On Wednesday afternoon, we were taken to meet our baby girl in the home of her foster family. As you may be able to tell from the photo, our meeting with Sarah went very well!
The girl who will be called Sarah was very comfortable with us. While our visit with her included the foster mother and 9-year-old foster brother, as well as the case worker, the meeting went so well that we hoped we might experience a fairly smooth transition.
That transition began about 5.5 hours ago around 3:30 p.m. (Korea time, 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time).
During our one-hour visit, we were asked when we wanted to pick up the baby. We were caught off guard because last time we were told when to pick up the child. We expected to pick her up Friday, but we opted for Thursday afternoon to give us extra time to bond/adjust before the long trip home on Saturday.
The hand off at the SWS offices today was very painful for the foster mother (as we can only imagine!). Sarah was well-taken care by her foster family; we are grateful for that!
After arriving at our room minutes after “the takeaway,” all indications were that it might just be a smooth transition. But we weren’t holding our breath. And for good reason, because about 20-30 minutes later (3:55 p.m.), reality hit and Sarah began to cry pretty intensely.
Thankfully, though, she cried herself to sleep about 20 minutes later (4:15 p.m.) while Joleen was holding her (we got her at her normal nap time). Once in her crib, she slept for an hour.
She woke up and cried some more, then fell asleep again while I was holding her (6:05 p.m.). I put her in the crib, but she slept only about 20 minutes or so. When she woke up, she was in a good mood.
After dinner (takeout from McDonald’s), Sarah cried again, until she fell asleep about a half hour ago (8:40 p.m.). Her usual bedtime is 10:00 p.m., so we’re not sure what the rest of the night will look like. We’re hoping for a good night’s sleep for all of us and an important day of bonding/adjusting tomorrow.
Not surprisingly, Sarah’s not eating well. She had one (part) bottle of formula, but didn’t eat any banana (which she normally eats after a bottle), and she skipped (so far) her nighttime bottle of formula.
When Sarah cries, all we can do is comfort her, and trust that over time (hopefully soon!) she will feel safe and be ready to embrace us as we have embraced her!
As I said, we are in transition.
It is interesting to be experiencing this a second time. It’s emotionally/physically exhausting but not quite as scary as the first time around. And while Ethan made the adjustment fairly quickly (in the grand scheme of things, anyway), every child is different (and we can already see differences, as well as similarities, between Ethan and Sarah). So even though we’ve been through this before, there is still a lot of uncertainty!
Well, it’s just after 9:00 p.m. here. We’re going to bed to get as much rest as we can, not knowing what challenges the next 24-36 hours will bring!