Saturday, June 08, 2013

Not quite a fairytale beginning

We've had a busy day, and we are both exhausted.  So this post is not going to be very long.
We landed this morning in Guyana, after catching the 11:00 pm flight out of Toronto last night.  The kids did very well on the plane but basically pulled an all nighter.  They were an extreme mixture of absolute crazy hyper, and nauseating tiredness.  Obedience was the least of their concerns, and several times during the course of the day we wondered if we had made the right decision in taking them here.  But we were all tired, and patience was not one of our strongest virtues either.
After a 45 minute drive, without air conditioning from the airport to our new apartment, we were pleased to see how spacious, roomy and mostly clean.  The fridge smelled like a large fish had swam into it, and died in the heat, but after a good scrubbing from Derek with the lysol wipes, it now only smells like a dead minnow.  The unpacking was going no where, and so we all went to bed.  The kids spent the whole time fighting, and bugging each other and so by 12 we were back unpacking without any sleep.  We didn't have any food in the apartment, so the kids ate a lunch of rainbow candies and cheesies.  After doing a few groceries we headed to the orphanage.
For the last five months we wondered if Keem would recognize us when we got back.  And if he did, how would he react?  He took one look at Derek and ran screaming away from him.  He wouldn't let any of us touch him, and he sat with the caregiver and cried for close to an hour.  We thought maybe we would give him some space and some time to cool down, so we started to walk away from him a bit.  As we did this, he started screaming even more, and louder.  We than realized that he was just confused, very emotional, and he didn't actually want us to go.  Derek suggested that I take Keem regardless of his screaming.  So I took him literally kicking and screaming from the caregiver, and sat in a quiet corner with him.  Within half an hour he was lying his head on my shoulder, sucking his thumb, like we had never left.  We think that he was scared when we came, not sure if we are going to love him for a week and then leave again.  It was sad to see him so distraught.
Our other kids weren't sure what to think.  They instantly loved him, and thought he was adorable, but he didn't pay a lot of attention to them.  He really seemed to like Jack, maybe because of his quiet and gentle manner.  They are very similar that way.  By the end of the day he was sitting on Jack's lap, quite content, and holding hands with him on the swing.  By the time we left he had cozied up to all of the kids and they were thrilled.  He even waved goodbye to Derek, and sat on his lap voluntarily.  A huge step considering it took a full week to get to that point last time.
It's awesome to be back in Guyana.  The heat is unbearable, even for me at times.  There were a few times today where we were very overwhelmed.  Isabel tripped over a suitcase carrying a glass and cut her finger quite badly.  Thankfully the suitcase she tripped over was full of bandaids and polysporin.  When the kids were fighting, we had no food, or dishes, the heat was unbearable we felt moments of where we thought 'this is going to be a very hard five weeks'.  But now, as the kids are sleeping soundly, frogs and reggae and goats are heard in the background, and the smell of the ocean is faintly in the air, we are remembering how amazing this place is, and how happy and thankful to God we are for this opportunity.  After a good night's sleep I'm sure we will all have a new outlook, and tomorrow will be a better day.


Noelle said...

Glad you guys arrived safely. Will be praying that everything goes smoothly and that you have an amazing experience down there. Thanks for the updates!!

Jen said...

Oh man. What a crazy day full of emotional highs and lows. Praying for you guys to adapt quickly and find some type of new, temporary normal :)
Love reading the updates... Keep them coming!!

FamilyHighlights said...

Wow, what an adventure! You are so brave Valerie and you have a real gift for writing. Thanks for the update.
Aunt Linda (and Uncle Al)

Melinda said...

Glad to hear you are there safe and sound! I remember when Sam was two years old, Matt and I went with the extended family for a 10 day trip to BC. When we came back to my cousin's place, Sam didn't want to have anything to do with us....I felt heartbroken. I went to put his suitcase in the car, with the intention of coming right back to carry him to the car, and as I turned to leave with the bag, he screamed and cried like I had never heard before! It sounds so similar...I think Sam thought we weren't coming back, and he wasn't sure how to react when we did come home. Thank the Lord that Keem did so well, so quickly.
That heat does seem crazy! I know how much you love our hot summers, that I find unbearable. So I can't IMAGINE how hot it must be!
Say hi to the kids and to Derek. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Elizabeth said...

You write so well. I feel like I am right there with you. It helps knowing the heat, having been in Georgetown and knowing the Red Cross Home. When do you get custody of your little guy? Some families get it very quickly after arriving. So glad you arrived safely. Any overnight travel is tough and with four kids you are very brave! Keep posting!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a day!!
So excited for you all!
Praying all goes well, and that soon you will ALL be home safe to truly begin life with 5 children!!
All the best!
Love your posts, keep them coming!!

srrraah said...

Glad to hear you're there, safe and sound! Will be praying for God's daily provision both for physical and spiritual needs in the coming weeks!