mess out of Jeff.  I fell asleep three times in the tub while trying to bathe.  Crazy!  I made it to the bed at 6 PM.  I felt horribly guilty for being in such a state and tried to hide my tears from the kids, but Smita saw.  She ran to Jeff and said, "Daddy Daddy, Mommy cry!"  And about that time I fell asleep.  Jeff got the kids ready for bed and we all slept for over 12 hours that night.  All things are new in the morning and I woke up bright and early feeling much better and happier!!!  Jeff was so relieved.  

I haven't mentioned much about language yet, but we are communicating very well with the children.  Not only is Gujarati their first language, but they are fluent in Hindi.  They have been able to communicate with all of the drivers, servers, guides, and hotel staff in Hindi.  Every day they surprise us with their English.  They'll say, Mommy, then start naming all of their body parts and pointing out numerous animals in English.  They'll even speak English sentences when we're not expecting it!  

As far as clothing goes, Smita is a wearing size 5 or 6 because they are dresses and can fit loosely.  Ajay is wearing primarily 6 as well due to his height, but  Ajay's underwear is size 4/5.  His jeans have to be seriously belted because they are inches too big in the waist.  They have no meat on their bodies at all.  

Demeanor:  These kids are the sweetest most affectionate children I've ever met.  It's tricky to determine what is sincere and what is a result of being institutionalized, but we get more hugs and kisses than we've ever gotten in our lives.  They are not trying to do that to anyone else, which is a great sign!  They smile, chatter, sing, and laugh all day long.  Even though I've mentioned some of Ajay's naughty behavior, those are the only incidents so far and they are minor in the big scheme of things.  He is a lover...  They both like both of us, but Ajay has especially taken to me and Smita to Jeff.  That's a little weird (but maybe not)...we are just trying to do a lot of observing to determine motives behind behaviors, but they want to be held and hugged and kissed so bonding is going GREAT!  They also allow us to feed them, so we are taking them back as young as they'll let us.  We really are amazed at how well things are going...especially after getting rested.

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