Today was a day of waiting. So while I was in holding mode with people who control my future, I wasn't in holding mode with my daughter.
I woke this morning with a song on my heart of God's faithfulness that endures! As I read in Mark, I read that with man, it's impossible! (Aren't you glad it doesn't stop there?) BUT with God ALL things are possible. I'm a believer, so I know that's working for me.
Here's how I shower in the morning.
First stop, Hannah. She always looks at me when I walk in as if she is not registering who I am, but soon starts to talk. She usually waits until about an hour into the visit until she wants to be held, but today it was right away. I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with that bright orange backpack that contains treasures! She sweetly asked "Please" for my lip save, which I, of course, gave her. I brought a brush and she had a ball brushing my hair. I don't think she's used to doing it, but she had a good time. I was thankful I wasn't wearing my new finds, or it might have been painful!
The is her bae bo. You can tell how much she loves Hannah. She's so sweet. I could tell she was giving Hannah instructions on how to behave, and she did tell her as we were leaving for another pe pe-a ride not to make me angry.
No time for lunch at home, because we had to be at the passport agency by 12:30. Once again, we needed pictures of Hannah. She's quite used to having her picture taken, always ready with a smile. This time, she wouldn't stop talking while the machine was taking her picture, so her mouth was always open!
First was adoption certificate- quick. Then the new birth certificate. Oh, how my heart was moved when I heard the lady say, "Mah mah Louis Vincent Wright, Dae dah Dillon Mary Wright" and then "Hannah Joy Natia Wright." It's official! Giorgi even called her Hannah today! There were 2 people there who caught my eye. How sad my borrowed camera battery was dead! One was a little boy, slightly smaller than Caleb. His dad was feeding him some bread and giving him something to drink. He was so cute! Then there was a little old man, probably in his 80's, sitting and waiting for something. I believe his family was processing documents. He had his brief case with "Salamander" embossed on the front, and his cell phone holder on his belt. I'm sure he could tell stories, and I was sad I wouldn't be able to hear any of them.
The records needed to be changed in the central office, so we had to wait for that. When we got it and moved over to the passport window, we found out her BC was missing a number! Wait. finally passport work, wait. Giorgi still had to take BC and AC to be translated and notarized before we can head to the embassy, so he was feeling quite the pressure. Finally, after over 4 hours of waiting, we were told we could go to another location and pick up her passport. None of us had had lunch, so Giorgi got us each a hamburger. Thick slices of ham with mayo, mustard, and some kind of BBQ sauce on it. I was really hungry, since it had been so long since breakfast, but it was so big, I just couldn't finish it.
Over to the next location to wait. By about 2.5 hours into waiting, I finally got smart and started knitting while I stood waiting for them to need my signature or anything I could do to help move it along. The funny thing about waiting in another country is that there wasn't anything I could do. I didn't understand the process or delays, so I could just hang out and be there enjoying watching people. Admittedly, people watching for 4 hours without food was getting a bit old, but it sure beat 10 days of waiting! I was so thankful, even though it caused a bit of stress for Giorgi. Just so you know, about an hour into the waiting, Zhura and Lika took Hannah home so she could nap and eat. Can't imagine her waiting that whole time!
After we finally picked up the passport, we had 10 minutes to get a copy of it to the Dr's office so he could take records to the embassy before our interview and visa being granted. We made it in time, and the lady who took it told us if we needed it sooner, they'd take care of it. Her English was great, too, which was so nice.
Lika was needed at the notary, so I rode around with Zhura for errands like buying cigarettes and getting his glasses fixed. At 7 pm, it was just too early to head back to the apt to be by myself, so Lika took me to a park that was supposed to have a modern art exhibition. The park was unique to me because there was no grass. Lots of trees, but the paths were red dirt and no grassy areas. We walked around and saw a few art displays and an amusement park area with small rides that Caleb and Hannah would have had a great time on. As we were leaving, we saw a group of 7 or 8 men gathered around the game Nardis. They invited us to sit on the bench with them and watch them pay. It looks like a backgammon board, but it's been too long since I've played to remember. They play for 50 tetries, or about 40 cents to the winner of the game. Some are quite into the game, and one man lost 7 laris, or $3.80, that day. Who knows how long they'd been playing since they're older retired men. It was a very interesting game because they don't play to completion, they play to the point the winner is obvious. The loser would put down his money and get up, while the winner rearranged all his coins to begin a new game. I didn't figure out how they decided who played next. Perhaps it had to do with their seating on the bench, but we didn't stay long enough for me to figure out the game AND that. They asked if I'd like to play and I said I wouldn't mind. They kept asking where I was from and why I was here. Lika got a potential student out of it, so it was very worthwhile. We stayed for about 30 minutes or more, and I had a great time. The temperature had cooled down a lot, and a beautiful breeze was blowing.
Zhura has allowed Lika to take pictures with his camera, so when we came home, he gave me the card. However, it's too small and didn't fit into the card reader on this laptop. Actually, it almost didn't want to come out. Thankfully, Lika had come up with me and we used scissor tips to get it out. That would've been terrible! Tomorrow we'll try to figure it out. I'll post pics of today when I do.
The camera on the laptop worked for about 6 or 7 minutes tonight, so I got to see the kids see me. Caleb gets especially animated, but I think C & S like to see me, too. So glad to think I'll be seeing them in just a few days!
Which brings me to the last bit of waiting. I was on the phone with the travel agency for an hour and they have to call me back. The assured me they'd call me back today. I don't think they realize that today is my night. I hope I pop right away when the call comes and am coherant enough to figure out what I need to do.
Haufler update: They are taking a trip to the Holy Land, perhaps tonight. I don't have details, but things have come together quickly for them. I'm thrilled and saddened that I probably won't get to say goodbye. Better to get where they need to go and forget goodbyes. God is again showing His faithfulness.
I'll end with a little travel humor. Forgive and indulge me if I've mentioned it before. The day I got my fabulous oil paintings was a day we were going to meet the Hauflers and Giorgi to discuss maybe sharing apt, driver, and translator (am I glad we didn't). It was going to be a trip to the market for the pictures, then to Prosperos for the meeting. It was so hot, we all went our separate ways for a bit until we needed to get the art. I walked down early and saw a car directly in front of our gate. I opened the back door and started to climb in. It was a different driver, but I figured it was Zhura and Eka's son, since we'd already had Eka fill in for Zhura. He started talking in Georgian, and then I saw Lika. Wrong car, not our driver. Oops! Then, when we went to Nicalas for dinner, I went to the restroom. Only both doors had the same sign with the same picture and Georgian writing on them. I had to go find Lika to help me not end up in the wrong place. I've had to use Turkish toilets, regular toilets, toilets that have an automatic device that places a new seat cover on it. Used very nice TP and TP that is like very cheap paper towels- the brown kind. Today, the women's was locked and I got to use the men's. Reminds me of Leslie's post about her boys' bathroom. There are 2 kinds of flushers on the potties. The kind you push down, and the kind you lift up. I forgot that today and tried to use my shoe, only to about knock of the top of the toilet!
I've seen cars driving in reverse down the road, more than once. And today I saw more sheet protectors out of 3 ring binders than I've ever seen in my life! All important documents are placed in them and carried. No matter the size of the document. Not one manilla envelope in sight. I think I'll buy some for Giorgi before I leave.
It's after 11pm here, so I'd better hop in bed and be ready when they call me back. Happy day to all of you on the other side.